Gig… Withdrawals… Settling in… Must… Witness… Live Music…
Let’s face it folks, these are unprecedented times. Many of us are taking a hit in several different ways and it’s a bit bumpy to say the least. I like many others have just received the Go-Home and am looking at a minimum of 2 weeks of chilling at home and passing the time however I may. Hopefully a little bit more of this blog. Some more reading. Catch up on TV and Movies. Reconnect with my video games and whatnot. I’ll be fine. Probably. My biggest thoughts from the outset of this whole situation have been with the musicians and the creatives. Those with incredible artistic talents who rely on the beauty they can weave in verse and music, pencils and brushes and whatnot to get them by in life. It’s a tough enough industry to survive in when the going is good, so I can only imagine how many are feeling now that the going is rough.
It’s far from all doom and gloom though. The (socially-distancing) community spirit is for the most part higher. Many of us are trying to look out for one another in these trying times and uplift one another. The next thing I’m really looking forward to is this Wednesday, one of many such wonderful initiatives going on in the music community right now is Unemployable Promotions arranging a Facebook Live Home-To-Home concert, and the line-up is to diiiiieee (Of non-Covid related causes) for. So far on the ever growing bill they have Emma Langford, Sara Ryan, Jordan Run, Beyond The Wash, Paddy Dennehy, Eve Clague and Míde Houlihan. By jaysus would you just LOOK at that. The only person on that list I unfortunately haven’t had the pleasure to witness live before is Beyond The Wash, but I have heard so many wonderful things I am just as eagerly awaiting this opportunity!
Emma Langford has just released her newest single Sowing Acorns, from her upcoming album of same name, accompanied by a beautiful music video. I’ve been a firm fan of Emma since 2018 when her debut album Quiet Giant was released and have seen a number of stunning live performances since then. To say I am looking forward to the new album is very much an understatement, I cast my eyes forward to Autumn time with much anticipation.
Sara Ryan recently put out her exceptional debut album into the world ‘Breathe’. a pure stunning piece of work that captures every emotional essence that runs through the core of all the music Sara puts her heart and soul into. The latest offering from the album comes in the releasing of ‘Roots’ as a single, a song I feel is especially pertinent to our current situation as we all search for something to ground ourselves right now.
Jordan Run is one of Cork’s newest and finest offerings to the vibrant music scene and has been consistently growing and expanding the catalog of what they can offer us. Jordan Run has been plugging away behind the scenes molding and creating new music with the promise of much more on the way in the coming months ahead.
Beyond The Wash is making some of the most divine alt-pop music to come out of Cork and Ireland at the present moment. Currently he’s building towards the release of an EP titled ‘Murmurings’, the latest tease for which comes in the form of new single ‘Uruguay’ which has just been released. I for one am excited to see where he takes us and I look forward to seeing and hearing more from the Cork artist.
Paddy Dennehy. What does one even say to try and capture this being in words. I had a recommendation to go so him in 2018 and did so blindly, and my eyes have been wide open ever since then. Here is a man who will modestly sit before you on a stage like he’s just anybody about to deliver their words and sounds to your ears, he may even do so with the question of why one would so willingly choose to face him and task themselves with receiving this sound. Then he begins to play, and he reaches into himself, gripping the very emotional fibres from the deepest depths of his guts and he wrenches them from within himself, intertwining them with every gritty utterance and syllable of the words he has poetically crafted for us. Bit much? Not even, I doubt I could fill one hand counting people who have given me a live performance so emotionally enthralling as Paddy here has. He’s been steadily bringing some of this music that one can experience in the live shows to the wider world in his single releases, the most recent of which just came out is ‘Abednego’. You can check out the music video on his Facebook page linked above on his name. You’re best off letting him tell you what that one is about live, because Paddy’s music is only rivaled by Paddy’s storytelling between songs. (Are ya taking song requests for Wednesday there Paddy? Bitta ‘Someone Else’ wouldn’t go amiss).
Eve Clague is another artist I can’t get enough of, one of many that West Cork’s Clonakilty has churned out into the world. Eve’s EP Young Naive Me was one of the highlights of 2019 for me, and I’ve waited with bated breath to hear more beautiful music from her. Indeed, I shall soon be able to freely breathe again as no later than this Friday her new single ‘Down Down Down’ shall be with us in the world, no doubt we’ll be hearing that in the set on Wednesday I would imagine. Eve was set to have one of her most exciting shows yet scheduled for this coming Sunday in Coughlan’s Live, but alas the ongoing situation has deferred that possibility for the foreseeable, a shame as I was really looking forward to that one.
Lastly but far from Leastly, another Clonakilty bred (What’s in the water out there?) talent is the one and only Míde Houlihan. I had the fortune to stumble upon Míde at an International Women’s Day gig in Cyprus Avenue in 2018 and that first encounter had my soul signed for on the spot, with her music immediately embedding itself deep into my heart. Her deeply emotional story-telling style of singing combined with the sheer beauty of the songs she writes has had me hooked ever since. In the relatively short space of time since, Míde has officially broken into the high rankings of my Spotify all-time listened to artists and I have seen her perform live more times than I can count at this stage. Her album ‘Coloured In’ was the soundtrack to my year for the remainder of 2018 and her follow-up EP ‘Shifting Gears’ was another stunning piece of work that contains one of my absolute favourite songs ‘Without Me’ (I cri errytime)
Please everybody cosy up and tune in to the stream on Wednesday, for the good of your own souls that shall be washed with the warmth that all these artists have to offer you, and to support their very livelihoods in this trying time. You can find the event page on Facebook here to keep up to date with it https://www.facebook.com/events/3070205753205340/ and you can donate funds which will be spread evenly across these wonderful artists by going here https://www.gofundme.com/f/live-at-home. You can also find The Merch Perch on Facebook here where I will be posting about this article and I would appreciate a like and a share of this one to try and spread it wide, I will also be posting artist updates similar to above breakdown for any new additions to the line-up.