Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Live Review. Academy Dublin. 11/3/13

Shot of band
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

BRMC are at a stage in their career where they could play for two hours and each song could be one of their ‘hits’.


BRMC are also at a stage in their career where they can sell-out venues and play sets filled with unreleased tracks.


Specter At The Feast is released worldwide on March 18th, the entire album is now stream able via their website. However the vast majority of the Academy’s sell out crowd had only heard single ‘Let The Day Begin’ from the album pre-gig. By 11 pm Monday that all changed with everyone having heard live versions of most of it.


Specter At The Feast may prove to be an album chock full of epic neo-psych jams and great soulful ballads but to fill a set with these yet unheard tunes on a paying audience is quite sybaritic.

Let The Day Begin – BRMC (The Call cover)

click on above link to hear new single

Punters paid €25 for a ticket to hear BRMC in all their glory, what they got was a band being wildly self-indulgent. Mere fans can hardly dictate set lists after all, it is part of the ‘show’ being paid for, but paying customers could at least expect something familiar.


Peter Hayes, Robert Been and Leah Shapiro make up the trio that is BRMC and at stages they combined to create well-crafted noise. Whatever Happened To My Rock And Roll and Beat The Devils Tattoo provided much needed visceral drive into a pretty static evening. More often though during the near-two hour set The Academy was filled with vacuous drivel.


BRMC played 22 songs 8 of which from the yet released Specter At The Feast. To further indulge Robert Been covered Bob Dylan’s Visions of Johanna, which not only sounded strained, void and dull it lasted for 8 minutes more than it should have.


Some of the new material had promise set opener was the new single from Specter At The Feast (a cover of Robert Been’s father’s band The Call) Let The Day Begin, which is typical of BRMC’s recent sound, loud, primitive but strangely sensual. Lullaby a drifting sonic number felt at home within the set, Rival ambled and screeched confidently like only a BRMC number can but many of the tracks did little but dampen a crowd that at times felt it longed for more familiar noise.


Another frustrating facet was how at times (when Ain’t No Easy Way and Berlin were played) during the performance the band seemed primed to take off to the heady heights of the past. Unfortunately though these glimmers were punctuated with moments of genuine gloom.


The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are no stranger to these shores and at one impressive gig in the now defunct Dublin venue The Ambassador in 2007, they played Dirty Old Town to a very happy/loud/sweaty crowd. In December 2010 BRMC played a set full of old hits and tracks from their album released 9 months previous. Which would help explain the joyous occasion that gig turned out to be.


However this Specter-At-The-Feast-BRMC is a mellower beast. Two-hour sonic assaults seem like a thing from their past. Which for all present on Monday night was a genuine pity.


Whatever Happened To My Rock and Roll??????????



Let the Day Begin (The Call cover)


Hate The Taste

Beat the Devil’s Tattoo

Whatever Happened to My Rock ‘n’ Roll (Punk Song)

Ain’t No Easy Way


Love Burns


Screaming Gun

Conscience Killer

Visions of Johanna (Bob Dylan cover)

Teenage Disease


White Palms

Funny Games

In Like the Rose

Weight of the World

Six-Barrel Shotgun

Spread Your Love


Sell It

Lose Yourself

Check out BRMC here:

and here:




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