Day 3 of any festival is usually a bit of a struggle; luckily in the case of Hard Working Class Heroes a good sleep in a bed rather than a tent and a lie in means Saturday’s crowd were in (mostly) fine form. The weather, although a bit nippy, had cleared up from the torrential downpours of the day. Bring on the music.
First, to the Workman’s Club for one-man electro wonder machine Benny Smiles. Infectiously upbeat loops, guitar, and Bowie-esque vocals, with the occasional healthy dose of slap bass was warmly met by the crowd. Yet it was Smiles’ stage presence that really endeared him to those present. Informing us early in the set he had foolishly taken a valium to help fight off a flu; if he is this good when sick and under the influence you can only image how good he is when on top form. A definite highlight of the festival, how this guy isn’t already huge is a mystery. If the whole music thing doesn’t work out there is definitely a career in comedy.
As with most festivals of this nature, stage times were a rough guide rather than gospel so it was time to run over to Acrobat’s guitar based indie set at Meeting House Square. The main venue of the weekend, and certainly the one with the most impressive lights. It was a shame that all of the acts were let down by terrible sound conditions.
Over at the Button Factory, we caught the end of London based UK/Irish band HAWK. Led by the captivating Julie Hawk; they are a band of paradoxes, both powerful yet calm with a touch of kooky. One that needs to be seen to be understood. As crowds piled in for Cloud Castle Lake it was time to move on.
Next stop was the Workman’s Club for Carried By Waves, however due to delays we unexpected caught The Bedroom. The saucily named one man act’s experimental pop is probably not to everyone’s taste, but it can’t be denied he puts on an attention grabbing show.
After that, it was a quick dash across the Liffey to The Grand Social, where yet again stage delays and problems lead to Wild Promises taking to the stage half an hour after their allotted time. Relaxed performers, they were easily able to joke about delays and technical difficulties that could have destroyed the confidence of less experienced performers. Upbeat melodies juxtaposed with gloomy lyrics, it’s no wonder this four piece are creating such a buzz on the Irish music scene.
Back to Meeting House Square and there was just enough time to catch the end of the final returning heroes, Fight Like Apes. Bringing the festival to a close in their usual cacophony of chaos, you couldn’t wish for a better ending. Hard Working Class Heroes 2015 can’t come quickly enough.