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CLANN ZU WHELANS, 27/06/2002

Clann zu opened with the trad/club mix, stunning vocals and more that is Ri Ra. This caused the guy standing next to me to drop his jaw, turn to look at his partner with bulging, vessel popping eyes and straighten his back as though someone had just walked on his grave causing unexpected shivers. This reaction was topped off by an exclamation something along the lines of "holy shit, they're amazing!".

First time witnesses to a Clann Zu gig often suffer such a gobsmacked sensation, - are they really making those sounds? How are they making those sounds? I can't believe they are?. Etc. etc. etc.

We were treated to plenty of other gems from their album RUA, such as WORDS FOR SNOW and ALL THE PEOPLE coupled with older material from their first and soon to be re-pressed EP (entitled simply Clann Zu). And a couple of new ones were thrown in for pure pleasure.

There can be a slight feeling of unease that you sometimes get when you're present at thoroughly powerful artistic performances like theirs. First timers tend to stand off a bit (or is it aback?) for Clann Zu's opening few songs. Declan De Barra on vocals, in particular, seems possessed by forces he struggles to contain with each songs outing. Members of the audience can be seen to either stand so still you fear they are not breathing, or, suddenly start dancing with wild abandon, I think is what they call it.

Clann Zu are not for the faint hearted as you might have already guessed. However you needn't worry as I suspect you won't leave at the end of the show feeling demented, burdened or insane but more as though you have left something behind. Something you were unaware was within you and something you are definitely glad to be rid of. And so easily too. A kind of pagan exorcism if you will, or, you know, whatever.

An over the top review? Judge me not until you see them live. And don't be a shit and say you heard a song or two in a mates and doubt it's all that. Trust me, get the cd, give it the time and space it both needs and deserves. Then see them live. Then you're sorted

Review written by: Deirdre Murphy --

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