The Walls live at the Village, Dublin

It took a while to get going, but when The Walls reached fifth gear; tonight truly sparkled.

W.B. Yeats gets a double plug tonight. While support act The Mighty Stef places romantic Ireland in the grave along with Tupac, Steve Wall takes Yeat’s ‘September 1913’ as a jumping point for his address on the state of our modern nation. One of the lyrical standouts on their excellent New Dawn Breaking LP, ‘Romantic Ireland’s Dead And Gone’ proves one of the few highlights in a subdued start to tonight’s show.

Through no fault of the new material, tonight lacks punch. Initially, the gathered masses seem resistant to what’s taking place on stage and ‘Out Of The Fog’, ‘Highwire’ and ‘Open Road’ pass with little fanfare or passion. When Steve Wall comments, “We’ve got to play the new stuff. It’s got to be done” he seems sheepish and somewhat apologetic, as if sensing that the lack of audience familiarity with the material is cause for the muted atmosphere.

Yet, in a flash it’s all change. The opening bars of The Stunning’s ‘Half Past Two’ ring out and suddenly The Village explodes. ‘Heads Are Gonna Roll’ continues the party atmosphere, and as they nestle back in to The Walls material, a renewed vigour and zeal drifts from the stage. ‘Black and Blue’, ‘Passing Through’ and ‘To The Bright And Shining Sun’, all shimmering pop songs, are notable for their resemblance to The Stunning’s much beloved material.

Yet rather then deny their past, the brothers’ willingness to pluck from their history enriches their current set of songs. For once ‘Brewing Up A Storm’ doesn’t seem necessary and when it does arrive, it fails to overshadow some of the fresher material. ‘Drowning Pool’ is fierce and intense, while Joe’s beautiful ‘New Dawn Breaking’ highlights the variety in The Walls' set. It took a while to get going, but when The Walls reached fifth gear; tonight truly sparkled.

 

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