It takes a very special talent to walk on stage and completely forget what country you are in yet still win over the crowd. If, like most people, you find the tired process of telling crowds that they are the ‘best ever’ as welcome as a kick on the chin you will love it when somebody makes a balls of it. Especially if they can salvage the gig and turn out an altogether mesmeric vocal performance. Lucius kicked off their world tour in >insert city here< tonight and it’s safe to say that in Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig they have such potent alchemists.
Dressed all in green, capes flowing, dyed red hair rolled into a quiff and strutting their considerable stuff the front pair harmonise their way through the gorgeous ‘Madeness’ with aplomb. ‘Tempest’ and ‘Nothing Ordinary’ follow and sound slightly shaky as the band visibly settle into the night. The manic performance from Whelans a while back now seems almost like a different band. Not that they were bad then, the opposite in fact; but as they hit their stride they are just incredible at times now. Touring their third album, Good Grief, the Brooklyn band have grown in nearly every conceivable artistic way.
It’s not all plain sailing, though, ‘Almost Makes Me Wish For Rain’ and ‘Something About You’ provide a handle on a mid-set lull which many actually struggle to grasp. Laessig and Wolfe head to the centre of the crowd and all it really does is distract from some less-than-stellar moments in an otherwise brilliant set. ‘Genevieve’ and ‘The Two Of Us On The Run’ bring the set proper to a close. Kicking off their encore we are introduced to the criminally underappreciated Bronagh Gallagher for a nearly-a capella version of ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ which literally stuns the crowd into complete silence. Phones in the air time for those of us unwilling to experience brilliance in the flesh – for shame – but the moment is a stark reminder of the talent we have here. Somebody needs to get Bronagh Gallagher back into the limelight.
So that was Lucius. They come over here on the hundredth anniversary of St. Patrick dying on the cross outside Dr. Quirkey’s on O’Connell Street so we wouldn’t have to hail the King and forget the name of the place. But they still send everyone home with a smile on their fat, ruddy Irish face.