Whipping Boy/ Dead School/ Tieranniesaur
On St Paddy’s Eve, it’s only right that the Barfly is staging an Irish invasion. Top of the bill are early ‘90s rock band Whipping Boy, back in London for the first time in many years. The ageing rockers are ably supported by two of the Emerald Isle’s finest young prospects. First up are infectious upstarts Tieranniesaur – a sunny six-piece that make breezy, eccentric indie pop. Fronted by Irish scene stalwart Annie Tierney (as well as her own acts, she can be found contributing to her bro’s funk pop collective Republic of Loose), the band are a touch rough around the edges, but ferociously fun. With splashes of funk and hip-hop with Tierney’s sugared vocals on top, Tieranniesaur are a cluster of fuzzy, sweet warmth. ‘Here Be Monsters’ is a haunting standout.
In sharp contrast to the sweetness of Tieranniesaur, Cork boys Dead School fire gritty post-punk at the audience in waves of grinding guitar and growling vocals. The hard-working four-piece have gigged like crazy In Ireland, perfecting the frenzied, growling rock on display tonight. Dead School are reminiscent of headliners Whipping Boy, with a spot of fellow countrymen My Bloody Valentine thrown in, but there’s nothing dated about this lot. Obviously champing at the bit to get on with their UK tour, it’s all rip-roaring, intense guitars, witty lyrics and a hell of a lot of punch. Finishing with the swooping ‘Standing On The Edge’ and its searingly loud sibling ‘Frailties’, Dead School are a riotous lesson in taking a well-trodden genre and tearing it a new one.
Following the fired-up set of Dead School, the main act Whipping Boy – once known for their wry odes to life and love – fall sadly flat. All the hits are there and the crowd sings dutifully along but reunions are simply just a trip down memory lane. Time to pass the baton on to the new school of Irish talent.