The Strypes stopped off for a small London gig to promote their debut album, Snapshot, which is released this week. The quartet whose oldest member is only 17 are rapidly hitting the headlines with their blend of 60’s blues and 70’s pub rock. They are supporting The Arctic Monkeys on their upcoming UK tour. The band originates from Cavan in Ireland where the members started jamming around numbers based on their love of Rhythm and Blues; before touring around Irish gig circuit to pick up a following. The band have already appeared on Jools Holland and played an energy packed set at Glastonbury this year which exposed them to a larger audience.
Enter the band, in dark fitted suits and lead singer (he also plays a mean harmonica!), Ross Farrelly, wearing his usual dark glasses. The initial sound mix takes a few songs to get sorted out, the bass is too high in the mix with the guitar just audible, but once this is corrected and the band’s confidence has grown the place really starts to rock. The musicianship and stage presence from guys so young is just amazing. Their energy and enthusiasm for the music they are playing quickly spreads around the buzzing audience. The set consists of all the tracks from the debut album (a majority of which are self-penned) plus a great cover of Dr Feelgood’s “I’m a Hog For You Baby”.
The audience is a strange mix of teenagers and old gits, like our reviewer, who remember and love this style of music the first time 'round. The stand-out tracks for me were “Blue Collar Jane”, “Perfect Storm” and the Bo Diddley cover “You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover”. The songs are short punchy and powerful. Bass player Peter O’Hanlon and guitarist Josh McClorey move round the stage constantly jumping onto the drum kit stand where Evan Walsh keeps the beat together. On one number they even swap instruments; is there no limit to their young talent?
It’s great to get to see a band of this intensity in a small venue before the “word is out” and they are playing at the O2. It will be interesting to see if their energy and enthusiasm is so easily translated in the larger venues they are likely to play in the future.