Live Review: Delorentos @ The Uniterian Church

Posted: 01/12/2011 in Uncategorized

‘Acoustic’ and ‘church’ are certainly not two words which would traditionally come to mind in relation to the Delorentos live experience. The Dublin four-piece are currently in the midst of a nationwide tour, and tonight brings them to the unusual setting of the Uniterian Church in Stephen’s Green. The tour is in support of Delorentos recently released Little Sparks Magazine EP – a 40-page colour magazine, with a CD featuring four of the new songs the band have recorded with Mercury prize-winning producer Rob Kirwan during sessions for their forthcoming third album (also titled Little Sparks) due for release in late January. The magazine – “our attempt to embrace and respect creativity in Ireland” – highlights some of the individuals the band have worked with and admire creatively. It’s a truly innovative move on behalf of Delorentos, and it certainly makes for an inspirational read. The fact that the magazine/CD package is included in the price of the ticket – well, that’s just the icing on the cake.

As revellers file into the church and fill up the pews, there’s a strong sense of anticipation in the air as to what tonight’s performance might hold as eyes catch sight of the array of instruments set out on the ‘altar’. Gone is the simple setup of guitar, bass and drums – instead, a collection of acoustic guitars, a piano, a harmonium, mandolins, cajon drums, and melodicas await Delorentos. Taking to the stage and opening with ‘Leave It On’, the nerves are evident, unaided by an audience who seem compelled to be deathly silent as one should be when in church. Thankfully, the setting allows for conversational interaction between band and crowd – Delorentos air their nervous apprehension in relation to road-testing their new material in this strange environment, and the crowd offer cheers of support accordingly. It’s all quite endearing.

Gradually, the band relax into the performance – and once in full swing it’s a truly special show. New songs nestle in comfortably alongside re-worked versions from the Delorentos back-catalogue –  the set-list is impressive, allowing for renditions of album tracks which under normal circumstances wouldn’t find their way into the band’s live shows, most notably a powerful performance of You Can Make Sound’s ‘I Remember’. Stripped-down arrangements of popular tracks such as ‘Sanctuary’, ‘Basis of Everything’ and ‘You Say You’ll Never Love Her’ are a real treat. Of the new material, it’s difficult to single out highlights – it’s an impressive collection, the band embracing many new elements, indicating that the full instalment of Little Sparks will make for an eclectic and intriguing listen. ‘Bullet in a Gun’ brings the evening to a close – the song, which first impressed in a YouTube clip of a raw acoustic performance on the streets of Madrid earlier this year, has grown into a real anthemic powerhouse – one of the band’s finest to date.

It’s shows like this one that can make you see a band in a whole new light, and give a new-found respect for their creativity and talent. The attention to detail which went into not only tonight’s performance but also the magazine/EP package is a credit to Kieran, Ró, Níal and Ross  – it’s glaringly evident that they’re presently at the top of their game, happy and relaxed and ready to take on 2012 with the full instalment of Little Sparks. Bring it on.



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