- 12 Aug 19
On the third and final night of We’ve Only Just Begun, the bar was set quite high. Without a doubt, the night’s acts delivered.
We’ve Only Just Begun, the weekend-long festival at Whelan’s, was specially curated to feature some of the best and brightest female talents in the Irish music scene. After Wyvern Lingo delivered a stellar set on day one and Pillow Queens brought the crowd to new levels of ecstasy on day two, the bar was set pretty high for the final night’s acts. Luckily, they all delivered.
Up first was Sive, who made her Hot Press debut in our latest issue. Sive graced the mainstage to open up the final night of We’ve Only Just Begun with her thumb piano and haunting vocals in ‘If I Had a Home to Go To’. She said playing that song is her version of whiskey; she has to play it to settle the nerves.
There were no nerves evident when she progressed through the entirety of her self-titled EP and hit every note spot-on with ease. ‘Holding’, her self-proclaimed “existential rant” song was one of the greatest moments of the set which drew in a crowd and left them silent and holding on to every note she sang.
Fia Moon made every moment of her performance worthwhile with a full set of seven songs. She performed a few new songs and fans can expect a sound similar to the electro-pop soul she’s established for herself. Near the end of the set came the highlight, when Fia Moon performed her hit, ‘Settle Down’, which was the most danceable tune yet. Who says you can’t get down on a Sunday? Her energy and spunky sound got the timid crowd warmed up and ready for a final night of fun.
Vocalist and guitarist Ailbhe Reddy took the stage next, flanked by a bassist, a keyboardist, and a drummer to back her up. She sheepishly admitted that this was the first time they had all played together, but they could’ve fooled everyone in the room. With Reddy at the helm with her impeccable pitch and captivating lyrics, their sound melded in perfectly.
Sarah Corcoran of day two headlining band Pillow Queens (or else her exact doppelgänger) was at the front of the crowd during Reddy’s set, swaying along to fellow Irish artist’s folksy vocals. “You might know this one,” Reddy kidded when she introduced her song ‘Distrust’ (Of course they all knew it - the song has over 3 million streams on Spotify alone). Her performance of the song was brilliant and really took off when she broke into the second chorus with raw emotion seeping through the words and an impressive vocal range.
Last to perform for the festival, but certainly not least, was Dublin-based alt-pop band, Soda Blonde. Lead singer Faye O’Rourke opened the set with a cool girl hair flip (cool girls seemed to be the theme this weekend…) and motioned the crowd to come closer. Her definitive dance moves really got the crowd to bop along with her.
The four-piece released their first single earlier this year after rebranding as Soda Blonde. The single, ‘Swimming Through The Night’, was lauded by Hot Press’s Sarah Henry: “She [O’Rourke] honed in on her unique, lyrically gritty style and combined it with elements of whimsical indie-pop.” The same held true for the band’s live performance which transported the audience through time to a great alt-pop soundtrack. The crowd clapped, swayed, and rocked along to the full set and left with their hearts full after a thrilling and empowering weekend at We’ve Only Just Begun.
It’s no doubt that the women of Irish music are a force to be reckoned with. And this weekend proved it with fantastic sets across numerous genres of music. It was a powerful festival to celebrate some of the greatest creatures in music. Luckily for fans of good music, these women have only just begun.