By Alexandra Rosbotham, Arts and Entertainment Editor
Friday 4th March, Bangor’s own The Florentinas hit the stage for their first headline gig at Ulster Sports Club. The excitement in the venue was palpable, with friends, family and local music scene enthusiasts alike showing up for the sold-out gig.
With support from Casual Riots, their usual high energy performance set the perfect tone for the evening. Lead singer Luke Baxter’s enthusiasm and energy is unmatched and really helped loosen up the crowd before The Florentinas hit the stage. They played their released singles – “Caramel”, “Don’t Choke” and “Virtual Reality” whilst also impressing with some new tunes and some great guitar solos from newest addition to the band, Corey Neilly. Casual Riots never fail to impress any time they perform live and are definitely one of my favourite bands in the Belfast music scene at the minute.
With the crowd feeling energised and anticipation building for the main act, The Florentinas took the stage as the crowd erupted into cheers of support for the four lads.
What the band had in store was an incredibly impressive set that certainly did not disappoint. With some great lighting choices and the intimate setting of the upstairs of Ulster Sports Club, it really set the tone and vibe of the evening. With a nine-song set list laid out, The Florentinas set off with “Intro/Cars” before moving into “Colours”. Next came “Sandcastles” – their first official release available on streaming services. The energy in the room was electric as the crowd sang along in accompaniment to Paddy’s strong vocals. It was in moments like these, that the pride and joy felt by both the crowd and the band was palpable. The musicianship and skill of the Bangor four-piece shone through sounding effortless and made it a remarkable first headline gig.
Lead singer Paddy was sure to let us know that we were in for a treat as we continued on through the setlist which included first time performances of unreleased songs which they effortlessly transitioned between, drawing the audience’s attention to each of the members incredible abilities – which they deserve to be recognised for.
Like all good gigs the night eventually came to a close with Paddy, Jacob, Luke and Jakob finishing out with none other than “It’s Not In Vain”, their most recent release. With such a soaring guitar riff and punchy drums The Florentinas once again had the crowd in their hand singing along, creating a fantastic energy within the room that is definitely a moment to be remembered by everyone that was in the room.
I’m so glad I was lucky enough to attend this sold-out headliner, hopefully the first of many more to come! The four piece have a fantastic stage presence with the skills and abilities to back it up right across the board, it’s not surprising that they’ve garnered so much attention of late. It truly was an impressive way to kick off the year for the Bangor band and if it’s anything to go by, it will be a fantastic year ahead for the four lads.