Big September at The Academy – Review

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big-septemberSaturday the 17th of May saw Big September officially launch their eagerly awaited debut album ‘Ballroom Addicts’. Having been released the week before for download, the gig was extra sweet as the boys announced their No.1 position in the indie album charts.

Singer/songwriter Jamie Duff was the first act to the stage and brought a feel-good folk vibe along with him. Duff’s voice has a comforting and warm quality to it, showcased wonderfully by his excellent collection of covers and originals. Totally at ease on stage and a great performer, Jamie truly is a one man show at its finest.

Taking a firm swerve from the folk route, crazily talented The Klares dawned the stage in white shirts, ties and jeans; highlighting their youth. All in transition year and only sixteen years old, The Klares are an exciting prospect for the future of the music industry in Ireland. With an old-school Arctic Monkeys swag, these boys put on a carefully chosen and exceptionally well put together short set. Songs like ‘I Don’t Really Like You’ and the title song from their EP ‘Dirty Birds’, reveal an exceptional talent in music writing, one that is far beyond their very young years. Each member of this four piece brings their own talents to the stage and together form something very special. Sounding even better live than they do in their recordings, The Klares are a ‘one to watch’.

Flooding into the pit as the stage was being set up for the main attraction, the fans were preparing themselves and getting a good spot for the show. When they appear on stage Big September really are the full package, looks and all. With sunglasses, skinny jeans and extraordinarily well groomed hair in the mix, they all look the part. Bringing a happy-go-lucky vibe to the Academy everyone was dancing their socks off to the feel-good tunes from the Bray fivesome. There were some clear hardcore fans in the audience, screaming every word of the fresh to the stands album, clearly having had it constantly on replay for the past week.

A group of very skilled musicians, Big September are effortless together. Vocals from Dave Butler and Scott O’Neill are well contrasted, each bringing something else to the table; Scott a funkiness, and Dave an innocence.  Fun ‘Naylor’ O’Neill is a treat, and brings a cheeky stage presence along with him, conversing with the crowd hilariously. Understated and hugely brilliant Cillian Duane wowed the audience with his multi-instrumental talents, bringing something new and exciting to each song. Dan Smith had a challenging and perfectly executed solo at the end of the gig that showcased his fantastic flair and presence on percussion. It was fascinating to watching him play the set and he really anchored the band well.

Big September created an intimate feel in the Academy, something that is hard to do in large venue. Their sincerity and humbleness was touching, and the thank-you’s to the fans and their family were genuinely  heartfelt. The addition of a killer cover of ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ injected even more fun to the gig, and at the end when they played their biggest hit ‘The Preacher’ beach balls were put into the crowd and bounced around to the final tune. Leaving the Big September gig everyone was on a high and couldn’t help but smile, the uplifting music leaving an impact even after the gig was over.

Review by Ruth McGovern

 

Mark O'Brien

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