Overhead, The Albatross at The Grand Social – Review & Photos
“We’re a band called All Saints and this is a song called Pure Shores,” is how Overhead, The Albatross greet the huge crowd that had assembled in The Grand Social. While it was slightly disappointing that a series of 90’s girlband covers didn’t follow this opening statement, what did follow was an awe-inspiring set from one of the most talented bands operating in Ireland right now.
Having holed themselves up in the Czech countryside for three months last year, the band are finally set to release their debut album in 2014. While it’s been frustrating for fans to have to wait so long to hear the results of these sessions, the band should be admired for their perfectionism, a trait that is also evident in their extremely tight live shows. On the evidence of the new tracks that are played during this set, the wait will be more than worth it.
Dayku, a title that the band mistakenly thought was the Czech for ‘thank you’ but yet still retained as the title of the song is a gentle meander down a scenic country road that suddenly escalates into a psychedelic whirl of guitar riffs and violin before just as quickly dropping off to a minimalist, haunting breakdown. 22-20 is to be the first track on the album and what a start it promises to be. Slowly building from a stark violin line complimented by ringing keys into a glorious cacophony of noise; it’s a superbly paced track.
Overhead, The Albatross are a band that you could sit and watch jamming for hours on end and never tire of, unfortunately they were pressed for time here but that didn’t stop them painting their glorious cinematic soundscapes across the canvass of the assembled crowd, who took to cheering along and crowd surfing by the end of the set.
It’s easy to see why the crowd allow themselves to get so carried away. Being an instrumental band works in Overhead, The Albatross’s favour. In the absence of lyrics, the band work extra hard to tap in to listeners on an emotional level, with their music burrowing in to those primal urges to dance, move and feel. With seven musicians on stage there is a lot going on yet they make it effortlessly fit into a coherent whole of dynamically interesting music that never seems indulgent.
There’s still no word on an official release date for the album but the band have just announced that they will be playing Knockanstockan. Hopefully this will be the first of many gigs around the country in the coming months.
Review by Mark O’Brien
Photos by Tudor Marian