SharkWeek - maddens bar - antrim

Last Friday night I found myself sitting on a bar stool in a little pub called “Maddens” nestled in the heart of Antrim’s main street. On a night such as this the drill it seems is fairly straightforward, music on the Jukebox until around ten, until the resident DJ takes to the stage and entertains the punters with some generic “beats”, however tonight was not like any other night. Tonight saw the return of a young three-piece from Antrim that go by the name of “Shark Week”, with a point to prove and an attitude to match the mood shifted from the second the boys walked on stage. On a night like this words were never going to win over a highly charged and often rowdy crowd and this was realised very early on with the simple and almost nonchalant intro from their young front man and lead guitarist Milo Dunn-Clarke, “Hey we’re Shark Week and were here to play you a few songs…”, which was followed by Dick Dale’s cult classic "Misirlou" which blended seamlessly into Vampire Weekends international hit “A-Punk” which set the tone for an night of sheer adrenaline. The boys then really began to let their talent shine through, covering songs that bands who have been playing together for many years wouldn’t dare to even attempt. Songs that require such technical brilliance as Arctic Monkey’s “Fake Tales of San Francisco” and “Where Is My Mind?” by Pixies were covered without hesitation and with minimum effort, the rasping vocals of Dunn-Clarke practically shouting the lyrics, demanding the audience’s attention, not that he needed to as heads had already turned by this stage in sheer astonishment at the professionalism of these local lads. Each of the members had opportunities to show off their personal technical abilities, the bass playing from Andrew Burns in “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys, his brother Timmy’s drumming in songs such as “Hello Operator” by The White Stripes and Dunn-Clarke’s guitar soloing in “Foxy Lady” by Jimmy Hendrix, however the most impressive moments came when the boys brought all of it together, a personal highlight coming during “Fresh Blood” by Eels. Towards the end of the set came the debut of the bands first original song, “My Dog” a raw, blast of a song that would not have looked out of place on an early Libertines record, which shows that the music of the people is not always poetic tales of a broken relationship, but can be as simple as “My dog is better than your dog”. After finishing a blinding set, which got the entire bar onto the earlier vacant dance-floor, the boys closed with “Bullet In The Head” by Rage Against The Machine which received wild applause and chants of “One more tune!” from a very impressed crowd. Then in true “Rock ‘N’ Roll” fashion the resident DJ was forced to wait that little bit longer as the iconic bass line to “Reptillia” by The Strokes filled the room, forcing what seemed like the entire population of Antrim onto their feet for an encore.
These boys may have entered the stage to the declaration of “Don’t Believe The Hype” by Public Enemy, but after a performance like this it seems the hype is not only well justified, its only gonna get bigger.

Maddens Bar
Taylor Johnson
December 2012

(Timmy, Milo and Andy - their dog is better than your dog)

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