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Jack of Diamonds Review: Friday & Saturday
The vibe around Dame Street for The Jack of Diamonds is for me one of the finest compliments I can bestow on the Jack of Diamonds crew. Minnie & the Illywackers on the outside stage at the back of The Mercantile had young and old swooning and dancing to their rag time tunes. What a great way to kick off The Jack of Diamonds:
Conor Linnie in The Button Factory performed a solid set of tunes mostly taken from his fine debut album 'Astry' released last year. Conor is an accomplished frontman, vocalist and songwriter with a long career ahead of him.
Over to Abner Brown's basement in Sweeney's was the wonderful Sarah Red. Sarah is such a great performer, vocalist and songwriter who will I've no doubt release a spectacular debut album in the future. Until then you need to find her at festivals like The Jack of Diamonds or Knockanstockan as well as checking out her tunes on Soundcloud:
Back to the Button Factory now for Gavin Glass who is performed like the true professional he is. There's style, grace, energy and charm in abundance on stage with Gavin's folk-rock sound. I was massively impressed and began thinking along the lines of ...... "How is Gavin Glass not more well known in Ireland".
With the last bus calling I got to hear a few tunes from the impressive folksters The Annulments in Sweeney's basement and a bit of Tod Doyle's set upstairs in Sweeney's.
The Annulments didn't disappoint nor did they completely impress either. It's hard to make a judgement on a few tunes heard but the quiet folk sounds of The Annulments sound didn't match the folk-rock attitude of the festival. That being said, I'm really looking forward to hearing released music from The Annulments. The songs I heard have depth, meaning and superb musicianship throughout.
Tod Doyle's vocals were a definite 'Wow' of the weekend to the extent that I was annoyed at only catching the last few minutes of his set. Check out Tod's sounds on Soundcloud:
Staying in the comfy environs of The Button Factory I got to see White Trash and the Spearheaded Sparrahawks, Tupelo and a part of Rackhouse Pilfer's set.
I wrote yesterday about how impressed I was with Tupelo this weekend. Before Tupelo was White Trash and the Spearheaded Sparrahawks who showed glimpses of real talent in an overall noisy mess of americana, folk-rock. In a case of more style than substance, the band have a confusing sound where the impact and energy of the eight musicians took precedence over melody and vocals.
Following from Tupelo was Sligo's wonderful folk band 'Rackhouse Pilfer' who proved their quality once again on The Button Factory stage.
Sadly that was all I got to see at this year's Jack of Diamonds. Already looking forward to next year's festival! http://jackofdiamonds.ie/