By Lauren

Bringing a bit of Irish charm into the dimly lit Soho Venue this evening was Belfast alternative rock quartet A Plastic Rose.

This right here is a group that are not only focused but on what they do but incredibly experienced when it comes to all areas musically, live shows, writing and their defined sound; alive with brazen hooks, crunching guitars and all the magic of classic rock music, these guys evidently have fire in their hearts, and music in their souls. Performing a consistently solid catalogue of tracks made up of both new and old material, tonight’s set encapsulated fragments of punchy punk rock and gritty grunge transmitted at full velocity. Their sound is surging, with throbbing riffs which crash amongst seas of harmonic soundscapes.

Kicking off the set with Build From The Ground Up, this number made for a great opening; galloping guitars, interlocked with strings and Gerry Norman’s rich powerful vocal which erupts into ardent anthemic choruses. And with the pace well and truly set for the night the vocal exchange and instrumental interaction between the band was strong as well as remaining charming, funny and genuinely excited to be headlining in The City.

Following on from the release of mini EP The Promise Notes, although hugely well received amongst critics, with a more thriving studio heavy sound, forthcoming record Camera. Shutter. Life. seems every inch as promising and natural in progression for this band to take after six years in group existence. Directionally the song writing and the real substance of track production have strengthened and have been refined in a coinciding light, particularly when it comes to this new record.

Autumn release Boy Racer is abrupt, dynamic and explosive whereas Oceans brings in gentler lilts and a pulsating depth which really emphasises the vocal capacity of Norman and his words and their hidden darkness; ‘What does it mean when you fall asleep screaming?’ .Transitions like these in tempo, lyrics and atmospherics within each track makes for a diverse and memorable set.

It is without doubt always a positive when you see that a band write and produce music predominantly for the purpose and enjoyment of playing the songs to crowds with absolute vigour and passion in a live setting and this is certainly the vibe this band ignite. Sonically A Plastic Rose create something which is tangible, holds shape and is driven but not to the point of sounding consistently and overwhelmingly heavy. Instead they have managed to conjure up the perfect balance of refined, warm catchy punk which collides with the more ferocious rock angst which makes for real muscular music that when performed; sparks, alights and is really quite exhilarating. The real question now is though, just why when comparisons to Biffy are thrown about so so frequently with these guys are they not as big as them? I sense and really hope this will change soon for A Plastic Rose have the ability and virtue to do just that.