Niall Connolly, The Dram, Glasgow, 14 March, 2016 review Pat Byrne
We had a great night at the Niall Connolly gig at The Dram, 14 March, 2016. Jim and I had been looking forward to this gig as we hadn’t seen Niall peform since we caught him in New York back in 2011. Lucky for his he fitted a Glasgow gig into his Brooklyn to Belfast Tour.
Guest support was Eric Hathaway, who kicked off the gig with an unusual selection of covers including his own unique version of Prince’s ‘Nothing Compares 2U’ – not sounding at all like Sinead O’Conner’s version and very intriguing.
Eric and Niall are old friends from Eric’s days living in NYC – and the pair seemed very happy to be working together again. All in all it was a very good humoured gig with plenty of craic.
For a Monday night there was a decent sized audience and Niall clearly has a faithful following in Glasgow – we spotted quite a few familiar faces including the musician, Mick Hargan, and film maker, Maurice O’Brian. Niall also picked up some new fans including my John and Margaret, Roisin and Michael Brady. They were all very impressed by the music and keen to pick up some of the merchandise – nattily displayed on a clothes line above the stage.
Niall is naturally humourous and an accomplished and confident performer, who’s not short of a bit of Irish blarney. His way with words comes over in his literate based songs, where it’s clear a lot of thought has gone into the lyrics to create some great imagery. Accompanied by innovative guitar playing and Niall’s unusual chord choices, the Celtic influenced acoustic music is excellent.
The Chicago Tribune’s description is spot on: ‘Disarming and beautifully crafted folk-pop‘
I bought the Sound CD as I particularly enjoyed the song ‘Places I Promised I’d Go’ and ‘Beef On Salmon’. It wasn’t such a hard decision as John bought the other CD All We Have Become so I’ll look forward to listening to some other songs I really liked: ‘I Picked Stones’ and ‘Corridors’. I also enjoyed the Celtic influenced ‘Carry it with You’ – which has great lyrics;
You’ve got your father’s taste for Beamish,
Your mother’s talent for lies,
Poisoned like the river
That the factory sat beside.
Unplanned and unwanted,
Made to know it as a child
In the schoolyard, how they taunt you,
You’ve got the postman’s eyes.
Niall played three new songs and they all sounded great, in particular I liked the song with the working title ‘Central Station’ – hopefully it’ll be on his next album.
Request it if you’re lucky enough to catch a Niall Connolly gig.
He’s in Edinburgh tomorrow Tuesday, 15 March, 2016, 7 p.m. at The Bluebird Cafe , 5 Canonmills, Edinburgh EH3 5HA
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