Hermitage Green At The Sugar Club – Review
Watch Hermitage Green’s video for recent single ‘Quicksand’ and your head will be left spinning at the idea of being upside down for so long, never mind attempting to play instruments at the same time. If you’re yet to stumble across it, I’d recommend it as a definite must see. Fortunately they opted to turn up to their sold out Sugar Club show not dangling from the ceiling but it was rather a more grounded affair, accompanied by the ever cosy surroundings of one of my favourite Dublin venues.
The male/female ratio was perfectly highlighted in the fact that the first few rows were completely occupied by excited women. Although in saying that, as it continued to get busier and definitely reach over capacity, there were plenty of bodies that popped up to also represent the male contingent, spilling down the cinema style steps to find a spot as the band made their way to the stage.
Hermitage Green’s harmonies are an instant addiction, a complete stand out element that gets listeners hooked for their opening track, whereas while they sing of ‘endless sleepless nights’ this highlights the effectiveness of Darragh on the djembe and Dermot on percussion which combine so well together.
Although I strained to hear the vocals for ‘Quicksand’, this was irrelevant as the room was well capable of carrying the catchy chorus regardless, completely justifying its recent radio attention that is most definitely deserved. They also chose the very apt inclusion to put their own stamp on ‘Walking in the Air’, which was in a very clever stripped back style that again emphasized the quality of their collective harmonies and also worked brilliantly amongst the twinkling light effects.
There’s certainly no falters in relation to their songwriting capabilities either, taking inspiration from personal family Moments (‘Making It Better’), tackling many avenues of the term addiction for ‘Magnificent’ and also succeeding to capture the emotion and often struggles involved in a long-distance relationship with another newer track.
It was also great to hear well-known ‘Gibson’ in a more intimate setting. I’d previously heard it at Indiependence yet the distinctive banjo gets even more of a chance to shine in the smaller enclosed venue. This track is also riddled with lingering chords and impressive instrumentals, that close out in style to a roaring applause. The night, of course, also would not have been complete before ‘Jenny got lost in the city, got lost in the city lights’, with brothers Dan and Barry leading the way with a sing-song that got everyone involved.
With many new tracks getting their debut, the band themselves may have been a bit unsure as to how they’d be received, but it’s clear that there’s a whole lot of Hermitage Green love out there, and many now await their recently completed album to make its way to the surface and be rightly appreciated.