Wyvern Lingo live @ Cyprus Avenue, Cork 26 Mar 2016

On a wet and strangely quiet Easter Saturday evening, Cyprus Avenue play host to Wyvern Lingo, one of Ireland’s most highly rated up and coming bands. Touring with Hozier has given Wyvern Lingo a level of exposure that their peers could only dream of and the ladies have certainly taken full advantage of the opportunity.

Another artist whose stock is currently rising is Damsel, aka Luke O’Neil. The Corkman is opening up proceedings tonight with a solo performance.  This is not the first time I have seen or written about Damsel and something I was hugely impressed by on the first occasion I saw him was his interaction with the audience and his humorous anecdotes between songs.

  It isn’t always easy for an artist to connect with an audience and it is all the more difficult when the audience isn’t there to see you in the first place. Tonight though, Damsel wasn’t able to interact with the audience; this was through no fault of his own, It was purely down to the lack of respect and rudeness shown to him by a section of the crowd. Loud chatting and laughing the whole way through the set meant it wasn’t always possible to hear what Luke was saying between songs. “But people are not listening ” a line from the excellent ‘Rubber Knives and Socialites’  which is the closing track of the set seems apt. In the end it was still a good performance from Damsel under tough conditions.

By the time Wyvern Lingo had taken to the stage the crowd had vastly increased and was close to capacity. The three piece from Bray, Co Wicklow open their set with new songs ‘Fountains’ and ‘Starting Fires’  and both were well received. I had assumed, stupidly, that the rudeness that marred the warm up set would end once the main act took to the stage. I was mistaken.

If anything, the noise level increased as if to compensate for the sound from the band. I have never seen anything like it; one woman was so exasperated she took it upon herself to go into the middle of one of the offending groups and ask them to be quiet (she got about 2 minutes of quiet from them). The band were oblivious to this as it was going on at the back of the venue (a short few feet from an area where they could have sat and chatted without any disturbance, it must be said) and they continued with what was a great set. Both their ‘The Widow Knows’ and the new ‘Letter To Willow’ EP’s featured heavily alongside some great new material and an excellent cover of Alt J’s ‘Left Hand Free’.

All three members assume the role of lead singer with ease and their soulful harmonies are wonderful. Their acapella set closer ‘Used’ was beautiful and it got the respectful silence it deserved from all sections of the crowd.

Words by Anthony Kelly

Photo: @seanmcphoto (Instagram)