REVIEW// Cottage Sessions Ep2: Lavengro & Jessica Doherty

Saturday 26th March 2017

The Cottage Sessions returned for a second installment last week with yet more top notch local original music.

The cosy intimate surroundings of the Craft Village’s cottage has been providing an ideal venue for the new initiative from the Inner City Trust and local collaborative group Derry Creatives, to support and promote local original music.

Taking to the stage for the second episode in a seven episode series were singer-songwriter Jessica Doherty and pop funk infusion five-piece band, Lavengro.

Jessica, who decided to take a break from the gigging scene late last year to concentrate on her studies, returned to charm and captivate with her hypnotising voice.

With a set consisting of covers as well as her own original music, the local singer-songwriter kicked off with a soothing rendition of ‘The Greatest Bastard’, from Damien Rice’s 2014 album My Favourite Faded Fantasy.

The intimate venue complimented her style perfectly. With every eye transfixed, every ear spellbound, the audience were mesmerised throughout.

Growing up around Irish traditional music, it was fitting that Jessica treated us to a version of the famous Irish folk song ‘Grace’ followed by her own track ‘Wolves’.

Although ‘Wolves’ has been around since 2015, it’s one of those tracks that still manages to grip you no matter how many times you have heard it. The gentle soothing tone leading to its haunting chorus, you find yourself totally hypnotised.

It’s been well documented that last week had been a tough one for the city and Jessica performed an emotional rendition of ‘The Parting Glass’ in tribute to her friend, Derry City Football Club captain Ryan McBride who died suddenly.

For the past few months, Derry band Lavengro as the guys have been tirelessly working away behind the scenes on their new EP and all the necessary furniture that goes with it. Promo shoots, video recordings and media duties have meant that the Cottage Sessions provided the local audience a first taste of what’s to come from their upcoming release.

Lavengro, consisting of Gareth Barrow on vocals, guitarist Dave Healy, Emmet Mc Daid on bass, Jack Kyle on keys and synth along with drummer James Healy, brought their unique upbeat funky pop infusion to the Cottage Sessions with yet another standout energetic live show.

Jessica wasn’t away from the stage for long before the guys invited her to return for a rendition of Ed Sheeran’s hit track ‘How Would You Feel’. Both styles, Jessica’s hypnotising vocals combined with Gareth strong passionate delivery were a perfect fit and offered something completely different to the original.

The local five-piece yet again oozed confidence and charm, with the high tempo energetic tracks  ‘Take Me Higher’ and ‘I Want To Want You’, before taking it down a notch with their ballad ‘No Ordinary Girl’.

Lavengro have a lot of  catchy songs in their locker ready to go, which is incredible for such a young band. Their set littered with tracks that will stick and instantly make an impact upon hearing.

‘Yes, No, Maybe’, ‘She Wants To Party’... track after track ooze with a great potential for commercial success.

‘Take The Fall’ will be the first track to be released from the new EP and is due to hit the digital and physical shelves next month, along with a shiny new video to accompany it. A great choice for their official debut track, instantly memorable with a great hook.

The local band have been gaining a reputation for their live shows and the Cottage Sessions slotted in nicely with what has gone before. It’s really hard to imagine that these guys formed less than two years ago!

Finishing off the set with Van Halen’s ‘Jump’, and The Undertones ‘Teenage Kicks’ Lavengro style, the guys brought the Cottage Sessions to a close with a crescendo of energy and intensity. Well what else could we expect from one of the city’s most promising acts.

Photos by Lawrence Cooke, The Photographers Studio

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