gig review ~ more than conquerors & hurdles ~

More Than Conqueror's had the audience won over from the opening riff...

This week I headed down to the Cellar Bar in Draperstown, which as you can imagine is buzzing at the minute with Glasgowbury just around the corner. This was essentially a warm up for that prestigious festival, (which has pioneered some incredible local acts such as A Plastic Rose and Two Door Cinema Club) with two bands who will be playing the main stage, More than Conquerors & Hurdles. Can I start by saying just how good a venue the Cellar Bar is? For anyone who's never had the chance to watch a gig there, it's literally an underground venue with a real grungy feeling to it, almost Cavern Club-esc.  Small enough to put on intimate gigs, but big enough to retain that electric atmosphere thats became a regular aspect of local gigs in recent years.

First up were Hurdles, Belfasts newest Indie-Pop quartet - a group that have, quite remarkably, only been together for nine months. Already they're set is beautifully polished and incredibly tight. Niall Hanna's voice soared above jangling, upbeat riffs with a strong drum beat throughout - A bit like an early, atmospheric Strokes or even local heros 2 Door Cinema Club.  What sets these guys apart from the other plethora of Indie bands out at the moment is the emotional depth of some of their tunes - Songs like 'Paper Soldiers' and 'Where To Start' containing a fragility and emotional depth that very few bands ever capture fully. They also sound fantastic live, particularly 'Where To Start' as an opener.

 Then More Than Conquerors stepped up, with possibly the most effortlessly cool starts to any gig I've seen. One moment they were mid sound-check, the next lead singer Kris Platt plugged his guitar in and opened the fire exit, as he began to riff to his hearts content to the punters outside in the smoking area. Needless to say, as he walked back into view he was followed by a tidal wave of excited rockers - like a grungy pied piper if such a thing is possible. 
As things got underway More Than Conquerors were as strong as you'd imagine, incredibly loud, in your face rock - and they had the audience going crazy from the off.

They played alot of tunes from their upcoming debut album, which we're all excited about - they seemed quite raw, a bit heavier and darker than the self titled debut and even the Boots & Bones EP's - which has all new material on it aswell. 

The stand out tune of the night, and I don't wanna be stereotypical, had to be Go On, Go On, Get Out ~ it's got a lot of radio play, you can see why as it immediately sparked the audience into a frenzy. 'When The Well Runs Dry' also went down well.

The gig ended in this explosion of madness aswell, which saw Kris put the mic in the audience as Glen Kennedy from Glasgow based band 'Owls In The Antarctic' stepped up and started screaming with them on stage ~ A crazy end to a magnificent night. 

With both of these bands set to play the main stage this week, Glasgowbury looks set for two fantastic acts.

Review by Taylor Johnson.

Check out More Than Conquerors here;

& Hurdles here;

Hurdles performing their unique blend of indie-pop

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