3pm: Unitarian Church –
An ambitious day of gigs and Christmas hullaballoo spread across Dublin see Delorentos kick off in the festively atmospheric Unitarian Church with a mid-afternoon tea party and acoustic set. The offer to ‘buy everyone a cup of something warm’ is typical of the Dubs indie affection, and this afternoon’s show – a career-spanning set that’s only a distant cousin to the band’s pop-rock standards – is both simple and alluringly lovely.
There are a handful of the live standards here: Little Sparks converts fairly directly into an almost solemn acoustic form, while Hunting also sounds like a darker, more emotive track in its toned down form. The Basis Of Everything and You Say That You’ll Never Love Her hint at the throwback to pre-break days that adds to this show’s sentimental vibe: most of the bigger recent hits are conspicuous by their absence, replaced with delicate acoustic renditions that scrape around the album tracks of Delorentos back catalogue and dig out subtle gems like Swimmer, Waited For You So Long and an intoxicatingly ambitious, expansive vocal on another sentimental effort, newbie Valleys Where The Rivers Run from the up and coming album ‘Night Into Light’, announced exclusively to this afternoon’s crowd.
This can only be the calm before the storm. It’s the church before the presents, the sobriety before the whiskey’s brought out and the family gathering descends into messiness. Closer Winter Song sums things up: it’s plucky, laden with conflicting emotions and sends a tingle down the spine, all performed to an audience that’s still in the polite clapping and mince pies phase of their day. The work that’s gone into making these songs adapt, though, is clear. Delorentos know how to do Christmas. – James Hendicott
9.30pm: Whelan’s –
The location of many of the band’s incredible early shows back in the day, it was the first return to Whelan’s for Delorentos in four years. Original fans, now nearing their late twenties have been moved to the back and replaced at the front with a younger generation of fans more able bodied for the dancing demands of a Delorentos gig. While the fans may have aged it seems the band certainly hasn’t lost any of their youthful energy.
Settling into proceedings with a multitude of tracks taken from the Meteor Choice Award winning ‘Little Sparks’, it seemed this may be a night aimed at the whippersnappers. Fears were soon laid to rest as two new tracks were debuted from forth coming album ‘Night Into Light’; the incredible catchy chorus of Forget The Numbers is sure to become a future live favourite. If the high standard and stunning harmonies of I Will Not Go are anything to go by, album four could be their best release yet.
It just wouldn’t be Christmas without some impromptu Santa hat wearing, Rudolph t-shirts and of course a rendition of Jingle Bells. A present came in the shape of ‘In Love With Detail’ fan favourite Any Other Way, not played live for over four years, and from the reaction of the crowd it is impossible to see why it was removed from the setlist in the first place. Closing out the live portion of the night with infectious SECRET, it was a Christmas miracle the floor of Whelan’s was still intact by the end.
The perfect celebration of the band’s career and a thank you to the fans for what has been the biggest year of the quartet’s career to date. Much like a “Christmas Carol”, there was elements of the ghosts of Delorentos past, present and future; unlike Ebenezer however these boys do not need to change their ways.
On a final note, if the sweaty naked men could keep their clothes on for all future gigs it would be much appreciated by everyone. – Deirdre Harrison
Delorentos at the Unitarian Church Photo Gallery
Photos: Kieran Frost