Walking On Cars at The Academy, Dublin – Review
Walking On Cars at The Academy, Dublin – July 3rd
In June of 2013 I found myself in Whelan’s on Wexford Street reviewing my first band as part of the DublinConcerts team, Walking on Cars, to launch their debut EP ‘As We Fly South’ and I could not have been more excited. Just over a year later it seems fitting that I should be seeing the Dingle-based band as they play The Academy with their second EP ‘Hand in Hand’ being released in the following days.
I arrived to the sole support act Vann Music having already played a song or two and a packed venue of chatting concert-goers who seemed more interested in their own conversations than the music of the indie-pop group. Hearing five or six songs before their set came to an end the band’s sound seemed to have a similar, yet less catchy feel, to that of English indie-rock band The 1975. As they band bade farewell to the crowd a steady yet unenthusiastic applause came from the bystanders as Vann Music made way for the engineers setting up for the headline act.
Walking on Cars strode out on stage to a flurry of neon blue lights and kicked off their set by playing two of their most popular songs ‘Tick Tock’ then ‘Two Stones’ which had the audience singing heartily along to both. The chemistry between the band members was obvious as the members grinned at one another during and between songs with genuine affection for each-other and looked like happy campers playing together up on stage. The same can be said for the audience as they churned to the beat and relished in the music with beaming smiles.
The new EP ‘Hand in Hand’ has three new songs on it that were all played on the night: ‘Hand in Hand’, ‘Don’t Mind Me’, and ‘Coming My Way’ which went down a treat with the crowd and has a slightly different sound to their previous ‘As We Fly South’ EP. A highlight of the night was ‘Hand in Hand’ which is more rock than some of their other material and has a nice and intriguing balance of more indie sounding verses paired with a punchy and rock influenced-and punchy chorus.
The set for the evening was a good balance of sad and thoughtful numbers like ‘Coming My Way’, upbeat and feel-good songs, and nice interactions between band and audience that had them bouncing off one another. Lead singer Patrick Sheehy and bassist Paul Flannery also took it upon themselves to be the talkers of the band for the night saying things like the concert “being better craic than the last time we played here” from Sheehy and Flannery urging the audience to throw shoes at the band before playing a new song to “let us know if you like it or not”. The band’s encore comprised of “Coming My Way’ and ‘Catch Me if You Can’ which they told the crowd was the song that “put us on the map”. A set comprised of no more than fifteen songs seemed to be the perfect number as the satisfied audience members left their evening of music in The Academy and ventured out into the warm summer night.
Review by Miriam McGovern