Live Review: The Scratch / Gaolbyrd – 3Olympia, Dublin 19.03.2022

The Scratch’s show in the 3Olympia Theatre was another highly anticipated show originally meant to take place in the Academy a little under 2 years ago. The show was since upgraded to the 3Olympia due to extra demand! The Scratch are a 4 piece acoustic act from Dublin that mix genres from traditional Irish to heavy metal in a wonderfully unique blend.
Support act Gaolbyrd was unique in his own right. His music was a unique blend of those traditional Irish chord progressions mixed with a clear blues influence and a great raspy voice to get the crowd warmed up. His first 3 high tempo songs were on the electric guitar before transitioning to the acoustic guitar for some slower songs including a touching song written for his mother. The last song of the set picked up once more and definitely got the crowd moving before The Scratch took the stage.

As their introduction said The Scratch were just ‘go go go’ from the moment they took the stage, immediately hyping up the crowd . 2 years of anticipation exploded from the crowd screaming back the lyrics of songs such as ‘God Slap’ and ‘Fooling No One’. Lead vocalist and cajon player Daniel Lang otherwise known as Lango had the crowd at his fingertips from early on, able to make them cheer at his command.
Their blend of heavy metal and traditional Irish music is so refreshing and leaves you smiling from ear to ear the entire set. To hear these songs being screamed back to them is exactly what we were missing while live music took it’s leave of absence and it was a beautiful thing to hear again. The lads even brought up a member of the crowd called Ciaran to help them sing. After the song Lango explained that he had to hold Ciarans shirt to stop him from crowd diving. They then played their brand new song ‘Another Round’ about the antics in an Irish pub, a fitting song fir st Patrick’s weekend in Dublin. The song culminated in the whole band head banging while smoke machines exploded in front of them. I am not sure I have ever heard the 3Olympia so loud, something the band themselves commented on.
After ‘Another Round’ came the introduction of The Legs a close friend of the band known for his extraordinary Irish Dancing. The next few minutes was dedicated to showcasing his talents, dancing faster and faster. Legs then proceeded to introduce the entire band Conor (guitar) , Jordo (guitar), Lango and Pete (Bass), before continuing to dance at his blistering fast pace. This was a fantastic showcase of the art of Irish dancing in a setting you might not except. Legs exited the stage in classy fashion on the form of a crowd surf.
The next song in the set ‘Session Song’ describes how many people live for the weekend. Even though this song started slightly slower than most of their others. The crowd still sang every word back to them and enjoyed a bit of a break from the chaos Before the song picked back up creating more madness in the crowd. The end of the song brought a nice moment with the singing to the band which you could see meant a lot to the band. Crowd favourite ‘Old Dog’s was next and was another triumphant moment for the band with the crowd screaming back every word. After this song the band shouted out their parents and family while Jordo threw a banana into the crowd.
Jordo then proceeded to play a tune on tin whistle which he dedicated to his late grandmother, another touching moment within the chaotic set. On the next song Lango asked the crowd to take a garment off and swing them in the air. The crowd then exploded into absolute chaos with the whole crowd jumping swinging their garments in the air.
The night ended in epic fashion with the band Playing ‘Seanchaí’ and ‘Pull your jocks up’ These songs gave both the band and crowd a new burst of energy which I didn’t think was possible. Overall the band put on a flawless performance which left me smiling for hours. It was so great to see an Irish band put on such an impressive performance in one of the most beautiful venues in the country.

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