The Lost Brothers at Cafe Du Journal – Review
Nestled neatly in the middle of Monkstown, Cafe Du Journal seems an unlikely venue for a Thursday night gig. Curated by The Crescent Sessions, a monthly musical showcase, the cafe turns into a cosy and captivating little setting, warm and welcoming, certainly an intimate spot to see The Lost Brothers perform. The duo are currently in the midst of a comprehensive tour of Ireland and the U.K. in support of the release of their fourth album, New Songs of Dawn and Dust.
A solitary red suitcase sits on stage, the band’s logo scrawled, hand painted on the side, creating an aesthetic of travelling folk musicians and when Oisin Leech and Mark McCausland walk on stage, sharply attired in neat suits clutching acoustic guitars, it seems suspicions are gladly confirmed.
With just two guitars and vocals, sometimes it can be difficult to take control of the room, but when The Lost Brothers begin to sing in harmony, a style reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel, the chattering Monkstown crowd is quickly silenced with the jangling acoustic beat of ‘Derridae’, a new track off their current album, commanding audience attention.
Mellow, soft and melancholic harmonies abound in ‘Who Could Love You More’, Oisin strumming a lazy beat in a wonderfully dynamic display using the acoustic as a rhythm instrument, while Mark’s gentle finger picking keeps the music moving, using minimal resources to create a different sound, albeit simple, but very effective, especially in this setting.
Both ‘Brothers’ sing throughout most songs, their voices very comfortable in each other’s company. Their vocal unity is indeed quite compelling, particularly in ‘Poor Poor Man’ with its quiet country chord progression, very delicate delivery, sweet humming folk Americana. ‘Corrina, Corrina’, a version of a traditional song made famous by Dylan is provided in a full bodied rendition, played properly and with passion and straight after, bursting through rapturous applause, a bright number, ‘The Goodbye Kid’, catchy in all the right ways, had many voices humming, almost infectious its upbeat air.
The Lost Brothers incorporate many elements of American roots music into their songs. Blues, folk and country are all apparent, but the crowd react raucously to early rock n’ roll sounding songs, like, ‘All the Cats on the Table do the Bop’, especially when blues harmonica bursts out through the P.A. rattling the speakers, the crowd calling in response. Milkshake shop sweet rock n’ roll awakens the room.
They finish with a reserved and subtle rendition of ‘Moon River’, gentle and soft strummed chords provides a suitable end to a striking night of sweet music.
By Andy Guyett