We love this series of videos so much that we made a special section for them. This is The Frames’ legendary performance at the Witnness Festival in 2001. When someone is curious about The Frames, these are the videos we share first.
Thanks to Donal Scannell at Scanarama for making this amazing concert available to those of us who were not there. We have included his comments from each video here for you to enjoy since there’s no way we can say these things better than him….
Lay Me Down
the frames biggest ever gig at the time. ten thousand people crammed into a tent at the witness festival. everyone deliriously happy. the anticipation was huge, everyone was rooting for the frames. no-one had imagined they could have gotten this big doing it their own way. a beautiful rocking evening.
Rent Day Blues
kool and the gang playing on the radio! dunno if it’s just in ireland but it’s quite normal for people here to say ‘kool and the gang’ instead of saying ‘cool’ as in: ‘see you in the pub at 10?’ – ‘kool and the gang, see you there’
Pavement Tune – Stars Are Underground
called ‘pavement tune’cos glen reckoned it sounded like one
glen takes theatrical deep breaths before launching into this because everyone knew it was going to be a big one. ‘revelate’ – the frames biggest song and a song that meant so much to everyone. it was ‘revelate’ that first put the frames on their own self controlled path when they released it as an independent single just after island dropped them and just before ztt signed them. an amazing version where glen just couldn’t resist some stage diving.
‘star star’ was one of those songs that became really important in frames live sets around this time because you never knew what was going to happen but you always knew something was going to happen. it was a song that allowed the theatrics to emerge and run free. this version includes a cameo from ronan leonard who had been a regular during ‘star star’ around then but the tour de force as always was joe’s turn to sing ‘two little boys’ (originally a rolf harris song!).
Be My Enemy (yes, the Waterboys song…WITH the Waterboys! When I first found this I watched it 6 times in a row – J)
the waterboys played a huge part in the development of the modern Irish scene, more than U2 in many ways. the waterboys arrived in ireland just after ‘this is the sea’ was released when they were one the world’s most exciting bands. they loved ireland so much that they hung out for years, recording their next two albums here. what them so influential was that they really got involved on ground level, hanging out, playing in sessions in bars, walking the streets and playing a huge tour around ireland that reached places huge bands never played. they captured the imagination. early this day glen and mic had gone to see the waterboys play the main stage at witness and somehow got word to mike scott that they were more than welcome to come join the frames on stage. and they did. this is the result. the first and i think obly time the frames and the waterboys have played on stage together. the smile on colm’s face says it all as he jams with steve wickham. the song is ‘be my enemy’ from the waterboys ‘this is the sea’ album. paddy casey also gets called onto stage at some point too.
Love Will Tear Us Apart (yes, Joy Division)
if you were asked to guess a band that the frames would cover would it be joy division? that’s one of the amazing things about them as a live band. there are no boundaries. in ireland journalists had for years tried to put the frames in different boxes that they kept jumping out of. with the strobe lights going this felt like a rave at times
the frames final song of an incredible set. including a verse rewritten on the spot to include a tribute to mundy who then joined them onstage. the frames walked off that stage as the biggest live band in ireland, the underdogs no more and it only got bigger from that moment on.
If you’d like to watch it all in one go, here it is in a 20 minute chunk (by gwmaher)