By Ray Adair
Last Saturday 25th featured an exceptional edition of Whelan’s Midnight Hour. The bill was filled by punk fusion acts Kate’s Party and Watch the Sky – two consistently hard working and much loved alt-rock acts from the Dublin scene. With a guest list for free entry and the first band hitting the stage at midnight, the venue was packed upon our arrival and buzzing with anticipation.
Performing on the upstairs stage, the crowd funnelled forward and the smoking area emptied out for Kate’s Party’s opening song. As a band who started half a decade ago in the form of an acoustic two piece, the now quartet explore elements of indie and garage while maintaining a decidedly punk undertone – self-described as sounding “just weird”. Playing through some new tracks, to the crowds delight, vocalists and guitarists Niamh and Sarah produced excellent stage presence, engaging the audience with witty anecdotes and hilarious disgusting tales – something all too often side-stepped by today’s live performers. Amidst spine-tingling finger-tapping solos, Kate’s Party continued to impress with crunchy classics throughout and finished with fan-favourite ‘Bike for Three’ – resulting in impressive crowd chanting and some severely joyous head thrashing.
Next to hit the stage were pop-punk alt-rock act Watch the Sky. Forming in 2013, the lads have been hard at work and at this gig it showed. A very tired frontman Jody who told me he had been “up since all hours” that morning, immediately sprang to life once the quartet thrashed through their first song. Impeccable timing and fantastic band chemistry shone through as Watch the Sky drew the crowd back in, cleverly mastering covers of pop-punk anthems ‘Sugar We’re Going Down’ by Fallout Boy and ‘In Too Deep’ by Sum41 – needless to say a decision which drove the crowd insane. Engaging with their audience, and treating them to ear-exploding guitar solos, Watch the Sky had every last person clapping along in time and finished their set with crowd-pleaser ‘All I Know’ – a very good decision indeed.
Overall the show was a raging success, featuring different blends of punk-fusion genres and high energy performances. Merchandise was available for sale and drinks were flowing throughout the night. If you haven’t caught these act lives yet, there may be something wrong with you. Kate’s party are due to embark on a UK tour starting on September 4th, and Watch the Sky have yet to announce their next show – so keep your eyes peeled for your chance to witness some of Dublin’s alternative scene’s bests in the coming months.