Dermot Kennedy – Eventim Apollo

Tuesday evening saw the second of a two night run of sold out shows at the Eventim Apollo in London for Irish based singer-songwriter Dermot Kennedy.
The previous evening Kennedy was awarded his gold disc for “Outnumbered” in the UK and also his number one album award, showing how much he has achieved over the previous twelve months. I was excited about this evening!

After a busy year of worldwide touring and festivals, Kennedy shows no sign of slowing down. Coming out to a packed venue in dimly lit lighting he opens with the first song of ‘An Evening I Will Not Forget’ from his debut album ‘Without Fear’. This perfectly sets the tone for the evening. The crowd goes silent, and apart from singing along with Kennedy when requested, the respect shown from the audience is impeccable. Half the audience upstairs seated. The other half downstairs standing as still as statues enjoying every moment of this talented songwriter.

The songs throughout the evening were separated with Kennedy retelling stories of his past. How songs were written. The meaning behind the songs. A great insight to how this powerful lyricist thinks. He comes across as a genuinely humble guy who loves what he is doing, and appreciates the audience.

There are some big tracks in this set, and picking highlights is hard. But ‘Rome’ and ‘Dancing Under Red Skies’ were personal favourites of mine that I could listen to again and again. Almost all of the debut album was played, along with other previously released tracks. Kennedy was joined on stage by a tight three piece band who sometimes left him to deliver impressive acoustic numbers.

Kennedy has a great way of starting a track off slowly with an acoustic guitar on his own, before the rest of the band kicks, the stage lights up, and the audience are singing along.

The stage set was well done throughout the evening. Sometimes just Kennedy on stage on his own with dry ice and a single light. Other times utilising a giant screen behind him showing images of tree branches, giant blinking eyes, and a person swimming.

The evening ended on the compelling ‘After Rain’ which was an amazing way to finish proceedings. The whole crowd singing ‘You won’t go lonely, yeah’ back at him.

After attending so many gigs with people talking throughout, it was refreshing to once again be surrounded by people who actually wanted to be there and be in the moment with an artist.

A busy end to the year sees Dermot still having over ten shows left to play around the UK which I highly recommend trying to get tickets for.

Photo credit: Russell Fujak

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