Ghost Estates at Whelan’s – Review
On a miserable Thursday night, there was some surprising musical treats for those in store who ventured out in the rain to Whelan’s for the Ghost Estates gig. Samuel Vas-Y was a sight for sore eyes, warming up the stage with his sexy samba vibe. The French born Dalkey dweller brought an international appeal to the stage with my favorite song of his ‘Cada Dia’ transporting you to a trendy bar in Pari(s). You would describe his music as understatedly easy listening; natural to the ears and hits all the sweet spots, along with being creatively challenging and unique. The ensemble featuring cello and percussion created the perfect ambiance for his music, the cello notably bringing a deeper dimension to the sound. Samuel’s voice has an Elvis Presley quality to it, with the way he slurs his notes and his smooth tone. With a clear talent and unique sound, Samuel Vas-Y is has a promising future in Irish music.
SOance HOtel’s sound set up was poorly done and way out of balance -this affected the rest of the set unfortunately. With overpowering bass and percussion the vocals became a low mumble throughout the performance. The sheer volume of these lines were so overwhelming that I actually had to make DIY earplugs out of toilet paper. Apart from the performance aspects I feel that the music lacked a coherence and consistency; with most of it feeling lost… and not it a good way. One thing is for sure, SOance HOtel sure do look the part on stage and have the long hair grunge affect down to the T and they also seemed like a nice bunch of lads that really enjoyed performing on stage.
The main attraction Ghost Estates arrived on stage at 10.30 ready to rock. They have so many facets to them that it is extremely hard to put them in a box, and that’s what’s intriguing about them. Indie/pop vocals lie on top of an eclectic number of different layers but one factor is always consistent; the undercurrent is always driven and pulsing. Their music always has a direction and is constantly moving forward, this is mirrored in their great presence and confidence on stage. The Dublin four piece have gone through some changes since the release of their debut album in 2012 with two of the original members Keith Byrne and Alan Monaghan leaving the band. Ghost Estates were then joined by now drummer and former Cheap Freak Dave Mulvaney. It is great to see that after a big change to the dynamic of the group, they were able to set up a new and improved identity. Seeing them perform live on stage it is clear that their new dynamic is set, and they are ready to dive into the festival scene this summer. Seeing songs like ‘In Your Dreams’ and ‘Winters Day’ being preformed highlight that the music that they produce is meant for, and is at its best played live. It’s in no doubt that Ghost Estates will own the stage wherever they play this summer, and they have a fun few months ahead of them!
Review by Ruth McGovern