Aoife Nessa Frances – The Grand Social – 21/02/20 – Live Review
by Killian Laher
Aoife Nessa Frances is certainly on the rise at the minute. Her album launch show in The Grand Social drew a large crowd for an artist who has released what is likely to be one of the best albums of the year. The evening began on a strange note with The Loud Shoe, who played a long, drawn-out, discordant jam in virtual darkness. There was little semblance of structure or melody in the jazzy drone, and the effect wore thin after 15 minutes or so.
Aoife Nessa Frances performed with drummer, keyboard player, bass player and Cian Nugent on electric guitar. The collective performed pretty much all of the current album, opening with In The End. Early on, Blow Up and Geranium saw Frances showcase her bruised husk of a voice, reminiscent of Margo Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies, while Cian Nugent played some fine leads alongside her, adding texture to the songs. Frances performed a very soulful version of Heartbreak, growing in confidence as the night wore on. A haunting Here In The Dark featured what sounded like vibraphone, rendered on keyboards. After a rocked up Less Is More the set drifted to a close with Land of No Junction. The crowd demanded another song so the band returned to play a decent version of Dusty Springfield’s Spooky.
In time I suspect the band might stretch out a little more on the songs, perhaps improvise here and there. As it was, there can be few at the gig who failed to be impressed by Frances and her fine band.