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The Bleedin' Bleedins

O'Brien's, Boston, USA, 22 November 2004

Review Snapshot:
Fresh and ready from an tour of guitarist Barry Kelly's native Ireland, The Bleedin Bleedins returned to their base of Boston ready to tear up the circuit once more with their melody driven rock and roll.

The CLUAS Verdict? 7 out of 10

Full review: 'Republic' from New Jersey step off the stage at O'Brien's situated on Harvard Avenue in Allston: a student town full of neon lights, bar fights and hook-up plights. On the inside, O'Brien's is covered in band stickers and beer stains. A long-haired guy with 'Killer' emblazoned on the back of his red shirt looks vaguely familiar. He raises his pint in a toast of grandeur as The Bleedin Bleedins complete their rapid soundtrack and instrument adjustments.

On stage are guitarist Barry Kelly, drummer Dave Franz and Mike Coen swings the microphone.

The Bleedin Bleedins immediately show how to light up a dive bar. Coen is confident; in stage presence and vocally. Kelly's riffs bounce optimistically around pre-recorded bass lines.

'Dance' is a catchy pop-heavy tune, but the early highlight is new song 'Someday'. It's the first time the guys have played it live - not that it shows. Kelly's musicianship is illuminating. The backdrop that is Franz's drumming is perfectly coherent, complementing every struck chord, coming to the fore when needed, but never overly imposing his beats.

Coen begins the dedications to those who've come out tonight. The Bleedin Bleedins have drawn the largest crowd by far out of tonight's line-up. A drunk slides off his chair and catches his balance just in time for the last song - 'Jacked Up'.

A party tune of rocking proportions, it shows what The Bleedin Bleedins do best: jumped-up, jump-around jump-starting fun. They lit it up, then they tore it up. Bravo.

Una Mullally

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