The gigs are BACK people and I could not be happier.
It’s been an entire 18 months since I was last at a concert or gig and I won’t lie, stepping back into a packed standing arena for the first time in that long felt a little strange, but oh so good to be back.
What made this even more special was that my final concert pre-covid was seeing Dermot at Radio City Music Hall in New York just before everything went a little tits-up a few weeks later.
So it was extra special that my first concert post-covid – I don’t really want to say post-covid as it’s still very much a thing, maybe post-restrictions would be better – was also seeing Dermot Kennedy, this time in London.
Not my favourite concert venue in London since it’s an absolute mission to get to, but the view from the palace is lovely if nothing else. Alexandra Palace or Ally Pally to locals is situated near the Wood Green area of London, almost close to the Tottenham area.
So yes, a good hour or more away from the main city and then there’s the steep walk up the hill to get to your final destination.
However, there are a few nice bars around the area should you find yourself arriving early or wanting to miss the mass crowds after the concert (which we may have done).
A nice thing about Ally Pally is that it’s quite a relaxed venue, where the entrance hall has two long bars (super quick to get served) and food vendors with picnic-style benches, fake grass and even some live music happening before you enter the main concert venue.
The entrance hall it turns out, is also perfect for celebrity spotting as I spotted 5-time All-Ireland winner Brian Fenton milling around (he’s hard to miss being so tall) as well as power-influencer couple Caspar Lee and Ambar Driscoll.
We attended the final night of Dermot’s UK and Ireland tour, and the third night of his sold out gigs in London. I think the building holds 10,000 people for concerts, so knowing that 30,000 people had come to see Dermot in London alone was very special as he deserves all the love and recognition in the world.
This was my third time seeing Dermot in concert, and every time I’m just as blown away as the previous nights by the quality of his voice.
Each concert is just as special and haunting as the previous and you can really tell how much music, art and poetry really mean to Dermot. He’s quite a serious character and he speaks about what each song means to him, why he wrote it and the beauty that can be found in a song if you really pay attention to the words.
A very humble man with an insane voice. For one of his songs he even sang acapella and was able to capture the stillness of 10,000 people who were very intently listening to this vocal genius in front of them.
I will say that it did seem like a shorter set than usual, which as I was standing in heels didn’t mind too much but there were a few songs I was surprised that he didn’t sing.
For me, seeing Dermot perform in a room of 200 people was so much more intense but so much more intimate as I think that’s what his music and his voice requires. Yes, he plays festivals and to large crowds like at Belsonic in Belfast a few years ago, but I think I would prefer to sit in a small room and really listen to him sing.
I think his voice and his music deserve that level of focus and stillness to be really appreciated for how good it is. But maybe that’s just me being a music-geek fan.
Take a listen
If you haven’t heard of Dermot Kennedy (you very likely have) then I would recommend checking out his Spotify and listening to these three songs:
- Better Days
- An Evening I Will Not Forget
Whenever Dermot announces another show or tour, I’ll be first in line to buy tickets. Yes, for the fourth time.