Accomplished photographer Conor Masterson shot this exhilarating documentary on The Frames, one of the most enduring Irish music acts, over 18 months beginning in 2010 (their 20th anniversary). Part insightful documentary, part concert film, this is less an examination of the band’s origins than an exploration of their musicianship and their need, as Glen Hansard says, to ‘learn how to dance with strangers’ while performing.
Masterson’s extensive knowledge of the band results in him eliciting direct, candid interviews, with discussions on the nature of music and collaboration (and tea) particularly fascinating. He also captures hair-raising concert footage, allowing us to experience their fierce energy from multiple angles. While the renowned, intangible electricity produced at live performances by The Frames is impossible to fully capture on film, Masterson comes damn close.
The evolving dynamic between band members over the years is on display here, as it was at Glen’s recent extraordinary 4-hour ‘solo’ Dublin gig where the full band performed. The film is a deftly constructed and beautifully shot celebration of music and friendship. For their legion of devoted fans, this is a welcome treasure. For those unacquainted, do yourself a favour – go and meet the band in the deep shade.