Mark Lanegan – Button Factory – Live Review – 17-12-19
by Killian Laher
Although it feels like Mark Lanegan washes up in Dublin quite often, it had been two years since his last visit. Support was provided by veteran punks The Membranes, who played an energetic set. Fronted by the hyperactive John Robb, they powered through recent material like Black Is The Colour and In The Graveyard. The band looked like they were having the time of their lives, engaging with the crowd, with Peter Byrchmore playing guitar with a torch at one point!
But it was mainman Mark Lanegan and his band who were the star attraction. They played an uptempo set focusing mainly on material from the last seven years or so. An immense version of Nocturne provided an early highlight, along with growling versions of Night Flight to Kabul and Beehive. Lanegan utilised his lower register roar to great effect on Burning Jacob’s Ladder and Bleeding Muddy Water. Older material was not completely neglected, dusting off Hit the City and an emotional version of One Hundred Days. But at times, particularly on newer material, the set had almost a party feel, on the electro-inflected Penthouse High and Ode to Sad Disco.
On songs like Dark Disco Jag and a towering Gazing From The Shore, you realise that Lanegan is writing some of the best music of his career, pushing himself into new areas. The latter provided a particular highlight, everything centres around Lanegan’s terrific singing voice, in contrast to his weak croak on the few occasions he spoke between songs. A brief encore culminated in The Killing Season which felt like an odd note to finish on, not one of the stronger songs of the night. However, many in the audience were already contemplating when Mark Lanegan’s next visit might be.