Here at #TEAMw21 we have a soft spot for The Rising, having seen them in a few incarnations. They are rarely to be found away from a well worked out, hook heavy tune, that occasionally affords Chris Logan a chance to rock out or at least show his capabilities on lead or acoustic guitar. Being based in Northern Ireland puts them on the periphery of the UK's live circuit, and makes the traditional way of building an audience tricky. Live forays onto the mainland are an expensive gamble and a run of shows to properly support something are a potential money pit.
They therefore have to be inventive with their releases whether it be a single a month for a year or in this case making the most of a support slot with the excellent Sunny Sweeney at Belfast's legendary - The Limelight and turning it into a live release.
At first glance it seems a little counter intuitive, live releases notoriously struggle for sales and airplay, this EP also comes tagged as being a "Live Bootleg", straight from the mixing desk with no Thin Lizzy "Live & Dangerous" style overdubs, yet they just may well get the last laugh.
The format is pretty simple just Chris on guitar and Chantelle McAteer on vocals, however this is a special occasion, the groups first date at an iconic local venue and Chantelle grabs the audiences attention from the very off and keeps it with sheer enthusiasm and a batch of songs stripped of their production qualities leaving just the bare bones. It should be a recipe for disaster yet what comes out is probably a nice little show reel that may help secure that run of dates on the mainland.
The EP opens with "I Want You", Chantelle's outright declaration of love - complete with a singalong "do de do do"chorus and Chris hitting the acoustic for all its worth to bring out the inner pop qualities of the tune. The second tune "2AM Call", sees Chantelle throw in some long extended notes on another hook laden song - sung with a heartfelt passion and sense of frustration that sells the song admirably. There is a bit of stagecraft while organising the singalong for "Endless Summer" with the crowd audibly enthused to join in, much to Chantelle's delight.
Of the five tracks "Bruise You Left" is perhaps the least attention grabbing of the set, not that Chantelle does not give it her all however it is soon forgotten once the storming "Highway To The Lost And Found" begins - it is when The Rising turn into an Irish Acoustic female fronted Dr Feelgood if such a thing can be imagined - Chris all but thrashes his acoustic to extract all manner of sound, while Chantelle once again engages the crowd to provide some clapping percussion while using her last chance to power out her vocals.
It is a nice artefact that displays that this is very much an active live band as well as being inventive in the studio.
THE RISING RELEASE UNPLUGGED – LIVE IN THE LIMELIGHT’ - 02/02/2024