Ailbhe Reddy @ The Great Escape @ Prince Albert 19th May 2017

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After having witnessed the incredible Folly Rae at the Queens Hotel it was then a quick dash to the Prince Albert for Ailbhe Reddy. Seeing new talent from across the world is the joyous part of The Great Escape. Dubliner Reddy is a talented singer/ songwriter whom intrigued me greatly. Her outstanding original Keepsake oozed plenty of folkish vibes and her sophomore 6 track EP Hollowed Out Sea is a master piece.

“Hello. There’s a lot of people in here from what I can see. I’m Ailbhe Reddy we’re going to play a few songs if that’s OK” Reddy mentioned before they got stuck into Relent. This tantalising tune was released earlier this year however it doesn’t feature on the newest EP Attach To Memory. Anyways Relent was a marvelous number which resonated plenty of folk goodness. Everything about this was sheer perfection, those lyrics enchanted me and Ailbhe’s smooth vocal tones were richly distinctive. Thoughts of Peggy Sue sprung to my mind. “It’s just hitting a million plays today. It will be really embarrassing if anyone checks and it’s 999. Is that the devil or something. Is that 666 I’m not sure” Reddy mentioned referring to the number of plays single Distrust had gained on Spotify. This tune is the Hollowed Out Sea’s opener and it sounded marvelous live. Reddy’s vocals were utter bliss and those luscious lyrics left me completely enchanted from the word go. “This next song is called Fingertips. I played in a church a few weeks ago at a festival down in Dingle in Ireland and I regretted it immediately because you’ll see why. Just listen to the lyrics and feel embarrassed for me” Ailbhe said before diving into Fingertips. Now this tasty treat was folk pop at its best, those lyrics captivated me and Reddy’s strong crisp vocal delivery left me completely transfixed. I can see why she immediately regretted  performing this in a church and it all falls down to the line “I’m just fucking paranoid”. Still the luscious lyrics were an exploration of female sexuality and the pristine performance packed a fierce punch.

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“You’re all very delightful. I’ve never been here before. Even with the rain which one thing I can say about home is when it’s raining it’s pretty shit” Reddy then said before delving into Flesh & Blood. “It’s on an old EP I wrote years ago. Most of the songs on it weren’t very good but this song lived to tell the tale. These lovely lads behind me, they make it so much better” she then went onto say referring to the debut Dwell EP which she released back in 2014. Plenty of indie folk vibes resonated from this compelling cut. Anyhow Flesh & Blood was a ethereal laid back jam aided by impeccable lyrics and Ailbhe’s distinctive spellbinding vocal tones. The part which hooked me was the gorgeous chorus “Feeling the weight of loss/ Dwelling in Flesh And Blood/ Heavy-heartedness/ Bone-shaken”. Straight after it was then time for the super intimate Selfish. “It’s just about being a real generous gal” a solo Ailbhe Reddy said before launching into this breathtaking original. This sparkly song was charmingly beautiful with a little bit of emotion added into the mix “Nothing feels the same/ Oh I wish you would stay/ I was running away/ Coz I was Selfish”. Reddy faultlessly delivered this new song to perfection and I was literally standing in awe. Seriously this outstanding original shows that Ailbhe has plenty of potential. “This song is about someone I fancied and I found out they work in a coffee shop. So I used to go there for my coffee breaks every single day when I was working in my office job, my real passion. I used to go there and order coffee from her. I actually hate coffee” Reddy jokingly said before embarking onto Coffee. This tune was so beautiful, those magical clear cut lyrics reeled me in and Ailbhe’s sticky sweet vocals left me hypnotised. This tune had dashes of heartbreak and at the same time I was reminded of Charlene Soraia “Where are you now/ It’s the same/ Coz I used to buy Coffee/ Just to watch you/ Working the machines/ Hymns beneath the steam/ Were you happy”. Things then reached its conclusion with the dazzling Disconnect. Taken from the brand new EP this delectable cut was an electrifying effort which enthralled me at the same time.

SET LIST

Relent
Distrust
Fingertips
Flesh & Blood
Selfish
Coffee
Disconnect

OVERALL: I was greatly impressed with what I heard. Ailbhe Reddy is a true talent who also has the knack for writing outstanding folk songs. Each tune performed was a right cracker and these had me anticipating the release of Attach To Memory. I’ve now heard that exquisite EP and all I can say is WOW.

I definitely look forward to the day I get to witness Reddy perform live yet again.

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