David C Clements
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David C Clements

Belfast, N Ireland, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Belfast, N Ireland, United Kingdom | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Folk Indie

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Oct
02
David C Clements @ Mandela Hall

Belfast, N Ireland, United Kingdom

Belfast, N Ireland, United Kingdom

Dec
18
David C Clements @ The Menagerie

Belfast, N Ireland, United Kingdom

Belfast, N Ireland, United Kingdom

Aug
29
David C Clements @ Coca Cola Social Sounds Festival

Belfast, N Ireland, United Kingdom

Belfast, N Ireland, United Kingdom

Music

Press


"Edith Bowman"

"Phenomenal" - BBC Radio 6


"Gary Lightbody"

"David C Clements is the Norn Ireland Bruce Springsteen" - Gary Lightbody


"Folk & Tumble"

There’s something church-like about any show with tiered seating and a journey down the aisle to take your pew. With that in mind and the pre-emption of a somewhat spiritual set from the evening’s headline act, it’s with a hushed reverence we take out seat in East Belfast’s Strand Arts Centre.

We’ve been called together tonight by the team behind EastSide Arts Festival for the second consecutive appearance on the theatre stage from Northern Irish songwriter David C Clements. A sizeable crowd has congregated, eager to hear Clements with full band performing tracks from his upcoming record.

In an early confessional I admit I’ve never previously heard of Oliver Cole. He’s a rather charming, bearded Dubliner, dapperly dressed and comfortably weaving story and song. There’s something of a 70s influence lurking amongst the contemporary themes – Don Henley at worst; Neil Young at Best. ‘Magnolia’ is his stand-out moment. Wistful romance and a melodic musing on how things used to be.

Pounding floor tom ushers in the David C Clements set. The band line-up springs instantly to the fore. Without introduction or wasted seconds we’re drawn into the powerful folk-rock you come to expect from this artist. He sings of being “so young and so alive”, while on ‘My Dear Mother’ he surmises “I believe a change is gonna come for me”. This is celebration of the here and now but with an eye firmly looking out for future horizons.

And why shouldn’t the Irish songwriters of today be so forward thinking. Hozier dominated the charts, Lightbody paved the way in a sense with Snow Patrol and Foy Vance is currently winning over legions of new fans since his support shows with Ed Sheeran. It’s a great moment in history to be playing the Irish singer-songwriter card. Of course you need the talent to back up those claims and although at times tonight, Clements’ band pound away in a similar vein to Foy Vance’s “Joy of Nothing” band, the voice is distinctively that of a unique act.

It’s not all driving bass, cymbal crashes and soaring vocals. Tender piano ballads intersperse the set, clearly or maybe subconsciously tapping into the sounds of Ryan Adams on ‘Love Is Hell’. At times you wait for a gospel choir to raise from the stage and take a chorus home. If you listen carefully you can almost hear them. If you buy an album years from now, you may well do.

For years the music of Clements has been championed by the aforementioned Gary Lightbody and the newer tracks tonight follow in the footsteps left by the Snow Patrol. The subtlest of Northern Irish accents creeps through at times. The clear influences of the writer’s spirituality are never far away – and neither should they be. There’s something here for those with faith, those with none, and those who believe in the power of a well-crafted pop song.

‘When The Sun Comes Up’ is one such tune. Of all moments in an accomplished set, this is the one you can hear ringing out over the closing credits of whatever the next cult American drama might be. Maybe the slight touches of Nashville sound, hat tips to “the city of brotherly love”, and ‘Hollywood’ – a beautiful duet with Craig Skene on keys are hints to an upcoming transatlantic desire but for now, it’s East Belfast that’s been well and truly conquered.

The anticipated encore of the evening is fan-favourite ‘Hurricane’ and as the refrain resounds “I’ve got peace in my heart”, it’s time to leave our pew, re-walk the aisle and take our steps out into a darkened city with hope and a song in our soul. - Folk & Tumble


"My Dear Mother EP"

There are certain metaphors I abuse. Most of them are nautical. One is lepidopterological: I tend to think of musicians in the studio as caterpillars in a chrysalis, or, more accurately, in a cocoon. And fans as the tenders of these cocoons, sitting outside, waiting for a sparkly wing to emerge.

David C. Clements has been in a cocoon for a very long time, and yesterday, a delicate wing popped out: My Dear Mother, his first EP in two years.

Four songs, two new (My Dear Mother, When We Go), one alternate version of an earlier tune (On The Border), one interpretation of a Neil Young tune (Philadelphia), all collectively a teaser for a record coming early next year.

The whole thing is awesome – the new/old version of On the Border is slower, but more expansive; there’s some muscle to it, now – but here are the two new ones:

My Dear Mother, the title track, and an excellent introduction to his style, i.e. catchy shuffle-sway beat, sing-along chorus, lyrics that will tear at you. (Front rows of Norther Ireland: if you aren’t dancing to this, I’m giving you some serious squinch-face.)

When We Go, which shows off his range and flexible voice. Apparently this one is a fan favorite, and well, I can see why, because I also love it when he cuts loose and goes for it: - Now This Is Sound


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

David C Clements has been grabbing the attention of music lovers through his exceptional live performances for quite some time. His is an epic and heavenly alt-folk; a mix of upbeat and energetic songs, swelling melodies and crescendos, and vocals touched with the ache of experience retelling tales that feel at once both insightful and familiar. It's easy to see why he has rightly developed a reputation as one of the finest songwriters in Ireland.

Clements spent 2013 honing his craft playing with artists such as Ed Sheeran, Passenger, Of Monsters and Men and Gary Lightbody, as part of his Tedx talk in Stormont. The two years since have been no less exciting with David recording his debut album “The Longest Day In History” with producers Michael Keeney (Foy Vance, Duke Special), Tommy McLaughlin (Villagers, SOAK) & Ed Woods (Manic Street Preachers, Futureheads, Saint Saviour).

“Phenomenal” – Edith Bowman, BBC Radio 1

“David C Clements is Norn Ireland’s Bruce Springsteen” – Gary Lightbody, Snow Patrol

Band Members