JACKS

Plugging into the Music That Matters

Girl Band @ Cyprus Avenue, Cork 07/03/2020

The force that is Girl Band made their first appearance in Cork for around five years with a sold-out show at Cyprus Avenue.

Words by Jack Squibb | Pictures by Leanne Gabriel

Dara Kiely of Girl Band during an emphatic set at Cyprus Avenue. Photo by Leanne Gabriel.
Dara Kiely of Girl Band during an emphatic set at Cyprus Avenue. Photo by Leanne Gabriel.

Joining Girl Band for their return to Cork were The Bonk, former O Emperor frontman, Phil Christie’s latest project. The Bonk brought a very different vibe to Cyprus Avenue to what Girl Band would later provide.

The Bonk lighting up Cork with their smooth sound. Photo by Leanne Gabriel.
The Bonk lighting up Cork with their smooth sound. Photo by Leanne Gabriel.
The Bonk @ Cyprus Avenue 07/03/2020. Photo by Leanne Gabriel.
The Bonk @ Cyprus Avenue 07/03/2020. Photo by Leanne Gabriel.

Saxophones, flutes, smooth bass lines too, it felt like this was the beginning of a blues night. Sultry sounds engulfing the venue, it was an enchanting start.

With the likes of ‘In Praise of Vril’, causing people to fall into a trance like state, it was a hypnotic opening to events. The band were slick with their blues sound, getting people to sway from side to side.

Watching The Bonk, it was a set were a group of friends were just having fun, jamming in their own experimentally, zany way.

A mind blowing set from Girl Band in Cyprus Avenue. Photo by Leanne Gabriel.
A mind blowing set from Girl Band in Cyprus Avenue. Photo by Leanne Gabriel.

From an uplifting and heartening start to a whirlwind of madness for an hour and a half.

Girl Band got on stage and launched into the whacky ‘Amygdala’. No one too concerned about the corona virus as Dara Kiely coughed and screamed into his mic while the stabbing guitar echoed under him.

Their second album, The Talkies was nominated for a Choice Music Prize and as the likes of the furious ‘Going Norway’, ‘Laggard’ and ‘Shoulderblades’ rifled through the venue, it was clear to see why it got the nomination.

Kiely’s erratic performance on stage was reflected on to the crowd who were swept into a frenzy. People launching around from the back to the front, sweat, arms and crutches all up in the air.

Girl Band @ Cyprus Avenue, Cork 07/03/2020. Photo by Leanne Gabriel.
Girl Band @ Cyprus Avenue, Cork 07/03/2020. Photo by Leanne Gabriel.
A set rammed with intensity, spoon-fed To the crowd by Kiely. Photo by Leanne Gabriel.
A set rammed with intensity, spoon-fed To the crowd by Kiely. Photo by Leanne Gabriel.

While Kiely would steal the eye with his performance, bassist Daniel Fox looked so nonchalant, with his beer bottle gliding up and down the bass, emitting the wickedly heavy riffs. While guitarist, Alan Duggan was playing with such urgency it was like his life depended on it.

It was a roaring performance, ears throbbing, heartbeats racing and sweat pouring. Fan favourites ‘Paul’, ‘Pears For Lunch’ and ‘Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage’ were another fine example of how the angsty, heavy-hitting brand of punk has solidified them as one of Ireland’s leading musicians.

After a lengthy hiatus, it was a phenomenal and highly welcomed return to Cork for Girl Band.

All pictures taken by Leanne Gabriel. Go and check out more of her work on Instagram by clicking here.

A moment of reflection in the eye of the storm for Girl Band’s Dara Kiely. Photo by Leanne Gabriel.
A moment of reflection in the eye of the storm for Girl Band’s Dara Kiely. Photo by Leanne Gabriel.

Look through the gallery for more pictures from the night.

  • The Bonk @ Cyprus Avenue 07/03/2020. Photo by Leanne Gabriel.
    The Bonk @ Cyprus Avenue 07/03/2020. Photo by Leanne Gabriel.

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