â€œThey are but childrenâ€, I said to Jim when I arrived in towards the end of the second song of the Annuals set. Jim thought so too and told me that it was the same with Beirut, who played support to Calexico in the Olympia back at the beginning of November. Zach Condon* was so fresh faced that when he took a slug a beer mid performance Jim thought â€œhey, you donâ€™t look old enough to drink!â€ Bands, like newly graduated Gardai, are getting younger looking every year.
The Annuals song I heard on the way in was Carry Around, a thumping, hollering, electro-effects fizzing whirligig of a song and as I caught the end of it, it seemed the kids were giving it all theyâ€™d got. Adam Baker (Iâ€™m guessing) was the bearded head-tosser - in that he tossed his head around like a kosh - up front on the knob-arrayed dash thingy with Anna Spence standing along side imperiously; virtually static; the only movement coming from her fingers, which judiciously poked away at the keyboard.
Two drummers thundered away for the next song, the excellent Brother, with the bass player crouching and lead guitarist strumming fiercely before a half filled Vicar Street that didnâ€™t seem to give them back the love they so desperately craved and (I think) deserved.
It was a very short set as they finished on the next song, which I didnâ€™t recognize, but is no doubt from their debut Be He Me. Being reasonably familiar with three tracks from that album I loved it, but my little throbbing corpuscle of affection wasnâ€™t enough to prevent Baker telling the audience to â€˜enjoy the fucking showâ€™, with the petulance of an offended teenager. Maybe the name Annuals comes from what until recently constituted 80% of their reading material.
*I just noticed on the Beirut website that the remaining dates on the Beirut world tour are cancelled as Zach Condon was briefly hospitalized due to extreme exhaustion.