The Hard Ground at The Workman’s Club (Review)
The Hard Ground are a folk-rock group from Co. Cork who recently re-released their album Broken Conversations. They played The Workman’s Club on Thursday 25th of April as part of their re-release ‘mini-tour’.
The Cork group kicked off the late set with no introduction, going straight into the husky vocals and sweet-voiced harmonies of A man, a God, a Woman which closed with heavy electric guitar riffs. From this they proceeded into the more bluesy Drinking to heaven full of passionate, husky vocals. As a ‘treat’ for the audience they played a new, as yet unnamed, track which had a much more rock sound compared to the opening tracks. The group have very much a signature sound, playing on the contrast between the main and female vocals, huskiness versus sweetness, but also utilising harmonies which made them ever so slightly similar to early Belle and Sebastian.
They alternated between slower numbers such as Reckless and southern sounding Haiti’s Town and the more country Nearly Man in which the vocals were, at times, faintly reminiscent of Nickleback. Throughout the set they managed to play most of their album, even taking time to sing Happy Birthday to their bassist.
They finished with Mr. Boom, a big, heavy, headbanger of a rock’n’roll number with strong percussion, head melting guitar and the audience clapping along.
After an amazing set that shook the seats of the cosy interior of The Workman’s Club the group stuck around to chat to fans, sign autographs and sell a few albums. The gig was incredibly relaxed and enjoyable, a lot like the music on their album which is definitely worth a listen.
Review by Kat Clinch