What's On

Event date: 18/02/2020 19:30 Export event
Categories: Live Music


18/02/2020 19:30
£13.50    Buy Tickets


The Murder Capital are:
James McGovern - vocals
Damien Tuit - guitars
Cathal Roper - guitars
Gabriel Paschal Blake - bass
Diarmuid Brennan - drums

If you have ever seen The Murder Capital live then what will strike you most about
the experience is not the heaviness, the bleakness or the rage you might expect,
but witnessing a most extreme vision of tenderness. Their debut album, ‘When I
Have Fears’, recorded over the Spring with Flood (PJ Harvey, Nick Cave & The
Bad Seeds, New Order etc.), embodies this tenderness; it is a purple bruise on
the hard knee of the so-called post-punk resurgence. It is not a labour of love but a
struggle through love, loneliness and grief that now sits weightless upon their five
shoulders, not marching, but dancing, out into the cold light of day. It exists in two
worlds which oppose each other yet breath each other’s air, because ultimately it
is an album about accepting that which you fear, loving that which you hate,
feeling the excess that can only be found in isolation. The name, ‘When I Have
Fears’ acknowledges its own vulnerability, and was given very early on to ensure
that consistency of thought, and that beautiful arch in the narrative which gives
space for the purging of guilt and leads, ultimately, to its final cathartic moments.
Listening to how many places opening track For Everything reaches sonically
within the first ten seconds is representative of the album’s attempt to touch upon
“the whole spectrum of human emotion”. The guitars, like saws, sing to each
other, tenor and baritone; a chiming tambourine compliments even the methodical
and angry deep-set drums. ‘Not at all, not for everything,/ It’s not for everything at
all./ Not for everyone, it’s not for anyone at all,’ is so much more than just a smart,
slick trick of the tongue, because the poetic and sonic landscape of which it
speaks, and that which the whole album speaks, is both a mountain and a valley -
it really becomes both everything and nothing.

The music was secondary, and the ethos of compassion and ability to fully
understand one another always came first. “The last time we played through the
album we felt every second of those 6 months spent writing it and a lot of it is a
reflection of what we went through together.” Just to hear Feeling Fades, to
glimpse it, you immediately understand The Murder Capital’s insatiable need for
unity and empathy both to banish and beautify the crux of loneliness. We hear that
isolated voice searching out to sea, ‘And as the feeling fades away/ The tearing
streets create a wave’: it lurches forward with uncertainty over the resounding
bass that creeps slowly, slowly, and eventually catches up with a crack of those
chugging drums. And suddenly we have union, we are there running alongside
that voice, hand in hand. And, as everything falls in time and into place, we
become acutely aware of the present, and that present which the voice sings of,
‘the now elapsed round you and me’, is no longer a lonely existence.
You might be surprised to know that the debut album from that dark, twisted
Dublin quintet, The Murder Capital, is in all its boyish innocence and vulnerability,
a coming of age album. “When you get to your teens you begin to feel like you’re
playing catch up with your inner child. You have to dismantle all the shit that was
put into your parents brains and given to you.” A generational baggage handed to
us perhaps not consciously, but by virtue of blood and guilt, as explained in More
Is Less: ‘If I gave you what you wanted/ you’d never be full./ That’s the trappings of
your boyish mind/ Become unshakeable”. Something as small as questioning why
at six years old your hands were clasped in prayer, becomes a quiet revolution,
“and we’ve tried to dismantle it in the fact that we've been completely honest in
attempting to dismantle ourselves.”

It is an attempt to hold a mirror up to emotion, to pain, which for this group is quite
a specific pain; an unequivocal suffering as sharp as a shard of this reflective
glass. But by focusing in on this struggle it comes undone, unanchored,
deconstructed- but never diluted. It is simply allowed to float freely within the
soundscape, where it may become transformed as another harnesses it. The
same, but different- it is the cracked mirror. ‘Came home from somewhere,/
Somehow covered in myself./ Came home from nowhere,/ ‘Somehow now I’m
someone else’ sings Slowdance I, with its intense reverb, drone-like bass and
stinging atonal guitar. Its murky, anonymous and unsure compared to the elation
of Slowdance II, and even though the tracks bleed into each other, you can sense
it emerging from the pain, reborn as the cello sings and we enter the second half
of the record.

This relationship between pain and freedom is an important one. The suicide of a
close friend led not only to the birth of the band’s name but to the philosophy of the
entire record, “every single one of those lyrics relates back in some way to his
death”. Discovering the work of photographer Francesca Woodman who took her
own life at 22, was also a significant touch point. “The biggest impression her
work left on us was relating to the loneliness of her photos. That sense of being
completely on your own, but also taking solace in the beauty of the work as well. I
think we’d be lying if we ever truly admitted to ourselves that we weren’t afraid of
dying young. I think we push the boundaries at times. There’s something about
Francesca Woodman’s work that just takes control of that.” Listening to Green
and Blue, a track written immediately after discovering her work, you can hear that
isolation as each instrument seems to exist entirely in a world of it’s own- so self
aware. Lyrically too, its completely subjective. It's a song that can see only out of
your eyes, it blurs the background and draws a thick black outline around the iris,
gothic and indulgent.

If this work inspires within us a sense of self-reflection and confrontation, then the
album too came to realise itself, and in the most poignant way possible. One
member buried his mum half way through recording, and so was born the dark
grooves and tragic beauty of the record’s bravest track, Don’t Cling To Life. “Even
through everything that was going on we didn’t want to write a sad song, we
wanted to write a song you could dance to. Feeling grief and wanting to dance
through it, and feeling the rawness and emptiness of our own grief, because any
relationship that involves love is so specific to you.” And this quiet but violent
contemplation will eventually lead you to the sobered ecstasy that we hear in the
anti-chorus of Love, Love, Love. The final track’s words are weighted with their
own importance, they are sure, and the instrumentation is round and whole and
warm with the friction of the constant flitting snare, beating like a human heart.
Love, fear, hate, grief: it is not the fact of these experiences but their uniqueness,
that makes them universal. It is the knowledge that no one else is feeling how you
feel, and yet you all find yourselves huddled round that same small dignified fire in
the corner of the room at your darkest, coldest moments.
When I Have Fears is not black and white, it is a unique experience that becomes
universal simply through listening, tethered together by an unbreakable
Not black and white, but three anonymous bodies, cloaked and embracing in a
pallid, grey-beige.
It is everything and it is nothing.

“The Murder Capital are more than a punk band, and in a league of their own.”
Loud & Quiet

"An album just waiting eagerly to be a classic."

“"a band gearing up to scorch the earth around them... a fierce debut"

"A debut album of raw potency."

"One of the best debuts for some time."

“The Murder Capital are outrageously exciting live. The young Dublin quintet’s
brutal art-punk rock is thrilling on the edge of terrifying: new year fireworks in a
metal tent. They make the brutal beautiful.”
The Guardian

“Their audacious debut album illustrates The Murder Capital are already a killer.”
Long Live Vinyl

“The Murder Capital are one of those most oddly entertaining prospects – a punk
band that can truly instill can’t-look-away levels of captivation.”

“Cacophonous noise and stage theatrics that could make them stars very, very
DIY on Eurosonic
“The Murder Capital are as unstinting, honest and vicious as you’d expect the next
great punk band torn from the streets of Dublin to be. They see the bar, clear it,
and raise it dauntingly high.”
Discovery, The Line Of Best Fit

“The Murder Capital emit a passion that will turn heads, but importantly they are a
voice with something to shout about, and that could truly cement them as
something to cherish.”
So Young

“If you’re into your post-punk brutal and bolshy, The Murder Capital have got you
sorted. The Murder Capital as one of those most oddly entertaining prospects – a
punk band that can truly instil can’t-look-away levels of captivation.”
NME Hot 100 For 2019

“As with any new band, the question always comes down to whether they can be
just as sharp and thrilling when it comes to studio recordings, and today The
Murder Capital give us the definitive and unforgiving affirmative on their debut
Track Of The Day, The 405

“A group whose live shows and sessions have (rightly) been garnering much
attention… the soundtrack to your Friday night.”
“Ireland’s best new band?”
The Irish Times

“Surging like waves and creating the same nervous, edge-of-your-seat
atmosphere that their live shows have been so well spoken of for… beautiful
NEU Pick Of The Day, DIY

“A brooding beat and a menacing bassline, The Murder Capital have delivered
the goods.”

“Not just a band primed to rip your head off, but to make you throw shapes.”
Dork Hype 2019

“Furious, bellowing Irish punks who would beat you in a staring contest.”
DIY Class Of 2019

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