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Sleep Thieves – Whelan’s Upstairs


Sleep Thieves celebrated the release of their stellar new album You Want the Night in Whelan’s on Saturday night with a performance that more than matched the group’s powerful début.

Two mood setting supporting turns from Cove (who finished their performance with an attention grabbing crescendo wherein vocalist Philly Ryan jumped off stage to deliver the manic finale of ‘Silhouettes’ after a technical fault) and the sublime audio/visual experience that was Nanu Nanu’s energetic set, perfectly set the stage for Sleep Thieves’ brooding atmospheric sound.

The deep intertwined textures and sustained harmonic weight of Sleep Thieves studio work is brought into the live realm through the trio’s palpable interplay. Great washes of synthesizer, melodically twisting guitar and soaring vocals meld together forming a sonic backdrop for the group to expand upon.

Permeating a slow-burning mood, Sleep Thieves’ set was one filled with subtlety and pulsing dynamic persistence. Tracks such as ‘Islands’ pushed forward the performance with more up-tempo glistening electro-pop while the serene shimmering splendor of ‘City of Hearts’ showcased the moving tone and feel of not only Sleep Thieves’ latest album but also their live aesthetic.

Central to the night was Sorcha Brennan’s ability to convey the emotive and tonal aspects of the music to the audience through an engrossing performance. Caught in the heavy lighting of Whelan’s upstairs venue Brennan took the performance to the crowd, embodying the sound through intense flourishes of movement.

Bringing the set to a close with ‘Sparks’ (the stand-out track of You Want The Night) Sleep Thieves achieved in translating the large-scale sonic beauty of their début album with a show that contained all the mood, atmosphere and depth that the record possesses. A simply enthralling performance from a band continuing to expand on their music.

You Want the Night by Sleep Thieves is out now. Read The Last Mixed Tape’s review here

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