Cashier no 9, Kowalski
Cashier No.9, Kowalski
The Empire, Belfast
Thursday 1st Match 2012
Taking to the stage, Kowalski seem to be rather enamoured with their surroundings at The Empire. “We feel like we should be reciting Shakespeare”, they inform us. Thankfully, the group resist the temptation to break into a soliloquy, but instead treat the audience to a roaring set of indie-rock treats. It takes only two songs to induce madcap dancing in the audience, with 'Phil Kansas' going down extremely well with an overenthusiastic group of devotees. The lads keep the energy high throughout the set, with new songs like 'Remedies' sounding just a fresh as their better known songs like 'Outdoors'. It’s a rather enjoyable performance from one of Belfast’s great treasures.
Even though they last played Belfast merely three weeks ago supporting Noel Gallagher, there is a real homecoming atmosphere to Cashier No.9’s gig this evening, with the venue packed out to capacity by the time the sextet take to the stage. It takes only a few songs for the band to blow the roof off the venue with their highly textured wall-of-sound rock, with tracks like 'Lost at Sea' and 'Oh Pity' getting the crowd going in the early half of the set.
The most surreal moment of the evening occurs during the performance of 'Goldstar', during which a 60 year old Jimmy Saville look-alike made his way to the front of the stage and proceeds to moonwalk for the duration of the song, before doing a cartwheel during the song’s climactic moments. Later on, the raucous energy of 'When Jackie Shone' gets the crowd worked up, leading to what can only be described as the most orderly example of moshing you can expect to find at a Belfast gig. The highlight of the set however is the phenomenal performance of 'The Lighthouse Will Lead You Out', with the 3 minute outro being the best tune that Air never wrote.
One of Cashier No.9’s strengths this evening is their ability to take some of their more subdued tracks on record and turn them into overwhelming behemoths on stage. Tracks such as the summer-y 'To Make You Feel Better' and the pre-encore 'Goodbye Friend' building from their unassuming beginnings into fully fledged anthems.
The encore consists of 'I Kid You Not' and a cover of Them’s 'I Can Only Give You Everything', and as the band leave the stage, it is apparent that this is likely to be the greatest gig that The Empire will host all year. Cashier No.9 are one of the most unique bands that this place has produced, and if they can pull off such captivating performances as this evening’s, then hopefully they will be packing out the rafters for many more years.