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  AIRBOURNE SHAKE DUBLIN'S FOUNDATIONS
Airbourne/Devilskin: The Academy Dublin
June 6th 2017


brian boyle
Words: Brian Boyle, Pictures: Olga Kuzmenko

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On what's now becoming like an annual pilgrimage to the Emerald Isle, Aussie hellraisers Airbourne roll back into Dublin for more rowdy rock'n'roll shenanigans.

Playing the supporting role was New Zealand four-piece Devilskin who since their formation in 2010, have continued to gain momentum, which has seen them twice hit the top spot in the album charts in their homeland. Led by the immensely talented Jennie Skulander they wasted no time in trying to get the Dubliners onside with a thunderous opening.

Along with Skulander's melodic and demonic pipes are a long bearded guitar and bass duo of Nail and Paul Martin and for forty-five minutes this fearsome looking duo assaulted their axes with cut-throat authority that made Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill look like Milli Vanilli. But the focal point was always Skulander who commanded every inch of the stage, even looking elegant necking a whiskey and then wolfing a banana.

There was even room in the set for some theatrics as she whipped out a dry ice gun and proceeded to unload on a captivated and willing audience. Her confident air hit a thrilling peak with the exceptionally brilliant 'Little Pills', so on this evidence the Hamilton bunch deserve top billing status when they next hit these shores.

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Let's face it, Airbourne are not a Tuesday night band but they are a drinking band playing a city where skulling copious amounts of Satan's mouthwash any day of the week is as normal as putting out the bins.

But bear in mind this is the day after a Bank Holiday, so there was no doubt a few lethargic bodies who over indulged were in dire need of a thunderbolt of a pick-me-up and if these guys can't provide that for you, the chances are you are clinically dead.

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As soon as the 'Terminator 2' intro tape finished, a shirtless Joel O'Keeffe and co raced out and launched into a relentless one two of 'Ready To Rock' and 'Too Much Too Young,Too Fast'. Those who weren't previously familiar with the Airbourne live animal may have felt like they were smacked square in the mush with a shiny new shovel. New songs 'Rivalry' and the innuendo laden 'Down On You' kept the good humoured Dubs baring their knuckles and went down as well as a robbed keg of Castlemaine XXXX.

Recently the Airbourne juggernaut suffered a slight slow puncture with the departure of guitarist David Roads but any panic was quickly averted with the recruitment of yet another riff tooting animal in Harri Harrison. For the best part of ninety minutes he and bassist Justin Street clocked up a serious amount of mileage swapping stage places.

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'Cheap Wine & Cheaper Women' saw O'Keeffe raise aloft a bottle of plonk, taking a glutinous swig then firing up a proper hard rock booze tune.

As a roadie had a whisper in a stage security guy's ear, you could guess what was coming up. O'Keeffe mounted the roadie's shoulders and went walkabout, riffing his way around The Academy before whipping out a Tallboy beer to tee up one of the greatest party pieces in the history of rock'n'roll. Forget Gene Simmons breathing fire or Blackie Lawless' pyrotechnic groin, Joel O'Keeffe is probably the only man on Planet Earth who can crack open cheap cans of beer with his skull and make it look classy.

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Lemmy tribute song 'It's All For Rock'N'Roll' drew probably the loudest applause of the evening, with O'Keeffe's attempts to introduce it being drowned out by loud chants for the Motörhead legend.

First encore, 'Live It Up', saw Ryan O'Keeffe do his usual air raid siren workout, then brother Joel tossed out half a dozen cans of beer to thirsty headbangers who were ordered to neck them in one. A pulsating 'Runnin' Wild' closed what was a thoroughly hair raising night of sweat and bullets hard rock.

The AC/DC comparisons continue and prob always will, but Airbourne are very much standing on their own two feet. There's zero sniff of pretention and like it or not, what you see is what you get. While a lot of their material could be described as samey, each song tonight was delivered with 100% honesty and blunt Aussie brutality and you can't ask for more than that.

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Airbourne setlist:
Ready To Rock
Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast
Rivalry
Down On You
Cheap Wine & Cheaper Women
Girls In Black
It's All For Rock'n'Roll
Breakin Outta Hell
No Way But The Hard Way
Stand Up For Rock'n'Roll
Live It Up
Runnin Wild

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More Brian Boyle right here...

8th June 2017





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