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The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

Ham Sandwich

Review of their gig in Whelan's, Dublin, 21 January 2006

ham sandwichReview Snapshot:
No thong this time (thankfully) but the band deemed the worst-named (along with "Morning Wood" according toCLUAS) are back after their New Year's foray withThe Chalets with the launch of their new single, St. Christopher.

Full review: And so, six months on, I find myself drawn back to the 'Sandwich at Whelan's. Though judging by the size of the crowd (nearly at capacity with over 300 spectators), they'll be happily spreading their blend of bittersweet heartbreak  through the ever impressive vocal contrasts of singers Niamh Farrell and Podge to a larger crowd next time around. All that remains to be seen is if they've progressed since the last time I saw them?

And the answer is yes they have. Not to be questioning their professionalism, but compared to last July's gig in which the thonged minion cast doubts on the bands sanity, they've come together with more of an intent for the launch of their single 'St. Christopher'. They quickly alleviate any sense of business-like formalities with their honking rendition of 'Baby Got Back' (shame it wasn't done in more detail) and 'I Want Candy' for some added fun. A sweeping 'Pints of Guinness' opens the set which is followed by the stonkingly good 'Sleep' with its chorus that could come right out of Sons and Daughters 'Love the Cup' EP. Lyrically they are still as achingly ridden with unrequited love and the horrid realisation of a relationship's end. They almost inspire me to throw someone up on stage to give them all a hug in between songs. Web-released demo 'Words' is yet another ode to lost love and newfound hope with its constant nodding of "we have loved, we have lost. But this time it's different" and "lost love is not a lost cause".

The set is rudely ended by the growling 'Click-Click? Boom!' which leaves the bemused onlookers wanting more, but there is seemingly no more to give. A vast improvement since last time, it seems that now they are trying harder to grasp more acknowledgment. Not to say that they didn't come off as unconfident last time, it just seemed that they have progressed further with themselves; they feel tighter as a band and it appears to be reaping some rewards with the news of a TV appearance and further gigs planned. The future is looking steadily tastier for Ham Sandwich.

Daire Hall

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