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Hard Working Class Heroes Festival 2017: Saturday Roundup

By on Thursday, 19th October 2017 at 2:00 pm

Catch up on Rebecca’s Friday night coverage of Hard Working Class Heroes 2017 by following this link.

On Saturday evening, we were pretty excited to see some of the acts that we had lined up on our schedule, as well as to try out Dublin’s newest music venue, The Underground. But first, we hit The Grand Social, following what seemed like a rabbit warren of corridors before we reached the music venue at the rear of the pub. We first saw the peach-haired ROE (pictured above), the 18-year old from Derry, known to her mum as Roisin Donald. Two standouts were ‘Fake Ur Death’, the track she released at the start of the year, and another that she talked about writing a track about her grandfather’s dementia, which she sang passionately and emotionally. Multi-instrumentalist ROE created a range of sound with her guitar and by looping rhythms and is certainly a unique talent to watch out for.

The Underground was next on our list, where we caught the end of Cinema’s set. I was pleased to find we’d not missed out on Peter Fleming’s most well-known track, the ethereal ‘Floating’. I’d heard it what seemed like a hundred times before but had never known who sang it. Cinema is a great chilled out electropop act for fans of celestial, airy tunes.

Kilnamana were up next at The Underground, which despite being a seriously cramped venue had an incredible vibe. It was also the act’s first Irish show. The duo are clearly in love with performing their music, dancing along throughout the set. I’m pretty sure they were also using a theremin; I’d never seen that particular instrument used on stage before, especially not laced with hypnotic synth sounds. Highlights were Miguel Garcia Soler swaying to the music, and Enda Gallery playing his flute into a microphone, while distorting the sound.

We briefly caught ROCSTRONG at Tramline, the venue that we’d fallen in love with the night before. A confident and charismatic performer, he instructed the audience to split into two halves, and chant phrases back to him when he pointed the microphone in their direction, but did seem put out by the some members of the audience choosing to sit down for the set.

Finally, we headed back to Workman’s to check out Bitch Falcon. I must admit, we chose this band purely on name alone, and they definitely aren’t the type of act that I would usually see. We ended up really enjoying their heavy, autotuned, intense set, with lead singer Lizzie Fitzpatrick headbanging away like the coolest front woman in town. The crowd were also delighted to see the band, and we could barely move as we stood watching the performance, being jostled around by the bopping crowd. [Catch all our past coverage on Bitch Falcon through here. – Ed.]

Hard Working Class Heroes is one of those festivals that not only allows you to see some fantastic acts, but also enables you to check out some of the fantastic venues that the city has to offer. For a relative newcomer as myself, it was particularly enjoyable, and I’m already looking forward to next year.


Single Reviews: Bitch Falcon – ‘Clutch’ and ‘Syncope’

By on Wednesday, 12th April 2017 at 12:00 pm

Grunge band Bitch Falcon have been making serious waves in the Irish rock scene, putting them on par with the likes of Canadians Dilly Dally and L.A. scenesters Bleached. Over their 2 years as a band, they have released only a small handful of singles, two of which were released in the last few weeks. Both ‘Clutch’ and ‘Syncope’ present a very different side of Bitch Falcon.

‘Clutch’, released back in February, is raw, harsh and filled with emotion. Its lyrics touch on the inner torment when dealing with anxiety, frustration and the like. The video brings these feelings to life, as well as capturing almost perfectly an idea of what Bitch Falcon’s live shows generally are like. With a frontwoman as aggressive as Lizzie Fitzpatrick, that means energetic and in your face.

There is a fragile undercurrent to ‘Clutch’ that sits at the belly of harsh chords and visceral vocals, bringing a deeper level of emotion to the track. Naomi Macleod and Nigel Kenny sit at the helm of a driving rhythm section: with free reign over the vacant verses, it allows them to showcase some very tasteful playing, particularly in Macleod’s bass fills. Bursting into the chorus comes Fitzpatrick’s powerful and expressive vocal delivery as she screams, “and I want to see the beat in your heart!” With meaning behind every word, it’s hard to watch the video without feeling it is directed squarely at you. ‘Clutch’ is a powerful, emotive track that draws upon moments of weakness and feelings of vulnerability, and turns them into raw power and intolerance.

Bitch Falcon released their second single of 2017, titled ‘Syncope’, on the 5th of April. The track differs from ‘Clutch’ in a way that shows a simpler, groovier side to the band’s sound. With more of a focus on Fitzpatrick’s vocal melodies, it allows the music to accompany the topline, rather than leading the track like in ‘Clutch.’ However, don’t take this to mean less effort has taken by the band, because I assure you, they haven’t.

‘Syncope’ sits on a tight, heavy riff reminiscent of a weightier, ballsier ‘Hash Pipe’ by Weezer, but with more attitude. Palm-muted guitars and a sharp, disjointed vocal delivery give the track its bouncy groove, and its simplicity allows for a more fleshed out, melodic topline. Unlike ‘Clutch’, which presents a busier side to the band’s playing, ‘Syncope’ relies heavily on tight rhythms and strong musicality to please the listener. As for the video, it stars four leather-clad female misfits named Stun Hun, Pyro, Miss Scarleh and Mary, intent on causing trouble in their town. The song and video have nothing in common, but it presents playful side of Bitch Falcon that helps set them aside from the serious, menacing grunge band that their music might otherwise characterise them as.

‘Clutch’ and ‘Syncope’ are two very different songs that vividly show two equally exciting sides to the three-piece powerhouse that is Bitch Falcon. If this is what the band has to offer in the first quarter of 2017, we can’t wait to see what else they have to offer.

‘Clutch’: 9/10
‘Syncope’: 9/10

Singles ‘Clutch’ and ‘Syncope’ are available now from Irish grunge group Bitch Falcon. They’ll be showcasing next week at Canadian Music Week 2017. For a full list of artists scheduled to showcase at the festival, including the UK, American and Irish artists scheduled to appear, go here.


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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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