Support: Mark Geary
Main Set: Her Mercy, Talking with the Wolves, Love Don’t Leave Me Waiting – Respect (Aretha Franklin), Lowly Deserter, Headlong, When Your Mind’s Made Up, Low Rising, Bird of Sorrow, Leave* – Love Reign o’er Me* (The Who), The Beast, McCormack’s Wall/Black River, Traditional (Colm), High Hope, San Pellegrino ditty, Moving On**, Revelate, Stars are Underground, Star Star*** – Hotellounge (dEUS) – Most Beautiful Widow in Town (Sparklehorse), Fitzcarraldo, Song of Good Hope, This Gift****
First Encore: Say it to Me Now*, Gold (Interference), Christmas Biscuits***** (Mark Geary), Speech by Peter McVerry, Song from Willa Lee & Costello, Jam by Willa Lee & Costello with the band, Don’t Go Down that Road, Drive All Night (Bruce Springsteen) – Feels Like Rain (John Hiatt) – Parting Glass (Traditional)
Second Encore: Falling Slowly*, Passing Through (Leonard Cohen)
**Curtis does all the vocals
***with Jamie Harrington, former contestant on Britain’s Got Talent
****with Amy Hansard
*****Mark Geary and Grainne Hunt with the band
[Thanks to Fleur and Avril for the setlist & Fleur for the notes.]
Strings: Una, Paula and Katie
Review: Mel Johnston blog
Notes via Fleur Neale:
Ahh Vicar Street – I have not been to a show here that didn’t produce an amazing experience so my expectations for these end of tour shows are high. For those that haven’t had the pleasure of attending a show here, Vicar Street is an intimate venue with a capacity of around 1,500. The sound is normally stellar and you have a great view from almost anywhere in the venue – it’s therefore custom built to provide a cosy gig atmosphere. Glen and the lads have been playing here since the venue opened in the late 90s and they pretty much own the joint, which means that any show here is a homecoming and usually yields an amazing performance.
Tonight is the first of a two-night stand at Vicar Street. These are the last shows for Glen with the lads this year after which everyone will take a well-deserved break. The first of these two shows is a fundraiser for two homeless charities – the Peter McVerry Trust and the Dublin Simon Community. Glen and the lads have raised money for these two charities before and some people will recognise them as the recipients of the monies from Glen’s Christmas Eve busks over the last few years. So basically everyone is a winner tonight – the lads are home, money is being raised for a great cause and the audience are on the end of an epic three and a half hour show.
There are highlights galore tonight – here are a couple:
* ‘Headlong’ is my favourite Frames song. The last time I heard Glen and the lads play it was in London on their 20th anniversary tour and I have been patiently awaiting its next outing for a good three years. When an artist has a significant catalogue of songs, a decision has to be made about what will be included in any setlist and quite often amazing songs are left out of the mix either because they don’t quite “fit” into the artist’s current vision or there is some loss of connection (momentary or otherwise) with them. Now to be perfectly fair, Glen has been touring on his own accord and not as part of the Frames so there really should not be any expectation on anyone’s part that an old Frames track will get a run in any setlist at Glen’s shows – this, however, did not deter me from engaging in a small (and somewhat cheeky) personal campaign for Headlong to get a guernsey on the setlist at one of Glen’s shows. My request had gone unanswered for quite some time so you can imagine my immense surprise (and absolute delight) when Glen quietly said the words “This is for Fleur..” and (with the lads) launched into Headlong five songs into tonight’s set. I fully believe the philosophy put forward by Glen in Conor Masterson’s film ‘In the Deep Shade’ that music is an unbinding force – and as a result a song can have a significant impact on much more than just your ears. For me, this is one of those songs. Much love and respect to Glen and the lads for re-connecting with this song for a moment for this Gigette – it’s fair to say that pretty much made my year!! 🙂
* New songs ‘The Beast’ and ‘McCormack’s Wall’ continue to feature in the set and I’m hoping that one or both are going to end up on the next Glen record. ‘The Beast’ is introduced as being about accepting the wild part that exists within you and letting it have its time – the lesson being that if you try to suppress that part it will come out anyway (and perhaps not in a form you can control!). Colm adds what I can only describe as a traditional Irish jig at the end of ‘McCormack’s Wall’ and Glen leaves the piano and joins him on guitar and the audience gets a toe-tapping/hand-clapping good time.
* ‘Moving On’ has a slightly different tinge tonight mainly because the fantabulous Curtis Fowlkes steps up from the horn section to take over lead vocals. Glen does have to somewhat feed him the verses, but it’s a rousing and soulful performance which really gets the crowd going.
* The string and horn sections leave the stage for the next segment and we are left with just Glen and the Frames (Joe, Colm, Rob & Graham). The hometown crowd is then treated to the following in succession – ‘Revelate’, ‘Stars Are Underground’, ‘Star,Star/Hotellounge/Beautiful Widow’ and ‘Fitzcarraldo’. The highlight comes when Glen invites local lad Jamie Harrington to come up and sing ‘Star, Star’ with them. Glen tells the crowd that Jamie recently performed on Britain’s Got Talent but didn’t make it in to the next round and he wants everyone to know what a great talent he is. Jamie is absolutely stoked at the invitation and gives us quite the performance – he sings, he dances cheek to cheek with Glen during ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ and even air guitars his way through the crescendo after ‘Hotellounge’ (after which Glen hands him his guitar to jam on!) – there is quite simply massive fun being had all round! Do take the time to watch the video because it really does reflect the vibe of the evening.
* Further evidence of the gig being a “home show” is given to us when Glen’s niece Amy joins him on vocals for ‘This Gift’. The girl has certainly got some pipes – must run in the family!! 🙂
* Peter McVerry is given the mic for a brief moment after ‘Gold’ to speak on behalf of the charities benefiting from tonight’s show. It’s evident that Peter is very passionate about supporting Dublin’s homeless and giving options to people who have nowhere else to go. Peter quite rightly comments that it is “people who change people” and that if everyone can support a local charity (regardless of what it’s for) then everyone will be a little better off. I volunteer at a homeless project myself and heartily agreed with everything Peter had to say – I think it’s fantastic that all the proceeds from this show are going to such worthy local causes. With that charitable notion in mind, the great Mark Geary then comes on to give us (with Glen’s assistance) a spirited version of his tune ‘Christmas Biscuits’ but more about that tune in the review of night 2!
* In keeping with the open stage mood, Glen speaks to the audience briefly about a film he has recently seen called ‘Broken Song’ about a few lads (one from Ballymun) who are producing some local hip hop. The two lads in question – Willa Lee & Costello – are in attendance and Glen invites them up to do an a capella rap tune for us. These guys have the skillz and are very well received by the crowd. The rest of the band then joins them to jam on another song – the Frames are rappin baby – check it!
* After passing the 3 hour mark some time ago, you’d think the crowd (and the band) were waning – not so! I have to make mention of the penultimate song of the night which is an acoustic ‘Falling Slowly’. It’s actually sung with such gusto by the crowd that Glen is hard to hear – the connection that this song has generated (and continues to generate) really does boggle the mind – BUT a great song will do that!
And so the night endeth after ‘Passing Through’ – a mammoth 3 and a half hour show – how anyone can back up after that is beyond me but I have absolute faith that the second night will hold the same (if not more) splendour!!
Lowly Deserter (by isabella conti)
Leave – Love Reign o’er Me (by marinasalinasb)
Star Star – Hotellounge – Most Beautiful Widow (by Dean Scurry)
Gold (by maxinedance)
Christmas Biscuits (by Avril Vickery)
Willa Lee + Costello song and jam with band (by Dean Scurry)