The Frank and Walters (An Brog, Cork)
Monday, September 28, 2009
Review Snapshot: Cork's finest take to the stage in their home city and quite literally blow the pants off the punters and the roof off the venue...not sure if that's legal, but it's mighty craic!
Full Review: Well, what a night! Murphy’s! Magic! The Mrank and Malters! Everything began with an M! Remember M for Michael later on!
In a hothouse sauna renamed The Brog for the night, the Murphy’s Nice ‘n Nasty season continued with “Cork’s favourite sons” (© The Frank and Walters) allowing us to enter their world. Indeed, even in their 20th year, the Franks have never seemed as relevant to the masses who are force-fed Lady Gaga, Peter Andre and the Continuity Wolfe Tones (or whoever they are this week)!
Take a string quartet, 2 original Franks, a new Frank and part-time Frank, lashings of free Murphy’s and music, sweat Fred West would have worked up. Mix it all together with a touch of madness. Ta-da! A night to remember, that’s for sure!
Divided into two parts, "Nice" and then "Nasty showcased the Franks at their best – Engaging! Edgy! Entertaining! Extravagant! Excellent! The 4 lassies that made up the Murphy’s Quarter (string quartet) provided superb support to the reworking of seven of the Franks' most appropriate songs for the night. For those who attended last year’s Speigel tent celebration of the Grand Parade album, this was second helpings with Landslide, Little Dolls, Russian Ship and How Can I Exist all being reproduced to a staggering high quality. The evening kicked off with Miles and Miles and it was great to see the lead single from A Renewed Interest In Happiness being well received. Throw in the obligatory After All, the reaction of the crowd (and look on the Quartet’s faces) was classic as the anthemic choruses raised the roof! The Nice element ended with This Is Not A Song and as I queued at the bar, it was clear the crowd was in good fettle for the next half of the performance. Again, the punters went in full voice here and took the interval to have a healthy cigarette and kebab at the 4* Istanbul restaurant.
The "Nasty" session kicked off to the sound of THE best version of Fast Anthony the reviewer has heard – bar one. The one fault with the prior "Nice" set was the sound on the left of the stage was poor; methinks down to trying to keep 15 microphones in check. The second half sound never waved as Cian Corbett gave a rasta/indie keyboard effect to the speeded up Tony Cochrane. Fashion Crisis and Country Boy followed, both book ending the 20 great Franks year so far. With Darren Mullin standing in for Kevin P who was attending a wedding (calm down girls, not his own) in Italy, we knew Fight would be on the set list – and so it was! A rip-snorting animal which couldn’t be tamed was unleaded and the explosiveness of Mullin’s geetar playing mean we tripped over nicely into Colours and Indian Ocean, further proof of the greatness of the Grand Parade album. A special song then made its way onto the list and the sound of Underground completed Flood’s engineering from all those years ago – who remembers the video for this one???!!!
The last song could only be Time To Say Goodnight. There is only one song to end with Len Cremin remarked – and I agree. Again with pounding sticks-works from Drum Keating and Paul giving it all, we knew the evening was nearly at a close. The shout went up "we are... we are... we are the Frank and Walters..." as the band returned for a well deserved encore. What could it be? Remember at the start? Yep, it was Michael and with the man whom this song was written about being in the audience, I can assure you that Paul, Ash, Cian and Darren brought down the house with a fantastic version of the classic!! We Care!!
So, the DJ came on and we all carried on. A great night. Lots of regular Franks with folk coming from as far away as Manchester, London and Limerick for the concert. One fan dressed head to toe in Franks gear summed it up, "it’s before payday, I borrowed a tenner from my ma, I am going to have 10 free pints of Murphy’s this evening, I am here with 400 friends and tonight I got to see my favourite band free! Where else would you get that?" I don’t know either but it would have to be special … so f**king special!
After note: Geelong beat St Kilda to win the Australian Football League Final, and Michael and I made our ways into the sunlight sometime on Saturday morning! We care Michael, we care!