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The Coronas @ Manning Bar, Sydney NSW Australia 24/11/2017 written by Brendan Lewis.

*This is the final boarding call for readers on the Keen Eye 4 Concerts flight to Ireland, please make your way to the paragraph below*…

Good evening passengers, and welcome. Get ready to forget What You Think You Know and what All The Others say about Irish music, and get ready to Get Loose and experience some Real Feels, Mark My Words, for Irish rockers The Coronas are taking us on a trip to Ireland, and brings the Emerald Isle a little Closer To You, as they celebrate the release of their latest album of endless Irish glory, ‘Trust The Wire’. This trip will be taking The Long Way around and I have a Gut Feeling this will be a ride to remember, but we’ll see How This Goes

Just like the first thing you do in Ireland having to be iconic and quintessentially Irish, that sets the good feels for the rest of the trip like going down to a pub and enjoying a pint of Guinness, The Coronas too start this tour off with an iconic and quintessential track off their touring album to set the mood ‘Real Feels’. With the songs bright up-beat feel-good real feels with clear, even sound that presents Danny’s, dynamic, accurate to the recording, sexy Irish voice, this song gets the lively high-spirited crowd moving, mirroring and feeding off Danny’s subtle yet effective movements and body gestures in response to the music. This along with the songs catchy hook melody played with what sounds like a synthesiser but may be a guitar effect, plus Danny reaching out to give some of us at the front barrier a hi-five at the end of the song, made this song go down very nicely like a refreshing sweet pint of cider…. I prefer cider not Guinness. 

Interrupted only by a quick “how you doing Sydney?” from Danny, the band keep the good times coming with the bands catchy-as-f***, dance provoking anthem of positive energy, ‘Get Loose’. While you’re at the Irish pub, you’ve gotta check out some classic Irish dancing, and for ‘Get Loose’ there’s no shortage of dancing Irish lads and ladies in the audience (the audience is actually dominated by lovely Irish folk). This anthemic song also features Danny playing the tambourine, adding an extra, lighter percussive element to the song while he dances around the stage joyfully, as the rest of the band casually yet happily groove around in their own discrete ways. This song of course gets us all singing along to Danny’s soaring high notes, and elevates the buzzing hype exceedingly! 

“Where to next captain?” you ask? Hmmm I think we’ll stay at the pub a little bit longer as the band flows the last song straight into fan favourite ‘Addicted To Progress’ with it’s attention grabbing piano riff, guitar melody and chorus that you can’t not sing along to, and gets stuck in your brain like an embarrassing yet hilarious drunken moment at the pub that you remember the next morning …. we’ve all been there. As soon as the first chord on the piano strikes, the whole crowd cheers wildly, and then as the drums and guitar hook melody comes in, has the audience singing along to the hook-melody, as Danny rocks out on the piano now. Even my shotty sight can make out Danny’s blurry hands going wild in movement on the keys, especially as the song increases in velocity, and his voice sparks the energy within the venue, and as he increases the vocal power in the final chorus, brings a hearty roar from the crowd who’ve been echoing every word in perfect intoxicated harmony.

Danny now formally greets us after that stint of mind-blowing energy, and brings a needed contrast of scenery, as we’re feeling ‘A Bit Withdrawn’ and hung-over from the high-powered pub-bender previously. The pleasant contrast of ‘A Bit Withdrawn’ is followed up with slightly more uplifting track ‘Who We Are’ to keep the spark of energy alight, then the anthemic truly Irish sounding fan favourite ‘Dreaming Again’. All three of these songs keep our focus locked on the music even with the first two songs being new tracks, and still have us all slurring along to every word. The refreshing atmospheric change in the sound for the first of these songs, is going down perfectly, with everyone singing along to Danny’s vocal melody in the songs’ pre-chorus and bridge, which dances with Danny’s crystal clear sweet sounding voice as he does his thing on the keyboard, and carries the sound beautifully, voices arm in arm together. The second of these songs takes the feeling to a more up-beat sense of grandeur, reminding me of the feeling of astonishment and excitement as you walk into the grand historic library in Trinity College in Dublin, picking the energy up appropriately with the band moving around the stage and expressing their musical energy in their own personal way. Judging from the reaction of the audience around me singing and dancing to this song, it’s sure to become a fan-favourite in no time! Now this trip takes us through the glorious Emerald-green hills of Ireland with ‘Dreaming Again’. This song is started off with an alternative acoustic intro (possibly from Dreaming Again Pt 2), then is flowed into the auphoric anthem ‘Dreaming Again’……part one. This song may not be a high-powered song, but the hype it has brought to the night with the explosion of cheers as soon as we all realise what song they’re playing, and everyone singing along like an incredible Irish choir is breath taking! The positive vibe that the band feeds off and apply to their movements on stage, and the effort Danny puts into his brilliant singing sets a new precedence for the nights’ hype.

For the rest of this set we’re indulged with ‘We Couldn’t Fake That’ up-beat rock blast ‘Listen Dear’, ‘Gut Feeling’ via a “thank you very much” from Danny, heart-felt classic ‘Heroes or Ghosts’, via a lovely chat from Danny, the powerfully emotive ‘Someone Else’s Hands’, with Danny returning to the piano, which is then seamlessly flowed into ’Closer To You’, ‘What A Love’, ‘The Long Way’ and “finally”, ‘Mark My Words’. 

All these songs follow suit in having incredible well-mixed sound with varying energy levels and efficacious, spine-tingling vocals, that regardless of the songs’ release time and popularity, has the whole crowd singing along to. I must mention however, that the electric drum sounds in ‘We Couldn’t Fake It’ adds a rich blend of flavours to the set like tasting all the delicious Irish whisky’s on offer at Dublins’ Whisky Museum.… I’m also a whisky drinker. The up-beat rock vibe in ‘Listen Dear’ brings the feeling of soaking in the excitement of the night life in Dublins’ Temple Bar district, which is then beautifully contrasted to new popular groovy track ‘Gut Feeling’ which turns me into a jolly wee-Leprechaun in a top hat, skipping and dancing through a meadow of daisies. For ‘Heroes Or Ghosts’ and the next two songs that follow, the energy is changed to a heart-wrenching out-cry giving the feeling of when you realise you can’t stay here in Ireland and your time here is nearly at an end. In ‘Heroes Or Ghosts’ however, spirits are still incredibly high at this cherished classic, as Danny embraces the mass of sing alongs and lets the crowd take over instead of him, which he’s doing a little too much of for my liking as I want to hear him sing, not the jolly Leprechauns around me. Still, this positivity is taken on-board by the band and is amplified in their own energy as the song reaches it’s peak in energy and is astounding!  In ‘Someone Else’s Hands’ Danny really shows off his skills on the piano, building up the song to climactic power-surging levels perfectly, without tarnishing his soaring high-pitch vocal melodies which is astonishing in itself.  And finally, the soaring breath taking energy in ‘What A Love’ sends a rush of euphoria throughout me, and gives me the jaw-dropping lost for words feeling of standing at the top of Blarney Castle, over-looking the lush scenery, which with the hype of ‘Mark My Words’ ends this trip with a roaring lasting high.

*The Keen Eye 4 Concerts flight back to Australia has been delayed due to a severe storm of encore demands*

Oh good, we get to enjoy Ireland a little while longer! Danny thanks us repeatedly before heading into the four-song encore, ‘Give Me A Minute’, ‘All The Others’, ‘San Diego Song’ and finally ‘Just Like That’. The raw emotion and climactic build up with soaring melodic vocals and swift and precise piano techniques in ‘Give Me A Minute’ seems very cinematic, like watching a romantic-movie at the cinemas in Dublin, right when the couple has to seperate. If I was a total girly woos this would’ve brought a tear to my eyes… *sniffle* but I’m not. The blaze of excited energy after the dance anthem ‘All The Others’ for ‘San Diego song’ is extraordinary with perfectly accurate sound, the band rocking out and then explodes, as Danny jumps off the stage walks across the front of the barrier shaking hands with us front row gunners, and then is a total show off, as he stands/balances ON the front barrier, towering over the crowd while he sings! This energy is then capped off with an up-beat rock bang with ‘Just Like That’ ending the trip in a blaze of glory~

Wow, just wow! I’m truly blown away at this high-energy, perfectly flowed with differing energy levels at strategic sections and incredibly well sounding this show was! I’m amazed at just how under-appreciated these wee-Irish lads are, and if you haven’t checked them out yet, DO IT! It definitely has left me with the yearning to go back for more like visiting Ireland did!