Dolan's Warehouse, Limerick, March 6th 2002
One of Ireland's most encouraging musical prospects, Gemma Hayes, played her 1st ever Limerick gig in Dolan's Warehouse tonight. As someone who had yet to see her live, I was pleasantly surprised with the ease that she transformed tracks from both of her EPs to a live setting. Of course it did help that her band consisted of competent musicians, notably ex-frames guitarist David Odlum, but her voice remained remarkable throughout the gig.
Indeed the influence of Odlum showed on "I Worked Myself To A Calm", the 4th track of the night. A furious mixture of guitars and beautiful vocals, it certainly is a departure from some of her earlier, more acoustic based material, and probably one of the highlights of the night. While Hayes appears to be one of the most elegant musicians around, she also displays moments of humilty, such as when she apologies for not being used to her new guitar and not being able to quite tune it properly.
Tuned properly or not we get some nice tasters from her forthcoming album"Night on my Side", including the title track, "The Lucky One", and the 1st single, "Hanging Around". Introducing this song, she says "I hate this word...but this is the single". She returns with an encore of "Evening Sun", from her 1st EP, 4.35am. So, after 70 minutes or so, Gemma Hayes has finished her 1st deposit into her Limerick account, and impressed an audience who didn't know much about her prior to tonight .
Introducing "I Can't Find Love", Gemma Hayes says "I'm either extremely smart or extremely stupid to write this song". From the evidence tonight, it appears she is very smart. While she has physical beauty to match any girl band, hersongs don't stoop to their level of trivialising love. Expect her to follow her comrades Damien &Kittser into the Top 10 in the album charts when she releases her album in May, without having the glossy 4 page spread on VIP or appear on Children's television. Hayes, it would seem, is going to let the music do the talking.