Heaven’s Basement – Voodoo, Belfast – 20/03/2014

With the bill toppers’ biggest ever headline tour winding its way across the UK, all three bands were returning to Belfast for what proved to be a damn fine evening of live rock ‘n’ roll delivered with energy by all concerned.

The Dirty Youth by Marc Leach PhotographyDespite their late arrival meaning that The Dirty Youth are still soundchecking as the doors were due to open and then having to take the stage immediately, the openers’ Paramore-esque pop punk is as sharp as razor wire and the perfect appetizer, as Danni pouts and preens and encourages the early comers onto the dancefloor with positive results, while the rest of the band are tight and proficient.


Glamour Of The Kill by Marc Leach PhotographyGlamour Of The Kill are paying their fourth visit to Belfast is a little under three years, and their enjoyment at returning to this part of the world is referenced early on by frontman Davey Richmond, who leads his bandmates through a set characterized by equal parts sweat and charisma: the singer’s clean vocal style – combined with the band’s classic metal grounding – lifts GOTK slightly out of the scene-cluttering emocore norm and gives them an opportunity to showcase their songwriting ability to a greater level of effectiveness than many of their lesser able contemporaries. The highlight of their set is an high-energy run through of the latest single, ‘A Freak Like Me’, from last year’s surprisingly impressive ‘Savages’ opus.


Heaven's Basement by Marc Leach PhotographyIn the interests of honesty, I will admit to have not having been a huge fan of last year’s Heaven’s Basement’s debut album, ‘Filthy Empire’ – I found it accomplished but slightly derivative and repetitive (and with needless overuse of the F word in too many of the songs), to tell the truth. But, the live arena is a much different scenario to that of sitting at home and tonight re-inforced my original impression of the quartet, who I had first seen a little under 18 months ago, when they were the first rock band to play Belfast’s then recently refurbished Limelight venue… and that is one of a darn fine wee rock band, packed full of cocksure confidence and swagger befitting a band with many more years their experience.

Despite his diminutive stature, frontman Aaron Buchanan towers over the performance – not just in his constant use of the monitors to accentuate his own lack of height but also in terms of his strutting self-awareness as a mature and convincing artiste: one supported by a tight and equally assured backing band, each of whom fulfill their roles with  easy aplomb.

When PM reviewed HB’s Belfast debut, we commented that “almost constant live work has turned the quartet into a tight, well-oiled rock ‘n’ roll outfit”: tonight, the smell of engine grease well and truly was in the air… even’s Buchanan’s swearing fitted the occasion, ‘cos it was as goddamn a good display of rock ‘n’f’n’ roll at its rawest and dirtiest as any audience has had the pleasure to enjoy.


Photographs by Marc Leach.

About Mark Ashby

no longer planetmosh staff