Morning Veils & Laurie Shaw – Cork Community Print Shop, 09.03.14

The industrial, factory-floor feel of the Cork Community Print Shop is just that little bit chillier this afternoon, with assembled crate-divers, boardgamers and cafe patrons wrapped up and able to see their breath on this, the first in a new series of day-time gigs.

Second Sunday is dedicated to acoustic, folk, drone, psych, ambient and other wayward musical forms. There are small groups of people loitering about amidst the scatterings of machinery, old fittings and recent arrivals. Even without a note of music being played it’s wonderful to see the visible pulse of art and creation pumping life into what would otherwise have been just another property-crash casualty.

Acoustic troubadour Laurie Shaw steps up to the makeshift stage and proceeds to offer his own personal brand of brittle and forlorn musical nostalgia. The music he crafts doesn’t quite reconcile with the look of a gentleman his age.

Laurie

Regardless of the obvious disparity, Shaw dutifully goes about his business tapping into a rich vein of Merseybeat-by-way-of-post-millennial-indie-pop nous. Two Bittersweet Summers Ago conjures images of summers spent on non-league football pitches and doomed teenage romance, while Nuclear Pussycat careens along a simple yet swaggering rock’n’roll jangle.

A quick cover of This Night Has Opened My Eyes invests the song with a simplicity and plaintiveness whilst removing Morrissey’s more dramatic vocal style. Lunch by the River‘s psych-pop fantasy and the bare-bones melancholia of Aftershave cap off a brief but well-received set.

With members of lauded Cork groups The Altered Hours and Saint Yorda counted amongst their ranks, curiosity surrounding the Morning Veils has been piqued in recent times. Perhaps not surprisingly this headline slot has subsequently brought out a motley crew of familiar Cork-scene faces eager for a closer look.

Gig

The banter circling around the venue is given added life by the drenched reverb coming off the microphones, while the smell of incense hangs heavy in the cold air. Even with daylight creeping in from outside there is a certain sort of ambience. The group make the most of it!  The Veils tread a fine and uneasy line between the psychedelic and the hymnal. There is a certain sort of mournfulness inherent within the music, but equally it’s clearly evident the trio is having fun with their musical influences.

Idiot’s gentle tirade of bass underpins some fine open-chord pop, suitably setting the scene for the wide palate of sounds that is to follow. The squeezebox makes a welcome appearance (how often do you hear that particular phrase?) adding uncertainty and a fog of near-mortality at certain points, while the layering of simple synth drones atop a relentless stream of graveyard pop conjures a hypnotising sonic experience.

A haunting and layered rendition of Ghost Dance follows, built upon bewitching, simple harmonies and chorus that strikes a vaguely unsettling church-like atmosphere. Set-closer Bring Out Your Dead is the one, that leaves the most lasting impression however. It’s unquestionably the closest the group come to a full musical blow-out, as the band plot a course that begins with reverberated chanting and finish with a garage-pop flourish. It encapsulates perfectly the elements at play within the Morning Veils music,  acknowledging in equal parts the sombre overtones of the source material and the Cheshire Cat-like grin and relish with which they deliver it.

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Cork music since 2010
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Editors:
Conor O'Toole
Graham Lynch