Who is the best Irish band?


It’s 15 years since The Cranberries went supernova and the feeling in Limerick is that it could be the time for another local act to make the big step up. One of the names being mentioned in dispatches is Seneca, a melodious four-piece who’ve already managed to infiltrate the Irish top 30 with ‘Smile’ – curiously absent from tonight’s set – and had Jackie Hayden pf this parish whispering sweet nothings about them.

My bearded colleague is bang on the money, with the band chucking Jeff Buckley, Snow Patrol and Damien Rice into the blender and ending up with something guaranteed to get American radio all hot and sticky

Which isn’t to say that they’re all studio sheen and no bollocks. Realising that there’s a sold-out Dolan’s to be entertained – can we just say again how fucking ace the venue is? – singer and guitarist Rob Hope wrestles every ounce of emotion possible out of songs like ‘Good For What Ails You’, ‘Playing Fair’ and ”Clarity’ while barefoor drummer (think of the chiropodist bills!) Daragh O Loughlain knocks his kit into the middle of next month.


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