Lisa Hannigan at the RoundhouseCultureMusicLive music
Celebrating the release of her third album, At Swim, Lisa Hannigan gave a magnificent performance worthy of its standing ovation at the sold-out Roundhouse, London.
Thunderous applause greeted the Dublin-based singer-songwriter as she came to the stage along with her band of five. The air was smoky and dim, and the lighting soft and embracing. Her comforting and mystifying voice soared across the majestic theatre as she sung Prayer for the Dying from her latest record, a haunting track bursting with sincerity. “This next song is a protest song of sorts,” she said, before playing Snow, also off of the new album, which, for a protest song, is the most otherworldly and peaceful one that has ever been sung.
A moving rendition of Undertow followed. Also from At Swim, it combined a heavenly blend of violin and double bass. Hannigan announced that a music video for it would be released next week, hinting that it moves in reverse; she even teased us by singing part of the song backwards. A beautiful piano ballad, We, the Drowned, synchronised with the many bulbs scattered around the stage that pulsed with light, fitting with the oceanic theme of the latest record, reminiscent of a collection of lighthouses amongst the smoke of the stage, guiding us safely through the intricate songs. Knots, from the album Passengers, perhaps her most well-known hit, really got the concertgoers moving in their seats: heads were bobbing and ciders were spilling as an intense clap began. A deafening roar met the finish of this track, proving how enrapt the sold-out audience were at this fragile figure belting out these impressive numbers.
Coming back out for an encore, Hannigan and her band played O Sleep from Passengers, a touching lullaby sung as a duet between the singer and her guitarist John Smith. This artist’s musical prowess was flaunted throughout the evening as she played whatever she could get her hands on, including a ukulele and mandolin. The success of the night can be summed up by the standing ovation enthusiastically given, with every set of hands in the auditorium joining in. Lisa Hannigan was mesmerising from start to finish and gave a captivating performance worthy of remembering.
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
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Watch the video for Snow here: