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Ward Park 2010 - Robyn G Shiels

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ATL | 14:13 UK time, Saturday, 5 June 2010

wardparkrobyn1.jpgWhen: 5.30pm

Where: Guinness Stage

Describe in a tweet: Belfast bard gives a masterclass in stripped-back beauty

With the last notes of General Fiasco still ringing in the air, Robyn G Shiels and band take to the stage, with a beautiful fingerpicked guitar chiming over the heads of the audience. Appearing in a slightly trimmed version of his normal band - guitar, drums, piano and vocals - we are instantly treated to a set of melancholy tinged country with just the right amount of attitude that is the perfect response to General Fiasco's stadium-sized set.

Playing a set of material that is going to be unfamiliar to most of the spectators is a difficult task, but one that does not faze this accomplished performer. The band's grasp of controlled dynamics is inspiring, even with some of the rough edges smoothed out. Indeed, it wouldn't be hard to picture fans of Snow Patrol's more intense moments enjoying Shiels' own brand of dark storytelling.

The crowd hang on every word, and the music swings in all the right ways. It's a quiet triumph from one of Belfast's finest songwriters.

You Are My Joy: Robyn G. Shiels' caustic wit could bring a smile to even the coldest heart.

Shut Your Eyes: Perhaps it would have been nice if more of the crowd had come down to see what the fuss was about?

Ward Park Rating: 8/10

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