Wednesday night saw the return to Dublin of Rackhouse Pilfer. Their first Dublin gig since Hot Press named them as Best Live Band 2014 back in December. The gig took place on the main stage in Whelans. The six piece band came onto the stage just before 9pm to a handful of people. I was stood at the back of the gig which coincidentally was also the front row. Thankfully the crowd gathered soon after and made for a better atmosphere. Something tells me that it doesn’t matter how many people they are playing too, the show will remain the same high energy fast paced spectacle. Lead singer, Leon Mooney, was dancing around the stage in a way that clearly lifts the spirits of the onlookers.
The band launched into track after track after track. They must have easily played close to, if not more than 30 songs in a blistering two hour set. The set list included old songs, songs from their last album, new songs and a few covers thrown in for good measure. It’s pretty much the perfect formula for a live show. They played tracks such as “Dust On The Road’, “Angela”, “Shady Grove” and the anthemic “A Sailing Song”.
A sure fire way to win over this reviewer is to play some Townes Van Zandt, and that’s exactly what the boys did and then upped the ante with “Copper Head Road” by Steve Earle and Neil Young’s classic, “Old Man”.
Throughout the two hour gig, the band swapped instruments and singing duties more often than a swinger swaps his wife. Fiachra Cunningham, Willie Kelly, Hugh Feely, Mark McGovern and Leslie Jones all took turns at being lead vocalist and they all pretty much nailed it which is rare in a band with so many members. Its that level of musicianship that really makes Rackhouse Pilfer stand out as one the best bands in Ireland, both live and on record. Let’s hope they make it back to these parts more often.
If you are on the West Coast this weekend then make it your business to go see these guys and then thank me later. You can catch them tonight (Friday 17th April) at McGing’s in Westport, Co. Mayo. Saturday 18th at The Strand Bar, Strandhill, Co. Sligo and Sunday 19th at Monroe’s, Co. Galway.