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The Walls Live
Eamonn Seoige, 17 Apr 2012
It’s been a while – New Year’s Eve 2001 to be exact – since the Wall brothers last graced the storied Wexford Street venue.
It was, as frontman Steve explains, a significant date in our country’s recent economic history.
“We came back the following day for a pint and were given change for the first time in euro!”
Much turbulent water has passed under the metaphorical bridge in the intervening years. Steve and Joe’s knack for penning memorable melodies remains a constant.
The Walls, as always, are a super-tight live proposition with Jon O’Connell’s elaborate bass runs and the powerful drumming of Rory Doyle keeping the siblings’ tuneful juggernaut ticking over. Their latest and most accomplished album, Stop the Lights, is the undoubted star of the show. Punchy single, ‘Carrying The Fire’ gets us underway, followed by the floorboard shakin’, electro-tinged rhythm of stomper ‘Dead Flowers’.
Trumpet player Bill is ushered onstage for ‘Phantom Power’, a classic slice of harmonious indie-pop, and mini-epic title-track ‘Stop the Lights’, noticeable for Joe Wall’s accomplished falsetto.
The haunting atmospherics of the reflective ‘Doodlesque’ alters the mood slightly, while slick pop-rocker ‘It Goes Without Saying’ raises the roof to shouts of ‘Up the Banner!’
A pin dropping could conceivably be heard during the sparse, melancholic piano melody of ‘May The Road Rise’ before an up-tempo combo of crowd-pleasing rockers from previous record A New Dawn Breaking arrived in the form of ‘Passing Through’ and the effervescent ‘To The Bright And Shining Sun’.
Arguably the set’s highlight is ‘Bird In A Cage’. Its soaring atmospherics, strong narrative and lush harmonies combine to create a wonderful song. The five depart to roars of approval, reappearing momentarily later with a timely tribute to our unseasonably fantastic weather. The Lovin’ Spoonful’s mid-sixties classic ‘Summer In The City’ is right on the money, before a particularly menacing rendition of all-out rocker ‘Drowning Pool’ brings matters to a close. After two decades in the business, Ennistymon’s finest certainly know how to deliver a killer rock show.