Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Urges at Shakedown, 26th February

As has been the trend of late, Shakedown hosted another sterling nights entertainment at Pacinos of Suffolk Street on Friday last. A delightful sense of that Friday feeling hung in the air as the crowd gathered in anticipation of the nights live act, one of Dublin’s finest, The Urges. As a band they have achieved considerable success and have had a LP, Psych Ward, released on Steve Van Zandts record label, as well as playing at festivals around the world, from New York to Rotterdam and even Mexico City. Here on home soil a lot was expected, and they did not disappoint.

Ripping through a setlist that included some old favourites as well as new songs that had been finished just hours before, the band sparked the crowd into life with their pure rock’n’roll sound; a rare treat indeed in an age where morbid improvisation defines the popular trend. It’s easy to forget that the essential aesthetics of music once defined generations of young people. Listen to The Urges and you’ll certainly remember why. The songs are delivered with intensity, defined by the crashing drums, psychedelic organ and howling vocals of front man Jim Walters. ‘Don’t Look So Good’ is one of the new tracks, and it was received to rampant approval here. The songs came quick and fast, the blistering, hallucinogenic sound capturing the imaginations of each and every member of the crowd.

The Urges carry the stylistic mannerisms of many influential bands in the genre, a hybrid of The Rolling Stones and The Doors springs to mind. Walters is a striking front man who performs not just for the sake of the crowd, but also for the sake of the music. He appears a medium entranced as his cries and shouts channel the spirit of the songs to a charmed audience.

‘Gotta Wait’ is a definite highlight, epitomising the attitude of the performance. One thing that is striking is the absolute respect the crowd have for The Urges, obviously appreciative of this group who undoubtedly are in the game for the right reasons. It’s only a pity more aren’t treated to their excellence. If fifteen year olds were exposed to this rather than the dribble drabble they are sold, their lives would be a lot better for it.

Shakedown has attracted a loyal following over the last few months and it’s not hard to see why. Pacinos is not the original sort of venue, however it most certainly suitable. The bands perform on a platform, exhibited to the audience, each fan close enough to see the vibrating guitar strings as the notes are delivered. The DJ plays his exquisite selections both before and after the performance, leading to an excellent night of rock’n’rolls entertainment, one of life’s great pleasures.

review by Brian Morrissey

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