Line Up: LiR / David Gray / Pugwash
Labelled ‘With A Little Help From Our Friends’, tonight's gig was a benefit concert for the band LiR. They are in need of financial help to fight a court case taken by their former manager over a US tour in 1995...it has taken many years for it to come to the High Court and in November this year they hope it will get sorted out once and for all.
Knowing very little about LiR (but hearing very good things) I was really here tonight to see David Gray. His bass player Rob Malone is a member of LiR and hence the connection and reason for David's appearance tonight. Throw in another Irish band, Pugwash and it promised to be a fantastic gig.
Vicar Street is a top venue, made for nights like this. A chilled out atmosphere was helped by it being all seating but with round tables of four rather than rows of seats. I have been at plenty of comedy gigs at this venue where they have had this arrangement but never a music one. It seemed to work though and really helped the already relaxed atmosphere. Everyone was here for a good night and the air was full of goodwill.
The show started with Irish band Pugwash who led by front man, Thomas Walsh entertained the crowd with some marvellous music and plenty of stories and jokes between songs. I was familiar with some of the band's back catalogue but especially liked the Duckworth Lewis Method (Walsh's side project) song; Age of Revolution,as well as closing song; Answers on a Postcard.Their 40 minutes set was very well received and I'm sure i won't be the only one seeking out their albums after tonight's performance. Great stuff.
Next up was Mr Gray or 'Ireland's adopted son' as was how he was introduced. I wasn't sure what to expect from him tonight but I certainly wasn't ready for him to be in in such good form. Yes I am a David Gray fan anyway but tonight I really thought he put his all into the 8 song set. Starting with the wonderful Flame Turns Blueand moving intoSail Awaywas a superb way to start but for me next songThe Lightwas a major highlight. As he said himself he could possibly get younger as he was singing it (the song is from 1994 album,Flesh but I think dates from even earlier than that) and hearing his gravelly voice when singing it was a pleasure. A couple of unexpected songs tonight including a cover of a Kath Bloom song,I Wanna Loveand stunning version ofNemesis(are there any other kinds of version!) as well as old favouritesThis Year's LoveandOne I Loveand encoring withBabylon.I was really happy to get to see him tonight in such a small venue especially after missing the gig back in June at Dublin's Convention Centre
LiR took the stage at 10.30pm after a clip of a documentary on the band was shown which from what I understand will hopefully be released next year. I knew very little about the band and certainly didn't know what to expect. I had heard plenty of good things about them though from Irish musicians and journalists and so was sure they would be good. As it turned out they were rather excellent. I don't know any of their songs so to try and do a review is difficult except to say that they blew me a way. Lead singer David McGuinness was exceptional, singing it straight with not much crowd interaction but he was very impressive and the band as a whole was great. AlbumsMagico Magico!,NestandLiR Livewill be bought very soon!!
For a final encore LiR, Pugwash and Mr Gray sung storming versions of Mind Gamesand I Fought The Law and with that the night was done.An 11.45 finish meant the show was a good 3 and half hours long. €26.00 very well spent....well actually €36 as I bought a load of raffle tickets in the hope of winning one of the ten prizes. Unsurprisingly I didn't. Maybe next time.
Good luck LiR.
Ticket: September 24th 2011
Ticket Price: €26.00