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Chris joins Bipolar Empire on stage in Dublin


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EXCLUSIVE: Muse man joins Bipolar Empire on stage in Dublin

Hot Press got to speak to Chris Wolstenholme after his Workman's Club guest appearance.


We were gagging to tell you beforehand but, hey, we were sworn to secrecy! Dublin band Bipolar Empire were joined on stage on Monday night at The Workman’s Club by Muse bass-player and sometime Dublin resident Chris Wolstenholme who performed the last two songs with the chaps.


Ann Sexton not only got to witness this little slice of Irish rock history, but also spoke exclusively to Chris after the gig while Graham Keogh snapped away. Here's her report...


Taking the stage, Bipolar Empire are zinging with energy. And well they should - it's not every day you get to share the limelight with an indie legend. Well, not unless you're Matt Bellamy. Tonight Mr. Chris Wolstenholme, bassist with Muse and a gentleman more used to playing to hordes of screaming fans, is the band's special guest.


The Workman's Club is heaving for a Monday night, and it's probably fair to say that a good number of the audience are here to get within spitting distance of a rock star. As Bipolar Empire open their set, a palpable air of excitement goes through the crowd, wondering where exactly Wolstenholme is.


Singer Shane O'Reilly is an engaging frontman with a voice that switches effortlessly between quietly emotive and a stadium-worthy roar. The songs move between chugging rhythms, solid hooks and psychedelic overtones, and tracks such as 'Only Darkness', 'Open Your Mind' and 'The Wire' all receive enthusiastic response.



Saving their best-known songs for last, Wolstenholme joins the band - playing guitar! - for their singles, 'Tempomanic' and 'Feel That You Own It.' While Wolstenholme may be the special attraction, the crowd sing along word for word.


Like many things in life Wolstenholme's presence is a case of who you know, not what you know - his appearance was arranged by a mutual friend.




"It started as a bit of a joke," Wolstenholme tells Hot Press afterwards. "But then I thought it would be quite a good laugh to do something different. I've not played guitar in a band for years. With Muse it's great, it's my passion in life, but it's great to do something like this as it's a bit less pressure."


Less pressure? What with everyone staring at you?


"I was shitting myself!" he laughs. "Playing with a different band, playing a different instrument and playing a small venue as well!


"When you play in a bigger venue you get further and further away from the crowd, which sometimes makes you a little more comfortable. You don't feel that people are that focused on what you're doing because you have that distance. But it's something that you miss as well. It's nice having people up close because you can see their faces and see what they're experiencing, but it's very nerve-wracking as well."


Having run through the songs just twice with the band before taking the stage, Wolstenholme was impressed by how musically adept Bipolar Empire are.


"I'd heard the album and I'd seen a few live pieces on YouTube and they seemed very together. I wasn't too worried about it, but you never know till you turn up. They play really well together; they're really tight."


While Bipolar acquit themselves admirably, "I did make a few mistakes!" Wolstenholme cheerfully admits. Famous guest stars aside, live Bipolar Empire are a more than worthy attraction by themselves, and you don't have to take my word for it


"I don't think they need any help from me," says Wolstenholme. "They're a really good band."








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