Things to do before you die part 1, catch Dublin’s No Spill Blood playing live. Part 2 would be make sure you hear their debut e.p Street Meat. They made their Belfast debut last year and I didn’t make it then, managing to avoid the grim reaper I ventured out to see them in Bar Sub at Queen’s Union supporting fellow Sargent House rockers Fang Island. Street Meat has been on repeat play since I first heard it and to watch the band recreate every nuance of its incredible forceful and brutal sound was a joyous experience. Not every day you see brutal and joyous in the same sentence, that’s what No Spill Blood make you do, they’re utterly unique.
Featuring Matt Hedigan on Bass/Vocals, Ruadhan O’Meara on effects (I do not know the exact instrumentation he was playing) and the supremely talented and ridiculously moustachioed Lar Kaye on drums, these 3 guys give their absolute all in the quest to kill off what hearing I have left. Opening with the vicious ‘No Retreat’ initial attention is focused on Matt, a huge and hirsute man who twists out sinewy bass lines while bellowing blood curdling howls, the lyrics indecipherable. With the greatest respect, he looks like the sort of chap you wouldn’t want to be meeting down a dark alley. Probably a thoroughly decent bloke.
How do you follow this? Simple, you launch straight into Street Meat’s other highlight, the uber-funky ‘Junior’ which does to your gut what ‘No Retreat’ just did to your ears with its throbbing bass grooves and sequencer squelches. Then it happens…what the hell is going on mid-stage? There seems to be one amazing party-up session going on behind the drum kit where a man-octopus is liberally knocking seven shades of shite out of a very basic drum kit. Once he gets you transfixed, there is no stopping the compulsive viewing on offer. The crowd don’t do much in the way of dancing (though I really wanted to let loose, it’s been such a while!) but Lar Kaye is jiggling and shaking, twitching and flailing, posturing and preening, all while underpinning the extremely tight rhythms No Spill Blood generate. I don’t want to harp on about his facial hair, but my goodness, you have to see it twitch mid-air in the frenzy of his drumming.
There’s a few new tunes on offer tonight, didn’t catch their names, Matt’s thick mumbled accent offers little in the way of intelligible English. I want more recorded output to compliment the 6-track e.p they put out last year, if these tunes are anything to go by, I want them now. One featured the most brilliant winding bassline and spaced out freaky sounds, perfectly mixed and presented by seriously talented musicians.
The fact that a sweat drenched Lar Kaye popped off stage, put on a hat and got straight back up again to play bass with Fang Island should not go unnoticed. He also plays incredible guitar for Adebisi Shank, I seriously contemplated kidnapping him for my own personal studio bitch but then Matt strode past and I thought better of it.
You always know when a band are ones to watch when other bands who are ones to watch are in attendance. No Spill Blood. Remember, before you die…