22-Apr-2007 03:09 pm
Contributed by: pete
I hadn't heard of The Frames until March 7th, 2007, the day when I downloaded their most recent album The Cost from eMusic.com. And now that I know they've been producing full-length albums starting in 1992 with Another Love Song, I realize that I was a little out of the loop. But no more. I am converted. I've heard The Frames, I've seen The Frames, and like a few devoted fans that I met near the stage, it's safe to say: I'm in.
This Dublin band is led by Glen Hansard, an extremely talented singer and songwriter. He's also amazingly casual and comfortable on stage, with a bit of humour in his actions. Unlike most rock bands, The Frames have a full-time violinist, Colm MacConlomaire, whose electric violin adds depth to the songs. Their music could easily be described as earnest and passionate, which it is at certain times, but it also has just the right amount of dense rock mixed with vocal melodies that come straight from the soul. Although I was only familiar with songs from The Cost, some of the musical highlights were actually songs I'd never heard before, which means I'll soon be spending time investigating their back catalog. Their compositions will often build and then soften, only to swell again to a dramatic finish; it works well enough on the album, but even more so on stage.
It was an early show at the Phoenix with The Frames starting on stage at 7:30 PM as the band was told they had to be finished by 9:00 PM. Presumably this is because the Phoenix wanted to clear out The Frames crowd and bring in a new set of people with full wallets for a second event. Glen made a comment regarding this and indicated that they normally like to play for longer. But as it was, they used the allocated hour and a half really well, and were even permitted to go a few minutes over. There are some concerts I attend that I'm ready to have end when they do, but I could've easily listened to The Frames for another hour, if only they were granted the time and were willing.
The early night was started by Young Galaxy, a band that is part of the Arts & Crafts collective. I missed the start of their set, but for what I did see and hear, they were excellent. I'm told that they share a couple of band members with The Stars, which makes sense given the label. The set was good listen, and was ended with the lead guitarist (I believe it was Stephen Ramsay) attacking his instrument and eventually throwing it down to the stage. I now see they have a new album being released on April 24, and you can try before you buy since the entire CD is available for streaming on the music page of the Young Galaxy website.