Venue: Head Entertainment, Belfast
Date: 20th August 2011
The independent record shop Head Entertainment has been open in Belfast for less than a year now, and already has become one of my go-to places for new music. Perhaps it's because for a while I erroneously believed the store was named after a Suede album, or perhaps it's due to the fact that I was able to pick up an album by Athlete for a quid. But one thing that the store definately has going for it is its support of local music.
Playing live in the store today were local band Amidships. The last time I talked about them, I I said that they were "one of the most exciting bands to come out of these isles for some time." Now that I've had the chance to see them live, I can say that this is not just empty hyperbole: they really are that good.
Their eleven song set went down very well with the handful of dedicated fans who resisted the temptation to browse through the spoken word CDs for half an hour. It consisted of songs from their storming debut E.P "Friendly Fire", including "Oceans & Layers", which is like a waltzier, more atmospheric version of "Hangingaround" by Counting Crows, as well as a few new songs. "Sailing", a fast, rock and roll paced song, was my favourite of the new songs, and I'm glad to hear that it will be getting a release in November.
I really enjoyed seeing Amidships live, although I feel that the atmospheric sound of the band would be better suited to a music venue rather than a record store. Thankfully, the band will be playing at the IMRO Showcase in the Limelight on September 7th, so hopefully I will be able to get a chance to hear them again.