Engerica, Lapsus Linguae, Deadbeat Radicals and Purple Munkie Club Fandangos night at the Dublin Castle, 23/07/2002

Purple Munkie play punky, Pixies-like pop which didn't grab me immediately but built up in my mind as the set went on until I suddenly realised I was loving it. Switching from thoughtful to loud with a tense quality to the
set, they're melancholy but still energetic, and they do that songs-with-beautiful-moments-in thing to perfection. And their demo is stunning.

Deadbeat Radicals mix rap, rock and electronic - guitars, keyboards, biting-sweet female vocals delivered with stylised dance movements, posing and some serious dressing-up. The whole thing occasionally felt a little forced and didn't quite blend together - I'd like to see them with a more enthusiastic audience which might bring out showmanship more and get rid of the sense of things not quite gelling. But the music came through that anyway, and it's of the good. Should by rights be danced to crazily - but London doesn't do that enthusiasm thing.

Walking in on Lapsus Linguae mid-set was like wandering into some kind of crazed performance art - heavy on the melodramatic piano. If you took the members of Muse and drove them nailbitingly, Brad Pitt in 12 monkeys-esque insane, then poured a load of gravel into their music and strained the results through a child's music box you might get something a little like this - they both sound and look like they escaped from the set of a sci-fi film. Total class, really.

I missed most of Engericas' set due to the Bloody Trains, but saw enough to be able to confirm what most people seem to be saying: they're ace. A head-over-heels splicing of metal and punk, Engerica come across as chaotic and more than a little psychotic. Worthy headliners for a gig without a single dud band.