HON JIUN WONG
Irish pop band, Walking On Cars, ended their three-month tour at Dingwalls in Camden Town on Thursday November 27.
Dubbed “Ireland’s best kept secret” by Clash Magazine, Walking on Cars are a 5-piece pop rock band from Dingle, Ireland - and may soon no longer be a ‘secret’ if Thursday's performance is anything to go by. The band is made up of singer/lyricist Patrick Sheehy, pianist Sorcha Durham, lead guitarist Dan Devane, bass guitarist Paul Flannery and drummer Evan Hadnett.
Indie band ZIBRA, Walking On Cars’ support band, was an interesting act, but their sound didn’t quite fit within the closed, confined space of Dingwalls. Their music was too big for four walls and a roof. However, one song that's bound to stick in times to come is their recently released track: “Heartache”.
Walking On Cars kicked off what was to be an energetic and exhausting set with the gorgeous sounding “Tick Tock”, followed by “Ship Goes Down” and “At Gunpoint.” The sold-out crowd at Dingwalls consisted of a wide mix of young adults and middle-aged working individuals, and when Patrick asked if anyone was from Ireland, it almost seemed like half of them were.
“Ship Goes Down” was clearly a crowd-favourite with a large portion of the audience singing the words along with Patrick. Dan Devane and Paul Flannery’s guitar skills are something to marvel at; they managed to transform the studio version of the songs to a more dynamic and more stirring live version. Patrick Sheehy’s dancing is something to watch out for as well. You can instantly tell how passionate he is about his music by how the it takes control of his body.
Their latest single “Always Be With You” was played towards the end, and it was definitely worth the wait. The chorus, already lyrically heart-wrenching, became even more so with Patrick’s throaty vocals echoing off the walls and tugging at the strings of every concert-goer's heart.
At times, the lighting on stage threatened to blind the audience. Timing their bright flashes with the beat of the song in theory was a good idea, but I’m sure the audience could have done without the temporary blindness. At other times, when the smoke machines were paired together with the coloured lights, it took the performance to a whole new level with an almost ethereal and ghostly vibe.
Their encore, preceded by a lot of fake smoke, consisted of three songs - “Flying High”, “Don’t Mind Me” and “Catch Me If You Can” - and it took a lot of clapping, foot stomping and screaming to get them to come back. Their first song “Flying High” had the crowd singing the vocal runs back to the band, while “Don’t Mind Me” was just as happily received.
They closed off with “Catch Me If You Can” and for this performance, Walking On Cars brought out a small drum onto stage. They used it in the middle of the song, where Patrick and Paul powerfully drummed out the beat of song while sharing singing duties with the crowd for the chorus lines: - “Heads up, show down, come home with me”. Even after fifteen songs, the band seemed to emanate even more energy, if that was at all possible. It’s hard to imagine that with performances this lively and energetic, Walking On Cars is “Ireland’s best kept secret”.