Diamond Rings @ Wrongbar

By: Orlando da Silva

Photo: Ellen Snowball

John O'Regan (Diamond Rings) is no crossover superstar just yet, but it was clear to everyone at his show at Wrongbar that to see him at such an intimate venue is a special and increasingly rare opportunity. Apparently O'Regan knew it too because two songs into his set he noted how happy he was to be playing a show in his own neighbourhood for the first time in a long while.

As great as the songs are, it is O'Regan himself that steals the show in a live setting. His easy-cool charisma was as evident from his stage banter (he introduced the song "You Oughta Know" by explaining that it was not the 'Alanis' version) as it was from his style of playing the guitar, which is more concerned with getting the idea across than hitting all the right notes every time. Switching back and forth between his Stratocastor and a synth, O'Regan is a one man band - building loops and (hand-clap heavy) drum beats on the spot and launching into songs with an impressive, controlled looseness.

The capacity crowd was with him every step of the way and after he finished out the set with on a high note with the busy "You And Me", they demanded an encore. O'Regan happily yielded, and having borrowed a guitar pick from a prepared fan in the front row played a sparse electric guitar-and-voice version of "Give It Up", Billy Bragg-style. A perfect ending to a great set, the intimacy of this last song didn't mean he turned the volume down or anything, and not one person at Wrongbar that night was even thinking of looking for the exit until the final note was played.

 

Photo: Ellen Snowball
Photo: Ellen Snowball




Video: "Wait & See" by Diamond Rings

Photo: Ellen Snowball
Photo: Ellen Snowball

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