Arts and culture play a crucial role in the social landscape in Dublin, and this is reinforced by the sheer amount of amazing venues that exist around the place. In the past few years after moving to Dublin I’ve had the privilege of visiting most of these places and the one that has always stood out to me is the Olympia Theatre. There is something about the Olympia that just feels that bit more special and can help to elevate a gig. It is for this reason that it is the goal of many Irish acts to get the chance to play, and last Saturday night Longford band Brave Giant became another act to have that honour.
Fresh from releasing their debut album, White, Pink & Blue, earlier this year, this was the main fixture on their album tour and even before any act came on the stage there was a sense that this was going to be a different kind of show. It is clear that the crowd was made up of people who had been with Brave Giant from the very beginning, and were here to support friends as they lived out a dream. From the moment the band took the stage there as a communal connection between the band and the audience that made for a stunning night of live music.
Across the night, the set list demonstrated the versatility of the band as Ross McNerney, Podge Gill, Mark Prunty, and Emmet Collum powered through an energetic set them demonstrated the high quality musicianship in the band. Songs like Lordy Lordy and The Time I Met The Devil, among others helped to show the strong connection that the group are able to build with their audiences, while there were also more relaxed moments created by songs such My Last Cigarette and Maid of the Sea.
It is also important to pay tribute to the support act on the night. Cork singer/songwriter Dan Elliott was performing for the first time on the Olympia Theatre stage and he looked totally at home as he warmed up the crowd with a charismatic and accomplished set that demonstrated why he is one of the most exciting young songwriters on the Irish music scene at the moment.
This was a fantastic night that summed up all is good with Irish music, as you got to see a band achieving a massive milestone for a band while being cheered on by loving and supportive family and friends. This felt like a small intimate singsong in one of the biggest venues in the country. Awesome.