There’s something to be said for a ‘catchy’ song, a song that really gets under your skin and buzzes around your head for hours after and Eugene McGuinness appears to be a master of such infectious offerings.
It’s all come together very admirably for the young songsmith; sleek and sophisticated, he now offers a refreshing variance to the usual singer-songwriter and the whole package is both audibly and aesthetically pleasing. With his sophomore album ‘The Invitation To The Voyage’ set for release a mere 48 hours later, we headed to Corsica Studios to sample his seemingly razor sharp existence for ourselves.
Leystone hailing Eugene has overgone somewhat of an overhaul in the last year or so and what we’re left with is far punchier, polished and suave. The songs are more fastidious, the trousers are tighter, the shirts crisper and the hair more meticulously coiffured. Launching straight into current radio favourite ‘Harlequinade’, he suitably whipped us all into a state of fervor with his mix of spiky lyrics and alluring stage presence. Hips were well and truly shaking with every beat both on and off the stage and abstaining from shimmying was not an option, such is the contagious nature of his 60’s tinged melodies.
Having worked with producers Clive Langer and Dan Carey on the new album, whose credits include Madness, Elvis Costello, Hot Chip and Santigold, the mix of retro sounds and jaunty, jittering guitar worked exquisitely and were flawlessly executed.
Eugene of course isn’t alone in his endeavours; he’s joined on stage by a three piece strong band including his younger brother Dominic which adds that extra bite to proceedings.
Album track ‘Sugarplum’ provided an adept opportunity for Eugene to showcase his shredding and lilting harmonies and gave us an opportunity to catch our much needed breath.
Equitably addictive single ‘Lion’, with its astonishingly memorable chorus and tameless yelps was delivered with an astute sexiness as was ‘Shotgun’ with its James-Bondesque riffs and jocular lyrics.
Many comparisons have been made with the equally dapper Alex Turner and Miles Kane and as he does indeed share a label with Last Shadow Puppets and previously toured as a session musician with Miles, these were inevitable. With a very confident, poised and eloquent stage presence I’m sure he picked up a few tips from showman Kane, but definitely flourishes as a front man in his own right and as tonight demonstrated, has enough pizzazz of his own.
This having been the start of a London specific tour ‘The Invitation Tour’ that sees him play all four corners of the city, it’s very clear that he’s enjoying every minute of the voyage. My advice to you all? Jump aboard the great ship McGuinness!
Words: Michelle Lloyd