After what’s been the undoubted best year of their career, there’s a strange irony in Delorentos finishing 2012 in the slightly chaotic circumstances of the INEC. With last minute schedule changes seeing the gig move from the intimate confines of the Acoustic Club to the Ballroom next door, everyone involved has to reassess their approach to the evening. Playful appeals for the crowd to get up on their feet soon turned to desperate pleas. The band even stage a mock protest and refused to continue the gig unless the crowd get up off their chairs. The sound system sympathetically joins the protest by self-destructing in the strangest feat of theatrical coincidence. With no sound and the distinct possibility of the night ending early, frontmen Kieran McGuinness and Rónan Yourell salvage the situation. Their impromptu acoustic and quite literally unplugged version of ‘Little Sparks’ rescues the moment and even manages to get some people on their feet.
The gig reverts back to normality in no time which unfortunately includes the crowd returning to their tables. But this does not quell the Delorentos spirit. Newer songs such as ‘The Stream’ and ‘Petardu’ show deeper and more mature levels of the band’s performance it is the old reliables that inevitably steal the show. In the end the paring of ‘S.E.C.R.E.T.’ and ‘STOP’ finally get the crowd up and they are only getting started when the aptly titled ‘Did We Ever Really Try’ brings things to a close.
While the night may not include all the trademarks of a conventional Delorentos gig, it does provide an alternative viewpoint to observe the band’s musical talents. Their performance on the night is note perfect and, while others may have withdrawn and sulked their way through proceedings, the Dubliners never give up. In many ways, perhaps a fitting conclusion to the year after all.