A Lazarus Soul & Arrivalists – Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire – Review
By Killian Laher
Sunday night provided the chance to see two of Ireland’s finest songwriters with A Lazarus Soul and Arrivalists. Pat Barrett, as Arrivalists, was up first, bearing a crutch due to some ligament damage. Despite this, his frail, poignant songs charmed the audience. Starting out with a pair of new songs, one of which was inspired by Hope Avenue off the North Strand. Barrett is a great man for finding inspiration in the everyday. He played a few songs from last years’ Last of the Written Pages album (Arthritis Wedding Ring, Little Triumphs, Threads) and Lighthouse Lights Out from 2018’s Hedge Schools album Magnificent Birds. Barrett’s songs are some of the finest songs you’ll hear, so much so that you just feel like saying “aw” when they are finished. Every word, every note is from the man’s heart.
Brian Brannigan and Joe Chester took the stage next, Chester providing guitar and Brannigan the lungs for a rousing set which took in songs new and old. There was plenty from 2019’s The D They Put Between The R&L, the likes of Black & Amber and Lemon 7s got a great reaction. Early into the set, they gave American Music Club’s I’ve Been A Mess a fair old bash, Brannigan’s rich voice proving equal to the song. New song Glass Swans and The Dealers were delivered with oceans of passion, the former introduced by a hilarious anecdote about Brannigan’s mother. Musically, the performance was anchored by Joe Chester’s guitar, he played a lovely brand of guitar jangle on older material Mercury Hit A High and The Day Harry Left. Long Balconies and Cruelty Man provided something of a climax to the set but they had time to return for a cover of Vic Chestnutt’s Stupid Preoccupations. It felt like a triumphant show, showcasing some of Ireland’s cleverest songwriters.