Lofty Reviews – The Altered Hours, live in the Kasbah Social Club, Dolans, Limerick
During the week, Dolan’s won a IMRO Live Music Venue Award for a third year in a row. So it’s fitting that the Friday after that award sees the wonderful entertainment venue playing host to a number of gigs featuring Irish talent.
In the Upstairs room local band Warsaw Radio were making a return home from their current base in Brighton. However, my focus was on Cork’s The Altered Hours with able support from Limerick band Fonda.
Fonda are truly in their infancy as a band and their support slot sees them playing live for only the third time but one would never think that that was the case. Their setup is minimalistic with an obvious Joy Division influence but they deliver a powerful set full of throbbing bass, percussion and guitar. Front man and guitarist Liam has already grown into the lead role and you can see that the band have polished their sound further since the release of their debut EP, with new material promised shortly.
The Altered Hours have been releasing music since 2012 with their own brand of Leeside shoe gaze. It’s only a few weeks since they released their debut album, the excellent ‘In Heat Not Sorry’ so there is a packed Kasbah Social Club for their latest visit to Limerick.
Immediately we are treated to a pure wall of sound as The Altered Hours unleash a sonic assault on the waiting gathering. The Kasbah Social Club stage is a tight one so its a credit to the band that all five members exert such energy from the off and sustain it throughout with the audience responding in kind.
The problem with many shoe gaze bands of the past was a tendency to be a little one note, with a lack of variety.The Altered Hours thankfully do not suffer from that affliction, the exchange of lead vocal duties between Cathal Mac Gabhann Elaine Howley lending itself to that variety. As you’d expect we are treated to a healthy helping of the new album with ‘Way of Sorrow’ (the album’s lead single) even more ferocious in a live setting, other highlights include ‘Citadel’ and ‘Grey on Blue’.
Our hour with the band seems to fly but before they depart the Limerick stage they unleash a storming finale in the shape of ‘Dig Early’ which twists and turns violently before climaxing in a cacophonous crescendo.
The Altered Hours now head to the UK & Europe for a host of live dates, but I’m sure will return for festival duties in the summer so don’t miss what is a electrifying live band.
Photo credit: Seoda Shows