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Ringleader of festivities, Glen Hansard, is in his usual fine form, joking and telling stories.
Anne Sexton, 21 Oct 2011
It’s a cliché that you eat with your eyes, but I suspect that you may listen with them too. St. Ann’s on Dawson Street is a compelling venue, and since you can’t buy a bottle of water, let alone a drink, it asks that you enjoy the music with an appropriate amount of reverence. When my phone – accidentaslly left on – beeps towards the end of Mark Geary’s set, he takes me to task and I’m not sure if he’s being entirely serious. Unfortunately, the acoustics which make Geary’s voice such a delight also mean that the shrill notification of an incoming message is crystal clear.
We are treated to Geary, who opens the show, followed by Oliver Cole, Paddy Casey and some poetry. Ringleader of festivities, Glen Hansard, is in his usual fine form, joking and telling stories.
His voice, he warns us, is not quite up to scratch, but there is little evidence of that as he takes us through his own impressive back catalogue. There are fan favourites such as The Frames’ ‘Lay Me Down’ and other highlights include ‘Low Rising’, ‘Leave’ and ‘Falling Slowly’ from The Swell Season and a wonderful cover of REM’s ‘Hairshirt’ to mourn their passing.
“I’ve never heard of Glen Hansard,” the German medical student sitting to my right tells me, “but he is brilliant.”
Frankly it’s utterly impossible to disagree.