It’s our fourth week as Sin E’s errant earwig and we’ve learned some valuable lessons in that time. For one, the humble acoustic guitar, in the right hands, can be a Pandora’s Box of sonic possibilities. A well crafted song no matter how simple or virtuosic can linger in your subconscious mind for days and creativity tends to flourish around like-minded people.
Luke Clerkin is an open-mic veteran with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the scene in Dublin. This is his first visit to Sin E under our oppressive regime and he doesn’t disappoint. Using the fabled DADGAD tuning made famous by Davey Graham, Luke delivers an assured performance. His first song ‘New Life’ is a highlight, featuring Luke’s unique falsetto throughout, there’s a palpable sense of emotion in his vocal. Dylan Harcort is next up, at just 18 years old he gives a performance beyond his tender years.
Noel O’Brien takes to the stage armed with some slick guitar moves, incorporating some nice harmonics into his original songs before finishing with a cover of The Beatles’ ‘In My Life’.
Anto Bates’ Baroque song writing and delivery brings something really different to the evening. Armed with just an acoustic guitar Anto performs three originals, the structure and changes in his material suggest they were written with a band in mind. Pete Doherty’s solo recordings of Libertines and Babyshambles material springs to mind. There’s a similar lyrical approach to Doherty’s work too with a couple of pop-culture references thrown in. I can’t be 100% sure but Wayne Rooney’s penchant for ladies with a hint of Werther’s Original on their breath may have come up.
The spirit of Bob Dylan’s more countrified material is in the air for Joe Lynch’s set, with ‘Seven Times’ a highlight – a cautionary tale of how crime can affect a family. There are various ghoulish spirits in the room when the inimitable Venus De Vilo returns, horror comic lyrics, shrieking and powerchords. What’s not to like?
Songwriting is an art open to interpretation; there are countless genres. Dene Downes ‘Mighty Cold’ is from the Tin Pan Alley school. You could imagine Tom Jones belting it out in the mid 70’s and a questionable outfit. Dene’s guitar playing forces tap on the toe, an original and captivating performer.
This week’s featured act is Hard Days Hat, a three piece with an emphasis on vocal harmonies. If you’re thinking West Coast, Beach Boys, C.S.N.Y you’re slightly off. It’s more like the Velvet Underground’s more poppy efforts, in particular the Loaded album. Hard Days Hat also have that off-the-cuff lead guitar feel Lou Reed had on those records, best showcased on the short, sharp ‘Moment of Truth’. They’ve also thoroughly cemented ‘FOMO’ into the lexicon by making it the title of one of their songs.
We’ve got two weeks left In Sin E, if you feel like showing off show up. Monday night 8.30 we’ll have our ears pricked and the bar propped.
This week’s featured tracks are:
Dene Downes – ‘Mighty Cold’
Hard Days Hat – ‘Moment of Truth’
Luke Clerkin – ‘New Life’
Venus De Vilo – ‘666 Feet Under’