Emm Gryner – Whelan’s, Dublin (24 March 2007)

Let’s just gloss over the fact that it was too late by the time we realised we could quite easily have made it to Wicklow for the third Coughlan solo gig. My therapist tells me I should soon stop breaking down at the very thought of it.

So, your in Dublin on a Saturday night and at a bit of a loose end. What do you do? Well, there are a few good drinking establishments in the town. (No, trust me, this is not as stupid a statement as it may sound. The growth of the celtic tiger and budget airlines has rendered most of the city a vomit-washed tourist hell where competing gangs of stag and hen parties end up rutting in the gutters. The fact that not all the bar staff are forced to dress like leprechauns seems more of an oversight than good taste. After my first visit I would never have gone back, but for reasons outwith my control I keep finding myself there. And, I’m beginning to find a few places not completely repellent. I suppose the locals have to go somewhere.) One that’s always worth a look is Whelan’s. OK, it’s actually not that special a pub, but it’s as close to King Tut’s as you’ll find. In addition to having live music most nights, there’s late(ish) drinking and indie(ish) dancing afterwards. Not the cheapest bar in town, not the most expensive.

And this Saturday evening the gig is from Emm Gryner. Now, straight up I need to be honest. There are posters all over Cork for her playing Cyprus Avenue and, by god, she looks hot. Once we hit the emerald city, we spot more posters for her, in which she looks even hotter. Now I don’t want to suggest that we’re shallow, but something had to swing the decision on where we were going that night.

By the time we get to the venue, she’s on stage and the place is packed. We wrestle or way to a decent enough vantage point. Much as I really don’t want to sink any further into the realms of shallowness (is that a contradiction in terms?), I have to point out that her posters don’t do her justice. Sat behind the piano, Gryner cuts a figure as really your typical singer songstress. At points there’s an interesting percussiveness to her playing, and she does have a pretty good set of lungs on her. The support band provide a loose pick-up backing. There’s something tastefully laid back about the arrangements. An object lesson in understatement…erm…for which she plays bass. And, we all know about girls with basses….

Ultimately, the best I can say is that Ms Gryner is inoffensive enough (if unfeasibly hot – did I mention that?). But, sometimes, being inoffensive can be the most offensive thing of all.


Written by Tony Kiernan

02 April 2007 at 5:04 pm

Posted in Gigs

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