Rosborough with support from Rebecca Mulhern
Saturday 18th November 2017 – Nerve Centre, Derry
Rosborough’s gig was a sold-out success in the Nerve Centre. With a debut album coming out in 2018, the Derry songwriter performed in the cosiness of the bar venue, shortly after the release of his first single, ‘Burn Blue.’ In Derry, there is no need to introduce Glenn Rosborough. His numerous performances in Warehouse n°1 and Bennigan’s have given him a notoriety that paid off on the night, when fans responded to his energy as he was setting the stage on fire.
The night opened with Rebecca Mulhern. As the girl started to sing, the crowd instantly responded to her voice and guitar. But after a first composition piece, it was her performance of Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game’ that won her an audience in absolute awe.
Not only did she put a new voice, a light, clear voice on an otherwise deep and velvety classic that everybody knows – she also adapted the melody, turning it into a completely different piece of music to suit her voice. Mulhern downed the last notes of the song only to hear the crowd cheering and clapping with great enthusiasm.
She won herself an audience that was quite impressed by her supporting act, and held the crowd for another good ten minutes, before leaving a warmed-up public ready for their ‘plat de résistance.’
At that stage, the venue was packed and it was starting to get severely hot. There is something fantastic about the Nerve Centre – whether it is the setting or the lights, there is a natural warmth about the place. Here, it was metaphorically and physically warm. Rosborough appeared in his signature striped top and his Adrian Brody looks and started to play.
The good thing about playing in your home town is that there is no need to panic about establishing an artist/audience bond – it is there. The people present on the day weren’t just here out of curiosity, they were clearly attending because they knew what to expect, and I suppose it really helps when it comes to introducing the compositions that will feature on the 2018 much expected album.
The first tune was a nice ballad to transition from Rebecca Mulhern to Rosborough. You know you’re doing a good job with your music when the sound technician can’t contain himself and seems a bigger fan of yours than anybody else in the room. Other than a couple of wee hick-ups, the mixing table was spot on from beginning to end, enabling everyone (from the top of the stage to the bottom left corner) to enjoy the same quality of sound.
Rosborough followed with his debut single, ‘Burn Blue’, which is all the crowd needed to totally give in to the fantastic atmosphere.
In between songs, Rosborough offered anecdotes surrounding the origins of each song, making them quirky – there was ‘Tommy’ for instance, a song about conspiracy theorists. Some songs were punchy ballads, others were pure rock and punk. All in all, a melting pot of different genres that all blended extremely well.
And then, before we knew it, here it was again – ‘Burn Blue’. Rosborough ended the show by playing his first single again, like a rock version of Bach’s Aria in other words. A clever choice as the song, now released for over a month, had somehow become his signature.
By the time he finished the last notes of ‘Burn Blue’, the fans had turned hysterical. The first time he had played it, it was more of a loud cheering – recognising something you know from YouTube and echoing to it. Him timidly establishing the scene as his own. This time, it was fierce and fiery, it was the energy gathered throughout the show, and the knowledge that this was going to be the last piece.
The only ‘but’ about this show, was the length of it. It was short, and sweet, but short. Rosborough played less than ten songs and stayed on stage nearly as long as Rebecca Mulhern. It was good, and it was worth it, but it also felt like it had been cut short.
Nonetheless, Rosborough left in a thunder of appraisal and cheering – it was just one of those nights where all the elements are gathered to make it perfect: great artist, great energy, great venue, great audience, and cheap bottles of beer to warm the heart and cool the skin.