It can be difficult to find a music venue quite like Manchester’s Albert Hall, it is an old church with high ceilings, ornate windows and intricate decoration which just makes it feel special. It’s even more difficult to find an artist who compliments the beautiful room, but Saturday’s headliner, Dermot Kennedy, perfectly suited the venue and effortlessly took over with his captivating voice. The crowd arrived early, and they were all waiting eagerly to see the sold-out show, the room was buzzing with energy and fans were chatting with each other, all excited for the gig.
Since the release of his debut EP Doves and Ravens in 2017, Dermot Kennedy has steadily gained a dedicated following. His music takes on tones from pop and folk, modernised with compressed drum beats and layered sounds which are fronted by heartfelt lyrics and a passionate vocal.
It isn’t often I come across an artist like Kennedy and enjoy them so much, I generally listen to much more intense music and it’s a pleasant surprise to discover an artist with just an acoustic guitar and subtle backing band who can create just as much energy as a band with 5 members and an amp each. His vocal is the centrepiece of his music and it isn’t “perfect,” there is no auto-tune or effects but there is a raw emotion and roughness which radiated around the room, reaching all four corners and capturing the audience.
Songs from Kennedys first EP and self-titled debut album were played including fan favourites, Glory and A Closeness. The atmosphere at the gig was unforgettable, the audience hung onto every word and sang it back in unison, lifting the mood even higher. Of course, Power Over Me had the greatest impact of any song. Instantly identifiable by opening hums, the audience knew what was coming and the energy in the room exploded. The song is possibly the most upbeat and dance-worthy track, the audience definitely took advantage of this and didn’t stop moving for the whole song.
Dermot Kennedy is Back in his hometown Dublin this week with shows at the Olympia theatre before heading to play some shows in Europe.