- 19 Jul 19
Much buzz surrounds Limerick’s Whenyoung and you can see why when they take to the Iveagh Gardens stage - the songs from debut album Reasons To Dream are catchy, slick and assured. Frontwoman Aoife Power charms in a black silk suit worthy of PJ Harvey, thanking the crowd and paying due deference to Shirley and co. They really come into their own during the parting triple-whammy of ‘The Others’, ‘Given Up’ and superlative dream-pop number ‘Never Let Go’.
And so to our headliners. Shirley Manson appears on stage looking like a futuristic Victorian murderess. She wears a long flowing black dress with massive net sleeves covering her white arms. Her shock of red hair is tied tightly in a bun above shaved lower scalp. She dons silver chains around her waist and a collar around her neck. Immediate impact.
The band blast into the dark, menacing ‘Control’ and eerily seductive ‘#1 Crush’ before ‘Stupid Girl’ quadruples the already impressive level of frenzy.
Throughout, Manson stalks the stage, her vocal intense and commanding. Occasionally she focuses on an audience member, gives them a deathly serious stare and then breaks into a beaming smile and winks.
“Wicked Ways’ impresses with its Personal Jesus interlude, ‘Special’ is just that and during ‘I Think I’m Paranoid’ she holds the mic out for the audience to singalong, grinning and laughing at their enthusiasm and varying levels of skill.
The singer is full of praise for the audience, crew and her fellow bandmembers and to the envy of all media Dan Hegarty gets a special shoutout for his continued support. Her banter is warm and friendly and she even regales us with a tale about her 83-year-old father completing a charity cycle in Africa. She highlights the fact it has been 25 years since the first album, encouraging us to appreciate the moment and each other. The message is clear - love and respect.
The graceful and enchanting “Even Though Our Love Is Doomed’ closes the set before a playful ‘When I Grow Up’ ushers us away into the night.
(Photo Credit: Colm Kelly)