Wild Youth at The Grand Social (Dublin), 26 January 2019

Celebrating the release of The Last Goodbye EP, Wild Youth (Plec Picks 2019) grace the stage of a packed Grand Social. The band start off with a thunderous new intro to the EP inhabitant Close, giving the track new life, with drummer Callum McAdam angrily whacking the drums like he’s mad at them and guitarist Ed Porter’s distorted long-held riffs filling the room.

Like a pop band with a stern rock sensibility, there’s a slight Prince-esque feel to it all: earnest passion and ferocity played over well written pop that urges you to move. And move they will too. With sexual abandon singer David Whelan will grind up on your life and you’re going to enjoy it. He commands the stage.

Frontman Whelan proclaims that the night is both in aid of the Dublin homeless charity Simon Community and for no better reason other than to “have a fucking party,” to launch the new EP.

The band’s skill at writing a pop song was never in doubt with the success of Can’t Move On being the most played song by an Irish artist on Irish radio in 2018. With well-crafted radio-friendly songs, one would assume that this would keep the band quite contained live – particularly with that style of music.

But that’s not the case, as popular hits are given a new skin with guitar solos and alternative extended outros cropping up from time to time, to give a more organic experience. Not to mention the natural on-stage energy of the group.

Sing-along choruses and hip-swinging grooves are rife among the set but it’s the final song Can’t Move On that grabs the most attention from the audience. As camera phones are raised and bodies rock and sway, smiles are shared by the lads on stage.

Adding a gritty rock instrumental to the outro caps off a slick and intense performance from the Dublin pop prospects.


We picked wild Youth as one of our Plec Picks for 2019, see the full photoshoot and feature interview here.