General Fiasco, Team Fresh, More Than Conquerors
There's a certain buzz in the air that seems slightly different than normal, which is perhaps part and parcel to the excitement of seeing local heroes General Fiasco return to Belfast to celebrate the launch of their highly anticipated debut album, 'Buildings'. Naturally, emotions are running high.
Sadly due to a change to the time schedule, I missed More Than Conquerors (who were promoting the pre-release of their self-titled debut E.P.) This was a real pity, since judging from past experiences, their live appearances have proven to be unmissable, and set a very high benchmark.
Not being the most avid fan of rap music, I was a touch sceptical about the inclusion of Portrush outfit Team Fresh on the bill. However the septet swaggers about the stage with an infectious enthusiasm that is hard to ignore, and equally as hard to criticise.
With their tongue in cheek lyrics accompanied with luscious funk grooves and brash guitar lines, it becomes clear that this is a band that not only puts a discerning spin on the rap rock formula, but strikes a perfect balance between serious musicianship and colloquial humour. You can only help but grin inanely at their enjoyable stage presence. Colour me impressed.
Now comes the moment that we have all been waiting for: the homecoming of General Fiasco.
From the moment the 3-piece hit the stage they are met with ear-puncturing rhapsody. Upon the opening bars of 'Dancing With Girls', the band set in motion to pull off the performance of their lives. Stephen 'Leaky' Leacock explodes behind the drum kit, beating the tubs with rabid ferocity, while the Strathern brothers restlessly scale every part of the stage. The audience is treated to the album in it's entirety plus several other gems from their repertoire.
The crowd morph themselves to suit the ambience of each song; from hollering and leaping along to 'Rebel Get By', to singing along in heartfelt admiration to 'Sinking Ships'. A triumphant rendition of 'Buildings' sums up the magical atmosphere of the whole evening; it is perhaps the perfect song that encapsulates General Fiasco's glorious ascent to stardom.
General Fiasco have made it, and what better way to celebrate than in the city where their dreams came true. With a live performance as electrifying and engaging as this, there's no sign of this ship sinking any time soon.