Friday 13 December 2019

Review: And So I watch You From Afar, Andrew's Lane Theatre, Dublin

Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney

NORTHERN Ireland has given us plenty of talented acts over the years, but no one has ever sounded as furiously loud as Belfast sonic insurrectionists And So I Watch You From Afar.

Taking their name from the final line of a break-up letter guitarist Rory Friers received from his first girlfriend, the instrumental quartet are out on a limb. In an early interview they remarked: "If we can make people cry at our shows, cry whilst embracing in a dirty fight hug, then I think we have done our jobs."

No one is crying in Andrew's Lane, but a capacity crowd is lapping up the relentless assault of cascading riffs and white noise, the lack of lyrics not posing any problems to the appreciation of their sound.

ASIWYFA are refreshingly old school with no gimmicks and a straight-ahead work ethic. The first show of a 35-date tour delivers a short and sweet hour of blistering noise. Any more might test the audience's tinnitus threshold; any less would be too slight.

"Imagine Mogwai were from Belfast and had massive balls," is one of the stand-out quotes from their propaganda sheet. The comparison with the Scottish noiseniks is interesting. Dismissed for not having what it takes to cross over to the mainstream, Mogwai can sell out any medium-sized theatre with ease. ASIWYFA could well achieve similar levels of cult success.

Irish Independent

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