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The Frames, Olympia Theatre, Dublin, 30th March 2001

Every time I see this band live I think "wow!" On the road again to promote their latest album "For the Birds", the Frames kicked off the tour with a blinder of a gig at Dublin's Olympia Theatre. From the moment lead-man, Glen Hansard, jumped on stage wearing his trademark wooly hat, to the final guitar cords of the night, fans knew they were on to a good thing. On stage for over two hours, the band played material from all four of their albums, from 'The Dancer' to 'Revelate', to 'Pavement Tune' to songs from the new album such as 'Lay me Down' and 'Early Bird'.

Exuding energy, Hansard, with his amazing stage presence and constant interaction with the fans, succeeded in making the capacity crowd part of the band with lyrics so well remembered, he hardly needed to sing at all, not even on the new material just released that day. Highlight of the night for me was the evocative 'Star Star', dedicated, on the night, to DJ Uaneen Fitzsimons, who died tragically in a car crash late last year. Guitarist Dave Odlum would have brought tears to Rolf Harris' eyes with his rendition of 'Two Little Boys', which replaced 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star'. Compounding the closeness of the Dublin music scene, the Frames were joined on stage by old friends David Kitt and Paddy Casey, who also went down a treat.

BellX1, as the support act, proved to be far more interesting live that on CD. As always, this Frames gig was an amazing experience. Dubbed "the best Irish rock band" by David Kitt and "Ireland's best kept secret" by DJ Tom Dunne, the Frames nationwide tour continues until the beginning of May and their new album "For the Birds" is in record shops now.

Joanne Ahern

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