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Eurosonic Review LaFaro's Performance At The Festival

"[Here is] so much better than where we're from. Belfast is a fucking shithole, more like a minefield."- Jonny

Thanks to LaFaro superfan Wendy boezer for translating this for us. Follow 'Full Press Article' for the original.

ESNS12: LaFaro: Belfast post-hardcore with disabilities.
Band shoots itself in the foot.

The forecast for the performance of LaFaro in Vindicat aren't too good, despite a good soundcheck by the guitar tech. There's a chair on stage with a wee pillow next to it and singer-guitarist Jonny Black comes on stage with crutches. The pillow is for his foot, of which only some tattered toes stick out of the plaster. 

Gig
LaFaro, Eurosonic, Vindicat, 12 january 2012

Music
Angry post-hardcore, punkrock and rock 'n roll. Helmet and Shellac aren't strange references.

Good points
Because of Black's broken foot (if we decipher his somewhat hard to understand Irish correctly) the band couldn't fly to Holland. So the Lafaros took the bandbus, which took them 2 days and now rightly gets them a round of applause. The bass player starts his second show with the band in Vindicat, but if Black wouldn't have mentioned this halfway through the show, nobody would have noticed. His mentality definitely won't be the problem. The drummer can't be thrown off the beat. No clicktrack, just banging hard in the beat in a crazy speed. As John Stanier was so important to Helmet, as essential is de force of this quartet. LaFaro is also quite a tight band.

Weaknesses
Usually then, because tonight something already goes wrong with the guitarist in the second song. The conclusion of his hasty movements and helpless facial expressions, is that the problem lays with the cable and it can't be solved with a whole set of new cables and fiddling. And neither within 2 songs. The rest of the band plays over it professionally, but it only reinforces the chaos. What also doesn't help is that Black talks a lot and with that is quite incomprehensible. Not exactly an uncompromising no-nonsense approach, which would benefit the hard music of the Northern Irish.

Conclusion
The Helmet adage, simple yet tight, also goes for LaFaro. In some tracks that is, because just like on their strong debut album "Easy Meat" the band jumps in too many different directions on stage. Post-hardcore with mean breaks is a thing, the mixing of punkrock and rock 'n roll is a choice. You can also choose not to do it. The drummer can't match Stanier, but Black is a better singer than Page Hamilton. If he is a better frontman, we'll have to decide on that when there's no plaster. On the base of the album we'd love to give the band another chance. And lets be honest; the other raging Northern Irish of And So I Watch You From Afar.. also knew some technical problems on London Calling and continued one and a half festival season to destroy the stages.

Grade
6.5

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