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CLANN ZU Fred Zeppelins, Cork

Clann Zu played to a packed crowd in Fred Zeppelins of Cork on Friday, 19th April. The place had about 65-75 people crammed into it. Considering it holds about 45 people comfortably, that was no mean feat. With things running late, the band knew they had only about 40 mins to win over a sceptical partisan bunch. Known as a heavy-rock type of venue, Fred Zeppelin's regulars weren't sure what to expect. However, the appearance of the boys in the band did a little to dispel the anxiety of the crowd. Ben, with a beard that defies explanation(!) and Declan (the lead singer) present quite a contrast. Then there's the drummer and bassist who look like they should be playing Aussie rules football. On violin (yes, I said violin) was the enigma of the bunch. How can someone who looks as un-classical he does make a classical instrument sound so sweet?

So, on to the music. Anything but classical! If you have the good fortune to hear Clann Zu live or on CD you will know what a treat it is. Ranging from fairly heavy rock, through songs almost Eastern (arabic, not Dundalk) in origin from their early EP, via Traditional Irish sounding rock songs (with some lyric in Gaelic if I am not mistaken?!) and including a superb trad-Club rendition of RiRa (Yes, I did say Trad/Club). It is probably the only time I have ever seen a metal-head in the crowd banging away to a trad or club sound! It is hard to describe Clann Zu - I have said that before. However, that's a good thing in my opinion.

I had gone to the gig to get away from some awful Karaoke Students Union thing in UCC Cork. Glad I did. The three people I took with me were suitably impressed. One of them, a classically trained violinist herself, stated that the precision and ability of the violin playing - especially live and in a rock context - was well worth the trip. Songs like All The People Know, the afore-mentioned RiRa and You're Listening To A Dead Man Speak will no doubt impress crowds up and down the country in the near future. If you haven't already seen them live, then do it soon. If you can't or if you want to hear them every day, the CD RUA is available from Road Records

Review written by: Ron Healy --

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