Thursday, October 21, 2010

Danny Michel & Emma Lee (Dublin St. Church, Oct 20)

Whether plucking her guitar or pounding it in a percussive-strumming manner Emma Lee’s voice soared above. Her singing is strong right across her impressive range, easily filling the open hall of the Dublin Street Church. Her whistling is nothing to scoff at either, as she proved with a fully-whistled verse – just another element of a diverse show. From beneath her hat she mixed storytelling with lovely and at times revealing songs, including one penned alongside Ms. Jill Barber. An enjoyable set from a performer who comfortably mixed brand new songs into a set book-ended by Never Just a Dream songs That Sinking Feeling and Until We Meet Again.

Danny Michel has a proven fan base, no doubt built up from putting on quirky and fun performances over the years. This show was no different as Danny played, with an emphasis on playfulness, a solo show to a large gathering. Foregoing introduction he took the stage and launched into song with his trusty red electric guitar. His silence didn’t last long though as the atmosphere was kept light with stories, new and old, as well as questions from the audience. He even solicited requests only to jokingly ignore most of them, though he did bend to include his harmonica and I Will Love You For Miles to appease two shout outs. Whether it was recently released songs or back-catalogue tracks, Danny kept things interesting with loops, curious glances, and occasionally unique and unexpected delivery.

Having seen Danny solo recently, and knowing he’d recently been touring with a full band I was slightly disappointed when they weren’t there. Especially for Sunset Sea cuts that really snap on record with their full, upbeat sound that just can’t be duplicated with only a guitar, no matter how many layers of loops are added. That being said, if the band had been there we may not have witnessed as much quirk, or as many new takes on old songs, so it is a trade-off.

All in all the audience seemed pleased, both old fans and new converts alike. A two-song encore was demanded and saw the aforementioned harmonica, as well as an electronic sound-effect solo that was pretty neat. Danny Michel, entertaining as always.

Set List after the Jump
Into the Flame
Maybe You Can Find It In Your Heart
Sweet Things (yes, rock and roll ending, in a church)
This Feeling
Feather, Fur and Fin
Whale of a Tale
Wish Willy
Bank Robber (quick Clash cover)
If God’s On Your Side
White Lightnin’
Who’s Gonna Miss You?
Tennessee Tobacco
I Will Love You For Miles

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