Lofty Reviews: Thomand Sessions Ollie Cole, Zombie Picnic & A Weekend Awaylofty-reviews-ollie-cole-zombie-picnic-weekend-away

Lofty Reviews the Limerick Thomond Sessions night with Ollie Cole, Zombie Picnic & A Weekend Away

Thousand Sessions Oliver Cole

One should always give praise to people who take the brave step to support local talent and bringing new acts to an area. One person doing just that is Marty Ryan who has been running the monthly semi-acoustic Thomond Sessions in the cosy surroundings of The Stormy Teacup.

For the November session he pulled together an eclectic line-up that offered plenty of variety and musical quality. First up was upcoming local band A Weekend Away who are full of youthful enthusiasm, with no shortage of talent. Their short set was a mixture of original material of which ‘Parseltongue’ is a particularly sweet highlight along with an inspired mashup of ‘Allstar’ and ‘Lose Yourself’ which worked brilliantly. They certainly left a positive impression on me and I will definitely try and catch them in fully amped up mode soon.

Then it was time for something completely different in the shape of another local act Zombie Picnic, whose set of free form, sonic prog rock was a joy to behold in this beautifully arranged space. It was just a great experience watching a group of musicians so in to what they were playing and whilst the audience for their brand of music might be limited who cares as long as they are getting something out of it, which they clearly were.

Headline act Ollie Cole battled Dublin traffic and torrential rain to make it to The Stormy Teacup but we were very glad he did. Anyone who knows Ollie from his days as lead man for Turn or who have heard his stunning solo album ‘Year of the Bird’ from 2015 will know that he is an highly engaging presence on stage and in the snug confines of last night’s venue he was even more so.

His set on the night was a mixture of new material that he is currently working on for his next record, songs from the aforementioned ‘Year of the Bird’ and his take on ‘Wichita Linesman’.
Constantly self-effacing and completely honest as to where he thinks some of the new songs are at in their development Cole instantly had the audience on his side. And despite some misgivings by him the new songs were certainly interesting With the latter part of the set concentrated on ‘Year of the Bird’ tracks he clearly was on more confident ground letting lose on the likes of ‘Helium Heart’ and ‘Ah Ooh Ooh’, even getting the audience to add in their own oohs and aahs during that song. He closed the night accompanied by his bass playing buddy Gavin Fox and a gorgeous rendition of ‘Magnolia’ which again involved some smoothly directed audience participation. The perfect ending to a delightful evening’s entertainment.

Some thoughts to those attending such sessions –

If you are the support act on the bill it’s good manners to stick around and watch the other acts
Likewise if you are there to show your support for one act why not do the same for the other acts? You might even some new music that you like!
Please donate any monies you can spare and buy some merch (I’d also encourage the organisers to be more active in passing the collection tin around earlier in the evening).
Spread the word, nights like these are vital to having as many venues as possible supporting Irish and particularly local talent. These type of events can only succeed if people tell other people about them.
A talented troubadour with brilliant material and engaging repartee can even keep the attention of an easily distracted 13 year old and that’s no mean feat.

Finally a huge well done to Marty Ryan for putting on such an enjoyable night of music. The next instalment of the Thomond Sessions goes to Lucky Lane on December 9th for a six act extravaganza in aid of Limerick Suicide Watch. Keep up to date on the Thomond Sessions via their Facebook page.

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