Review: Lisa Hannigan & James Vincent McMorrow 9/12/2011

In The Button Factory

9/10

Those of you who were lucky to win or acquire access to last night’s exclusive gig hosted by Stuart Clarke of Hot Press, featuring performances by Lisa Hannigan and James Vincent McMorrow, will know that it was a special even.

Lisa Hannigan, who has been one of Ireland’s music gems for years, started the night off playing fan favourites from both of her critically acclaimed albums, Sea Sew and Passenger. Hannigan’s beautifully husky voice echoed around the room as she lilted through her beautifully written songs. The revelers where in the palm of her hand as she showed off how multi-talented she, and her band, truly are, moving from instrument to instrument.

Hannigan also impressed the audience with her pleasant humour, playfully slagging her gig-companion, McMorrow, and taking it in good faith when her guitar was out of tune, culminating in raucous laughter when she  asked a photographer to refrain from taking pictures of her from a “gynecological angle”. Once her guitar was properly tuned, she entered into a beautiful rendition of Little Bird, Just her and six strings, a true testament to her delicate talent. One of the highlights of her performance was the touching Venn Diagram, from her debut album. Her voice was tip-toeing the line between booming and whispering, a definition of her very manner on stage. Her performance was followed by a brief Q & A session with her and McMorrow, after which the latter took to the stage.

James Vincent McMorrow is fairly new to the music scene, and his debut album has made an enormous impression on the industry and among music lovers since its release last year. Therefore, it was no surprise that he was met with a loud and delighted cheer from the crowd. McMorrow seemed shy and awkward on stage, but this only added to his charm as he performed songs from his album, and others. Without doubt the most momentous performance by McMorrow was We don’t Eat. It was a chilling and uplifting offering and it is safe to say that each person in the Button Factory was left moved by his performance. If they arrived unaware, or even skeptical of McMorrow’s talent, that song alone will have convinced them.

Overall the night felt special, a one of a kind performance from two of Ireland’s dearest and most talented musicians, complete with two duets. It is highly recommended that music lovers seize any opportunity given to see either performer live.

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