In just a few short years, Kerry-based band Walking on Cars has catapulted to fame. Through a combination of hard work and perseverance, the alt-rockers have gone from gigging in shabby back rooms to serenading some of the country’s biggest venues.
This weekend, the humble five-piece played their first ever Live at the Marquee concert — and a sell-out at that.
Considering their meteoric rise, one could be forgiven for thinking the Dingle natives would now be fairly au fait with playing in front of the undulating masses — but you’d be wrong. Stage fright still rears its ugly head, according to charismatic lead singer Patrick Sheehy.
“We were freaking out back stage,” he admits. “We didn’t realise [the Marquee] was this big. We’re a bit overwhelmed.”
The vocalist, never one to shy away from a bit of crowd interaction, also announced that the concert was extra special to him considering that, only a few short years ago, the band members were all on social welfare holed up in a cottage in Kerry ferociously writing and recording songs.
Getting to play concerts like this, he said, made that hardship “totally worth it”.
Thousands of screaming fans clearly agreed as they danced, jumped, shouted, and sang along to favourites such as ‘Catch Me If You Can’, ‘Tick Tock’ and, of course, ‘Always Be With You’.
Predictably, the band ended on their best-known track, ‘Speeding Cars’, which received a rapturous welcome from the hot and sweaty Marquee audience.
Their choice of encore undoubtedly pleased 12-year-old Sam O’Brien from Passage West.
“‘Speeding Cars’ is my favourite song, I love it,” he said.
“I first heard the band because I heard my dad playing them and I really liked them and I just started to get into them from that.” Dad Stephen O’Brien said it was his son’s first ever gig.
Husband and wife Ciarán and Linda Lynch, from Bandon, appreciate having the venue on their doorstep.
“It’s a brilliant venue. It’s accessible, it’s handy to get to, there’s a nice vibe,” said Ciarán.
“We saw Walking on Cars on the Late Late Show and then we got their album and it went from their really.”
Friends Kathleen Galvin and Michelle Gaynor, from Kerry but living in Cork, said they first heard Walking on Cars on the radio. When they heard the band was headlining a Marquee gig, they couldn’t stay away.
“It’s so handy having it here,” said Michelle. “It’s a great venue. It’s always a great night out.”
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