If culture night was a monthly event in each city it still wouldn’t be enough. It’s one of those nights that showcases every city in Ireland in such a unique and beautiful way in terms of music, art, theatre, and so much more. With specially curated experiences all free of charge in galleries, music venues, and theatres all over the city, culture night always draws huge crowds of all ages to the city centre and so what better night to launch an EP! The wonderful Yenkee thought exactly that when booking their launch of ‘Cannibal Tree’ in one of the cosiest music venues in Cork. Plugd at the Roundy was positively hopping before the doors were even opened. With such a stellar lineup of emerging Cork talent under the one roof for a free gig, this one felt like a no-brainer.
Kicking things off with a bang is the wonderful Ghostking is Dead. It feels as if Ghostking is Dead have been around forever acting as one of the central powerhouses of the Cork music scene. Members of the Cork based music collective Hausu, Ghosking is Dead also features some of the most well-versed and versatile musicians in Cork including Chris O’ Sullivan and Alex Gough. It cannot be denied that Ghosking and Co. know exactly how to work a crowd. Led by frontman Matt Corrigan‘s incredible stage presence and intricate vocals reminiscent of the late Jeff Buckley, the band’s performance is nothing short of inspiring. It is rare to find a group of musicians so in sync both musically and physically. It felt as if each member was a body part all working together to produce a unique and beautiful sound. If anything can be said after witnessing such a performance it is this – the future is most certainly bright for the wondrous five-piece.
Next up is the magical Meghan Murray. It is difficult not to feel entranced by the Belgian-born Murray, with crystal clear vocals and beautifully vulnerable songwriting. From start to finish Meghan claims the stage as entirely her own. Acknowledging her exceptional band, Meghan appears taken aback by the reaction of the crowd, many of whom know every word to some of her big singles like ‘Broken Ladders’ and ‘Feeling Blue’. She appears completely comfortable on stage showcasing some impressive vocal gymnastics in the funky ‘Space’ which gauges huge applause from the audience. By the end of her set Plugd has become an absolute sweatbox but the crowd is still left wanting more from one of the most exciting female artists to come out of Cork in the last while.
Last but not least are the men of the moment, Yenkee. The band take to the stage of the Roundy for a raucous home crowd who devour every single song. The lads appear almost overwhelmed by the receptive audience filled with family, friends, and a flock of fans. With the opening chords to each song comes a wild applause followed by the echoing shouts of every lyric. Highlights are the infectious ‘Would You Rather’ and the title track of their EP ‘Cannibal Tree’. As the set approaches its end, the cosy bar setting has been transformed into a dance hall with the crowd soaking it all in; the music, the energy, and the pungent smell of sweat. Undoubtedly one of the most promising bands in Cork City, it is simply onwards and upwards for Yenkee.
Not only was the quality of acts playing at the gig completely outstanding, the energy and excited nature of the crowd captured everything that culture night is about. It was one of those gigs that restores every faith in the music industry, in the city, and most importantly, in people.