Shadows and Dust at The Unitarian Church – Review and Photos

shadows-and-dust-unitarian-church-1Shadows and Dust – The Unitarian Church – Fri 7th Jun 2013

Shadows and Dust an up and coming folk-rock act released their debut EP “Each Year Forever” at the Unitarian Church in the heart of Dublin last Friday night. The EP is influenced by ‘art, folklore and film’ and their cover artwork received contributions from Sean Carey, the drummer of Bon Iver.

As fans eagerly waited on the doorsteps of lush St Stephens Green, supporting act “Slow Skies” were perfecting their last sound check pieces. Performing a number of their haunting folk songs, there was some nerves evident – probably perfectionism, but overall this didn’t take away from their rather beautiful, honest performance. Karen Sheridan and Conor Herron perform well on harmonies together. Slow Skies are currently recording new material and on the festival circuit at the minute and worth a peak.

Shadows and Dust band comprise of Dermot Kennedy (Guitar & Vocals), Lia Wright (Violin & Vocals), Micheál Quinn (Drums) and Erik Vaughan (Bass). Due to the scale of the venue, seating and spaces were few and far between by the time the band hit the stage.

The band appeared on stage quiet and strong, dressed in minimalistic black and grey combined with similar shaved hairstyles – reminiscent of Joy Division. Style aside their musical compositions commenced with Dermot Kennedys excellent vocal and keys on “Cool Song”, containing a slight aura of “Dead Man’s Bones” (Ryan Gosling). Followed by “Cobblestone Part I”, “Cobblestone Part II” both particularly long and epic ambient rock songs, this must be where it all began. Kennedy is a talent, his voice is full of depth with a strong, soulful range.

“This Woodland” is a surprise, with Lia Wrights vocal adding a soft, honey like quality to Kennedys harmonies and those rich drum rolls were perfect with some elements of The XX. “I Hope We Go” with its unusual harmonies, the group hollers “Hey” to the crowd with Kennedy’s vocal the focus of attention he tells us that – “I know love is in control”, good tune.

Stand out songs – for those in the world who have emigrated or are thinking of home “Homely Ground” is a catchy one, an award winning song and also their latest release off the EP. “Gosling” is a gorgeous song, the actors ‘Drive’ legacy is a running theme and influence. “The Nicest Sky” is uplifting, easy-going tune that errs on the style side of Snow Patrol.

Church doors banging and regular sound faults aside, a pin being dropped would have been noticed. Issues aside, these did not hold the crowd back from giving the band a tremendous standing ovation! Shadows and Dust gave a brave performance and the quaint setting was a fitting venue launch for their new EP. They have good potential on the rock-pop scene. You can find out more about the band and their recent EP songs on their Facebook page.

Shadows and Dust were featured as our Irish Band of the Week.

Review by Áine Byrne

Photos by Tudor Marian


Lucy Ivan

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