Sorcha Richardson at The Grand Social Dublin, 16th February 2018
The night is completely sold-out and after a lengthy sound check and a twenty minute delay on her advertised stage time, the night begins.
Playing her second Grand Social gig since returning home for a “short holiday” in July, Sorcha Richardson takes to the stage dressed all in black to an enthusiastic and adoring crowd.
Guitar in hand, she is joined by four others; Joe Furlong on bass, Theodora Byrne on keys, Kieran Sheridan on guitar and Ror Conaty on drums.
The heavy synth layering and harmonies of Fade fill the room but tend to overpower Richardson’s vocals slightly. Her band exchange concerned glances and tweak certain things in an attempt to level out the sound.
Ruin Your Night is met with a delighted cheer but her vocals are still slightly inaudible and she motions to the engineer to rank it up. The first of a few issues with sound on the night.
In between songs, her shy and modest nature shines through, yet she seems a little uncomfortable under the spotlight. Squinting, she addresses the audience and thanks us all for coming. Despite her 8-year stint in New York, the native Dubliner’s accent is completely neutral. Stealing glances and sharing small smiles with her bandmates, she makes her way through the set, letting the music speak for itself.
Lyrically, Richardson is extremely talented and unique. “Come over/ if you don’t wanna then we won’t stay sober/ Penny’s working at the bar/ we can go dressed just how we are/ forget that girl who broke your heart”. Her songs are very personal and intimate, the story is clear in each but not at all boring or bland.
Can We Pretend is introduced as a love letter to Dublin and Sorcha’s vocals are much stronger and melodic in its delivery without as much instrumentation behind her. It’s a turning point in the gig as she rallies confidence and her band loosen up.
They are all much more comfortable and relaxed on stage and the change is noticeable in Midnight Whistle, Waking Life and Petrol Station, which are all performed with energy, spark and sentiment.
Although a very talented songwriter, Richardson does not stand a commanding presence on the stage and were it not for her bandmates backing her up, it’s hard to know how relaxed she’d really be.
Sound issues rear their head once more leading to a second attempt at encore, 4am. The final track of the night is eventually delivered to a very appreciative audience and she is met with adoring applause at the end of her set.
Her talent is clear to see, there’s a likeability in her modesty, and maybe with time (and better luck with sound) she’ll come into her own more on stage.
Her plans for an album in the coming year and determination for it to be something she’s proud to release should mean something special is on the way.
There’s a lot more to come from this lady, an exciting glimpse flickered in the Grand Social and we look forward to watching that spark burn bright.