Joshua Radin at The Sugar Club – Review
Joshua Radin – The Sugar Club – Gig Review – Weds 5th June 2013
Hot off the back of his new album “Wax Wings”, Joshua Radin began his tour of the US in May and to Europe in June with the last night of the tour taking place in The Sugar Club in Dublin last (smoldering hot) Wednesday night. Jam packed, with extra seats towed in to deal with the demand, people were sitting even along the aisles early in high anticipation for Radin’s sold out poetic compositions of loves lost and found.
Support came from the really funny and talented duo “My Name Is You”, Anne Williamson and Brandon Walters, showcasing their union of quirky indie-folk melodies and warm, intelligent lyrics – “I’m happiest when I’m just doing stuff with you”. “My Name Is You” band member Anne, lost her passport and barely made it to Ireland, thankfully she was allowed in with her drivers’ license, only in Ireland, a blessing…as we all had the pleasure of hearing them play their set together.
With their effortlessly cool keys and guitar plus gorgeous harmonies, live they’re fun and a bit of a comedy duo, stand out songs were “We’re Alive” about a close friend of Anne who was in an accident but survived, “Come Back” and “Everything That” are simply happy, optimistic little gems. I highly recommend adding them to your ‘soundtrack of the summer/picnic’ playlist…now.
Radin from Cleveland was originally an artist, who turned musician and his friend Zach Braff added one of his songs to the soundtrack of Scrubs, which has led to many of Radin’s songs to being added to almost circa 70+ American television series (Greys Anatomy, 90210 – etc) and programme soundtracks ever since.
Bearing hat and a glass of good stuff, he opened with ‘a yet to be recorded tune’ singing earnestly “I know you can hear me though you’re far, I wish you could see me”, clearly influenced by James Taylor, Cat Stevens – more on the good side of Tom Baxter than James Blunt. He’s quiet a natural, the crowd really ‘dote on’ him and adore his sings…and as I looked around many, actually almost all, had their eyes closes and were swaying.
Vocally his voice is unlike his previous recordings – something has changed, it has a deeper, stronger quality, that is textured and more tonal with a beautiful soul to it. He continued with “You Got Growing Up To Do”, a victim of timing song “about being with the right person, but at the wrong time” and then “No Envy, No Fear” a powerful ballad about long distance love. Radin has been through it all, and it seems as though he wants to take us on a musical tour of all the stories behind his loves, lost and found.
Welcoming back onto stage “My Name is You”’s Brandon and Anne again, it turns they are very close and long-time friends of Radin. Brandon had recorded a number of tracks with Joshua on his first and second albums – they delighted the crowd “One Of Those Days” off the album Simple Times. Looking around everyone was mouthing the words, in love.
A natural story teller, he told the story behind each song which really added to the performance, especially the story behind loss of innocence track “You Got What I need” about a friends child who wanted to ‘shift’ a girl. Radin gave him the gift of confidence and the Irish gave him a new word “shifting” to add to his legacy of lyrics. Stand out songs in the final part were “The Fear You Won’t Fall” and his lovely finale song “I Should Know Who I Am By Now”. A natural performer, subtle and delicious sounding, he is no doubt a hot favorite with couples that want to make love or dance to for their wedding song or for making some babies too. He has many uses, our Joshua Radin!
Off-mic Radins vocals were so powerful, what whisper are people talking about? This was surprising considering his recorded material portrays him as being very soft and gentle – he had more power in his lungs than the venue amps. Perhaps he is tired of being portrayed in this way, and is trying something new. A very strong performance, the crowd called him back up onto stage and no doubt he will be back in the Sugar Club again singing his soothing songs to an adoring crowd.
Just listen to any one of his songs for love advice, from a male perspective.
You can find out more about Joshua Radin’s hits on his website.
Review by Áine Byrne