The last time we saw Danny McMahon at a festival was at Buckle & Boots we predicted big stage action for the following year which shortly will duly come to pass. So is he ready to deliver on that prediction?
Starting with a little razzle dazzle the band open and play for a while before gradually Danny walks out on stage, his voice deep and filling the ballroom with the Old Dominion influenced new EP song “Everything”. In many ways the closest we have to a US country style singer, Danny was using every inch of available playing space even coming out to the very edge of the stage. Strapping on a guitar on the band now with three guitarists launched into the perfect pop of “The Other Side”, every inch the equal of any US counterpart.
"Broken Hearted" followed originally written for someone else but the kept back for his own use. With one of guitarists reverting to keyboards and Danny going acoustic the sound softened slightly but was still hook heavy and immediately likable. Drenched in sweat almost from the very off, this was a full on show with every effort given and nothing held back. The pace had to eventually relent a little, and Danny slowed it down slightly with his 1st song as a country artist, “What It’s Like” with its touching C2C related story,
This is one band not afraid to rock out with “Hide Away”, another song laden full of hooks for the listener to latch onto. and with the band on backing vocals it makes for a powerful sound,
From the new "Boys Cry Too" EP is the current single about a grand father passing away, not his own “When I see You”, but sung as passionately as if it was, this is the sort of song country does best with Danny dropping to his deepest register for the verses before powering up for the chorus. A big drum intro lead us into a cover of Brett Eldridge's Beat Of The Music complete with a big guitar solo.The almost soulful groove to “Move” the one with the fake Radio intro succeeded in getting the crowd moving in the room, with Danny really putting the effort to give maximum enjoyment.
Powering through a set in seemingly record time, "It Don’t Work That Way", closed it out with a full on rock out. Including a call out and response section that saw the Gaitey crowd deliver the loudest response of the festival so far.
Danny is an explosive performer, who would put in the same effort I suspect if he was playing Wembley Stadium or to a crowd of one or two.
He'll be well worth watching on the Festival circuit this year.