Live Review: The Strypes, The Shimmer Band at The Garage, 18/2/14

Strypes_Garage_John Graham_Bassline Images_ 1The bar staff at The Garage are being careful with ID checks and wristbands are required for every drink bought, half of the audience here tonight could well be underage, while the other half are old enough to be their parents; maybe it’s because the main act themselves are too young to get served.

Precocious Irish teens The Strypes, have sold out the venue on their headline UK tour to prove again that they are more than an indie One Direction – they can play.

First comes support from The Shimmer Band and the Bristol boys have the image of a young Kings of Leon and stage presence that is like witnessing an exorcism.

The music is loud, spaced-out metal which leaves the band in a sphere of their own while the audience observe.

The Strypes then take on the stage with enough swagger to have the crowd at peak enthusiasm levels in five minutes.

‘I Don’t Want to Know’ is an energetic new addition to their set, while a harmonica part from lead singer Ross Farrelly adds a melodic edge to the 12-bar-blues of several tracks.

Josh McClorey’s guitar solo on ‘Angel Eyes’ is technical and drawn-out, like Hendrix on ‘Red House’, in fact each play their instruments with huge confidence, yet manage to hold the chaotic noise together.

Strypes_Garage_John Graham_Bassline Images_ 11

The arrogant lyrics of the chorus of ‘Blue Collar Jane’ are brilliantly catchy and having released this as their debut single than a year ago, The Strypes have built a dedicated following in little time, including legends such as Paul Weller and Elton John, with their rhythm and blues for the 21st century it is no wonder they have such broad appeal.

First album Snapshot went out in 2013 at the same time as they supported Arctic Monkeys on tour, and a follow-up EP has been released in conjunction with these shows.

By the end of the night adolescent high jinks have become infectious: it is all taps-aff pint throwing, while chanting “The Strypes are on fire!”

Towards the end of the set, one track sounds like the band jamming over the bass-line of ‘Wild Thing’ for a good ten minutes.

The Strypes round off the encore with their version of Willie Dixon’s ‘You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover’, observing coolly as the audience yell it back at them.

You can’t judge a band’s musical talent by looking at their ID.

More photos

Words: Ellen MacAskill
Photos: John Graham

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