Although Lust of Pig and the Fresh Blood, Laura Sheeran's debut album, has been available for a few months, last nights show in The Pavilion still counted as the official album launch night with it being the first time the Galwegian has returned to Cork since the double-albums original release.
Support on the night was provided by Hooker No. 1 and Daphne In The Attic but unfortunately I missed the former. Cork's Daphne In The Attic, although not quite there yet, struck a chord with me more for their ideas and what they are trying to do rather than the execution. This may simply be down to the fact that there are so many of them on stage (multiple vocalists, cello, violin, accordion, drums, bass, two electric guitars) and they are still getting their "thing" together. Despite not exactly hitting the nail square on the head last night I like where they are going and I look forward to hearing their new E.P. and another live performance sometime in the future.
The main act of the night arrived on stage on her lonesome. Surrounded by an array of various instruments Sheeran kicked off the set by herself but promised that she would be joined on stage soon by the rest of her band. "Girlfriend" (which is technically not the name of the song as it does not actually have one as of yet) began with Laura singing vocals over a backing track (of an acoustic instrument : ukulele or guitar I am not sure) and then settling down to play a solo on the saw before launching back into a powerful chorus of looped vocals.
It was not long before the lone singer was joined by a guitarist/sound-maker and a violin player while Sheeran herself picked up an accordion, demonstrating her multi-instrumental abilities to great effect; a ukulele was also to make an appearance. A drummer arrived (a bit too early according to a momentarily confused singer) to complete the full line-up for the night. I am not a huge fan of loop pedals (which were a dominant force on the night) myself but this has only ever been because far too often they are used simply to fill up space or to play a part that could so easily have been played by another session musician. Although the author of Lust of Pig and the Fresh Blood uses the device/effect frequently, it is done so with taste and subtlety, adding to rather than replacing a genuine live performance.
As was to be expected the setlist was comprised of tracks from the new double album including the eerie throbbing of "To Carry My Bones", the ghostly drone of "It's Been A Long Day" and the robotic pounding of "Computer Receive". The latter was definitely my favourite of the night with the band and especially the drummer casting off the shackles of rigidity that can be imposed by laptops, backing tracks and loop pedals at times.
What particularly stood out was how bloody likeable the girl is! For one who writes songs with a mood so dark and often spectral it was a bit of a surprise to hear her giggling, laughing, thanking everyone for coming and generally just being very nice. For one I wish her a lot of success and I hope to catch another live show soon as, now that she has a live band in tow, I can only see things getting better and better for Laura Sheeran.