Cashier No.9, Robyn G Shiels
Yet another special night. An unsigned Northern Irish band in a venue usually only filled by supposedly superior touring acts. We've had this scenario before this year with ASIWYFA, and we'll have it again soon with Panama Kings, The Answer and General Fiasco.
It's gone way past a sentimental, sympathetic "rooting for the locals" type affair - people aren't that soft. These bands are ramming them in because they constantly prove how good they are.
Getting them in is no longer a big problem, but getting them to hand over their attention for the duration certainly is. Robyn G Shiels, with the luxury of a five piece band, is playing a blinder here. We Are Of Evil is performed with a sinister wink while When Love It Starts Leaving is arguably the highlight of the entire night, spat out and drenched in extra bile and volume. It's full on, but it just about captivates.
But it's Danny Todd and Cashier No.9's night. They've had a relatively subtle rise in the last couple of years despite those incredible songs. It's been building towards tonight. 42 West Avenue is dispensed with early and (all credit to the soundman here) sounds big and bold. In fact, within the first few seconds of that guitar riff we know exactly why this venue is near sold out. This band write hooks.
Flick Of The Wrist skiffles along nicely, a proper drinking song, while a brand new track called Shame is the sort of pop song that's weird enough to make a band "interesting" while gathering a great deal of loyal followers. And of course When Jackie Shone is... well, it's just incredible. Dark and welcoming at the same time.
But... there's not much of a buzz. Once you listen to the band, decide you like them and make it to the gig, is that your job done? A great turn out and a wonderful, promising performance, but something quite important was missing.
Photo by Robin