The Frank and Walters with support from The Making & The Mighty Tempest
Friday 1st February 2013 – O’Connell’s, Dundalk
O’Connells of Quay St Dundak is where our story begins. Friday 1st of February saw the venue hold one of it’s monthy gigs; New Day Rising. Giving that it was the Frank and Walters headlining I like to think the night itself presented a theme of nostalgia and whimsy. Harking back to the busier days of the early 90s it wasn’t just the headline act that were projecting a passed life kind of vibe, but all the support acts too.
Starting the night off saw The Making stroll on stage. Headed by songwriter in chief Brendan McCahey and supplied instrumentally by the “Three Paul’s”, from the first chord two things popped into my head…Ryan Adams and Crowded House. McCahey has the sensibility of a Ron Sexsmith coupled with the moxie and charisma of an Adams. The lads in the band are no strangers to playing together in front of a live audience and their chemistry tied in really well with the folky pop they played. Two tracks that stood out in the thirty minute set were ‘Safe and Well’ and their current single ‘Younger’. It would be too hasty to slap the ‘One to Watch’ label on The Making but definitely…go see them live for a sincerely well crafted and enjoyable few minutes of music.
The Mighty Tempest stormed onto stage shortly after The Making…and how the mighty did fall. A band that has had many guises over the last couple of years and a few crew changes…an amalgamation of a band once known as Fourkicks and then the Fontanels these lads were a little more style over substance. Whilst they are all accomplished musicians and have a competent song writer at the helm in Adam Boyle…it was a little too Razorlight. Razorlight with a wonderful female voice though. Carrie McCoy supplied the ‘Ooohs’ and ‘Aaahhs’ to accompany Boyle’s Borrellesque fronting. Perhaps in a different setting they would have set the crowd alight but it wasn’t until the very last song they played that they showed any sense of depth. “Oh she’s beautiful, but she belongs to someone else” bellowed Boyle whilst the rest of the group clapped along in rhythm. They certainly weren’t bad…but there is a long road ahead before they come anywhere close to storm up the charts.
Last on the scene were the headliners, The Frank and Walters. Experienced enough in gigging to boys from Cork certainly know how to put on a fun and seemingly effortless show. Dressed in matching orange shirts and black trousers…they have got that 80s wedding band look about them…but in a good way. Having had massive success in the early 90s it would have been easy for them to pack it all in after their chart success but these lads look and sound like they get the buzz playing in the “Working Mens Clubs” and O’Connells provides that atmosphere nicely. ‘Colours’, ‘This Is Not a Song’ twinned with the weird and wonderful banter on stage between the lads proved a winning formula. Playing for a small crowd didn’t seem to bother the musicians nor the attendees. Guests were there because they knew the songs, had seen the group before and were back for seconds. Honestly….it was good entertainment. ‘After All’ can go down in the Irish rock annals as one of the best pop songs, sure weren’t we all singing ‘Badda dah…bap bap bah badda baddah baddah dah!’ by the end!