Niall Thomas – Night Sky Blue album review: Inner city life

Night Sky Blue
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Genre: Singer / Songwriter
Label: Guild Records

Niall Thomas follows the old adage of writing about what you know. Night Sky Blue is a heart-warming selection of tender songs about daily life, human resilience and love and loss in Dublin's north inner city, recorded in the Guild Studio in Stoneybatter. Thomas has one of those voices that becomes a gorgeous comfort blanket. It also has very pleasing shades of John Martyn and Nick Drake. Line of Vision paints a tender picture of children playing in the street, and throughout these 10 songs, Thomas take us from the backstreets of Smithfield to the north Dublin coast and from the bar stool to the graveyard. Veteran Irish producer Karl Odlum, who originally was a member of Kíla and sprinkled fairy dust on numerous records by The Frames and Gemma Hayes over the years, plays bass, while Ann Scott contributes vocals to Wait and See and Burrow. Night Sky Blue closes with Morning Star Avenue, which beautifully eulogises a Smithfield thoroughfare off Brunswick Street North to bring this captivating sonic stroll around north Dublin to a sumptuous end. Breathe Easy in 2013 was an accomplished debut, but Thomas has bettered it with a moving paean to Dublin's fair city, and life itself.