While a healthy crowd turned up to see Tucan launch their superb new album Towers, the Button Factory was by no means full which was a real shame as the band served up a musical masterclass with a little help along the way from some musical friends. Those in attendance certainly left happy after a fun filled night that saw the band in top form as they delivered a great mix of new and old tracks along with the obligatory quirky covers that have become somewhat of a trademark of the band.
Mongoose got the evening off to a start by releasing their inner seagull (you probably had to be there) before Tucan, led by guitarists Donal Gunne and Pearse Feeney. They were joined for most of the night by Claudia Schwab, whose violin added a beautiful, haunting layer to the music. She chipped in with a few vocals too and had her own moment in the spotlight when she performed one of her solo tracks towards the end of the evening. On a night that had a bit of everything, Schwab even through in a bit of yodeling during that performance and impressive yodeling it was too.
The brass section were also very good, notably on ‘Cosmo’s Notes’ and when they indulge in a bit of a solo battle at the end of the night. In fact the whole band are brilliant throughout the evening, but what makes Tucan so good is the mastery and interplay of Gunne and Feeney who seem to be able to will their respective fretboards to do whatever the hell they want them to do – meandering effortlessly through folk, funk, flamenco and all stops in between during a mesmeric performance. ‘Healing Harmony’ trades gentle licks before erupting into some furiously speedy riffs while ‘Astrofolk’ is as space aged yet rooted in the influences of the past as the name suggests.
Some friends were also called during proceedings – the Young Folk joined the throng for a unique take on ‘When Doves Cry’, while fellow Sligo men This Side Up delivered some impressive rap verses over a Daft Punk medley. The latter was an enthralling extended jam that was probably the highlight of the evening.
Plus points must also go to the band for not actually bothering to leave the stage and indulging in the whole, tiresome encore charade. They announced their last song and then just played one more anyway – the crowd happily playing the part of vocalist of a Prodigy medley that brought the curtain down on a night when Tucan and friends owned the Button Factory stage.
This article originally appeared on www.dublinconcerts.ie on 6th April 2015