David C Clements - Common Grounds, Belfast
David C Clements, Neil Mullan
Common Grounds, Belfast
Saturday 19th May
Common Grounds Cafe situated in City Church started their monthly Arts Nights in April. The second installment is tonight with David C Clements and Neil Mullan.
First up is Neil Mullan who is more commonly seen playing as part of the Lowly Knights. He has two fellow Knights playing double bass and guitar/keyboard for some songs. Opening with 'You Can Tell A Man By How He Lifts His Hands', Neil gets off to a good start.
As the set continues it becomes clear that Neil is more comfortable playing with fellow musicians, taking a laid back approach singing with his hands in his pockets. Then he covers 'Galileo' by Declan O'Rourke with the lyrics up on his phone. But solo, Neil admits he's far more nervous than with his band in tow and as he takes to the keyboard to play by himself it shows.
Accidentally pressing a button, a drum beat starts blaring out of the speakers developing in to a dance beat and the café is soon in stitches. Later when he's moving equipment about he humours us by playing the beat again as we waited.
Next up is a song which was only recenlty finished and it's a good opportunity to try it out, almost feeling like you're watching him in a rehearsal room. There's a few bum notes here and there, but with the banter, his set is enjoyable to watch none the less. Finishing with 'You Can't Help Who You Love' being a nice way to end.
Up next is David C Clements who is no newbie to the Northern Irish music scene, having fronted both Six Star Hotel and Captain Cameron. Tonight it is all about him and his guitar and you know it is going to be special. From the beginning he captivates us with his emotion fueled vocal and yet every word he sings is so clear.
'Hurricane' is six and a half minutes of pure bliss, and even more perfect live than on record. He tries to persuade a friend to come up and sing 'Can You Feel The Love Tonight' but alas, the friend declines. But the relaxed atmosphere continues when he asks if anyone has any requests from his back catalogue. Neil Mullan shouts out 'In December' and it turns out to be the stand out point of the set. Beautiful set from start to finish.
Neil joins David to cover Johnny Cash's 'Jackson' to end the evening. Combining coffee, great music and an intimate setting Common Grounds proves to be the perfect setting for a chilled out Saturday night.