Elaine Mai at The Workman’s Club – Photos & Review

Elaine Mai

Elaine Mai

Elaine Mai played The Workman’s Club last Saturday, February 15th, with support from Cat Dowling and Sleep Thieves.

The evening began with Cat Dowling playing to just a handful of people sitting quietly in the dark venue. Not long after the first chords, people started coming in from the bar. Cat and her talented guitar player created a very warm atmosphere with their tunes and, despite the fact that it was just the two of them on stage, their set was a perfect opening for the night. “The Believer” was the song with the best reception.

See also: Interview with Cat Dowling at Knockanstockan 2013

The second act on stage was Sleep Thieves, the Dublin electro-pop trio known for their hypnotic sets. If you’ve seen Sleep Thieves before, you know that they’re not shy when it comes to using all sorts of effects, but everything blends together perfectly with Sorcha’s mesmerizing vocals on top. The band have a strong following and Saturday night proved it once more. Their set was engaging, intriguing and inspiring. People knew the songs by their names and cheered enthusiastically, especially when “Oceans” was announced. Sleep Thieves have just released a new single titled “City Of Hearts“, as a teaser for their new album “You Want The Night”, due for release in the upcoming months.

As Elaine Mai was setting up her gear, the room was getting crowded with people ready to celebrate the release of her latest EP titled “Known/Unknown”. Visibly excited, Elaine showed her distinctive vocals from the first tune to the delight of the audience. Not long into the set Elaine took her guitar to create the loops everyone knows by now. Elaine’s latest release, “EDC”, came out on February 10th and is available via iTunes. All proceeds generated by the sales of the song in February will be donated to Marriage Equality, a charity fighting for the right of civil marriage for Gay and Lesbian people.

Elaine’s remix of Daithi’s “Chameleon Life” transformed the room into a dancefloor. It no longer seemed a concert, the whole thing looked like a club with a skilled DJ behind the knobs. By the way, Daithi produced Elaine’s EP.

Dublin hip-hop singer Temper-Mental MissElayneous joined Elaine on stage for a song they wrote together, infusing some rap into the already diverse set. It was an interesting moment acclaimed by the audience.

Towards the end of the set Cat Dowling took to the stage again for the Elaine’s remix of “Somebody Else”. Fantastic job on this one from Elaine Mai, giving a classy electro twist to an already great song.

We’ve seen Elaine Mai before but this gig was different, more complex. From remixes to rap, to guitar loops and enchanting vocals. It’s hard to decide what Elaine’s top skill is. Her voice? Her remixes? Her ability to turn the gig into a party? Or maybe all of them combined into a modest, hard-working young artist. Only time will tell, but the future looks bright for Elaine Mai.

The only downside to her set is that it seemed short and there was no encore.

Photos by Tudor Marian



Lucy Ivan

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