The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

05

Artist (live in Venue Name, City)

Review Snapshot: An excellent start to the Kilkee festival, with an outstanding performance by the Futureheads.

The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10

Full Review:
Cois Fharraige 2008“Who gives a f**k about the rain? It's a deadly festival!” So remarked Danny O'Reilly, lead singer of The Coronas on this, the first (and hopefully wettest) day of the Cois Fharraige music festival in Kilkee.

First up were Galway band The Kanyu Tree, performing their first live show as a four-piece. Their unoffensive pop rock was well-received by the gathering crowds, but their music and manner fails to establish them as anything more than a support band.

Next up were The Coronas, hailing from Dublin, but equally at home on the soundtrack of an American teen drama series. Their sound was rockier and their presence more charming than The Kanyu Tree, and it's not surprising that they've built up such a loyal fanbase in Ireland. Radio-friendly songs such as “Grace, Don't Wait” went down well with the ever-increasing crowd. After witnessing a mass chorale to their big hit, “San Diego Song”, you can believe them when they claim never to get sick of playing it live.

After a lengthy gap, The Futureheads kicked off their energetic set with their new single, “Walking Backwards”. It was the first in a series of lively numbers that showcased their enjoyable brand of power-pop rock. The beginning of their set seemed to fall on deaf ears. Many people didn't even appear to know who they were, turning their backs and consuming their beer. But, with their interactive banter and intense likeability, The Futureheads won over this distracted crowd. And, by the time they launched into “The Beginning of the Twist”, everybody seemed to to have caught on. This was followed by two more crowd-pleasing songs; their popular Kate Bush cover, “Hounds of Love”, and the last track from their debut album, “Man Ray”. Their songs transfer well to a live setting and are executed with such confidence and gusto that even the most distracted viewer can't but love them.

Following this class act, were questionable headliners, The Zutons. Their gimmickery (a giant neon “Z” against a scenic backdrop, superfluous female saxophone player) only highlighted their shortcomings as serious song-writing talents. The set list included all of their hits. Their most popular song was undoubtedly “Valerie”, which they decidedly played mid-set. A strange choice, considering they themselves remarked afterward “That was our biggest song.” This meant an unfortunate early peak for The Zutons, who paled in comparison to The Futureheads.

Despite the torrential weather, this was a promising start to the last festival of the summer.

Christine Cooke

  • Check out the CLUAS reviews of Day 2 and Day 3 of Cois Fharraige 2008.

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Nuggets from our archive

2000 - 'Rock Criticism: Getting it Right', written by Mark Godfrey. A thought provoking reflection on the art of rock criticism.