Thursday, September 29, 2011

Review : Sam Amidon in Triskel Christchurch, Wednesday September 28th


Anyone living in Galway or west Cork who currently have no plans to catch Sam Amidon over the next couple of days well you can just go ahead and consider me your very own personal ghost of Christmases to come (or something like that) and take my prophetic advice - Go or you will regret it.

The Triskel performance, billed as 'Home Alone Inside My Head: An Evening with Sam Amidon', was certainly a voyage within the mind of the Vermont troubadour. Backdropped by the Triskel's art-house cinema screen, the show began with footage of the songwriter rowing on a river, encompassed by fog, while simultaneously recounting one of many colourful tales (this one including a young, raincoated boy and an androgynous deer lost on the way to UCLA) that would be told in one form or another (be it video, cartoon sketch or song) by the end of a misty September's night.

The first (often hilarious, at times heart-breaking) sketches of inside Amidon's skull were accompanied by a beautiful old recording of his parents singing a tradiitonal number while Sam himself experimented on the fiddle.

The mix of old audio clips, hyberbolic tales of escape, and outdoor video footage served to throw those in attendance off balance when the artist finally stepped forward with a guitar, effortlessly easing into the title track from 2010's I See The Sign.

Like a rabbit in a snare the man had me and, as far as I could tell, he had the rest of the audience too and he didn't let go until the very end of the night. Beautifully tender versions of Bessie Jones-penned tunes "Way Go Lily" (which featured the first audience participation of the night with the ably hummed "Sometime...") and "Johanna the Row-Di" followed as did the majority of tracks (including a banjo-driven rendition of "How Come That Blood") from the latest album.

"All Is Well" did make a welcome appearance but the sublime encore of R Kelly's "Relief", (yes, that R Kelly) performed 100% acoustically, turned out to be my favourite memory yet inside the hallowed halls of the Triskel Christchurch. Simply spellbinding.

What a relief to know that, we are one
What a relief to know that, the war is over 
What a relief to know that, there is an angel in the sky 
What a relief to know that, love is still alive

The tour continues tomorrow night in west Cork.

Sept 28th - Triskel Christchurch (Cork) www.triskelartscentre.ie
Sept 29th - De Barra's, Clonakilty (Cork) www.debarra.ie
Sept 30th - Róisín Dubh (Galway) roisindubh.net


www.samamidon.com

www.triskelartscentre.ie