Little Green Cars: “It’s easy to give it to, When there’s more people out there to love…Than people who love you”

Little Green Cars– Sebright Arms, London
(August 22, 2013)

After first being blown away by this Dublin-based indie/folk quintet (Little Green Cars) at The Great Escape back in May (see pics below), I HAD to see them again when they were playing at one of my favorite tiny venue (Sebright Arms) in London. Even though the gig happened to be the night before I needed to head out early on a bus up to Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival, I still put on the champion face and powered through (not at all packed, exhausted from lab). It ended up being SO WORTH the diehard effort because this year’s best. Not only was I able to grab a spot RIGHT in front of Faye and feel the energy of her freaking INCREDIBLE PIPES first hand, but I was able to get a good chat in with her afterwards. That night, she told me that she notices EVERY ONE IN THE ROOM– the wide-eyed, bobblehead (me) in the front mouthing along to the vocals, the asshole in back talking to his friend during the song, etc. She said that she SEES EVERYONE in that audience, and that the vibe from the fans really influence their performance and can make/break the gig. She was also telling me that they were exhausted from a recent tour in the states (including festivals like SXSW, Coachella, Bonnaroo), and that they would be heading back there again soon for another round. They are signed to an American label called Glassnote Records (Temper Trap, Mumford & Sons, Two Door Cinema Club, Vampire Weekend) and thus they have a larger fanbase in the states because their debut album (Absolute Zero) was released their firt. I gave and Chris (the keyboardist) some suggestions about San Francisco and the Pacific Northwest, and in exchange they gave me some tips about Ireland. Faye told me I needed to visit again and needed to go back for the ‘Other Voices‘ music event in Dingle in June.  Little Green Cars played there for the 2012-2013 series, along with Daughter, Laura Marling, John Grant, Villagers, Neil Hannon, Savages, and Beth Orton.

Kicking off the set with Harper LeeLittle Green Cars then moved on to Angel Owl, one of my favorites from the album. “Only at night, does my angel sing…Ooooh…Oooooh.” Such a siiiick vocal arrangement for this one. Please is another make you plead for more of Faye’s vocals (maybe it’s not a coincidence that it’s called ‘Please’): “Please believe my lies…At least I know you gave it your best try.”

They then shocked the audience with a cover of Bruce Springsteen‘s ‘I’m on Fire’, for which the vocal arrangement was so awesome. It really captured the breadth of Faye’s pipes, and I think Bruce would approve. Not only did they cover one of my favorite songs (“I’m on fire”) by THE BOSS, but they covered a song about my hometown (‘Philadelphia‘) written by the legend non other than Sir Neil Young (he might as well be music royalty). Crazy odds!

Next up came ‘My Love Took Me Down to the River to Silence Me, and Faye’s voice SOARS on this one. Such powerful pipes for her lil’ frame! I’m so glad I was parked right in front of her for this one, cause the power of those pipes COULD BE FELT!

Even though this gig was specifically set to be an “acoustic set,” Stevie stripped it down EVEN MORE by going into the crowd with his guitar unamped and leading the rest to follow with no mice. The band ended the intimate, acoustic set by playing The John Wayne in the center of the crowd and encouraging everyone to sing alone. A very heartfelt encore (see video below):

“It’s easy to fall in love
It’s easy to be alone
It’s easy to hate yourself
when all your love is inside someone else
It’s easy to take it all
It’s easy to give it to
when there’s more people out there to love
than people who love you.” (TRUTH.)

That was a hard night of music to top, and I look forward to more unexpected treats like this. ❤

VIDEOS:

Harper Lee:

Angel Owl:

Please:

I’m On Fire (Bruce Springsteen cover):

Philadelphia (Bruce Springsteen cover):

My Love Took Me Down to the River to Silence Me:

The John Wayne:

PICTURES:

IMG_1725IMG_1732IMG_1733IMG_1734IMG_1737IMG_1738

Little Green Cars– The Great Escape, Brighton
(May 16, 2013)

 PICTURES:IMG_9640IMG_9641IMG_9643IMG_9646IMG_9647

 

 

Kodaline- “I hope that I can say…When all my days are done…We were just having fun”

Kodaline– O2 Shepard’s Bush, London

(Nov 10, 2013)

It was one of the last nights at the Great Escape music festival in Brighton, and I has been encouraged by some others to go see an Irish indie/folk rock band by the name of Kodaline. I remember noticing their name pop up here and there on festival lineups and I figured I’d check out what the “hype” was all about. Plus, Little Green Cars (another Irish band I had been meaning to see) was playing on the same stage right before them, and I couldn’t pass up this double whammy. BOTH BANDS exceeded my expectations (see my page for Little Green Cars), and I remembered leaving that venue with even more respect for Irish musicians and their innate musical talents.

The first Kodaline song that had me stop dead in my tracks was ‘Pray,’ and although I didn’t get it on video, it was one of my favorites to later play over and over, as it had a bit of a Radiohead feel and these haunting, cyclical rhythms that just lock you in a trance. I also loved ‘All Comes Down To You‘ and ‘Love Like This,’ two songs that were new at the time and had not yet been released (see video below). The harmonica and mandolin in ‘Love Like This’ (my personal favorite) get me revved up, and the energy this track generates is mad contagious! Also, Steve’s belt at the end is EPIC.

Next in their set came the song (‘All I Want‘) that MADE THEM FAMOUS, and you could see WHY. Steve introduced this song by saying it was about his ex-girlfriend, and a dude in the audience ROARED “She’s A BEAST!” He assured everyone that she was not, but the audience could not help but laugh hysterically (including me). With lyrics like “Cause if I could see your face once more, I could die a happy man I’m sure” and “When you said your last goodbye, I died a little bit inside…I lay in tears in bed all night, alone without you by my side” you can’t help by feel your heart being ripped FOR STEVE, and you suddenly find yourself vehemently shouting out the chorus, as if you’ve been crushed by someone as well (and maybe you have):

“But if you loved me
Why’d you leave me?
Take my body
Take my body
All I want is,
And all I need is
To find somebody.
I’ll find somebody like you.”

My line that slays me the most in that song is: “So you brought out the best of me, a part of me I’ve never seen,” especially since most guys would never admit that a lady brought out the best in them. I love the build and raw intensity of this song, and the honest/vulnerable lyrics definitely dig the deep. In the category of heartbreak songs, this is one of the best new ones I’ve heard.

By the end of the set, my cheeks were permanently flushed. Kodaline has charm, talent, looks, AND an Irish accent. No wonder why they reel in a huge sea of young girls! This was much more obvious six months later when I saw them at a sold out O2 Shepard’s Bush Empire gig, and found it difficult to hear Steve voice over thousands of screaming girls. A much different atmosphere compared to the small, intimate crowd at the Great Escape, but I guess that’s what happens when bands BLOW UP.

As part of their encore at O2 Shepard’s Bush, Kodaline surprised us all when they  performed a cover of Sam Cooke‘s ‘Bring It On Home to Me,’  from the balcony of the crowd (see video below). Steve introduced this cover as one of their “old time favorite love songs.” It’s pretty impressive that they were able to silence and entire crowd of 2,000+ screaming fans to be heard without microphones. I’m seeing artists do this more and more and I LOVE IT. Keeps us fans on our toes! x

Other favorite songs: The Answer, All My Friends, High Hopes, Way Back When

VIDEOS:

 Bring It On Home (Sam Cooke cover):

PICTURES:

IMG_4057IMG_4070IMG_4079

Kodaline– The Great Escape, Brighton

(May 17, 2013)

VIDEOS:

All Comes Down to You:

Love Like This:

All I Want:

PICTURES:


IMG_9501IMG_9503IMG_9504IMG_9506IMG_9508IMG_9510

IMG_9500IMG_9511IMG_9513