Live Review: Join Me in the Pines at Dublin Unitarian Church – 11th April 2014

By on Tuesday, 29th April 2014 at 2:30 pm

Ireland’s favourite (indie) sons Bell X1 have always been the creative sort. Their music has ranged from pop/rock to electronic and back, with lyrics that have always been fanciful, cutting, witty and poignant. But what do they do to keep themselves busy in the lull between albums, touring, recording and writing? After all, the band have been hurtling through albums and tours apace with both studio works, ‘Chop Chop’ and a live acoustic offering ‘Field Recordings’, as well as successful tours to back them both up. Someone must need a break by now.

Clearly it’s not Dave Geraghty. The multi-instrumentalist (truly, the last Bell X1 tour had him playing drums, keyboard and guitar in turn) has energised his solo career, rebranding it with the enchanting moniker Join Me in the Pines. More often than not, I am relegated to covering shows on the East Coast of America, but in a blinding stroke of luck during my holiday in Ireland, Join Me in the Pines was giving a very special performance in a small church in Dublin. Not one to miss such a special opportunity, I hastened down to Stephen’s Green to be serenaded by Geraghty with barely 200 chosen few for this rare treat. Frankly, I was in awe to be in such a lovely setting, hearing new and old Geraghty solo works and to be doing it all in his homeland. Indeed, Geraghty himself greeted me afterwards with, “we don’t often see you on *this* side!”

The inaugural showing of the newly minted Join Me in the Pines did not disappoint me as a long-time fan of Geraghty’s solo work. Hearing older tunes like ‘Tuesday’s Feet’ and ‘Ragdoll’ mixed with a couple of Bell X1 tunes kept the set going. As a band, Geraghty has added the vocal and musical skills of both Danielle Harrison and Fiona Melady to the mix. This blend was wonderful, as their voices had the music floating through the church and filling the nave. But that wasn’t all. There were more musicians to crowd the tiny stage. Singer/songwriter Tiger Cooke joined Geraghty for ‘Wear Out Your Name’, Claire Finglass duetted with him on ‘Back Seat’ and Patrick Daly on violin and Frank Tate on mandolin popped on and off stage to round out the sound. Geraghty even did a Prince cover on ukulele. If that doesn’t show levity and versatility, then nothing ever will.

Of the new songs, ‘Joy is a Lion’ stands out, and rightly so since it is the first single. But ‘Golden Guilt’ is close behind. Despite the fact that I have seen Geraghty sing a half a dozen times with Bell X1, it’s easy to forget how lovely and delicate his voice is when his bandmate Paul Noonan is most often centre stage. I was lucky to be able to finally experience his solo show, and rumour has it that the new album should ready for release in August. There are a couple more shows scattered about Ireland the rest of the summer, so keep your eyes open.

After the cut: the set list

Join Me in the Pines Set List:
At First Light
Tuesday’s Feet
Golden Guilt
Soft Spot
Joy is a Lion
Wear Out Your Name
Built to Last
All the King’s Horses
Back Seat
Should Not Roam
Last Time Around

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[…] Join Me in the Pines, which our Cheryl had the chance to experience live earlier this spring (click here to read her thoughts on that show), while frontman Paul Noonan has cobbled together an album of […]

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