Steve Gunn – Whelans – Gig Review by Killian Laher – 16-11-16
Steve Gunn has been gathering momentum over a number of years, and this year’s album Eyes On The Lines has been his most well-received to date. Nathan Bowles opened the night with some highly musical compositions on, of all things, a banjo. Bowles played songs like Gadarene Fugue and I Miss My Dog with seemingly effortless subtlety and complexity, shining a light on an instrument not always known for depth.
Steve Gunn began his set with a solo rendition of Old Strange dedicated to “the motherfucker who got elected president of America”. But if Gunn was angry he didn’t show it, with some extraordinary, hypnotic guitar lines to get lost in. He was joined by a band which included Bowles on drums and guitarist Cian Nugent, and they played jammy, expansive versions of Ancient Jules, Full Moon Tide and others, largely drawn from his most recent album. Proceedings slowed down for the Led Zep III channeling Ark, which featured a fine guitar solo from Nugent mid song. A rather short set culminated in an extended version of Park Bench Smile which descended into an incongruous noise workout.
After returning for a brief solo version of Wildwood, Gunn and co were gone, leaving the audience wanting more, but assured they had witnessed some fine music. Gunn is a decent songwriter but a really fine musician, and hearing him play live with his band was a definite treat.
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