Wednesday, 16 January 2013


Sometimes things break. Sometimes they don't work. Sometimes it's an issue when that happens. But not at The Medicine Sessions. Sound checks can be interesting at the best of times, but when vital pieces of kit go wrong, a good medium sized drama happens which has the ability to create minor heroes, almost breakneck speed car journeys and the beaming grateful face of a delighted musician.

Northside drive (Jon Pearson) was the grateful musician on the receiving end of not one, but two rescues after some essential wiry things didn't work. Thanks to the bottomless pit of muso bits at Matt Tull's house though, (a local Medicinner) the night was saved. Thank feck it was, as Northside Drive created an entirely beautiful set, meandering between classical solo piano and electronic experimentation. Jon's set was split into two halves, the individual pieces of which he played back to back allowing the audience to fully submerge themselves in whatever story they decided to create for the music. I was pleased to see the entire room lapping up North Side Drive's set, with an absolute silence as we watched Jon bend over his keyboard in taut delicacy, his fingers intricately and precisely pressing out notes with obvious talent.

At the break the room dispersed for cigarettes and top ups and discussions of music and remembering. It was cold outside as we smoked, cold but good, warmed from the knowledge yet more music was to come.

Dimitry Datus played the sessions back last April when The Medicine Sessions was still finding its feet. Yet again they played a great set, not without the odd minor drama of their own. It is the measure of a band though when they can hold their hands up and draw on some heckles and join in with the banter and self deprecation, despite feeling like everything is falling apart.. which it wasn't... and didn't. The lads from Dimitry Datus are good heads, a fact which the Medicine audience saw and appreciated and thus, everything they did was embraced fully. They have a very distinctive style of rock'ish'ness with some great songs, lyrically of which are clever, witty and original. The band have the slightly unusual set up of lead guitar, bass, drums and voice and like The Police before them, make it work very well, though I'm sure Aiden might not appreciate the comparison to Sting.  All out, Dimitry Datus finished the night on a high, putting everyone in the mood for a good weekend. Job done!

Sunday, 6 January 2013


This year, I'll be including extracts from the article I keep in the local rag, I hope to be doing some more reviews this year of Medicine Sessions performers and related things, so will put them up here. This review was for NORTHSIDE DRIVE, written just before Christmas. You can catch this fellow this coming Thursday 10th Jan.. NICE.

I was going to leave this review until the new year, but to be honest, I think the album in question is just too perfect for the wintery, pre-Christmas, magical family moments that you get at this time of year to leave until January. Northside Drive is the performance name of Jonathan Pearson, a Cork based musician, who’s new release Music For Solo Piano, is quite simply, beautiful. On the morning I was given the link to the album, it was blowing an icy gale outside, the dog was snoring, and our old house sat waiting for Christmas. It being December, I had to listen to the song called; December. What happened next doesn’t happen very often to this thirty something cynic. A piece of music actually made me cry.
As the title of the album may suggest, Music For Solo Piano is a collection of piano pieces. The whole album lasts for only around the fifteen minute mark, but each of the five pieces are completely captivating and extremely emotive. If I had to put a genre on the work, it would fall into Classical/Neo-Classical, think, the soundtrack to ‘The Snowman’ (I love that film) and you will pretty much hit the mark on the sort of atmosphere this album creates. Unlike the big arrangements though, the tunes on Music For Solo Piano, are full of space and ebb and flow like a memory, with each piece complementing the other within a loose theme of Winter, the title of the first track. There is a definite folklorish winter fairytale feel to the album, Dickensian streets laden with snow, Victorian children decorating big Christmas trees, snow falling on silent, moonlit landscapes, sentimental daydreams over hot toddies, all the images are there in the gently tripping notes and the big sweeping pulses and beautifully sweet melodies. This album is well worth visiting and downloading, for free, and listening to in the quiet moments of Christmas. 

Also appearing at The Sessions will be 'Odd rockers', Dimitry Datus. Get on your grooving shoes and put on your mellowing hat, it'll be a good one! See ye there!