Cian Nugent – The Workmans Club Cellar, Dublin – Live Review – 25/05/23
by Killian Laher
There was excitement in the air in the Workman’s Cellar for the Cian Nugent album launch gig. First up was Jasmine Wood, who played a long droning piece of electronica, with occasional snatches of vocals, and murmurings. What seemed a bit strange at first became compelling, with some beats gradually emerging the whole room was transfixed. File under experimental.
Cian Nugent was joined by David Murphy on pedal steel, along with a drummer and bass player. Playing the entirety of his recent She Brings Me Back To The Land of The Living album, the band settled into a laid back, classic rock groove, maybe a little retro but not overly, allowing Cian Nugent to stretch out on guitar. Nugent told us recently about how he enjoys how songs can change in a live performance and that’s how the night panned out, with the likes of Empress featuring even more prominent steel guitar than on the album. I’ve Been Down was a massive early peak, as Nugent unleashed a fearsome guitar solo. He plays with delicacy when required with subtle guitar licks on The Sound of Rain. On the other hand, he and the band could rock like fuck on the extended coda to High Up Airplane.
The drummer got his chance to shine with a lengthy drum solo introducing Dogs In The Morning. Towards the end of the set, the band played a hazy, lengthy version of Pass The Time Away and How The Time Passes, where you could be forgiven for thinking about the late Tom Verlaine. The set finished with First Run, off of 2016’s Night Fiction, the bluesiest moment of the night. Cian Nugent has made his finest album to date and it’s a joy to hear it live. It’s time his name was mentioned among Irish guitar heroes.
Categories: Gig Reviews, Gigs, Header, Music
Caoimhe Hopkinson on bass, Sean Carpio on drums. Great evening.