Faithful City Shows presents: Empty Lungs/The Whipjacks The Harts/Trivial Dispute The Marrs Bar, Worcester|14th March

posted 31 Mar 2017, 10:16 by Dean Miles
Faithful City Shows presents: Empty Lungs/The Whipjacks The Harts/Trivial Dispute The Marrs Bar, Worcester|14th March 

Local hardcore/punk promoters FCS are back at The Marrs Bar with an eclectic mix - from street punk meets post hardcore to high speed folk (think Flogging Molly or The Dropkick Murphys rather than Fairport Convention) topped with the melodic yet angular sounds of Irish serrated indie heroes Empty Lungs. The cunning promoters realise that dragging in more than the dedicated may prove tricky on a school night so decide to cut the space between audience and performer by setting up on the floor; a clever ploy as the fifty or so punters file in to give the room an intimate, back room of a pub, feel. 

Birmingham's Trivial Dispute were charged with kicking things off and the hard hitting threesome did just that - a blur of energy and sweat as slabs of meaty three minute, muscular punk were volleyed into the audience. The front man hollered, whilst attacking his six string, as the rhythm section pounded and pummelled - heavy for the hardcore faithful yet enough melody for an old punk rocker (like me, only without the old!!). Song titles were hard to decipher on the night but a quick spin around the group's Bandcamp page left me marvelling over the likes of Better Off Alone and a new song that could have been entitled All Your Regrets also lurched for attention on the night. Worcester's own The Harts followed: a four-piece alternative rock band with a spiky punk attitude that, despite only forming last year, are already beginning to make waves on the local music scene. Fronted by the powerful voice of Jodie Louise Fidoe and anchored by a tight rhythm section, the group delivered on their promise with the likes of Tempus and Smother finding their mark, with Fidoe punching from the front while the lead guitarist peeled off a collection of infectious riffs. 

It's no secret that The Whipjacks are fast becoming my favourite local band. They never fail to lift the mood of a venue with their contagious blend of punky speed folk and, during the set, I turned round to see huge grins and grown men jigging as Dean and the boys delivered a short, sharp set of all killer, no filler folk 'n' roll. From their own My Madness (Molly Murphy) and Scoundrels And Rogues to their rousing rendition of I'm Shipping Up To Boston, the band never stop moving as mandolins are thrashed, guitars attacked and drums pounded. Dean somehow manages to find enough breath to sing in between energetic bursts of jigging and the band look like they're having as much fun as we are - something that other band's seem to lose as time goes by. If you're looking for a fun night full of frollicks and sing-a-longs, I urge you to track down The Whipjacks next time they tread the boards. 

And so it's left to Belfast trio Empty Lungs to bring another FCS to a close. The melodic indie punksters have shared stages with everyone from The Subways to Alkaline Trio via the Augustines, so it's no wonder the band come armed with a collection of energetic, hook-laden, indie buzzers that by the close of their opening number the Worcester faithful had taken to their hearts. As the band's set drew on, bassist Conor Langen became a blur as he careered across the floor, Mykie Rowan displayed raw power behind the kit and, up front, Kev Jones tossed out catchy power-pop like melodies. Delivering recent EP highlights Don't Get It and Losing it, Finding It to an appreciative audience of new converts and drawing the curtain on an enjoyable and eclectic mix of the many facets of punk. 

Words by Will Munn Photography by Duncan Graves