I missed the first support and got there in time for three-fifths of The Young Folk doing an excellent short set of songs taken mainly from their debut album 'The Little Battle'. Standout tracks included 'Letters', 'Way Down South' and they had some brass to attempt and pull off a completely acoustic version of Olivia Leaves in front of a quiet listening Academy crowd.
Here's a video of Olivia Leaves from The Ruby Sessions:
The big surprise for me was the set up of Hermitage Green. The band have two percussionists and yet no drum kit to speak of with four vocalists, bass and acoustic and electric guitars. While the set up suggests a leaning to folk, the songs are very much catchy pop/rock songs with the Unique Selling Point being the two Murphy lads with their pitch perfect vocals.
The tracks that stood out and got a good reception from the crowd included 'Aisling', 'Florida Blues' and their 'hit' Gibson. However the biggest cheer 'for a song' came for their version of Cosmic Love:
The gig was high on entertainment value and in many ways I could understand why they are beginning to make a name for themselves in Ireland and why they are in demand in the UK, Australia and the US. Comparisons will be made to 'Mumford & Sons' but with the Bodhan and Djembe drums in nearly every track they have a distinguishable sound that works for people who have bought into the new folk revival.
There was also a charming side to the gig when Darragh the banjo playing Djembe drummer sung a song to his girlfriend in the crowd before proposing marriage to her in front of a shocked audience [Watch the video below]. That was a really nice, enjoyable moment and I wish the couple every happiness and Hermitage green every success into the future.
To answer my question .... yes I do think that Hermitage Green are a really good entertaining band and deserve their current success. I'm looking forward to hearing the debut album when it appears into the future.
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