18 Aug 2022

Back in the spotlight again: As live music venues reopen one Limerick band is ready for road

Back in the spotlight once again: As live music venues reopen one Limerick band is ready for road

A MUCH loved Limerick band are returning to centre stage once again following the release of their new album and upcoming tour this October.

Multi-instrumentalist Dan Murphy recalls with clarity the feeling of uncertainty that shrouded Hermitage Green in March 2020, as they stepped off stage in Dubai, where they were performing alongside several other prominent Irish groups for St Patrick’s Day weekend.

“We, (Darragh Graham, Darragh Griffin, Dan Murphy Barry Murphy and Dermot Sheedy) were about to head off to Australia for a sold-out tour. I remember our manager came over to us and said, ‘pack your bags lads, we are going back to Ireland, the Australian tour has been cancelled.’ At that point it became very real, very quick. We were stuck in the Middle East for a few days and within the space of a week, the whole world had changed,” the lead singer stated.

It wasn’t long before the reverberations gripped the entire music industry and “all the emotions that go along with that.” Six months of cancelled gigs, that turned into 18 months, was a time of reflection for the acoustic folk rock group, who at that time, had been gigging prolifically over the course of 10 years. “Covid was an enjoyable rest. It was a time for headspace and being at home with family and loved ones,” Dan added.

Plenty of space was the perfect vitamin for their relationship and allowed the group to grow in strength as opposed to fall apart, which was something they noticed was happening to other groups in the early stages of lockdown.

“For us, it was the opposite. It reiterated how much it means for us to travel, tour and be together.” Unlike others that used the downtime to catch up on writing, Hermitage Green were under no pressure due to finishing up recording an album in January 2020, which they decided to postpone several times due to the anticlimactic atmosphere that can follow virtual releases.

“We moved the date for our new album Hi-Generation as we wanted to hold off in order to capture the excitement of that window when things first open up. We missed that exchange between audiences and performers. What makes a gig great is that magic in the air, that x-factor or angel dust. It’s the energy and feedback that makes things special and brings it to life for us. We really missed that. Virtual concerts and releases just aren’t the same,” the podcast host admitted.

With two singers, two guitarists, two drummers and three writers, Hermitage Green has a lot going on, and with a mix of different instruments and backgrounds, it makes for a “very interesting creative melting pot,” Dan opined.

He added that the new album stands out by way of each member being given the space to embrace their creative freedom and express themselves in a unique way.

When listening to it, each song is different depending on who wrote it and what instrument is being played. Summing it up as “a very honest and authentic reflection of what we are”, Dan believes that this is their best record to date.

Fans will be familiar with some of the songs, as the Limerick lads decided to stagger a few soft releases of the singles over the past few months, generating a great deal of radio play, garnering a “fantastic response so far.”

Next month they will be taking their new album on the road, kicking off a national tour, starting on October 21 at the Opera House in Cork and rounding off with two homecoming shows in Dolan’s Warehouse on October 29 and 30.

Dan conceded that there is great excitement and expectation for their very first performance at Vicar Street in Dublin.

“Performers and audiences are just chomping at the bit to listen to live music again. All the boys had a great time during the lockdown, and everyone is really energised to get going again. We are excited for people to see the album and ticket sales have been going very well. This is a real reflection of how much people are looking to get out,” he concluded.

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