Dublin punk outfit Chewing on Tinfoil started 2020 off with a sold-out show in one of Ireland’s finest venues. Hailing from the south-side outskirts of the city, the Tallaght lads have been releasing music and putting on shows in true DIY fashion since 2007. The band is made up of Anthony Clavin, Ben Clavin, Stu Daly, Westy & Niall Earle.
The set was compiled of songs from old classics to new work they plan on releasing this year, and it had the crowd bouncing around the room from the off. I’ve been lucky to see a lot of great bands in Whelan’s over the years, last night was probably the loudest and sweatiest show I’ve been to. It was a true showing of how healthy and vibrant the DIY scene is in Dublin and Ireland a like. Looking around the crowd I seen members of other popular bands from the scene there to support their fellow brethren.
Throughout the night the energy levels of the crowd built to a ground-shaking level, with no less than two or three people crowd surfing at one time in the intimate 450-capacity venue. Amidst the flying limbs and spilt beer, every face had a wide smile or was roaring back every lyric in ferocious fashion. In through DIY fashion mid-show guitarist Niall announced their next show (which will be in a smaller venue) and rallied for attendees to be quick to grab tickets at a cheaper pre-sale price and sell it out before official announcement.
Highlights of the night were hair-raising versions of songs like “Just Like Me”, “Let Me Let You Down”, “One Good Shirt” and “Charlene” which seemed to be sung in unison by every member of the crowd and probably the pub down the street. Deafening and chilling. Chewy (the crowds affectionate name for the band) are up there with the best live bands on the go.
Unfortunately, the night did end on a slightly sour note. As the band blazed into the mandatory encore, the crowd surfing level hit a dangerous high and led to a casualty at the front of the stage. Luckily the band were quick to call a halt to the party and get the crowds attention, to get care to the person in need.
This is always a possibility at punk/metal gigs but the part that people might not see is the overwhelming care and consideration this scene has for each other. The crowd quickly settled and parted a way for medical and security personnel to get through quickly. Even through the night people who lost their footing and fell to the floor are quickly pulled up by friends and strangers, checked on and then got quickly back to the moshing.
By the time I was leaving I could make out that the injured fan had suffered a dislocated shoulder and concussion. Thankfully nothing too serious in a situation that could have been a lot worse.
Even being slightly marred by this incident, I think everyone would say the night was an overall success and was enjoyed immensely by both band and punters. The punk/DIY scene in Ireland seems to be thriving and well heading into 2020. With Dublin, Belfast, Derry and Limerick offering up a number or world-beaters, and bands that would stand toe to toe with any international act coming through.
Keep up to date with upcoming shows and projects from Chewing on Tinfoil with the link below: