Live Review: Abbe May, Particles

9 March 2018 | 5:28 pm | Mick Radojkovic

"No matter what you fuck up, I fucked it up more than you ever could."

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A night of powerful, energetic rock would fill the Lansdowne on a Thursday night. Whether it was planned, or a lucky coincidence, some of the best moments on the evening of International Women's Day were provided by a couple of very talented women.

Particles, consisting of two, make enough noise to be four. It's easy to be a tight unit when there are only two of you, but the combination of Dan D'Arcy (guitar and vox) and the hard-hitting Skarlett Saramore (drums), feels like a perfect match. They ripped through a set of pure, boundless grunge, that made us feel like we were in 1998, not 2018. Ex-She Rex member, Saramore's drumming stands out in a joyously retro rock set.

The latest album from Abbe May (eventually) titled Fruit, was a rediscovery of pop tinged rocked after a life-changing seizure four years ago that served as a wake-up call to slow down and take stock of life that can be so precious. The music may have changed, but May has not. Still prodigiously talented on the guitar, still honest and real with her lyrics and still, with a cheeky grin, able to ooze charisma.

We are treated to a huge chunk of the new album. Like Me Like I Like You starts the set, Love Decline and Make Love Not Sense continue it. The compact, but enthusiastic crowd, dance awkwardly, because it's not always easy music to dance to. It's OK though, because there is no judgement or inhibitions tonight. We learn that Bitchcraft was the original title of the album, but those pesky record label people kiboshed that.

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May is friendly and personable all evening, sharing the tale of her seizure and informing us that, "No matter what you fuck up, I fucked it up more than you ever could." It's brazenly honest, but it helps us connect to someone that doesn't hold back on stage.

Old songs are thrown in too. A Blackout in your Town is a highlight as May shreds a killer guitar solo, whilst TROUBLE is a crowd favourite. She is joined on stage by a drummer and bassist/keyboardist who support solidly all night, but all eyes are on May as she finishes a perfectly rounded set with Ginuwine's Pony. The sexiest version you'll ever hear.