On Monday June 23, The Frames announced a one-off gig for Whelan’s year-long 25th Anniversary celebration to happen a week later on Monday June 30th. Tickets went on sale the next day and sold out in two minutes-ish.
**Myles O’Reilly’s Arbutus Yarns filmed the whole show and is releasing 3 clips over some months time before revealing the whole show in 2015. You can watch the three installments at his site here and here and here.
Opening Act: The Lost Brothers
Main Set: Dance The Devil, Seven Day Mile, God Bless Mom, Stars are Underground, Finally, Lay Me Down – Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash), Perfect Opening Line, Giving Me Wings, Headlong, Rent Day Blues, Pavement Tune, Fake – Everytime (Britney Spears), Revelate, Angel at My Table, Evergreen, People Get Ready, Heyday* (Mic Christopher), Fitzcarraldo
Encore: The Dancer, Monument – Sabotage (Beastie Boys), Hollocaine, Santa Maria, The Auld Triangle** (Traditional), Elvis, I Give You Irish Stew*** (Lisa O’Neill) , Gigantic (Pixies), Corrina, Corrina**** (Bob Dylan), Star Star – Hotellounge (dEUS) – The Most Beautiful Widow In Town (Sparklehorse), Hold On Magnolia (Jason Molina), Where Is My Mind (Pixies)
*with Danny O’Reilly of The Coronas
**verses by Glen, Rob, Joe, Mundy, Danny O’Reilly, Mic Geraghty, Lisa O’Neill, Gerry McDonnell, Oisin Leech (The Lost Brothers)
****The Lost Brothers
[Thanks to Eoin, Avril and Fleur for the setlist.]
Thanks to Fleur for this review (scroll down for the photos & videos):
When Whelans announced that The Frames would be playing as part of their 25th anniversary celebrations the fans went instantly through two emotions – joy at the thought of an intimate Frames gig (finally!!) AND instant anxiety as to how on Earth they would be able to snaffle one of the 450 tickets!!
Unsurprisingly, every man and his dog was online (and outside Whelans) trying for a ticket for this show and unfortunately many people ended up disappointed. I too tried my luck online only to be scuppered by a sold out sign less than two minutes after they went on sale. Luckily for me a fellow Framsian/Hansardian was able to get through and sort a couple of us out – so we were in for the first Frames show since 2011- woot!
For those that don’t know Whelans is but a wee pub – one of hundreds in Ireland’s capital – BUT it also has the distinction of being one of THE best live venues in Dublin. Many, many legendary artists have played there and it also became something of a starting point for local artists and I am reliably informed that back in the day it was not unusual for the place to be filled with the likes of The Frames, Damien Rice, Damien Dempsey, Mundy, Ollie Cole and others all on the same night (say what?)!
There is accordingly a fairly significant amount of affection for Whelans and it’s not unsurprising that some artists have made a real effort to make themselves available for gigs to mark the venue’s 25th anniversary – The Frames being one.
Everyone I speak to before this show is excited – none of us are spring chickens any more but we know that a Frames gig can give us what we need in terms of a musical release. The possibilities setlist-wise are also seemingly endless, and Glen has even asked for requests via Twitter!
As usual, I will just mention some of the highlights. The very-talented Myles O’Reilly (and his crew of cameramen) filmed the entire gig and I suspect that a film encompassing the whole three hour show will be available at some point so look out for that!
* What are they gonna open with? This was a game we played to entertain ourselves before the show started. Absolutely NO-ONE picked Dance the Devil! This bodes very well for a night with some lesser known (and played) Frames tracks. I suspect it has been a decent amount of time since this one was busted out – g’wan!
* After Finally, Glen speaks to the crowd about the importance of Whelans as part of the Frames’ history and how many good (and long) nights they have had within its confines. In particular, Glen mentions their ‘cheeky’ request to Whelans’ owners in the mid-90s for a loan to allow them to record their next album (which ended up being the excellent Fitzcarraldo). Glen confirms that the Whelans’ lads looked them up and down and then agreed to give them IR£20,000 towards the costs. Glen jokes that tonight forms part of their last payment towards this debt and then he does something rather incredible – he says that for the rest of the show the pints are on them – yes it’s now a free bar for those punters that are present!! Get in!! Now the Irish are well-known for liking a drink (and I mean no disrespect but it is my personal experience that you guys can seriously put it away!) AND there are 450 in the room – I am afraid to do the maths but I think everyone would agree that is was an excessively generous gesture on the band’s part. Unfortunately I think the offer was spontaneous and Glen has not prepared the bar staff for the onslaught – he has to apologise from the stage and get the nod so that a tab can be set up. Glen also then suggests that pints are passed through the crowd from the bar so that all the people at the front can participate without having to line up – brilliant!!!
* Did I say this was the night for some lesser played tracks? There are a couple of absolute pearlers in this set and one of my favourites is Evergreen. This is a great track from Fitzer and again I think it has been a while since it’s been played live, but they nail it. The crescendo of: “And I stole to see the hail , falling down in through your hair” immediately takes a few people in the crowd back to the mid-90s- ahh those were the days!!
* Just before People Get Ready, Glen says that he’s seen the same faces from a couple of ladies peering in from the back door and he asks if someone can let them in so that they can enjoy the show from inside the venue. With a wink and smile Glen jokingly says to the lady who shows her face again to “tell your mate I fancy her”. There are cheers from the crowd when they are eventually let in – just goes to show that if you turn up, the chances are you’ll get in (although you may also have bring your good looking mate with you!!).
* The encore starts with the Frames’ first single – The Dancer, and is followed by a storming version of Monument (with a bitching Sabotage tag at the end from Joe!). Then we are provided with the evidence that the band have indeed spent some time practicing before his gig – they begin Hollocaine and the start of the sample doesn’t quite come off so Glen suggests that they ditch that tune and move on to the next one. One Graham Hopkins is having absolutely none of that- he claims that he’s been required to practice that song at least 20 times and he is adamant that band should play it! Unsurprisingly the crowd are behind the rhythm master, and with a wry smile Glen accedes to that request and they give it another go. Democracy is alive and well!
* Something unusual (well actually probably not for Ireland!) happens after Santa Maria. A random crowd member upstairs appears to have taken advantage of a few of those free pints and spontaneously starts up The Auld Triangle. What can the band do but join in and we end up with a version of that tune with crowd participation that rivals that of the 5000 people at the a Royal Albert Hall celebration Ceiliúradh earlier in the year – it’s deafening! We get verses from practically all the artists present and it’s great – although it feels a little early to pull that one out given that we still a good 40 mins from the end of the show!
* Another surprise follows that one when we have a member of the audience jump on stage – after Lisa O’Neill is introduced for a song- to advise everyone that he’s just proposed to his girlfriend and she’s said yes. Good wishes are passed on but I think it’s safe to say that young lady has her hand’s full 😉
* The Pixies are in town and it would of course be remiss for some tribute not to be paid to them. Glen takes over duties on bass for The Lost Brother’s version of Corrina, Corrina and while everyone is getting ready he gives us a verse of Gigantic. Additionally, after the band’s cover of Jason Molina’s Magnolia, the chant goes up for ‘one more tune’ and Glen picks up his guitar and the band launches into a fierce and furious version of Where Is My Mind? It’s a brilliant track to end the night on.
We have been treated to over three hours of The Frames (and friends) and I’m fairly confident that it is going to leave people wanting more.
Pfft one-off, no way!! 🙂
Seven Day Mile (by Johanna Rosenqvist)
Evergreen (by Avril Vickery)
Heyday (by Daiana Ramalho)
Where is My Mind (by Avril Vickery)