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Haiti Aid Live at Whelan's and The Village
A great night of entertainment – all for a hugely worthwhile cause.
Adrienne Murphy, 12 Feb 2010
In a miracle of organisation, 14 acts, among them The Chapters, Sleep Thieves and Patrick Kelleher and his Cold Dead Hands, were brought together for this musical marathon to raise funds for the Irish Red Cross’ work on the ground in Haiti. Goodwill was tangible the moment you walked in the door. On the mainstage, Butterfly Explosion got the party going with a great big wall of noise, knocked-back vocals forming a hypnotic psychedelic undertow. This music lulls you into a state of serenity, then shakes you out of your complacency by galloping ahead on the drums and bass. Great stuff from a really tight five-piece band and warmly received by the crowd.
Next up, O Emperor provided very different fare: gorgeous vocal harmonies and happy, piano-led pieces with strong tinges of 1960s pop. Mid-song changes of key and tempo added variety and frustrated attempts to box their music into any one genre. They finished on a euphoric note, leaving the crowd well warmed up for the much-anticipated Ham Sandwich. And what a tasty snack they proved to be!
Doubly-fronted by the beautifully petite and punky Niamh Farrell, whose massive voice and stage presence belies her neat stature, and the bearded eccentric Podge McNamee on guitars and vocals, Ham Sandwich tore through a powerful set of sublimely beautiful indie/new wave. Originality and experimentalism really mark this band out. Highly talented musicians, it’s obvious that they’ve worked hard, honing their skill to the point where their ability to unleash huge amounts of energy onstage is second to none. A high point to a great night of entertainment – all for a hugely worthwhile cause.