Straight back to it
The day after Sounds From a Safe Harbour ended, I was straight back to the gig-life, returning to the Crane Lane Theatre in Cork for a night of free music. Headlining the evening was Cork band The Elation. I came across The Elation not too long ago as they released their third song into the public domain ‘Feels Like a Good Reason To Get Started’, the proceeds for which they are donating funds towards the Cork Gay Project in solidarity with the LGBTQ community. If you’re interested in making a purchase of however much you like to buy the song and support the cause, you can do so on Bandcamp here. They pushed this on social media through Facebook ads and the like, from which it managed to catch my eye and I decided to take a look. They announced a short series of gigs, one of which was for The Crane Lane on September 18th so I thought sure why not I’ll check it out. A couple days before the gig, they announced that they would have support for the night from Mechner and Generic People. Interestingly I had just heard of Mechner merely days prior, when I saw a friend and artist I follow by the name of James Or posting about Mechner’s upcoming ‘Quiet’ tour in which he’s hitting Limerick, Galway and finally Cork in the very intimate and cosy venue of Alchemy Café on October 26th. Knowing James Or has a brilliant taste in music I needed no further convincing to mark the date and decide to attend the Cork show in a few weeks from now, and the announcement by the Elation of Mechner supporting on their evening provided a brilliant opportunity to get a preview in of what to expect from Mechner. Joining Mechner for his upcoming Cork show will be local talented upcoming musician Patrick Hendrick. I had no prior experience of Generic People, but I trusted that it’d be a brilliant evening across the board no doubt.
A mishap of time-management
So I arrived on the evening of the gigs, for which doors had been pegged to open at 10 PM. At half past 10, I asked a fellow working there what time the doors were opening, as it appeared I was the only person who had arrived at the announced time. He reckoned it would open at 11 PM, so I waited. At 11PM, the locked door was unlocked and I thought this was the time of opening as informed, so I sauntered inside and took a seat. It quickly became apparent that doors weren’t actually opening til 11:30PM and I ended up sitting through The Elation’s sound check by mistake. Sorry lads! There must have been a memo that everyone but me attending that night was aware of, because even then I was one of maybe 5 people there, and I worried it would be this quiet going forward. But sure enough, by the time things were actually set to kick off around midnight, the place was filling up a lot more and packing out nicely.
So the first order of business in the evening was for Mechner to take to the stage. A solo alt/psychedelic artist by the name of Jack Ahern, he’s been steadily prying his way into the scene with this musical venture since 2016, with supports for artists such as James Or and Dermot Kennedy under his belt. His debut single ‘Surfacing’ was released on September 30th of 2016, with an interesting music video accompanying it which I’ll put down below. There’s not much more special to an artist than their first release. It’s their baby, the first piece of their artistic vision that they release into the world for anyone and everyone to view and judge them for. One year later, Mechner brings it back with a special live acoustic re-release, which will also be included down below, it’s a fantastic piece well worth checking out. You can also support him by purchasing the track on Bandcamp for as much as you like if you so choose. While Surfacing remains his only song released to date, I’ve been speaking to Mechner briefly on his vision for the future, and he has assured me that he has a pretty solid plan going forward that he is confident in and it promises to be an exciting journey to follow. The Quiet tour he is embarking on shortly will certainly be a great indicator to kick things off. A look at Mechner’s recent activity on Youtube shows he has been putting out an incredibly interesting and creative series of short videos which give just the tiniest of mysterious peeks into the very creative mind of Mechner. Whether a bigger purpose is at work behind the videos may yet be revealed, I know I have my own interpretations anyway. As for the evening in question, Mechner played a fantastic set that certainly has me looking forward to his own show later in the month that I’ll be going to. I’ve recorded a small snippet of it that I’ll include below the two Surfacing videos. If you wish to find Mechner’s Facebook page, it’s at the link here. I’ll leave this piece until Mechner’s inevitable return to the blog with a fitting quote from Mechner himself, somewhat of a catchphrase of his “There is so much more to come… but for now BITE YOUR TONGUE.”
Generic People, who can be found on Facebook here, is an exceptionally talented multi-media company that does everything from animation, 360 degree video recording and insanely cool live visuals, to music production, DJing and remixes and much much more. For the evening in the Crane Lane the DJ duo put on a fantastic display of live-remixing, with a continuous piece of smoothly transitioning music from the start of their set to the end. Looking into the things that they have been doing in the scene since their conception not that long ago, it’s no wonder they are seeing rapid growth as they deliver many highly professional services from their headquarters in Cork. More can be found out from their website here for a full list of services, content, contact and more. With Mechner being very different to The Elation, and Generic People being very different to Mechner, the whole evening was a well orchestrated display of a diverse selection of music genres that was a very fulfilling and brilliant experience to be a part of, and one that could easily have been a paid gig for sure.
So as time kicked on, and I reminded myself that yes I was indeed going to work in the morning, The Elation took to the stage. The 4 piece highly-energetic pop band have been hailed by many to be one of the hardest working bands in the Cork scene right now. Their debut single ‘XO’ immediately entered the Irish top 20 charts, seeing radio time nationally and being renowned to get a dance-floor popping during their live performances. They followed it up with another fantastic song called ‘Catch’, which continued to showcase The Elation’s fresh and energized sound that has had many people talking. These songs and their newest release ‘Feels Like a Good Reason To Get Started’ all have music videos that can be found on Facebook or Youtube, and can be streamed on Spotify. Consisting of Chris Cansdale on Lead Vocals (And who has been very supportive of my endeavors with The Merch Perch since the night I saw them live, for which I must give a big thanks for), Declan Kelleher on Bass and Keys, Billy Whelan on Guitar and Luke Tai on Drums/Percussion, The Elation are rapidly rising to put their mark on the scene and show that they are here to stay.
The four lads have brilliant on-stage chemistry that sees them perform as a highly exciting entity to watch. From Billy’s incredible moments in the spotlight as he riffs off into brilliant guitar solos, to the general feel good presence and antics of Declan as he jumps around with his Bass (And I’m always a big fan of a cool bassist, from Paul Flannery of Walking on Cars and my unforgettable interaction with him, to growing up with an incredibly talented bassist Step brother, I’ve had a lot of musical influence from bass players), and with Luke Tai up high on the elevated drum set thumping out a storm, it’s such an unforgettable experience to see these guys live. Topping it all off of course is front-man Chris in the center, who’s pace and seemingly natural ability to own the stage is a great joy to behold. Whether it’s with acoustic in hand, electric guitar, nothing but his mic or a moment with a singular drumstick as he wallops the hell out of a great big drum next to him on the stage, every part of the performance is unpredictable, fun, and sets them apart as a live-band to watch.
^ L-R Billy Whelan, Luke Tai, Chris Cansdale, Declan Kelleher ^
I had spotted a stack of square objects that could only be CD’s behind the band not too long into their set, and sure enough they had a CD which contains their first single ‘XO’, plus 2 remixes of the track by Generic People and by Bad’Un, and lastly a very different tune called Endless Art 2016 which was a tribute to the fallen icons that 2016 took from the world, inspired by a Dublin band called ‘A House’ with a track by that name in 1991 with the same premise of remembering those who had passed over the years. It also happened that the CD was going for free as well, which is crazy considering the whole night was free and too good not to pay anything for but I guess I wont complain! I had a brief chat with Chris when getting myself the CD, and as mentioned above he was brilliant with his support of what I’m doing with this blog. I told him how I had found the band solely through their Facebook ads, proof that hey it does work sometimes, which he was pretty happy to hear.
In the time since their performance that night, The Elation played at Chez Le Fab in Limerick to a record breaking turnout for them and what sounded like a brilliant evening. In terms of upcoming Cork gigs, there are 2 to speak of in November. First up is a ticket gig on November 4th in Crane Lane with the hugely influential promoters Garageland Ireland who have kicked off bands such as The Script, Kodaline etc., and a fantastic opportunity for growth for the lads. In order for the gig to go ahead, they need to meet a ticket pre-order requirement, for which they are almost half way to reaching currently. If you’re interested in the event, and I definitely recommend it with my own tickets picked up already, then you can join in at the link here. Secondly on November 24th The Elation will hit up the Bru Bar and Hostel in Cork for a gig there, sure to be a great evening of course. The Elation also have a website where you can keep up to date with everything, which can be found at this link here. That’s all for now folks, til next time, keep on Merchin’!