Thursday, 21 March 2013


A dark and misty twelve months ago, I first read 'Just Kids', an autobiographical account of life in The Chelsea Hotel heyday, written by Patti Smith. The book made me want to go back in time to a place where characters existed, music pumped out of every venue, be it a hotel room or a lush cafe. Where artists mingled with their fans and became willing audience members in a circle of support and community. Of course, this is the 21st Century and 'progress' means that the spontaneity of such an existence could never happen, because, the sharing of joints is illegal, the playing of music too loud and at a late hour is illegal, because drinking past a certain time is illegal, smoking inside is illegal, hanging about on the street in large numbers is illegal, cramming too many people into a room is illegal, wearing no shoes carries an EU regulation.. the playing of music in a public place needs a license!  So what do we do? How do we create something that just about lays within all the laws, yet still retains some genuine character? What can we do to create a vibe that boosts the preacher and the congregation?.. We create The Medicine Sessions, that's what we do. Holy crapola! But hasn't it been going for a whole year now, without even faltering! Even in worry-some moments, like bands or audience turning up late, the night inevitably takes on its own life and hurtles its charisma into the essence of everyone in the room and even leaks from the windows, luring people into the bar below just by its being there!

When you have performers like we had last week, it really is no wonder that the village comes flocking! Áine Duffy returned to grace the stage, casually perched on a high stool, weaving her blues creations into the souls of the minions. Sparse electric guitar, played with the ease of an old bluesman accompanied her ballsy voice, which swam easily between low and high, loud and soft in a swaying delta'esque breeze. Humour touches Áine's performance too, from her bizarre mash-up of fleetwood mac/metallica/beyoncé, to her pure Cork banter between songs, she takes an easy seat as a performer, naturally portraying herself with power and surety, without the need for big ego, even drumming the crowd up to accompany her in a rendition of 'got my mojo workin' Áine Duffy is definitely worth looking up and finding live and deserves much more attention in the future.

The Grunts threw their gauntlet into the ring of Medicine firmly, three dab hands with their instruments, which comprised of the classic combination of guitar, bass, drums, voice. This band are the perfect example of the sound that can be created by such a simple format, when the songs are good, the tunes are sound and the hearts are in it.. and the amps are LOUD! The Grunts stormed through their set with gusto, electric guitar squealing with just the right amount of reverby grunt, drums hard, fast and spot on and bass deep and pulsing, with a voice with just enough hint of punk fuck you about it to turn the tunes into a slice of potential insanity. Indeed, the Medicine Room engaged in its first hysterical dance session, the audience performing everything from old skool head banging, raving, interpretive robot, and po-go-ing, an example of the combination of genres The Grunts manage to touch on in their performance. It's a special thing when the ceiling of the venue threatens to shed plaster..

Yet again, another night of anything could happen (and did), sound heads, mad banter, eclectic eccentricities and genuine joy.. all without the need for a certificate of merit, or the breaking of any regulations (except that one.. but we shan't say any more about that).

1 comment:

  1. happy anniversary Medicine Sessions

    one day i shall be there - the strange chap with the english accent sitting in the corner and just taking it all in :)