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Hard Working Class Heroes
Celina Murphy and Maeve Heslin, 18 Oct 2012
Celebrating ten years on the go, Hard Working Class Heroes once again brings a cluster of bone-rattling rackets to the stages of Dublin, as seasoned crowd-pleasers (Delorentos, We Cut Corners) and shiny-shoed debutantes (Lemonada, Forrests) alike take to the stage in six points across the capital.
The star of this year’s independent music weekender? Not an artist, but a venue: the newly reopened space at Meeting House Square in Temple Bar proves a fruitful canvas on which to display the work of HWCH’s diverse mob of creatives. Furnished simply with a beer ‘n’ burrito stand, the square hums, even while half empty, its ornate, 20m high umbrellas performing the dual role of keeping the elements from whipping us in the face and fielding projections from the visual artists some of the acts have brought along to the party.
It’s a good opportunity for ethereal electronic duo Solar Bears to expand their live set-up and beef up their already lush sound with guitar, drums and synths. Although peppered with technological hiccups, it’s a seriously immersive set, made all the more potent by some meandering visual accompaniment. The venue also plays host to electro kings – nay, gods – Le Galaxie, who whip the shivering crowd into a sweaty frenzy (this is a good thing) with Fade 2 Forever tracks – plus a few newbies. Later, Tallaght rocker The Mighty Stef is up. “If having a big hit in this country means being played on Phantom four times,” he declares, “then this is our big hit!” – before launching into the excellent ‘Downtown’.
Cork’s favourite Wild Beasts-soundalikes Hush War Cry are among Thursday’s winners, echoing the stunning vocal paradox of the Lake District alt. rockers with an addictive fusion of skyscraping falsetto and gritty, basement crooning. Over in the Grand Social, Dublin outfit Tandem Felix’s dreamy psychadelic sound – complemented perfectly by singer Evan Keogh’s haunting falsetto – has punters (including your humble reviewer) enchanted, tingly keys and a guest trumpet solo adding layers to an already accomplished sound. Keep yer eyes peeled for more from these guys in future. Over in the Twisted Pepper meanwhile, HP’s fillings are a-shaking as Kilkenny man Replete turns the bass up to 11 for a mesmerising electro set. Later, Lemonada – a young Irish beatmaker cloaked in mystery – offers a delicious mix of drum ‘n’ bass, dubstep and hip hop. Read an interview with this young enigma in a future issue of HP...