Review: I Draw Slow's performance in Whelan's, Dublin

I Draw Slow

Eamon Sweeney

Ireland has produced a veritable galaxy of acclaimed acts that run the whole spectrum of genres from the avant-garde to pop.

Unsurprisingly, Americana, bluegrass and Appalachian flavoured trad and country outfits haven't featured quite as prominently. Dublin based quintet I Draw Slow have wowing audiences all over the world with their unique smorgasbord of styles and influences.

Well-respected producer Brian Masterson, who has worked with Clannad, Planxty and The Clancy Brothers, steered the studio ship for the release of their third album White Wave Chapel earlier this year. Masterson warmly summed up the experience by saying, "This is how music should be recorded. Everyone playing together with great feeling and joy."

I Draw Slow bring these qualities to the hallowed stage of Wexford Street. Anchored around brother and sisters Dave and Louise Holden, the siblings sing their hearts and souls out. The line up is completed by Adrian Hart on violin, Colin Derham on the beautifully named claw-hammer banjo, and double bassist Konrad Liddy, who used to play in the terrific Dublin roots band Prison Love.

I Draw Slow can turn their hand to contemplative songs such as 'Hide and Seek', but also possess the power to have a good old knees up and get completely lost in full flight.

'Swans' deals with the feathered creatures who winter in Newgrange each year after the breeding season in Iceland. I Draw Slow re-interpret and re-imagine Americana with a distinct Celtic twist.

Both the Holdens are great storytellers, repeatedly offering intriguing and interesting song introductions that perfectly preface each number.

They good humouredly reflect on releasing a song last year entitled 'Valentine,' which became slightly dated after the day in question. Incidentally, actor Aiden Gillen starred in an accompanying video that was directed by fellow thespian Hugh O'Conor.

They up the tempo for a medley of their own composition 'Santiago' with the traditional standard 'There Goes the Preacher with the Rabi's Wife'. Resistance is futile. It is simply impossible not to get lost in their deliriously infectious energy.

I Draw Slow are one of the most beguiling and singular acts currently on the circuit. They also know how to have a whale of a time in the whole beautiful process.