Ryan Sheridan at Whelan’s – Review
Ryan Sheridan has been very quiet for a good while, keeping that hat down to work on a new record while his debut album The Day You Live Forever continued to be adored by radio and music libraries alike. The four year time lapse definitely didn’t deter fans from hanging on with anticipation, and tickets for his Here And Now launch in Whelan’s on Friday night were snapped up like hot cakes.
Taking to the stage with a thunderous reception of happy faces to greet him, Ryan also boasts great company with his strongly talented band that comprises of Jimmy Rainsford (drums, cajon), Nicky Brennan (electric guitar), and Darren Sweeney (bass). They immediately launch into ‘Here and Now’, and it’s even just those few distinct strums that gets the whole room grabbed up into Ryan’s hands and refusing to let go. There’s a clear likeable factor there that instantly lingers in the air, as well as genuine appreciation for what he has to offer.
See also: Ryan Sheridan ‘Here and Now’ Live
‘Superpower’ really brings out the cajon and bass elements well, whereas ‘A Minute Changes Everything’ showcases a full band instrumental that gives an insight into just how far his live act has morphed and progressed since previous live performances. While some fans were completely in their element for whistling along to ‘Burn Down’, a quick scan of the room proved I wasn’t alone in my lack of such talents. What was interesting though when looking around was the vast age spectrum present. It’s often noticeable that bands will attract a specific crowd but as ‘Jigsaw’ kicks in with energetic fashion, it’s clear that Ryan and his insanely skilful guitar playing has a universal appeal to be loved by many. He also shows his diverse talents in his ability to take on a golden oldie of ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’, putting such a stamp of fast paced goodness on it to join his distinctive vocals.
Although he mentions that ‘Stay’ is his favourite song on the new album, it originally started out with ten possible choruses that he couldn’t decide on. As such it was initially taken out of the running to make the final cut, however after getting together with the band to work on the track, the pieces all came together for it to be included. It’s a beautiful heartfelt offering that veers down a new avenue of sound not heard from him before, and yet again shows the impressive band efforts as a whole coming to the fore.
‘Worlds Apart’ is also taken from the new album, and as Ryan attempted to explain that the song came to him as he was waiting for his son to be born in hospital, he was stopped in his tracks by several clusters of people not having the decency to pipe down for a few minutes and listen to what he had to say. At any gig, and even more specifically at album launches, artists willing to share their song origins should be respected for that small slice of your time they’ve asked for. The track itself has a gorgeous acoustic arrangement with perfectly placed harmonies, with the lyrics made all the better in the understanding of the song history.
Latest single ‘Hearsay’ tips the radio friendly scale, with catchy lyrics being cocooned in an array of skilled cajon beats and looping electric chords. ‘I’m Alive’ is sculpted in a genius anthem-like fashion, getting the room singing along and jumping around with excited enthusiasm. If it was possible to power electricity on sheer human energy, it would have been bottled up in plentiful supply. ‘Home’ is one of those tracks that seems to connect with many of those listening around the room, being belted out to eventually take the lead from Ryan in an ode to all those living away from their loved ones. It’s followed by ‘Dreamer’, that’s confidently soared around to create a frenzy of flailing arms and sing-along voices.
The album launch also appeared to have no limits in what you could expect, with a man even proposing (she said yesss) before Ryan and the band returned with an impressive mash-up of ‘Stand Up Tall’ and ‘The Day We Live Forever’. They finish on a complete and utter high, and with a near two hour set completed, their efforts should be well and truly applauded. If the live perspective is anything to go by, then you need to have Here And Now in your hands right here, right now. Each song is crafted out in its own unique and distinct way, with the contrast of high-energy paced offerings complimented with the welcoming of several tracks that are more stripped back yet still bursting with originality. Adding such talents to his casual look and charismatic presence, this Monaghan man has definitely perched himself back on top of the Irish music scene for all to enjoy.
Review by Nicole Leggett