Morning Claws at Animal Disco
Auntie Annie's, Belfast
Friday 14th of October 2011
Experimental, synth-pop band Morning Claws have always pulled something interesting out of the bag at their performances, whether it be big, mind expanding soundsacapes, or just the endearing charm of their handmade banner spanning across the stage.
The unassuming five piece from Belfast shuffle their way on to the stage and begin proceedings with 'Fight For Your Friends', an ear catching opener. They're a very tight band and display this as they slickly move from song to song with ease, seemingly in their own world. 'Goodbye, Moodkill' however is less impressive, the song quickly deteriorates into chaos and you're not quite sure what's going on anymore. The wall of sound does get a bit too much sometimes, and some people are trying to find any excuse for a smoke break.
Lead singer Paul takes a 20 second rest to address the crowd and immediately breaks in to 'For Want of Sorcery', a free download given to everyone on the way in, and in stark contrast to the last song, the band springing to life with an engaging and captivating effort that sounds like it would accompany you on a journey to another universe.
It's worth noting that Animal Disco's impressive lights and videos in the background lend themselves very well to Morning Claws mysterious and enigmatic performance; seeing pixelated dolphins jumping around behind the band, and old unknown films playing in sepia tone only enhances an already unreal experience.
Auntie Annie's is really starting to come alive now and this is only amplified by 'Slack Magic', the bands most well known song, and its effect is almost intoxicating; a feeling of euphoria enters the room, as beautiful, electronic harmonies and melodies repeat over and over, each time getting more gratifying, and making the hairs on your body stand on end.
A change of pace comes with 'Safe and Sound', a song that unlike most of their catalogue is more focused on the guitar side of things, a nice variation and shows us what else they can do.
But, it feels as though the show has barely started and we are told that we are about to witness their last song, 'Not the Sum of these Parts', another guitar based song, but one where the band really let go, shrugging off their shoegaze stances and enjoying themselves. It's an unreleased song and one they really should consider committing to mp3, as it capped off a short but sweet set.
As the band leave the stage you are left wanting more, and chants of “one more tune” sadly fall upon deaf ears. Morning Claws are a band with huge promise, a band that strive to do things a little differently and we can only hope that others follow by example.
James J Magill