This was a gig that had been marked in my calendar since it was announced a few months back. Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally had to compete with the Jazz festival but they managed ably and by the time they took to the stage the place was packed. All credit must be given to Mary Hickson of the Opera House in managing to bring such a name act to Cork.
They seem like an act that are uncomfortable with their relative fame. There’s an endearing kind of awkward reluctance to embrace the fact that they’ve managed to become so big. Beach House are not an outfit that roll with rock star swagger and they’re as about as unassuming an act as you’re likely to find. In fact the banter about an ‘after’s party’ was probably the least relaxed bit of class clowning you’re likely to see from an act of Beach House’s size.
I missed the support act owing to my own stupidity, yes the ticket did say 8 and not 9. Good one Niall. But I managed to get over the scheduling mix-up and arrived to a seatless Opera house just as the main event took to the stage. A quick shimmy through the throng and I’d gotten myself a rather nifty spot up the front.
The audience were in fine voice and roared their approval for the classics from 2010’s Teen Dream. ‘Silver soul’, ‘Walk in the park’, and ‘Norway’ got things going in a set that was largely dominated by tunes from Teen Dream and their new long player Bloom. It was no bad thing, they were joined on stage by a drummer and managed to create a huge sound. It was perhaps strange for some for an act that made their mark on the intimate side of the musical spectrum but for my money it worked and by the time they rattled through ‘Zebra’ the crowd was well in hand. It was a great showing with Victoria hammering the keyboard with gusto and Alex really working through his paces with some fantastically shimmery guitar work .
I didn’t even bother trying to get to the bar at this point as I’d worked hard for my spot up the front and there was no way I was missing a minute of this. They finished with their final song ‘10 mile stereo’ , Victoria had said to me in an earlier interview that the band were very careful in how they licence their music but if the amount of camera phones that sprang into action with this tune then their lending of the tune to Guinness was worth the gamble in terms of recognition.
There was never any danger of an abrupt end to proceedings and audience were baying for more .They retook the stage to deliver an absolutely belting encore with ‘Irene’. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable effort from Baltimore’s most recognisable export since The Wire