Back on Irish soil, one of Limerick’s brightest talents, Whenyoung returned to Cork with support from Sinead O’Brien.
Words by Jack Squibb
Night two of Whenyoung’s venture across Ireland brought them to Cork, kickstarting the weekend the right way. With winter biting down across the country with a chill, you’d think a gig would be the best way to keep yourself warm.
Sinead O’Brien and her band took to the stage with an err of confidence. Her voice commanded attention, singing in a style akin to slam poetry, each time she sang, there was a lot of meaning and power behind her words.
Despite putting on a strong set, O’Brien and co had to put up with a piss-poor crowd stuck to their seats like the Bucket family were to their beds in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Quite disrespectful to see people easily a good 15 to 20 feet away from the stage watching from barstools. If you’re looking for decent background music for your conversations, the Old Oak is only downstairs.
Sinead’s band played with a similar zaniness you’d hear from Grizzly Bear, adding to the jazzy, cool vibes, creating a wholesome sound to her songs.
At one moment a crack in the statue crowd appeared when a man dressed in a snazzy suit slickly danced around the dance floor. He was eventually invited up to the stage to share some wine and showcase his moves. Those familiar with the Cork music scene will not be surprised to find out that it was no other than the loveable Aidan Lynch from The Love Buzz.
After that, the mood lifted and even the band felt a change and made the most of the fun. Shame about the statues at the back though.
With a short clip projected on to the back of the stage, Whenyoung managed to create an atmosphere before stepping on stage. Laying into ‘Pretty Pure’, guitarist, Niall Burns wasn’t allowing the people to linger at the back, summoning them forward. “I’m not having that, come forward, come on…”, he urged.
Frontwoman, Aoife Power was captivating as she floated around the stage. While the band around her thrived off the sound they were emitting, moving erratically from start to end.
Giving insight to their work, Power shared the story behind ‘Future’, about how the band coped with the loss of a friend and finding hope by looking forward. Throughout, they laid their emotions bare from the vibrant ‘A Labour Of Love’ to the mellow ‘Sleeper’.
It felt like a throwback to New York in the early 2000’s, with their sound creating flashbacks. Fresh-faced The Strokes, Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs and The Walkmen all coming to mind.
The big hitters coming towards the end of the night, ‘The Others’ and ‘Never Let Go’ engulfed the venue and probably invoked the biggest reaction of the night.
All in all, it was a successful return to the Rebel County for Whenyoung. Their Irish tour continues with a hometown show in Limerick’s Dolan’s tonight. The tour concludes in the Roísín Dubh, Galway on Sunday.