Hermitage Green at Whelan’s – Review and Photos
Hermitage Green are a band I’ve often heard of, but never knew anything about. That was until I saw them play in UCD in late April. I knew straight away that they weren’t like anything coming out of Ireland at the moment and were definitely a band I had to see again. Their unique style intrigued me from the get-go, but would tonight’s show in Whelan’s have the same effect?
Whelan’s gradually became a lot busier as Hermitage Green prepared to take to the stage. Tonight is sure to be a stripped back performance, all about the music, the band and the audience, just as it should be; no lasers, no gimmicks, just good music and a good vibe. Two things are evident from tonight’s performance, the first being that Hermitage Green have a largely growing fan base. It was near impossible to find a comfortable place to stand in Whelan’s, which isn’t the largest venue to begin with. Second of all, it’s clear that Hermitage Green are very passionate about what they do and tonight’s audience appreciate every bit of work they put into their performance. There is a large variety of instruments: from the standard guitar, bass and drums trio, to the banjo and bodhrán. Along with an impressive body of instruments, there are also some seriously stunning vocals from Dan and Barry; they flow and harmonise like a duck to water. They play through an impressive setlist, including, ‘Cloud Nine’, ‘Quicksand’ and ‘Gibson’. There’s so much energy in the room, with everyone seeming determined to shout just a little bit louder than the person next to them, and trust me when I say they succeeded. After finishing their set with ‘Gibson’, Darragh and Dermot return to the stage for the encore first, and begin a mini jam session on percussion instruments, including the bodhrán and the djembe. This sent the entire crowd into a frenzy of dancing and clapping and was undeniably enjoyable to listen to. The rest of the band then returned to the stage and they finished the night’s show with a fantastically strong encore that leaves everyone wanting more, but the show has finished and it’s time to grab a pint for the road.
It’s exactly what I expected and more. They were energetic, played with precision and got everyone dancing and singing along. No gimmicks, just good music and a good vibe throughout. Hermitage Green are a band to watch, and I see nothing but good things for Ireland’s rising stars.
Review by Shauna Collins
Photos by Tara Stanhope