10 May 2005

Wizardry in William Street West

Massimo's bar, that haven of Chelsea supporters, tobacco addicts and Cian Campbell's love children, are hosting a songwriters' night on Monday called the Listening Lounge. Checked it out last night and it was not three bad atall atall. For four euros (ie. pretty much the price of a pint of lager) you get to see a handful of local talent, and I have to say the stuff on display last night was very good indeed. On the night, there must have been five or six artists but I only got a proper listen to three.

David Lydon has been around for a while now; he did a few of those Galway Bay FM Jon Richards sessions. I've seen him a few times and enjoy his stuff; he's definitely an underrated talent. If you can dig up one of those old Origin compilation CDs he contributes a couple of tracks that are highly recommended. Guitar playing is very spare and unhurried and his voice, when it gets going, is a great expressive instrument.

Next up was Tulpa, a.k.a. Bushy who used to be in the band Beretta. Hadn't seen him solo before, and it was a pleasant surprise. It's hard to categorise his stuff but you could almost put him in the same bag as writers like Sufjan Stevens or Davendra Banhart - a lazy comparison, but it might give you some idea. His voice is unique, smoky and full of character, and his twelve-string playing is stellar. The songs are sometimes strangely put together, but they're compelling and they draw you in. More please.

In all honesty I'd come to see my pal Roger Martin, a.k.a. Stone Orr, who was playing last. Roger is from Ardee in the county Louth and has been mixing sound for bands here in Galway for the last few years. I'll admit my bias but I have to say Roger acquitted himself very well, doing some accomplished solo readings of a few songs from his CD. (Maybe I'll post one or two of these, if it's okay with the Wookie himself.)

So there you go; I've said it before and I'll say it again: In Galway, we're spoiled for music. Where else can you wander out on a Monday night and end up being captivated, spellbound even, by a selection of local talent that barely even scratches the surface of what goes on around here?

Anyway, the Galway Advertiser gave the Listening Lounge a plug last week: there's a .pdf version of it here.

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