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Uber Glitterati at Auntie Annies

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ATL | 15:58 UK time, Friday, 21 October 2011

Uber Glitterati EP launch w/ Support
Auntie Annie’s, 19th October, 2011



Yet another deliciously eclectic night courtesy of Shizznigh Promotions, Belfast electro-pop combo Uber Glitterati launch their debut EP tonight with a strong support bill evenly divided between electronic and alt-rock acts.  But with the threat of illness and a few technical difficulties looming on the horizon, there’s a real chance it might not be the glorious occasion some had hoped for.

The first of tonight’s three support bands, Omagh-based four-piece Once Before Take Off get things underway with a set drenched in chugging breakdowns and formulaic choruses reminiscent of virtually post-hardcore act in history.

Dedicating songs to everything from BBC Introducing to the timely demise of Westlife, the Reubenesque ‘If Only’ and fanatical closer ‘Jump’ salvage a set very nearly scuppered by repetition, muffled vocals and cringeworthy instrument-acrobatics.

Next up is Futurescope, the ambient/house project of Lisburn-based electronic musician Niall Hillary. Diametrically opposed to the dogged force of tonight’s opening act, Hillary and his band open with the warm nocturnalism of ‘The City’, a track that sees vocalist Claire McCartney embody the mesmeric lure of (Eighties) Stevie Nicks and the vocal dexterity of (Eighties) Kate Bush. Whether or not it’s your scene, songs like ‘Elevation’ manage to more than convincingly evoke early house nostalgia with the best of modern day synth-centric bands.

With the automatic advantage of having the most exuberant drummer in the world to their name, Cork quartet Former Monarchs racket things up several notches with their fully infectious, forward-thinking alt-rock. Possessing the inspiring deftness of Maps and Atlases and the raucous might of Manchester’s Oceanzise, ‘Clans’, the politically scathing ‘My Friend Has No Job’ and —set highlight — ‘Repeat After Me’, they’re the first band this evening to fully capture the crowd’s attention not only musically but also in terms of presence. Nice guys, great music: expect them to go far.

But after what seems like a lifetime of technical difficulties, tonight’s headline act Uber Glitterati emerge before tonight’s modest crowd to unveil their debut EP and more. Starting on the aptly-titled ‘Opening Move’, their set is equally at odds between the majestic, warm spell of their music and the delays that mar the flow of their set. That said, however, evoking Justice’s ‘We Are Your Friends’ as covered by Electronic duo Goldfrapp, the brilliantly bass-led ‘Spoken Glass’ and — better still — ‘Australia’ are two early tracks more than worth the wait.

In spite of vocalist Elizabeth’s being unwell (“imagine all this but ten times better”) Uber Glitterati impressively manage to keep it all together on the likes of ‘Stood In Line’ and ‘Take Your Station’, both wonderfully effervescent tracks in which resourceful wizard Stevie Mac melds catching chord progressions with buoyant bridges evenly reminiscent of Oppenheimer and Weezer breakaways the Rentals.

At the end, despite perhaps one too many plugs of their new release and a smashed pint glass getting the biggest cheer of the night (hey, it’s Belfast) it’s an enchanting set from a two-piece right on the cusp of bigger and better things.

Brian Coney



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