The third night of Hard Working Class Heroes 2011 undoubtedly saw the biggest crowds of the three day festival. All of the venues were, at one point or another, packed to the rafters which can only be a really positive sign for Irish music. The audiences are there and willing to shell out some cash to see some original, inventive music and that must be a heartening for all of the 100 bands who played over the course of HWCH. If you build it, they will come.

The Danger Is, at 8.45 in the Workman’s Club, was the first act that witnessed on Saturday night. Having already seen Niamh Farrell and her band at Sea Sessions and Electric Picnic we knew exactly what to expect – warm, welcoming arrangements surrounded by Farrell’s exquisite vocals. Songs like ‘All For Gold’ and ‘Rub Who You Love’ stood out as some of the best performances of the entire day. A new EP is on the way, a must have.

After The Danger Is, a quick jaunt over to the Twisted Pepper for Waterford’s Brian McCartan, or Casanova Wave, as you may know him. A sole figure on stage behind (at various times) a laptop, an effects box, synthesiser, electronic drum kit and xylophone ,the sound created on stage certainly didn’t seem like it was coming from just one man, but that’s exactly what was happening. One of the finest up n’ coming electronic artists in the country, without question.

Biggles Flys Again, were up next in the Grand Social. Having seen these guys at last year’s festival (and quite honestly, being less than impressed) their 2011 show was a world apart. The tunes were bulkier and stockier this time around and Conor Deasy’s vocals were really engaging and on point.

Following Biggles Fly Again in the Grand Social was Alarmist, the latest band of the never-ending assembly line of fine instrumental rock music that this country has been producing lately. Excellent live performers, Alarmist never play to convention and their instrumentation was always good and frequently brilliant. ‘Giraffe Giraffe’, with its punchy riff, was a particular highlight.

Finally, to close off Hard Working Class Heroes 2011, it was over to Shebeen Chic for Hello Moon. For a band who haven’t even been together for two years, they’re an impressively well-oiled machine. Stifling, though, was the heat in the basement of Shebeen Chic which rendered the room into sauna-like environment. Hello Moon’s first album, Only Count The Sunny Hours, was released last months and, judging by the evidence last night, it would be a worthy addition to any record collection.


Be sure to check out Caught Out for some exclusive photographs from the festival and our exclusive ION video interviews with some of the acts!