Walking on Cars at the Roundhouse
Walking on Cars opened their show with a bang at the Roundhouse last night. Superbly orchestrated white lights flashed in rhythm as they played their hit Tick Tock over an effective backdrop of digital clocks and clips from their music videos. Most tracks played on the night were off their most recent album, Everything this Way, which was critically acclaimed for its compelling vocal and lyrical content.
With the first two songs out of the way, frontman Patrick Sheehy greeted the fans with a crass, stereotypical “What’s the fuckin’ craic!”, at odds with the band’s twee motivational pop rock style, as they launched into a collection of dynamic tracks, all tiringly similar-sounding. The musicians incorporated so many false endings into the set that it lost its element of surprise and the audience didn’t know when to applaud anymore, hesitating at the end of Coldest One till the singer said “Thank you”.
After a rather weak rendition of Nothing’s Impossible (written for the movie Mum’s List), they followed up confidently with Always Be with You, showcasing Sorcha Durham’s light and pleasant vocals. Drummer Evan Hadnett stood out in this one by combining electronic sounds with his acoustic drumming. In fact, Hadnett provided a powerful, unfaltering rhythmic foundation to the entire set.
The Irish band really lost steam mid-show, though they tried to hide it by moving about onstage. Dan Devane, the lead guitarist, seemed nervous and too concentrated. His parts were nearly flawless yet unconvincing – he turned his back to the audience at times and even drifted to the rear of the stage for his shrieking solo in Hand in Hand. Vocals were quiet and mumbled on occasion, instrumental parts played tentatively; there was little to no head-bopping among the crowd. In Love Backs Down, Flannery and Sheehy tried to coax some participation out of the spectators but the energy level was so low that only about ten percent of people clapped along.
The group finally picked it up by cleverly leaving their two biggest hits, Catch Me if You Can and Speeding Cars, to the end. Walking on Cars are a humble indie fivesome who have come a long way by working hard at their songwriting craft – but they did not quite cut it as a live band last night at the historic Camden venue.
Photos: Guifre de Peray
For further information about Walking on Cars and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Always Be with You here: