Orla Gartland at the Sugar Club – Review
Dublin native Orla Gartland returned home from her London base to play a number of gigs in Cork, Dublin and Belfast as part of her UK/Ireland tour to celebrate the release of her new EP, ‘Lonely People’. I’ve been following Orla’s career for a long time through her YouTube videos and social media updates and I couldn’t wait to hear the new EP live.
Her show took place in The Sugar Club, one of the most intimate music venues in Dublin. This was her second show of the day having already played an under 18’s gig earlier in the afternoon. I took my seat just as the first support act Chanele McGuiness took to the stage. People were still arriving during Chanele’s set so it took a while for the crowd to warm up but by her last song you could hear a pin drop as she had completely captivated the audience. For her first time in a support slot she did extremely well. Next up was London based Martin Luke Brown who was promoting his new EP which he was giving out free on the night. Again, a very talented musician with some stand out songs.
After a short period, Orla Gartland then took to the stage opening with the chorus of ‘Human’ before playing my personal favourite ‘Clueless’. Her set was a combination of all three of her EPs, with a special guest appearance from the Booka Brass Band giving an unbelievable performance of a Kate Bush number. She commented on the fact this was her first over 18’s gig and she definitely took advantage of that novelty with her on-stage humour. Her interaction with the audience made the show all the more intimate and kept the crowd engaged. Her quirky vocals, excellent songwriting skills and catchy tunes allow Orla appeal to a large audience. She commands bigger festival crowds as well as small intimate gigs like this one with ease, proving her versatility.
A special mention has to go to Greta Isaac who was supporting vocals for the night. Her harmonies could not go unnoticed and her vocals rival Orla’s.
After finishing her final secondary school exams, Orla took the risk of doing music full time and that risk has definitely paid off. Playing gigs all over the world and with some of her YouTube videos receiving over one million views, she has gone from strength to strength over the last few years; but she seemed to undeservedly slip under the media radar a bit, and it is only very recently she has been given some recognition on a national media level. Her talent shines on festival stages in front of large crowds as well as intimate gigs such as this one. She has already achieved so much at a young age, I can’t wait to see where her career takes her next.
Review by Anna Henderson