Poetic lyrics and powerful tones were at the centre of attention as Dermot Kennedy took to the Nick Rayns LCR stage for his Norwich show.

Kennedy opened the sold-out show on a mist-filled stage with An Evening I Will Not Forget.

The Irishman had the audience with him from the very beginning of the show, belting out older tunes mixed with new songs from debut album Without Fear which came out in October and has since reached number one in the UK charts.

From his third song for the night, All Of My Friends, Kennedy narrated his motivations behind the writing of many of his songs, inviting the audience to reflect on the singer’s poetic texts.

The audience swayed harmoniously to the tunes of What Have I Done, co-written with American indie pop band Fun’s frontman Nate Russ.

Kennedy then put the power back into power ballad with a heartfelt performance of Rome against the backdrop displaying a black-and-white close-up highlighting the singer himself – which is a rather unusual move for the artist.

When it comes to Kennedy, it’s all about the music.

With an uncomplicated stage design and a humble presence while performing, all focus is on the tones and the texts.

Kennedy would not be fazed by the at times rather rowdy crowd and redirected attention back to the message being conveyed. He spoke of the beauty in music being able to adapt and change to whatever the individual listener needs it to be, and followed this up by playing Outnumbered, the debut album’s first single released earlier this year. The song has already turned into a crowd favourite and sparked a mighty sing-along with the 1500 strong audience.

Kennedy possesses a raw yet powerful voice which becomes even more apparent in a live setting. His raspy tones rolled out over the audience as he performed Power Over Me, spellbinding his crowd in a display nothing short of pure intensity.

Ignoring the traditional call for an encore, Kennedy yet again put focus back on the music rather than sheer theatrics, rounding off the evening against a rainy backdrop with crowd favourite After Rain. He invited the audience to chime in one last time, chanting the final lines “you won’t be lonely” together as one.

What an evening!

  • Supporting act Lilla Vargen, a Northern Irish singer-songwriter with a Swedish stage name (translating to “Little Wolf”), opened the evening with a selection of serene songs accentuated by a strong yet soulful voice. With a new EP released just last Friday, Lilla nestled her way into the hearts of the Norwich audience, song by song. The black sequins of her t-shirt out-sparkled the four disco balls in the LCR ceiling as she set the bar for what was to be a snug and intimate evening.