The Riptide Movement @ Sea Sessions by Owen Humphreys-7The Riptide Movement in Vicar Street, Dublin, 04th April 2014

Does it count as a homecoming gig if you’re still on the verge of leaving?

The Riptide Movement are still based in Ireland, yet somehow this felt like a homecoming – a celebration of success to date, a promising new album and success to come, both home and abroad.

They come on stage for their first gig in some months to the strains of Primal Scream’s Rocks, showing confidence that their own opening number will trump it.  Which is a safe bet, given that they proceed to play Hot Tramp, one of their biggest crowd-pleasers.  The song goes down a storm with the young enthusiastic crowd, some of whom have perhaps been following the band since their busking days on Grafton Street.

Those early days helped the Riptide hone their trade and they have been developing ever since.  They always had the enthusiasm and across-the-board charisma (no quiet bass players here!) and have now added increased stagecraft and musical variety.  The stagecraft is evident from how they work the crowd and the nice light show, and we see the musical variety in how they mix in horns and choir but never over-do it, and they also do an acoustic song in the encore, Skin & Bones.

But their big strength remains the tightness and power of how they play their big rock songs, some of which have become the types of anthems that will work well on festival stages.  Prime examples of this would be Keep On Keeping On and the big sing-along that is Shake Shake.  Those two are from their last album, but the current album gets a lot of airing tonight too, and the audience lap up the new songs as much as the old ones.

One could wager the Riptide write their songs with an audience in mind, given the strong concert dynamics of new songs like the album title track Getting Through and the single, All Works Out, which they showcased one week earlier on The Late Late Show.  It is good new material, and it will be interesting to see where their songwriting takes them in the next few albums.

The concert is very much a celebration of the new album and single which have both been selling well on the iTunes and Irish charts, so after a barnstorming 90 minutes, the guys depart the stage for a generous album-signing session in the bar.  Judging by the size of the crowd, they must have been there for quite a while.  And judging by the success of the concert it will be an exciting summer for this strong Dublin band.

We spoke to The Riptide Movement ahead of their Vicar Street gig. Read our full interview here

Photograph of the Riptide Movement at Sea Sessions 2012 by Owen Humphreys.