Sorcha Richardson at Whelan’s, Dublin on 24th May 2019

On Friday, Dublin’s Sorcha Richardson announced her debut album, released her new single and played her biggest headline show to date. Not bad for one day’s work. When booking tonight’s show, Sorcha admits to checking the websites of all the major music venues in Dublin to make sure she wouldn’t miss out on seeing someone she really loved perform while playing her own show. She didn’t think to check Croke Park. Across town, 70,000 plus ’90s kids were piling into Croker for the long-awaited Spice Girls reunion. “Loads of my friends… ex-friends… are dancing away there now,” Sorcha quips.

Support on the night comes from Jackie Beverly, who showcases why she is one of the most exciting new talents in Ireland. Singles Talk It Through and Out Of Reasons are superb slices of pop. Big things lie ahead for Beverly.

Despite the distractions across town, a healthy crowd has turned out to witness Sorcha’s first headline show in over a year, having spent the majority of the previous 12 months either recording her album, playing support to the likes of All Tvvins and Saint Sister or hitting the festival circuit. There is some full-set rustiness as a result, with vocals too low in the mix at various points in the night, while some of the new songs are evidently new, performed with less confidence than Sorcha’s already-released material.

That said, the strength of that already-released material and the reaction of the audience to them gives hope that the new material will follow suit and slot in seamlessly in the future. Lost and Can’t We Pretend get the ball rolling early on before Petrol Station kicks the audience into gear, singing along in full voice and swaying to the synth. As a thank you to those who turned up to Whelan’s and didn’t slink off to Croke Park, Richardson spiced up the night with her own “off the cuff” spin on The Spice Girls’ Say You’ll Be There. It’s heartwarming and entertaining in equal measures.

The band then exit the stage, leaving Richardson alone for a trio of rare single Puppy Love, a stripped back rendition of her recent collaboration with All Tvvins No One Is Any Fun, and Honey, which is her personal favourite from her forthcoming debut album. Ruin Your Night, which recently hit the 10m streams mark on Spotify, and 4am close out the main set in style. Sorcha and co return to the stage to perform the instantly catchy new single Don’t Talk About It before a party ensues for the final track of the night Waking Life.

Sorcha has worked incredibly hard to get to this point of her career, although some will say the success may have come easier had she returned from New York sooner. It’s no surprise that she has been thrust into the limelight since spending the majority of her time in Ireland in the last two years. With her debut album ‘First Prize Bravery’ set for release in the autumn, 2019 promises to be the biggest year of Sorcha’s career. Tonight was a strong start.