Frank and Walters live @ Opera House, Cork 15 April 2016

A Frank and Walters gig on home soil is always something to look forward to and tonight’s additional album launch and special guests have certainly added to the anticipation. Fellow Cork band, Rubyhorse and former Smiths drummer, Mike Joyce’s DJ set are welcome additions to the billing and mean that the Cork Opera House is set to be close to capacity.

This is not the first time Rubyhorse have shared this stage with their fellow Corkonians, as back in 2014 they performed a stripped down, 2 man acoustic set before the Franks debut at this iconic venue. Tonight however Rubyhorse are a 6 piece, fully electric outfit and they are all the better for it.

Old favourites ‘Any Day Now’ about the bands struggles when they moved to America in the late 90’s and ‘Punchdrunk’ which featured a  recording of the late George Harrison on slide guitar sounded great and proved that Rubyhorse were not just on the bill to provide nostalgia. There was even a new song from them called  ‘Oh The River’ but as expected the highlight of their set was ‘Sparkle’.  ‘Sparkle’ was the hit that brought Rubyhorse to everybody’s attention back in 2002 and it still sounds amazing to hear hundreds of people singing along to it.

The eagerly awaited ‘Songs For The Walking Wounded’ is the Frank And Walters 7th studio album and has already been receiving high praise.

Frank & Walters Live at Cork Opera House

Photo by Kieran Frost

Tonight’s show caps a hectic week for band, who have been busy with numerous promotional interviews and appearances. A novel approach has been taken by the lads with all the digital sales exclusively available for download through the band’s own website.

Drummer Ashley Keating jokes that new members Cian Corbett and Rory Murphy were only receiving 4 cent per iTunes download as opposed to his and fellow founding member Paul Linehan’s 30 cent cut. “so this way all profits go to, well, us” Paul adds, A savvy move by a band who famously  claim to have in the past booked themselves as their own support act and played opening sets before a quick wardrobe  change and coming back out as the main act.

Slight technical issues with the sound affected the opening numbers of tonight’s set, but they were as you would expect from a band with over a quarter of a century’s experience, expertly dealt with. By the time the first new track of the evening ‘Summer In The City’ was played the Franks were at full power.  Current single ‘We Are The Young Men’ sounded excellent live; it certainly was the pick of the new tracks with the crowd.  ‘Goddess Of Athena’ was the other stand out, new track and my own personal favourite.

All the old reliables  made appearances too, ‘The Parsons’ , ‘Colours’, ‘Walter’s Trip’ and the Irish indie pop classic ‘After All’  to name just a few.  By the time they took their bow for a second time, after a 3 song encore the crowd were chanting and would gladly have stayed another hour.

The band kindly hung around to sign autographs and copies of the new album while Mike Joyce provided the soundtrack till the early hours of Saturday morning; the ex Smiths  drummer played a host of indie classics with some northern soul, gems thrown in for good measure.

Words by Anthony Kelly

Photos by Kieran Frost