So, a few months back a friend asked in anyone wanted to go to a “Swell Season” concert and I had no idea what it was but Alexander expressed interest and the girl bought us tickets before Alexander had a chance to tell me about it. But I was like, sure, 27 pounds to see a Christmas concert at Royal Albert Hall before leaving? Sounds excellent!
Well, the concert was Monday night and as it turned out, was not Christmas music at all 😉 “Swell Season” was the name of the headlining band which consists of a guy from Ireland and a Czech girl who apparently won an Academy Award this year for one of their songs. (If you are not already aware of my severe lack of music knowledge, let me just point out that this summer while reviewing contracts for one of our clients, I told an associate that I had stopped at “the ra-moan-eys” contract–meaning The Ramones. Never heard of it… Now I know!). Anyway, the point is it just really isn’t that much of a surprise that *I* would have absolutely no idea that “Swell Season” was a band and not a Christmas spectacular 🙂
Royal Albert Hall looks really cool inside, and Alexander, Amy, Erin and I had a box to ourselves which was also very cool. The first performer was sort of a one man show and at that point I still hadn’t figured out what was going on, so I was really confused about his performance. He sung a few songs in kind of a traditional irish style, and since I couldn’t understand a word he was saying I’m assuming he was speaking in gaelic. Haha. It was cool though. Then, he switched to the piano and started banging away at the keys and singing all Daniel Powder style which was a pretty sharp contrast to his first songs, and still not Christmas music. Oddly, I really liked both styles, but it still isn’t every day you see one musician in a show do two completely different styles of music. The girl who had bought our tickets rushed into our box to apologize for how much the first guy sucked, but we really liked him.
Next up was my favorite of the night–a group called “Hare’s Corner.” There was this guy with a violin who would play a little bit, and then loop it, and start playing over himself essentially. It’s kind of hard to explain, but it was really cool. Then an entire band came out and they played several songs (all music, no words). I LOVED it. It totally reminded me of being in Ireland and I wished I had their CD as we drove along the coastal causeway. That would have been perfect music for the drive. (I did, in fact, buy their CD at the show but it turned out to be a pretty poor recording and several of the songs have quite a bit of feedback which makes it not as fun to listen to on CD as it was in person. Sad day.)
Then, eventually the final band came on–Swell Season. At first, Alexander and I weren’t impressed. We liked the other two guys better. But then it did get pretty good. They Irish guy and the Czech girl (I only say that because I don’t know their names) are very talented musicians for sure. A lot of their songs were kind of angsty/relationship turmoil kind of songs though, and since I couldn’t personally relate right now, I couldn’t completely get into it. But, nevertheless, definitely very talented group.
Alexander hasn’t been feeling well for awhile now, and we didn’t realize the show was going to go so late so we ended up leaving in the middle of the Swell Season’s set so he could get home and get plenty of sleep. I decided to leave when he did so we could both walk back to South Ken together to catch our respective tubes back home.
All in all, it was a fun evening, and I really, really want to go back to Ireland! Ah!
For pictures from the concert, click here. (yes, I have pictures for everything ;)).