Wednesday, July 05, 2006

For Pippa

Going to an Aslan concert is like gatecrashing a Finglas wedding. You have no doubt that God will bless that happy couple in his own sweet way. This is just as well because you suspect that the woman in the white dress is actually 4 months pregnant and the main man is fighting a losing battle with drug addiction.

Despite not having the de rigeur spandex boob-tube and fake tan, you are enveloped by a sense of collective love, pride and hard won respect that the audience has for the band on stage. The room is charged with anticipation long before the band makes their entrance. Old friends and acquaintances catch up, compare hard luck stories and 'fuck' the management from a high over the price of a Bicardi Breezer and a bottle of Heineken.

An undernourished man in an ill-fitting Celtic FC track suit walks up to the microphone. You expect him to say something original like "Testing. One, Two, Three. Testing, Testing". Instead, he exhales long and emotionally, and in a Dublin-esque Jay Kay moment says "Howzitgoan?". He opens with the timeless classic that is "This is" and follows with "Feel No Shame". The band are clearly more than a little tight. What follows is one of the best rock concerts you'll ever witness. Each song eclipses the previous, the singer enthralls you with his experience-laden vocals and the band remind you that its supposed to be fun.

By the time the tracksuit top is discarded, you've stopped trying to work out Christy's obscure sign language. This isn't Marceau on E. The band are pumping, the hall is thumping and you are the only one who doesn't know the lyrics. Nevertheless you join in on the chorus when Christy momentarily splits the audience into chorus and counter-chorus like some latter day Herbert Von Karajan. You become part of the performance.

The hairs on the back of your arms stand to attention as they 'do' Angie better than Jagger ever could. Aslan probably view themselves as the Irish 'Stones but they're much better than that. They are the Irish Beetles. Christy Dignam is the Lennon whose McCartney OD-ed in a dingy Ballymun flat and so they never made it to their Abbey Road. Imagine how good U2 would be if more than two could play their instruments. This is Aslan. They've nothing to do with CS Lewis. Aslan are the band that Thin Lizzy never could be, and U2 never will be. Honest, stylish and intimate. They are for real. Of course, according to Wikipedia, this is what
Aslan are. Only they are so much more.

If you've not got a copy of "This is" or "Crazy World" then you have been criminally negligent.
Only attend a concert if you wish all other performances to seem bland by comparison.


Blogger parnellpr said...

Thank you!!! That is so cool. Am gonna pop on over to iTunes and check em out. Question. Are they named after the character in the lion, the withc and the wardrobe, or is it an irish word?

I got on my soapbox a bit today, and had a rant about this woman at the independent who apparently thinks that we woman bloggers don't really exist. Seriously I ask you.

Thanx once again for the info.


1:42 a.m., July 07, 2006  
Blogger parnellpr said...

Just clicked on the link and got my answer. Any band named after him HAS to be right. Pippa

1:44 a.m., July 07, 2006  

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