Picture This at Koko
Irish four-piece Picture This have everything one could want from a pop band; charismatic lead singer, polished musicianship and tunes that make you either want to dance or cry. Making a stop at Koko as the only UK date on their European tour, the pop-rockers set the stage alight with their infectious energy and charm.
Singer Ryan Hennessey delivers a faultless vocal performance as he bounds around the stage, playing up to the room. For most, Koko feels spacious. It is, after all, a mid-sized venue. Yet tonight, the band’s vibrance easily exceeds the stage they’re on. Guitarist Owen Cardiff, bass player Cliff Deane and drummer Jimmy Rainsford, alongside a touring musician, are men of few words but undeniably skilled musicians. Unsurprising for an act that cut their teeth on arenas in Dublin. Between delightful crowd chants of “Olé, olé”, the band deliver a set of songs from their three-album catalogue. Older tunes and newer offerings go down equally as sweetly, notably fan favourite One Night. Prefaced with a speech explaining its reappearance on the set list after several years away, the ballad is welcomed back with open arms – and a venue-wide singalong. New single Song to Myself provides another tender moment, while the unreleased Red Lights is clearly loved by the diehard fans who’ve followed the band around Europe.
House in LA, a song about the alienating feeling of Hollywood house parties, features an offer of a trip to McDonald’s, “if I get this chord right” by Deane. It appears to be a running joke as his energetic frontman drags the bassist across the stage, failing to throw him off his game.
It’s striking how much fun the fourtet are having on stage, and how easily it translates to those watching. There is a little bit of extravagance: the set features a model of a car parked under a street light – with roof-mounted drummer included – and atmospheric lighting. At one point a song is performed entirely from its bonnet. Behind the drama though is a band who are just simply good at performing and engaging a crowd. There is an unavoidable intimacy in the group’s lyricism and a wonderfully connective ambience watching them live.
Picture This may not be as successful on this side of the pond as their homeland, but it won’t take long. Selling out in just half an hour, the momentary stop at Koko serves as a love letter to their most dedicated and patient fans ahead of what is sure to be a meteoric rise.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit Picture This’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Song to Myself here: