Three very different bands gathered together for an enthralling evenings music tonight at the infamous Oh Yeah Centre in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. Two British Rock bands and one local “Norn Irish’ band complete the bill to entertain the youthful crowd gathered outside on the cobbled streets. As the doors open at 6:30 the stream of young rockers push their way in and up front and centre of the stage to gather the best view of their idols on the intimate stage.
First up Armagh quartet Hello Casanova and as they stride up onto the stage a roar comes up from the crowd as the nights entertainment kicks off. Hello Casanova has all the charm and nuances of the Northern Irish music scene, like the bands, which have preceded them and the modern day allies like Brand New Friend and co they have a nice indie-pop vibe that warms heart.
The quartet are a raw article, but have all the qualities make their mark on the N.I music scene. Catchy sing-along songs that the young crowd can buy into and grow and develop with the band, ones to watch for sure so keep an eye out for this quirky quartet.
Modern Error take to the stage and shit is about to get real. Like caged animals they unleash a barrage of angst-ridden riffage on the Belfast crowd. Their take on emotive song writing fused with a wall of distortion make for a highly engaging performance from one of the UK’s finest up and coming Metal acts. All four guys are giving their all on the stage, vocalist Zac Pinchin’s voice is breaking under the intensity of their performance.
They slam their way through a fine set filled with tracks from their recent release Lost In The Noise and it goes down well with the Belfast audience. Rock N’ Load recently reviewed their latest offering “Lost In The Noise“. Tonight’s set was short but sweet and made an impact on the room, a fine band and highly regarded as one to watch.
As we approach our headliner the guys walk to the stage, young ladies screaming out as the guys brush their shoulders on the way past. The guys gather at the side of the stage and I can see them bonding before their set, you can tell they’re pumped up and ready for this. Like a bat out of hell the guys hit the ground running, banging out tune after tune at a relentless pace. The first track isn’t even over and front man Patty Walters is on the barrier leaning into the crowd and they love it. These guys have a plethora of big hits that they can throw at the crowd, the room is bouncing from front to back, young girls are loosing their shit all over the place and to be honest it’s great to see. Patty commands his crowd and they obey his every command, mimicking his every move and you can tell the guys are really enjoying this, grinning like a Cheshire cats and slaying their set.
The songs are highly addictive and going down well live with the Belfast faithful, every song sung in full force. This is what live music is all about, making memories like this and yes the crowd may be young, but they’re rocking out and they’ll not forget this evening anytime soon. As It Is are a whole lot of fun, good old-fashioned Rock ‘N’ Roll wrapped up in 21st century Pop-Punk-Emo-Rock that cannot be ignored. There’s a whole new generation that were raised on this music and they love it. Festivals like Slam Dunk are filled with bands such as, As It Is and both Modern Error fighting for your hard earned money. Rightly so, these bands just like so many are slaves to the grind for their music, living and breathing it 24/7, 365 days a year and those in the know appreciate it.
A slamming nights music for an intimate crowd that Belfast won’t forget.
Review and Photos by Mark McGrogan, Rock N’ Load