Photos: Bríd O’Donovan
Trumpets of Jericho have been through a few different iterations over their time together but have remained a consistently outstanding band whether channelling a punk fury or a more synth heavy approach – their odd style to song writing is a most unpredictable beast. While certainly, in sonic terms, they have a sound that could fit comfortably with current trends, they’ve never quite slotted into a particular scene here. Remaining tantalisingly outside whatever musical fold Cork currently has or whatever category people might try to apply to them, theirs is a wandering muse, a foot half in the past lazily staggering about like a drunkard cursing the moon while the other leg seems to be a hyperactive wild child in love with the brashness of punk.
An old world style reminiscent of an Irish Nick Cave, or a Waits-ian acolyte, is prevalent, and this inherent Irishness, it must be stressed, is a genuine side to the band, both an assimilation and excellent understanding of innate sensibilities rather than the dreary culture of raping something like The Dropkick Murphys who are all pose and no poetry. Trumpets are boozy but smart, deceptively ramshackle – these are focused and tight songs tarted up in a reckless demeanour and all the more attractive for that very dichotomy.
‘Nothing to get up for’ acted as the ideal opener, a swirling aural nightmare of self-loathing, and debasement. The protagonist may question the lack of inspiration but the crowd certainly had no such doubts filling the dance floor and swooning to this take on twisted affection. Despite the harshness, one can still find a starry-eyed romanticism buried in the songs and it’s funny to note that if played differently, in a more straightforward way, these could be pub sing-alongs of a bygone era. However if that were the case, we would miss the dense aural fog provided by the band, which while taking in a Celtic vibe also incorporates a post-punk sense of menace and snarl, the synth lines winding in deliciously dark ways. The band can certainly rock out to great effect, however I find their way with a hypnotic melody far more appealing and in their instrumentals they display a great dexterity in conjuring a brooding yet seductive atmosphere.
The show had a nice additional element with fine support provided by Myles Manley, who despite a slight mid set slump, concluded on a rousing and energetic note, his flair combining with the Trumpets to provide an off kilter evening full of strange yet compelling lurches. One of the best bands currently working, let’s hope they continue to adhere to their philosophy of “Expropriated Eructation” in their songwriting future. Top “Brass” entertainment!