FMC Tour @ Workman's Club - Le Galaxie, Funeral Suits, Daithi, Leanne Harte
FMC Tour // Le Galaxie, Funeral Suits, Daithí Ó Drónaí, Leanne Harte
Saturday 16th November – Workman's Club
Since 2010, FMC (First Music Contact, responsible for the Hard Working Class Heroes festival) has managed to assemble a consistently strong array of performers, bringing burgeoning Irish acts to the nation's venues annually. The concept is simple: put three notable acts on a bill, add a local special guest, charge an affordable rate and let the punters revel in a display of homegrown talent. Adebisi Shank, And So I Watch You From Afar, Jape and Squarehead are among those to have previously graced the FMC stage, and for this year's Dublin leg at the Workman's Club, it was the turn of Daithí, Le Galaxie and Funeral Suits.
Before the triple-header gets underway, singer-songwriter Leanne Harte has the unenviable task of plying her trade to a largely empty room, mellow and acoustic offerings from EP Restless Sleepers faring well under the circumstances. Next, Daithí Ó Drónaí entices a clutch of curious punters in from the adjacent bar as his energetic set of looped fiddle and electronic tinkering conjures some dance-friendly Balearic/house beats. It's too early for feet to be moving, but when the 23-year-old drops summer smash 'Chameleon Life' at the end of his short set, recent buzz makes sense.
Taken rather by surprise, the still-arriving crowd hurriedly assume position as tonight's main draw, Le Galaxie, saunter on stage shortly after 9.30. The inveterate electro-pop pioneers are surely the reason this leg of the tour is sold out. Tonight's purpose is to preview material from a forthcoming second album and an impressive level of recognition for newer tunes ('Who, Us?', 'CNNXN') indicates the attendance of a small cadre of devotees. Bells and whistles are at a minimum for a comparatively subdued show, but that a brief set still finds time to include banter, stage-diving and so much hip-thrusting attests to the spectacle of the Le Galaxie live juggernaut. The new stuff may feature more vocals from frontman Mick, but neither have the group dispensed with that pulsating electronic backbone. Throughout, the newly-bearded Mick retains the charismatic stage presence which makes the band so compelling. As their fanbase broadens, Le Galaxie are less of a stylised curiosity, now established as one of Ireland's premier live acts. Only dipping in to the back catalogue to revive staples 'The Nightcaller' and signature tune 'Love System', this all-too-short 40 minute set was competent and diverting, not to mention a prime opportunity to catch Le Galaxie in a venue they've outgrown, but rarely lived up to the standard of the full show. Only as 'Streetheart' ramped proceedings up a few notches did the night seem a worthy precursor to the band's pre-Christmas Olympia slot.
As Le Galaxie depart, the crowd thins out, and final act Funeral Suits face a battle to maintain momentum. Churning out their saturnine brand of art-rock, the Suits can be thrilling, and the performance is assured. However, should one fail to be initially on board with four scenesters who take themselves rather seriously, there is little distinctive in the six or seven song display to capture the imagination. That said, by the time the Funeral Suits toddle off stage, those in attendance can't argue with the night's value for money and the exposure the showcase offers. FMC have once more proven to be a force for good in Irish music.
Review by Killian Barry
Story by entertainment.ie | 10:30 | Saturday 16th November 2013 | Live Reviews