Kaleidoscope Night – Bello Bar – Live Review – 01-01-20
by Killian Laher
Find out more about Kaleidoscope here.
What better way to start a new year/decade and avoid the ‘back to work fear’ than to go to a gig on New Year’s Day? Kaleidoscope have putting on a series of diverse nights for a number of years now. First up was John Lambert, otherwise known as Chequerboard, who released a wonderful album The Unfolding back in 2013. This time out he played a selection of new instrumental pieces on guitar. For the uninitiated, Chequerboard is Ireland’s answer to Vini Reilly on an acoustic, with a little John Williams thrown in. In other words, a seriously good guitar player. The new pieces are intricate and complex, no titles were revealed but hopefully we’ll hear recorded versions soon. This was followed by a strange performance featuring soprano Elizabeth Hilliard singing over a piece by Rachael Lavelle, while making a smoothie, live on stage. Stranger still was when Hilliard was joined by Lina Andonovska on flute to perform an experimental David Bremner piece. The piece was avant-garde in the extreme, lacking any kind of conventional melody.
After a brief interval, Slow Moving Clouds took to the stage. Led by Kevin Murphy on cello, accompanied by Ultan O’Brien on fiddle and Aki on a Finnish stringed instrument, possibly a nyckelharpa? They played a selection of string-based pieces, No One’s Coming and Under the City which connected well, avoiding the obvious musical turns that can come with this kind of music. An Drualainn and Goose Lodge Massacre moved in a more traditional direction before they finished with a Finnish piece. It was an impressive performance and probably the highlight of the night.
Up next were Far Flung Trio, featuring violin, accordion and double bass, who played snatches of well known pieces, from classical ones by Rossini and Gershwin to the more recent Misirlou from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. The band were clearly there to have fun and this they did, through the music of Edith Piaf along with a version of Route 66 retooled as the N7. So much so Katherine Hunka’s violin bow briefly bothered the Christmas decorations hanging from the ceiling! They were there to launch their new album Live At The Large Room which is available now.
An entertaining and interesting evening, one to banish any new year’s blues.