Sacred Animals, Upstairs Whelan’s, Jan 11th 2011

Promoters Hefty Horse go from strength to strength (they’ve even branched out into compilations) and last night in Whelan’s, for the princely sum of €5, offered 3 really promising up and comers. First up was Carlow duo the Holy Roman Army who sound immeasurably better live than they do on record. The addition of the trumpet definitely bolsters their sound and beautifully defines Laura Coffey’s soft Sarah Cracknellesque vocals. The highlight was undoubtedly their version of Pavement’s ‘Here’ which is available on their EP of covers called ‘Desecrations’ which can be downloaded for free from bandcamp.

The Holy Roman Army – Here

Second band on the night We Are Losers are also generous with their music, offering their self-titled debut EP for nowt. Led by Gavin Elsted from Super Extra Bonus Party they play a lo-fi and very loud brand of 90’s rock and for the most part are pretty successful at what they do.

We Are Losers – Empty Head

Sacred Animals were a totally different prospect after the white nose of We Are Losers. Led by ex Angel Pier singer Darragh Nolan theirs is a genuinely unique sound which has already gone viral within the music blog world. With a backing track playing throughout there was bound to be the odd technical hiccup but the genuine warmth between band and audience avoided any embarrassment. Drummer Marc Colbert was superb on backup but it was hard not to be drawn to Nolan’s near falsetto singing which if anything appears to be blossoming as the years roll on. In what was a short set there were several spine tingling moments, ‘Chosen Seed’ was as spectral as expected, unrecorded new song ‘As You Sleep’ could be their best effort yet, ‘Welcome Home’ really reached for the stars and the cover of Twin Shadows’ ‘Castles In The Snow’ felt all of their own making. Looking around the sizeable audience appeared entranced, no requests for hush as Sacred Animals had everyone in their gentle grip. Next up for the lads is a trip to Eurosonic in Groningen later this week. Can’t see how we will have them to ourselves for too much longer.

Sacred Animals – Chosen Seed

Photo of Sacred Animals by John McRedmond.


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