Ana Gog and Carriages at the Grand Social – Review
Ana Gog played The Grand Social on Friday night with special guests Carriages.
If listening to a Carriages track through earphones is anything to go by, listeners will be even more intrigued to see how their unique sound comes across in a live setting. Their combination of an acoustic guitar and electronic sound effects is definitely an interesting twist, but one that you get completely lost in and don’t want to end. ‘Iron & Fire’ is encased in an array of such sounds, from news interview snippets to clinking glasses being slotted between Aaron Page’s deep vocals for a genius piece of music. You can’t even begin to comprehend the preparation that must go into such an act. Harry Bookless seems to have an endless selection of sounds to choose from for ‘Like A Child’, and in choosing them carefully they’re spun between beats and synth bass lines to compliment Aaron’s acoustic talents. His voice is also one of those that hits you powerfully, right in the chest and through your whole body in a welcoming invasion that is openly accepted. ‘Tired Love’ yet again showcases their skills through repetitive sound loops and synth cords all cocooned within Aaron’s lyrical blanket.
Their electronic-acoustic combination sits the duo at a new level of talent that listeners are unlikely to have witnessed before. Everything gels so well and it’s honestly an act you can’t take your eyes off. Even as they finish up you’re left lingering with curiosity over just exactly how they make it all happen.
After looking forward to seeing Ana Gog play live for first time, the five piece dived straight into their set and sent first impressions off in a happy upward spiral. As they sang of ‘climbing back to better times’, their appeal as a live act becomes instantly apparent. Each with their own roles but meshing together in different forms to suit track arrangements and varied loud and soft sounds they wish to portray.
Lead singer Michael Gallen has such a crisp and clear vocal that when joined by rising harmonies and synth effects for ‘Breaking The Atom’ it makes for an ear-loving creation. I was surprised to then hear him speak with such a thick accent as there’s no hint of it anywhere as he performs. ‘Hotels’ is a beautifully paced track that builds perfectly from soft piano chords to multi-instrument efforts of a rocky edge, before slowing it right back down. They seem to have a knack for such skills, and can go from a nice room swaying atmosphere to proper head bopping stuff in an instant. It’s like a powerful style of folk-music that gets to take a walk on the wild side every now and then, and while they’re at it they take on board electronic synth sounds for good measure too.
Distinctive chords ring out for ‘Rosie’s Kitchen’, with harmonies delicately placed and instrumentals fading between the impressive drum efforts. They also showcase more of their electronic effects during their set, with whirring and loops being surrounded by hovering guitar chords and bass lines. ‘Going Gentle’ is almost dream like, and it’s possible I even went off into a little trance while watching the switching of guitar chords. Although thinking back maybe the lights and heat of the room were beginning to get a bit muchhot. Nonetheless it still has that soft lullaby feel about it, with lingering vocals and quiet humming that can just about be heard, but it’s perfect like that.
Finishing up with a superb energy fuelled instrumental and the gorgeous ‘Assai’, Ana Gog have slotted themselves in as another quality Irish live act that I can’t wait to see again.
Review by Nicole Leggett