Live Review: Marcus King / Ida Mae – The Academy, Dublin 27.03.2023

Words Caitríona Ní Dhúnlaing / Photos Ian Mc Donnell:

‘Who loves ya Baby,’ remarks Marcus King – the South Carolina riff based blues-rocker, half an hour into a two-hour, nineteen-song set at Monday nights sold-out Academy. The Academy for Marcus King is his biggest headline to date, on his third visit to Ireland, having supported Greta Van Fleet in May 2022 at Fairview Park, previously to that it was with a more stripped back band, to a sold-out Whelan’s. On this occasion he brought even more of a broad, versatile range to the band with the added brass section.

Marcus is no stranger to the music world, unphased by the grandeur of his talent he seamlessly transcends into the music, evoking the embodiment of someone far senior than his years. On the night, there surely was an incredible display of talent, as well as an incredible array of instruments. It goes without saying, sometimes stripping things back is best. Marcus sure as anything shares the limelight with fellow musicians with intricate instrumental solos during ‘Danny Boy’. However, it’s Marcus’ vocal range that is truly distinctive, offering up the most versatile range in vocals and genres with a hint of blues-rock, gospel, jazz, country and much more, some might say the vocals alone are the greatest of instruments on stage. 

Highlighting the beauty and intricate nature of Marcus’ voice as well as showcasing his rhythmic guitar drive is most noticeable on ‘Wildflowers and Wine’. On the night we were spoilt with a variety of covers and songs from albums El Dorado and Young Blood – you can tell a lot about a musician and the songs he chooses to cover. The songs Marcus and Band went for, ranged from Marvin Gaye to Jeff Beck and Jimmy Cliff with at least half the set list dedicated to covers. Covering some of the most powerful songs with his masterful voice, Marcus truly showed how masterful his voice range is. The night draws to a close with the sold-out Academy crowd coming together with the band for ‘Goodbye Carolina’.

Joining Marcus on the night was support from UK based band Ida Mae, the bands new album ‘Click Click Domino’ showcases the talents of a number of high profile musicians, including that of Marcus himself on their new single ‘When Eden Was My Girl’. the emphasis of their set fell predominantly on lead singer and guitarist Chris Turpin for his passion of his guitars on stage on the night, included a solid brass 12 string number, ending their set on atmospheric riffs.

Look forward to seeing more from Marcus and his band in the future, what a night with such passion, technique and soul – here’s to more of the same!

Ida Mae Photos:

Marcus King photos & set-list:

It’s Too Late
Trouble Man (Marvin Gaye)
Hard Working Man
Many Rivers To Cross (Jimmy Cliff)
Confessions (The Marcus King Band)
BOLG (Unsure of abbreviation, if even an abbreviation)
Aim High (The Marcus King Band)
Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues (Danny O’Keefe)
Guess Who (Jesse Belvin)
Good N Gone
Squib Cakes (Tower of Power)
Drums (Solo)
Danny Boy ( Brass section solo) (Elise Griffin)
Wildflowers & Wine
Lie Lie Lie
Rice Pudding (Jeff Beck Group)

Goodbye Carolina
Comin’ Home (Delaney & Bonnie)

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