David San Clair - Top 5 to look out for.
Fifth Strike Promotions
David San Clair Upstairs in Whelan's
“The blessings, the moments and good times.”
There are very few acts in Dublin that can offer you what David San Clair can: Pure elation. Parceled in Beatlesque harmony and tied up with strings, the Drogheda import dedicates every given chorus to the cause of making people smile. With full on, electrically charged, arrangements pulsating around its acoustic heart, San Clair’s folk fusion is a welcome breath of fresh air against the murkiness of the Dublin noise scene. And it's much needed. Having now endured yet another pandemic-induced-hiatus, the people are crying out for a post-Covid pick me up. And so, we here at Fifth Strike are delighted to announce our 2022 debut with none other than the showman himself. Promising to explode into his set as though he never left, David San Clair takes to the Whelan's stage on the 27th of February. And so, to help you get in the high spirits, we have compiled a list of the top five songs you gotta know before you go.
Better Than Myself
Imagine stepping in out of the February rain, and crossing beyond the threshold into summer. This is exactly what David San Clair serves up with his darling summer song, ‘Better Than Myself.’ It’s the middle eight insurgence, though, that reminds us that San Clair isn’t just a “darling summer song” writer, but a curator of musically complex arrangement. It's one thing to write a difficult song, but it’s even more notable when one can make it feel so simple. Between the underlying trip-hop drum beats delivered by drummer Cam Teehan and the irregular vocal phrasing, this song offers almost too much to digest, so my advice instead is to just sit back and listen.
‘Joker’ emerges from the center of the set, collected and contrite with crystal clear harmony and sparkling guitar sounds from the front man, newly armed with the electric. A figurative stepping away from his typical tavernesque associations, this song provides first glances at the elevated artist David San Clair has become. The song is intimate all-round but it is the assisting violin from Louis Young that truly enchants, taking this piece to the next level. In context, the song installs dynamic depth to the overall experience and is a showcasing of San Clair’s evergreen folk orchestra.
There She Goes
‘There She Goes’, originally performed and made famous by The La’s, requires not just the combined vocals of backing vocalist Katie Phelan, guitarist Josh Hackett, and David San Clair himself, but apparently the entire room. Always the crowd pleaser, the front man to this day cleverly weaves covers into his extensive set, not because he needs to kill time, but because he wants to optimize it. In the past, the act has delivered on a number of well executed reinterpretations, but this particular true-to-size cover has proven to be a glorious highpoint in the set list so make sure you’ve learned the words before you get there, just in case!
I Feel Alive
‘I Feel Alive’, recently released as a single on streaming platforms, acts as the acts penultimate treasure. From the outside looking in, it is depictive of David’s growth over the life course of the last two years. Unafraid to shed the acoustic folk roots and explore realms of neo jazz fusions; the high functioning chord progressions and ornately detailed pizzicato touches are emblematic of his latest exploration of classical music and jazz harmony. Newcomer, Dara Abdurahman walks the base all over this track, flexing his musical intelligence and chemistry with the super group. Lyrically, it is a celebration of the little things and transcends all timelines, despite feeling particularly relevant in the current climate. Political statement or not, however, the dominant sentiment of the song is much like the general essence of David’s shows. Leave your troubles at the door, “satisfaction is inside.”
Destined for the silver screen, this song is a coming of age anthem waiting in the wings. Revitalizing the stuff of American giants with youthful personality, this song represents the continuity of time and taste. David San Clair articulates vocal nuances deftly referential of Bob Dylan, and in doing so invites nostalgia to do the heavy lifting in this piece. Is the song reminiscent? Of course it is. Bordering on familiar? Charmingly so. But such timeless qualities have no expiration date when delivered authentically. They are classic for a reason, and when encountered through moments shared such as these, they can feel like once in a lifetime opportunities.
David San Clair headlines Whelan's Upstairs with support from Castle Arcade on February 27th. Pick up your tickets from the link here https://www.whelanslive.com/ticket/david-st-clair/ and be sure to follow Fifth Strike Promotions for more exclusive content and coverage.