The bizarre weather continues on a Friday evening in Dublin having been a tropical 14ºC the previous day we were not down 6ºC with strong winds on the way and a definite chill in the air. But that’s pretty irrelevant as to what’s going to happen inside the venue tonight, we are here to catch a band that I’ve been a big fan of for more than 30 years, bloody hell that sounds crazy, but at the same time brings that warm glow of anticipation as you wait to hopefully hear some of your favourite songs during the set.
The show is opened by a 3 piece punk/rock band from Dublin, and they put in a really enjoyable set, with two lead vocalists it certainly lended a different vibe to the sound, and as it worked really well it also seemed to go down well with the assembled crowd, although at this stage the crowd wasn’t large. These guys just powered through their set, hardly any talking, and it meant I didn’t even catch their names, but they wanted to get through their songs, and that was a nice work ethic, hopefully will catch them again soon and put the name thing to writes, good start to the night.
After a fairly quick stage setup change it is time for the main act of the evening, having not played Dublin for 5 years it’s great to see the guys back, and it’s no surprise to hear so many difference accents in the crowd. The couple on one side were over from Sweden for the weekend, on the other German fans and a fair smattering of accents from across England as you would expect, one thing is for sure NMA fans remain as fervently passionate about the band and the music today as they have always been.
“The Family” is still strong, as you look back from the stage there are still fans standing high in the air on top of each others shoulders, the moshpit is still active, perhaps not as much so as 20 years ago, but still plenty of movement, and it’s really the singing that hits you mostly, some of the songs tonight are, as ever, being absolutely belted out, word for word, great timing and as a band you must love hearing this. Thankfully the venue has filled up quite rapidly as the time approached for NMA to hit the stage and the venue looks almost full as I take a glance around the room. The set tonight is really well balanced, not just covering the bands career but also blending really well together one song rolling into the next, and the tracks from 2016’s Winter album fit beautifully in the list, especially the wonderful title track. A smashing version of “White Coats” running headlong into the brilliance of “Better Than Them” would have been just about enough for me this evening to make it a night to remember, but add in a full on brilliant version of “Green And Gray” which as Justin mentions is very poignant at the moment capped it all off, just before running into a cracking encore including one of my personal favourites “Stupid Questions”. The band would need to be playing 4hr sets in order to satisfy everyone’s favourite songs in a set these days, and sure I’d have loved to hear “Poison Street” or “Smalltown England” but maybe next time, the guys do vary their sets more than enough.
Telling us that they will be back in another 5 years raised a few chuckles and plenty of “you’ll be back quicker than that” responses from the crows the band close the show with a pumping powerful rendition of “Get Me Out”. With the bands 40th Anniversary rapidly approaching lets hope that the guys manage to include an Irish date or two in the coming Tours, a full house, an enthusiastic crowd and a band still on the top of their game is always something to look forward seeing again and Dublin definitely has a love for NMA, long may it continue.
Have thrown in a couple of low quality phone pics and wished I’d brought along a decent camera on the night, all words by me, Stephen Brophy.
Burn The Castle
Drag It Down
A Liberal Education
Better Than Them
Too Close To The Sun
Today Is A Good Day
Green And Grey
Get Me Out