Tuesday 13th November 2012 – Whelans, Dublin
Whelans is packed to the rafters tonight, the crowd a mix of young and old. You can’t help but feel that you are about to witness something really special, a gig to tell the grand-kids about. The band kick the set off with ‘Set the Tigers Free’ and the excellent ‘Home’ from their massive debut album Becoming a Jackal before lead singer Conor O’ Brien asks the crowd if they mind if they play some new songs. This follows 3 brand new songs, ‘Grateful Song’, the bass heavy ‘Passing a Message’ and ‘The Bell’. These will all feature on the band’s brand new album Awayland which is due for release in Ireland in January.
The Ivor Novella award winning, Becoming a Jackal is a particular highlight as the crowd sings along in unison. ‘My Lighthouse’, which is the opening track on Awayland, is a simple acoustic number with Conor perfectly delivering his stunning lyrics and vocals. More new songs are played including ‘Judgement Call’ and the incredibly catchy ‘Nothing Arrived’ before ‘The Waves’ blips and beeps into action. This song is spectacular, very reminiscent of Radioheads ‘Kid A’. Even the cover artwork for Awayland is similar to Kid A with the pixelated hills in the background. The Encore features stunning sole versions of ‘That Day’ and new track ‘In a Newfound Land you are Free’ before the rest of the band return for a cracking version of the bands first ever singe ‘On a Sunlit Stage’ of which they dedicate to their families who are seated upstairs.
Villagers put on a simply stunning display, playing every song bar 1 from Awayland. If they continue in this form it could be the last time we see them is a venue this small. Everyone should go catch this band live as they are at the top of their game. Pure perfection.