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Review: 2Faced, The Legendary Dublin Castle

Harry Armstrong on vocals. Photo courtesy of Discogs


26 October 2023

Tribute bands are awful. Grown-ups pretending to be rockstars, poncing about in costumes, playing lame-ass versions of hit songs, never quite as well as the original. Luckily, 2Faced are not a Faces tribute band; they are a band paying tribute to the Faces. Big difference.

Not for them a daft Rod Stewart wig and Britt Ekland’s underwear, albeit there are plenty of feather cut shags in the audience. And who’s to say whether they are wearing their girlfriend’s pants or not? I know I am.

I was lucky enough to see the actual Faces play live at the 1993 Brit Awards. Rod was receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award (seemed a bit premature at the time but in retrospect appears fair enough as he hasn’t done anything good since), while I was ‘working’ at the show, cable-bashing for the overhead camera (gathering in and letting out the electrical cable as the camera dolly moved up and down the track).

While diligently executing my role to the high professional standards employers know and expect of me, the appearance of Rachel Hunter, another of Rod’s squeezes – there’ve been a few, right? – just a few feet away from me set in motion a series of events that began the tarnishing of my hitherto unblemished career in television.

Eyes popped out on stalks, tongue lolled from cakehole like the Looney Tunes cartoon wolf. And my reaction was quite something too. My head collided with the arm of the overhead camera, causing a bump on my noggin and presumably a bump on the broadcast picture. Even the director couldn’t give me grief for nausing up the shot when distracted like that.

The band themselves were under rehearsed – very possibly not at all – and quite likely a few glasses of rosé in: missing cues, forgetting words. They were bloody brilliant.

(The ’93 Brit Awards also featured a hellfire performance from the freshly ascending Suede searing their way through Animal Nitrate to a bemused audience of old industry duffers – no punters at the event in those days – at ear splitting volume. Brett Anderson was twirling about in his nan’s best lacy bingo-night top and – I’d like to speculate – perhaps her undercrackers too. Was he the last of the magnificently androgynous British frontmen?)

2Faced perfectly capture the spirit of the Faces in all their tight/loose, brilliant/shit glory. Great songs performed by talented musicians; a nod and a wink to the crowd (a swaggering shambolic Pool Hall Richard); a smile on the lips and occasionally a tear in the eye (Ronnie Lane’s finest song Debris never fails to move).

Like 2Faced themselves and everybody in the sweaty backroom – will the Dublin Castle ever get the air con fixed? – I had me a real good time.


The Dublin Castle, birthplace of Britpop and ancestral seat of Madness, is a legendary pub and live music venue. An essential launch pad of movers and shakers in the pop and indie rock universe early in their careers – Blur, Coldplay, Supergrass, The Killers, The Artic Monkeys, Billy Bragg, Amy Winehouse, Muse, The Libertines – not to drop names or anything. "This room is full of mojo!" said Phil Jupitus, of the venue's undeniable sass factor.

The Dublin Castle, 94 Parkway, Camden, London NW1 7AN

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