Walking on Cars at Whelan’s – Review
Walking On Cars – Ep Launch – June 20th, 2013
Walking on Cars are an up-and-coming five some band from the small town of Dingle in County Kerry. The band put themselves in the indie pop rock genre and composes of lead singer and acoustic guitarist Patrick Sheehy, keyboardist Sorcha Durham, lead guitarist Dan Devane, bass guitarist Paul Flannery and drummer Evan Hadnett. Walking on Cars had their much anticipated and sold-out EP launch for ‘As We Fly South’ in the packed and buzzing Whelan’s on June 20th. A notorious venue for gigs, Whelan’s has both a floor and balcony view of the stage that gives the audience two viewing points of the main stage! Following their supporting acts ‘Ríona’ and ‘Neon Wolf’, Walking on Cars strolled out onto the dimly-lit stage to a deafening reception of clapping, shouting and screaming, all before they’d uttered a single word!
The band kicked off their performance with an upbeat and very rock style song called ‘See This Coming (Really Happy to be Here)’ which went down a treat with the audience and instantly got them stamping their feet and bopping their heads. Lead guitarist Devane and keyboardist Durham chipped in with harmonies which gave the song a more layered sound in parts.
Following this, the band played ‘Tick Tock’ which is featured on their new EP. This song was a nice change and mellowed out the audience who happily swayed in time to the song with pint glasses in hand. The song was very similar to the style of fellow Irish band ‘The Coronas’ who Walking on Cars have supported in the past. More of a slow rock song, Sheehy really sang emotion into the song that could be felt throughout the audience with the soulful and chilling harmonies on the lyrics “Tick Tock” really hitting home.
‘Falling Faster’ followed soon after with lead guitarist Devane and drummer Hadnett really shining through. Another slower number that gradually built up in volume and anticipation as the song reached its climax with an epic guitar solo from Devane. Ending on a sustained last chord from piano and guitar the audience went crazy stamping their feet and screaming at the top of their lungs, it was definitely a song that got them really pumped up.
Following such a well-received song was a mashup of many popular songs by well-known artists with just a few being the likes of Olly Murs, The Black Eyed Peas, Emeli Sande, The Script and Bruno Mars. Sheehy sang short snippets from the many songs which paired with the constant repetition of the four common chords to all the songs by Flannery, Durham and Hadnett made the song almost ridiculously catchy and went down in an uproar from the audience. It made the balcony shake from the sheer amount of feet stamping, clapping and screaming going on! It came a close second as the most well received performance which was the later played ‘Catch Me If You Can’.
Slowing the set down briefly the band played ‘Falling faster’ which was a nice contrast to the previous very upbeat and catchy song. A more mellow song that had the audience calming down after the burst of quick paced dancing and clapping during the previous song. Ending on four short quick notes paired with the lyrics “We all Fall Down” the sudden end to the song had the audience from thoughtfully swaying to the music to a full uproar in 0.5 seconds.
‘Don’t Mind Me’ followed after, another solemn song that had Sheehy putting down his acoustic guitar to change places with Durham and having a go on the keyboard himself, he sang from his new perch while Durham sang harmonies from the main microphone. The song was released on their YouTube channel over a year ago and is one of their most popular songs to date. Piano is featured as the main instrument and the thoughtful and haunting lyrics of Sheehy really play with the emotions of the audience. As the piano fades out at the end of the song, the band jumped straight into the next and started playing ‘Coming My Way’ a complete turnaround from the previous song in both tempo and feeling! A catchy upbeat song that had the audience jumping up and down in the jam-packed venue, every single person was moving whether it was the stomping of their feet or the clapping of their hands.
‘Two Stones’ was played after, a song that features on their new EP, and the crowd was to put it simply-loving it! A mid-tempo song, chords and constant repetition of a single note were played on keyboard with Sheehy’s vocal ability really shining through, easily managing the far apart vocal leaps and large range. The vast majority of the crowd seemed to know almost all the lyrics and rose to the challenge when Sheehy made breaks during the chorus and had the audience sing back the refrain “Can we sing hallelujah one more time?”, something every band must dream of-having their lyrics sung back to them!
For their final song, Walking on Cars played ‘Catch Me If You Can’ which was their properly produced single that was released in March. Another mid-tempo number that builds in anticipation and whose lyrics portray the story of a person learning how to trust their lover. The story of the song also seemed to affect the audience who really got into the song, singing the lyrics back to the band with a few having knowing smiles on their faces as if they’ve had similar experiences. Again, Sheehy paused as the audience sang back the band’s lyrics to them. A thoughtful song that really brought a nice close to the concert with a deafening roar of appreciation from the crowd after the last note faded out.
But what concert truly ends without an encore? Strolling out and stage picking up their instruments for a truly final song after “one more tune” being chanted by the audience, the band started playing ‘I Asked You Nicely’. A similar tempo song to the previous that had a constant drum beat throughout and piano as the main instrument. The song ending on one last sustained chord had the crowd in uproar chanting, clapping and stamping followed by grumblings as they made their way to the exit and coming down from their concert high.
Walking on Cars seem to have a very loyal, if small, fan base but their music speaks for itself. A band that has genuine talent and a knack for song-writing, I’m sure it won’t be long until they’re known far beyond the south-western county of Kerry.
Walking on Cars ‘As We Fly South’ EP is now available for download on iTunes.
They were featured as our Irish Band of the Week in May.
Review by Miriam McGovern