Plugging into the Music that Matters

Bouts w Any Joy @ Plugd 01/02/2019

Celebrating the release of their second album, Bouts took to the road to give the new tracks from Flow, their debut outing.

Bouts @ Plugd 01/02/2019
Bouts during their return to Cork, celebrating the release of their new album Flow.

A week on from the release of their second album Flow, Bouts came to Cork with support from Video Blue, Laurie Shaw and Any Joy. A diverse line-up meant there was something for everyone, with Video Blue getting proceedings underway.

Video Blue supporting Bouts @ Plugd 01/02/2019
Video Blue AKA Jim O’Donoghue Martin, opening for Bouts in Plugd, Cork.

Jim O’Donoghue Martin, better known as Video Blue, seduced Plugd. Video Blue’s enchanting sound mesmerised the audience, with similarities to Bon Iver. His switch between sultry guitar and electronica instilled a calming atmosphere throughout the room. While he’d stand there hand in one pocket, the other emitting sounds from his soundboard, it seemed so effortless to him.

Only a short set, it was a beautiful start, as they say; sometimes less is more.

Hailing from the Merseyside just like JACKS, Laurie Shaw has made Ireland his home for the past six years. After the calming presence of Video Blue, Laurie Shaw and co. sparked a fire with a little bit of gritty rock, a bit of Americana and just a whole lot of fun.

Like a halfway point between The Magic Numbers and Racounteers, it was an uplifting set. Frontman Laurie Shaw, was charismatic and entertaining with quirky one-liners as the performance rolled on.

Laurie Shaw and band during their support slot for Bouts @ Plugd 01/02/2019
Wirral native, Laurie Shaw and his band during their entertaining set at Plugd.

Teasing what’s to come from album number one, it was an exciting performance with sharp riffs and intriguing falsettos. An exciting insight of what to expect in the future from Laurie Shaw.

A late addition to the night, Cork residents Any Joy, aired out songs from their 2017 debut album, Cycles. The quartet enthralled a now busy Plugd with a large sound, Any Joy were boisterous and creative.

Any Joy during their emphatic set, supporting Bouts in Plugd.
Any Joy during their emphatic set, supporting Bouts in Plugd.
Any Joy frontman Oisin Dineen @ Plugd 01/02/2019
Any Joy frontman Oising Dineen, during their thrilling set.

Emphatic instrumentals bedded underneath old soundbytes of speeches were hair-raising. A thrilling sound, mixing darkness with light, it was like listening to Ireland’s own Interpol, maybe just not as moody. Luscious melodies that’ll draw you in on instrumentals and passion that’ll make you wish you had just as much.

Emphatic, confident and gripping, it was a captivating set.

Five years in the making, Bouts finally released the follow up to 2013’s, Nothing Good Gets Away. The Dublin band returned to Cork to prove it was worth the wait.

Bouts celebrated the release of their second album Flow, in Plugd.
Bouts celebrated the release of their second album Flow, with an energetic set with the old songs mixed with the new.

So in sync, Bouts put on a glittering set, with the old and new mixing well together through the set. The music lifted the atmosphere higher again while those in Plugd seemed to just let the music take them away.

Barry Bracken and Niall Jackson of Bouts.
Bouts frontman Barry Bracken, and bass player, Niall Jackson.

A set dominated of course by the new record, Flow sounds good on record but took on a life of its own when played live. Both part one and two of ‘Love’s Lost Landings’ soared round the intimate venue, while the motivational ‘Face Up’ kept the uplifting vibes going.

Fan favourites such as ‘Allies’ from 2016’s EP, Unlearnand ‘Get Sick’ were solid moments, evoking big reactions.

The band were in the thick of the tour at the time and you could tell they had found their groove. The pulsating energy bounced back and forth between the audience and band.

Bouts @ Plugd, Cork 01/02/2019
Bouts during a rousing performance in Cork’s Plugd.

It was a night where some of Ireland’s finest musicians showcased just why you should be paying attention to them in 2019.

See more pictures from the night in our gallery below.

  • Video Blue supporting Bouts @ Plugd 01/02/2019
    Video Blue AKA Jim O’DOnoghue Martin, opening for Bouts in Plugd, Cork.

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