Reviews

Artist:Kila + Lisa O'Neill
Venue:The Button Factory
Town:Dublin
Date:19/08/09
Website:http://www.myspace.com/kilaireland

Having unexpectedly found myself in Dublin and at a loose end for a couple of evenings, I did what any self respecting hack would do, find myself and decent bar and a decent band.

On the first evening, definitely found a good bar and a decent blues band who happened to be busking the Temple Bar area. I also noticed that Kila were playing the Button Factory in the same district the following evening.

A couple of phonecalls and 24 hours later I find myself on my way in to catch up with a band I've not seen perform a full set, having only previously caught a shortened set at Cambridge Folk Festival a couple of years back.

Kila are a band that have tended to produce very polished albums, but I've always felt that they are a band that would do themselves justice in the live arena. It was a hunch that would definitely prove it's self pretty much five minutes into the set.

It must be almost impossible to write a live review of a Kila gigs without using the words, demented, as in bodhran player Ronan throws himself around the stage like a demented bogart; frenetic, instrument changes come at a frenetic pace; and energy, the energy that passes between band and audience would put an average wind farm to shame.

Kila are an eight piece that play folk fusion, mainly through instrumentals, liberally sprinkled with songs. Even here though you think the words have been chosen as much for their rhythmic value as their meaning. I also noticed that there seems to be a split in the band between those that play barefoot and those who choose to wear shoes. It's a split straight down the middle 4 4.

Most of the band are multi-instrumentalists, switching instruments between, string, woodwind, brass and percussion. At one point five out of eight musicians are playing percussion instruments.

There's the occasional shout out for a song or tune, but by and large, people are more than happy to feed on the diet that Kila are handing out and when things are going this well, why not?

All of the band take their place in the spotlight, but it's Ronan that dominates the proceedings. When he's not dancing, he's throwing a series of yoga positions, I begin to understand why he straps his bodhran to himself.

Kila are constantly is a state of change on stage, their folk fusion delivers a real sense of rhythmic passion, before you know it, we're calling for the encore.

For the second of these, they are joined by Liam. He immediately takes his shoes off, making the score 5 4 in favour of the non-shoe wearers, an extra time victory and a great conclusion to a real night of entertainment.

On the night, Kila were supported by Lisa O'Neill. Lisa has just launched her new album, "Lisa O'Neill Has An Album" with this gig being the first place it was available.

Lisa plays Celtic Country, with the instrumentation including a har, banjo, and guitar amongst others. With the exception of a cover of Dylan's "Bobbie Dee", Lisa player all of her own material.

There's a twinkle in her lyric writing, she delivered the line of the evening,
'He was a ventriloquist
He had his hand up Chris.'

She does run the danger of though of being branded novelty, as there were times when you felt she was quirkier than necessary. She's got a good voice to carry the song on, but I felt it was just a little too high in the mix on the night, which didn't do her songs justice.

Neil King