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SUDDYN Radio City launch-gig 25/10/07

Radio City launch-gig 25/10/07
By Angela Macari-O'Looney

On October 25th, I made my way into town to see for myself, the band behind the new and exciting sound of 'Gravity', a new single which I had been listening to on-line. It was my first visit to Radio City and I felt a little conspicuous to say the least, walking in and buying a drink at the bar, all on my lonesome.

My guest was to be a colleague from Dublin Bus, Billy Fleming who does a bit of freelance journalism for many newspapers, a glossy Dublin Bus staff magazine, and is often heard voicing his opinions on many radio programmes etc. This evening however, he was to join me after a middle duty, to witness this band which I promised him, he'd enjoy. I wasn't wrong!

Just before Suddyn took to the stage, I was entertained by two extremely unique bands. The first of these were a punk-style band, playing virtual instruments. A weird and novel experience for me, but I had heard about it on T.V. This kinda thing however, makes me feel like a dinosaur since in my teenage days, miming or lip sinking or, for that matter anything that didn't amount to reading music and playing the guitar, piano or drums without your own sweat and labour, just wasn't 'Rock'n'roll.

So first there were these guys, followed by a very enjoyable and talented band. I wasn't comfortable though, until my companion joined me at around 10p.m. He walked down the stairs just as Alan, the lead singer from 'Suddyn' sat down at his keyboard. We took a seat closer to the stage, so that I could see all that unfolded through the course of the performance. I didn't want to miss a trick!

The first number 'War' began with this big dramatic piano intro. There's a sense of the classical about Alan's piano in this song. The whole sound is one of tragedy, with lots of minor chords used. I also noticed re-verb being used a lot for the chorus of this song.
The drummer did a lot here, really letting it rip. This guy certainly isn't a shy retiring type of rhythm section! That's for sure!

The second song was called 'Infanticide', and involved both Alan and Jarrett joining in the chorus. It is a lovely blend and they not only prove they're wonderful song-writing ability, but right there in Radio City, they had the crowd in the palm of their hands. The style of this number brought me back to Keane's gig in the point in July. This isn't just a song. It's an experience of the phenomenal! A good strong melody line, with a thumping beat, the impact on the audience was palpable. Alan did a fabulous piano solo, with such polish and style. 'Anthma', the combination of 'Rock' and epic 'Anthem' is addictive. Nobody could be immune to it and my friend Billy was awestruck by these guys, along with me. I noticed a lot of photographers about and supposed it had to do with the fact that this was a 'launch-gig'.

'Gravity' with its amazing, choral-style intro, was next. I absolutely love the 1st couple of lines of this song, sung by Alan and backed by just the sound of the drum, beating in an almost military- like time. And for me the experience of watching this ground-breaking number being performed live by these guys, who are well on the way to success, was better than I could have imagined. All eyes were riveted to the stage and every ear was tuned in to the familiar and unforgettable chorus. Just before the chorus in this song, there's this wonderful big build-up of three dramatic chords, then BAM! The finishing line is sung by an unaccompanied Alan, with an echo-style giving you the sense he's falling.

'Get me back alive' begins with a drum- roll, once again much like the sound of soldiers coming back from the front. Dramatic piano riffs, and long sustained minor chords give it that sad, tragic sound. The chorus has this sound running through it like a clock ticking and there's a lot of emotion in this song, in which I noticed the bass player getting a good solo. He's laid back but extremely good. The drummer's ability is just beyond expression, he's so brilliant. This song about war ends with the earlier sound of a lone drum- roll!

The next number of the evening was introduced by Alan, who mentioned that it was his Mum's birthday and she was here all the way from New York. He dedicated this song to her. I noticed the lead guitarist had changed his instrument for this one. Being fond of guitars I admired the 'Gibson' he now played. The Bass player also had a different guitar, and I noticed a difference in the whole sound as a result. Alan got up from the piano here and he came to the front of the stage. He was really playing to the gallery now and loving every minute of this wonderful, action packed evening.

He came right out to the audience, leaning one foot on an amp at the front of the stage in true 'Bono' style, and lamented the crowd with such passion and charm! There's so much confidence oozing from every gesture of this guy, who has star quality. There's a lovely gutsy rhythm to this number, with a really memorable chorus. That re-verb that I noticed is used in a lot of their stuff, comes into play towards the end. The name of this song is 'Erasing time' and if anything will never be erased from my mind. It was definitely one of my favourites of the night.

It's hard to determine my favourite song of the night though, since the next one has to become a number one, right behind 'Gravity'. 'Echoes of Angels' has a gorgeous haunting melody. There's a choppy lead-up to the chorus and although it's a love song, it has a BIG sound, with a throbbing, thumping beat that makes you come alive. This is 'hairs on the back of your neck' stuff! I got the feeling this song was not only my personal favourite. Alan sang it like he was in love with it himself. He really puts his all into every number, and I found it hard not to feel the same about each song I heard at this gig, as I knew he must.

'Remember this' is once again an Anthem. Slow, but with a sure beat just the same; it involved some rich lead guitar riffs, along with really ballsy bass sounds. This number appealed to the crowd and had a really catchy chorus.

'See thru me' was the next song of the evening and had a big drum intro. The lead guitarist took to the keyboard. A very talented guy indeed! Alan clings to every word of this song, embracing the mike as he gives it everything. The whole band were on a roll here and you got the feeling they were having a really successful evening, judging by their confidence and showmanship. The lead guitarist changed back to the guitar just in time for the chorus, bringing his expertise and multi-musicianship to the fore.

'Brightest Star' was the next in line. A ballad with a lovely tune and wonderful lyrics,
It begins with just the tap-tap of drumsticks, to keep it sublime and romantic. Alan's soft melodic voice in this number gives it emotion. The lead guitar takes a solo and it finishes with a dramatic piano crescendo by Alan.

'Throwing Shapes' is choppy with great guitar riffs. Alan has amazing energy in this one and there's a vibrant bit of bass. I love the bit of distortion used in the chorus, then you have this lovely slow and thoughtful middle-eight. You're brought back to the chorus with a big build-up. Then the whole mood speeds up. Alan did a few athletic looking jumps and there was a lovely little guitar riff, just before the end.

The band left the stage after this. All except for the drummer, that is. He played this amazing drum solo. The whole crowd are awestruck as this 'incredible maestro' covers every style imaginable, proving that he isn't' going to fade into the background as most drummers do.

The rest of the band came back on stage and they performed a number called 'Chain me'. This really reminds me of all my favourite bands rolled into one, U2, Radiohead, Queen, to name but a few. There's a cocktail of styles coming through in Suddyn's music.

But it's difficult to find comparisons, when they have such a consistent melodic and unforgettable programme. In this particular number, Alan uses the feedback of the amplifier to great effect. 'Chain me' has a huge piano solo with big arpeggios and a nice input of lead guitar to boot. Energetic bit of bass too! And in the last chorus, Alan goes up to a falsetto note.

On leaving this gig I thanked Alan, who was very friendly and helpful, for a wonderful evening. He's so full of charisma and magnetism, that I expect it won't be long before I find myself at another gig, re-living the unique and unmatchable experience of watching these guys perform!

Review written by: Angela Macari-O’Looney --

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