It’s not every day a fellow reviewer, on the other side of the world, messages you every day for a week, asking if you can make it to review one of their friend’s bands! It’s the first time I’ve been asked by someone in America to go and review an UK artist too. Personally, I was EXHAUSTED from climbing a mountain the day before, and then going to a show that night, in a basement with what felt like 10,000 stairs and having a mostly sleepless night before too. I finally agreed to head along to the show, at about 4.30pm the day of, purely because Andy had sent me about 15 messages that day begging me to go! I’m SO glad I went.
Walking to the venue, I was aware of how sore my legs, back and neck were and I also knew I would be going out the next night too, so I was mentally cursing my giving nature and wanted to turn around and head home, on the first train back. That was all turned around though, when I got to the venue for the night – The Dublin Castle. As soon as I opened the door, and a Black Sabbath track was playing, I knew I was in the right place (those that know me, know that Sabbath is one of my favourite bands, that changed my life for the better) and although I had told myself you don’t need a drink tonight, I headed straight to the bar for a tequila lemonade (yes I NEEDED that sugar hit!) After that I headed out the back to the music room! When I opened the door I was greeted with the tail end of the band before the one I was there to see. So during the changeover, I had a talk to some of the people in the room, and it seemed to me most of them were there to see the same band I was, so I have to admit I started to get a bit excited, as I kept hearing this name repeated over, and over and over again. I hadn’t had a chance to check out their music beforehand, so I was going in blind. Andy had told me they were ‘glam rock,’ and the guys before me on stage looked like a 3 piece punk band, but neither description captures the musical artistry this 3 piece created.
As soon as they started playing, I felt two things – my fatigue instantly left me, and I instantly knew they meant business. They perfectly blend punk, rock n roll, glam and so many other elements, to create their own style of hard hitting, high energy perfection. I knew within the first song, that I would enjoy their set – and this I did! The first few tracks were faster rock n roll with a mix of old and new songs. Their set soon took a turn for the heavier, punk ethos and I loved their heavier punk tracks as much as the rock n roll tracks. They had the crowd fist pumping, and by the last song fist pumping AND chanting along with their music. It was a short set of 7 songs, but fast, in your face and that last pop punk anthem had me humming the track for the remainder of the night. The Smokin Prophets have been on a hiatus for a year, but if they hadn’t of announced that, I wouldn’t have known it at all. They put on an amazing performance, they were catchy without being too ‘pop’ and the guitar and bass blended perfectly together, creating a harmony I’ve only seen in musicians at least 10 years older. The drummer is a monster behind the kit, going from fast punk beats to offbeat jazz rhythms, like it’s a piece of cake. All three musicians had featured solos mixed into the set, and often these get lost with 3 piece acts without other music behind it, but not in the case of The Smokin Prophets.
This is a band to take notice of! This is a band to go along to, when you are tired for a pick up, they are a band that will get you up and dancing and fist pumping, even if you don’t have as much hair as you used to or it’s a lighter shade of grey than it once was. Yes there was a surprising number of older people in the crowd on that Friday, at The Dublin Castle, but they were as enthusiastic as the younger crowd members were too. I can’t wait to see them again and I am most definitely glad I dragged myself out to see them! This is a band I will be keeping an eye on!