Sometimes you just hear a voice and you know it’s that bit special. There is something about the tone and power that helps to draw you in and make you feel as though every line being sung is telling your story in a way that you haven’t heard before. For a long time now, us here at Covert Music Club have been championing the Dublin singer/songwriter Amy Naessens as one of the best voices in music at the moment, and one of a host of incredibly talented artists that are making their way up through the ranks on the Irish music scene.
Last Saturday, Naessens played a headline show in the esteemed Dublin institution of Whelan’s on Wexford Street to a sold out room, and it was a night that helped to solidify the reputation that she has been slowly cultivating over the last few years.
This was an incredibly accomplished and confident performance by the singer/songwriter who looked totally at home from the moment she emerged onto the stage. Naessens is a charismatic and warm performer who is capable of moving between emotions with ease during songs, showing a scary ferocity at one moment and then a cripplingly fragility another. It makes for a compelling viewing and it is hard not to believe every word that the artist is singing. Throughout the night, Naessens alternated between playing guitar and just doing vocals and this helped to show a range to the performance as well as her versatility as an artist.
As a graduate of BIMM in Dublin, Naessens has built up a network with some incredibly talented musicians, and some of them formed the backing band for this show. The band were made up of Eanna Harrison (keys), Ronan Quinn (bass), Jack Rice (drums), William Ryan (guitar), Briana Horan (backing vocals), Orlaith Ni Bhriain (backing vocals), and Kaitlin Cullen-Verhauz (backing vocals and cello) – the level of musicianship on show was outrageous throughout.
The night was also a means for Naessens to mark the release of her most recent single, To Be The One You Choose (released on 10 January 2020). A stunning look at the idea of pining after a lost love and hoping that they might return even though it is unlikely. It is further evidence of the songwriting prowess of Naessens as well as her fantastic vocal abilities.
It is important to pay tribute to the support acts on the night who, as close friends of Amy Naessens, helped to create a warmand supportive atmosphere in the venue before the headliner came onto the stage. First up was singer/songwriter Alex Tierney. who had to fill in for the injured Dan Elliott at last minute. He proved to be a more than capable deputy as he performed an excellent set that demonstrated why he was chosen as the support for Lewis Capaldi at his recent show in the Olympia Theatre.
The second support act was another band that you are likely to see during a night at the Zodiac Sessions if you happen to wander in on a Wednesday, KC VIK (comprising of Ian Kinsella and Kaitlin Cullen-Verhauz) were another excellent choice to support on the night as their unique blend of intricate instrumentation and thoughtful lyrics helped to prepare the audience for what was to come next.
It has been clear for a long time that there is something different about Amy Naessens, and nights like this showed why she is held in such high regard in Irish music scenes. Charming and unassuming off stage, while powerfully compelling on stage, it is clear that there is still so much to come on this journey that is still only at it’s beginning.
Onwards and upwards, Amy