I was eager to catch up with the growth of the much-hyped Dublin band The Murder Capitol, was the Hype real? will they deliver the memorable performance the packed-out Albert Hall crowd were expecting?
One of the joys of having the opportunity of covering gigs, is the sense of the unknown, going to new venues, and covering bands and artists that have been flagged on your radar, but for me, the best part of that is always getting down early, show up for the support bands, go to your local festivals, listen to the buzz on bands and then get across and see them, I write this as this is how I last saw tonight’s host and support bands, both played different local festivals, Heavy Lungs, at The Bread Shed, and The Murder Capitol at Gorilla. So tonight, it’s a great pleasure to see how they fare on a bigger stage, have they grown that fan base, and can they hold their own?
Heavy Lungs is a British noise rock band based in Bristol. They take to the stage, and boy did they bring the energy. The Bristolian punk rockers meant business from the first second of the first note, with lead singer Danny Nedelko – one for all you Idles fans. Shapeshifting through the set, accompanied by the Tasmanian devil, George Garratt,’s heavy drumbeats, and ably driven guitarist Oliver Southgate, all of whom were kept on pace by James Minchall on bass. Their tunes are a nostalgic throwback to the heady days of punk, loud brash and uncompromising.
We went from press-ups on the drum kit to asking the crowd if they fancied a singsong to stopping the show for a happy birthday singalong for one of the band’s members, it was I suppose a moment to remember. It was brilliant to see them take the stage in front of a packed house. As per usual Heavy Lungs put on a spectacular show.
The Murder Capital is an Irish post-punk band based in Dublin. The band consists of James McGovern (vocals), Damien Tuit (guitar), Cathal Roper (guitar), Gabriel Pascal Blake (bass) and Diarmuid Brennan (drums). The band are from different parts of Ireland but was formed in Dublin in 2018.
The band has been actively compared to several post-punk and art-punk bands to arise out of the United Kingdom over the late 2010s, such as Idles, Soft Play (formerly known as Slaves), Shame, and fellow Irish band Fontaines D.C., primarily as a result of touring with these bands.
A recording of the opening track of “Gigi’s Recovery”, “Existence”, brings The Murder Capitol onto the stage, and seamlessly bleeds into “Crying”, the connection is instant between band and crowd. They followed it straight up with the sensational single “Return My Head” to which the crowd already know all the words. The scream of the chorus precursor “But I’m still waiting for the sign” brought the crowd from a simmer to a boil, a real collision of bodies, rising in unison, is what tonight is all about.
The most exciting experiments come in the dark electro of “The Stars Will Leave Their Stage”, the prismatic mid-section of “The Lie Becomes the Self” and the Radiohead influenced, “A Thousand Lives”, all this while McGovern questions if he’ll ever be “enough”. There’s a real edge to the cathartic “Return My Head”, it shows a wonderful full depth of mood and energy. They do stir tension particularly well, especially the deliciously sludgy middle pairing of “Slowdance I” and “Slowdance II”, “Don’t Cling to Life”, is the penultimate song for the set, a real indie anthem, darest I say a nod to Joy Division. The band finish up proceedings with the lead single from “Gigi’s Recovery”, “Ethel”, which is accompanied by a feverish swirling moshpit, and as the set is finished, the band waste no time in thanking the crowd for their support before exiting backstage, leaving the appreciative crowd to begin the post-gig conversations, of which most will have been, I was there, I witnessed something special, they will be game changers.
This was a gig of great expectations, two bands that have grown into bigger venues and are both worthy of their place, however our host for tonight The Murder Capitol, is destined for big things, musically, and lyrically along with a live stage presence, has them with a full hand and the complete package. You will be hearing a lot about these in the future.
1/ Existence recorded intro.
3/ Return My Head
4/ More Is Less
5/ The Stars Will Leave Their Stage
6/ For Everything
7/ Slowdance I
8/ Slowdance II
9/ On Twisted Ground
10/ A Thousand Lives
11/ Green & Blue
12/ We Had to Disappear
13/ Gigi’s Recovery
14/ Feeling Fades
15/ Only Good Things
16/ Don’t Cling to Life
FOLLOW MURDER CAPITAL
FOLLOW HEAVY LUNGS