Crowley’s Music Centre Cork is a relatively new venue that has taken its place above The Oliver Plunkett Bar Cork City. It is a music shop by day and a venue by night giving it a unique quality and making it throughly musical. It is the perfect space for acoustic sessions as well as full band performances. Wednesday nights proformance drew a nice crowd. The gig starts with support from Anto Yao, small acoustic set, with his quirky acoustic hip hop flavours. Then we have Diarmuid O’Leary with his very intimate story-songs, also acoustic guitar and one man.
Kev M and band take to the stage, Excellent atmosphere, intimately lit, 7 acoustic guitars arranged in a perfect pattern on stage, it looked like Kev M’s version of a jazz big band, but without the jazz, and more of electro folk. All of course tied perfectly together with his amazing vocal abilities. Most of the time soaring above the music and the band, reaching every single listeners ears with the same intensity, causing spine chilling moments! We get the real sense that this man has something to say, and he is beckoning you to listen to his stories, ranging from life to death, and love to hate. Encompassing the full range of human emotions, In this writers opinion the whole point of creating musical art in the first place!
People are now full attention, and the band are ready to entertain. The first song is “Pretty Love” which only has the man himself Kev M playing acoustic as a solo song. This is typical of his style, telling a story and enticing the listener to Kev M’s internal world, through his sublime falsetto vocals. He warmly connects with the audience between songs, cracking jokes and telling anecdotes, and sometimes giving us insight into what made him create certain songs. The next song is his most famous to date the very haunting “Your Version.” This is when the full bands joins in, creating a never heard before fuller arrangement of this “opposite of love” song. This was highly entertaining, it involved lovely haunting violin melodies, delayed double stopping, electric guitar lead ebow, and gentle conga rhythms accompanying the song; quite an unusual arrangement, but very effective. By now the gig is in full swing with the audience barely even breathing as the atmosphere is so electric with Kev M’s reverberating powerful vocals, and his band in full support. “Slip Away” is in a similar vein, with the fantastic 3 part harmonies provided by Dee, and Aaron, then the song takes on an Irish traditional music feel, as the whole band kicks in. “I’m Sorry” sounds like one man’s lament, reminiscent of Renaissance composers, singing about losing a lover or a similar melancholic feeling. This song grew in intensity, creating a journey like feel. This writer gets this feeling most of the time when listening to this extra ordinary artist Kev M.
The next song is the most upbeat in the set, with a very happy, uplifting feel. This is the point where the audience are treated to some new, unreleased material, which will be featured on Kevins new album. These are reminiscent of the Doors trippier style of music. Having a very “jam style” feel to them. They sounded wonderfully refreshing, a definite change in a new direction for this man, and a great one it is! Jack O Rourke is featured on one of the songs, lending his piano skill and powerful harmonies to the big band experience. The interplay between Kevin and Jack’s harmonies caught the attention of the whole venue, with the audience listening to every note intently. The musicians were on fire at this point, enthralling the audience with the inspirational music of this intriguing man. Mixing gentle music with an extremely powerful message, and intent, as the gig ones to an end, we know we have just witnessed one of the finest gigs of this year, by one of the finest musicians Ireland has to offer.