The Young FolkGoldenplec were in Whelans yet again to witness Dublin act, The Young Folk, play a homecoming show combined with the launch of their début album, ‘The Little Battle.’

An arduous forty-five minute wait leaves the chatty crowd notably impatient, but an oven-fresh first song opens well. Bright Eyed Thieves has pleasant harmonies at least, making amends with a generous dollop of homage to Fleet Foxes. The inclusion of a melodica {a small keyboard/wind instrument} has a quirky and endearing effect but ultimately lacks definition and persuasion in melody.

The five-piece go forward with doubt; the audience is still struggling to hit the brakes chat-wise, to let their ears do the driving for a while and enjoy a band full of talent. This breakdown is partly due to the surprisingly late stage arrival of the band, but also the early flow of drink, for Easter weekend. Letters is a contemporary, anthemic song with a beautiful stringed ending, but still the crowd appears indifferent to get involved; apart from the odd yelp or whistle.

The focal point of the show arrives early with Way Home and Biscuits, providing a more upbeat and (as folk often brings) charming mood. It’s rather remarkable how a song, bearing much thought and life experience, can simply speed up the tempo, and those offered the rhythm will unexpectedly find themselves engaging with the band. Paul Butler takes over singing duties from front man Anthony Furey for a brief bout and steers the ship steady.

The placing of more drums soon leads to yet another negative. On many of the proceeding songs, drummer Karl Hand and also bassist Tony Mcloughlin mimic – with a precise level of self plagiarism, a very similar beat and obvious build-up pattern. Hence, the songs become unwisely similar sounding. Karen Hickey on Violin and concert flute does offer a glimmer of optimism however.

This could be a case of a bands’ market lying elsewhere. Goldenplec reviewed ‘The Little Battle’ and there is no doubt the songs are well written. The Young Folk recently played a trio of dates in Italy and were well received. Sometimes Ireland doesn’t welcome bands; even one of their own.

Showing persistence and pride, the band eventually appear to win the crowd over with  I’ve Been Here Before, but at what cost? The chorus is easy to remember and undeniably catchy. With confidence having entered the caverns of their heart, Olivia Leaves is performed by the band a midst the crowd and there’s a generous response, with the majority joining along for “Olivia, don’t let me down.”

Sadly, it was a case of what could have been. The balance, for a variety of reasons, wasn’t there; a disappointing gig from a prospective band.