It was hot as the Dickens at 12 Bar on Monday night when singer-songwriter project the Sleeping Years celebrated the launch of the album We're Becoming Islands One By One. The intimate set kicked off with mastermind Dale Grundle performing the finger-picked "Macosquin, Coleraine" solo. He was joined thereafter by a cellist and after two songs the pair were joined by a pianist and drummer, before the evening ended with the guitar-cello duo. The effect of staggering the number of performers was an interesting highlight of just how extensive the production of Grundle's seemingly subtle arrangements really are.
The intimacy of the show was heightened when Grundle revealed the songs to be stories about the hometown in Northern Ireland he left 15 years ago, and shared that the song "The Lockkeeper's Cottage" was inspired by his father. The story-telling and delicate melodies (combined with the heat) created a relaxed and mellow atmosphere.
The Sleeping Years have a couple of gigs coming up in Europe, but keep an eye on their MySpace for future London Dates. In the meanwhile, We're Becoming Islands One By One is out now on London-based Rocketgirl Records.
Photo by Amanda Farah.