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MUSIC

For the past few years, musicians have been doing handsome business performing their best-loved albums for the benefit of audiences as eager to wallow in nostalgia as the artists are to top up their pensions. Kitt, lest we forget, has waged a rearguard battle against obscurity for most of the past decade. That's how much time has elapsed since he was the buzzy songwriter of the hour, signed to a major label and with media cheerleaders across Ireland and Britain. Nowadays, he's an archetype indie underdog, self funding projects, and, by his own admission, living gig to gig. Whatever about his present outsider billing, it's obvious people still have fond memories of The Big Romance. Initially booked for the Button Factory, the anniversary show was upgraded to Vicar Street. Opening with the elegant, bittersweet shuffle of 'Song From Hope Street [Brooklyn, NY]', Kitt, accompanied by a nine-piece ensemble, supersizes The Big Romance's wee-hours melancholy into a roiling throb you could conceivably punch the air to (not that many in the crowd go that far). As with the LP, the best moments are when he steps outside the strictures of bedsit acoustic pop and wigs out, as on 'Pale Blue Light' and, stretched to nearly seven minutes, 'Into the Breeze'. The evening adds up to an enjoyable serving of dewy-eyed nostalgia. For Kitt, it's evidence that, while his career has had more downs than ups, his hold on the public imagination isn't quite as tentative as he may have imagined. Ed Power

Published 13/12/2011 | 06:00

Vicar Street Dublin

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But the fad had a jump-the-shark moment recently, with groups as negligible as Turin Brakes and The Charlatans dusting down records deservedly forgotten in the first place. When David Kitt announced he would be reprising 2001's The Big Romance from start to finish by way of celebrating its 10th anniversary, the question therefore presented itself: did anyone really care?

Stepping onstage, pint held aloft, Kitt basks in the love. "It's a long time," he says. "Since I played to so many of yiz." Not even its most ardent cheerleader would claim classic status for The Big Romance. It isn't that sort of record; too understated and languid to be regarded as anything other than a minor pleasure. However, on its own modest terms, it is a fantastic chill-out album; the trippy grooves and aura of 3am somnolence foreshadowing Kitt's subsequent forays into electronica.

Irish Independent

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