Cast of Cheers, Yes Cadets
Yes Cadets have the swagger, the look and the polish that makes to make them seem like the perfect indie-dance package. Thankfully this is matched by their music.
Their self-titled, self-released EP from late last year was a storm of funky bass, catchy hooks and virulent synths - onstage the band seem confident and tight, carrying them through the EP's up-tempo, danceable momentum well. The high pitched vocal of Alan Haslam is complemented by drummer Lisa's backing singing brilliantly on H.O.T., a thumping new-wave dance number, whilst the chorus and riffs of Rufio are infectiously 'stick-in-your-head'.
It's an accomplished set, but unfortunately the time constraints of Stiff Kitten's early show means that half the crowd that might otherwise be here is missing , as the band finish at half eight on a Saturday night.
There's a slightly bigger turnout for Dublin's The Cast of Cheers, but again their limited time seems problematic, but not enough of a problem to prevent them from playing half of their album, Chariot.
Racing though their set, it's a flash of their technical skills. They cope remarkably well with the absence of a guitarist, in a flurry of impressive sampling and looping, unrelenting in their pace. Although often pitched as 'math rock', consider The Cast of Cheers as a harder step up from Foals but without the heaviness of Adebisi Shank, falling somewhere in the middle. Derp is a good example, with a riff heavy, pounding instrumental build up that gains speed, before trailing off in a whisper.
But just as they appear to get into the spirit of things they have to cut off abruptly, leaving us with a feeling of things being left hanging in the air slightly...unfinished. "We'll come back to play more," promises singer Conor Adams. Great name, even more exciting set. Hopefully next time The Cast of Cheers return to Belfast we'll get to hear just that. They're more than capable of it.