Review: The Frames at Iveagh Gardens
Despite the modern appetite for nostalgia, landmark anniversaries are as rare as hen's teeth, especially considering some bands can’t even manage to last until the weekend.
The Who are blowing out the candles on fifty years on their current tour, while the Rolling Stones reached the half century mark in 2012, but these are truly remarkable exceptions.
Irish stalwarts the Frames have been making music for a quarter of a century. Despite singer Glen Hansard winning an Oscar with for ‘Falling Slowly’ and pursuing a solo career, they never split up.
However, they have admittedly been something of a dormant force, so it is a real treat to witness their largest shows in the city since Marlay Park and Dublin Castle. They’re still a red hot ticket and their two night anniversary hooley is a complete sell out.
Even though virtually all the set is performed in daylight, as the band go onstage at 8.15pm, the light show is pretty and intricate. Opening with the aptly titled ‘Perfect Opening Line’, their secret weapon and co-founder Colm Mac Con Iomaire is in thrilling form with his magical violin playing.
The inaccurate expectation of a Frames show as a litany of endless speeches from Hansard to rival Bono proves to be well wide of the mark. The reality is a spellbinding set. Banter between songs is kept to a bare minimum.
During ‘Star Star’ the band chip in a lovely snippet of ‘Pure Imagination’ from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Tom Barman from Deus suddenly appears out of nowhere to add his Belgian presence to the occasion.
Once director John Carney pops up on bass and Noreen O’Donnell contributes backing vocals on an impassioned rendition of their debut single ‘The Dancer’.
The sheer joy and happiness in the air proves this is not an exercise in nostalgia, but a euphoric celebration of one of the finest Irish bands of the 21st century.