Thursday, 31 May 2018

Photos: Just Mustard @ The Bello Bar with Hot Cops & L'arry

Just Mustard - Bello Bar Dublin

Photos: Sarah Ryan

Info: Last Saturday night in The Bello Bar, Dundalk five-piece Just Mustard played their Dublin album launch show for debut LP Wednesday, presented by their local label Pizza Pizza Records, to a packed out house with support from Belfast's Hot Cops and newcomers L'arry. It was probably just me personally but the atmosphere in general (as I'm sure it was everywhere given the day that was in it) felt a bit tense at the beginning of the evening, we needed relief and distraction. L'arry opened up and executed a classic slowly slowly catchy monkey set. 

I was looking forward to seeing Just Mustard's Dundalk neighbours for the first time as I'd seen them pop up frequently online over the previous month or so. The first three songs were enjoyable slow-burners, and I found the sound particularly resonated very well with my inner love for old school US slacker-rock. I was enjoying my zoned-out slumber when they started to ratchet proceedings up in the second half and lead-singer Joey Edwards shifted from low tones to high to close out their set and leave you with a lovely rock-tinged finale. There are two sides to L'arry's coin, and both are shiny.

I've been to a number of local music festivals in Dublin since I last saw Hot Cops perform at the start of 2017, anytime I met a musician from Belfast or someone I thought might be in the know I enquired about any news on the band, things went quiet for a while, I got worried. These guys have been one of my favourite Irish bands since for ages. Everyone was stum. Out of seemingly nowhere they were playing on this night too, and I was overjoyed. Two big highs for me on the night overall were when they played 'Dumbbo', and my favourite HC track, 'Passive Passive', this is all the best parts of my adultescence, my never-ending love for Weezer / Pavement / Hot Cops all rolled into one track. "And I think I'm getting better...and it's great to be deluded."

Hot Cops
Hot Cops

I've been a bit obsessed with Wednesday since it was released, the days where I don't listen to at least one track ('Deaf' is the current choice du jour) or the whole album are rare. So I was very much looking forward to hearing it live for the first time in its entirety. Naturally cynical as I am and pre-disposed to embracing disappointment, I just knew I was going to be 100% satisfied by Just Mustard's set on the night weeks in advance, I embraced this unnatural assuredness of happiness, and it turned out I was right too. I've mentioned before how you go into a Just Mustard gig, no matter what your mental state, you are destined to be under water before you know it, it's a trance, and the more times you see them live the quicker the trance kicks in. 

When they played their singles such as 'Pigs', 'Deaf' and 'Tainted', a part of my brain jolted me to acknowledge recognition momentarily, but it was short-lived. The thing about a Just Mustard show is that you don't 'yay' at your favourite songs and clap, your experience begins at the opening song, and it only ends when the band's set is over. Live performances can so often be a showcase of recorded material, and this is fine and highly enjoyable, but when an entire set stands towering over it's individual parts, that is when a music fan leaves a venue feeling a euphoric buzz pressing down on their sternum, with Just Mustard it grows every time.

Hot Cops - Remy Connolly
Photo: Remy Connolly

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