It took some doing, but this BluesBunny eventually managed to haul his great bulk off the stool in MacSorleys, and waddle on round to the Barfly. However perilous the quest, however questionable the Barfly sound, he knew it to be worthwhile.
Anicca were first on the bill. Four men and a woman who know how to make noise! Hammer-on and pull-offs aplenty, they drove through the first two songs of their set with plenty of energy. "Reflect" took it down a notch, becoming a pondering, wandering slow-burner of a tune. Suffering as many opening acts do from poor sound at the Barfly, singer Davidian was clever in his criticism of the sound, but his unhappiness was blindingly obvious. Despite the sound issues, Anicca finished the remainder of their set with aplomb. Not the best night they'll ever have, but their potential still showed.
Bronto Skylift were on next, and said they were going to play "3 songs really fast". The singer's statement seemed misleading until the duo launched into a rapid-fire torrent of thrash-punk. Whilst priding themselves on making a racket, it was nonetheless controlled. "Vitamin Girl" was a badgering, yet explosive song, possibly about plastic surgery. "Am Not Me" again allowed singer/guitarist Niall to further harass the Barfly PA with his heavily-distorted guitar drawl. While this band's success will never go far beyond cult, their live show can be regarded as a treat in itself.
Third up came the peculiarly named prog-rockers Gamble Gamble & Drever. It is not often that a band so high on the bill sounds so poor, but I'll give them that much. "Gaddafi Get Your Gun" was a slight improvement on the opener, but still loitered in prog purgatory. "Tolerance", again, was an improvement on the previous song, but still seemed more of an exposition than a proper song. It was clear though, that the band were well-practiced in the art of pomposity. The music continued but never really got going. Arguably, though, their set could be fantastic, should they learn how to compose crowd-pleasing songs to match their image.
Then there was The Trews. Launching into "Every Inambition", it was plain to see that the band have done the circuit time and again. An almost cocky swagger accompanied the band, and with good cause. "So She's Leaving", full of big-band pomp and sweaty hard rock riffs, was an excellent follow-up. Unlike most bands nowadays, The Trews know how to maintain an aural assault on their audience, without resorting to girl-friendly ballads or ear-dicing noise. As all good bands do, The Trews kept the best to last. "Poor Ol' Broken Hearted Me" was the perfect anthem to round up a fine night of hard rock.