If you were there to witness it, the Pale with the support of the Witch Trials at the Grand Social on Saturday was a phenomenal night of music. It’s always a comfort to know that no matter how crap living in this country may feel, there’s always these talented musicians and this was one of the most atmospheric gigs I’ve been at in a long time.
I’ve been lucky enough to have seen the Witch Trials a number of times in many venues throughout Dublin and each and every time, I’m left in awe of the absolute talent. With their unique psychedelic vocals and instrumentals, reflective of their influences MGMT and Tame Impala, you’re continuously left wanting more of their whimsical and groovy tunes.
The lads have graced the stage of festivals such as Knockanstockan and Electric Picnic, and many popular venues in Dublin and beyond – the Button Factory and the beloved Sweeney’s to name just two. Here’s hoping for some new material before the year is out.
Up next on the bill, The Pale. Influencers of almost every Irish and UK based folk groups, whether they know it or not.
Their sound and style have been almost copy-pasted by the Original Rude Boys and Mumford and Sons, I couldn’t get over it. The Pale formed in Dublin in 1990 which means they reach an audience of both young and (slightly) older, who rejoiced when they played many of their classics such as “Butterfly”, “Dogs With No Tails” and “Venus”, which made way for quite a long set. Let’s be honest, that’s the best kind of set. With Matthew Devereux on vocals, Shane Wearen on mandolin, Sean Molloy on bass, and a drum machine, The Pale have this continuous energy and shamanistic vibe. They are a stage force to be reckoned with. If you were to define their music style and songwriting, the word would be unusual.
Devereaux had no time for the usual formalities, where we’re left wasting valuable jamming time or chanting “one more tune” out of time before they finally decide to grace us with their presence again. Instead, there was just tune upon tune upon tune until 2 minutes before their offstage deadline. I was also surrounded by audience members doing these mad Russian folk dances throughout, it was a special experience.
This included an encore of a jam with the best mandolin solo from Shane Wearen I have ever heard and plenty of strikingly Irish trad with Spanish trad undertones from the legendary Dublin band, which have me searching tirelessly through record stores for some cheeky original vinyl. They definitely have not lost the charm they had when they started out and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
If you managed to miss them, they have pledged to come back again and organise a string of gigs. Be sure to get yourself there because you’re certainly in for a treat.