Hermitage Green have been firm favorites on many festival bills since last summer, and this year looks to be the same for the acoustic folk-laden rockers. Speaking to banjo and djembe player Darragh before their Whelans show a few months back, he said, “We wanted to move away from the normal way” adding that “Live is best”. Of course he was speaking about the decision to record a live album of that show, which any HG fan would know is a fine example of what to expect from their live set.
Tonight however, it is all about The Academy, which isn’t a first for them either. The crowd seem quite shy hiding away from the floor space in the main room, but bit-by-bit they creep onto the dancefloor for support act Cillian King. King also launched his EP on the night, his tone reminding me a bit of Paddy Casey when he first arrived on the scene, all the while sounding a bit like Mumford and Sons in his first few songs.
By the time Hermitage Green hit the stage, they seem tense, but then again The Academy has filled up by now, and by that I mean the place is packed and showing it’s sold-out status.
A funky opener or two including fan favourites “Aisling” and “Gibson” kick off proceedings and the nerves are gone it seems.
Hermitage Green bring a foot-stomping, folk-rock roaring machine throughout the rest of the show, yet they could bring the crowd to a whisper with the raise of a hand inbetween. Another point to note is the band’s vocal harmonies – which made many audience members swoon – before a marvelous cover of Florence and the Machine’s “Cosmic Love” and intense drumming solo.
Highlights of the night were masterfully left to the end, with covers of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop”, Florence’s “Cosmic Love”, and the band’s own song “Golden Rule” to close.
If you haven’t seen these guys yet, then maybe you should before they take off to the next level, because on tonights evidence they are soaring.