- 14 Sep 21
The London-based musician offered up a beautiful setlist at Judge Roy Beans, as part of the Summer of Music programme, supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media.
Kildare native Megan O'Neill and Mark Caplice were in flying form as they performed a 45-minute set for Judge Roy Beans' Summer of Music audience.
After studying psychology at University College Dublin, Megan instead pursued her musical dream by moving to Nashville and later London, working with various bands, songwriters and producers.
Opening her Judge Roy Beans set with the catchy 'Should've Known Better' with Mark's piano skills, the soulful belter explores the mistakes made in a relationship. O'Neill's rich vocal prowess shines through on the chorus, with gorgeous harmonies curated as a result of Caplice's input.
"The sound of real applause is absolutely mad," Megan says afterwards, laughing. The pair embody a sense of wholesome, easygoing charm that can only be realistically captured with a live audience in front of them.
Next up comes an acoustic version of 'Underrated', a defiant, empowering tune which highlights how powerful O'Neill's singing chops truly are. Upbeat guitar and piano ballad 'Sometimes I Learn' follows, dwelling on the often tough process of learning life lessons with an infectiously catchy chorus.
Megan's next track on the setlist comes in the form of 'London City', taken from her March 2021 sophomore album Getting Comfortable With Uncertainty . Her 2018 debut Ghost of You reached No. 1 on Irish iTunes charts upon its release, leading to numerous high-profile tours and even a Netflix track.
The London-inspired song emphasises her love for home, while admitting that the English capital defined her and taught her how to stand out in crowd. Feeling stifled by the same crowd, however, is a dominant theme.
Mark Caplice then performs his own song 'Catch a Tear', which was written "as a way of putting an arm around" a friend, before the pair belt out 'Ireland'. Written a few years ago, the sweet song was penned from the perspective of living away and realising what you missed about your home country.
Caplice and O'Neill perform a beautifully brooding cover of Jim Croce's 'Time in a Bottle', which appeared on Netflix's Firefly Lane soundtrack and as a bonus track from O'Neill's second LP.
A down-tempo but captivating cover of The Staves' 'Nothing's Gonna Happen' and a laidback, country-fuelled rendition of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's 'I'm On Fire' round out the initial setlist.
An up-tempo 2021 version of 'Time in a Bottle' is sung as the encore, concluding a brilliant set. O'Neill has a full tour coming up, starting out in Germany this month. To date, Megan has toured the UK, Ireland, US and Germany already. She has also performed at private Oscars’ parties in LA alongside Gavin James (on invite from JJ Abrams) and has had her song ‘Don’t You’ featured on ABC’s hit show Nashville.
In 2019 Megan opened three stadium shows for the legendary Sir Tom Jones – performing in front of 15,000 people per night. In the first few months of 2020, Megan opened for Lighthouse Family at The Olympia Theatre, Dublin, and Jamie Cullum at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre.
Highlights from the Judge Roy Bean's gigs will be available on the Hot Press Youtube channel soon.