Moonlookson headlined the upstairs venue in Whelan's on May 4. As I arrived to the venue a gathering of friends and family was seen in the smoking area outside the venue, a hint of the friendly atmosphere that was to follow.
The night kicked off with an act that I had only seen just the night before playing at The Ruby Sessions, Laoise. Her sound was a bigger one than the previous night though!
It is in some of her quieter moments that Laoise really shines as we get to hear her fragile vocal. She talked about how her new material is heading down a different path with a more electronic sound which she showcased very well during this gig.
The next act up was Papa Rua, a band that seem to reference getting high in each and every song! They were full of energy but had no lasting impact!
Moonlookson took the the stage next and at first found it difficult to quiet the crowd, possibly because of the energy that was in the room from the previous two acts, or maybe because of the awkward layout of the venue. Lead vocalist Stephen Gormley took centre stage and his laid back approach lends itself perfectly to his sound. Lyrically interesting and vocally brilliant Gormley took command of the stage providing a presence that just wasn't there for the first two acts.
The blend of violin and delicate keys added a magical feel to the music with 'Only A Fool' standing out as a perfect example of this. One of the best moments of the gig was when Gormley took to the stage with only a Bodhrán at hand and sung about a soldier he had a chance meeting with previously in Galway.
Moonlookson is definitely a band to watch out for. I can't help but feel that they would fit in perfectly at festivals, maybe as that hidden gem you stumble upon on one of the more intimate stages.