Out on a Limb Christmas Party w/ Rest, windings & Ten Past Seven

Photos: Simone Della Fornace

flickr.com/softblackstar

Out on a Limb Records celebrated an outstanding year with an outstandingly festive Christmas extravaganza last Friday night in the Crane Lane Theatre. 2013 saw the label celebrate their 10th birthday, taking over Limerick’s Dolans Warehouse – headlined by a reactivated Giveamanakick – and Bourke’s in the afternoon for a quieter celebration. Four LPs have also been released in a hectic burst of activity, with Crayonsmith, Rest, Hidden Highways and Peter Delaney all unleashing new work under the OOAL umbrella.

Friday saw Ten Past Seven, windings and Rest deliver a hefty amount of cheer to all in attendance, and a fitting lineup it was, label stalwarts one and all and evidently delighted to be sharing a stage with one another. A large crowd gathered in the hope of securing the grand prize of a box of USA biscuits (later to be nobly shared with everyone in attendance by the lucky winner in question) and secure in the knowledge that a stellar show was in store.

Ten Past Seven opened proceedings with their dense, meandering, hypnotic onslaught shaking the cobwebs loose for all and sundry. At times calling to mind the almost metallic grind, piercing feedback and good humoured nature of Shellac, this was forty five minutes to be savoured. It is heavy music, in every sense – the lads display commitment to and a real rapport with the music. Numerous stop-start passages build a real sense of anticipation for cathartic passages of coruscating riffs. There’s an album in its early stages (according to the Out on a Limb website), and this is one to look forward to if tonight’s showing is anything to go by.

windings up next are almost an anomaly on tonight’s line-up – melodic, (relatively) conventionally structured pop music sandwiched between two instrumental behemoths, but they more than hold up their side of the bargain. Cracking into a series of new songs previewing next year’s split release with Land Lovers, and an apparent new obsession with a flanger/phaser effect (not a criticism), they proceed to reel off a series of singles from the last two years that stand up to comparison against any domestic or international band that you care to mention. ‘The Hassle’, ‘This is a Conversation’ and ‘Something Outnumbered’ are beautifully structured pop songs that are a delight to behold. ‘Sun in my Bones’ is the real highlight of this quality set though, at once direct and truly melodic before meandering off into Crazy Horse territory with rambling guitar solos packing real heft.

It falls to Rest to round off festivities and they do so in style, bringing aggressive, doomy instrumental music that simultaneously packs in hooks that you will find stay with you long after their set concludes. After a brief ceremonial interlude to decide prize winners, a spectacular evening’s entertainment concludes with ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ and ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High’ mangled together into a deranged and lengthy full stop to the evening. Although it’s not a cut from current album Operation Impending Doom, it definitively concludes what is an authoritative display of the depth of talent this label has at its fingertips.

A final commendation must go to Ciarán Ryan and Richard Bourke for the Trojan work evidently gone into co-ordinating this event and keeping the label operational in a constantly challenging climate for such initiatives. Maintaining a consistent standard of output whilst delivering real festive highlights such as this deserve as high praise as one can convey through a medium such as this, and I for one am already eagerly anticipating next year’s edition!

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