Presented by Live Loud Music Management, Mayo (and Leitrim) band, The New Social, headlined their first Dublin gig at the Bello Bar on Wednesday evening. Joined by the immense talents of newcomers Rosa Nutty and Niall Cash, this has been one of the best Irish gigs I’ve been to this year. The band came to my attention only recently and I had never heard Rosa or Niall before. Purposely, I didn’t research or listen to any of the acts pre-gig as occasionally I like to see and hear acts in their raw, live state to get a feel for what their doing and how they’re doing it. And just to mention how excellent the Bello Bar is (The Lower Deck, Portobello Harbour) as a basement venue. It’s an ample sized area for an event like this, it’s intimate and spacious at the same time, a comfortable setting. A contender for best indoor Dublin venue in the future, I recommend it for any act of any genre.
First up was Dublin Singer-songwriter Rosa Nutty. If there was ever a definition of effortless appeal and sophistication then Rosa is it. Leading on electric guitar, her bluesy-soul, folk and easy listening licks draw you in like a magnet. She has undeniable stage presence and her sound is so pleasing to the ear. She’s in control of her band and backing vocalists, who support her so well and all are in very good chemistry with each other. Performing tracks from her 2015 debut EP ‘Bunny’ and a new single ‘Fine Print’, Rosa is certainly someone I want to see and hear live again. She will be appearing at Castlepalooza and you can find all her upcoming gigs on her website.
Next up was Wexford native, Niall Cash with a self-penned kickstarter to his set called ‘Fire’. I had a few words with him before his set. He advised me of his influences ranging from James Bay to The Coronas and he didn’t disappoint, especially with his new single ‘Time on my Side’ and an ode with a country twist called ‘Home’. Again this guy has great stage appeal, vocal range and musicianship and he offered up a few great crowd pleasing numbers from start to finish. Niall is currently a student of BIMM Dublin and also members of his band and Rosa’s too. Niall himself is launching his EP ‘Frames Have Cracked’ in The Workmans Club on Wed May 11th with support from the evening’s headliners.
I must also add a very worthy mention to vocalist Saoirse Kavanagh who was backing both Rosa and Niall for their sets. She has to be commended for her adaptability and vocal range with both of their styles. A wonderful performer.
And then it was time for the headliners to take to the stage. They started off as a Mayo 4-piece until they fell in love with a Leitrim drummer to become the ‘5 guys who like to make music’. And just a wee footnote – he’s a bloody great drummer! From rock steady originals ‘Stand Alone’, ‘Best Of Me’, ‘Smile’ and ‘Get Out Of My Head’ to very worthy cover efforts like ‘Crazy’ by Ceelo Green, the guys were on top form till the very end. Showing us their edge and musicality. Vibes of REM and early U2 in the mix. Front man Niall Fahey is the focal point of the group and has great leadership qualities as a performing showman. The crowd like him and he likes them back. As a group they communicate clearly, they are a very organised and well rehearsed bunch of guys. Their camaraderie is evident and you know they’ve done the leg work that is required of any band, they’re very experienced.
Will be keeping all three acts on my radar from now on, kudos to James from Live Loud Music and did I mention the Bello Bar? Rock out. Z