- Live Review
- 29 May 23
The stuff from film soundtracks.
Four years on from the release of Mongoose’s second record, Suck the Wound, Molly O’Mahony of the quartet has curated her own solo sound, releasing her personal, debut album, The House of David, in November of last year.
Last night, the singer-songwriter from West-Cork took to the stage in Whelan’s, accompanied by her band, to showcase her debut offering in an emotion-filled and breath-taking performance. Although each track distinguished itself from the next, O’Mahony retained a distinctive, personalised sound throughout, making for a diverse and dynamic set.
The night opened with supporting act, Bróna Keogh standing on the wood-panelled stage of Whelan’s. Performing tracks like ‘Packed My Bags’ and ‘Sea Witch’, Keogh’s endearing guitar strums were accompanied by sweet melodies that wandered all over the intimate gathering, spreading like a warmth that seemed to encapsulate Christmas in May.
It was then time for the West-Cork native to take to the stage, as she opened her set with her debut album’s titular track, ‘The House of David’.
Her opening track featured guitar-infused twangs of soft rock on guitar and was carouseled with a sprinkle of trad-folk for a cool, symphonious sound. O'Mahony's barely-raspy voice was beautifully interwoven with her sister, Matilda's, for a rich, textured soundscape.
“This is really special,” Molly said after a round of applause for their opener, “this is going to be our last show in this formation,” she continued, gesturing to her band composed in part by her brother Fiachra and sister Matilda.
‘I Cling To You’ came next. The gentle, acoustic track was complimented by O'Mahony's delicate, husky voice which sounded almost caressed by itself. Her mellow tone carried the tune alongside beautifully-crafted lyrics, which prompted the argument for which held more importance- the music or the words- the stuff from film soundtracks.
“If anyone wants to sit at the front that’s totally encouraged”- inviting the audience into the warm glow of intimacy that emanated from Molly, her music and the band on stage.
“Okay, let’s get sexy now,” the Cork artist chuckled, as she began ‘Bittersweet.’ The song infused with jazz, blues and slowed-down rock made for a slow, sultry sound which seduced the sea of listeners swaying in time with the songwriter's track.
“We’re taking it back down now with,” the singer-songwriter said, before beginning ‘Brother Blue’. As she she gently plucked the strings of her guitar, the acoustic, folk song brimmed with emotion that overflowed into the crowd filling the small with an aching sentimentality, and took her vocal range for a wander.
Next up came a change of pace, with the Cork singer introducing ‘In A Heartbeat’ as a tribute to Colin Vearncombe. Also known as Black- Vearncombe was a singer in the 80’s who died tragically in a car accident in 2016. O’Mahony detailed how the song came to being, after Black’s son reached out to her about covering the song.
-And the result was mesmerising- a result that paralysed the crowd with emotion.
As the song came to an end, Molly transitioned back up-beat with ‘Her Song’, and once again, her gathering was carried away with the synchronicity of the band’s musicality.
Next up was ‘Velvet Morning’ and ‘When It Rains’, before it was time to bring her set to its end.
“This is a temporary goodbye”, Molly said, as she gestured to her sister as- “O’Mahony and bump”- referencing Matilda’s upcoming motherhood responsibilities. She unofficially closed the show with the melancholic, domestically-balanced ballad, ‘Tomorrow’s Lunch’.
“Boxing up tomorrow’s lunch/ with grace and clever hands, you close the lids,” she sang, featuring a section charmingly whistled to.
As her band disappeared from the stage, Molly stood solo, announcing how her next song ‘Golden Thing’ was “too new to be on the album”.
Finally, ending on her hit, ‘Remember To Be Brave’, the same crew that recorded The House of David took to the stage for the final song they would perform together for the foreseeable. It was an emotional goodbye when the crowd erupted into applause as O’Mahony and her band wrapped arms around each other and bowed, bidding goodbye to their audience and each other for the time being.
Stream The House of David below:
- Live Review
- 11 Sep 23