There are many reasons for which I hold Snow Patrol front man Gary Lightbody in particularly high regard; he’s a great song writer, a naturally talented musician and music commentator and an all-round Irish good guy.
Another reason is his active support for up and coming bands, both signed and unsigned. One such band has been personally invited to support Lightbody on several arena dates over the past couple of years and as a result has built up quite the army of followers; their leader, Northern Ireland’s fierce and forceful General Fiasco.
Upon entry to the venue, Academy 2 in Manchester, I had a ticket thrust in to my palm with the word ‘Fightstar’ emblazoned across it. I quickly gathered that this was simply the means of my entry in to the sold out performance space, and not an attempt to quell my spirits upon being reminded of the very catalyst for Busted’s demise… a catchy tune is a catchy tune people, lest we forget. But back to the General and several equally catchy tunes. The indie-rock trio kicked off a blistering set with ‘Something Sometime’; their second single which reached #2 in the UK Indie Chart in 2009 and to quote the lyrics of the track, they certainly did “…give it loads.” Call me strange but I actually like it when you can hear the true accent of an artist coming through when they sing; another reason for my love of Lightbody. There’s nothing worse I think, than British acts that to the neutral ear sound American.
Next up was ‘We Are The Foolish’; as the band continued to fan the flames of the fired up crowd. The trio have a very tight and raw sound which is complemented by the amazing work of Enda Strathern on lead guitar and Owen Strathern’s searing vocals. Tonight’s show was a supporting slot for Kids in Glass Houses but you would be forgiven for thinking that General Fiasco were in fact the headliners, as the crowd never let up in its appreciation and awe. Current single ‘I’m Not Made of Eyes’ came next and was particularly well received; check out the intriguing music video to accompany the single, you might see a famous face or two.
The tone of Owen Strathern’s voice defies his twenty two years and has a rich, expansive quality about it which exudes the passion he so clearly feels for his craft. Speaking earlier this year about touring, the lead singer stated that “…playing support gigs to people who don’t know your music is not easy. Trying to win over fans without a record to promote is not easy. You have to fight for people’s attention, but I think we have done that.” It would appear that that particular fight had been won, if the reception tonight was any indication of victory. A stripped down version of my personal favourite track ‘Sinking Ships’ followed, further demonstrating to listening ears that this band have as much to offer vocally as well as melodically. ‘Ever So Shy’ the band’s 2010 single and social commentary on the struggle of introverted youth, was always going to draw the biggest cheers of the set and the band weren’t disappointed.
Closing the set with debut single ‘Rebel Get By’, the band thanked the highly appreciative and animated crowd for their support. General Fiasco’s debut album ‘Buildings’ was released in March this year and has been gathering support and recognition from all outlets of the industry. I do feel that watching a live performance of this band is the best way to do their sound justice. And indeed you can; General Fiasco are supporting Snow Patrol at Ward Park, Bangor (N.I) on Saturday 5th June this year, alongside Lisa Hannigan and Band of Horses. Now that is what I call a line-up; pity I’ll be half way across the Irish Sea but heading in the opposite direction, whilst listening to fifty truckers debate who’s got the best CB or whether Steady Eddie should have the full English in light of his dicky tummy. Ah the joys of the overnight ferry…
Go here to read the article at egigs.co.uk