- 14 Dec 13
Roisin Dwyer was front of stage last night for the eagerly awaited return of the band that in a parallel universe are slugging it out in the stadium stakes with U2, The Blades. The good news is that it was great and they're doing it all again tonight!
One of the most hotly-anticipated reunions of the year opened with a sublime support set by Buffalo Sunn. The quintet wowed with a fine bevvy of tunes delivered with requisite aplomb, which included excellent current single ‘Seven Seas’ and shimmering sundry sonic nuggets such as ‘Like A Stone’ and ‘Jamestown’.
Former Hot Presser Karl Tsigdinos then took to the stage – a 27-year-absence merits a formal introduction! – to deliver an impassioned homage to Paul Cleary et al. And with a triple whammy of ‘The Last Man In Europe’, ‘The Reunion’ and ‘Downmarket’, The Blades were back.
The immaculate tunes came thick and fast - ‘Hot For You’, ‘The Bride Wore White’, ‘Animation’ – reminding us all (as if we needed it) what a prodigious and vital force The Blades were. The performance was raw and energetic, the Blue Brass provided the magic dust and Conor Brady’s guitar the added sparkle.
Cleary was in ebullient form and clearly moved by the euphoric audience response at several junctures in the evening. His banter was warm and enthusiastic (he instructed the crowd to count the band in on ‘Boy One’) and self-deprecating (introducing ‘Revelations Of Heartbreak’ as ‘another one of our misses’).
Taking things down a notch Paul remained on stage as the band departed for a quieter segment of the show, which featured a beguiling rendition of Bread’s ‘Everything I Own’ dedicated to his deceased father. Elsewhere in the set ‘My Girl’ and a rousing ‘Young, Gifted And Black’ were given the cover treatment. Other non-Blades material included Cleary’s solo outings’ Crooked Town’ and ‘Dublin City Town’ plus a resplendent ‘Impossible’ by his late 80s outfit The Partisans.
Although the band were on an early curfew the blood-thirsty crowd were abated with a mesmeric ‘Ghost Of A Chance’ and a rapturous re-run of ‘Downmarket’.
Worth the wait!