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Reemo (Rushin’ Man Launch) Whelan’s, Dublin. 18th January 2007

I was familiar with Reemo’s previous single, Who You Are/ Line – not The best title for a single, however it was well worth a listen and so I was quite excited to see them live, eager even.

But before Reemo, there was the Isohels (I had to ask a neighbouring listener for the band name, the lead singer a Blondie/Ashlee Simpson type with Courtney Love aspirations mumbled what I thought was Grease Lightening – unoriginal, but still better than Isohels) a chick rock blonde fest sashaying across the stage. Electric guitar, thumping drums (from the only guy in the band) occasionally a saxophone and a great keyboard (she looked like an original member of the Human League.) made for some really good tracks. The clanging guitar and bass seemed to be the focal point of the group; indeed the lead singer was the bassist and looked far more comfortable playing than singing. When she did sing, which in some instances wasn’t until well over three minutes of the track, it was low and mumbled – a bad Cobain impression. Occasionally, albeit rarely, when the music grabbed hold of her and she reached some audible notes she sounded like she could be the next Gwen Stefani, just before she plummeted back into Cobain.
All in all they weren’t bad, handled differently the tracks could be really good, they had a certain ‘je ne ce qui’ – that indefinable sense of momentum, that a new sound could be emerging. Considering that the girls were only sixth years and therefore have a lot of time to develop, I’d say they’re one to watch.

The first track Reemo played was my personal favourite, Who You Are, the optimistic soul searching yet strangely uplifting song that begins “Broken Soul, Broken Heart” that should by all reasoning be on a Shrek soundtrack and proclaims “It’s who you are that makes you a star” while a small child giggles in the background. All in all this is a very good start to a show, a real warm up, they played some more old material, including Turn – a track that frankly reminds me of H.I.M in parts, before getting on to the reason we’re all there – the new single, Rushin’ Man.

Rushin' Man, a catchy little number with a very steady, almost methodical beat feels like it could be the Doors mellowed out and chilling with Suede. This single shifts slightly from their pop-ier prior singer. The second track, Winter You (Forgotten You) is a slower, slightly depressing track, “Is it alright to cry?” The ahhhh seems to be reaching for a similar effect as Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah, but sadly doesn’t achieve it. As a whole the new single is a complete contrast to Who You Are, but lead vocal, Stephen Connolly manages to hold it al together and make it worth listening to. On stage he exuded a reassuring sense of confidence and general ease in the lead role and looked quite fetching doing it – I’m told he was wearing a Topman shirt, very fancy!

Their newest track, unfortunately not on the single is, In Cuba (Dance), this track is much more upbeat, as Stephen said it is a track to dance to. Don’t worry, they haven’t turned into Steps – this track adheres to The Blizzards style of banging along on the dance floor rather than the choreographed Steps. It sounds like them too, sometimes slipping back into Who You Are, until the bassist, Conleth Dunne comes in on the chorus with a slightly hammer horror “Ha Ha”, sounding deep and slightly creepy next to Connolly’s sweeter, lilting voice.
Here’s an interesting little fact for those of you interested, Reemo are obviously Pink Panther fans. During the set, there was a problem with the sound, so they had to stop and play something short. They did the opening of the Pink Panther theme tune which I’m sure you all know, “Da da, da, da, da. . .”

Unfortunately they only played for an hour, which was a shame. I would highly recommend giving them a listen, you just might find you like them. Enjoy.
If you want to lean more then check out http://www.bebo.com/grp/Grp.jsp?GrpId=1391127744&GrpTypeCd=BD

Review written by: By Grace Larkin. -- reviews@irishunsigned.com

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