Hello Moon and The Great Balloon Race ::: The Roundy, Cork 05.10.12


The G-Man is quickly proving adept at putting on some great shows in Cork. Hot on the trail of Little X’s for Eyes and Yawning Chasm comes a double act in The Roundy. Local lads The Great Balloon Race shared the bill with Dublin’s Hello Moon to deliver a cracking evening’s entertainment.

Things kicked off shortly past ten when The Great Balloon Race took to the stage. Their unique jazz-folk stylings worked a treat and the crowd who ventured out and braved the elements on a wet and cold Friday night were treated to a storming set from the Leeside quintet. Those present were shown a masterclass in thrilling bass and storming percussion. This was complemented by not one but two saxophones (Tenor and Alto) that all combined to produce a delicious jazz stew. Highlights included a rather snazzy rendition of their song ‘Grog’. Specifically, what worked well was they mixed in their instrumental numbers to good effect without losing their momentum. The lads were onstage for just over an hour and they delivered an extremely tight set.


After a brief interval, Hello Moon brought their jangly power pop to the crowd. It was my first time hearing them live and they drove through their paces with some style. It was their first time playing Cork and they even managed it short a member (fnaar). If this is the kind of set they deliver when they’re shy a mooner, then I cannot wait to see them when they have they’re packing a full complement.

They happily informed the crowd that their track ‘new Day’ had featured on a ‘not very good’ Hollywood movie and the song went down a storm. They got the banter going well throughout and informed us that the G-Man was being especially demanding in wanting a one hour set from them. At no stage did their set feel laboured and their poptastic, guitar-driven foot stompers certainly pleased the crowd. They might not be used to longer sets but it certainly didn’t show.

All in all it was a fantastic night with the experimental noodling of The Great Balloon Race perfectly balanced by the fuzzy power pop of Hello Moon. Two acts for the price of one and not a dissatisfied punter in sight.