|Photographer: Luke Joyce|
Tonight we have Go Swim kicking things off, punctually. Their indie roots are carefully fused with a dream-like texture and, although playing to such a small number of people, execute their energy very well, with their dual riffs and female harmonies, serving as the main attraction. Next up we have quartet, Hurdles and although playing no more than three songs, provide an insight to their honest, solid, summery indie works. This band always remind me of Glasgowbury 2013 in which I laid back on the grass soaking up the sun, listening to this wonderfully vibrant band. It is undeniable that their set was much too short, which is a shame.
Affleck, serving as the third support bill tonight, prove themselves to be the most unique in sound and stature. A frontman with a synthesizer and a violin - why not? It obviously works. The band are quite bass-synth heavy, playing with the experimental and progressive genres, which leads into their trance-like, luminescent setlist. The Late Twos are up next, oozing confidence and pulling the audience to their feet. There are elements of punk incorporated into their music, but settle mainly in the alternative/indie genre and provide an insight into some new material, which goes down a treat.
Simple and deconstructed, New Ancestors enter the stage as a pair who provide a rawness in their music, stripped down to the beautiful bare bones. It isn't long, though, until the other band members join - bringing an even stronger sound into play. The final support of the evening, Kasper Rosa, are the heaviest of the supports. Their sound is heavy and powerful and surging. I noted the fact that the band aren't vocal-heavy, but all the better. To me, it's as though they were channeling And So I Watch You From Afar, however, the band go out of their way to be completely unique.
The crowd have now formed as every pair of eyes wait patiently for the homecoming of A Plastic Rose. Frontman, Gerry, has been floating about for some time, being greeted graciously and welcomed back by everyone in his path (for those who are unaware, A Plastic Rose now reside in Nottingham.) I've spotted members of other local greats such as Silhouette, Rams' Pocket Radio, Couth, Pretty Child Backfire and all members of Wonder Villains - all here for the same reason, to be spectators to this incredible line up at Spectrum Festival tonight.
A Plastic Rose take to the stage, applauded and hailed by everyone in the room. The princes of Belfast town have come home. "It's fucking great to be home," Gerry cries as the band get stuck into their energy fueled, sweat and alcohol-driven set. Between being the creators of mosh pits and swigging from bottles of buckfast as they dedicate songs to their hometown and people of Belfast, the band then power through tracks, old and new, such as "Oceans" and "This Side of Winter" each making the crowd go as wild as the next. Towards the end, fans are encouraged to whip off their shirts, as followed by the example of our frontman. After diving into the crowd, guitarist Ian is carried gracefully by his adoring (and topless) fans, carried all the way and dropped off appropriately at the front of the bar. I have never seen a homecoming like this before. Absolutely spectacular.
|Photographer: Luke Joyce|
The time has come, the room is now full, it's coming up to midnight and Mojo Fury get stuck into monster tracks such as "Terraform," "Money Body Body Money" and the ever poignant "All in Awe." At some point during the show, someone spills their drink down all the length of my back, and then again on my front - and I couldn't even get mad. The strobe lights were going epileptic, taking me out of my mind for a few minutes. The band powered through older tracks and most tracks from their latest release, "The Difference Between" sending the crowd into a frenzy every time. It's now fifteen minutes until one o'clock - I'm surprised by myself that I'm still standing to be honest - and the band surge into the title track from their newest album. Each and every pair of arms and legs go epileptic along with the lights.
Just when we think it's all over, the band power through one of my all-time favourite Nirvana songs - "Territorial Pissings" which was beyond words and was the final straw for my poor voice. I don't think I could have asked for a better lineup to demonstrate the passion and the energy of our beloved music scene.
Fair play to the organisers of Spectrum Festival, and roll on 2015! You can see more stunning pictures by Luke Joyce by clicking HERE.