Sometimes, you just hear a song and something about it grabs you. It’s not immediately clear what it is about the song but something about it feels that bit special. An example of this sensation came when I first heard the song, Fantasy Breakup, by Dublin singer/songwriter Graham Mitchell.
This is a beautiful piece of music full of playful imagery, an immediately memorable chorus and beautiful instrumentation, it seemed like only a matter of time before it ended up as a single. Fans of the song eventually got what they wanted when on 10 May 2019, the studio single was released, and it lived up to all expectations. Away from the bouncy instrumentation, and heartwarming imagery of that awkward moment when you’re pouring milk for someone and not fully knowing how much to give, this is a song that hits hard. Personal circumstances when I first heard Mitchell perform the song meant that I interpreted the lyrics as that moment when you are going through a breakup and refusing to accept the breakup by going back over all the good times in your head – this is a further testament to the incredible standard of songwriting on show. Mitchell is able to create catchy sing-a-long songs, that still leave you feeling introspective and emotionally engaged at the end. A rare gift.
In conjunction with the release of the single, Mitchell played a sold out headline show in the esteemed Dublin venue, Whelan’s on 9 May 2019. It would prove to be a night to remember for everyone in attendance. This had been a long time coming for Mitchell and all the people who have recognised his ability as a songwriter from a long way back, and instantly you could feel a sense of warmth and support from all in the crowd, with the dominant emotion on show being that of intense pride. From the moment Mitchell bounded onto the stage to open the show solo, before being joined shortly after by band members Amy Naessens (keys and vocals), Evin O’Connor (guitar), Utku Sarper (bass), and Matteo Poli (drums), the packed out room were treated to a demonstration of expert songwriting performed to perfection by the ensemble on stage. Songs like You’ve Disappeared, Stranger Things Come True, and Maybe You Can Call Me Sometimes, were screamed back by everyone in attendance, and the cheeky grin never left Mitchell’s face for the whole show, or anyone else’s for that matter.
Attendees on the night were also treated to a rousing support set by Dublin singer/songwriter, Eoin Martin. Martin was the perfect act to open for Mitchell as his infectious charisma and outstanding guitar playing helped to settle people into what was going to be a truly special night.
But, ultimately this night was about one person, and there’s something undeniably infectious about watching a dear friend and immensely talented musician get to fulfil their dreams.
Onwards and upwards, Milky.