REVIEW: David C Clements – Empire Music Hall, Belfast
It was a full house at the Empire Music Hall for David C. Clements pre Christmas gig showcasing both old favourites and new material from his forthcoming album release in the early part of 2016.
Opening the show with “Hollywood” David C Clements stands alone against a smoke filled backdrop and is bolstered by the full sound of the band by the end of the song, giving an early insight into the rest of this gig.
The end of the opening track brought some technical issues which caused a short break whilst the sound engineers worked to restore normal service. By the end of the night it is safe to say that this delay was long forgotten as David C Celements and his band delivered a fantastic performance encompassing all that is good about this very talented singer songwriter.
“My Dear Mother” and “In December” followed on the band’s return, albeit with some reduced sound quality, and the latter track in particular showed us how each and every member of the band had obviously longed from a young age to be in a serious rock n roll band judging by the amount of guitar thrashing that was on display. For this reviewer there is nothing quite like a guitar based band and long may this continue as part of David C Clements repertoire.
Mrs David C Clements was the inspiration behind the song “No Shadow“, being about a drive in the mountains and a swim in a cold stream and this was quickly followed by “Afraid of The City“.
I can say when I’m normally reviewing gigs I have a habit of being able to pigeon hole artists style alongside other favourites in my record collection but on this occassion this didn’t happen. It was all something new to me and it was a great thing to experience.
Sometimes you hear a song for the first time and it really resonates with you . The song “When We Go” did this for me. It was quiet, it blows you away, its was quiet, it blows you away. In a single word it was a “tune“.
Throw in a cover of The Flying Pickets Christmas Number One “Only You”, it in itself a cover of Yazoo’s hit single, and it just puts us all in the mood for Christmas.
The majority of the band left the stage for a short time to allow David C Clements to take it down a notch with songs including “Own Child” and “Cold Light of Day” and allows the packed house to experience a voice and the well crafted songs that display a depth of feeling and heartfelt sentiment that has a packed Empire Music Hall in total silence, save for the tap, tap, tap of the notes page of my iPhone as I document the gig!
At the end of this solo part of the show David C Clements again apologises for the earlier technical issues by starting again. First up is the opening track “Hollywood“, a song about losing faith in things. “I’m a lost believer” he says. He follows it up with “I’m Still Alive” and “My Dear Mother“, the songs sounding just like they should have first time around.
The set finishes with “Hurricane” and some 90 minutes after David C Clements stepped on to the stage he and the band departed to go away and celebrate Christmas.
What does 2016 hold for David C Clements? Well the release of new material and some very exciting gigs which will not doubt keep his big following satisfied in the coming months. I look forward to seeing him again soon and this reviewer suggests if you get a chance, do the same.