posted on October 16, 2009 19:00
Joshua Radin (live in The Academy, Dublin)
Review Snapshot: It was always going to be interesting to see if Radin’s quiet yet absorbing melodies along with his whispery vocals could translate well to the stage. Unexpectedly but brilliantly, it transcended into an appreciated and intimate gig as you could hope to see, in a criminally underrated venue.
The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10
Like many others, I discovered Joshua Radin’s music playing in the background of the more touching scenes in the TV show Scrubs. (Hey, good music can be found anywhere, right?) And good music is exactly what I found; some say the answer to Elliott Smith’s sad departure in 2003. But Radin is a breath of fresh air on his own with an addictive folk ethic on debut album “We Were Here” which is now improved by a pop-rock element on his more recent release “Simple Times”. It was quite a happy coincidence recently getting hooked on his music to discover only a couple of weeks later he’s playing in the Academy.
As “Simple Times” demonstrated a surge in Radin’s confidence, it’s fitting that he looks thrilled to be here, playing with vigor and opening with “One of Those Days”, the opening track to his latest offering. That’s soon followed by new material not due for release till next year, (unfortunately). Obvious highlights include “Closer” and “Winter” along with “Brand New Day”.
As so many of his songs would suggest but never quite confirm, Radin is a storyteller and every song is preceded by a story, the crowd charmed no doubt by his tale of playing in Doyle’s pub on Fleet Street some years ago. Quite often, Radin’s whispered, wistful vocals so commonplace on his records remain just that playing live but he has an audience to appreciate it, some being told to shut up while he’s playing when all they were doing was ordering a drink! To prove the point, he compared the audience to a New York audience, who are never quiet during a performance, but he enjoyed the attention so much, he had his band unplug all the instruments and descend into the middle of the crowd for a song. No electrics, no mics, and the crowd never missed a beat.
Radin’s influence by Dylan also plays a part as the show goes on as new material and “Free of Me” are played with a more upbeat tempo and acoustic ring before finishing off with the entire band semi-circling 2 microphones, jamming and loving it.
Those of you don’t know should get to know Radin’s music, its delicious melodies, catchy finger-picking and unassuming lyrics are enough to capture the imagination of any serious music lover. To witness this performance in front of such an appreciative audience (not to mention the staggeringly cheap ticket price of €17) in such an intimate setting was nothing short of a thrill.
An immersive, intimate and above all else, essential gig.