An upcoming support slot with flavour-of-the-month Idles means The Murder Capital arrive at Sneaky’s with a certain level of expectation about them. Along with Fontaines DC, the Dublin five-piece are beginning to make people sit up and notice the post-punk sounds emerging from the Irish capital.
Tonight’s support from Glasgow’s Lazy Angel goes down very well, before the headliners emerge through a fug of overdone dry ice, sporting a range of button down checked shirts and slightly dubious ‘taches. Although it’s forced on them a bit by the size of the stage, they line up down the front as a flat four of two guitars, bass and singer, giving them a confrontational demeanour, even if that impression’s not immediately borne out by the music. It also means singer James McGovern comes across less a focal point frontman, more a first among equals.
It’s not a long set, as you might imagine from a band with only one single under their belt. It opens brightly enough though, with three short, prickly little numbers that mark out guitarist Cathal Roper as an heir to Franz Ferdinand’s Nick McCarthy, chopping out tight hooks with self-contained purpose.
It then sags in the middle with the sort of slow numbers they need to offer variety, but which are hard to come to cold. The rawness and earnestness of Green and Blue suggests early U2 (and not because that’s as an easy Irish stereotype) with drummer Diarmuid Brennan coming to the fore. It’s palatable enough. Slow Dance though is, on first hearing, a sub Joy Division dirge, until it breaks into a noisy outro which suggests better.
And better indeed comes. “Every death brings great celebration. Fuck death, Edinburgh! This is a song about celebrating death,” is McGovern’s gnomic introduction to a song that finally gets the moshpit moving, before solitary single Feeling Fades revs the crowd up another notch. At the death, they’ve reached the fiery intensity they’ve hinted at elsewhere in the set.
It’s been a mixed introduction, but there’s enough here to suggest they warrant keeping an eye on. With the Fontaines DC album forthcoming, and a Murder Capital one presumably to follow, we’ll soon find out how much substance there is to this Irish mini-invasion.