A Long Overdue Follow Up
Talos is a name that has appeared on the blog before when they supported EDEN the first time I saw him in 2016 (That blog post can be found here), however have yet to have had the proper mention they’re well deserving of. When I was writing the EDEN post, it was already nearly a year and a half since I had seen the show and thus it was little more than a cameo appearance to the post. So when I saw that they were playing Live at St Luke’s Church on December 21st, I was all over it immediately and hotly anticipating the show for many months in the lead-up. Talos consists of Eoin French on Vocals and Guitar – Josh Sampson on Percussion – Sam McNicholl on Percussion and Vocals – David O’Connell on Strings and Keys – Sonny Sampson on Bass and Alex Sampson on Guitar and Vocals. Last year was most notable for the band in the release of their debut album ‘Wild Alee’, with the likes of Nialler9 among others receiving it in great favour.
Christof Van Der Ven
So without further ado, let’s get into it. Playing support for Talos on the evening of the gig was Christof Van Der Ven, a Netherlands born singer-songwriter who moved to Ireland and spent some years living in Galway before moving over to London a few years back. Although it was my first time seeing him play, it came to my attention recently that Christof is yet another artist who played at Sounds From a Safe Harbour, albeit I did not get the opportunity to see him among the other’s I witnessed that weekend. Just goes to show that even those I didn’t see at that festival went on to have further impact on me as time moved on from the event. Christof played a lovely set of songs, including a few from his 2016 EP ‘Montreal’. His strong vocal presence worked well in tandem with the acoustics of the church and overall I was very impressed by the performance he put on to warm us up to Talos.
As a band with incredible musical arrangements across the board that compliment singer Eoin French’s otherworldly vocal presence, it’s only fitting that the visual aspect of the show with the lighting is on-point to complete the sensory experience that their music brings. That was entirely the case when Talos came out onto the stage and began the set with ‘Odyssey’, starting in darkness with a low light cast forth from the back of the stage and silhouetting the band members behind Eoin while he stood illuminated. Whether by design or pure happenstance, I found it rather interesting the way this light beamed particularly towards the back of Drummer Josh Sampson’s head, creating a vivid halo effect outlining his hair as he started playing.
A few songs further into the set, I noticed that Guitarist Alex Sampson had produced a violin bow to play his electric guitar, creating some wondrous sounds in the process. While I am aware this is an occasionally practiced technique with some guitarists, this is the first time I’ve personally seen someone do it and it really is an amazing touch. He used this for two or three songs at various stages throughout the set. Another thing I love from Talos is their two-percussionist approach and the extra layers this brings to their music. Watching the second percussionist Sam McNicholl in action, I couldn’t help but feel a weird sense of familiarity, but I couldn’t place it at the time. However recently it dawned on me that it’s none other than the owner of legendary venue Connolly’s of Leap in West Cork that I’ve been to on a few occasions before. Small world eh.
On an aside between songs, Eoin took a moment to give us an update that the band have been working on some new material, which is awesome news. Such a tease he was, though, that he added afterwards “We’re not gonna play any of it now though”. Grr, guess we’ll be left guessing for now as to what’s in store, though undoubtedly it’s going to be out of this world. When the show was over, I got to meet a few members of the band which was cool. Heading to the Merch counter, I immediately picked up the Wild Alee album on Vinyl, an addition to my collection I had been hotly anticipating, and I also bought Christof’s EP ‘Montreal’ which he kindly signed for me too. That’s about it for this one folks, and remember, keep on Merchin’!