This post is going to be about another of my chance discoveries of more music to enjoy, which came about due to some interesting circumstances. This one caught me right in the middle of a ticket buying spree when I was in the possession of a few more funds than is typical of my balance in late August or early September. Fresh off the purchase of some tickets for other gigs, I flicked back to my Facebook tab and in my news feed a post caught my eye. Ailbhe Reddy, folk musician, playing Cyprus Avenue on October 20th. I popped open my Spotify real quick and searched her up, and there wasn’t much further convincing needed at that point as another couple clicks landed me with a ticket to her gig being added to my list.
Funny little story about my detour to Spotify to discover Ailbhe actually, is that I ended up discovering not one but two artists that I really started to enjoy. I was typing the start of her name and my finger slipped, resulting in me typing ‘Aoi’ instead. Immediately a result came up for an Irish artist by the name of Aoibhín, and I was too intrigued by this accidental discovery that caught my eye, that instead of ‘remedy’ my mistake I decided to click further and listen to some of Aoibhín’s music as well and found myself really enjoying it, adding her to my pile of regular listens on Spotify. A fortuitous discovery indeed, I’d recommend checking her out too, she has some form of announcement scheduled for the 24th of this month which ought to be interesting.
Moving on from the pre-gig discoveries, the day rolled around and I made my way to the trusty venue of Cyprus Avenue. I was looking forward to an evening of good music to distract from Hurricane Ophelia and Storm Brian playing tug of war throughout Ireland. (For anyone wondering on that note about the Hermitage Green concert I was due to go to the day before this gig, I went to it, the blog post wont be for another while yet though as I am still waiting on some shipments of cool merch from it to make it’s way to me). It was set to be another cosy and intimate evening of music, with some who intended to attend unable to make it due to the weather conditions. Before Ailbhe Reddy would grace the stage though, an artist hailing from Galway by the name of LAOISE was supporting with her band. I was immediately struck by her exceptionally melodic vocals, as she flits between elegantly delivered lyrics and an ethereal use of her voice much like an instrument, creating pure and spine-tingling beautiful sounds that rang through the air of the venue taking all of the oxygen away with it. Her vocal range and command over it is simply amazing, and she utilizes it perfectly within her music. After a couple songs was when she introduced herself, and not many an artist has had me scramble with such speed to locate their artist profile and drop a like on it. Onwards, she continued, her bubbly personality glowing through her presence on stage. Eventually as her set came to a close and she was departing the stage, I collected the fragments of my jaw that had dropped to the floor throughout, re-assembled it and approached to say how much I had enjoyed the music. I hadn’t even managed to utter a syllable yet when I was met with a great big hug from Laoise, who thanked me for coming, before I finally managed to get out what I had come over to say. What a genuinely lovely artist and evening this had shaped up to be, and it wasn’t even close to finished. LAOISE has also just released a brand new music video for her recent single ‘RICH’ which you can check out below
With what came before being just the support artist, I was fully prepared for the eventuality of hitting sensory overload from the good music I was experiencing that evening. It was only the night before that I was in discussion with Stephanie Rainey and I mentioned I was going to this gig, and right off the bat Stephanie assured me that Ailbhe Reddy should be a really good show, so with that seal of approval in the mix let’s get to it. I had been getting a good share of listening to Ailbhe’s music in before the gig on Spotify, while my preference is usually to discover the depths of an artist live on stage before my eyes, I couldn’t drag myself away from the allure of her fantastic song-writing prowess and all-round impactful music that resonates with you long after it stops playing. Translated to the live-stage and it was doubly impressive. At first starting solo with just herself and her electric guitar, before being joined by her full band in tow, she set the tone early on with her sensational and compelling vocals and the band’s deep-rooted melodies weaving among it all in wondrous harmony. If I had been impressed by prior listening, I was further astounded by her sound live and the wonderful setlist she brought out on the evening. Much like Laoise, she was happy to say hi and interact afterwards, and I left the venue with spirits soaring. 2017 has been a productive year of music from Ailbhe, following on from her debut EP in 2016 called ‘Hollowed Out Sea’. This year she released another EP ‘Attach to Memory’ as well as separate singles ‘Relent’ (One of my favourites if I had to pick) and ‘The Tube’, the latter of which is also her newest music video which I’ll put down below. Ailbhe has just finished touring with a show at St Pancras Old Church in London, but I certainly can’t wait for the next time the road sees Ailbhe or LAOISE hitting Cork again. The new Merch Perch Official Spotify playlist has been updated with music from LAOISE, Ailbhe Reddy as well as Aoibhín added to the mix. Until next time folks.