The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


CODES (live in The Academy, Dublin)

Review Snapshot:  CODES have once again proven themselves to be one of Ireland's finest live acts on a night that ended all too soon.

The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10

Full Review:
When you have to virtually swim to a gig during the first weekend of July you realise two things; one, you should probably find somewhere else to live and two, you must really like the band you're going to see.  Codes LiveHowever, sometimes a band can be so good they stop you from packing your suitcase and instead provide you with a shelter so satisfying you can ignore the odd storm.

Opening the proceedings were Tidal District, an appropriate name given the monsoon like conditions that swept Dublin on Saturday night.  Unfortunately for the band, the venue was virtually empty at this stage, with less than twenty people in a room capable of holding 30 or 40 times that amount. Unperturbed, Tidal District entertained those of us who had ventured in early with a complex melodies and a strong rhythm section, all nicely complimented by the vocal jousting of Gary Donald and Noel Duplaa.  It worked well for the most part but their style of song structure (soft, loud, soft, loud, chant, loud, end) waivers perilously close to becoming repetitive.  That being said, giving it your all in front of such a small crowd deserves plenty of kudos.

Thankfully, the audience numbers had increased significantly by the time CODES appeared on stage.  By blasting into their set with the anthemic This is Goodbye and Guided by Ghosts the band ensured the audience would be nothing but captivated.  Our Mysteries, Memorial and Edith were all complimented by excellent lighting work and the sound in The Academy continues to impress. 

It is difficult to describe CODES in terms of other Irish bands because there is nobody like them.  The more I see of the band, the more I'm convinced that they are a band destined for greatness and deserve to perform to venues much bigger than The Academy.  It's the kind of music that summer festivals and stadium venues were designed for; grandiose sonic landscapes painted in painstakingly minute detail.

In fact, the only fault I could find with the entire gig was that it was all over by 10.30.  Yes, 10.30 on a Saturday night when surely there are no curfews in place?  It's becoming a more common feature of Irish gigs and is a worrying trend for those of us who like our music to drift into the early hours of the morning.  However, it's hard to fault CODES for this as I'm sure it was a decision by the venue. 

Overall, a good gig was only slightly tainted by such an early finish.  If there is any justice in the world, CODES will be the big Irish winners at this weekends Oxegen festival.  If you're going, be sure to check them out.

Steven O'Rourke

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Nuggets from our archive

2004 - The CLUAS Reviews of Erin McKeown's album 'Grand'. There was the positive review of the album (by Cormac Looney) and the entertainingly negative review (by Jules Jackson). These two reviews being the finest manifestations of what became affectionately known, around these parts at least, as the 'McKeown wars'.