So on Saturday I made the pilgrimage to the Box Social in the alluringly mysterious venue of “Behind No. 236 South Circular Road”. Sure enough, when you make it to 236 South Circular Road, you are met with a sign on the door telling you, conspiratorially, to go round the back. Some secret business that can’t happen in front of the eyes of the masses.
Rather than instructions for espionage or something like that, however, there was a man taking a very reasonable cover charge and allowing entry into his shed. We’d missed Laura Sheeran, which was unfortunate, because when I saw her at the Joinery, every technological fault imaginable struck her all at once and stripped her (apparently very nuanced and interesting) repertoire down to a capella folk and one song on the acoustic guitar. Rumour has it she was excellent, though.
First act I saw was Ilex, who I was quite impressed by. The extra beat in an electronic bar can sometimes make all the difference, and I was regaled by the chance to try and count beats underneath some of her more complicated songs. Some kind of infinity-scope was also employed to project trippy visuals onto the wall, and this gave the eye something to do during the computer-based set, but to be honest, my attention wasn’t at risk of wandering. Every Ilex track brought something slightly different in terms of its basis, and repetition wasn’t a problem. The one with strings, I think, was my favourite.
There’s a free album available from her previous moniker, Fringe, but I haven’t got it yet, so I can’t give a straight recommendation. All I can do is point.
Hunter-Gatherer, late of the Analogue compilation and [....] came next. His set came from the same (former air-hockey) table as Ilex’s, but by now it was draped in a white sheet, and H-G himself was clad in a druid (or Gamesmaster) like black robe. The visuals for this set consisted of a slide show which was sometimes perplexing (Roman death mask? or what was it?) and sometimes far more fitting than words or kaleidoscopes could ever be (driving home at night). The highlight for me, either out of familiarity or some other reason, was ‘Left For Dead’.
I have to commend the boxers of the Box Social for putting on such events. This is my first, but I know it’s been on before and I’ve heard nothing but good things about those as well. There’s something heartening about people who just do it in Dublin’s music scene, without ulterior motives or any particular sense of higher purpose. With this, the Hideaway House, the Joinery and probably other relaxed, BYOB venues providing outlets for new music, we have to be going in the right direction.
((Picture from here, the Flickr of the man who also took the Dublin Duck Dispensary pictures for Analogue and (I think) put together at least one very cool and slightly nightmarish music video of knitted stills))
((P.S. I’m sorry for leaving my sampler in your Box Social, owners of 236 South Circular Road))