Skate Park Show – 24/06/17 – Bridges, Belfast

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Saturday afternoon. Clear blue sky, sunglasses, the fresh summer air and big heavy riffs coming from a few petrol powered amps in Belfast City Centre, Bliss. Or Blush should I say? The Dublin-based band were one of the bands I hadn’t had the pleasure of seeing yet on this bill and they gave me and a few others who I spoke to in the crowd a pleasant surprise with their new wave of emo style which is gathering a lot of pace among independent music circles at the minute. Tracks like their December 2016 single ‘Phonecalls’ provided a real chilled melodic contrast to the hardcore acts like ‘Out Straight’ who they shared some band members with.

Out Straight made their bill topping slot their own, with their singer’s energetic performance equal parts intimidating as it was engaging. I found myself extremely entertained by their unfortunately short set, which if anything, made everyone more excited for their show in the Warzone that night. I found it really refreshing to see some of the younger attendees in the park really take notice of these guys, witnessing the performance and passion these guys had on show is showpiece for what independent music is all about.

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Perhaps we’ll cast the direction of this haphazard review to the beginning of the show where new Belfast hardcore act ‘No Approval’ got things rolling. Had it not been for the power cuts from the generator and a few lyrics forgotten here and there, these guys could have come away acing one of their first live sets. Tight arrangements and great vocals have made me interested enough to keep an eye on these guys and watch out for anything they have coming up.

Following No Approval, we were scheduled for Diss and Dismissed to produce a set for all the skaters to see but they unfortunately had to pull out of the show so January came on early to let loose some of their extremely catchy emo punk riffs. Like Blush, they gave us the kind of contrast between punk and hardcore that perfectly appeased all those present at Bridges that day.

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Towers, just like their last show in Voodoo, just like every time I see them play, performed with the type of conviction and aggression you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the local scene. These guys mean business and the dodgy PA that was being used complimented Daniel’s vocals in a weird lo-fi kind of way. Another great set from the lads, i’m sure it won’t be long be long until I’m out seeing them again.

Last remark of the review has to go to the band which arguably gave the best set of the afternoon. I might be wrong, but I think the last time I saw Elder Druid play was in December or January and the biggest surprise to me was the improvement they had made to their already highly-professional set. The new tracks weigh a ton and hit you like a brick in the chest. Druid look ready to be filling out massive venues across the country and yet I found them playing this DIY gig in Belfast. Catch them in their infancy at a local show while you can before they grow into the globetrotting behemoths they’re inevitably set to be.

Props to Skateboarding NI for putting the show on, myself and Steven had a cracking time. I’m sure the bands gave them just the right atmosphere for their Skate Jam and I highly encourage everyone to watch out for next year’s show.”

Full gallery on our Flickr:

Review by Seán McD

Photos by Steven Donnelly

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