A review in pictures. Not live pictures, of course - that's so 2007. (Plus I never take any, in the first place). Click to see larger.
(And a few words below...)
(Phantom just got their license a year or so ago, so they have plenty of cool adverts around the place. This one I cut out of Mongrel magazine - the back has an article on "art and anti-semitism" in Syria)
(Front page of the Irish Times entertainment section two weeks ago. Yes, I hate their puns too.)
(Because it's traditional)
('Do You Karate?'. Well, do you? T-shirt from the merch table, in lovely bright red)
One of the support acts, Betamax Format, impressed me very much (the other, Red Kid, was so-so; although to their credit they put on an excellent live performance, before setting off again to perform on Howth summit, a hilltop quite literally on the edge of town... where the sea begins). Anyway, Betamax Format, with a name suggesting both the 80s and a taste for the alternative, played a great set from beginning to end.
Their myspace describes them as New Wave/Electro and also as "Sallynoggin Psych", presumably after the area in Dublin where some or all of the band hail from. Surprisingly heavy, with some good vocals and some awesome visuals. The opener was played against a backdrop of stock footage of explosions, demolitions and so on, including thermonuclear mushrooms; followed by something completely different, flower buds in the rain or something like that; and finally, what looked liked the trailer from Tarantino's Deathproof. Happily, as I write this 'You Are Welcome In My House' is playing on the radio... very good.
I guess you could say the headliners, Fight Like Apes, played a blinder. With the ability to pull in a full house, they're clearly one of (last) year's indie success stories in Ireland. Although I'd rate the other sellout show by them I got to see slightly higher, this was an amazing gig.
The blindingness might have come from the flashing red and blue lights on their novelty sunglasses, worn for the special occasion - although we are talking about a band where the keyboardist wears a martial arts jacket onstage. The bassist was allowed to play a power chord, following which he flubbed part of the intro to 'Jake Summers'. He's a six-foot (at least) tall Irishman with a 'fro, by the way. So when I say flubbed, I mean improvised. Also, if any of you are listening to 'Accidental Wrong Hole' from the Zeitgeist mixtape, listen out for the saucepans being banged together. While the novelty sunglasses got tossed around the audience, for health and safety reasons the pans didn't.
Fight Like Apes came on stage about 11.40, and stopped their set with a minute to go before midnight and announced that they didn't have any one-minute long songs, but they did have a 4-second long song - so they played that a couple of times. They played it twice the last time I saw them, too, but that was because they messed it up the first time around. New Year's duly celebrated, they played 'Lend Me Your Face' to welcome in '08 and closed their show with another cover of Mclusky's 'Lightsaber Cocksucking Blues'.
The night could not be left without a mention of Phantom FM's resident nortamericano and premier DJ, Sinister Pete, who took over the deck for the rest of the celebrations. No stale disco standards, just cool tracks by the likes of Flaming Lips, Arcade Fire (No Cars Go!) and that song about whiteboys playing that funky music. It was strange seeing him in person, having woken up to his voice and hum'rous wisecracks pretty much every day for the past year. On radio, he looked taller...