Soda Blonde made their long-awaited Mike The Pies debut on February 25th and for those who held onto their tickets through the postponements, it was worth the wait.
Mike The Pies, one of Ireland’s most unique music venues, has hosted the likes of Fontaines D.C., Just Mustard, Aoife Nessa Frances, and Damien Dempsey to name a few in its time. And so it was the turn of Soda Blonde, the alt-rock four-piece whose debut album Small Talk is deservedly up for the RTÉ Choice Music Prize Album of the Year.
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Support on the night came courtesy of Brian Mooney. One man with a guitar, Mooney’s five songs were deeply personal and quite captivating. And, while his melancholy style was the opposite of what was to come, it was nice nonetheless to ponder his lyrics, including the line, “I want to be acutely aware of all the things that I took for granted” on a song about loss during the pandemic.
The main act
It’s great to have gigs back and to be able to put yourself among the buzz a live performance gives off. It must also be great for the act who, over the past two years, would’ve had to cancel and postpone show after show. To release that build-up of energy must be a wonderful thing.
It sure felt like Soda Blonde experienced that last night as they brought the magic for their hour-long set. Frontwoman Faye O’Rourke, for instance, produced a performance for the ages, nailing each song and even jumping into the crowd when guitarist Adam O’Regan went on one of his epic solos. Faye and Adam also brought the show from stage to floor, singing an acoustic ballad in a mingle of audience members. Bassist Donagh Seaver-O’Leary too shone throughout, feeling every infectious rhythm, particularly on ‘Love Me World’ — check it out. And, of course, we must mention the conductor, the one who keeps everyone in check — the drummer. Cool Dylan Lynch made his task look easy, giving his bandmates a safe foundation on which to build each song.
Songs played included the majority of Small Talk and a mix of EPs and singles, including the previously mentioned ‘Love Me World’, ‘Motion’, and latest single ‘I Still Have Feelings for You’.
With an album like Small Talk and a stage presence like that which the Mike The Pies audience witnessed last night, it’s little wonder that Soda Blonde are a band worth their merits. Only thing now is the wait to see them again.
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