For this screaming horde of tangoed teenagers, Walking On Cars actually walk on water; and there’s plenty of it falling on us this night.
Only two years ago, Dingle legends Walking On Cars were doing warmup for the likes of Paramore and The Coronas; they’ve been a headline act in their own right for 18 months.
Warmup act indeed. When The Coronas return to the Marquee stage on Friday, the place will hardly have cooled down. To quote Will ‘Mugatu’ Ferrell in Zoolander, singer Patrick Sheehy, “he’s so hot right now”.
“Good evening, Cork, it’s great to be back,” says Sheehy. “Will you sing this one with me?”
A second invitation is not needed. ‘Tick Tock’, every word.
Every gesture seems to work for this crowd, who, to be fair, would be forgiven for having had their fill of sun-kissed Kerrymen striding into town and sweeping all before them every summer.
There’s no denying that they’re sexy, but that doesn’t explain why this machine is so unstoppable? Well, first off there’s just no resisting the repertoire. While the WOCs only released their debut album, Everything This Way, at the start of 2016, they went straight to No 1 in the Irish album charts and ice-gripped to their new throne like Gollum to his ring.
Seven of the album’s 12 songs have enjoyed radio omnipresence for the past 18 months. We were treated to them all. Highlights included ‘Don’t Mind Me’, ‘Tick Tock’, ‘Love Backs Down’, ‘Speeding Cars’, ‘Ship Goes Down’, and ‘atch Me If You Can’.
But there’s more to this band than just the endless hits and a great energetic charismatic frontman with a wardrobe so impeccable that you’d even forgive him for wearing a woolly bobble hat tonight instead of the peaked Healy-Rae caipín.
At its inner core this band has, again not unlike Gollum’s ring, a thing called fellowship. You really can tell that they’re friends, a real band with a bond.
And a great cheerful sound, just the sound this tent needed with the rain back around us; not entirely unique, but very fresh and definitely very current. Sorcha Durham’s piano has real standout class, while Dan Devane’s guitar gives a cutting rock edge to the pop tunes.
For me, though, the bedrock rhythm section of Evan Hadnett’s drums and Paul Flannery’s bass is where this band’s party really is at. If this band is on the crest of a wave, then these two are steering the surfboard.
The folks from the Kingdom came, they saw, they conquered in the pouring rain. Another glorious summer’s night live in Cork’s Marquee.
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