Live Review: Marc O'Reilly & The Hard Ground
St. Werburgh's Church, Jan 28th
written by Peter Nagle
This double headline gig from Waterford's Marc O'Reilly & his band and Cork's The Hard Ground in the wonderful space of St. Werburgh's Church was a perfect way to kick off the Temple Bar Trad Festival for this reviewer.
It was Marc O'Reilly who began last night's gig with 'You Never' and a stunning version of 'An African Day'. His band joined Marc on stage for a set list weighing heavily from the debut album 'My Friend Marx'. It meant me hearing old favourites such as 'La Question', 'Scottish Widow' and 'Hail' live for the first time from that awesome first album. Check out this video taken by Shannon Flanagan of Marc and his band performing 'Get Back'.
Marc and his band was simply stunning last night. He's a fantastic musician and songwriter with two great albums and a long future ahead of him.
The Hard Ground followed soon after and were highly entertaining throughout. Their set of mainly new material showcased the amazing vocals of Marlene Enright as well as displaying the fine musicianship from the tight band. Some songs came and went without much fanfare but others such as the new song 'Pucker' and 'Belles and Beaux' really hit home.
The band flirt with many genres such as rock, pop, folk as well as a dark deep south sound on many tracks. It's only when Marlene is allowed time to breath life into the songs that I really warm to The Hard Ground. All that being said, I'm looking forward to the new album released on April 10th.
Overall it was a great showcase of music from two of Ireland's best music acts: