Caught Live: Other Lives + Gypsies on The Autobahn @ The Academy 2, Dublin (23.10.11)
Talk about a square peg in a round hole... One of the most sonically expansive bands to have emerged recently, Oklahoma quintet Other Lives played one of Dublin's most cramped and claustrophobic venues the other week. On this year's exquisite Tamer Animals LP, Jesse Tabish and co. announced themselves as a dog-eared cross between Calexico and Sigur Rós, their orchestral flourishes putting us in mind of a more apocalyptically-minded Beirut.
It's to the band's credit, then, that they succeeded in transforming a room the size of a shoebox into a widescreen vista, their folk-flecked cinematic pomp justifying those Morricone comparisons on what was their debut Irish live outing. The array of instruments deployed outnumbered band members by at least two to one, and Tamer Animals highlights like 'Dust Bowl III' and 'For 12' really came into their own despite the overcrowding onstage. They even closed proceedings with a sweeping Leonard Cohen cover, sending us off into the night with a touch of class.
Toting a more straight-up pop sheen, local four-piece Gypsies on The Autobahn had earlier opened the night with a highly polished set. The Cabra band have apparently been hard at work in the studio of late, and that certainly showed in the tightness of a performance that will no doubt have won them plenty of new fans. Look out for fresh material on the way from these guys, who could very well blow up in the not-too-distant future.
Colm Kelly somehow managed to avoid getting any of The Academy 2's loathsome pillars in his photos from the gig - click on any of the thumbnail images below to view a slideshow of his shots.
Other Lives are still in the middle of a lengthy European tour, towards the end of which you can catch them at London's St. Giles-in-The-Fields Church (November 21) and Audio in Brighton (November 22). They've also just been announced as the support act for the first leg of Radiohead's spring US tour. Gypsies on The Autobahn, meanwhile, have a gig coming up at Captains Live in Blanchardstown, Dublin this coming Saturday (November 12).