Saturday, June 4, 2011

Gig Review , Luminous Black at Dimestore, Sweeney's, Dublin 02/06/11

Upon entering Sweeney's, formally La Cirk, we seek the bar to freshen our mouths and spirits and are greeted by a pleasant middle-aged gent, lets call him 'Zed', with whom we enjoyed a brief moment's worth of conversation.

“You here for the heavy metal? Ah, my brother used to be into it, y'know, and I never really got it at the time. But y'know, as I got older I sort of (shakes his fist and mimics head-banging), y'know...”

Our drinks arrived in front of us and Stephen brought this back and forth to an exciting climax when, with fire in his belly and steam on his voice, he readily replied; “Sure, Rush are, what, 30 years old now? And they just sold out the 02. Show me a band from X-factor that will be able to do that in 30 years". We later deduced that this man was probably a taxi driver.

After sitting down at a table quiz and realising we were at the wrong part of the venue, we made our way upstairs and awaited the band's arrival on stage.

Luminous Black, after a quick sound check and a moment's banter with the crowd, launch into 'Bum Trip'. A rolling stomper of a track driven along by an expansive riff, something that Tony Iommi would have been glad to use on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Excellent choice for an opener.

Second round, LB glide their way effortlessly into 'Meadows of Kaos', the first of what would be three instrumental tracks the band brought to their set, a brave move for any band. After the gig, in conversation with bespectacled guitar player Rob Moore, we discovered that the band began with the intention of being and instrumental three piece but the  bass player couldn't keep away from the mic.

By this early stage, drummer John Quill, or 'Sweaty McBallballs' as bass player Rob called him, has already brought some welcome energy to the mix with the aid of the loudest snare I have heard in some time! Just the kind of drummer a power trio demands.

Getting into the swing of things now, the band break out 'Cosmic Gnomes', a metal monster that demonstrates that the term 'gallop' need not only apply to Iron Maiden riffs. Guitarist Rob (yes there are two Robs involved here) is as chilled a guitar player as you'll ever see, letting the lazy right hand go to town on the riffs, never missing a note and milking a short list of BOSS pedals at his feet for all they're worth.

Coming up behind this was  the wonderfully titled 'Swedish Handjob', which in it's own way has to be the weirdest song I have heard lately. A delicious mash-up of cheeky lead guitar and funky bass lines. This track's apparent poppiness is thoroughly undermined by a certain eeriness about it, confirmed in it's final minutes by the introduction of a lengthy heavy riff that sees the song through to it's end. Rob O'Connell shows us here that the swagger of his bass playing can equal that of his vocal and pin-stripe trousers.

All of the above come into play when (bassist) Rob begins 'Blood Red Blues'. And true to it's name, this is a good old-fashioned bit of bluesy filth underpinned by a sluggish descending riff in, you guessed it, the blues scale! Rob (guitarist this time) gives us a few seconds of feedback before laying on the fuzz thick and creamy to join in with a creatively fleshed out take on the riff, utilising some fascinating chord ideas to great effect. Almost makes me think of the unforgiving thick sound Kyuss achieved on 'Blues For The Red Sun'. “How many times can you say 'blues' in one paragraph Ed?” That's it for now, thank you, I think I'll get down to wrapping this one up.

This is a band that I would recommend to a very wide range of tastes, all the heavy riffing a metal fan would need, all the variety and melodic mystery that a prog fan demands and even blues rock enthusiasts will be satisfied to boot. As I have already alluded to, this a power trio exercising that very power. Like our friend the taxi driver earlier in the night, we were offered some more pub philosophy on our way out, courtesy of a small woman who's hair was curiously 20 years younger than her face.

“You know yourself, when you see a band and when they're shit they're shit and that's it and when they're great they're fuckin' great and that's it, and they were great!”

Hardly Nietzsche but she certainly wasn't wrong! She also mentioned something about rehab which I failed to catch but I'm sure it was of little matter. All things considered, an excellent fuckin' show, and we'll be keeping a keen eye on Luminous Black and their future activities. Well done also to Sweeney Mongrel's, who's own beer was a welcome addition to the atmosphere. Much like Fosters but with a slight citrussy after taste. . .

 By Edward Gerard Brophy
for Bornagainnihilist 2011

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