Live Review: Cash Savage & The Last Drinks, Mere Women, Jep & Dep

29 May 2017 | 4:29 pm | Chris Familton

"There was a relaxed intensity that permeated the set."

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Jep & Dep are on the downhill run to the release of their second LP due in August, making this a chance to hear a brace of new tracks alongside songs from their debut Word Got Out. As is their fascinating dynamic, the duo exchanged barbed, witty comments with each other and the audience before dovetailing into stark and dark folk songs framed by Darren Cross' fine acoustic fingerpicking and Jessica Cassar's high and lonesome voice which hung in the air with melancholic poise.

Mere Women are a band who've slowly built a strong reputation in the past few years with their three albums that showcase their engaging post-punk sound. Live, they met — and in some cases — exceeded expectations. Frontperson Amy Wilson is the human conduit into their jagged, coruscating sound where the drums stopped, started and tumbled, the bass provided the heartbeat and Flyn McKinnirey's guitar created washes of sound and urgent collisions of effect-laden notes. It was a big and intense sound but one that was wholly the sum of its impressive parts.

Cash Savage & The Last Drinks are still riding high on the critical success of last year's album One Of Us, and based on this performance the songs have become even more vibrant and dynamic than when the band first toured them upon the album's release. There was a relaxed intensity that permeated the set, the songs surging on with an ebb and flow as the band enjoyed the sonic ride in their slipstream. Savage is still the focal point, that resolute stare across the audience, the clenching of teeth, stalking of the stage and slow-mo ducking and weaving like a boxer coyly sizing up their opponent. There was both a menace and euphoria to her voice as The Last Drinks travelled the length of One Of Us, drawing power and passion from Run With The Dogs, Rat-A-Tat-Tat and the album's title track, just three highlights among many. A faultless performance from one of this country's finest.