Dermot Kennedy review: his voice is as breathtakingly beautiful as it is on the studio recordings
PUBLISHED: 12:01 07 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:01 07 December 2019
DANIELLE BOODEN MEDIA
Dublin’s singer songwriter Dermot Kennedy brought his Without Fear tour to a sold out Nick Rayns LCR in Norwich last night.
The crowd which had been buzzing with excitement instantly settled down as Northern Irish singer songwriter Lilla Vargen sang the first notes of her song Believe Me. It was clear that the audience were awestruck by the sheer talent of the relatively unheard of support act and her two-piece band. Their set consisted of beautiful track after beautiful track, as she effortlessly switched from playing the guitar to the keyboard and back again. Her personality shone through as she chatted to the audience about her songs and her new EP We Were Thunder. It was sweet to see that she was ever so grateful that such a huge crowd had turned out for their opening set. She is one to watch out for and she certainly gained a lot of new fans last night.
For Dermot Kennedy's first visit to our fine city, he had more than a fine turn out, the show was completely sold out with people crammed into any available space eagerly awaiting his arrival on stage. At at nine o'clock, as scheduled, he appeared on stage dressed casually in a pair of tan chinos and a black t-shirt with his beautifully raspy voice singing An Evening I Will Not Forget which like many of his songs, starts of slow before gathering pace as the beat picks up.
His second song, my personal favourite, Lost was incredible to see performed live - it's fair to say that his voice is as breathtakingly beautiful as it is on the studio recording - alongside strobe lighting that was timed to perfection to emphasise the drums during the chorus.
It must be mentioned that the lighting throughout his performance was stunning and suitably moody - along with LCD screens behind him which had a variety of monochrome films projected onto it from beautifully layered shots with members of the crowd during All My Friends, to birds, to glittery effects, shots of houses at night during his hit track Outnumbered, to live shots of Dermot on stage, to brightly coloured rain running down a window during his final tracks which included After Rain. The screens and lighting really helped make this show so stunning, the videos never distracted the audience from Dermot's talent but helped to emphasise it instead. It was hard to believe that this was a gig in Norwich with a set-up that would easily work in arenas.
Dermot has such an incredible range in his vocals as he catches the emotions in his songs and effortlessly goes from hitting extremely low notes to far higher notes. It was wonderful to listen to him perform beautiful acoustic solos of The Corner and For Island Fires and Family, which had the audience mesmerised by his performance.
His three-piece band are all exceptionally talented musicians on their respective instruments which included guitars, keyboard, drums and an electronic synthesizer which combined with Dermot's voice and guitar added the studio recording's depth to the live performance.
Chatting and laughing along with the audience Dermot came across as very down to Earth and a little shy; however his voice is so powerful which established his stage presence throughout the night. He was an absolute pleasure to watch perform. Should the opportunity arise for you to catch one of his shows, you should absolutely go - from what I can tell, with The Nick Rayns LCR packed to the rafters last night, it won't be long before Dermot Kennedy is playing to even bigger crowds in far larger venues.