Monday, 15 October 2012


Well, it's moving into the dark. Early black nights, star strewn frost mongering nights that are inclined to throw rain (more of it) at you or slap your face with 60 mile an hour gusts. Lismore takes on an odour of swollen river and foot trampled leaves, which slowly wilt in the gutters for six seconds before they're hoovered up by the council sucky machine.
 There was something abroad in the air last Thursday night, something inwardy and hibernationy and curly-up-in-a-ballness. Again the Medicinners were slow to crawl out of their warm homes and make the slow commute up the staircase into the equally, warm Medicine Room. Arrive they did though, bringing with them a few new faces and a sleepy demeanour.

Rob Carlile started the evening, with an enthusiastic medley of his quirkily penned ditties about the ups and downs of youthful heartbreak, possessiveness and outrage. Utilising a hand whittled stompbox and a tambourine at his feet and an occasional harmonica, he galloped through his set with a verve in keeping with the songs. Rob's voice would not sound out of place on a vinyl record from the 1950's, indeed, one of his songs (an attempt to write an evil Roy Orbison inspired track) had all the hallmarks of the three minute pop song from back in the day and also possesses more than an ounce of Morrisey'esque tendencies in his sound. He also takes a fairly obvious nod to Woody Guthrie with his guitar tip-ex'ed with "This guitar Kills Time"... and his name, (Rob Carlile) presumably just in case he lost it  Rob has a very appealing set of songs and deserves to get some good gigs on the back of them.

Phil Lynch travelled to The Medicine Sessions from all the way up the country. A well seasoned reciter and writer of poems, he utterly changed the vibe of the room into something intense and hardly breathing. His poems aren't for the faint hearted, dealing with topics such as the loss of Ireland's heritage/hope/dreams, post-apocalyptic Utopias and his own struggles with illness and the loss of friendship. Phil delivers his poems with 'gravitas' and his stage presence reveals a slight vulnerability which tends to make the listener more attentive. It's obvious that Phil Lynch believes in every single word he is delivering and this makes him a poet who can utterly lay waste to an audience.

After the bucket, the Medicinners went and refuelled and digested the information and tonics they had just received, while Kevin, one half of Versives (pronounced versivvs and not versiives like I had been pronouncing it) fine tuned his beautiful black Gretsch-complete-with-Bigsby.

I had presumed Versives were going to both turn up and do their electronic thing, but no matter, part of the Medicine Sessions is to create a space where performers can try stuff out in a nice environment with an open, cool as fuck audience. Hearing the tunes laid bare was an interesting experience and on meeting Kevin, it was obvious how much of of the band's personality are woven into the tunes. Singing with a high, fragile tone and delicately sparse lyrics, reflected the fact that Kevin comes across as a slightly mysterious character. Introverted but charming, his dedication to the band Versives, is all encompassing. He seemed to be working out small details, ensuring he delivered the songs as precisely and beautifully as possible, which he managed to do in spades. His contemplative set was perfect for the audience that night, who had already entered from the start with a degree of Autumnal weariness. Kevin of Versives managed to stroke quietly, the brow of the onsetting long winter, saying, relax, light the fire and snuggle down.. think about stuff and plan your path to next year.. if there is a next year.

1 comment:

  1. it's traditional at this point for me to raise a fist at the sky and cry out "gaaarh, why the feck don't i live in ireland??"

    Maybe when i finally get a job that pays me enough to actually do things like go on holiday i will come over with my ukulele - or possibly mandolin (on my list of "five things to get when i get a better job")