James Vincent McMorrow leaves crowd elated at Trinity gig

McMorrow lets his guard down and his emotions out at quality performance

James Vincent McMorrow: ‘I only have an hour and a half so I don’t want to bore you with my shiteing on’

James Vincent McMorrow: ‘I only have an hour and a half so I don’t want to bore you with my shiteing on’

 

James Vincent McMorrow

Four stars

Trinity College, Dublin

You can probably mathematically graph a quality gig. There’s surely a perfect intersection between the point where the crowd thinks an artist is flying, and the musician is only just starting to notice that their feet have left the ground. It felt a little like that when James Vincent McMorrow kicked off the Trinity summer series of gigs on Friday evening. His slow dawning realisation that all these people were here to see him, led to an excitement and giddiness that was reflected back on him from the crowd.

Musically there were no early signs of nerves – the R&B groove of Get Low and Nashville twang of Breaking Hearts were delivered with a pristine élan – but we were a good 40 minutes in before McMorrow spoke to the crowd. “I only have an hour and a half so I don’t want to bore you with my shiteing on. I’ll just play as many songs as possible.”

Even the set list betrayed some insecurities, with only one song – National – from True Care as he “didn’t want to be ridiculous” and play loads of tunes off the new album. But the reaction to that song and its witty lyrics (“We’d spend our nights listening to The National … You said your favourite song / Was the one about death / I said every single one’s like that.”) as part of a mid-set acoustic break seemed to give him a chance to take in his surroundings and breathe.

The Trinity cricket ground works nicely as a venue, both sonically and logistically, and with the weather playing its part, the trees close in as darkness falls and it’s very easy to imagine you’re in a field at a festival, rather than in the centre of the capital.

When the band rejoined McMorrow on stage they were ready to flex their rock muscles, and the gathering momentum of the gig was driven forward by an astonishing hat-trick of songs - the slow build juggernaut of We Don’t Eat, the synthtacular One Thousand Times and the throbbing bass of Rising Water.

By that point McMorrow seemed to have left his guard down and his emotions out. He thanked everybody for turning up, from his parents to the people drinking cans outside the fences, and then treated the crowd to some awkward moves from the Thom Yorke school of dance.

If I Had a Boat provided a suitable encore, leaving both the performer and the crowd to float off into the Dublin night, elated and sated. Just as well McMorrow seemed to enjoy playing to his biggest ever Irish crowd – on the evidence of this he might have to get used to it.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.