- 10 Jun 17
The song was king last night at 3 Arena, when Glen Hansard and then Eddie Vedder had the crowd eating from their hands… Report: Pat Carty
I’ve had a bit of a blind spot when it comes to Glen Hansard. Whether it was being asked outside for a dust up at a Frames gig (hardly his fault) or failing to make it the whole way through the Once movie, his music has never grabbed me the way it has so many others. Too many times, far too many times, I’ve seen perfectly good parties spoiled by someone insisting on attacking one of his tunes. Should the acoustic guitar be banned from polite society? It’s a discussion for another day.
Recently, I found myself having a drink with the man after a charity do, and he is, annoyingly a cynic might conclude, a thoroughly decent chap. Ahead of this gig, as I take this stuff fairly seriously, I spent a day or two listening to his last album Didn’t He Ramble, and, as I’m sure most of you already know, it’s a soulful, beguiling listen. I’m particularly taken with ‘Wedding Ring’, ‘Winning Streak’, and ‘Her Mercy’, in which, respectively, I can detect feint traces of the DNA of The Waterboys’ ‘Strange Boat’, Dylan’s ‘Forever Young’, and Leonard Cohen’s ‘Bird On A Wire’. I’m not saying this to take potshots, but to acknowledge that his song writing stands up against the masters. And The Waterboys.
In light of the Manchester horror, security has been beefed up at the 3 Arena. Everyone is properly patted down and, despite being warned several times not to, many people have brought large handbags/rucksacks along with them. These are being confiscated despite protestations. I suspect we should all get used to it. I mention all this because as a result the arena is only half full when Hansard takes the stage at about 7:30, opening with ‘High Hope’ which segues into, there they are again, The Waterboys’ ‘Old England’.