Walking in to hear NC Lawlor’s slide guitar consuming the whole room was like walking into a western. If the devil was in the soul-buying market, he probably met with NC. The man has such charm that he could part the seas with a wink. Lawlor is known for driving the speakers, he really pushes them to their limits. Excruciating feedback is all part of his sound, his voice bellowing louder than the screeches. He sings with such heart and conviction, you could hear a pin drop in the room, everyone transfixed.
The incomparable Hedge Schools took the stage next. While the dip from Lawlor’s energy to their mellow base was a little awkward, it didn’t stop them from hypnotising the audience. Joe Chester and Patrick M Barrett put on a beautiful show. Sweeping sounds soothed the crowd after NC Lawlor tore them apart. With hints of Elbow, their music was the calm before Gavin Glass and the New Shakers storm.
And what is there to say about Gavin Glass?
Very little. The man is incredible. He and his band powered through their set, stopping every few songs to talk, maintaining the energy. Sweat was pumping from Glass almost instantly; he was giving everything he had. At their first break between songs, he stopped and shouted “thank you, happy Sunday Songs!” The crowd cheered, obviously.
The night was sprinkled with anecdotes from Glass. He told a story of how he and NC Lawlor met, talking about their friendship; “we were partners in crime for a long time”. Gavin brought NC onstage to play a song, turning to him and saying “I love you dude”, to which NC replied “you too, brother” and they shared a hug. Beautiful.
Later on, Glass called for a two second silence for Roy Orbison.
The real highlight of the night, though, came when he announced his significant other’s pregnancy. Rapturous applause erupted, while Amy, his SO, came to the stage for a hug. “This is for us,” he said, before sliding into a piano ballad. A tear-jerking moment for the hardest of souls.
A beautiful night, plain and simple.