O J did possibly one of his best day’s work for me yesterday, something that only took him four years to achieve, but something that makes me think he’s cool.
He came to his first ever Frames related gig with me, Glen Hansard’s gig at
An Grianan Theatre
in Letterkenny. I think it goes without saying that Glen is my favourite singer/songwriter, so being able to bring O J along with me, without him freaking out because the gig was too loud was great! The theatre is my favourite venue to see Glen play solo. Not only because he always seems to enjoy being there, but because the theatre itself is well run, the sound is excellent and the staff are really helpful.
I went straight to the theatre after a busy day in work, to have a chat with Mark Geary for my radio show, (due to techy problems the interview won’t be broadcast until next Sunday 23rd.) Mark played with Glen during his first solo gig in Letterkenny in January 2003, so it was nice to have them both playing there again after eight and a half years. I was nervous for about two minutes, when I realised I was being rediculous. Mark is always friendly and easy to talk to, and I really appreciate the time he took to come and chat. Of course OJ insisted on being petted too, and got his own way as usual! 🙂
During our chat I could hear Glen soundchecking upstairs, and started to wonder if bringing O J was going to be a bad idea!
The gig itself was very intense, almost three hours long with a set list of about thirty songs. Glen’s voice sounds even more mature, and a late night the night before didn’t stop him choosing to sing some of the more difficult songs, with help from the audience when he couldn’t hit some of the high notes. It will be interesting to hear how the new material sounds when it is recorded, as there are clearly many new things influencing his music at the moment. I know some people view Glen as a performer who doesn’t change much – he knows how to connect with an audience and keep their attention so songs can often sound the same, but for me, there is always something different and something new every time I see him pplay, and that must be the thing that keeps me going to gigs over and over again, and coming out almost three hours later wondering when the next one will be.
O J was brilliant, and lay under the seat quietly most of the time, apart from getting up for a couple of stretches towards the end. At one point, just as Glen and Mark were getting ready to play together and the theatre was completely silent, O J did the hugest dog shake ever! The audience began laughing and Glen said, “that wasn’t me!” Luckily it was dark and only my cousin could see how embarrassed I was. I don’t know if he knew the dog was there or if he just thought something very strange was going on in the audience, but either way it was funny!
Set List (not in the correct order):
Lay Me Down
Song for Someone
Seven Day Mile
Low Rising (sexual healing snippet)
Pennies in the Fountain
Stars are Underground
Say it to Me Now
What Happens When The Heart Just Stops
Plateau (Jane Says)
Perfect Opening Line
The Parting Glass
It’s Coming (new)
Come Away (new song written for Hunger Games)
Moving On (new)
Crash in the Levee (down in the Flood) (Dylan cover)
There’s a Ghost (new song)
Song of Good Hope (new)
When Your Mind’s Made Up
Hairshirt, (R.E.M cover)
It Beats Me (with Mark),
Hold Tight (with Mark)
Forever Young (Dylan cover) with Mark, Fiacra & Keith McNamara)
I Will (Dean Martin cover) (lead vocals by Fiacra) – to a half empty theatre