26th September 2015
I wouldn’t call The Strypes a one-trick pony band, but it would be difficult to convince a newcomer otherwise if their first experience of the band had been this gig. The latest release of the four-piece from Cavan, Little Victories, proved that they have the capacity to write more rhythm-driven songs, such as ‘Get Into It’ and ‘Queen of the Half Crown’. Both songs made appearances in their setlist; however, they felt like cameo appearances. They were played in quick succession, as if the band were embarrassed and wanted to get them out of the way.
There was a clear preference towards the fast-paced and RSI-inducing strumming of their earlier work, like ‘What A Shame’ and ‘Blue Collar Jane’, with no room for respite or diversity amongst the set. Little Victories highlight ‘(I Wanna Be Your) Everyday’ was absent but sorely needed to give this set more variety. Sadly, it wasn’t deemed moshable enough.
Negatives aside, The Strypes’ energy and charisma can’t be faulted and these traits kept the gig from falling below average. They are showmen as well as musicians, complementing their set by playing guitar solos behind the back, microphone swinging, a bassist doing the robot and some cheeky, shit-eating grins.
They can also bring together fans from different generations, with older fans vibing off their 50s-inspired guitar licks and young ‘uns who just like jumping to loud, fast music.
Overall, The Strypes know how to turn solid venue floors into a booze-stained, sticky trampoline, with the sheer mass of people jumping to their music, and they have learned how to write songs that aren’t at a breakneck pace. I only wish that they were able to combine the two on the night to keep things from becoming stale.