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Review: The High Kings ‘The Road Not Taken’ 2024 Tour

One of my favourite venues, The Gov, hosted The High Kings on the weekend. The Irish lads brought their ‘The Road Not Taken’ Tour to Australia celebrating their most recent album from 2023 (The Road Not Taken). It was a packed crowd and we were ready to jig.

Irish Magic

The High Kings, renowned for their exceptional harmonies and timeless Celtic tunes, did not disappoint. The moment they graced the stage, the energy was big. The crowd, with beer, a lively mix of die-hard fans and some newcomers, was immediately captivated. The opening number, the rousing of ‘Finnegans Wake’, set the tone for the evening – a joyous journey through traditional and contemporary Irish music.

The Performance

Each band member brought something unique to the table. Finbarr Clancy’s soulful voice and expert fiddling were mesmerizing. Darren Holden’s piano and accordion work added layers of richness to the sound. Brian Dunphy’s charismatic presence and powerful vocals had the audience hanging on every note, while Paul O’Brien’s instrumental versatility rounded out the ensemble beautifully. The guys were sincerely happy to be there.

The Setlist

The setlist was a great blend of old favourites and new material from their latest album. Songs like ‘The Parting Glass’ and ‘Connemara Bay’ us singing along, while newer tracks like ‘The Road Not Taken’ showcased the band’s evolving sound. The storytelling between songs gave a glimpse into the band’s journey and their deep connection to the music they play. Throwing in ‘Take Me Home Country Road’ was a highlight, there mastery of their music and how they can interpret a cover song and make it their own is evident. Their ‘Chasing Rainbows’ bangin’ hit was a massive highlight of the evening which cemented the setlist as perfection and crowd pleasing. Nailed it.

The Audience

The band’s interaction with the audience is real. It wasn’t just a gig at The Gov; it felt like a gathering of old friends. The High Kings shared anecdotes, pointed out at people and joked with the crowd, making everyone feel like part of the performance.

Final Thoughts

Wrapping it up, The High Kings’ ‘The Road Not Taken’ Tour at The Gov was a great night out. We danced and sung along, The beer flowed and us punters were into it. The High Kings’ incredible talent, combined with their genuine connection to the audience, made for a stunning evening of music and storytelling.

Whether you’re a longtime fan of Irish music or new to the genre, The High Kings offer something really special. Their ability to bring traditional tunes to life with modern flair is unmatched, and their live performances are nothing short of spectacular and engaging. Next tour, make sure you get along the magic. Raising a glass to many more nights of music and memories with The High Kings!

Check out our photography from the night!

Markus Hamence Interviews Darren Holden
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