posted on August 09, 2007 03:55
The Aftermath live in the Stables, Mullingar
Walking away relatively unscathed from a serious road accident the previous week, Mullingar’s finest The Aftermath return for a triumphant hometown gig in The Stables.
The CLUAS Verdict? 8 out of 10
Before tonight’s main act The Aftermath, Pete Courtney seems like the calm before the storm. There is a delicate touch to his music, a subtle sophistication that is most evident in his upcoming new single ‘Instinct’, which gets an airing tonight. It is a beautiful piece of gentle melancholy, so good it even quietens the more talkative elements of the audience. No mean feat. In a country brimming over with soporific acoustic troubadours, Courtney stands out.
The Aftermath know how to put on a show. On limited resources, they endeavour to make this gig both visually and aurally appealing. With their equipment festooned with glowing fairy-lights and a back projection showing old TV footage of French singer/provocateur Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, they’ve injected a shot of glamour into the cosy confines of The Stables. A feeling of goodwill towards the band is palpable too, a goodwill born, perhaps, from relief that they are still in one piece after their recent brush with death. They race through familiar favourites ‘One Is Fun’, ‘Need’ and ‘There Is A Darkness’, but if there is a sense that the Aftermath are on the cusp of something greater, then it is due in no small part to the rather excellent ‘All I Want Is For You To Be Happy’. Containing a ferociously catchy chorus, some interesting guitar work and quirky time-changes, it is easily their most accomplished song to date and the highlight of tonight’s set. Later ‘Hollywood Remake’ and ‘Are You Not’ sound reinvigorated and imbued with a new sense of purpose.
Having seen them several times over the last few years, The Aftermath, fronted by the likable Johnny Cronin, are a band that is continually improving and tonight is a real breakthrough of sorts. They are polished and confident, their playing tight yet still open to moments of spontaneity. It all bodes well for their long-awaited debut album, due in early 2008.