Kasper Rosa at Animal Disco
There has been a lot of hype around this gig and Kasper Rosa don't want to disappoint. It is clear that tonight is all about one thing - the evolution of the band. Tonight isn't just a single launch either, it is exactly two years to the day of the launch of their first EP at the Spring & Airbrake, so the pressure is on.
The band stroll on-stage, and immediately catch everyone off guard with 'Khora'. So far, it feels like a standard Kasper Rosa affair with the hard and heavy off-beat rhythm, the type of music that feels like it's heralding the end of the world. Within minutes people are really getting into it, and it's beginning to look like tonight will be a good night for the four piece from Belfast, commanding the attention of the crowd and wasting no time launching immediately into the next song. Sometimes the loud background noise of Animal Disco doesn't lend itself well to the few short periods of silence in 'Coronal Mass Ejection', with some uncertain clapping from the audience as if the song has finished, but this doesn't really detract from the apocalyptic ambience achieved so far.
Finally the band snap out of their trance, have a little chat with the crowd and move into their new single. We feel a sense of impending doom descending on the room, as if we're moving slowly down into the depths of hell on a rusty old mine cart. 'First Breath, First Blood' flows effortlessly in a way previously unachieved by the boys, they seem to have poured all their time and energy into this record and it really shows. Kasper Rosa were primarily an instrumental band until recently, and the addition of vocals just fits in perfectly, treading softly at first and then quickly rising into a frenzied, thrilling and violent yell. It's music like this that shows the band has really matured.
Kasper Rosa prove themselves as a fantastic live band, one of the most technically proficient bands seen round these parts in recent times, and when a song like 'Scaling Mount Improbable' comes on, you find yourself hanging on to their every note. We also get treated to a brand new song, 'Fires and Great Ships', an energetic, satisfying and beefy number that sounds like it would be played to pirates just before they set off to engage in some mighty plundering, a real crowd rousing anthem.
The good ship Kasper Rosa is definitely sailing in the right direction - they've given us something different to gnaw on, and as people leave the venue you can hear them humming the new songs, ‘catchy’ never having been a word previously associated with the band. Kasper Rosa have come a long way in their short existence, and with their new found vocal prowess, they've found the proverbial missing piece of the puzzle.
James J Magill