Published 29/02/2012 | 06:00
For those who have followed the fortunes of Dublin quartet Delorentos over the past five years or so, one question keeps popping up: just why isn't their profile a lot higher?
Here is a band with a host of cracking, radio-friendly songs to their name and an ability to put on big-hearted, truly memorable shows and yet they find themselves playing a small venue in Dublin city centre rather than the sort of 'enormadromes' that their vastly inferior counterparts, The Script, call home. And they certainly haven't got rich from album sales.
Yet, time and again tonight the 'why-aren't-they-bigger' question remains constant. Even avowed haters would be hard pushed to retain that stance when the songs hit home as well as they do. Take the giddy pop rush of S.E.C.R.E.T -- which is sung back word-perfect from the audience. It's a moment of communion between band and crowd that's touching to witness, especially when one considers that Delorentos were very close to splitting around the time of the release of their second album.
But these are happier days. Their third album, Little Sparks, was released last month to considerable acclaim and tonight's show is stuffed with new material like the title song and 'Right to Know'.
All four members sing, but lead vocalists Ro Yourell and Kieran McGuinness take their turns in the limelight. McGuinness is on fine form, not least during a lively take on one of their first songs, 'Eustace Street' -- which features the pair's duelling guitars.
The pace is urgent for the first 40 minutes or so, and there's a welcome change of tempo on 'Petardu' while 'The Swimmer' shows they're capable of searching, avant-garde music as well as muscular, guitar-led indie rock.
At one point, Yourell mentions that tonight is the first time many of the songs have been played live and, for the most part, you would never know it. That said, one of Little Sparks' highlights, 'Care For', is rendered slightly listless, failing as it does to retain any of the electro-pop sparkle that made the recorded version so appealing.
But there aren't many times when the band put their foot wrong and as the last bars of meditative closing song, 'The Stream', fade away you're left thinking that elusive "break" will happen for these lads sooner rather than later.