A Matter of Bookings
Greetings folks! Super excited to get this post out, so much cool stuff to get through. For those of you who haven’t read it yet, I covered a September gig The Elation did in Crane Lane before in a blog post for which I had a really fun time. As mentioned towards the end, The Elation were presented with an incredible opportunity – They had been selected to play a gig in Crane Lane on November 4th as a headliner among a selection of other bands with Garageland Ireland, a highly reputable and heavily involved promoter of music in the Irish Music Scene, kicking off such artists and bands as The Script, Kodaline and Ham Sandwich to name but a minuscule few.
The second I heard the news I wanted to get behind it as much as I could, as I had such a brilliant time discovering The Elation. And that is where things get… Interesting. For most people who buy tickets for gigs and events, they buy it, they wait for that day to roll around and then they attend their event and have a merry ol’ time and that’s the extent of it. And then, there’s me, when I hit a buying spree, different things can occur altogether. From three concerts in a week (See Summer Madness Trilogy), to two concerts in one evening (Imelda May – King Kong Company) I’ve been known to get a bit chaotic with my scheduling. In this instance however, I had already carefully double booked the evening of November 4th with a Dara O Briain live Stand-Up show at the Cork Opera House, and a midnight gig at Cyprus Avenue (Blog post on that gig to follow this one in the coming days), and then here I was plonking another gig smack bang in the middle of the two. It was going to be tricky, but not impossible: Challenge Accepted.
At the end of the day, figuring it out was just a matter of being as malleable with my time as I could possibly be – Which meant sacrifices were in order. Missing The Elation was not an option, so when the mid-show break in Dara’s Stand-Up routine ran longer than expected, I took the opportunity to slip away in the timely convenience – Sorry Dara, more important things to attend to. I’ll catch your DVD when it’s out to get an idea what I’ve missed. Anyways, I arrived to the Crane Lane towards the latter half of the set of a band that was on before The Elation by the name of The Alkove. Chris Cansdale, front-man to The Elation, spotted me the moment I got in the door and was quick to welcome me and thank me for making it to the gig, along with the rest of the band. The Alkove were putting on a grand aul’ performance and were a pretty cool band, they were also joined on stage by duo ‘Velvet‘, bringing some girl power to their set. While all of their material was new to me irregardless, I understand they were breaking out some particularly new tunes on the night in anticipation of upcoming projects. The Alkove have just this year already released an album called ‘Bubble’, but aren’t finished there. They’re currently working on, and nearly set to release, a new EP called ‘Burn it All’. They’re certainly keeping themselves busy, I reckon I’ll be seeing more of them soon for sure.
Alrighty, who’s ready for some gushing cause I’m bout to drop some praise over here. I’ve already touched on a few of the aspects in my previous blog post about The Elation, but to me they’re one of the most exciting bands in the Cork music scene right now, in a category that boasts the likes of The Band Anna and Run Down Washington Street similarly vying for the position. They are a band consisting of a lot of character, an abundance of energy, and each individual band member shining in their respective roles. As a refresher, here’s their current line-up: Chris Cansdale – Lead Vocals, Declan Kelleher – Bass and Keys, Billy Whelan – Guitar and Luke Tai* – Drums. I wrote a paragraph in the previous post about some of the great things they each bring to the table when performing. Since then: Declan’s beard game has gotten even stronger, and he continues to be a lively and hoppy presence on stage with his bass. Luke’s hair is still on fleek, and Billy gave in to a moment of impulse which saw him completely cover his guitar with The Elation’s own custom stickers, creating a kick-ass personalized look for his guitar – Declan opting for the more subtle single sticker towards the top of his bass.
*In recent news from the band, Luke Tai and The Elation are set to mutually part ways soon once a replacement member is finalized, it is likely that Luke has played his final gig with them as of the writing of this post. It was awesome to see you shine with the band while it lasted Luke, best of luck going forward.
Their performance in the Garagelands gig was brilliant, and entirely worth the sacrifice to attend. While the obvious choices of their three released singles so far (XO, Catch, Feels Like a Good Reason To Get Started) made the set, there was plenty more to get excited about as they brought some new songs along with them that continued to showcase why they’re the band to watch right now, and teased us with the announcement that they’re working on their debut album at the moment. Can. Not. Wait. Among them were tracks titled ‘Just Say When’, ‘Top of the World’, ‘Keep Running’ and ‘Ready or Not’. The calibre for each of which is in keeping with their high standards of songwriting and maintaining a great live experience when gigging. ‘Top of the World’ particularly being one of the newest additions to their repertoire and had seen the least stage time in gigs prior to that night. It didn’t escape my attention as they played either, that Chris was wearing a really cool custom ‘The Elation’ orange Shirt which I thought was really wicked. When their set came to an end, I was already feeling so elated (It had to happen, don’t give me that look) from the evening so far that if that had been the end of it, I’d have already considered it a pretty awesome experience.
That said, before I was set to leave for my next gig of the evening, I first went to catch up with Chris. As usual, it was a pleasure to chat to him. And then he said ‘Wait there, I got something for ya’, and in my head I’m thinking ‘Sweet, he got me those stickers’ because I had asked if I’d be able to acquire some after seeing Billy’s guitar online before the gig. Sure enough, he came back with a sheet of stickers in one hand, but his other hand was not empty either, as it clutched a bundle of some sort. Bewildered as to what was happening, I was jaw-drop level lost for words when he handed me both items. I unfolded the bundle to find the most awesome gesture I’ve ever received, as it was my own Elation shirt, which all 4 members of the band had signed with personal messages for me. I was blown away to say the least, yet further proof that these lads are proper awesome gentlemen of the highest order. Chris wrote “To Sean, thanks for the support – Chris C”. Declan added (And if the smile on my face could even get any wider than it already was seeing any of this, then this part would have done it) “I (Heart) u Merch Perch u is a (Star) – Dec K”. Billy contributed “To Sean, best of luck with the Merch Perch! – Billy Whelan” and finally Luke completed it with “To Sean, Thanks for all the support. Best of luck with everything – Luke” (You too Luke, you too)
The Saga Continues – The Brú Bar & Hostel
The band had another show on the 24th of November at the Brú Bar & Hostel. I was at a gig at ‘Live at St. Lukes’ that evening (What can I say, I get around), however The Elation’s gig was running until late and it was on the same side of town, so I endeavoured to show up at earliest possible convenience. When the gig I was at finished, and I had acquired my Merch from it (Naturally, might be a lil’ while before we reach that blog post), I merrily jogged down the steep hill that handily lead me right to the door of the Brú Bar. Anticipating this gig, I of course wore the shirt I had been gifted, and I made my entrance. They were just about halfway through the evening, as they were playing a mixed originals and covers bumper 2 hour gig, so I had plenty to enjoy. The band in itself was a sight to behold as I arrived – The Brú Bar has a smaller stage than Crane Lane, and I had wondered beforehand how on earth the band were going to comfortably fit their equipment. To remedy this, they had flipped their large gear box on it’s side in front of the stage, turning it into a make-shift platform for Chris to dance and sing on, with the rest of the band making up the rest of the stage. My entrance didn’t go unnoticed, Chris gave me a thumbs up the moment I walked in to their rendition of ‘Shape of You’ by Ed Sheeran, and introduced me to the sizeable enough crowd in attendance after the song. I sat back and watched them play and recovered my breath, all the while seeing how far 3 percent battery could get me while taking pictures – Surprisingly it lasted quite some time (I think 8 songs later it died). I enjoyed their covers of a number of different songs, from ‘Cheerleader’ by OMI, to ‘You Can Call Me Al’ (What a classic) by Paul Simon. Although I learned afterwards that I had missed what sounds like a great cover as they did a mash-up of Feels Good Inc. with the Weeknd’s ‘I Can’t Feel My Face’, among many others before my arrival. They finished their set with a few more originals, giving me another good opportunity to hear new songs ‘Top of the World’ and ‘Ready or Not’ again.
They were hanging around for a bit after the gig and I had no real rush to be anywhere, so I stuck around for a pint and proper catchup. I had a good ol’ time with all the band and some of their fans, including one legendary fan who bought a round of 6 drinks and distributed them to the band and some other folks, including giving me one unexpectedly which was awesome. I took a photo of the lads from the band with one of the fans, and Luke Tai captured one of me with Chris, Declan and Billy. I learned a bit more about their strong positive moral stance on the fair treatment and mutual-support of artists and other such involved peoples in the music scene (As I’ve felt first hand from their incredibly positive support of me since day one of discovering them). I also had a suggestion that I’m putting here as a direct challenge to the band going forwards. I want them to pick up any song of their liking from the band ‘EELS’ to throw into their cover set, so that we can call them ‘The Eelation’ (What can I say, I’m a sucker for puns. And because EELS have awesome music). Chris liked it and condoned me publicly challenging them, and Declan said he’s down to play any song if only just to fulfill a pun. We gon’ make this happen. This lead to me learning they’re no stranger to a bit of pun loving, including not settling on the band name until they concluded a lengthy pun-session using potential band names to make loads of puns. And finally, I found out that before I arrived, their make-shift platform for Chris wasn’t without it’s faults – at one point he fell off it and almost landed in the fireplace. Sounds rather comical, shame I missed that bizarre moment. That just about concludes this post, you’ll for sure see these guys back on here again. Until next time, and remember, keep on Merchin’!