Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Last night’s performances

How the hell did Band of Horses get so big? Are they the new National? It really seemed as if everyone in the city of gig-going age – and certainly every one of the writing about music and talking about …

Thu, Feb 21, 2008, 09:26

   

How the hell did Band of Horses get so big? Are they the new National? It really seemed as if everyone in the city of gig-going age – and certainly every one of the writing about music and talking about music classes – was on Harcourt Street last night en route to Tripod to see the Yanks in action. But while the albums are decent stabs at new-rock with old colours, the live performance was uninspiring and mundane and left me cold. They also reminded me of the Sawdoctors. Blame the banjo. But sure, Irish audiences go nuts for that sort of thing.

Next door, Cap Pas Cap were playing their first gig of 2008. They have a hugely promising hold on art-pop’s fixtures and fittings and, while the new material needs oiling, the older, more familiar tracks zinged. One to watch as the year progresses.

One of the year’s early must-hear albums is “Beat Pyramid” but, after last night’s show in Crawdaddy, These New Puritans are one of those bands you must see in the coming months. A short (35 minutes or thereabouts), sharp and spikey set from the Southend band which was all angles angles (we particularly dig their alternate interior, obtuse and vertical ones) and golden moments. “Swords of Truth” was the one for me. It will be interesting to see them a year from now when they’ve transformed all that energy into fireballs.

But the performance of the night has to be Martin Mansergh on Nighty Night With Vincent Browne (which is turning out to be an oddly fantastic show – yes, both odd and fantastic). Man, Marty was on fire. It was like watching Jerry Lee Lewis rocking out with Chuck Berry. The erudite TD for Tipperary South (not a description we have ever used before when discussing public representatives from the holy land, but he does hold a D Phil. in Pre-Revolutionary French history) was preaching and hollering and testifying like a man who had just found God. Or in his case, Bertie Ahern. Political car-crash TV at its best, up there with Gerry Collins’s “don’t burst the party” plea or Bertie’s cry-me-a-river performance with Bryan Dobson.

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