Croupier at Whelan’s – Review

croupier-whelans-1Croupier at Whelan’s

Friday, September 27th, 2013

A sea of green tinted Croupier’s visors swells around the stage. Dramatic red velvet drapes frame the setting as five young lads from Wicklow set themselves up. The kit looks promising. A tinkling keyboard, three guitars, drums and microphone stand.

Launching themselves on stage with propulsion they hit the impact button big time. Delivering “Intro” with leading lingering synths it’s straight in there building the pace. Very Hot Chip. They hammer the stage. It looks too small for them. They’re only up there five minutes and they’ve outgrown it already. The sea of green stomps incessantly. “Columns” carries the energy through, the vocals a bit light on melody. However the guitars take the harmony delivering haunting echoey riffs.

This eclectic rock recipe strikes me as a cross between Hot Chip and Rage Against the Machine. Its overall taste is passionate, energetic, fast paced and angsty. Flavours emulate from the quality of guitars, keyboards and punctuated drums. The melody is missing for me. The vocals slightly limited and not carrying the harmonies through. It’s a bit shouty in places as the guitars evolve towards chaotic delivery. Clearly the visors love it. Aptly named after their new EP “Visors” launched yesterday. The crowd now adore it and the band give it all they have. The lead singer Oisin keeps them going. The set proceeds with Pax Bisonica, Chandelier, The Crooper, Power Up, Myriad Defector and Creo Beast. A comedy encore ensues and Oisin wittily apologies for his mother’s absence. She couldn’t make it as she was playing bridge. And she doesn’t usually play bridge on a Friday night. Croupier left the place reeling and uplifted.

Formed in 2008 Croupier are Oisín Murphy (lead vocals/guitar), Charlie Mooney (guitar), Harry Burton (keyboard/piano), Niall O’Kelly (drums) and Rob Reid (bass). Croupier are on Facebook, Twitter and

Colour//Sound were the support act setting the scene for Croupier. Happy harmonies, gently jangling guitars and velvet vocals emulate from these four fellas. They met at the BIMM School of Music apparently, teaming talent in Janauary 2012. Their first song, a sombre tale for the locals who’ve left Donegal was followed by “Countryside“. This is a well crafted charming melody with versatile lead guitar, echoed with lighter tones from bass and enduring lyrics. They are well able to rock it up, as demonstrated in “ Jesus Never Lets Me Down.” Dramatic and bold with whimsical lyrics almost Jarvis Cockeresqe. There’s lots of influential hints in this setlist. Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Two Door, Jeff Buckley, The Beatles, The Kinks. It’s no surprise to hear that Colour//Sound have played alongside Cathy Davey, Turn & Villagers at Electric Picnic and Knockanstockan.

Check them out on

Review by Ciara Sheahan


Lucy Ivan

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