Gig reviews

Groom (live in Dublin)

Apr 26

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Sunday, April 26, 2009  RssIcon

Groom (live, Upstairs in Whelan's, Dublin)

Review Snapshot: Those who were downstairs waiting for Mundy to play one of his two songs, could have done far worse than make their way upstairs to see two examples of how one man and a guitar doesn't have to sound boring or formulaic.

The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10

Full Review:Groom Live
Being a vegetarian means that sometimes, when you want more than just 'Pasta in a non-descript white sauce', you find yourself having to look around for somewhere to eat.  It was because of this that I only arrived in Whelan's half way through Neosupervital's support slot. This was my first time upstairs in Whelan's and it has a very peculiar shape for a venue and appears to be more suited from its previous purpose (as a smoking room) than as a gig venue.  That being said, its design forces people towards the stage and lends an intimacy that many venues lack. 

Tim 'Neosupervital' O'Donovan is leading a one man crusade to to bring synth pop to the masses.  Now that he's no longer on drumming duties for Bell X1, it appears O'Donovan is concentrating more on his music than his image.  Gone are the sharp suits and Knightrider sunglasses and in comes a sound that relies more on Neosupervital's craft and musicianship than drum machines and computers.  It's very early to say but, on this performance, one can't help but be very excited about O'Donovan's upcoming sophomore record.

Next on stage was Groom who proved to be more than just Mike Stevens and his whimsical way with words.  Opening with Death of a Songwriter, Stevens and his talented band lead the audience through a set that consists mostly of tracks from their new mini-album, At the Natural History Museum

While it was the upbeat tracks such as Mythical Creatures and Worst of Places, Worst of Times (a song about the 80's) that provoked the best reaction from the crowd, it was on At the Natural History Museum and Moving West that Groom proved their worth as accomplished musicians and performers.  Stevens himself seems, at times, a reluctant frontman (think E without the beard) and yet, walked amongst the audience shaking hands with everyone he could during one instrumental section.

Overall, tonight could well prove to be something of a watershed moment in Irish indie music.  While downstairs, Mundy was helping Whelan's celebrate their 20th birthday with his own brand of alt-folk, so loved by Irish music fans for the last 10 years, upstairs two of Ireland's most innovative and exciting acts were showcasing the future of indie music in this country. 

Steve O'Rourke


1 comment(s) so far...


Re: Groom (live in Dublin)

BoBo's beside Whelen do a lovely range of Veggie Burgers

By Kavanelli on   Tuesday, April 28, 2009

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