Daniel Bachman at Whelan’s – Review and Photos
Virginia born musician Daniel Bachman played Whelan’s on Wednesday 3rd of July.
He started strumming with an easy energy with no introduction when he took to the little red stage of Whelan’s upstairs venue. He opened with ‘Blenheim’ named and in tribute to the peninsula where friends of his throw killer parties. You could really feel his inspiration in the music; he somehow expressed the feeling of a party, people gathering in a summer twilight of chatting and drinking. The music had all the warmth, energy and even the sort of comfort that a gathering can bring. There were slightly pared back moments putting more intimate quiet scenes into our minds eye and louder sections portrayed more energetic party moments. At times in the song it sounded almost as though there were two guitars!
He played on in between songs, tuning or playing around, as though he couldn’t keep his fingers away from the strings. His second song ‘White Oak’ gave the audience chills, hair-raisingly beautiful sound. The notes seemed to swarm around you like some sort of musical blizzard, but with melody in the madness. This moved seamlessly into a rapid but mellow summery sound that made you want to be running, exploring and laughing.
The sound was so incredible it demanded not just to be heard but to be felt and experienced. It told a story in a language you didn’t quite understand but that was somehow the more beautiful for it.
Between songs he spoke briefly about getting over to Ireland and his astonishment at Ryanair baggage charges (if his accent hadn’t marked him out as not being Irish that statement would have!). His next track was ‘Copperhead’ which came off as upbeat and fun. His brown leather boots tapped the rhythm as his fair-skinned fingers danced over the guitar strings. As the song built in intensity it was as though the song was possessing him, him hands taken over by an insatiable energy.
He played on with ‘Honeysuckle Reel’ which is on his upcoming album due out in October and the audience was carried along on a river of song so powerful that you stopped listening so much as became part of the song. He then blazed through the slightly southern ‘Jesus I’m A Sinner’ before setting the scene for ‘Perigee Moon’ which he composed about a particularly crappy night in Columbus, Ohio. Many audience members closed their eyes during this number to better appreciate the musical story unfolding.
Before kicking off the final song he promoted his music-having made up some CDs that included new tracks to help him pay his way home! ‘Seven Pines’ was a little slower and had an air of nostalgia to it at face value which felt like a fitting goodbye. It brought thoughts of comfort to mind, maybe the music or maybe the relaxed atmosphere as the evening wound to an end. It built to a final impassioned and ever so slightly ominously-toned crescendo with the notes spread out more. This met with a prolonged applause that closed the night with great energy.
Daniel has a really fantastic energy and an obvious passion for music. He made instrumental music into a performance and an experience and the whole set was a journey, a series of stories. It was a really nice relaxing but engaging evening. A lovely set.
Review by Kat Clinch
Photos by Tudor Marian