Friday, April 24, 2009

The brothers Súilleabháin - Size2Shoes album launch

Those nice lads Eoin and 'Moley' O' Súilleabháin (look at them there, having a right old laugh for themselves) released their debut album on Tuesday night Upstairs in Dolan's, and an entertaining evening it was indeed. I've seen the duo several times over the years, from not wholly-convincing Boatclub gigs, to the Belltable Sessions, to finally, the mature and polished act they are today (or were last Tuesday).

There are cringey moments in their set and they do have a propensity to present every word in their inimitable 'altar-boy-esque', perfect diction, style - but, ultimately this is a winning act and one from Limerick that could have a decent impact nationally and beyond. Here is what I wrote in the paper this week:

THE SONS of world famous Irish composer Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin and spiritual singer Nóirín Ní Riain were always bound to have musical talent in spades, but Eoin and Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, performing under the moniker of Size2Shoes, have the potential to stand out on their own considerable merits.
In launching their self-titled debut album in Dolan’s last Tuesday night, this musical duo reached a level of maturity with an act they have been plugging around Limerick for several years.
The evolution of Size2Shoes has been steady, moving from raw, humorous and over-the-top double act, to polished, still humorous over-the-top double act, but yet they have perfected the art of peppering their performances with equal dashes of musical comedy and spine-tingling moments of clarity, when the audience sit in rapt attention.
The album, two years in the making, contains a few gems, notably the upbeat opener Take it Easy, the graceful Light in the Dark and the title track Size2Shoes. In a live setting, these songs take on a new form, the duo combining elements of Simon and Garfunkel, dashes of the Doobie Brothers and The Eagles with a distinct Irishness, indeed a sense of being from Limerick, which adds to their appeal.
Then there is the humour, the duo segueing effortlessly several times from their own songs into covers of Sade’s Smooth Operator, Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams and R Kelly’s Ignition, plus a 90s-dance medley, Snap’s Rhythm is a Dancer and Technotronic's Pump up the Jam balancing delicately in between the Beatles’ Blackbird.
As Mícheál - better known as Moley - holds an MA in Rap Performance, rap, hip-hop and beatboxing abilities make a regular appearance throughout the set and the album, this ability, coupled with the brothers’ entwining and often mesmerising vocals, being their secret weapons. Speaking to the Limerick Leader, Eoin explains that they see this debut album as a hook, with the hope Size2Shoes might get picked up.
“It has been two years since we decided to record this album until we got it to our door, so, it is an amazing achievement for us,” he explains. “We are releasing it ourselves from our own label, and financing it ourselves but we have also written the material for a second and third album, so what we are doing with this is setting out our stall and seeing if there is any interest that a backer might have, in a way we are testing the waters.”
We don’t think it will be long.
Size2Shoes is available now here.

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