This was a fantastic week from the musical point of view. Two concerts, one intimate and one huge, eight acts over three days.
It all started with Julie Feeney's concert to promote the release of her second album Pages last week. As I have mentioned before on other posts, Crawdaddy is a fabulous place for an intimate gig like this. It only has capacity for about 300 people. There were tables on the ground floor and although the second floor was full I think there were only about 200 people in there. Most of them looked like family and friends, and a handful of loyal fans. Crawdaddy is the perfect place to see an artist like Julie.
The night started with Kevin Nolan (can someone confirm the name?) playing a couple of songs that he described as "dark fairy tales" . Although I enjoyed his music, his singing was, let me call it, non-conventional. Having said that, I will try to check him out later.
The second person on stage was Vertigo Smyth, definitely worth checking out. Again, he only played two songs and where incredibly powerful. You can listen to some of his songs on his website. I haven't checked whether he has released anything just yet. Let me know if you find anything.
Vertigo was followed by Size 2 Shoes, two brothers from Limerick that I can probably describe as the Irish Flight of the Conchords. Musically they are incredibly gifted, yet they don't take themselves very seriously. I thought they were fantastic. They do have an album out that you can get from their website. Definitely worth checking out.
Finally at around 9:30, Julie's musicians started setting up. She had 7 or 8 people on stage (was there someone to the left of Eugene?): Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Percussion, Trumpet and Flute. A guitarist joined her for one of the songs while Julie played the keyboards for the 13 Pages songs, and the Harmonium for Aching.
The concert started with the video for Love is a Tricky Thing. Afterwards we heard Julie singing a cappella, she started walking from the back heading towards the stage. She weaved through the tables as she was singing. She played a number of songs from 13 Songs on the keyboards before moving to the Harmonium to sing a beautiful version of Aching, followed by a very different arrangement of Alien where she sang accompanied only by her percussionist playing a Cajon. At some stage she spoke about the difference between her two albums and how Pages represents her current mood, definitely more lively!
After that she played all of the songs from Pages. Highlights for me included Mr Roving Eye Guy, Love is a Tricky Thing, Myth, and my favourite song from the album Impossibly Beautiful. Check my previous post with the setlist which I got from the stage. After the show Julie was signing copies of her album, as I had already bought it, I asked her to sign my ticket which she did. The handwriting was the same as the one on the setlist!
Every song was arranged differently. Julie's attention to detail definitely paid off. The arrangements took into consideration everything, even the place itself. For instance, on Valentine's Song, the trumpet player played from the second floor, while Julie sang from the middle of the ground floor without microphone. It was simply beautiful. One of my favourite arrangements was definitely One More Tune hard to describe, but just look at the musicians as I caught them in the middle of playing that song!
It was a fantastic concert, where the music was the main character. Brilliant music and extraordinary musicians enjoying themselves and really bringing the public along on their journey!
Tony Levin on Bass and Music Man
2 months ago