- 17 May 19
The word ‘haunting’ does not begin to describe the harmonies that permeated throughout Whelan’s at the launch of Suck the Wound, the exceptional new album from Irish four-piece Mongoose.
Floral is clearly the order of the day, as all four musicians are decked out in the finest of blossoming garments. Even the stage is littered with foliage and greenery, creating an environment all of their own.
Setting the mood for the evening is Laura Ryder Ampersand, a group of seven immensely talented musicians and vocalists. Ryder led the group through a stunning, flawless performance, weaving a jovial and easy-going air through the performance with injections of personality-drenched dancing and jokes. Ampersand created a relaxed atmosphere and set spines shivering; an excellent precursor for what’s to come.
As Molly, Ailbhe, Muireann and Cara take the stage and don their instruments, there is a sharp intake of breath and a scurry forward from the shadows. One whoop and they’re ready to go, kicking off their set with the album’s title track. The girls layer their vocals, generating an air of intensity and anticipation until they reach an ethereal climax. As they descend through the albums tracklist, it becomes abundantly clear that every single person in the audience is a Mongoose fan. Applause is reserved until the final note in each song comes to a close.
This album came to fruition through the philanthropy of Mongoslings making donations to a Go Fund Me account and their generosity and support was certainly rewarded. Since the trajectory of the album fluctuates, the crowd alternate between perching on the floor and swaying on the spot. Whether it’s the light jazz section or the performance of a self-proclaimed “banging tune”, there is a palpable sense of friendship in the room. The closeness and sisterhood seen between the girls on stage carries through to each and every person in the room.
From the “creepy little tune” that is ‘Marsh’ to the angsty, up-tempo ‘Roadblock’, Mongoose remain effortlessly harmonised while mastering their respective cello, drums, keyboard and guitar. The momentum that has been built throughout the gig comes to a goosebump-inducing halt as the group perform ‘Smouldering’, the album’s closing track. The audience are so rapt, so hypnotised by the spine-tingling melody, that you could hear a pin drop in a packed venue.
Ending on a high with a performance of their 2017 track ‘Old Friend’, Whelan’s is filled with claps, whistles, whoops and yelps as the crowd dance the show to a close. There is a definite Corrs vibe on stage, particularly due to the presence of Alex Borwick, who provides stunning accompaniment for the group throughout. The hair-raising performance was faultless, and further establishes Mongoose as a force to be reckoned with on the Irish music scene. Chilling, celestial and effortless - the music of Mongoose resonates deep within the soul.
Mongoose will bring their Suck the Wound tour to the following venues throughout Ireland...
Cleere's, Kilkenny - Friday, May 17
Coughlan's, Cork - Thursday, May 23
Róisín Dubh, Galway - Saturday, May 25
Connolly's, Leap - Friday, May 3
McHugh's, Belfast - Thursday, June 6
Dolan's, Limerick - Friday, June 14