This talented and versatile singer-songwriter was making his Dublin debut in the recently launched Workingmen's Club. Those who came were given a great show, and although the venue was far from capacity it was a very mixed audience, both in gender and in age, a testament to Pete Molinari's wide-ranging appeal. Molinari opened the show with three solo numbers, the last of which was the song that originally caught my attention as a listener. That was Lest We Forget a song that seeks remembrance for those who lost their lives in two world wars. He then brought on his three piece band of bass, drums and guitar with the former two also handling deft backing vocals. The whole thing kicked up an notch then, maybe a little more with a volume level that was a little loud for the room, as it was commented on after, and the foursome delivered some fearsome versions of songs from Molinari's recent releases, and some not officially released. A refreshing change from the usual new album promotional scenario. Unusually, in some ways, he chose to feature songs not only from his albums but some that featured as extra songs on recent singles. Molinari led from the front with his Fender Coronado 11 electric guitar while his live guitarist Tom, from Stockholm, played his black Gretsch throughout until the final encore where he picked up and played his pale blue Telecaster.
What I had not really expected was a sound that approximated the 60s sound of a high octane beat group. That point where George Harrison's playing was still showed the influence of Chet Atkins. This was tight, melodic dance- floor orientated uptempo rock. Not something you might have expected from listening to the studio albums. These versions of his songs included Sweet Louise, Street Car Named Desire, No Trace Of You and other songs across his recorded output which offered another perspective on Molinari's musical influences; all of which seem to stem from the 60s and earlier though now filtered through the last half century of individuals interpretations of those influences. In this instance the often cited Dylan comparison had little relevance. The end result, which is driven by Molinari's distinctive vocal style, seems fresh and vital and bodes well for future live performances in whatever setting he wants to place his strong, memorable songs.
Review: Steve Rapid Photography: Ronnie Norton