Belfast
25 Jun, Tuesday
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Review: Walking on Cars – Waterfront Hall, Belfast

Before any mention of Walking on Cars, it is worth saying that sometimes arriving at a show early and catching the special guests on the night really does pay dividends and tonight was one of those nights.

Walking on Cars chose well when they decided upon Hollow Coves as their guests on tour. They hail from Australia and tonight they set up as a duo. Guitars to begin, with the addition of keyboards on later songs. To best describe them, they lean towards a modern Simon and Garfunkel, mixed with a little Mumford & Sons, Sufjan Stevens and a splash of First Aid Kit. It is a good mix to be fair.

Although they never really won over this Belfast crowd, nothing new for guest supports at big shows, there is more than enough that Hollow Coves have to offer. When they make a return to these shores in November, with a full band, you have to go and see them.

Walking on Cars chose the perfect song to open this show at the fabulous Waterfront Hall. Monster is the opening track on the band’s new album Colours and it booms. Patrick Sheehy’s voice is emotional, heavy and has this big crowd on his side right from the off.

Hand in Hand, the crowd clap along, and the keyboard thread of this song, the work of the hugely talented Sorcha Durham, is indeed its heartbeat. Sheehy is just bursting with energy, flatcap and all.

Walking On Cars

The trademark piano intro of Don’t Mind Me is a little teaser of the full sound of this song played live, with each band member sucking every ounce of energy out of their instruments.

Sorcha Durham commands the audience’s attention when she sings on One Last Dance and they yell their appreciation.

Walking on Cars have gone to town on an amazing light show that perfectly accompanies the band live and is a perfect addition to the whole experience.

The electronic Jack Garratt -esque guitar riff on Two Straight Lines nearly takes the roof off the hall and that is the attraction of this song both live and of the album version drawn from the recording studio.

The band give us sing along anthems but sometimes step a little out of the Walking on Cars comfort zone, if there is such a thing, and they indulge in a U2 feel guitar intro on Too Emotional. Patrick Sheehy throws in a little Justin Bieber vocals and moves, but what comes out at the other end is unmistakably Walking on Cars.

Waiting On The Corner bursts with so much energy, the band look like they are loving doing this and make it look so easy. They write beautiful lyrics, proof on Nothing’s Impossible and their heart and soul goes into every song. They just have the ability to suck this audience right into their world.

Tick Tock shows that deep down, like most bands, they are full blown rockers at heart. “Feel a little lost without you” is the cry from both the audience and the band as they sing as one to When We Were Kids.

Coldest Water is intense and comes from the heart and Ship Goes Down is another anthem that has this whole audience feeling a massive part of this, and rightly so.. Walking on Cars have such a knack getting their fans involved in their shows and each and every song played live takes the album recordings of these tracks to a whole new level.

The band threaten us with one more song and give us Catch Me If You Can, maybe as close to the perfect pop song as is possible and they play it both loud and proud.

They encore with Pieces of Me, as the night slows down a little, there is a little Game of Thrones drum feel to this song. Very apt in this week of the hype surrounding it.

They thank Hollow Caves, the Belfast crowd and promise they will be back soon before they end this breathtaking show with no doubt every crowds favourite, Speeding Cars.  On this occasion everyone seems to be taking a video snippet home. We all have our opinions on this but tonight it is every man and woman for themselves. Every last person in the place sings the ‘Heya Heya Heya Heya’ line. That in itself is no surprise.

Tonight Walking on Cars started with Monster and they ended with what could only be described as a monster of a tune. The bar has been set high for the bands that follow Walking on Cars and come to play in Belfast this year. This was,  without doubt one of the best live shows of the year so far.


Hit my 40's and discovered I could write a little and now write about my love of all things music. Favourite bands are Counting Crows, Public Service Broadcasting, Aimee Mann, The Four of Us, Dan Wilson, The Charlatans, Frank Turner and a whole load more.