Since when is a Cork based live event sold out? Since Girl Band are in town. The Dublin based four-piece are making a long-awaited appearance tonight courtesy of Aisling and Caoilian at Southern Hospitality (formerly of the Pavilion, Cork) and it’s very sold out. Many casually stroll up to the door of the Triskel Arts Centre assuming business as usual only to be turned away. Many a disappointed fan is spotted with their heads in their hands. Sure, Girl Band have a reputation for turning out an incredible live show but a reception of this magnitude wasn’t expected. To put it more accurately, it’s so busy here tonight at the Triskel, it feels like we’re trying to get into a Nine Inch Nails show. Someone else said it’s like trying to get tickets for One Direction, to that we can only say – how do you know that’s like? While countless fans are sent home essentially empty handed, we at The Thin Air manage to weasel our way in.
There’s a sense that there is a real mixed crowd here tonight. There are definitely more tenured fans (as to be expected) and folks who are here to see what the hype is all about. The room starts to pack up as Girl Band are still finishing their sound check, they handle it well and launch right into their set. Everyone thrills to the sound of tracks ‘Lawman’, ‘I Love You’ (Beat Happening cover), ‘The Cha Cha’. Later in their set, their cover of Blawan’s ‘Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage’ steals the show. Possibly better than the original and judging by the reaction, it converts a few attendees into hardcore Girl Band fans.
Girl Band certainly have evolved over the years. Having interviewed them when they were essentially starting out, it’s amazing to see how far they’ve come. Onstage they’re so incredibly confident, relaxed and at home, it’s a pleasure to watch. You know, it’s always refreshing to see a band that are completely beyond making music to impress. They’re up there for the love of it, it seems to be so genuinely about that for them. There’s never any laboured crowd participation, there are no hiccups or hints that they’re sick of what they’re doing. It’s just sheer consistency from start to finish. Strong contenders for the best Irish act out there at the moment and most certainly one of the best live acts around. Here’s hoping that they’re in it for the long haul. Niamh Hegarty