Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Audience is enthralled by tales from dark side

In the year since he played his debut Irish gig to a handful of punters at the Black Box, John Murry's status has skyrocketed.

With a rave-reviewed album under his belt, he's now big enough to headline the Empire Music Hall, and the historic venue suited the Mississippi native's atmospheric stylings.

Murry's weekend performance was a dark and largely serious affair, though he retained the self-deprecating sense of humour that marked out that previous Belfast show.

"We're very professional," the 34-year-old singer joked as he and his band tuned up and switched guitars. It provided some much-needed respite from the heavy-duty material.

Murry wasn't so much singing as howling into the abyss, and with prescription drug addiction and a heroin overdose behind him, he has lots to howl about. As ever, the dark recesses of life made for compelling art, and the audience hung on the messy-haired frontman's every utterance.

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