Live Review – David Keenan @ The Sunflower Lounge
The Sunflower Lounge
Review by Oliver Tuzzio
In the low lit basement of The Sunflower Lounge a small crowd eagerly await a night of music and song delivered by David Keenan, an Irish singer/songwriter known for his beautifully crafted narratives and melodies.
The stage is softly lit with warm lighting from above creating a peaceful ambience throughout. Supporting Keenan is Sophie Morgan, a spiritual alt-folk musician from Cheshire. Morgan takes the stage with her guitar, gently strums the strings of her acoustic and suddenly reveals her voice to the audience, an evocative but ethereal voice that stuns us all.
As she proceeds with her set Morgan plunges the attendees down a rabbit hole of tempestuous emotion. Through tender harmonies and softly spoken lyrics she finishes her set with ‘Above You’, an enchanting and personal arrangement that leaves us with a moment of reflection and hope.
Morgan comes back to earth and rejoins the audience as Keenan walks to the stage, he invites the crowd to come closer and go for a walk with him. One man and his guitar brings us into an intimate world as he delivers poetry delicately entwined with the charming plucking of his guitar strings.
Keenan’s distinctive Irish brogue comes through as he sings ‘Lawrence of Arcadia’, he cuts through a silent room with a voice of multiple qualities. It’s soft and gentle but husky and raw, powerfully fluctuating as he exposes his mind and soul to the crowd, filling the room with graphic imagery of heartache, optimism, sorrow and elation. The audience is clearly moved by his intensity and beautifully crafted versification.
Even between songs Keenan has us listening intently to his experiences that led him to writing. He regales us with colourful and descriptive accounts of dreams, lost loves and even looking out of train windows. This is a man that clearly views the world around him in a unique way and can paint a masterpiece with a lyrical adaptation of thought.
Keenan invites us to come even closer as he introduces a new song ‘Origin of The World’, again he offers an introduction as to how this entered his mind. Inspired by the Latin narrative poem ‘Metamorphoses’ and a daring (for its time) oil painting of female anatomy titled ‘L’Origine du monde’ by Gustave Courbet. As Keenan delivers a raw and compelling narrative we are wide eyed and listening with eager attention as children would whilst sat around an old but recognisable face recounting tales told through the ages with an essence that we are all familiar with.
As this old soul is projected through a youthful vessel one could easily close their eyes and meander through the hills, paths and forests of their own lives, taking into account every love, regret and moment of hope and come through the other end refreshed and ready to view their own world from different perspectives.