Wading past the aromatic coffee beans and banoffee pie, we gathered to witness the rebirth of a local artist venturing into the uncharted waters of acoustic folk rock and silk waistcoat jackets – and a rich blend of age-old dreams with a brand new passion.
As the din settled across the subdued local contingent, O’Hare and McKinley set about weaving their warming magic, opening their account with Green Eyes Singing; a building track wonderfully backed up up by a delicate strings quartet, minimalist snare and the former’s rich Liverpudlian vocal.
What endears you to this band is the arrangement of their live performance; the raw acoustic guitar, bass-humming organ and McKinley’s solos as the fiddle begins to take centre stage.
However, what is more noticeable is the honesty of the work. Whilst musically gifted and beautifully played, a band should be judged on their ability to reach out and relate to their audience.
As the group gathered confidence, the night reached a crescendo as they played their self-titled track Only Child.
“I wrote this song 7 years ago,” admitted O’Hare. “I only got the balls to play it just now.” His story of boyhood to manhood was backed by a well-placed quartet for what was easily the pinnacle of the showcase.
This was by no means a polished performance or indeed and act in full flow, but the beginning of an exciting journey for the band.
For an only child he doesn’t half bring together a wide musical family.