Desmond Traynor The Felice Brothers/Whelan’s
It’s a Saturday night full house at Whelan’s for the return of The Felice Brothers, in the post-lockdown (or temporary respite) shaking off of the shackles of enforced non-socialising. I first saw the band at the same venue in October 2009, and they’ve been through quite a few changes since then. The current, slimmed down quartet of founding members, the eponymous Ian (guitar, vocals) and James (accordion, keyboards, second vocals), with the new-ish additions of Jesske Hume (bass) and Will Lawrence (drums) are now a settled, road-hardened unit.
While the majority of the set is drawn from their most recent album, From Dreams To Dust – 'Jazz on the Autobahn', 'To-Do List', ‘All the Way Down’, ‘Valium’, ‘Inferno’, ‘Silverfish’ and ‘We Shall Live Again’ all get an airing – there is also room for firm old fan favourites like ‘Whiskey In My Whiskey’, ‘Love Me Tenderly’, and encores of ‘Frankies’s Gun’ and a requested ‘Rockefeller Druglaw Blues’.
At times channeling Levon Helm (well, he looks a bit like a younger, frailer version of The Band’s charismatic drummer/singer), Ian commands the stage, while James always seems happily lost in the pleasure of playing this music.
Ably supported by Stoneybatter new boy Lorkin O'Reilly, a Scotsman transplanted here via the Felices’ own Catskills, this was a rollicking weekend show at its best, equal parts profoundly emotional and great fun. Come back again soon.
Commissioned for The Goo. Photos (C) Desmond Traynor