Review by Chantelle Frampton
New Pagans made their Belfast debut on Friday to a full crowd in the Empire. My first impressions? A mixture of Hole with Karen O esque vocals and a whole lot of stage presence. What a blinding debut show that tantalised the anticipation for what these guys will bring to the Belfast music scene.
The main headliners made their way to the stage and opened with the track ‘Bloody Soil’. As soon as they entered the stage it was obvious they meant business. They sailed through their set with ease and poise as every single band member was incredibly talented in their own field. The band state Sonic Youth as one of their inspirations and this was rife throughout their tracks.
Each track they played was engrossing as everyone in the room was fixated on the guys in front of them. Their seven-track set consisted of a range of their recordings including ‘It’s Darker’ and ‘I Could Die’. After weeks of listening to these guy’s I was praying they would play their arguably most well-known track ‘Ode to None’. I was relieved to hear the Alt-J esque opening riff accompanied with the vocals “You don’t have the answers…” They absolutely smashed the track as the crowd was singing and swaying along.
New Pagans went on to sing an untitled new track towards the end of their set which further teased their plans for the year before finishing the night with the much loved ‘Lily Yeats’. This song was like a Hole and New Pagans hybrid; which is amazing. The opening riff with the heavy bassline was not only exciting but perfectly executed.
New Pagans gave it their all on Friday night. The night featured three very different acts but they all perfectly complimented one another. The headliners took to the famous Empire stage with so much effortlessness it was difficult to believe this was their first Belfast show. It is always cliché to say these guys are ones to watch but in this case, there is no other phrase to describe the night.