The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


C O D E S (live in the Academy, Dublin)

Review Snapshot:  C O D E S show once again why they are one of Ireland's best, if not best, live acts.

The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10

Full Review:  Hearing that one of your favourite bands have split is a lot like being told by the vet that your dog has to be put down. 

You realise that there must be a very good reason behind it, but you still don't want to accept it.  On hearing late last year that the Future Kings of Spain had abdicated their right to ascend the throne, I was devastated.  Never again would I be able to shout 'Play Meanest Sound!' during a set.  However, the blow was softened somewhat with the emergence of The Black Triangle, a band consisting of ex-members of the Future Kings of Spain (Karl Hussey and Bryan McMahon) and Bambi (Dan Barry).

Now, while I'm still not sure whether their name refers to a particularly vehement branch of lesbian feminism or not (I doubt it), I am sure, from tonight's performance, that the three-piece are capable of producing a blend of angular rock consisting of the sharp, jagged guitar work and low-down-dirty drum and bass rhythms that define the scene. Songs such as You Know It's Wrong, The Black Triangle and Daybreak show a maturity and cohesiveness beyond their two gigs as a three-piece.  The Kings may be dead, but long live The Black Triangle.

It says quite a bit about the upward trajectory of C O D E S that they could get a band like Delays to merely play support.  However, it becomes clear pretty quickly that, unlike the opening act, the Southampton band are very much an act whose best days are behind them. It's not for the want of trying mind.  The band, particularly lead singer Greg Gilbert, give it their all. Unfortunately, it is only bus journey favourite Long Time Coming that generates more than a polite response.

The same can't be said for the audience reaction to C O D E S.  After being treated to a light show that, while undoubtedly spectacular, will do nothing to cease those dogged MUSE comparisons, the band surprise everybody by launching in to a new song rather than their traditional set openers Malfunctions and This is Goodbye.  As a live act, C O D E S adopt the form of a multi-limbed, multi-dimensional, multi-sensory behemoth, capable of transporting its audience light years from the Abbey Street building they entered just a few hours previously.  Tracks like Cities, Trees Dream in Algebra and You are Here are particularly well received but for me, I could die a happy man after hearing tonight's rendition of Starry Eyed.

There is no denying that C O D E S have their detractors, indier than thou types who consider their sound 'too mainstream'.  There are none of those here tonight though, probably at home listening to an obscure Icelandic folk band whose Mahican language debut album contains one song consisting entirely of the sound of three sheep relaxing in a sauna. That might be me being facetious but it becomes very tiresome hearing/reading people trying to out indie each other and so when a band like C O D E S comes along and produce songs and a live show as powerful and as fun - yeah, I used the f-word - as this one, it's great to be a part of it.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, C O D E S are a band destined to fill stadiums.  Tonight they took one step closer.


Steve O'Rourke

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Nuggets from our archive

2005Michael Jackson: demon or demonised? Or both?, written by Aidan Curran. Four years on this is still a great read, especially in the light of his recent death. Indeed the day after Michael Jackson died the CLUAS website saw an immediate surge of traffic as thousands visited to read this very article.