The Cranberries at the London Palladium
Touring their latest album, Something Else, a compilation of classics re-recorded in acoustic, enriched by three new songs, the Cranberries have come to London with what is probably their best setlist to date. The Palladium is the perfect dress for the Irish band’s latest show, misleadingly marketed as “acoustic with a string quartet ” – yes there was the string quartet, no it wasn’t acoustic.
It’s clear from the first three songs that tonight fans and newcomers are in for a treat; with all the musicians at their positions, Dolores O’Riordan enters the stage to sing Analyse. This series of concerts is lighter than a typical tour: the singer doesn’t touch any guitars, allowing her to focus on her voice and the audience interaction. However, she does so understating her alt-rock frontwoman role. O’Riordan walks slowly and smoothly from one side of the stage to the other, showing off an unexpectedly placid pace in a coordinated, magnetising progression of steps. She invites, right away, the public to stand up from their seats and everybody in the stalls – from the first to the last row – obediently obliges.
Guitarist and co-songwriter Noel Hogan takes the acoustic guitar and begins to play their summer 1999 success Animal Instinct, continuing the sequence of hits that would fit perfectly for an ultimate “best of” record. Linger, Just My Imagination, Ode to My Family – there doesn’t seem to be a slowdown. And when a band is performing exclusively the peaks of their career, it’s even difficult to point out any climaxes. However, halfway through the set, once both sides of the stage have fully warmed up, there are moments of deeper connection: When You’re Gone, I Can’t Be With You and Conduct, the latter of these offering the best example – Hogan completely bowed over his guitar, playing with the intensity of a hard rock anthem while it’s a sweet, slow-paced ballad. The Cranberries highlight the feel-good side of their discography but they aren’t shy to get rougher even in this format, and they certainly do so to great effect with Salvation, Ridiculous Thoughts and Zombie.
The four-piece utilise the encore to eventually get (partially) acoustic, performing their three new songs, including lead single Why. The best, though, is probably yet to come, and the crowd fully embrace it as they sing along – hands in the air – “cause you’re a dream to me, dream to me”; which, sadly, reminds us of the importance of the Cranberries and the lack of bands as good as them in the current music scene.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
For further information about the Cranberries and future events visit here.
Watch Dreams live at the London Palladium here: