Live Review: The Chapters - Unitarian Church, Dublin

Last Friday, The Chapters performed their first headline Dublin gig in a long time with a really nice performance of new material in the Unitarian Church on St. Stephens Green, Dublin.

The setting was perfect for a band looking to build a profile after a change of line-up and a new musical direction. The Unitarian Church provided a nice warm listening atmosphere for an audience hearing a full album of new songs for the first time. The new direction finds The Chapters slowing the tempo right down with a country folk feel and embedding varied instruments such as slide guitar, accordion, strings and saxophone into their set-up. The result hinges on lead singer Ross's ability to write meaningful tunes that allows his unique vocals to communicate the lyrics effectively. Sadly the open setting and resulting echoing sound of the Unitarian Church made the lyrics and vocals very difficult to decipher on the night. This was the one major problem with the gig.

The new songs which will be on the album 'Blood Feels Warm' were really good and performed to an exceptionally high standard by the various different members of the new look 'The Chapters'. Some songs were short and to the point while others varied in tempo and rhythm. There were at least three excellent tunes which I'm really looking forward to hearing on the album when it's released early next year. One of them tracks is this one 'Arcade of the Scribes'.

It takes some courage for a band to continue with the same name heading into a totally new musical direction. This second album will be hugely different to the electric pop of the debut 'Perfect Strangers' and it'll be interesting to see how the band get on.