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'Caruso'! The name conjures up thoughts of my youth, when my Mum and Dad loved watching black'n'white musical films. Having Italian roots, my Dad loved 'Mario Lanza', the Italian tenor. I remember a film he made about the great 'Caruso'. So, on hearing that this band was doing a launch-gig, my curiosity got the better of me and I went to see and hear the mystery behind the name.
The very location of this classy little venue brings me down memory lane as I reflect on what it used to be. My Dad played piano in the little Italian restaurant around the corner, now changed beyond recognition. But back to the night in question!
I looked around me when I arrived, to discover most of the people in attendance were of my own age-group. This confirmed I was going to enjoy myself. And enjoy myself I did.
There was some delay before Shane and Co. took to the stage, but eventually they took their places. All of the group were dressed quite formally, which appealed to me from the outset. Also, there was a girl guitarist, 'Susan'. She had a fabulous semi-solid guitar, which she played impressively, along with mandolin and violin, showing her to be something of a multi-musician.
The first song of the evening 'The hero of waterloo' was lovely and soft. Sweet and magical violin played behind the vocals and lyrics, melody, everything was beautiful and caught my imagination without a doubt! It's a ballad with a romantic chorus, sung in harmony by Shane and Susan. There's a touch of the 'Paul Simon' about this number.
'Monster' was the next song and although slow at the start, this number picks up a little as the chorus comes along. The melody line of this song is really something special. Bass guitar has a nice crisp sound, lending good dynamics. Great sound equipment and wonderful balance made for polish and style in each number. Every person there seemed engrossed in this song, including myself. The harmony is absolutely perfect, lyrics quite catchy too. I think this was my favourite.
The place was packed so I was down the back. The entire atmosphere was warm and friendly and the evening was now in full swing.
I'm not sure I got the format of songs right but I think the next song was 'Satellite'. This number is slow, anthemic, with big rhythmic chords throughout. Lovely harmony, spacey sounds created by the lead guitar and a very good melody too. This is really catchy and once again had the attention of all!
In the next number, Susan played a gorgeous semi-solid guitar. The verse seemed monotonous. However once again, as in the previous songs, things began to pick up.
The chorus was lovely with little riffs filtered through here and there.
The mandolin, wonderful lyrics and harmony add to the atmosphere. The choruses are catchy and easy to sing along to.
In the next song, Susan returned to the violin. Just before this, Shane introduced the band and passed a few wise cracks, getting the audience laughing.
'Round the hard way' is definitely destined to become a big hit. It has a great choppy tempo, after a lot of pretty slow stuff. I like this song enormously I must say and found I was looking for it on the c.d. later when I got home. The little mandolin riffs are so catchy and her close harmony was crisp and clear.
'Mermaid- the Atlantean lullaby' was preceded by a nice little introduction from Susan. All members of the band left the stage to leave Shane and herself performing this with the acoustic guitar. The chorus is unforgettable and the two create such a rich, appealing sound. The strains of violin giving extra drama to the scene! There's a line or two of 'Don't stand so close to me' by 'The POLICE'. Interesting!
A girl called 'Grainne' was called up for the next number, which had very witty lyrics. The verse was sung in harmony with an echo-style, which was catchy and sweet. The chorus, more vibrant and cheeky made it interesting. It got a great reaction from the crowd. Unfortunately I didn't quite catch the name of this number, but it was interesting.
Up-beat and really catchy, 'All your features pass' lifted the whole evening as some beautiful chords, played on the Fender and some riveting lyrics brought the place to a stand-still! ABSOLUTE drama in every note, this is a choppy unforgettable song, which I imagine would sound fabulous at a big outdoor concert. Bass guitar very present and in-your-face here!
Slow sad and mournful, 'It's for the birds' was the final song of the evening. The chorus is done with lots of background vocals, to create a bit of interest and the ebb and flow of this song, as in all of the songs in this show gives you a taste to tantalise your musical palate. Before I left I got to meet the star of the show, 'Shane O'Fearghail' whom I congratulated on a very enjoyable performance. Thanks Shane and all of 'Caruso' for introducing me to a taste of something just that little bit different and special!
|Review written by: Angela Macari-O'Looney --|