School Of Seven Bells- Whelans Feb 09

February 26, 2009

Was I in the correct venue?  Whelans packed on a Monday?

Packed it was and there was even a big crowd for the support Crayonsmith.  It was a busy night for me as well since I had been chatting with the band I Am Not Lefthanded who happened to be on in the Upstairs venue- a big crowd for them as well so it really was a Friday vibe on a Monday.

Crayonsmith had some good tunes on and it was good to see him with the guitarist and keyboard player…from memory the last time I had seen him support Yeasayer he was playing solo.   He does really have a great dark electric vibe for most of his older tunes and the two new tunes he played still had the electrics but a bit on the lighter side with more syncopation.

Ran Upstairs to chat with the rather delightful Kathryn and Daniel from I Am Not Lefthanded and came back just in time for the School Of Seven Bells to kick off.

It was certainly more of a minimal setup on stage than I was expecting- with only Claudia on a synth at one side, Alejandra on a guitar at the other and Ben Curtis on another guitar in the middle.  With the large sound that they have I really was expecting for there to be more keyboards and synths.  Saying that simplicity is a good thing and with no distractions other than the rather striking twins (and Claudia’s coy smile) it was easy to concentrate on the sublime harmonies emanating from their small frames.

They started off with Face To Face On High Places and followed by the excellent Iamundernodisguise and Wired For Light before conversing with the crowd…about the delights of Swords Village…yeah go figure- the nightlife must have improved since I was last there.  There was then a big guitar intro for Chain and the definitely some movement on the floor for the instantly recognizable and my fav Connjur.  The very eastern sounding Prince Of Peace was up next with White Elephant Coat and the excellent Half Asleep following.  A very big sounding My Cabal was up- definitely better live- before another mention of Swords- Alejandra was definitely giving the place a plug!  They ended on Sempiternal which had a great vibe and alas there was no encore…not surprising since they played most of their tunes but it was only when I got the cd that I realized they had two bonus tracks they could have aired for us!

Overall an excellent set and my favourites Connjur and Half Asleep sound great- their other tunes actually sound better live as well since they seem to have a bit more of an umph than the cd versions.  No matter though, the twins voices are excellent and maybe its a twin thing (Heathers , Tegan & Sara) but there is just something special about the harmonies they weave that is so enticing.   Hopefully they will be doing the festival circuit this summer and I will catch them again soon.

Place was being cleared out fairly quickly and ran back upstairs to I Am Not Lefthanded and managed to catch their last tune Long Goodbyes which was pretty damn good.  Expect to hear more from this trio and Kathyrn said they would be back in April so you can catch them then!

Of course with the School Of Seven Bells having a bit of buzz there were a few gig people I knew…hadn’t caught Tayna and Sinead in a while…and Aoife Mc who played a SVIIB tune at Soundcheck last Thursday!


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