Kevin Murphy has just released an album he recorded as Blind Stitch, and he launched the album upstairs in The Hut, in Phibsborough. Support came from The Next New Low, fronted by Brian Mooney. Backed by a keyboard player, bass and steel guitar, the band played easygoing, gentle songs with lovely harmonies that crawl under your skin. Some really beautiful tunes, quite moving. They finished with a lovely version of The Next New Low, lump-in-the-throat stuff.
Kevin Murphy was up next, on his own for most of the gig as he forgot to mention it to drummer Connor Murray! He opened with Winter’s Parade, singing over his plucked cello, with some eerie wailing midway through. Nobody Loves Me was dominated by a sinister-sounding cello line, culminating in a thrilling cacophony. His haunting and visceral cello playing on these intricate, complex songs is topped off by an unnerving, unsettling singing voice. He played Junior Crehan and Abner Jay’s Caisleán Óir as well as an instrumental dedicated to the Ballymurphy Massacre. Later he was joined by his brother Bernard on keyboards for Storage Solutions and the deeply moody title track from his new album, The Emperor’s Lung.
For an encore he played a version of How Can I Live At The Top Of A Mountain, dedicated to the late Phil Callery. Murphy is an absolute master of his instrument and writes some excellent songs. The album is available here.