Friday, January 6, 2012

Gig Review - Wizards of Firetop Mountain at The Harbour Bar, New Years 2011

We at B.A.N. saw out 2011 in a heavy way with a trip to a favourite haunt, The Harbour Bar Bray, for a bitta Bavaria and a lot of doom. Just short of midnight Dublin doom all-stars, Wizards of Firetop Mountain, took The Harbour for a trip of the Sabbath kind.

Wizards are something of a stoner doom super group, comprised of members from such awesome Dublin bands as Mongolia and Realistic Train. What exactly the chronological line of these bands has been I'm not sure, but judging by the past few gigs we've attended, Wizards seem to have the biggest and most enthusiastic following. The Harbour is a small venue but it makes for a savage atmosphere when a band packs the place out and that is just what they did.

The band waste no time at all; gear up, barely a soundcheck, furry waistcoat and Black Sabbath t-shirt on; go! Kicking off at 3 minutes to midnight with their signature mix of loose, groovy riffing and traditional doomy presentation, the crowd laps it up like hungry bears on a floating whale carcass. A small but clearly devoted number of fans make themselves known by their sheer enthusiasm. Gradually the bar fills. Drunk punters become confused, blog photographers become claustrophobic and doom heads get their rocks off. The set is relatively short but the band don't take too much time between songs so we the crowd get just the right amount of doom for a new years evening. The most notable crowd pleaser is 'Onwards Towards the Sun', a drone delight for which the band recently released a music video. The song is as slow as an 18 wheeler with 14 flat tires but the fans are going 90 nonetheless.

The Harbour Bar is the perfect setting in which to enjoy this kind of gig. A bar with low light, low ceilings, walls plastered with portraits of Aleister Crowley and assorted magick imagery. If only it were a little bigger to accommodate the weight of the sound produced when Wizards took the stage. This trivial concern aside, the band played a blinder, all riff worship and groove and some dodgy dancing in between. G'wan the Wizards!

Wizards of Firetop Mountain, live at The Harbour Bar, New Years 2011.
Rating: 7/10

By Edward Gerard Brophy, bornagainnihilist@gmail(dot)com

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