Now the music scene, and ATL as part of that scene, is often accused of being a bit Belfast (and to a lesser extent Derry) centred. This is a charge that can at times ring true, but in an attempt to redress it, we decided to mount up, round up the convoy and make the long trek to Lisburn (if this was the blog, Rigsy would probably insert an hilariously accurate picture of the road warriors from Mad Max - Paul does a wonderful Tina Turner). Besides, our vaccinations were still valid from a previous journey to Glengormley.
Perhaps it was jungle fever, but we could have sworn the venue was a church hall, with a scout troop meeting downstairs. Having ascertained that this was neither Mojo Fury nor the enemy, we quickly fled upstairs and established a beach head, put Pongo on stag, Matt got a brew on, GG got some sausages going, and hunkered down to await Mojo Fury or for the changing of the guard. Our morale was helped when we started receiving incoming transmissions from base-camp, and the messages from Ralph McClean over the PA were a great boost to us far from home territory.
Our advance reconnaissance had warned us that there could be something happening with Mojo Fury. The reports were frighteningly true. Indeed, although in many ways General Fiasco are the band many have been tipping for a while to open the door for the burgeoning scene here, MF could be the ones to take it off the hinges. Even the unseasonal appearance of a Santa hat on front-man Mike, possibly for some sort of quasi-religious purposes, cannot detract from their power. 'What Colour Is The Bear?' is fantastic and the double-drums intro of 'Collision' merely adds to its post-grunge Radiohead influenced majesty. And at the uneasy centre of this all is front-man Mike, all compelling spiralling tortured man in a maelstrom. Disembarking the stage temporarily only seems to fire them up more, prompting more of the wonderful noise, like the next iteration along from Lafaro's rawer punkish sound, and the comparative shimmering delicacy of their closer, with it's repeated plaintive despairing "thank you very much" leaves us exhilarated and hungry for their forthcoming album.
And so we retreat into the night, fleeing back to the safety of street lights.
In memory of Binky the platoon dog.
Words: William Johnston
Pic (NB not from gig): Graham Smith