This was my first trip to Molloy & Dowling as a venue and it’s always nice to see somewhere different. It is one of the quirkier places I’ve seen a gig in, as it’s a basement opticians on Kildare street, just up from the Dáil Éireann (Irish Parliament buildings). The walls were filled with unusual art pieces and a variety of machines and devices for checking peoples eyes, some very old and some more recent.
I was one of the first to arrive at the venue, and even got to see Glenn and support act Cian Nugent come into the venue with their dinner! They had just got burritos from an unspecified source, and I was pleased to hear that Glenn rated the burrito as outstanding! I guess Mexican food is something that’s taken over in Dublin in the last while. The venue slowly filled and it was lovely to see Glenn spent most of his time chatting to members of the audience, and there was nothing approaching a rock star about him, he seems a friendly sort who loves to hear other people talk.
Cian Nugent played support, and seems to be good friends with Glenn, having toured the States with him previously. Cian has a new album out, which was released yesterday, but he was at pains to say that this was not the album launch, which will take place in the Grand Social next Friday night (15-11-13).
Glenn took to the stage at half ten and started into a dazzling display of guitar and banjo music, and also a variety of stories about his friends and other musicians. His love of the guitar is obvious, and he glows when talking about those who inspired him such as Jack Rose and John Fahey, guitar legends who have departed this world for the next. The music was mostly from his most recent album ‘Garden state’ (our glowing review is here). The album was written about a time when his mother was dying and he returned to his home state of New Jersey, and see the places from his childhood. The complexity of his guitar style makes it hard to believe that it’s created by just one man, and it’s fascinating to see him do it live. It was a night where guitar was king, and all those in the small space were delighted to hear it.