The Minutes played a smashing gig in Monroe’s recently and Sin’s Gerard Francis Timothy was there. Here’s his review of the night…
This month The Minutes brought their energetic show to the Backstage Bar Venue at Monroe’s Live. The crowd were treated to a night of good old fashioned rock and roll as the band pounded out a host of hits from their critically acclaimed 2011 debut album Marcata, as well as new material from their forthcoming album due for release early next year.
The Minutes are Mark Austin (vocals/guitar), Shane Kinsella (drums), and Tom Cosgrave (bass/vocals). They have been hailed as one of the best bands to come out of Dublin in recent years and with performances like this it is easy to see why. They have grown from strength to strength since their explosion onto the Dublin live music scene with a stretch as residents in Whelan’s in 2010 followed by a trip to New York to record their ten-track debut album with Marcata Recordings under the watchful eye of producer Kevin McMahon.
Their impressive portfolio of live shows includes appearances at Electric Picnic, Reading and Leeds. The band’s confidence onstage is evident and no doubt owed to their insatiable appetite for touring while also gaining experience by supporting the likes of Noel Gallaghar, The Black Keys (who they are often compared to) Albert Hammond Jr and Flogging Molly.
They have grown considerably as a live act since the first time I was lucky enough to see them in Reading in the summer of 2011 and that maturity was immediately recognizable as the band marched on stage in Monroe’s on Saturday the 16th. They seemed more sure of themselves than ever. It was clear that the audience were in for a real treat from the get go. Their shows play like their debut album, with one foot-stomping classic after another. It’s music that is impossible not to move to.
It was an intimate but loud affair and a perfect opportunity for Monroe’s to showcase their recently renovated Backstage Bar venue. The atmosphere was tense as Austin was characteristically giving everything he had while encouraging the crowd to get on board with him. For a while he seemed frustrated as it took the crowd a little while to adapt to the ferocious energy of the show. At one point commenting that “this is not a f**king funeral parlor folks, let’s go”.
He also answered a Smashing Pumpkins request from a drunk reveler by suggesting “how about I smash your pumpkin” and “if it helps I thought briefly about Billy Corgan while writing this next song”. The request was handled in a professional and mature manner and the band continued unfazed thrashing into ‘Black Keys’, one of their well-known hits from debut album Marcata.
The atmosphere was reminiscent of a punk gig due to the intimate layout of the bar and the up close and personal attitude of the band. There was tension in the air but it wasn’t necessarily a bad type of tension. The result of the experience being either positive or negative was completely dependent on the audience’s willingness to drop everything and get on board the roller coaster ride that The Minutes were offering. Thankfully everyone did just that and the gig ended with Austin perched high and mighty on a table surrounded by a legion of fans both new and old.
At that climactic stage Monroe’s newly renovated sound installations became more apparent than ever as the band played ferociously within inches of us and they sounded just great. We were given a demonstration of Monroe’s strong capabilities as a venue and together with the Roisin Duch it is easy to see just how important the two venues are for showcasing young upcoming Irish talent.
Everyone seemed more than pleased with what they had got in return for their entrance fee and, for me, every time I see these guys they leave me wanting more and more.