Call me Russ L

Carina. Damien, too.

Posted in Music by Russ L on 6 January, 2006

Originally posted on 29/5/4

Hmmmm… I haven’t written much on this since I started it. I do intend to put up my thoughts on things I’ve done every now and again, but since I’m a fairly anti-social individual who doesn’t like going out (especially just lately) I don’t actually do much.

This wednesday just gone (the 26th of May), though, I went to a gig – Carina Round (my favourite musical artiste with no exceptions, as I am so fond of telling anyone I can corner) and Damien Dempsey at the Civic Hall Bar in Wolverhampton. A car smash on the Birmingham New Road led to the significant bulking-up of traffic (there was one on Birchley island outside of Dudley when I was on my way home, too – perhaps this was all somewhat poignant considering that one verse from Damien’s ‘Factories’), and so I arrived to find Damien Dempsey already on stage (and I gather I’d completely missed an opening act/band/artist – apologies. No idea of a name). I’d never been in the Civic Hall Bar before, and didn’t actually know it existed. Whenever I’ve bought a drink there it’s always been from the bars in the corridors at the sides of the main room, and I was guessing a makeshift stage would be set up somewhere in one of those (no, I don’t have much of a sense of spacial awareness, even less so in memory). Imagine my surprise when I found there was a great big room at the back with a large stage.

Damien, anyway… fan-bleeding-tastic. Anyone stumbling across this particular diary might not really realise quite how much I love Carina Round, but believe me the next thing I’m about to say is a very large compliment indeed – this is the first time I’ve been to a Carina gig where I’ve enjoyed someone else’s set equally to hers. His music is an (unlikely, it has to be said) combination of Irish folk, some rocky bits, and some Marley-ish westernised reggae bits. I realise how peculiar that may sound but it all hangs together quite naturaly. He performed with a tremendous amount of emotional intensity, his lyrics seemed to be of very high quality (I intend to try to get his album soon for a closer examination), and his voice was superb – his thick Irish accent proving beautifully evocative when singing of the damage done by colonialism. I’d never heard of him before (my mistake, it seems – a lot of people there were singing along to every word, and a subsequent glance round t’internet tells me that his album got to number five in the national charts in Eire), but I’m going to try to make sure I hear of much of him as possible from now on.

Then… Carina was Carina. I’m loathe to say that this was almost a standard set from her (since that is still better than everyone else, ever), but… it was. The setlist, if I recall accurately (and I believe I do), was ‘Shoot’/’Motel 74’/ ‘Into My Blood’/’Lacuna’/’Paris’/ ‘Hookah’/’Elegy’/’Let It Fall’ and an encore of ‘Monument.’ From what I could see, the actual written setlist on the stage had ‘Like A Hurricane’ in the encore prior to ‘Monument.’ Was that some kind of in-joke, or a very unusual choice of cover that was dropped for time purposes? I’ll probably never know.

Aaaanyway… any comments about specific songs from this gig would be very similar to comments I’ve made elsewhere on the internet in times gone by. The very last thing I intend to do is damn her set with faint praise, but it was probably one of the less interesting ones of hers I’ve seen, even if it did knock 99% of other attempts at music into a cocked hat.

A fantastic gig all round anyway – I don’t like going forth amongst the public but in this instance the music made it more than worthwhile.

– Russ L

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