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St. Vincent @ The Olympia


The Olympia Theatre quickly fills up as Slow Skies take to the stage as tonight’s warm-up for the impending spectacle of St Vincent. Possibly to make the latter’s immaculate stage set up possible, the former are down to headcount of three, and squeezed to the front of the stage. With the reduced set up, all the pressure is on the delicately soaring voice of Karen Sheridan (below) to carry them into the attention of the waiting crowd. After a slightly nervous start, she settles into the new surroundings and by the time they swell into on the shore (the lead track from their recent EP, Close), attentions have been grabbed throughout the floor of the Olympia.

slow skies

As they leave the stage, the sell out crowd throng into the venue and by the time a polite robot’s voice asks the crowd not to take any digital images of tonight’s proceedings (they didn’t obey) the scene is set for what Annie Clarke can throw at Dublin tonight.

In a blaze of strobe lights and robotic dance moves, Clarke enters the stage and it is clear from the get-go that this is no ordinary show. David Byrne’s recent influence on Clarke’s musical journey is evident in the meticulously-lit stage, the addition of props and the removal of all musical ‘clutter’ such as amps and leads. The stage is a huge dancefloor for Clarke and Toko Yasuda to crash guitar lines and choreographed dance moves off each other simultaneously.

New songs ‘Digital Witness’ and ‘Birth in Reverse’ set the pace early on and Annie Clarke’s guitar brilliance is in no doubt as she jerks about the stage throwing some frankly crazy shapes and guitar riffs to the rafters of the venue.


With frenetic version of ‘Krokodil’ ending the set, Annie Clarke returns for a beautifully restrained version of ‘The Bed’, before a blistering take on ‘Your Lips are Red’ – featured on her debut album Marry Me – brings proceedings to a suitable climax, Clarke’s guitar solo pushing the limits of ingenuity and noise to everyone’s delight.

St Vincent is clearly the lady of the moment and pulling off such an audacious set is something that very few artists could master. A happy and slightly bewildered crowd filed out of the Olympia, knowing that they have witnessed something pretty special. Joe Laverty

Check out Joe’s entire photo set from the show below.

is the editor of The Thin Air. Talk to him about Philip Glass and/or follow him on Twitter @brianconey.