Saturday 7 October 2017

Third Eye Blind at The Academy 1st October 2017 - GIG REVIEW

The Californian band managed to get a full house at the Academy on a windy October evening in the Irish capital. It's been a long time coming, 1st ever date in Ireland for Third Eye Blind (3EB). It was also their last European tour date and a special day for Kryz Reid, their Irish guitarist. That said it took a while for the venue to fill up, funny to note that the balcony had been booked for Kryz’s family and relatives.

A few Americans accents overheard there and then in the crowd would suffice to remind you that 3EB enjoy a much bigger status and reputation in their home country than Europe.

After a relative boring support act (albeit talented but) not suited to support an indie band, Jenkins and his crew finally showed up and all the signs indicated that they were in great form and ready to rock the house down.

Square, powerful and professional from the get go they were. We got a few songs from the last album Dopamine spread among a set heavy based on tracks from the self titled and acclaimed "Third Eye Blind" album. The album was released twenty years ago, but gosh, every tune was received enthusiastically by fans who knew all the hits.

That said it took a while for the crowd to warm up to Stephens who appeared to be somewhat distant in the first place but once the ice got broken fans were not shy in accompanying him and his superb vocals.

I was not too sure what to expect to be honest, partially because I am a big fan of the group and biased but also because the last time I saw them on stage was 20 years ago in Paris. They were a very different outfit back then with only Brad (drums) and Jenkins having managed to remain as original members of what is often considered as the golden era from 3EB.

Overall great guitars (and soli), superb backing vocals, positive energy and amazing lights made sure that everybody had a great time. Alternating acoustic intros, ferocious riffs or funky based rhythm there were no weak moment in a show that gradually gained in intensity when the crowd overtook the backing vocals on most songs 20mns before the end of the show.

Overall: Jenkins lyrics are as efficient live as listened in the intimacy of your headset, the band he has surrounded him is excellent and frankly I think they were as good as the last time I saw them if not better.

Now I hope I won’t have to wait 20 years to see them again.

Photo and review by Pascal Derrien

The Virginmarys - "Sitting Ducks" EP - Self Released 22 September 2017 - REVIEW

The Virginmarys - "Sitting Ducks" EP
Self Released 22 September 2017

Lucky me, the atheist in me has been picked to listen and review the Virginmary’s new EP "Sitting Ducks". Now I have no faith in Christian music and on top of that I also have to tell you that I don’t like ducks. Well that’s not exactly true, I like robber ducks. And by the way if you want great robber ducks with out of this world characters I know a great shop in Florence in Italy but I think I digress... I can see Dani frowning at me with her "Will you get on with it" stare so let me come back to the matter at hand. 😊

4 tracks from the three piece English band The Virginmarys. I am not mad about the first one "Sleep" I must say but things get serious with "Sitting Ducks", the title, an energetic track with a great chorus, jumping guitars and possessed lead vocals from Ally Dickaty.

With a few albums and EPs behind them, the three guys are not exactly neophytes when it comes to recording, having worked previously with Gil Norton. Being positioned as alternative rock, punk or power indie, the band is versatile and talented and it does not matter what label you want to stick them with.

With a British stamp clearly overlooking their music it is difficult not to think about the Artic Monkeys at times in "Through The Skys" but "Sweet Loretta" is in my opinion the little gem on this EP. I like the backing vocals and how the track is built around a strong tempo. Matt Rose (bass) and Danny Dolan (Drums) are doing a superb job at bringing an infectious groove in this song that you would wish to never end.

Guys you may not believe in me - but you got to believe in the VirginMarys.

Pascal Derrien