Gig Reviews

Boa Morte – Whelans – Live Review

Boa Morte – Whelans – Live Review
by Killian Laher

Whelan’s Upstairs | May 11, 2023

A rare opportunity to see Boa Morte in Dublin presented itself upstairs in Whelans.  First up was Alan Daniel Tobin, who records as ADT.  He played a short solo set comprised of new material and songs off his debut album Volume One.  Songs like Even The Sun Don’t Shine On Lonely Hearts In Shadow call to mind Irish singer-songwriter royalty Damien Rice and Declan O’Rourke.  Stars In A Broadway Sky and From The Eastern Shore were delivered with passion and his upcoming second album will be worth listening out for.

Boa Morte kicked off their set with Paul Ruxton’s boyish vocals introducing Mountain.  Playing a mixture of older stuff and recent material, the newer stuff is definitely more complex. To call them songs undersells them a bit, they are really ambient folk jams, dressed up as songs.  They have a fine sonic blend between guitars, bass, the subtleties of Maurice Hallissey’s drumming and Bill Twomey and Cormac Gahan’s keyboards which gave the tracks an experimental feel.  Gahan alternated between bass, guitar, keyboards and also vocals on Tonight She Said and Under Stars.  We got the gloriously downbeat Deep Is, while the almost euphoric coda of Already Run was a definite highlight.  Support act ADT joined the band on ‘resonator guitar’ for the delicate, almost lullaby-like Under Stars.  Like a lot of their songs, it is in the instrumental passages where you really hear the interplay of the guitars. Twomey and Gahan’s voices combined wonderfully on the outro.  They went back and played early track Clarence White before rounding off their set with the keyboard-heavy drift The Total Space.  One of their finest tracks to date, Twomey coaxed steel guitar sounds out of his guitar which combined well with the keyboards.

They returned for an encore of Tired Eyes which even elicited a bit of a singalong from the audience.  It’s a real treat to see these unassuming, yet talented musicians play their complex music live.  An excellent gig.


Categories: Gig Reviews, Gigs, Header, Music

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