Live Review: Alex Cameron @ The Grand Social, Dublin – April 16th 2022

Business partners and musical collaborators Roy Molloy and Alex Cameron are no strangers to the stages and feverish audiences of Ireland. This balmy mid-April Easter Weekend plays host to not just one, but two heavily sold out, rapturous audiences made up of lovers, the lovelorn and the lost. Taking up short term residence in Temple Bar’s electrifying Grand Social venue, Cameron, backed by talented known associates revel together with a passionate 300 or so in attendance at the highs and lows of unrequited love, toxic family dynamics and losing oneself to the comfort found in prescription medication.

Accompanying “CMA” (Cameron, Molloy and Associates) throughout a short tour of the UK and Ireland in support of latest album Oxy Music, is Alberta Canada’s own Sean Nicholas Savage, an enthralling showman with a voice as delicate and colourful as a butterfly’s wing. 

In striking all-white attire, Savage paints vivid portraits of relationships and, on occasion a feeling of disappointment in them. Blood-red painted nails tear through empty spaces onstage, articulating impassioned 90’s pop lyricism.

Latest single Comet is delivered intimately from the front steps of the stage with sincere vulnerability connecting with a large group of very vocal admirers on the floor. 

Sean Nicholas Savage performing live at The Grand Social, Dublin – April 16th 2022

Melancholy solo acoustic guitar supports many of the artist’s intricately written pieces, whilst Sean himself emphasises particular moments of pain or passion on his knees, eyes and hands reaching to the rafters, in an unexpected, boyish cadence – each and every time to enormous applause.

Title track from latest album Life is Crazy is carried with an accompanying performance the likes of which would not be uncommon in musical theatre, even down to Sean’s bare, vulnerable feet. Whilst his time onstage is devoid of production or live band, a sizeable impression is nonetheless made. Luscious orchestral swells are met again with euphoric crowd response at the climaxes.

After a short interlude and swift fumble through the throng of attendees to make it to the stage, Cameron and his band; stalwarts Justin ‘Juicy’ Nijssen, Henri Lindstrom, hornist Roy Molloy and vocalist Rosie Alena take little time getting into their groove with a one-two punch of debut album opener Happy Ending into Country Figs. However, previously unthinkable levels of swagger truly surface during the fiercely empowering Far from Born Again

Alex Cameron performing live at The Grand Social, Dublin – April 16th 2022

Cameron’s previous performance in the city at the Button Factory in 2019 saw a sizeably larger backing band meticulously reproduce much of the then, new album Miami Memory particularly faithfully. However tonight’s stripped back performance packs as much if not more of a punch and confidence in the material. With Oxy Music providing two enormous sing-along highlights of the night; Sara Jo and K Hole – met with the degree of enthusiasm as if they were major league arena hits, the feeling is evidently very much mutual, with Cameron on several occasions confirming the good vibes in the air, and their genuine appreciation to be here.

Cameron’s gyrations and gesticulating accompanies a vocal delivery as smooth as chilled Baileys on the rocks, yet frequently get’s overshadowed by even the smallest of Roy Molloy’s occasional horn contributions, especially on fan favourites Candy May and Miami Memory.

Hornist and business partner Roy Molloy, performing live at The Grand Social, Dublin – April 16th 2022

The latter song, performed amidst a swampy green Everglades haze onstage has been taken to heart by much of those in attendance, indeed one can’t help but notice the sense that for many, these songs have been made their own, no doubt many can effortlessly connect and relate to dining on Oysters and apocalyptic sentiments, mutually.

Alex Cameron and his adoring crowd at The Grand Social, Dublin – April 16th 2022

Before a powerful rendition of Divorce, it is duly noted by Alex; the band’s tacit acknowledgment of the audience’s ability and power as a group of people, to come up and rip the performers onstage literally limb from limb, a gesture seldom extended to a crowd. In the same breath we are asked to participate in hollering approval of each and every performers personal hair styles. Expectedly, Roy’s cut attracts such aplomb that an impromptu chant of “oy, oy, Roy Molloy, oy-oy-Roy-Molloy” at risk of seriously pushing the band past their curfew.

Alex Cameron, Roy Molloy and band continue to tour the UK this month and then North America into May:

4/19 – Bristol, UK – Trinity Centre
4/20 – Brighton, UK – Concorde 2
4/22 – London, UK – EartH
4/28 – Los Angeles, CA – The Belasco
4/30 – Columbus, OH – SoupFest 2022
5/7 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall
5/8 – Indianapolis, IN – The Vogue
5/9 – Detroit, MI – El Club
5/12 – Toronto, ON – The Axis Club
5/13 – Montreal, QBC – Ausgang Plaza
5/14 – Winooski, VT – Waking Windows
5/15 – New Haven, CT – Space Ballroom
5/17 – Boston, MA – The Sinclair
5/18 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
5/19 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
5/20 – Washington, DC – Black Cat
5/21 – New York, NY – Webster Hall

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