Some bands just thrive in a live setting. It just seems as though there is something about live music that they understand better than most others, and these are often the bands that will continue to surprise and enthral audiences as they continue to refine their live persona. For a long time, one of these bands has been Limerick outfit, Hermitage Green. As a band that started off as a few friends playing music at the back of a bar in Shannon, Co. Limerick, Hermitage Green got their start as a band who captivated audiences with powerful live shows and this has only continued to develop as the band have grown in recent years.
Back on Halloween night of this year, the band played their biggest Dublin headline show to date when they took to the stage in the Olympia Theatre on Dame Street in Dublin. For an hour and a bit, Hermitage Green gave a powerful performance and rattled through the impressive discography that they have been putting together over the years.
Live performances by Hermitage Green are incredibly compelling to watch, brothers Barry and Dan Murphy are powerful and commanding figures on the stage, with Dan moving effortlessly between slide guitar, electric guitar and unbelievable harmonica riffs. They are effectively supported by Darragh Griffin, who holds the show together with outstanding performances of rhythm guitar and keys in the background, while percussionists Darragh Graham and Dermot Sheedy demanding the attention of those watching.
Shows like this also help to demonstrate the sheer quality of songs that the band have put together. Songs like Bring It On Down, Not My Lover, and Jenny, along with many others, help to show off the ability for the band to write catchy radio songs that are backed up by outrageous levels of musicianship. The band have also added two excellent covers to their set, a hauntingly beautiful rendition of Dreams by The Cranberries, and a cover of one of the standout songs of the year, Bad Guy by Billie Eilish.
On the night, Hermitage Green recruited perhaps the most appropriate support act that I have ever seen at a show. Dublin acoustic band, The Scratch treated those in attendance to one of the most enjoyable support sets that I have ever seen as they ratcheted up the anticipation for the main act.
This was one of the most enjoyable shows that I attended all year. There is something undeniably compelling about Hermitage Green as a live act, and this was further testament to their ability to create a supercharged atmosphere that can carry a room altogether. Even now, there is a sense that the band are continuing to grow and this won’t be the last time that the band play a venue of this size, and soon it’ll probably be even bigger.
Great stuff, lads.