ONLY time will tell if Walking on Cars can take off and make an international name for themselves, but they clearly have the Irish market nailed after an exuberant sell-out show at the Marquee last night.
It takes a lot to impress Leesiders if you’re from Kerry – especially in the week before an Old Firm Munster football final – but the Dingle outfit had the crowd ‘Hand in Hand’ with them from the opening bars of ‘Ship Goes Down’.
Relatively new to the scene, with just one album under their belts, there was no danger here of missing out on the band’s best tracks like Tick, Tock and As We Fly South. This was a note-perfect delivery of their melodic debut album.
A simple but effective stage, with five stacks of screens, added a dash of colour without upstaging the band. It was snappy and direct for the most part, though like any younger group, they’ll benefit when their next release – which they’ve been working on in recent months – lands to expand their set-list.
That didn’t deter their fans last night, nor did the rain teeming down on the thronged Marquee, whose enthusiasm was matched by the band’s, who were engaging throughout, led by frontman Patrick Sheehy.
The rhythm section of Paul Flannery and Evan Hadnett powered them impressively, Dan Devane ripped it up on guitar and Sorcha Durham provided many of the soaring moments on the piano.
“Strangers connect tonight…” sang Sheehy, wearing a hat to mark the return of the Irish summer, and we did. A trademark blast of 'Ole, Ole' from the raucous faithful carried us into the encore.
Two Stones, Always Be With You and a euphoric Speeding Cars, their best-known track, to close, all showed the potential in this band.
They were clearly loving every minute of this gig, and it marked the end to a landmark weekend, as they had a high-profile show in Dublin at Kilmainham on Saturday.
The big question is can they follow up with another quality album and make a mark abroad?