Live Review : Goitse / The Mill Theatre, Dundrum, 7th June 2013

Goitse have not played in Dublin for two years.  In advance of the busy Summer season which will see them travel to the US and Europe, they organised this unplugged session in the cosy environment of the O' Hara Studios at The Mill Theatre in Dundrum.  To describe it as intimate would be apt. The venue holds about 40-50 people and creates the sense of a "house concert".  There is some amplification but in the main what you get are 5 musicians up close and personal.  Every note can be heard so there is nowhere to hide. In a recent interview their mischievous piano and accordion player Tadgh O' Meachair told us that the band "are starting to get into the creative process again and are looking at recording in the New Year."  This means that they are putting some new sets together and some of those feature tonight.  However in the main it is material from their Transformed album which was released last year and was produced by Dónal Lunny.

Goitse are a tight outfit and their music is well arranged and performed.  The intimate venue brings added pressures but likewise allows you to appreciate the talent on display.  They make effective use of their mix of fiddle, bodhrán, banjo, guitar and accordion.  Tadhg O' Meachair also plays piano which brings a different dimension to their music.  It allows mellow and contemplative introductions to some of the sets which is a nice touch.  The sets then build from these introductions into full blown numbers.  Their own compositions are strong and feature prominently. The names attributed to the sets reflect the youthful Facebook generation.  No room for names such as The Mist Covered Mountain or similar.  Instead we get Burst Togs and Cheesesteak Reels.  What's in a name when the music is this good. With Colm Phelan on bodhrán doing a 10 minute solo on one of the hottest nights of the year, Áine McGeeney on vocals and fiddle, James Harvey on banjo and Conal O' Kane on guitar it was a refreshing nights entertainment in a stripped back, unplugged gig.  My fourteen year old daughter described them as "pretty damn cool" on the way home, so that just about sums the night up.

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