Picture the scene… screaming teenagers everywhere. Remind you of anything? The Beatles, The Script, Kodaline, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley… and Picture This, yes picture that. It’s not called pop music for nothing - it’s popular.
Fans were singing even before they got on stage, all thanks to 13-year-old Cork busking phenomenon Allie Sherlock first, and then brilliant British singer-songwriter JP Cooper and band, whose ‘Closer’, ‘September Song’ and ‘Passport Home’ had the tent lifting. And then the lights dimmed and the vibe went up a few notches with ‘Everything I Need’. Picture This lead singer Ryan Hennessy and drumming whizz Jimmy Rainsford, hit the target right from get-go with their target audience from the word go. The sparks were flying… queue lots of conflicted teenage emotions on songs like ‘Smells Like Him’, ‘Addicted To You’ and the newly released When We Were Young (Oh we burned bridges in our hearts), and you get this Picture.
Two years ago they went from relative unknowns to the number one band in the country. an this year has been a phenomenal one for them, with the self-titled album storming into the Irish charts at No 1, the highest chart entry for a debut artist this year. Just off the back of a sold-out UK and Irish tour, they are in flying form, and so are their fans, all 4,000 and one of them last night.
‘Everything I Need’ prompts a sing-a-long, though look around and pockets of the crowd find themselves ‘otherwise engaged’ at times during the song – boy meets girl, love ensues, love is very difficult. But hey, it’s great to be 16.
The formula works, it’s hard to beat a sing-a-long and it’s so, so gratifying to see a new generation of Irish teenagers are taking up the mantle.
“Two years ago Jimmy forced me to record ‘Take My Hand’ on my iPhone,” Hennessy said, with the intention of playing a gig at some stage. “I can’t play a gig, I can barely sing,” he said at the time. “But Jimmy bullied me into it.” He and Rainsford later recorded it in studio. The video was uploaded to Facebook and Youtube and has amassed over 1.2 million views across all platforms. can’t sing? Yeah right.