Live at the National Museum of Ireland – 28/08/22
Part of the Wider than Pictures series.
The setting for this series of gigs was hugely impressive. While I’d seen concerts in recent years in what serves as the car park of the National Museum of Ireland, this was the first time I’d seen the courtyard used as a venue. I was concerned that it may be a difficult setting for sound quality, with the possibility of echoes off the four walls, but it proved not to be the case, possibly as they dropped their sound levels slightly. It worked well as a venue, even if it was difficult to get out of at the end of the evening due to the narrow archway exits. Hopefully, it will be used in the future!
The role of the second support act is not particularly sought after and the night opened with a new name to most people. It was a little after a quarter to seven when Uwade arrived on stage with her green guitar. She played a short collection of songs, introducing Dublin to her delicate guitar playing and hugely impressive voice! The songs were slow and soulful, and despite the early start captured the attention of the small audience. At one point, she asked for some tips on what she should eat while staying in Ireland, saying she’d already tried boxty! The ever-helpful Irish audience suggested a Spice bag, chicken fillet roll and even a battered sausage as Irish delicacies. Hopefully, she ignored their advice. She finished the set with a song dedicated to her sadly departed father, The Man Who Sees Tomorrow. It was not the last the audience would see of her, as she would appear with Fleet Foxes on a number of songs later in the evening.
The next support act was Ailbhe Reddy, who was a more easily recognisable name to many in the audience. She has been slowly making a name for herself, with some good reviews for her recent album Personal · History. She was again solo on stage with her guitar, and entertained the audience with songs told of life in modern Dublin. Tales of getting drunk and embarrassing yourself at house parties and unrequited love. As she said towards the end of the set, do you want to hear the sad song or… the other sad song? It will be interesting to see how she develops as an artist over the next few years.
The main act Fleet Foxes came on stage just after half past eight. The start time had been heavily advertised as the curfew of half past ten was in place for this series of gigs, but it must have caught a few latecomers by surprise! The lineup of Fleet Foxes currently includes five band members, but they were aided on the night by the Westerlies, the New York based brass quartet. Also, Uwade featured on a number of the songs, providing lead vocals for tracks such as their opener ‘Wading in Waist‐high Water’.
There is nothing particularly original about what Fleet Foxes do, what marks them out is the quality of their performance. The members of the band are all impressive musicians and their vocal harmonies give a rich and full sound. The set featured some classic tracks from their debut album, including White Winter Hymnal and Ragged Wood. They varied their sound throughout the set, with a number of solo tracks from main man Robin Pecknold on solo guitar, although they were at their best with the full band on stage.
Robin Pecknold also gave credit to Ireland for the birth of the band, saying he had written a number of the songs off their first album during his time spent in Cork. While bands always praise the location in which they’re playing, Robin did say the best thing about touring Europe was visiting Ireland! It’s hard not to feel a bit special with his constant praise!
After an hour on stage, the band left for a short break, with Robin promising ‘many more songs’ on their return. The encore featured five songs, with the final track being an epic version of Helplessness Blues, from their second album. It was a good workout of their musical highlights, showcasing the repertoire of this fine band! We hope they find a reason to visit our shores again soon!
Wading in Waist‐high Water (with Uwade)
Can I Believe You
He Doesn’t Know Why
Third of May/Ōdaigahara
White Winter Hymnal
Phoenix (Big Red Machine cover)
Blue Spotted Tail – (Robin Pecknold Solo)
The Kiss – (Judee Sill cover)
A Long Way Past the Past
Drops in the River
Blue Ridge Mountains
Montezuma – (Robin Pecknold Solo)
The Shrine/An Argument
For a Week or Two (with Uwade)
Going-to-the-Sun Road (with Uwade)