Nick Mulvey at Whelan’s Dublin, 9th December 2014
On a miserable night a sold out Whelan’s served as respite from the storm outside. Nick Mulvey, the Mercury Music Prize nominee, provided the entertainment to those in attendance.
With Christmas lights glowing and drink flowing the crowd took to the bar almost totally ignoring the support act Eaves. Here in lies the problem with Whelan’s. It is a small intimate venue, which with a good crowd can create an unbeatable atmosphere aided by the close proximity of the bar.
On a night like tonight however the bar was a curse. For the majority of the night it seemed that a large percentage of the concertgoers were more concerned about talking to their friends and topping up their drinks than paying attention to what was on stage. Thankfully, security was on form and quickly escorted the more boisterous attendees to the exit.
Opening the set with April it took two or three songs before Mulvey and his impressive band win over the rest of the crowd and the night finally starts to feel like a concert. Mulvey’s guitar playing is flawless throughout the night. It is somewhat of a cliché to say, but he sounds as good live as he does on his debut album ‘First Mind’.
As the set progresses he regales the crowd with stories of his other visits to Dublin where one punter “bought close to 30 Jager Bombs for us”. The likable Mulvey is then left alone on stage where he delivers beautiful versions of I Don’t Want To Go Home and The Trellis.
With the set coming to a close, the band returns and deliver fan favourites First Mind and Fever To The Form. After a short break the encore starts with a fantastic cover of Drakes chart topper Going Home before the night ends in unique fashion, rarely seen outside of venues like Whelan’s. Mulvey is joined in the middle of the crowd by support act Eaves and some of his band, where they cover acoustically the beautiful Gillian Welch song Look At Miss Ohio.
Afterwards, Mulvey stays around to sign autographs and pose for pictures. The gig had the potential to be one of the more memorable concerts of the year but sadly due to a large amount of disrespectful concertgoers it will be remembered as a ‘what could have been night.’
Why people pay money for a concert only to talk and shout to friends for the entire night is one of life’s unanswerable questions. A musician of Mulvey’s quality deserved far more respect.