Live Review

And So I Watch You From Afar, Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

There isn’t a track you’d want cut, and – as ever – their precision is inspiring.

And So I Watch You From Afar are a band you need to see live. Even if instrumental bands, heavy guitars, frantic pace and having fun aren’t ‘your thing’, they need to be seen. The last time this reviewer caught ASIWYFA, a punter told us that he’d dragged a reluctant friend along; as the noise kicked in she thought about leaving. An hour later she was stood on a table dancing. This is what they do.

Before they get down to that, Exit_International open proceedings. They do so by opening up holes in your head. They are LOUD. With a capital ouch. Their-two-bass-and-drums assault is a body-moving racket that’s aggressive but makes you want to shake your ass for the duration of their set. ‘Sex With Strangers’, ‘Bowie’s Ghost’ and ferocious closer ‘Hey Disciple’ leave an impression on the crowd and a ringing in the ears that will last for days. Their new album will come out later in the year, and on this evidence it’ll be a blinder. And a deafener.

Lisburn’s Mojo Fury follow, and the band – who recently released début album ‘Visiting Hours Of A Travelling Circus’ – have improved greatly over the last year, impressing with the confidence of their stage presence and the quality of their songs. Their songs are varied; ranging from the Nine Inch Nails-esque ‘We Should Just Run Away’, to the thumping ‘Salty, Sticky Hearts’ and the phenomenal anthem ‘What A Secret’ – ensuring most of the crowd go home with ‘Thank you very much, thank you very much’ revolving around their heads for days to come. We suggest you get them stuck in your head, too.

Seeing as ASIWYFA are an instrumental band with full-sentence song titles, who play intricate, intelligent music that dynamically shifts from soft to loud to brain-pulverising and back again, preconceptions would be that they’d play in front of hairy beard-strokers. And while there are a few of us – er, er, a few of such folk eagerly looking on, the diverse crowd include to students, whooping flirtatious girls (well, those Irish accents, c’mon) and under 18s enjoying the lack of an age restriction. There is no typical fan of this band, it’s just a case of those who have seen them and those that haven’t. New album, Gangs, was released three days prior, so you’d also think the reception would be muted in the face of unfamiliar material. Think again. All caps opener, ‘BEAUTIFULUNIVERSEMASTERCHAMPION’, gets the crowd moving, and it’s the weakest track of the evening. ‘Search:Party:Animal’ really impresses and the associated ‘Think:Breathe:Destroy’ is the highlight of the set. The warmest welcome still goes to more familiar material, with ‘Don’t Waste Time Doing Things You Hate’ (Good tune, good advice) and encore ‘Set Guitars To Kill’ causing pandemonium, and a crushing ‘S Is For Salamander’ comes close to crumbling the foundations.

There isn’t a single track aired you’d want cut from the set, and – as ever – their precision is inspiring. The energy in the room could power most of your street, and while there might not be anyone dancing on a table tonight, around us we see moshpits, headbanging, booty-shaking, a young girl doing what appears to be the Charleston and a host of gentlemen doing their best not to break out frenetic air-guitar. They shouldn’t have held back, no one would mind; you can do what you want, but what you won’t do is have a bad time. You need to see this band live.

Read More

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Stay Updated!

Get the best of DIY to your inbox each week.

Latest Issue

July/August 2024

With Fontaines DC, Kneecap, BERWYN, Wunderhorse and many more.

Read Now Buy Now Subscribe to DIY