Wednesday, 7 October 2009


Le Pub, Newport
5th October 2009

Famine are a band well capable of carving a path all of their own with a well crafted melodic sound and a lead singer that has a vocal style that is full of character and range. And you can feel their rich history in every note. It is no surprise to see that they have played with Have Heart and Verse (as Forging Friendships, who were the same line up) and they really do have the potential to fill the gap that these bands have left. I hope this comes across as high praise because these are big shoes to fill! They have a well connected record company for support (Hurry Up! ex Bridge 9 staff, I'm told) and I can see no limit to where Famine might go. The guitar sound is carefully worked, sometimes hanging and then it pulses.

Their tour with Frustration has taken in shows right across the continent and they have played packed venues (although the van broke down and they didn't quite make it to Croatia!). They have received kindness wherever they have travelled. Ian and Neal (vocals in both bands) told me that the scene in Poland (especially Poznan) is brilliant and it was interesting to hear that a Polish friend, who is working in Dublin, sorted out two of their three gigs. I'd not thought that migrant workers may have a part to play in adding to our scene here in South Wales! The more the merrier, hc is a global community after all! They tell me that the Dublin scene is strong with lots of young bands putting on a variety of gigs and then there are always the visitors to support. I see from flyers that Betrayed and Agnostic Front have played recently, Madball soon. Galway city is another option but it seems that Belfast is offering little at the moment.

Famine will now return home and write new material since a few tracks on their CD are older songs. Huge possibilities, the promise of it all is mind blowing. Frustration, on the other hand, are only nine months old and have already travelled so far. They already show an accomplished melodic style that paints a broad picture. They have a 7 inch to promote on their return to Ireland and I bet their friends will hardly recognise them! They will have grown no doubt and be a stronger band for this trip. Along with Famine I can see a Dublin sound emerging with passionate lyrics of city life to the sound of those power chords hanging in the air just waiting for the breakdown! I can see droves of us from South Wales on the ferry as soon as possible.

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