Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cathy Davey Live at Dolans 16/05/2010 Review

I hold in my hand at the moment a serious strong contender for the best Irish album of 2010 if not the best overall. Davey has completely outdone herself in this instantly likable record. The album opener and title track “The Nameless” is quite beautiful and lets you into her incredible imagination of fact and fiction. This concept album centres on this ‘nameless’ character but autobiographical influences are undoubtedly weaved with fiction to create a vivid musical landscape. Her haunting childlike vocals and ability to create amazingly catchy melodies that float around the lyrics permeate this album, and arguably all her work. Songs on this album sound like you have heard them before as the melodies provoke a sense of familiarity. This ability to create songs which make you feel like you’re listening to a forgotten nursery rhyme, is undoubtedly a hallmark of Davey’s songwriting expertise. The second song “Army of Tears” is a song any artist in the world would have given anything to write, and paints vivid imagery of a tortured soul wanting to take revenge on the world. The artwork supplied with the album is excellent, which opens out into a newspaper broadsheet page full of hand drawn images created in the songs and lyrics painstakingly drawn out in quirky writing. Cameo performances comes from Divine comedies front man Neil Hannon but the main contributor is that of Conor O’Brien front man of the late “Intermediate” and indielimerick favourite “Villagers”. He has a hand in most of the tracks; Speaking of contenders for album of the year, his album is also just out entitled “Becoming a Jackal” Which is an absolute must-have. Last time I witnessed Cathy in Dolans , Conor was a member of the backing band. Cathy’s new album is just heaving with emotion and from reading previous interviews we learned that she had experienced a break up from a long-term boyfriend over the writing period. The album exudes a kaleidoscope of emotions and is heaving with power, which seems all the more noteworthy when you consider that she has brought it out on her own label. The warehouse was nicely packed tonight as I took up residence on the upstairs balcony. Great for people and band watching, the first act takes to the stage. This tall character is that of Rhob Cunningham. Rhob is the brains and voice behind new band “Our Little Secrets”. Rhob has been doing the rounds for awhile now and you might have name-checked him before on albums such as Lisa Hannigans “Sea Sew”. Having watched many Irish artists throughout the years and from scanning sleeve notes , It seems the Dublin music indie scene is sewn up with people like Rhob, getting a host of the regular crew such as Gavin Glass to produce the album and get the usual gang to help out on instruments such as Cormac Curran, Ross Turner, Hannigan, Davey and so on. We are far from complaining though, you can’t have enough of these delightful collaborations. One such collaboration is that of Matt Lunson’s “One Day International” – of whom I am still eagerly awaiting a follow up to the amazing ‘blackbird’ album. One gets an image of all these Irish musicians all living in some massive music commune in Dublin just heading around to each other’s houses to record albums as they go – and the results are great!
My first impression of Rhob is that of an Irish David gray (minus the head waggle), with Dylans’ strumming and Cash’s lyrics thrown in. He asked the crowd if they would like a cover song amidst his small set of 6 songs and dutifully delivered a beautiful rendition of Tim Buckley’s “Once I Was”. The set drew mainly from the self titled album which I haven’t got much time to delve into yet but I’m looking forward to it after hearing live versions. If you don’t by chance catch the man live on his many supporting roles this summer check him out over here: The warehouse is very packed by the end of the support act as the lights are lowered onto the stage. Davey is situated behind the drums for the opening number as she lashes into “Dog” from her new album. She is well able for them drums I tells ya! She comes out front with guitar in hand with great applause and yelps from the crowd to play “The Collector”. This yelp from the crowd continues after each song throughout the night and is reminiscent of a demented animal that is delighted to be out for the night! It becomes quite funny as others gradually try to out-yelp him! Needless to say, Cathy politely thanks him after every yelp. We get a massive 19 strong set from the Wicklow girl. We got 9 out of the 13 tracks on the new album and it was great to hear these live. Her encore included a brilliant version of The Jackson 5’s“I Want you Back” that got everyone in the crowd dancing. Tonight was the last night of the ‘bare bones tour’ and it was an absolute pleasure to catch her live again. Put simply, she gets better and better as the gigs and albums go on. Cheers for a great night! Setlist: Dog Collector Reuben No Heart In He Comes Little Blue Clean & Messy Habit Nameless Rubbish Lay Your Hand Army Wild Rum Mr.Kill Moving Encore: Bad Weather I Want You Back (The Jackson 5 Cover) Sing For You Supper

1 comment:

Tuxedo Shirt said...

Ive missed them both! were are they playing right now?