Participant’s set was truly captivating. The small crowd was almost silencing by Stephen’s performance. What really captured attention was this musician’s mixture of sensitive and thoughtful lyrics, and his unafraid use of electronic/ synthetic elements to enhance the singer-songwriter stripped back set. Despite the sombre nature of the lyrics, and the minor chords, the crowd were nodding their heads along with the beat of each tune. This set was the perfect warm up for a crowd really involved in music loving.
Floor Staff’s set was a bit more enhanced by drums and electro features. Yet, it still maintained the beauty of songwriting. As the crowd built in size, the more upbeat nature of this set was perhaps more suited to the tone of the evening.
Album Release Show: Slow Place Like Home
The show marked the release of the band’s album When I See You… Ice Cream!. The band’s performance was unexpected and somewhat in discordance with the support acts. Yet, the music itself was an interesting arrangement blending features of electronic and rock genres.
The talent definitely lay in the music production rather than the writing itself. In fact, Stephen McCauley has called Keith Mannion (the man behind the band) “one of the finest producers in Ireland”.
However, this in some ways left the performance too reliant on elements of production perhaps best enjoyed through listening to the album in detail with headphones. As a live performance, details of the album were somewhat lost, and the audience was left longing for the simplicity of Participant’s opening act.