Dirty Stevie, Niyah Sky, The Big Grizzly, Lost Diegos at Auntie Annies
Auntie Annie's, Saturday
It's a typical saturday night in Belfast and Auntie Annie's is host to four unique bands at tonight's 'Static', covering everything from pop punk to good old rock and roll. First up are Lost Diegos, seemingly new on the scene they hail from Crumlin and give us some indie-pop rock in the form of 'Lost in Translation', evoking the style of bands like Blink 182 and Simple Plan. It's their first gig at Auntie Annie's and they perform remarkably well, keeping us adequately entertained for their short four song set.
“Now for something completely different” announces lead singer Bill Wood of The Big Grizzly, a statement that is completely, one hundred percent, true. Geared out in a wooly panda bear hat with a nose chain attached to it and big white sunglasses that could pass as safety goggles, Wood hammers away at his keyboard like a man possessed. They're not long together but they know what they're doing, it's loud, it's hard, it's heavy and oddly addictive. At one point they inexplicably don rubber gloves and throw complimentary pairs out to the audience, but that didn't go down as well as the free lollipops on the door. The song 'Behind Closed Doors' is a brilliant example of their specialised craft, that showcases some quiet reflective periods coupled with more intimidating, brutal noise.
Niyah Sky quickly appear on stage with some traditional rock, a band that sound like a more relaxed soundgarden, the vocal similarities to Chris Cornell are unmistakable. 'Karma Dodger' is a song of theirs that you should definitely check out online when you get the time, full of big, hard riffs and soaring vocals it showcases the band at their best, it's very difficult to flaw this live performance.
Finally it's time for Dirty Stevie, their last gig was over a year ago and it looks like they've been dying to get back out there, they're coming out all guns blazing and grabbing this audience by the throat. They play with so much pent up energy and passion that the strings snap on one of their guitars after their first song of the night, so it's just a small interlude whilst they change their kit.
It's worth the wait though, as they explode into something cataclysmic with 'This Must Be What They Mean By Poetic Justice', fuelled by screeching guitars, frenzied drums, all combining into the most rousing noise, finished off with the raging and incensed vocals of Brian Smyth. They're a band that need to be seen to be believed. Their current record 'A Beginner's Guide To Levitation' is unreal but it doesn't do their live performance justice. Hopefully tonight will have awoken something inside the lads because waiting another 14 months for a gig isn't something we want to do.
James J Magill