With the entire Galway Oyster Festival line up – spread across nearly forty venues – together with an entire nation’s -Arthur’s Day’ hangover working against him, perhaps Mundy was not too shocked to walk out to a half-full Roisin Dubh. Galway’s most notorious live venue might have been a tad more spacious than usual, but after calmly watching a note perfect but uninspiring warm up from Planet Parade with a few early drinks, those who did make it were ready to do what Galway does best: dance, and rowdily inundate various members of Mundy’s band into the graveyard of ambition’s relentless party culture.
In fact, keyboard player Gerry – a quiet and unassuming lad perched at the back of the stage – seems to have acquired -local legend’ status, and spent most of his evening trying to ignore vociferous personal invites to go and party afterwards. They open proceedings with -It’s all Yours’ promptly followed by -By Your Side’, ‘10,000 Miles Away From Her’ and – a song close to the singer’s heart – -I Miss the Country’. It’s difficult to imagine Mundy would perform any differently in front of thousands, and it’s this passion and charisma that keeps eyes pointed firmly forward. When he tells the crowd he’s ‘never met anyone from Galway whose passed an exam’, the assembled rabble are firmly onside.
-January’ – a gentle commentary on rural life in winter – is soon followed by a more vibrant -July’ and the inevitable -Galway Girl’, which sees the stage front turn into the country’s newest line dancing venue, and Mundy treat the song to its own mini encore in the form an extra chorus. There are plenty of Galway Girls down the front throwing their arms around, but to Mundy’s credit, it’s his own brand of folk-infused rock that’s stealing the show, with a delightfully lively -Tenerife’ standing tall amongst nearly 90 minutes of melodic tracks.
Vocal calls for the delightfully delicate -Lynchpin’ are finally sated three tracks from the end – State are pretty sure it wasn’t on the set list – and it brings with it the only moment of respectful silence all night, a gesture of deference that makes the track all the more heartfelt. The show of admiration wins the assembled a round of applause from the band, who seem to be enjoying themselves as much as anyone. Minutes later they’re thrashing their way through magnificent closer -Mexico’, a song that’s seen out with a stream of slamming chords on the collective guitars and a vocal standing ovation. State has no idea what happened to Gerry later in the night, but, if the gig was anything to go by, we’d imagine it involved ritual hero worship and plenty of beer. We hope you made it, Gerry.