The Pavilion must have thought this was a risky gig. Three producers/artists who haven’t released anything physical – two of whom haven’t even officially released anything at all yet, preferring to stick to demos.
But both Bantum and Toby Kaar are from Cork while Adultrock – the sideproject of Gavin from We Are Losers and Super Extra Bonus Party fame – has been slowly putting out quality demos on Soundcloud. So there was always going to be a few Cork heads out supporting their own, at least. It was also a late gig, something Cyprus Avenue tried in recent months but failed in attracting decent crowds. So you can imagine my surprise when at 1am, the Pavilion was heaving for Toby Kaar’s headline set. How did this happen – he hasn’t even released anything? Kaar’s profile has grown exponentially over the course of the last 12 months, mostly through word of mouth: if you’ve experienced his sets you won’t find a single word of criticism said against him. He obviously wasn’t expecting this reaction either – the few words he says to the crowd are accompanied by a complete sense of bemusement. But he thoroughly deserved this adoring crowd. The songs sound immense. Though mostly unfamiliar, the crowd greet each one like a dance classic. There’s encouragement throughout as well: down the front, in a beanie hat, one man constantly tries to get a handclap going to each song and on failing, shouts at Kaar, “It’s all yours man, all yours.”
Earlier, Adultrock opened proceedings to a much quieter venue. The songs are more in their infancy than Kaar’s tunes, but there’s still plenty to admire, with ‘Ripe Ripe’, in particular, taking on a life of its own when played live. It’s tempting to dismiss it as Kaar-lite, but there will be plenty more on offer once Adultrock grow up. Bantum, meanwhile, is the only one of the three who have released something approaching official, with a few EPs available for free download on Bandcamp. I thought he could steal the show from his fellow Cork man, surprising the ever increasing audience, but it never really materialised. He tried though, but maybe next time he returns, Bantum will have turned the likes of ‘Lay Lay’ into jawdropping slices of electronica.
Toby Kaar was never going to be overshadowed at this gig, and if 2011 was a great year for him, imagine where he’ll be at this stage of 2012. The Pavilion have to be applauded for putting on this gig: it was a risk, but a complete success. Check out the photos of Bantum, Adultrock and Toby Kaar below, which were all taken by Brid O’Donovan (more at Show Shot Share). Click on them to see them full size.