Sorcha Richardson at The 3Olympia Theatre Dublin on October 20th 2022

In August 2012, in the wake of the release of her debut EP ‘Sleep Will Set Me Free’, I interviewed Sorcha Richardson ahead of a show at Whelan’s tiny upstairs venue in Dublin. When asked was she looking forward to it, Sorcha, New York based at the time, replied to say it’d be “nice to be able to come home and do a gig for friends and family who might not have heard me play before”.

Faced with the opportunity to promote the show to new fans, Sorcha instead chose humility and honesty. Ten years on, those two traits still hold strong and are glaringly obvious in Richardson’s songwriting and general on-stage presence. Songs have come and gone in the last decade but Sorcha has always remained true to herself and a sold-out 3Olympia Theatre to celebrate her sophomore album ‘Smiling Like An Idiot’ is the thoroughly deserved reward for that.

Up first though is the supremely talented Sammy Copley, whose sound draws strong comparisons to the early days of Choice-prize winner SOAK’s career. Despite the massive success of his material on TikTok, Copley remains fiercely grounded and genuine in their shyness. The incredible To The Bone is one of the best Irish songs of the year and encapsulates exactly what Copley is all about. One to watch.

It hasn’t always been plain sailing for Sorcha Richardson in a live setting. As someone who started out as a drummer, being thrust front and centre has taken some adjusting to over the years, but tonight, confidence is at an all-time high. There’s a belief in the songs, her voice has never sounded better and she’s backed by a band that has not only been behind her for a number of years now, but are all people Richardson considers some of her closest friends.

A not-quite-career-spanning setlist (sadly that debut EP may never see the light of day again) sees Sorcha jump back and forth between debut album ‘First Prize Bravery’ and its superb successor, with a little sprinkling of the older stuff thrown in there, with the much-missed Lost¬†getting a rare run out.¬†Archie is splendid in its pared-back simplicity and sparks the quietest singalong you’re ever going to hear at the Olympia while Don’t Talk About It feels like it could have been a real confetti-blasters moment, with arms aloft in every corner of the venue.

The joy in the audience is matched by all on stage throughout. The friends and family that Sorcha referenced in that interview all those years ago are all in attendance, among many other fans new and old and they’ve all got one thing in common. Smiling like idiots.

 

4.5