Walking on Cars at Omeara
Omeara’s worn, dilapidated music space generates an uncanny contradiction: though creaking with age, it appears suspiciously staged. This set the dual tone for Walking on Cars’ performance last night, which was both impassioned and superficial.
Introduced by the dramatic ticking of a clock and intermittent blasts of bass, the Irish five-piece walked on to blinding blue lights. Opening appropriately with Tick Tock from their 2016 album Everything This Way – complete with dramatic strobes and wailing guitar solos – the group promised a show of potency and emotion. This quickly became the mode of every song, the ensemble slipping confidently into the indie rhythm of “millennial whoop” and lyrical melodrama.
Consistently tight, the band – who disappointingly went without introduction – offered some of the show’s more measured moments. The backing vocals from keyboardist Sorcha Durham on Love Backs Down provided a much-needed melodic depth to the performance, which was often muffled. Delivering a truly unfaltering group performance, but one which lacked in any sense of individual identity, the nuances of the band were dwarfed by Patrick Sheehy’s forlorn vocals. The frontman, however, produced some of the night’s more intimate moments. The stripped-back Piece of You, from their forthcoming album Colours, offered a delicate sense of a group whose sound is maturing, who can pull off subtle drama and repetitive solos in equal measure.
The result was undeniable: an audience eagerly singing lyrics back with the same fervour as the original delivery. The latest single, Monster, was met with a rapturous response from a surprisingly varied crowd, while the final encore of the band’s most popular track, Speeding Cars, brought the show to a climactic close. Watching from a distance, you could believe that you were missing out on something truly special. However, the lack of depth – within the band itself and in the well-trodden themes of loss and love – illustrated that indie tropes are alive and well, and indeed still much adored, but have by no means evolved since they were first established.
Photos: Nick Bennett
For further information and future events visit Walking on Cars’s website here.
Watch the video for Speeding Cars here: