A little bit of life has been lived in-between our last post; we have been meaning for ages to up date you all with our photos and videos of HWCH – Dublin’s annual new music festival – from last October, I know, mad…sorry it’s taken until now!
Dublin, a city long associated with arts, culture and music was into it’s 13th annual new music showcase of over 100 Irish artists. And in avoidance of hopping from a one song set of one artist to the next, we set ourselves one-to-two venues for the night. Thursday, we ventured north of the Liffey to a band (and festival highlight) Orchid Collective.
A pleasant festival surprise came in the welcoming form of Hozier at the door of Wigwam who we later learnt had duetted with the previous act: Alana Henderson. As we grabbed our pint of Guinness and found our way through the crowds of the cosy basement of Wigwam we had good feelings on how the evening would pan out.
Orchid Collective, a young four-piece who only recently graduated from BIMM College, Dublin, from first listen agreeably already demonstrated to us huge potential. Tonight, was our first opportunity to catch them live since we discovered them earlier in the year, when they sold-out Whelans just before St Patricks Day. These are exactly the kind of band that translate live as you anticipate they would. Between their smooth guitar riffs and variance of vocals there was drama and subtlety to their layered harmonies.
The launch of their first EP: ‘Courage’ happened just days after HWCH’s and it’s an Alt-Folk-Rock gem of a record to add to your playlist:
The Workman’s Club, Friday, was home to act after act of constant appeal; Wyvern Lingo, Hail The Ghost, Beach and Basciville. The all female three piece, Wyvern Lingo brought a freshness to the stage with their Rn’B pop melodies. Their energy was palpable; they’re a band who sure know how to encourage a raucous crowd with their soulful and sassy lyricism – it’s catching too…
On the other side of the canvas, Hail The Ghost dapple in dark post-punk textures that are as richly absorbing to listen to, as they are entertaining to watch live and are a definite appeal to all fans of The National. The set had a great development from the sparse to the full throttle of percussive arrangements.
In smooth transition, a psychedelic five-piece, Beach, entered the stage. Their heavily distorted vocals and electronica blends hooked us in with their immediate artsy appeal. There’s a slight Radiohead to them at times – with an ever changing sound scape. Ones to keep tabs on for sure.
Basciville were an ironic festival closer for us, with such reminiscence of Hozier. The appealing jazz and bluesy fullness to the band (with a saxophone solo in the mix there) was almost a bit Zaska at times, really mellow. Beautiful.
So by the time Saturday’s sun disappeared we found ourselves returning to the venue that we started out at, Wigwam. On this occasion we were itching to catch Nocturnes, only to discover we were in the wrong venue…yep, it was one of those evenings. But the wine was gorgeous and the laughs we had were timeless. Before we knew where we were, we were over the Liffey around 1am spending the last of our euros on Brennan’s bread and Cadbury’s chocolate to bring back (because, as my Mum says, the bread and chocolate is ‘nothing like home’). We left Spar with the chaps behind us thinking we were on something. I think what made the whole episode even funnier was the cashier’s dry sense of humour, particularly in response to our lack of change: “What about the Whole Nut?”.
Of all the artists mentioned above, we’ll be running interview pieces with them all shortly to catch up with their current touring and new music releases…until then, enjoy our videos capturing just two of our festival favourites, Orchid Collective and Hail The Ghost: