"If I had to pick a new voice to trust in unreliable times it would be Ciaran Lavery. He's the compelling noise at the front of Captain Kennedy, a band from Lurgan that used to be rather good but are now dangerously close to greatness. He's got a deal of hurt and empathy in his singing. You feel like you know the source of his woe and that with a mutual twist, he can voice your own particular brand of pain.
He does this with hardly any fuss, so you find yourself listening ever harder, picking out the little gems of phrasing, the hesitations, and even the slivers of joy. And to their credit Captain Kennedy never crowd the tunes with their fiddles, their keyboards and the other voices. If you want to check out the online clips, you'll see a band on a series of tiny stages, locking into their roots-rock groove, clearly hip to the sources of Americana, but never forcing the connection.
There's a fine EP out there called 'Factory Whistle Call' that sums up the early potential. On the song 'Bring That Light' Ciaran is hailing an old girl friend who's got a baby and is seemingly at odds with the world. The song is a reassuring hug, a belief that chances will improve and that destiny is up for debate.
Ciaran and Chris played live on my Radio Ulster show a few weeks ago, and while I was expecting something sweet, they made things a little harder on themselves by playing a couple of new songs. I was properly moved.
The final request was that they should bring in a record that meant something to themselves. And so Ciaran fetched up 'It Makes No Difference' by The Band, a song that dips into the very essence of heartbreak. He spoke eloquently about the artists, and in particular the singing of Rick Danko and Richard Manuel, two lamented, lost souls who could make the walls cry. That's something to want to live up to."
Welcome to the website of Captain Kennedy, a 6-piece rock band from Ireland. Check out our upcoming gigs or feel free to click on the links to our other sites.
8 August 2009
Here's a nice little review from Stuart Bailie, BBC Radio and former assistant editor of NME: