Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Glen Hansard at RNCM

Going to see a live band on a Friday or Saturday night was the thing to do as a teenager in my town. It didn't matter if the band was terrible, or if they played the kind of thrash metal that makes your ears bleed (every kind), the slightly run down social club / live venue was the place to be. You might have even got a drink if you were lucky or if you knew the people on the door.

At 23, watching live music is somewhat of a more civilised affair. Once you've done the whole standing up for five hours to watch a headline act, a seated show is the holy grail. No bruised toes for me! (Curse you size 8s!) So you can imagine that I was quite happy to find out that the Glen Hansard gig that me and Courtney had tickets to last week was seated. Hurray!

I kind of stumbled across Glen Hansard after watching the film Once. We watched it together sometime last year when Netflix was still a bit rubbish and only had some very old or very obscure films. I fancied something a bit 'romcom-y', but not too 'smooshy' (clearly a master of the English language here) and Once seemed to fit the bill.

It's about an Irish busker and a Czech girl who randomly meet and start playing music together and kind of have a 'thing' ('romcom-y') but then things get left unsaid, or things just don't quite work out (not 'romcom-y' bit) and it's all just very honest and real and it has an amazing soundtrack! I think my favourite part is when the Girl is trailing a hoover down the main street as the Guy works in a hoover repair shop down the road. I think we looked Hansard up straight after watching it and found that he was doing a tour in 2013, so we bought tickets to see him play.

The performance was at the Royal Northern College of Music, which despite living with three music students for two years, I had never been to. It's definitely one of those buildings that has the whole slightly refurbished but still quite 50s look about it.

The Lost Brothers were the warm-up act, and I really enjoyed the folky/Americana/blues vibe going on, especially their rendition of Moon River that they performed as a tribute to Andy Williams who passed away last year.

Glen Hansard and his band shortly followed. I wasn't expecting him to have such a large ensemble, although he did perform quite a few songs with just him and his guitar, which was clearly well loved. As it was the last gig of the tour, there were a few added extras. The cellist took centre stage and sang a song, and the girl who helps with the merchandise was invited to sing on stage. The encore went one for another seven extra songs, including a crowd singalong, and then Glen and the band played out in the foyer, which I don't think the management were too happy about, but made the event extra special.

They played a couple of songs that I knew from the film, and a couple that I hadn't heard yet from some of his newer stuff, but I enjoyed the whole set. That guy really has an amazing voice, and it was clear to see the passion in every word and note that he sang. And he's Irish, what's not to love?

Definitely give this song a listen from the film, if you haven't already:

1 comment

  1. Glen Hansard seems to be popping up everywhere at the moment, I only watched Once a little while ago, but his voice is beautiful.


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