- 22 Feb 22
A promising new band delights a devoted audience at Whelan's.
Although they've had a few monikers in past years, the band now known as Big Love played to a delighted crowd of well-wishers Upstairs at Whelan's on Friday night.
As a new inductee to Big Love, it was surprising to witness a sudden seachange in the middle of their first song. After delivering a mysterious, slow, Alt-J-esque intro, the group ripped into a post-punk, heavier second half to the tune that livened up the room. It was this reviewer's highlight of the night.
Other songs throughout the show seemed to shift between these two different styles. It sometimes felt as if two bands from different eras were fighting to take control of the gig.
In terms of technical proficiency, though, Big Love were great. Dan Aherne on bass and drummer Dylan Bourke stood out as a really tight rhythm section, while frontman Cian Ó'Maonlaí certainly knows how to captivate a crowd. He hit all of the right notes a good singer should, knowing when to beckon people in and engaged well with their fans in between songs.
Moments that excited their fans included a performance of their new single, 'i hope you sleep tonight'. The slow atmospheric ballad again added another notch to the different styles the group played with during their set.
They already clearly have many fans in their corner, so this next sentiment may not be that important. However, it seems that Big Love still have work to do to define their sound.
Not that artists need to be put in a box and only produce the same song over and over again, but it was hard to pinpoint what type of artist they want to be. As stated before, the diversity of genres between their songs felt off-putting at times. While it's commendable to be that ambitious, they may need to spend more time songwriting before moving onto a bigger stage. However, it's hard to be too critical, considering they've only released two singles under their current name.
Nevertheless, a night where they played to a rapturous crowd will surely excite the group to continue to develop. They're a promising band that will hopefully go forward and find out a direction that allows them to stand out.
Big Love play Monroes in Galway on March 12, with tickets available here.
- Film & TV
- 26 Sep 23