Mojo Fury, Axis Of, Intermission
The Cellar Bar isn't quite as bustling as usual, but that doesn't stop Intermission from commanding the stage. They're a tight, professional indie-rock band with distinctive vocals from Glenn Rosborough (ex-Karma 45). Given repeated plays you can imagine these tunes would easily become radio friendly anthems, however in a live setting it all melds into a 'painted by numbers' sequence, and after the initial excitement the enthusiasm wanes to reveal a highly competent band playing slightly generic indie-rock. They really are a good live band, but just a little more inventiveness could make them into a different prospect altogether.
Axis Of are having one hell of a year - rightly deserved - having carved a unique path in (and outside) the Northern Irish scene. They urge punters to get up off their seats, and the crowd happily oblige, getting close (if not quite sweaty) to the band, creating an intimate atmosphere that suits Axis Of so well (with the constant thrill of impending injury). They play us 'the hits' like Port na Spaniagh and Brobdinagian, but they also treat us to some new material. Guitarist Niall seems surprised at the great reception these new songs are getting, but given the more immediate, pop punk stylings they trade in, as opposed to the off kilter sound the band are more well known for, it's no shock how well they're received.
For the last few shows they've been joined by a 'super sub' on drums. And while he's technically excellent, he isn't quite the power house of usual drummer Ethan, with some of the energy dissipating as a result. Still, another great performance with very promising new material that makes the most of the bass/guitar interplay that the lads do so well.
Lastly, the headliners Mojo Fury don't really have to work that hard tonight. The audience seem to be exclusively Mojo converts, and song after song reminds us just how long Mojo Fury have been in our lives, and thankfully they will finally get around to releasing their debut album in May. As well as old favourites like 'The Mann', 'Colour of the Bear', and 'Bones', we're treated to numerous other tracks from the release. 'Lemon Marine' stands out as a personal highlight, and they end the set with the forth coming single, the absolutely massive sounding 'We Should Just Run Away'.
The guys have always been good live, but there feels like a new beast on the stage. Their new drummer has slotted into place nicely, the backing track beefs up the sound further, and Mike Mormecha's stage presence grows ever more confident and slightly deranged. The Mojo Fury that we all know and love is still here, but it's now version 2.0, which is pretty much unstoppable.