There are times that when you go to review a gig, you know it’s going to be good, you know it’s going to be great, and Friday was one of those occasions.
I had been looking forward to Best Boy Grip performing in Tinneys Bar since it was first announced, an intimate little gig where I could hear the guys perform in front of me as if I had just invited them around to my very own living room (incidentally, this is actually available to buy via the Best Boy Grip Pledge campaign website).
Best Boy Grip aka Eoin O'Callaghan, have been busy working away behind the scenes on the debut album which is due for release early September. Deciding to do it all independently, no agents, no promoters and no record company, Eoin has joined forces with pledgemusic.com, a website which allows the fans to fund a project, to ‘pledge’ money and in return giving the artist full control of their music. But on Friday Eoin took the 'independent' model to a new level. Sitting at a desk outside the venue, it was the man himself who was checking tickets and welcoming those who had come to hear him play. An indication of just how hands on Eoin is in his campaign.
Last week he received the message that the magic number has now been reached on the campaign, but it is still rising and going strong, which confirms that the album will now be released as planned. Reading messages from pledgers gives a good indication of just how far his music is already travelling, with Hong Kong now on the receiving end of Best Boy Grip fever.
Recently Eoin has been getting a lot of airplay not just in Northern Ireland, but also in Mexico who have been going mad for Sharks -that's the song, not the fish. With the Music City festival he was a busy man, playing live on Radio Ulster nearly every single day not to mention the handful of gigs the band were performing throughout the town.
But an intimate crowd of around fifty people on Friday night were treated to a performance worthy of Glastonbury this weekend. It’s just a matter of time before Best Boy Grip follow in SOAK’s footsteps in becoming another one of Northern Ireland’s famous exports, and continue the trend of Derry as a city punching above its musical weight and reinforcing why we are known as ‘Music City’.
Prior to the gig, we had already been treated to ‘Sharks’ and ‘Cops’, which were available as downloads and teasers in regards of what’s to come on the new album. However going through the set list, song after song was strong and more than worthy to be included, and I for one cannot wait for September 7th to come to grab my copy of what will be one of the must have albums of the year.
Tinneys Bar Friday, 26 June