Gig Review: Stephen McCorry Trio, No Oil Paintings – Voodoo, 28th May 2014
May 30, 2014 Chris Caldwell 0 Comments
A pretty decent mid-week crowd has gathered at Voodoo on a night when the rest of Belfast still feels hung over from the weekend. I arrived early to catch No Oil Paintings, as it’s been over 6 months since I last had the chance. Having improved and tightened since last I saw them, they’re still a welcome slice of Americana with the 4 part harmonies swirling round a mix of guitars, bass and Banjo. After a few early tuning issues we’re treated to a cover of a Dubliners tune and some originals, half an hour later the warm up are finished and we’re ready for the main event.
Stephen McCorry is initially a very unassuming figure on stage, as the band prepare a few people wander out and as soon as they start even more wander back in. My initial thoughts are of a young Van Morrison and some of the songs bare a definite likeness, a smooth bluesy sound coupled with a voice that depicts a man much more senior than Stephen looks. It has a rich worldly character that gives the songs gravitas even in the lighter moments. Opening with ‘Devils’ and proceeding to deliver a set that only features 2 covers. Stephen remarks before a cover of ‘fireside’ that Alex turner makes a much better song writer than he does, perhaps better known but other than that I’m not so sure. ‘Lombard Street’ takes things up a notch and feel like it was written on a contemplative Sunday afternoon with the remnants of last night’s party still rattling around in your head.
My pick of the night would be ‘sapphires & Rainbows’ which apparently was one of the first tunes Stephen ever wrote, it sounds fantastic – depicting young love and encapsulating all the naivety that goes with it. The second cover of the evening is a funky version of ‘Sex bomb’ which sounds as at home with the rest of the set as any of the originals. During the course of the evening the Stephen rotates between harmonicas and guitars (both electric and acoustic), whilst Ben McKenna and Ray Kinnaird and take care of Drums, Keys and Bass. There are many much more establish acts that would struggle to fill an hour of songs during a gig, but by the end the Stephen McCorry trio look like they’re just warming up! As they finish off the evening on ‘Lost Lagoon’, it sounds as though the appreciative crowd will be back next time The Stephen McCorry Trio play voodoo, or anywhere else for that matter.