And so it came to be that I won tickets to see Ireland's hardest-working and most talented band, Republic of Loose, at Buck Whaley's. Talk about juxtapositions! Buck Whaley's is an old-school Leeson Street 'nite club', complete with surly staff and overpriced booze, and is typically frequented by shouty D4 rugger/ageing model types. And, while there were some of these about (they must live in Buck's, in a vault, deep under the lighty-uppy dancefloor), the place was filled with Loose Maniacs, but in a happy, comfortable, yes, intimate way.
When the Loose burst on to the stage, Hold Up instantly cast the dancefloor ghosts of Britney Spears's pap to rest forever. The set criss-crossed the Loose's dazzling album collection, 23, Shame, Aaagh, Police, I Like Music. "I Love Music!" You really have to experience the Loose live to fully appreciate how their music has become the bluesy, boozy soundtrack to life in 21st Century Ireland. You Know It (you know!), 13 Shots, Break and the song that made the Loose jump onto everyone's radar, Comeback Girl, which was extended for a funky duet with the crowd, the females and the males involved in a demographically-defined vocal battle. It was a draw
Mick Pyro was his trademark charismatic, excitable front man self, connecting with the crowd, playing his broken-bottle-smothered-in-honey voice like another instrument, parallels with Jim Morrison not beyond credibility. (Just take Twink's advice, Mick, and keep your mickey in your pants.) But every member of the band added layers and depth to the sound that added up to more than the sum its parts, with bassist Benjamin Loose and drummer Andre Lopes deserving a special shout-out. And that's what makes the Loose sound so funking rocking special: it's more than the sum of its parts.
|Republic of Loose, To Arthur! 2012|
Oh, and the cunning marketing ploy did work, for I drank three pints of the black stuff. It was okay, but I won't be touching it again until maybe this time next year. Outside, all that was missing was the smell of toasted barley on the night wind.
Gary J Byrnes, 28 September 2012
Follow Republic of Loose on Facebook here.
Find out more about The Republic of Loose on Wikipedia here.
Find out more about Gary J Byrnes here.