Crane Lane was the venue for the latest free gig in Cork. The billing was rather delicious with Cork legends Hope is Noise supporting And So I Watch you from Afar, the band you can’t stop hearing about at the moment. Despite their nomination for the Choice Music Award and their widespread media coverage, I had heard very little of the Belfast quartet, just a few songs on MySpace. While the music sounded awesome, a loud mesh of guitars backed up by thumping, rolling drums, I didn’t quite see what it was that set them apart from the mass of talented Irish acts. Turns out it’s their live show.
ASIWYFA play with an intensity and at a decibel which makes it impossible to stand still. The Belfast outfit were more than comfortable on the big stage and in front of the big crowd, in fact they fed off it. From the first step on the distortion pedal guitarists Rory Friers and Tony Wright were leaping all over the place, at the same time nailing ever note. No microphone was needed to engage the spectators, the sheer devotion to entertain was more than enough.
It would be easy to nit-pick and highlight the lack of variety to ASIWYFA’s sound, it hits highs that make you want to jump around and smash everything in sight but doesn’t offer anything to bring you back down. But you know what you’re getting with post-rock/hardcore and this criticism applies more to the genre than to the act itself.
ASIWYFA are the most hyped band around for good reason. The very fact that they don’t write accessible music and still attract armies of supporters goes along way to telling you how good they are. This is a band who immerse themselves in their music and combine their considerable musical talent with a live energy and presence that could have any venue in the world moshing.