Wednesday, June 26, 2013

O Emperor live at Bourkes, Limerick 20/06/2013

Waterford's very own O Emperor were back in Limerick to release their brand new album 'Vitreous' last Thursday in the intimate surrounds of Bourkes bar on Catherine street. The highly successful venue have been putting on a great number of acts recently under the new moniker of Seoda Shows, go check out upcoming gigs here.

First up on the bill tonight was that of Cat Dowling , The ex-Aphastates band member played a lovely set of tracks armed just with an acoustic guitar and her incredible voice akin to 'Karen O' or a grittier 'Regina Spektor'. She is able to obtain some great sounds from her vocal chords as she seems to be transported right into the lyrics of the tracks on stage. The haunting gravely vocals go excellently well with the guitar plucking as she warmed up the night nicely. Cat currently has an album on sale entitled 'The Believer' which boosts a full band, She explains to the crowd that she feels a bit lost without them tonight but she is quite able without them. Go check out more from Cat here

Next up were the five piece headliners who smashed straight into their sixteen track set. The venue was wall to wall people at this stage and was a bit too packed for comfort , the warm weather during the day not helping but it didn't really matter as any where you stood in the bar you were less than 8 feet from the stage.

The set consisted of five from their debut album 'Hither Thither' and the full listing from the brand new album out that day 'Vitreous'. I was must say I was wary of the new stuff hearing bits and pieces on the lead up to the release but listening to it live and on the album it all seems to work perfect. I was a big fan of the debut so it was hard to hear such a change in sound for the band. The lads have become far more experimental with the new record and the sound has matured greatly.

The new album comes in at just under the thirty minute mark and before you know it your half way through the whole album again, not necessary a bad thing as the songs get better as you grow into them. The album boosts a massive wall of sound with epic vocal layering as always, think the crescendos of Sgt. Peppers and the Beach boys inspired surf rock yet they still keep their own identity with beautifully crafted tracks such as the piano driven 'Grandmother Mountain' to the in your face edgy rock number 'Contact'. Also loving the Baba O'Rileyesque piano flow on the album track 'Whitener(Part 1)' .The album is a joy to listen to and I am sure will be on many a top ten list at the end of the year.
The band have come along way since I first saw them live in Dolans back in January 2010. (Review here). The lads are currently on a full Irish tour and then off on a  heavy summer of giging in Europe. The lead singer and the drummer have brought their dads on tour to do the driving and merchandise selling at the gigs. They seem to be doing a good job anyways and I managed to pick up a lovely vinyl copy of the new album on the night. They put on a great show , cheers to Bourkes and O Emperor!
Go find out more and buy their album here .

Set List:
Don Quixote
Grandmother Mountain
Holy Fool
Taloned Air
Erman Gou
Don't Mind Me
Land of the Living
This is It
Soft In The Head
Electric Tongues

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