Supported on the night by Funeral Suits and Darling (who slipped in a meaty version of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Sound of Silence’), White Lies returned to Ireland, and to the Ambassador of all places. The theatre was re-opened for the first time in many a year by the good folks at Jameson for their now-annual St. Patrick’s live gig. It was like a time warp re-entering the O’Connell St venue (which I was first in as a young lad at the original screening of Empire Strikes Back), but memories of gigs such as Foo Fighters 2002 show still hang in the room. The venue, which was extensively refurbished for the night, befits a rock gig so White Lies make sense here though the sound is muddy, as maybe it always was. Keeping mainly to the first and third album, they know which side their bread is buttered on and ‘To Lose My Life’ and ‘Death’ bring out the biggest reaction, and the recent album’s title track ‘Big TV’ makes enough of a dent in the evening too. Live they have never matched the monochromatic, angular rock they have on record but you can’t fault them for effort. To cap this Saturday it does happily all come together for the forgettable Ritual‘s only decent tune, ‘Bigger Than Us’ – a searchlight-sweep of a song and a version worthy of sinking into the self-same walls as ‘Everlong’ did 12 years ago.
Photographed for State by Olga Kuzmenko.