A two page spread from Dutch daily newspaper Het Parool:
“His wild locks have made room for a shaved head, (“As soon as you notice your hair is getting thinner, a man has to take drastic measures.”), but the rest of him is as flamboyant as ever.”
A 3 out of 4 star review from Humo, a popular Belgian weekly.
‘catholic’ ends, fittingly, with the only overtly ‘catholic’ song: ‘Lord, I’m comin”, a reverie on mortality wrapped in a mix between torch song and hymn. Although you could interpret that ‘Lord, I’m comin’, Lord, I’m comin’ in a totally different way, of course.
Brett Warner writes:
Gavin Friday and new right-hand man Herbie Macken have crafted a consistently elegant, intricately arranged, and stunningly beautiful album well worth the long wait. Often threatening to melt your heart, catholic is a continually rewarding piece of work—a towering achievement of classical grandiosity and modern elusiveness. Leave it up to a sly, mildly-reclusive Irishman to deliver one of 2011’s unexpected master works.
Chris Roberts write:
Producer Ken Thomas (Sigur Ros, Cocteau Twins) douses the songs (co-written with Herbie Macken) in an orchestral shimmer, the kind of thing Trevor Horn did so well on ZTT Records. If this lends Catholic a hint of retro-polish, there’s a grand scale to the results which pulls them out of period detail and achieves the timelessness of the best noir torch songs. From the yearning grandeur of “The Sun & The Moon & The Stars” to the moving, epic finale “Lord I’m Coming”, a gospel tear-jerker infused with the gutter-optimist spirit of Soft Cell, Friday faces midlife regret head-on and ekes out glimmers of personal triumph.
You’d be forgiven for expecting something more morose from famed Dublin troubadour Gavin Friday. After all, adorning the cover of his new album Catholic is the rather sombre image of the man himself lying dead, with an Irish flag and crucifix mounting his corpse. But Able, the album’s opening salvo, is an elated blast of stadium-bating synth-rock that is more uplifting than elegiac. Writhing in the song’s spiralling keyboard sounds and gently chiming guitars, Friday purrs in his inimitable style about love, loss and letting go.It’s a welcome return for the Irish impresario, who has spent the previous sixteen years dabbling in the world of film and theatre while enduring illness, a marriage breakdown and the death of his father. Buoyed by a pulsating bass line and Friday’s gruff half-spoken vocals, the song simmers and boils into a rousing frenzy of poeticism and rock panache, like U2 imbibing the introspective talents of Leonard Cohen. In short, it’s a captivating listen from a distinguished performer. Welcome back, Gavin.
A whopping 16.99 euro at Concerto in Amsterdam. What’s the price in your local record store?
From: Mucchio – Italy:
“The electro-acoustic orchestrations and evocative landscapes reference the 80’s, but not in a trivial way. The electronics are never too pushy and with the warm voice of the lord of the manor, these are the ingredients of a high-class work, both classical and modern at the same time.”
Documenting the 12-hour exhibition at Dublin’s Gallery of Photography