Singer/songwriter Gareth Dunlop mesmerises Edinburgh with his distinct rich smooth vocal tones and amusing stories of songwriting and his times in Nashville.
Over the past several years Northern Ireland’s Gareth Dunlop has been writing and plying his trade as an impeccable and talented songwriter. Writing songs for himself, for TV and film, and collaborating with established songwriters as well as producing and engineering in music. Dunlop’s distinct voice and songwriting style led to him winning the 2011 Young Songwriter Of The Year at the Belfast/Nashville Singer/Songwriter’s Festival, which led him to Nashville, tours in the US and a publishing deal. Dunlop has also supported artists such as Jeff Beck, The Stereophonics, James Morrison, Imelda May and Snow Patrol. Headlining and touring on his own has taken a bit of a backseat but could that be about to change?
The intimate setting tonight is a small room, wooden panels line the walls and the floor. The odd whiskey barrel set to the side and some seats. John Mccullough, Gareth Dunlop’s keyboard player walks out and takes his place to the side in slight shadow. Dunlop himself, dressed in denim, walks out to a warm Edinburgh welcome and starts his set very strong with the brilliant “Fired First” from last summers No.79 album.
Tonight sees Dunlop perform a few tracks from his No.79 album, some older songs, and songs that have featured in movie and television. Dunlop gets the Edinburgh crowd singing in full voice when he asks “Who’s up for a bit of singing?” The more upbeat “High Life” from the new album has everyone doing just that. McCullough provides some nice melodies on the keys and throughout the night is Dunlops ying to his yang, as the two compliment each other throughout.
“I Thought By Now” brings out and shows a lot of emotion from Dunlop, who sings almost flawlessly with his rich, smooth gravelly tones. Dunlop does provide some good fun banter in between songs and amuses with his stories, one of which being on a flight in the US while the movie Safe Haven is shown, which features Dunlop’s song “Wrap Your Arms Around Me”. McCullough provides some lovely keyboard accompaniment during this song.
Dunlop tonight showcases a brand new song which sounds bluesy with some great catchy funky grooves and Dunlop discusses co-writing and collaborating with US folk/country artist Kim Richey while in Nashville. Writing some serious songs, but also testing those in the music industry to see if they are paying attention to their songs by jokingly writing clichè lyrics. It is how tonight’s show ends, as Dunlop teases before leaving the stage and ends with a snippet of “Momma Don’t Wear No Cutoffs” which amuses the Edinburgh crowd.
Tonight showcases an amazing performance by arguably one of Northern Ireland’s greatest singer/songwriters from the past decade, and Dunlop deserves to be recognised on the world stage in a much bigger capacity. Upon judging from tonight’s gig and recent tour, the world could be his oyster if given the chance, and Dunlop himself wants to take it.
Event Date: 24-FEB-2018