The time is here and in the emerald isle there is something special stirring. Complied and put on by L.S.G Promotions in union with the venue The Grand Social, the Reverberation weekend is the first psych festival to grace the Irish scene. The two day event offers a line-up of both international and Irish talent and as I arrive at the venue, the anticipation is building to boiling point.
First up are Cork based Elastic Sleep who offer up a synth laden blend of dream pop enthused with an omnipresent reverberating bass line. Their haunting melodies enchant with the voice of Muireann Levis guiding the music onwards. There are hints of Sonic Youth in places, a comparison I’m positive they won’t shy away from and they are a pleasant start to tonight’s proceedings.
OTHERKIN are next with their prog-punk grunge noise sound. The Dubliners have gone from strength to strength recently, receiving a lot of attention from Clash Magazine, NME and Artrocker to name but a few. ‘Tampered’ is the stand out track of the set with its plucked guitar drawing the audience’s attention. The punk really comes into play with their pacey lyrics of Luke Reilly in the style that shot Vampire Weekend to fame; will it do the same for them? That remains to be seen…
This Other Kingdom take to the stage and finally some psychedelia enters the room. Looking around, the room has filled considerably to see these lads and it’s not hard to see why once they begin. The quartet begin with ‘Adelaide’, a mind numbingly catchy track which others succinct guitar melodies accompanied by the full vocal prowess of frontman Del Kerton. These guys put on a great show visually with tambourines jangling and intense shamanistic style dancing on stage, as well as aurally. As they churn through tracks from their current LP release and new tracks a like, the room is buzzing. ‘Plasticine Dream’ is another highlight with it its slow build and empowered drumming throughout.
One of the new tracks we are treated to is very suicide-esque and if it is anything to go by, the new direction these guys are going in is most intriguing. They end the set with the quite simply incredible ‘Vacate The Horror’ which is so dark from start to finish it feels as though the air has been sucked from the room as it is digested. They leave the stage to rapturous adulation and there is feeling that these guy are on to something special.
The seam of Irish psychedelic acts continues in the form of The Urges. They offer up a beautiful blend of 60s channelled psychedelic vibes with a heavy organ driven feel which competes perfectly with their almost Brit Pop sounding vocals. For me I hear a heady blend of The Byrds, The Las and The Coral – thrown into a pot with The Beatles and The Doors. It’s quite simply mesmerising and I’m left speechless and in awe. Latest single ‘Passing Us By’ is the stand out track of the set and is such a heady mixture of musical elements it’s hard to know which bit to focus on first. These guys are the surprise of the day for me and it’s exhilarating beyond measure to know I’ve discovered a new band I’ve fallen in love with.
After This Other Kingdom and The Urges have just pulled out two incredible sets, things can only get better when Berlin based TAU take their places. Signed to Fuzz Club, TAU is the work essentially of Shaun Nuntzi, also a member of Dead Skeletons, and was inspired by a trip to the Mexican desert. He created this project as a result and brought the rest of the band with him. This is a somewhat back to basics project with many tribal elements shining through. Chanting is common and a trip to the spirit world is imminent. It’s easy to see why comparisons has been drawn to Swedish outfit Goat who channel a similar vibe. There set if expertly executed and it’s clear to see there is a lot of musical talent on stage here. ‘Huey Tonantzin’ is the stand out with its rhythm so catchy that people will be singing it for days. It was probably a bit of a risk putting TAU on the bill tonight, but it has certainly paid off.
The headliners of tonight’s proceedings are Mancunian outfit The Watchmakers. They offer a heady mixture of accessible pop psych with a taste to suit every palette. They have been attracting increased attention for a while now and so it’s great to see them getting the recognition they deserve with a headline slot here. The reverberating guitars suit the mood perfectly and the crowd are buoyant as the move through fan favourite ‘Kiss The Sun’. The highlight comes as always in ‘Stairway to your Mind’ – keep an eye on this tune, it’ll be everywhere before the years out as it encapsulates everything you could possibly want in a psych tune. They execute a flawless set and have gone down a treat here tonight, take a bow lads you did well.
As day one draws to a close and people drift off to the unofficial after party, a small amount of reflection takes place. Some fantastic musical ability on show tonight and seamlessly executed organisation in a stunning little venue. I wonder what tomorrow will bring…