Simon Quigley – A Night By The Ocean – NCH – Live Review – 19-04-16
Simon Quigley may be a new name to most, but he learned his trade in one of Ireland’s best underground rock bands of the early 90s. Simon played with Sack, who as he said himself were one of many bands that were meant to be Ireland’s next U2. They received much praise from critics and were a favourite of Morrissey who picked them to open for his band on several major tours. Since that time Simon has played in a variety of bands and worked with artists such as Camille O’Sullivan, Edwyn Collins and Dave Couse.
This night in the John Field room of the National Concert Hall was called ‘A Night By The Ocean’ and featured a variety of other artists and friends. Fiach Moriarty was (in a sense) the support act on the night, as he opened the set. Simon produced Fiach’s new album and he sang and played guitar while Simon backed him up on piano.
We then were shown a short video of 41° 46′ North which tells the tale of Thomas Ryan. Thomas was one of the many people that died in steerage on the Titanic. At the time, the family of the deceased would not receive any compensation if they had travelled in steerage. Thomas’ father took them to court and won on the basis that his son had not bought the ticket himself, and therefore had not agreed to the terms and conditions. This case is the inspiration for his song “Ryan v The White Star Line”.
After a short interval, Simon returned to the stage and was joined by a string quartet. The set was mainly instrumental, with a focus on strings, piano and a variety of electronic sounds. Simon talked of his inspirations for the songs, which were surprisingly mainly related to economics and social issues of our times such as the refugee crisis. The song Timepiece tried to unite sounds from Germany’s musical past, with Wagner, Weill, Stockhausen & Kraftwerk all in one song. Clare Kavanagh and Martin McCann joined the band on stage for a rendition of “Ryan v The White Star Line” before Simon closed the night with a piano piece dedicated to his wife. The music was at its best when the string section combined with the electronic sound, which created something quite unusual. Expect more from Simon as he promised an album ‘Gross National Happiness‘ later this year.