Plugging into the Music that Matters

Cardinals @ Cyprus Avenue, Cork 07/01/2023

Brooding Cork band, Cardinals made their headlining debut at Cyprus Avenue. The line-up was completed with Cork’s shoegazing Mossy and German import, Stümmel.

Words by Jack Squibb

Cardinals during an electric performance at Cyprus Avenue. Image by Emilyn Cardona.

The spotlight was on Cork’s Cardinals, who were headlining Cyprus Avenue for the first time. Before that, Cork-twinned-Berlin band Stümmel and Leesiders, Mossy heated things up on a chilled January evening.

Uggo of Stümmel standing with their chest out as green stage lights shine down on them.
Stümmel’s Uggo stands tall during wild set.

The wild side of Germany’s capital nightlife was introduced to Cork when Stümmel entered. Bass player donned in ski goggles and tin-foil wrapped boots, a drummer with wings taking their place and then the singer, Aggo was led out to the stage by chain like a dog on a walk.

Rapid-fire riffs and barrelling drums swelled around Cyprus, along with Uggo’s German accent layered in synth. The band were supported by a woman dancing erratically throughout the set, like a conductor setting the tempo.

A mash-up of speed metal and psychedelia, there was a familiar kind of buzz to the opening performance.

Starting the year with a new release, Mossy returned to Cyprus Avenue with a performance that was worthy of landing them on any watchlist for 2023. A transcendent set as they showered the crowd with their shoegaze sound.

Mossy performing at Cyprus Avenue
Mossy during their stunning support set.
Emma Maguire of Mossy places her arms around her neck as she sings into the microphone.
Emma Maguire nonchalantly whisks the crowd away during Mossy’s support set.

Emma Maguire backed by the warming sounds of Brian McDonnell’s guitar created and entrancing atmosphere. One moment they’re creating a dream-like state, the next like getting a shot of adrenaline straight into the veins.

The latest single, ‘Call Me’ was a captivating moment, feeling both fragile but aggressive with Maguire’s soft-tone driven by a grungey bass, before seeping into a tense instrumental to close out the set. A performance to remember from one of Cork’s emerging talents.

Attention turned to the headliner, Cardinals were previously described like an intense collection of sea shanties, on this night they had the crowd swaying like wild waves during a storm at sea.

Cardinals during their performance at Cyprus Avenue.
Cardinals @ Cyprus Avenue

Euan Manning was a true showman throughout, his stage presence like a cross of a stoic Morrisey, centre-stage, cradling the mic, then erratic and unstable like Ian Curtis.

Euan Manning in mid air after leaping from the drum set.
Euan Manning leaps into the air during a breathless performance from Cardinals.

Hypnotic melodies backed by an accordion created a euphoric sound. The mood on stage became more and more chaotic as each chord was struck. Passing around a bottle of Buckfast for energy and then a return to dancing around the stage.

All of this injected into the crowd who gave everything back. It was a communal release of energy, caused by the wall of sound that crumbled down on Cyprus Avenue.

A blurred image of Cardinals mid performance at Cyprus Avenue, Cork. Image is in black and white
Cardinals @ Cyprus Avenue. Image by Emilyn Cardona.

See the gallery below for more pictures of the night.

  • Cardinals on stage at Cyprus Avenue as the crowd look on. The image is in black and white.
    Cardinals during an electric performance at Cyprus Avenue. Image by Emilyn Cardona.

Images watermarked taken by Jack Squibb. Remaining images taken by Emilyn Cardona.

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