Volume Control: FWW - Oh Yeah, Belfast
Volume Control: Fighting with Wire, Abandcalledboy, 20 Second Century,
Oh yeah, Belfast
Friday 27th May
“Take some earplugs, apparently it’s gonna get loud!” What a way to welcome someone to a gig! Tonight’s triple bill of rock, roll and everything in between takes place in Belfast’s Oh Yeah centre, as part of their all-ages gig night Volume Control.
20 Second Century are very tight from the get go. Everything from the vocals to the guitar solos are clear as day, with perhaps the backing vocals the only area needing a serious lift. “The Art of Growing Up” resonates well with the predominantly teenage audience, and perhaps a few of the older generation harking back to those carefree days when Jimmy Eat World and Green Day were part of their staple music diet.
Making the fair assumption that much of the audience is new to their music, they throw in a few covers. Fallout Boy’s “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” is a carbon copy of the original, so it would have been interesting to see the guys make it their own. Later in the set comes their ‘funny’ song, which turns out to be loser anthem “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus. The band share the singing duties, and guitarist Philip McKinney bravely takes on the feminine vocal section which not only raises a few laughs, but is enough to get the audience front and centre, joining in on the fun.
Banbridge based Abandcalledboy quickly gain some new fans by dishing out free stickers before diving head first into their set, accompanied by their electric stage presence and cheeky banter. Bassist Sean Donnelly steals the show as he stomps and slides around the stage, eventually joking that these moves will someday make it onto a Yoga DVD.
Musically the band are very tight, and surprisingly enough vocalist Ryan Burrowes can be heard clearly, considering he is also the band’s drummer. The final two songs of the evening “Seize the Chair” and “Trigger Happy” are perhaps the most accessible songs in the band’s catalogue, so with much of the audience being new to their music, the band perhaps would have been better off dispersing them throughout the set. Nonetheless, Abandcalledboy’s bass heavy, noisier brand of rock is exactly what the audience needed to get pumped for the headline act.
Derry rockers Fighting With Wire make their return to Belfast, armed to the teeth with a host of new songs. The first few tunes don’t quite get the mosh pit going as frontman Cahir O’Doherty runs off stage in an attempt to provoke the audience to join up front. Their new single, “Colonel Blood” seems to do the trick as most of the audience link up to create the headbangers wall. If anyone had those earplugs in, they’re away flying now as the crowd do what they can to give the band the audience they deserve.
It’s the perfect opportunity to unleash their new material on the unsuspecting crowd which is welcomed with open arms and clenched fists. Not surprisingly, the older material sounds just as fresh with songs such as “Make a Fist” and “Everyone Needs a Nemesis” perfectly complementing the new material. Cahir has plenty of wise words for the younger audience discussing burning issues affecting the nation's’ youth such as drinking, smoking, and Chad Kroegor. It’s all very tongue in cheek, with perhaps the exception of his parting statement which perfectly sums up the night as he declares that “Despite what you’ve been told, Rock is not dead, it’s very much alive and well.”