Aloha! Welcome to the last post in this 3 part blog series featuring Stephanie Rainey. The rise that Stephanie’s seen this year has been amazing to follow, and continues to be an awesome journey. Back towards the start of the year, after my first two Stephanie Rainey shows, I said on Facebook that I was looking forward to seeing them again and that I had hopes she would be the headline act when it would occur. Although a month later saw Stephanie Rainey as the support act once more with the Dan Owen gig, fortune would have it that my wish would soon become reality in an unexpected turn of events.
On July 10th, Scottish artist Emeli Sandé was due to perform at Live at the Marquee in Cork, and Stephanie Rainey was to open for her on the evening. I was not particularly planning to attend this concert, however as the date for the show loomed, it was suddenly cancelled. Although the reasoning for it was unclear (and still yet seem to be from my checking, though some reports suggested it was due to fatigue with other shows around the same time also being cancelled), Stephanie Rainey took to social media to announce an impromptu gig in it’s wake as she wanted the fans who had anticipated the concert to still get to experience a good evening of music. Once more taking place at Cyprus Avenue, great venue as always, Stephanie scheduled the gig for the same evening as the concert was planned, offering free entry to all who had tickets for the concert without affecting their refunds, while also selling some tickets which is of course where I enter the picture.
Despite just over a week’s notice of the new gig, and although offering free entry to those who had been due to attend the concert, Stephanie still impressively packed out Cyprus Avenue with an almost sold out show. The night rolled around and I got in nice and early. To join her on the night, Stephanie Rainey recruited folk artist Tiz McNamara to support. On stage accompanying Tiz with his acoustic guitar and fantastic vocals were his 2 live band members on guitar and piano. Tiz played an awesome set to get the evening started, dropping some new tracks aswell such as ‘See You Soon’ which he has pegged for release very soon and is going to be pretty awesome. He also did a bit of a cover/mashup of ‘Use Somebody’ by Kings of Leon which sounded really cool. He had an EP for sale which I naturally picked up immediately, containing 5 songs that he had released as singles over the last 5 years. His first single ‘Steady as You Go’ most notably has almost 2 and a half million streams on Spotify (Check out the music video for that here). Tiz has been busy since the show, with performances such as supporting Hermitage Green, to playing main stage of Indiependence festival 2017. With a spot on the card at Electric Picnic and a headline tour coming soon, there’s no sign of slowing down in the foreseeable future for Tiz McNamara.
After Tiz it was time for the highly anticipated Stephanie Rainey to take to the stage, the venue packing out to see her play. Back again on stage with her again was the dynamic duo Sarah Power on keys and Gary Keane sporting yet more percussion than before, a feat I’d have thought to be nigh on impossible after the first time seeing them play. If that man had coughed right there and then while on stage, I swear it’d probably have sounded like a kick-drum. It may have been my 4th time seeing Stephanie Rainey live so far this year, but this night was something special above and beyond what I’d experienced thus far. From the crowd at it’s most responsive level yet, belting her songs back at her as she sang, to a set list boasting the most complete selection yet with a couple new additions, the whole night was an anthem of brilliance. If my understanding is correct, Stephanie will be releasing her song ’13’ at some point in the near future as her next single and I certainly cannot wait, it’s an amazing song and it feels like the right time for it to emerge from the studio. Stephanie also debuted a new song on the night called ‘Question Mark’. Finally when the set came to a close, naturally the crowd shouted one more tune, and Stephanie and co. obliged, breaking out a surprise. As the whole evening was happening off the back of the cancelled Emeli Sandé concert, the trio had rehearsed a cover of her song ‘Heaven’ to play on the night, and they absolutely nailed it.
After all that was over, the band sought me out in the crowd to say hey. Sarah Power was awesome and had saved her copy of their Set List to give to me after the show, and they were also brilliant enough to sort me with a copy of the three signed lyric sheets of their singles ‘Please Don’t Go’, ‘100 Like Me’ and ‘Nothing Of You Left To Love’ which they had started selling on the night. I also had the opportunity to meet Tiz McNamara and say a quick hello there, and he was a cool down to earth chill dude. I was definitely in great spirits after all of that. In the time since the gig, Stephanie Rainey and co. have been very busy. I had really wanted to go to Indiependence this year, but the opportunity didn’t present itself, and Stephanie Rainey played main stage there. I’ve been seeing videos on social media and hearing about it, and it looked like an absolutely unbelievable experience. The crowd was insanely huge and from the looks of things, I’m surprised the band wasn’t blown away by the gale force that was the entire crowd singing (Seriously, check this clip out from it, I’d give anything to have been there for that). Stephanie Rainey has also been recently announced to play Electric Picnic soon (Ugh, I swear last year I promised myself I’d do Indiependence and Electric Picnic this year and I failed on both fronts and now I regret it so much. I mean for christ sake, you know who got announced at EP this year aswell? EDEN! Kill me now or invent time travel. Either will do). She’s also supporting ‘Hermitage Green’ at their Olympia Theatre Dublin concert next month (Hermitage Green are amazing, only just started listening to them recently but they’re great, worth checking out). I know one thing, I for sure am looking forward to the next opportunity to see Stephanie Rainey play some more. I’ll leave it at that, til next time. Keep on Merchin’!