The Goo 1
AUG-SEPT 23 EUGENE CONNOLLY The Prongs The Projec
t Arts Centre Something extraordinary happened at The Project last night. On their live debut, nascent post-punk exponents The Prongs singlehandedly defibrillated the seemingly vanquished art of cerebral literate -rock to an appreciative audience of the great and good of Dublin. Irish Times journo and sub-culture chronicler John Fleming and fellow Dub musical stalwart Niall Toner have somehow colluded along with their DESMOND TRAYNOR Shakalak Whelan’s John Cummins, Poetician, slam poetry champion, former professional footballer (with Munich 1860 rather than Bayern) and Bohs fan, has found his spiritual home. Already wellknown from Dublin’s spoken-word scene, with many appearances downstairs in the International Bar, since teaming up with Fin Divilly (vocals, bass) to form beat-heavy, funkBILLY O’HANLUAIN Hermeto Pascoa The Sugar Club It is rare that expectations and reality collide with such cathartic and explosive effect as they did when Hermeto Pascoal and his sextet laid sonic siege to The Sugar Club tonight. Outside of his native Brazil, where he is affectionately known as “O Bruxo” (The Wizard), Pascoal’s legend rests on having collaborated with Miles Davis on “Live Evil” in 1971 but just like Davis, Pascoal has made constant change to his muse; his laurels are for ripping up into brilliant shards of musical confetti, not for resting on. He is no peddler of nostalgia and at 86 he is defiantly not “going gentle into that good night”. A large crowd from Dublin’s Brazilian community along with many of Ireland’s best known jazz musicians and hipper DJs are among the standing room only crowd. Pascoal appears on Stage looking like a psychedelic Gandalf, the first notes from his Yamaha DX7 are bullets that pierce a dam holding back a joyful torrent of truly Global music. Sitting in the front row is akin to being strapped into an open car of a high-speed musical roller coaster that careers and dives through a myriad of distinctive styles. Saxophonist Jota Pê, pianist André Marques, bassist Itibere Zwarg, drummer Ajurinã Zwarg, and percussionist Fabio Pascoal, virtuosos all, work as an organic whole, segueing seamlessly through the sudden time changes of frenzied Arabesque reveries, Brazilian folkloric themes and cosmic free jazz jams. Midway through the set, as a comedic musical foil to the preceding intensity, drummer and percussionist play what is obviously a party piece, a duet for clave and a wooden clog that starts as a novelty item but soon cascades into a call and response number with riotous audience participation. All the while, Hermeto conducts the carnival with the subtlest of hand gestures and his own dazzling keyboard prowess. New pages of the Pascoal legend are written tonight. .. ‘THE WIZARD’.. PAGE 19 orientated, free jazz outfit Shakalak and release their self-titled album in April 2022, he has flourished. The line-up is completed by Johnny Jude (guitar), Sam ‘Small Bear’ Lynch (drum machine/synths) and Padraig Dooney (saxophone). This is their first show in Whelan’s, and it’s a Friday night sellout – despite the presence of Damien Dempsey across the road in the Iveagh Gardens. The set features many crowd favourites, including first single ‘Hometown’, ‘Ten Thousand’, ‘Trad’, and a full-throttle audience participation work out of ‘The Boom is Back’. Dublin needs artists like this band, with its shades of everything from Sly and the Family Stone to the Sun Ra Arkestra. The solid, pulsing rhythm section is nicely augmented by the loose sax lines spiralling over the backbeat. On top of it all are Cummins’ wry observations on life, love and the universe, as they are played out on this city’s streets and its suburbs. A necessary voice, and a damn good time, too. excellent five-piece ensemble to rebirth a sub-genre of music that has always held a special place in the hearts of those in the know. Having watched a couple of intriguing non-linear videos online, MiddleMarch17 and Fake Samuel Pepys, directed by the ever-fragrant punk stalwart Dave Clifford (who also chronicled the night on film), I half-expected a tough hour of wordy exposition. I was both right and yet simultaneously so wrong. The subtle humour in the performance was the blackest of hues, the visual spectacle alone worth the ticket. John’s poetry and prose thrilled in a mesmerizingly deadpan delivery and was beautifully offset by Niall’ and Co’s melodic accompaniment. The Prongs live was the best score I’ve forked out for a show in a long while. I even bought the t-shirt to commemorate this momentous occasion. A medium size was suggested to me. Notunlike the ‘legendary’ prongs live experience, that pleasant surprise hasn’t happened in many’s a year. Their new CD Theme Music from The Now Now Express and advance copies of John’s novel were also available on the night. The future is Prong.