Top 5 Gig Memories – Girls Names

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New Album, Arms Around A Vision, Out Now Via Tough Love Records.

It has been a relatively slow build for Belfast’s Girls Names. Each of their albums has improved steadily on the successes of the last with their latest, Arms Around A Vision, seeing the band taking their bass heavy post punk to a more hectic, yet controlled, peak.

This has translated to their on stage performances too which our man John Murray attested to when he caught the group in Liverpool at the tail end of last year. Today, they tell us all about their favourite gig memories from Belfast to Barcelona to London.

Go see them live. You might glean some great gig memories yourself.

Live Dates

Feb 22nd – The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham, UK
Feb 23rd – Electric Circus, Edinburgh, UK
Feb 24th – The Hug and Pint, Glasgow, UK
Feb 25th – Roisin Dubh, Galway, IE
Feb 26th – Cyprus Avenue, Cork, IE
Feb 27th – Upstairs at Dolans, Limerick, IE
Mar 15th-20th – SXSW Festival, Austin, Texas, US
Mar 24th – The Bullington, Oxford, UK
Mar 25th – Wales Goes Pop, Cardiff, UK

1. Liars support from HTRK. Auntie Annie’s, Belfast 2007.

Regrettably memorable for me due to the fact I didn’t get down in time to catch HTRK but regaled by my friend Steven at how much they blew him away and Phil informs me of the same which would have been years before we knew each other. There’s a live recording of them playing ‘Panties’ from that show on the b side of their HA 12″ on ghostly int. It sounds brutal, beautiful and brutal. Anyway, what I remember Liars where at the height of their live powers. Maybe it was the venue and the age of me at the time that makes me feel nostalgic for this show. It was post Drums not Dead and possibly the release of their self titled record so it was mostly guitars and drums and contact mics running through delays and fx. I had never see a band manipulate the drums so much live and was a revelation for me. It was mesmerising and it was packed. Think it was the height of Angus’ dirty white suit phase. It was a great time for live music in Belfast.

2. The Fall, Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival Marquee, Belfast 2008

I think this would have been around the tour for Imperial Wax Solvent which is probably my favourite recent fall record. It was one of the first times seeing the Fall and so was just a bit excited. I remember it being a beautiful spring evening actually. Mark E Smith predictably turned up late to the stage and as usual caused as much havoc as possible – its a fall show. However, I remember the band were super tight. Legend dictates that the reason he was so late to the gig was due to continuous pinting up the road in Lavery’s bar with Alex Higgins.

3. The Pop Group, Primavera Sound, Barcelona, 2012

I think this might have been their come back gig or at least one of the early ones, maybe they’d played an ATP festival before this. This was on the ATP stage anyway. We were playing the same day and was fortunate to catch them. They were the one band on the bill I did not want to miss. And they did not disappoint. Proper power house dub funk discordance! I’ve been quoted many times but they put all the bands to shame that weekend.

4. Naked on the Vague, Wet Dog, Grass Widow, The Lexington, London, 2010

I was just thinking about this show yesterday as I was listening to Naked on the Vague in the van for the first time in quite a while. Quality line up of support on this Upset the Rhythm show. They were such a great band. I love all their records especially the last EP Clock of Twelves. Fuck, just thinking of this lineup is making  think that there’s not too many weirdo guitar bands about anymore. We happened to be in town that weekend – it was a Sunday. Vague memories include the bass players one studded leather fingerless glove and the guitarists highly slung telecaster/tench coat combo.

5. Craig Leon performing Nommos with string ensemble, Cafe Otto, London 2016.

The last performance I’ve been to. Just a few weeks back in January. Because I flew over specifically for the show it felt like a proper occasion which I feel unfortunately I don’t get from live music that much anymore being so heavily involved in the machinations myself. The performance was great and I was mesmerised by the drones but it really should have been louder! All those drones should have really been wrapped around us like we were inside them. But it was sold out in a small room so I guess all the bodies just absorbed the sound it all a bit more than I would have liked. It was well worth the trip and Craig Leon seemed like he enjoyed himself!

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