Wednesday, 19 December 2012


Whilst recalling Thursday, Dec 13th Sessions, I'm inclined to smoke in a devil-may-care fashion, cigarette held, just so, my wrist and spare fingers askew, memories filtering through the lazy haze of smoke. Yes, it was THAT good.

One of the things I love about performers who play the Sessions, is their willingness to try out new material on us, VITA (Niall Cuddy) returned again armed with a beautiful, blinking array of new pedals and a fantastically complex looking loop station.. and a drum. As opening songs go, his first song was a kick-ass, head fuck of a treat, which saw him build up a track of some dark joo-joo using only his voice, after which he proceeded to intimidate the audience by standing loftily, attacking the drum on an off beat and roaring a swampy blues incantation at them. The song had everything! From distortion, feedback and the channelling of the not quite dead yet,  combined spirits of Mick Jagger and Tom Waits. "I want your bohhhhdddeeeeee.." VITA wailed as he stomped and held his arms out to a local gardener sat in front of him, sucking at his soul. The set went on in an intense, joyful cascade of well crafted and brilliantly performed storytelling, with landscapes built from scratch around us, leaving the room suddenly stranded on a shore of ethereal voodoo.

By the end of VITA's set, the scene was well and truly made. The bucket passed among the heaving chests of the packed room, hot with coal fire, Christmas expectation and the after-glow of amazing creations. Cigarette breaks all round, pints, measures, talk, banter, glistening faces, sparkly trousers, jokes, gossip, drama, hugs, catch-ups and a bustling bar... meanwhile, some more magic was being tweaked...

HORSEMEN PASS BY. Also a returning band, one who is, to be honest, bursting with awesome. What's not to like about two blokes creating live soundtracks to classic cult film clips? What could make that a better prescription to gloomy Ireland? Turn it up to the proverbial eleven and there you have it. There's no messing with these lads, their set is a face melting wonderland of samples, digital bits and live surf and classical guitar, how they manage to blend all the elements together, only a wizard of Gandalf proportions would know, but anything involving a lap-top and a degree of timing was enough to warrant awe from me.. and everyone else in the room! HORSEMEN PASS BY have definitely mastered the art of creating a scene, even without the visuals, their music is vision inducing, what's more, is they obviously love creating it. Again, The Medicine room was treated to some new tracks from an upcoming album, distinctly Cowboy and Indian influenced, with flamenco and electric guitars lending a Mexican Bandito chase some extra thrill. Watching films must be an extra joy for these guys, I can't help but wonder if they completely re-write the soundtrack for everything they see.
An extra bonus to their set was given to them by one of the locals, a few too many better for wear, who I danced with at the back of the room and who proclaimed a jubilant "PLINNNG!" at the end of each tune, a nod I think to his appreciation of their surfy, bigsby tremelo'd moments.

So, all's well that ended phenominally! The monthly Medicine buzz is still flowing a little in the veins of everyone who witnessed the delights of last Thursday's Medicine makers.. bring on next year I say... Addiction, I hear, can be a side effect of the good stuff.