Jape, Morning Claws
Outside Auntie Annie’s the rain’s hammering down, inside however, things are much more optimistic. With synths-a-plenty and a sense of quiet anticipation, the stage is set for local 5 piece Morning Claws to step up and give us their delicate blend of indie/electro goodness.
They are one of the most hyped local outﬁts at the minute, and rightfully so, with the set running like a well-oiled machine. This is their ﬁrst gig of 2012, but it doesn’t show, as they quickly slip into the zone, their previous gig experience under various guises shining throughout. 3 full-time synths could potentially be a disaster, but not for the Claws crew, who know that less is more. This subtle approach paired with perfect 3 part vocal harmonies throughout, helps Morning Claws succeed in sucking you into their musical universe. More and more people are creeping into the gig, and halfway through the set, we’re hooked.
They take the opportunity to throw in a new number and also treat us to a few ‘Jape’ gags. “Jape Cod”, “Date Jape”, “Planet of the Japes”... you get the drift.
The highlight is ‘Slack Magic’, a tune that builds for an age before it hits a monster, full-band chorus of “WE’LL BE ALRIGHT”, leaving everyone in the room thinking the same thing.
As soon as the supportband Moog and Korg synths being unplugged, Jape’s are being plugged in. Richie Egan and Co. take to the stage like men on a mission. Dressed in double denim (a look that receives a fair amount of gentle ribbing), Egan launches straight into ‘One of Those Days’, a big hitter from their 2011 release Oceans Of Frequency.
They take no prisoners and keep the whole set upbeat, playing even the more mellow numbers from the record with much more pace and intensity. If Auntie Annie was still alive she’d be up the stairs to see who’s making all the racket.
Highlights include ‘Too Many People’ and crowd favorite, ‘Floating’ which, as expected, goes down a treat. Egan comes up for air a few times, dishing out kudos to some local outﬁts - Morning Claws, ASIYFA and Cashier No.9 to name a few. He seems to have a lot of love for Belfast, and can’t be thankful enough for the support.
It’s a seriously tight and entertaining gig, and Egan’s energy is infectious, bouncing between the guitar and synth like a man possessed. His announcement that he’s moving to Sweden for good leaves a few hardcore Japettes stunned. “It’s my last gig in Belfast as an Irishman”, he announces. As he leaves the stage to cheers and applause, it seems there’s every chance that this faithful crowd will follow him and establish their very own “Planet of the Japes”.