And So I Watch You From Afar’s biggest headline show in England - take two. This run of dates, the Irish band’s largest of their career, were planned for last autumn, but had to be rescheduled amongst news of medical procedures and bankruptcy.
Tonight doesn’t pass without incident, either. After Antlered Man’s disjointed, frenetic noise opens the show, Gallops announce moments before they are due onstage that they aren’t able to play due to illness.
ASIWYFA’s third album ‘All Hail Bright Futures’ proved a real triumph, emerging from the adversity of money worries and departing members and taking the band in a much brighter, uplifting direction. Its opening quartet of ‘Eunoia’, ‘Big Thinks Do Remarkable’, ‘Like A Mouse’ and ‘AMBULANCE’ opens the show in typically storming form.
Songs from the band’s first two albums; self-titled debut and second LP ‘Gangs’, provide the darker, drawn out moments of the set, and the band now possess three albums which make up a wonderfully structured, blended and impeccably performed post-rock live show – there’s a bit of everything. Although some of the experimentation (steel drums and flute solos…) on ‘All Hail Bright Futures’ was in danger of not being able to translate into a live setting, in practice it does so gloriously.
The show is littered with gracious and utterly honest gestures of thanks from ‘frontman’ Rory Friers, whose onstage energy and passion is an absolute joy to watch.
Maybe the band never thought they’d be here; their first sold out show outside of Ireland, and one which is so rapturously received. They’ve had plenty more than their fair share of troubles in the past year, but it seems like it’s that resurgent energy that drives them to put on the show of their lives tonight, and absolutely beam their way through it, exchanging little knowing looks from band member to band member. “Yeah, we’ve done it, guys.” They sure have.