Rachel, Young Wonder Live at the Pavilion. Picture: Brid O'Donovan

Rachel, Young Wonder Live at the Pavilion. Picture: Brid O’Donovan

A review of Young Wonder in the Pavilion on Saturday, April 20, supported by Daithí and Elaine Mai. All pictures by Brid O’Donovan.

The biggest disappointment in the Pavilion on Saturday night was that there wasn’t a big, sweaty crowd dancing in front of Daithí. The Galway man still put on an astounding show, full of bouncing energy that never lets up. It’s a pity the only guy on the dancefloor had long hair and a moustache – he kinda looked like Lester from the Cleveland Show. Daithí was supporting Cork’s own Young Wonder, gearing up for the release of their second EP, Show Your Teeth, on May 6. The crowd picked up for the duo, quite a feat considering they helped fill the venue only a couple of weeks back with Mmoths.

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Elaine Mai got things under way with a short set to a few early punters and some tumbleweed. We were treated to a reworking of old material, a cover of Frank Ocean’s ‘Thinkin Bout You’ and a couple new ones, one of which ends her set with the refrain, “It’s my time.” We’ll see.

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Daithí knows how to keep a crowd entertained – lights! A violin! Infectious enthusiasm! Hair that just won’t quit! Wait, what? Er, anyway, yeah, the violin instantly sets him apart from Irish artists making similar music. I wonder what his music teacher would make of his style, though… He uses a lot of mainstream dance (read: David Guetta) tricks in his songs, but you forgive him because you’re having so much fun. He prefaces his Justin Timberlake remix by asking if everybody could come to the front and take their clothes off. “That’d be awesome,” he declares. Not quite as smooth as JT.

He also plays some of the other remixes he has up his sleeve – Liza Flume’s ‘Poison’ just sounds huge – while there’s also a couple of tracks that feature the vocals of Rachel from Young Wonder.

I told Brid after Daithí’s set that he’s the new Le Galaxie – put him on at 1am at any festival and he will blow everybody away and be one of the highlights of any festival. Seriously, bookers, what are you waiting for!?!

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I wasn’t expecting Daithí to be THAT good so it was a tough act for Young Wonder to follow. The duo, Rachel and producer Ian Ring, look far more comfortable on the stage than some of the previous times I’ve seen them. I wish there was a bit more energy though – the likes of ‘Flesh’ and ‘To You’ would be made even more exciting.

They sound great though, and the number of big songs they own is impressive: ‘Tumbling Backwards’ is an early highlight but the star of the set is ‘Bullet’, which closes their new EP. It features Ian playing the xylophone and has beats that would make Disclosure jealous. ‘Time’, their latest single, sounds great, one of the few songs where Rachel’s voice is allowed shine and is not cut-up. David Darragh Nolan’s vocals are a sad absentee but the song still feels like their big moment. They seem really chuffed with the reaction, too.

They end with the aforementioned ‘To You’, an unpredictable number that leaves you wanting more. What a gig.

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