I Draw Slow @ Whelans - December 11th 2016

This evening is a welcome return home to Dublin band, I Draw Slow. A Christmas gig for their enthusiastic fans at the end of a tour in the USA is just the tonic to get all the political posturing of America out of the collective. Not that the subject is ever mentioned during the performance.

Comprising of Dave Holden (Guitars and Vocals), Louise Holden (Vocals), Konrad Liddy (Upright Bass), Colin Derham (Banjo) and Adrian Hart (Fiddle), this folk/roots band are a very tight unit, all of whom excel on their instruments. Old-time, bluegrass and the North Carolina heritage are touchstones for this interesting band.

The 90- minute set is focused on new material from their forthcoming third release and the compelling rhythm created by the ensemble goes down a treat with an audience who move in tandem with the carefree arrangements.

Louise Holden is a confident spokesperson for the band with a real swing in her performance. Her undoubted vocal talents are to the fore on every song as she knits together the bravado in the playing and the performance.

Mainly comprised of story songs, the set includes much to admire in her harmony vocals with brother David and the feeling that Louise is fully invested in the performance of each song.

Tales of murder, prostitution, weddings, deceit and fallibility all take turns in keeping the crowd entertained while the rhythmic swing of Liddy, Derham and Holden whip up a fine groove. It is left to the fiddle playing of Adrian Hart to raise the tunes and add colour to the arrangements as he plays against the beat and dovetails around the tempo.

Garage Flowers is a fine new song that tells of the hazards of forgetting anniversaries while old favourites such as Goldmine and Valentine are delivered with great fervour. Carolina and Twin Sisters are also well received as a twin track while Little Switzerland is a great example of the band in complete unison and in the moment.

Low Down Girl Like Me closes the show with plenty of cheering and dancing among the assembled fan base. They may want to rethink the band name because there are plenty of bullets to fire from their gun or their artists pen, depending on how you interpret the name…!

Review by Paul McGee  Photograph by Vincent Lennon