I first stumbled across Loris whilst listening to Across the Line on BBC Radio Ulster last year and after hearing them live at the Sunflower Fest in August then again at the Blackstaff Sessions I knew this would be a gig not to be missed.
Loris are a 3 piece electropop band headed up by the striking vocals of Frances Mitchell with Chris Scott on drums and Tommy Keery on electric guitar. At the menagerie they were joined by Michael Mormecha on keys.
Ryan McMullan took the support slot, offering a complete contrast to the headliners with his blues inspired acoustic folk-rock. This is the best description I can give, Ryan is one of those artists that you simply cannot and should not pigeon-hole. His music crosses varying boundaries as can be heard on his debut EP Listen. It’s abundant with catchy hooks, bluesy riffs and heartfelt lyrics. His soulful voice and indeed songwriting captivated the room, one to watch.
But this night was all about LORIS, with Frances giving a flawless vocal performance and Chris and Tommy providing that refreshing electronic rocky beat that you can’t help but bounce about to. It’s easy to listen to Loris’ EP and feel compelled to file them into the electropop box but when they perform songs like I’ve Been Quiet and Rush they bring alive the base elements of the drum and guitar riffs, it sets this band on a whole other level. Their performance, reflecting the rousing lyrics of every song, had the room pulsating but it’s Crazy that potentially contains all the elements one would expect of a chart topper. A great set from the trio (plus one!). You can purchase the EP here.
The Mojo Fury DJs closed the night but unfortunately 3 events in one day meant my bed was calling. Before I left I spoke to Michael, founder of CASSETTES PRESENTS to find out more...
“CASSETTES PRESENTS started with an aim, to create a platform for the best new musicians and artists on the Northern Ireland circuit: ‘Live Exciting Gigs, for people who love music’.
“The idea is fairly straight forward - build a community of artists, bands, creative, music fans who all care about great gigs. The end product on the night is a result of artists and bands being worked with to allow them to tell their stories/share their music through working hard on production & creating an experience in interesting ways in fairly intimate venues. It brings the opportunity for all types of headline artists to not just turn up & play another show but to get involved in these gig nights along with CASSETTES PRESENTS from the inception to the moment they walk on stage.”
The Menagerie provided the intimate venue Michael had sought. While it may look like a bit of a dive bar, especially to 6 glammed up ladies arriving in after a fashion show!, it does have a certain charm with no-one giving a hoot about what you’re wearing - although casual is recommended! With a sold out gig Michael has had a great start to his venture, I hope it continues to succeed as I plan to attend more of these gigs in the coming year!