Home Gigs Gig Review : Disgraceland Lands A Perfect Night Out At The Limelight With Elvana And Haggard Cat

Gig Review : Disgraceland Lands A Perfect Night Out At The Limelight With Elvana And Haggard Cat

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Review by Ivor Whitten by MPM

Everyone had an upgrade, with tonight’s gig taking place in the Limelight one hall and just as well. The crowd would have been far too big for Limelight two, and they were packing in apace to see one of the greatest performance bands on the planet, Elvana, the Elvis fronted Nirvana tribute band.

As crazy an idea as it sounds, Elvana have been plying their trade for a few years now and have built up a well-deserved devoted following. So, tonight was going to be a show to remember.

The floor was well filled as the support act Haggard Cat. Haggard Cat is an English hardcore punk band formed by the Nottingham duo, Matt Reynolds and Tom Marsh (ex-Heck). The best descriptor is that is the Sex Pistols and The White Stripes had a petulant child it would be Haggard Cat.

It was their first visit to Belfast and hopefully won’t be their last. Hitting like a ton of bricks straight off with such a wall of noise they landed in with “First Words”, “Quit your Jobs”, “Threads” and “F*** TV”. They may just be a two-piece band but the massive wall of musical noise they pump of the stage will blow you away.

With a punk attitude and a driving rock/metal blues infused funky rhythm that is just enthralling you will not stand still. As they were drawing to a close their set Matt took a moment with the audience encouraging them to come in closer and quipped “We’re going to play a song for you to song along with. I bet you won’t know the words but that’s ok as I do.

I should I’m the singer.” And on that the band drove into “American Graffiti” before they finished off with “Amateur Dramatics” and “Water Me Down”. Wow. Just Wow. Haggard Cat is a driving juggernaut of musicality that is uncompromising in energy, enthusiasm and captivating riffage.

The drums were lucky to have survived the encounter as Tom pounded them to within an inch of their lives with tribalistic enthusiasm. The crowd roared their approval of the performance which was nothing less of exhausting to watch. Check out their music at https://open.spotify.com/artist/0fIUq6BR8xSAMsi1VvBW2e?si=gaC1uiqHQ-C7VeoNjGCoUg

And “Now For Something Completely Different” as Monty Python would say as a trio adorned in velour suit jackets dander onto the stage to a combined huge cheer from the now well packed Limelight. The trio of Danny Cobain, Rob Novoselic, Bobby Grohl look more like The Presidents of the USA than Nirvana. Finally, the main man Elvis springs on to the stage front and centre as the crowd erupts with joy.

Adorned in a red jumpsuit with matching cloak and full-on sunglasses he looked every bit the perfectly crazy performer as he struts his stuff across the stage, already having the crowd eating out of his hand before saying a word.

It was also noticeably a real mixture of people from all walks of life from the metalhead to the club goer. Everyone had pure joy on their faces and were definitely here to party.

As the In Utero Elvis backdrop filled the back along with massive balloons with the iconic Nirvana emoji daubed on them, Elvis kicked off with pure Duracell bunny energy that was immediately contagious as they slammed home their version “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter/Burning Love” and all the while the broad smile on Elvis’s face reflected the elation of the crowd already.

Jumping down onto the barriers he sang and interacted with the audience, to their absolute joy. Many quick selfies were had as Elvis obligingly encouraged and took part in poses all over the place.

Soon it was time to talk to the crowd, “How y’all doin’? We’re Elvana from Disgraceland and tonight you may sometimes hear me sound a little like Nicholas Cage, sometimes I might sound Like Matthew McConaghey, Alright, Alright, Alright. Sometimes I might sound even like Kurt Cobain, but I definitely will not sound like Elvis! Do I care, absolutely not!” The roar from the crowd shook the place.

Nobody cared, everyone was here for a good time, and that was it. And from this very early part in their stage show, that was exactly what everyone was having. He also took a moment to reflect “It’s been a tough two years but I want to thank you all for coming out to see us. I love you all.”, to which the crowd erupted in support.

And on back into the set they went, with “Serve the Servants” and “Scentless Hound dog” before hitting home with “Rape Me Tender”. They are fantastic adrenaline fuelled mashups of the likes of “Scentless Apprentice”, “Hound dog”, “Rape Me” and “Love me Tender”. The packed house was in full high strength rocking out to the high-octane performance belting off the stage.

The synergy of all the band along with their two backing vocalists was a pure pleasure to behold. Moshing had broken out and everyone was having absolute fun. The excitement was palpable and had no sign of ebbing away, if anything the whole place was just getting more and more into it. It was almost hypnotic and inescapable to join in moving to the whole exuberant and over the top performance being so tightly and professionally delivered on stage.

On into “Can’t Help falling in love with you” and “Heart Shaped Box” and a wall of musical distortion encircles the room and the whole place is just bouncing like their lives depended on it. A personality big enough to fill the room on his own, Elvis is relentless with his energy levels as he busts one move after another, gyrating his hips in a hypnotic way.

Elvis quickly leaves the stage all the while the remaining members begin a superb rendition of “Very Ape”.

Bouncing back onto stage, Elvis and the band delve into a firm favourite of ‘Breed’ / ‘Viva Las Vegas’, which rips across the PA delivering another level of insanity consumes the crowd and envelops the room like a wave, a packed-out Limelight just embraces everything Elvana has to throw at them.

With the incredible mashup of “Drain You” and Queen’s “Flash” the focus moves to Rob the Bass man, saviour of the Universe much to the completely jubilant crowd’s approval.

Then came the biggest hit of the evening with “Little Less Conversation” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” as the walls shook, the roof quivered, and the floor trembled to the explosion of energy from both the band and the packed room with people going full metal and moshing like there was no tomorrow.

Then came more perfectly delivered songs like “On A Plain”, “Heartbreak Hotel”, “Lithium”, “About a Girl”, “School”, “In the Ghetto”, “Negative Creep”

Each time, Elvis and the band had the gathered masses lose their collective minds. Jumping around like a maniac, pouring himself over the barrier to embrace the audience Elvis is one slick professional performer, par excellence. They are a tightly packed bundle of fun with a hard rocking edge that fully delivers an experience many long-term professional bands would be jealous off.

Overall, it was a truly magical night of fun, grunge, rock, Elvis and it was completely and utterly entertaining. Everyone was joyfully exhausted from both watching and taking part with both bands. Haggard Cat are definitely a band to watch as the develop a devoted following. Elvana are an experience like no other and simply have to be experienced for yourself. They provide every world-weary traveller an entertaining, fun filled festive experience and as one said “Sometimes you just need a slightly mad premise with an exceptional execution” and Elvana fit the bill perfectly.

For more tour dates check out https://www.elvana.co.uk/tickets

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