The annual Live at the Marquee series of summer concerts continued last night, with proceedings continuing apace despite the ongoing heatwave. Over three thousand fans flocked to the pop-up venue on Monahan Road for an evening with Brit Award-winning pop superstar James Bay, the latest in a line of radio-friendly acts to headline the series during this year’s instalment.
Squeals of approval rang out under the big tent, emanating from a primarily younger audience, as Bay took to stage with bandmates, proceeding through singles and highlights from Bay’s pair of albums, including new full-length ‘Electric Light’.
Among new songs and sporadic banter appeared new single ‘Just for Tonight’, performed twice, with the second run-through serving for the recording of the song’s upcoming promo video. Chart bothering crowdpleasers abounded: singles ‘Let It Go’ and ‘Us’ were followed with a rendition of Tina Turner’s ‘Simply the Best’, while big hit ‘Hold Back the River’ helped draw the evening to a close.
Last night’s Marquee show was a single stop in a very busy summer for Bay, following the release of his second full-length, the next step after a hectic few years. In 2014, ‘Hold Back the River’ released and subsequently went platinum, with debut album ‘The Chaos and the Calm’ following the year after.
The album went to number one in the UK and number 15 in the United States earning the Brit Awards’ Critics' Choice award. At the 2016 Brit Awards, Bay received the honours for Best British Male Solo Artist, while his American exploits that same year secured him three nominations at the 2016 Grammy Awards: Best New Artist, Best Rock Album, and Best Rock Song.
Holding the fort while the floor filled up was Corkonian singer/performer LYRA, returning to the city to perform after taking to London to further her explorations into a showy, polished pop that ought to resonate with fans of Florence + The Machine and the ilk. Switching between her sung accent and a Corkonian lilt between songs, she recounted the stories behind some of her tunes, including frustration with the music industry and family support in ‘Broken Down’.
This week sees the Marquee series of events continue at the pop-up venue on Monahan Road.
Tomorrow night sees the return to the Marquee of Irish comedy veteran and celebrity videogamer Dara O’Briain to the stage, while on Saturday night, trad/folk icon Christy Moore goes through a songbook spanning decades.