Little Green Cars gear up for the big time

This is the sound of a band on the cusp of major international recognition

Dublin band Little Green Cars, whose debut album, Absolute Zero, is out this year

Dublin band Little Green Cars, whose debut album, Absolute Zero, is out this year


Little Green Cars
Button Factory, Dublin

So far, so brilliant. Dublin band Little Green Cars is a picture-perfect example of how to do the right things at just the right time. Yes, their rise in profile over the past 18 months in particular (they have been around in one form or another since 2008) might be a confluence of luck, talent and strategy. But a work ethic of continuously pushing, shoving and improving the quality of their material has brought them to a point where their forthcoming debut album, Absolute Zero , has become one of the year’s most anticipated.

Added to this atmosphere of heightened expectation is a real sense that the band is on the cusp of major recognition outside Ireland: they were selected for the BBC Sound of 2013 list; they are playing shows at crucial industry events such as Austin’s South by Southwest and important US festivals such as Coachella; and the band are signing to US record label Glassnote, which has guided the likes of Two Door Cinema Club and Mumford & Sons to major crossover awareness.

There’s a lot going on, then, but in the meantime there is this sold-out gig to contend with (a show in the more expansive Vicar Street is scheduled for May), a bunch of braying fans at the front and – unusually for this venue – an attentive crowd at the back. The beginning is nerve-wracking: a fragile folk-driven four-part harmony tune that you fear will be drowned out by Friday night revellers is instead lifted to the ceiling by a quickly silenced crowd.

The incremental improvements in quality and appreciation continue. The band’s better-known songs – Harper Lee, The John Wayne , and My Love Took Me Down to the River to Silence Me – may have pleased the latter-day fans, but others (including The Kitchen Floor , Them , and The Consequences of Not Sleeping ) manage a similar feat of fusing familiarity (slivers of Nick Drake, occasional bouts of guitar-shredding) with a distinct sense of adventure.

Tony Clayton-Lea