ASIWYFA At The Cardiff Barfly

We’re pleased to report that the future is bright, and very, very loud.

And So I Watch You From Afar, Barfly, Cardiff 14/04/09

Having recently become aware of And So I Watch You From Afar’s particular brand of big, crashing, monstrous yet uplifting sound (one of our favourite kinds), The Fly was keen to track them down live and see if the reality lived up to the record. By happy coincidence, Barfly Cardiff was scheduled into their album tour, so we went along for a pint and a nice bit of apocalyptic ear thrashing.

The Belfast-based instrumental four-piece are in the middle of an exhaustive Irish and tour, stirring up the hype as they go and leaving a trail of new fans in their wake. Amongst the crowd in Barfly, it’s obvious that they already have their hardcore merch-flaunting devotees, and as the set progresses it’s not hard to understand their enthusiasm. ASIWYFA kick off with an unmercifully head-shattering intro before launching into "Set Guitars To Kill" from their recent double A-side release. Throughout the gig, their sound is flawless – all staccato, reverberating drums and atmospheric swooping guitars – and although to the uninitiated it could sound aimless at times, it’s actually all neatly structured and tight as you like. Highlights include new and so far unrecorded tune "S Is for Salamander", the dreamy force of "I Capture Castles", and an impromptu crowd chant-along to the Lynyrd Skynyrd cover they play on a request from a fan.

The band themselves come across as earnest and intense but with an infectious energy and friendliness that marks them out from the shoegazing masses. Upcoming plans include a tour with metallers Clutch and slots at ’s Pukkelpop festival with heroes The Jesus Lizard and the Nova Rock festival in . We suspect that despite the daunting prospect of playing alongside Nine Inch Nails and Metallica, ASIWYFA will hold their own. We’re pleased to report that the future is bright, and very, very loud.


- Megan Campbell, The Fly