Friday 21st February saw YouTube sensation Orla Gartland headline her first Belfast show. The chosen venue was the Oh Yeah music centre, which was packed full of eager fans. The atmosphere was fantastic as hordes of young people excitedly waited to see the talented acts.
First up was singer-songwriter Emily McGarvey who complemented her smoky soft singing voice with equally gentle piano playing, performing an assortment of original songs and a notably admirable cover of Cher’s “BangBang”.
Second support act, talented Dubliner BriBry engaged the audience throughout his performance with lots of hilarious crowd banter, including a reading of three of his favourite “hate comments” that appear under his YouTube videos. Accompanied by his fiancée Candice who played piano and harmonised, BriBry performed a range of original songs on guitar. The combination of his melodic strong voice and Candice’s delicate soprano tones worked wonderfully and crowd support reflected this.
The room was abuzz with excitement as Orla Gartland took to the stage. The audience clearly adored her and no wonder; this is a girl with remarkable stage presence and abundance of talent. Orla performed each of her original songs with wholehearted vigour and passion, engaging the audience easily. A talented guitarist, Orla impressed with some gorgeous intros on guitar and great accompaniment throughout, however for me her standout feature was her voice. Depending on the song, her soulful voice easily transitioned from strong and clear to ethereal and delicate, accompanied by dreamy harmonies from backing singer Gretta. Standout songs included “Whispers”, “Lonely People” and final song “Roots”. The show ended with raucous applause, rousing chants, and demands for an encore and Orla happily obliged. All in all, the gig was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, showcasing some of YouTube’s best bright young talents. Una Mackle.