Peter Doran Overhead the Stars Album Launch – September 14th, 2012

Last Friday, September 14th, I went to Peter Doran‘s album launch for ‘Overhead the Stars‘. It took place in The Workmansclub, Dublin, in the gig venue on the ground floor, an intimate shabby chic sort of venue that although smells a bit like my dogs breath is a great spot and it’s bar above is one of my favourite haunts in Dublin City.

Supporting Peter and his band on this evening was a singer/songwriter by the name of Eric McGrath. Dubliner Eric stood on the stage under the red and yellow lights, just himself and his guitar and performed an hour long set that featured songs from his newly released album ‘Little Ripples’. His voice has a 50’s movie star kind of charm to it and his spanish roots are evidently portrayed through both his elegant strumming and by the way he plucks the strings of his guitar. His enchanting songs were well received by his audience and it was clear why Hotpress described his debut album ‘superb’. His songs ‘Carousel’ and ‘Ripples into Waves’ really caught my attention and with his album available on iTunes, Soundcloud and many songs available on Youtube it won’t be the last time. Not shy to social media, which is a must for every up and coming artist, you can connect with Eric through MyspaceFacebook and Twitter and check out his next shows on his website here.

After a short intermission it was time for the man of the moment to take to the stage. Peter Doran‘s latest musical offering comes in the shape of the aforementioned third album ‘Overhead the Stars’. Peter who hails from the Co. Westmeath town of  Mulligar, a place that has probably had two sunny days in the past 20 years but a place that seems to be churning out some pretty good talent, has been on the Irish music scene for well over six years but has experimented with music from as young as eleven. His debut album ‘Wood‘ was received with critical acclaim in 2006 and his second ‘sophomore’ album ‘Sleepless Street‘ which was released in 2010 was described as a beautifully crafted album.

Peter who took to the stage on his own and performed a couple of songs from his previous albums so as not to make them jealous sung with the strength and gusto that you want or even expect from an alternative folk singer/songwriter with celtic passion. His band almost tiptoed onto the stage as he completed the last of these ‘older’ songs and elequently joined him in their finale like only a band that works could. Peter’s band is new and a collaberation of very eclectic musicians with great talent and it was evident from their performance that they understand one another. Each song that they played that night from the album hadn’t been heard by the audience before so the excitement of sharing them was evident.

Recorded in the esteemed Grouse House Studios in January of this year  and supported by funds raised by fans through Pledgemusic.com, Peter has achieved what he set out to do, he has written, recorded and now played his ‘strongest batch of songs to date’.The album has been described to have hidden ‘glimpses of everyone from Neil Young to Radiohead, Bob Dylan to Pink Floyd’ and this was also evident from the nights performance. ‘Perfumed Letter’ has a sort or eeriness about it, ‘Out of Here’ has a somewhat gothic drumbeat, quite reminiscent to The Cure’s Burn while one of my favourite tracks ‘Thief’ has that wicked guitar and ‘Falling Trees’ piano howls … but influences and comparisons aside nothing compares to witnessing Peter Doran and Band live.

If you would like to witness Peter Doran and Band for yourself you can find all their show dates here, alternatively you can keep in touch with him through MySpace, Twitter and Facebook and all albums are available on iTunes, Soundcloud with lots of tracks on Youtube.

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Edwina O'Connor
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