The Riptide Movement have worked hard over the years to not only associate themselves with, but in turn become, a beacon for the never-dying spirit of good ole Irish Rock music. Invoking the spirit of Lizzy and co. each release has acted as a steady and determined stepping-stone towards something great. The most recent of these steps took the Lucan rockers to Vicar Street last Friday night to launch their new record ‘Getting Through’ to an adorning mass of 1,500 or so, die-hard fans.
With the venue close to capacity and the band ready to explode with a setlist jam-packed with shiny new material, the atmosphere was, if you’ll excuse the overused analogy, electric. Kicking off with the instantly recognisable crowd pleaser ‘Hot Tramp’ the crowd were unleashed and the stage was set. Ireland had once again scored the opening goal in the Rock n Roll World Cup. But then it happened. Enter stage left (or was that my left), a neatly matching four-piece troupe of backing singers and to the right an equally enthusiastic brass section. All of a sudden, the rough and ready rockers were engulfed in an homage to something not unlike The Commitments.
And when the collective talents of The Riptide are taken into account, the distractions flanking the stage seemed to be an unnecessary gimmick. A collection of hits such as ‘Thieves in the Gallery’ and ‘Hard to Explain’ taken from their critically acclaimed album, ‘Keep on Keepin’ on’ do well to feed the hungry revelers. But once the newer tracks are unveiled it all becomes clear as to why the band may have wanted to hide on a busy stage. Songs like ‘All Works Out’ (the current single) and ‘How Can I Let You Go?’ seem but a cloudy memory of The Riptide Movement’s musical ferocity. It seems that they are a band in transition and with a new major record deal with Universal Music you’d forgive them the odd experimental slip up (even if ‘You And I’ sounds a bit like something lifted from Aslan’s back catalogue).
Overall the band have done well to propel themselves from the days of busking on Grafton Street. But it seems that all their early efforts have left a positive and permanent mark. No matter where their all but certain fame and fortune brings them, there’ll always be a warm welcome waiting back home.
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