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The Virginmarys - XOYO, London - September 24 2014 (Live Review)

Tuesday, 30 September 2014 Written by Anna Ghislena

Photo: Alex Wright

Hands up who likes hearing lots of new material splattered across a set lasting well over an hour? Well, I do, as it turns out.

Having showcased their debut album, ‘King Of Conflict’, live during the last 18 months, Macclesfield’s bluesy punk trio, the Virginmarys, balanced this set in the depths of XOYO with seasoned songs and a large selection of outstanding fresh tracks.  

Sometimes, not always, granted, it’s better to get your head around new material live, where an instant impression can make its mark in an unforgiving fashion. Duly, before the end of this gig the band’s new album is one marked ‘highly anticipated’.  

Kicking off with Push The Pedal And Drive and Just A Ride, the band capture the crowd early on with an approach that, like their writing, is bittersweet.

Danny Dolan curls over his low-set drum kit and beats it, with love it would appear, to within an inch of its life. To his left, Matt Rose complements this attack with impeccable bass and snarling vocals from under a curtain of shaggy hair.

To his right, Ally Dickaty, with a black heart visible in ink on his upper arm and effortless grit to his voice, is humble and gracious, even stopping to apologise halfway through a song when he makes a mistake. Which, in fact, just makes him more endearing to the crowd.

Dressed To Kill and Running For My Life make an appearance inbetween a handful of promising new songs - Motherless Land and Kill The Messenger - before the anthemic Portrait of Red and a crazed, bouncing rendition of Bang Bang Bang emerge, leaving Northern Sun and Dead Man’s Shoes to close the evening with a “V” for victory.

 





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