'Ill-Made Music' - Acoustic Evening
The Norseman, Dublin, 2 May 2001
A beautiful atmosphere, four performers without nary a pretension between them and one hell of a lot of a talent - this was a fresh, interesting night at the Norseman pub in Dublin's Temple Bar district.
Richard Mullen opened, with a quiet collection of songs, melodic and affecting. Looking comfortable and relaxed, his lovely combination of vocal talents and tinged-with-darkness guitar playing made for a by times equally melancholic and sweet opening half hour. Influences from the ilk of Frames and Juniper shine through in his music, which bears nonetheless an unmistakably original imprint.
Kathryn Williams, having sung backing vocals for her predecessor on his aptly named closing song, 'Beautiful', took stage next, allowing her subtle, rhythmic strumming and understated vocal melodies work their magic for the next six songs.
The brains behind the evening, Morn, followed at the mic with a sample of his catchy brand of songs, recalling both his days as lead singer in Coyote Blue, while showcasing a clutch of new material. Gravelly vocals, and a penchant for lyrics both dreamy and ear-catching, Daniel's songs held the attention of the hundred or so in the airy top floor. A taste of things to come was the duet on 'Should I Stay or Should I Go' with the headline singer, about as romping a performance as you can get with one mic, one acoustic guitar and two singers taken by the moment. This one had the crowd tingling.
Last up came Ger O'Donoghue, a man more assured on stage with each gig he plays. A quite uniquely-tuned guitar, unique song-writing style and a uniquely beautiful voice characterise this upcoming singer-songwriter. From the opening chords of 'Sugar' to the final, wistful 'Take Me Into the Morning', his voice held the crowd enrapt. Comedic touches ('Acoustic Punk Rock Band'), haunting moments, Ani diFranco covers, everything was swallowed eagerly by an appreciative, vocal crowd. A man to step into the shoes of the likes of Mic Christopher and Damien Rice as they go on to greater things...
Evenings as pleasant as this are pretty special, even with the swathe of beautiful music deluging Dublin right now. Just goes to show JJ72 couldn't be more wrong.