A Plastic Rose, Deadlights, T.R.T.
Walking into The Shadow Rooms in Carrickfergus, and being greeted with a ghostly silence is a downright rarity. Things are pushed back for as long as possible in the hopes that the venue will fill out. But time ticks on, and as they say in show business, the show must go on, and faced with a meagre crowd, TRT take to the stage to open up the evening's entertainment.
Despite operating without a 4th member, they struggle valiantly to gain the attention of their crowd, but are largely ignored. Their set consists of a few peculiar covers like 'Low' by Flo Rida, and Michael Jackson's 'I Want You Back', and despite the initial thrill of familiarity, the band fails to gain further support.
Heads begins to turn when 4-piece Deadlights take to the stage, who take the bull by the horns and deliver a hard hitting set. Complete with Fighting With Wire-esque harmonics, intricate fretwork and unique bridge melodies, they fit the mould as the archetypal alternative rock band. They have a gripping stage presence, and guitar duo Mark Heffer and Mark Bodles unleash swiping hooks. The languid 'Monochrome' acts as the comedown to their set, with swirling guitar licks that accentuate and flourish into a sprawling anthem. Deadlights are a well-oiled machine.
By the time A Plastic Rose hit the stage, the venue still remains puzzlingly empty. Though visibly, and understandably, disheartened, a lesser band would produce a half-hearted effort, and trim down their set. A Plastic Rose take the opportunity to show the infinitesimal crowd what the rest of Carrickfergus are missing out on, and why they are one of the country's most prized bands. 'Colour Blue' opens up their set, which fills the empty spaces of the venue, and front man Gerry Norman shows his appreciation for the select few singing along. As a powerhouse rendition of 'Kids Don't Behave Like This' charms the less attentive members of the audience to the floor, the band's spirits pick up and even perform an encore.
Playing with hallmark passion in front of such a small audience just goes to show that this band believe in their music, and live for the stage. That merits nothing but respect. It is just a crying shame to see a fantastic weekly showcase such as FourLive be taken for granted. Perhaps the punters of Carrickfergus don't realise how fortunate they are to have such a great event right on their doorstep. Tonights paltry turnout may put the future of FourLive into question.
Photos: Bernie McAllister