A month after the release of her debut album Placemats & Second Cuts and ahead of her last performance in St John’s Church, Listowel, Marlene Enright brought her live show to the home crowd in Coughlan’s, Cork on April 13th and Gillian McGee was there to witness it.

Marlene Enright’s debut album Placemats and Second Cuts is a piece of pure magic and completely addictive listening.  I’m clearly not the only one who thinks this judging by the enthusiastic reception at her sold out gig in Coughlans Cork where Enright brought us her tunes at a whole other level.


Ailbhe Reddy opened the evening playing support.  A Dublin based singer-songwriter Ailbhe treats us to her pure voice and heartfelt lyrics accompanied by her lone electric guitar lending a sharpness to her sound.  Songs such as ‘Distrust’ and ‘Relentless’ are very special and draw the crowd in – she’s back in Coughlans in a few weeks and is definitely worth catching.


As soon as Marlene Enright and full band take to the stage,  the now nicely packed living room type venue really comes to life.  Opening with  ‘Alchemy’ we are all immediately hooked in and everything sounds so so wonderful.

Gemma Sugrue on backing vocals blends perfectly with Enright’s voice and they create a perfect melodic counterpoint together. The combo of Davie Ryan on drums with Walshy on bass gives everything a big polished sound and Hugh Dillion’s lead guitar is just flawless. Throughout the gig though it’s Marlene’s beautiful floating vocals and rich sound from the keys that truly shine bringing a brilliant light to Enright’s perfect alt pop folk songwriting. The impressive production you can hear on Enright’s album is even stronger live and every single song sounds like a little masterpiece.


Stand out songs on the night are an incredible acapella version of ‘When the Water is Hot’ which sees the whole band singing harmonies clapping and foot stomping, and a spine chilling version of ‘Sadness’.  Enright also treats us to a cool cover of Taylor Swift/Ryan Adam’s ‘Shake it Off’  which leaves you in no doubt that she really has a truly original sound. A nod is also made to Enright’s previous musical life with band ‘The Hard Ground’  with the excellent ‘‘Pucker’ a song Fleetwood Mac would be proud to steal. For me though, ‘We were in Trouble’  is utterly stunning and even more perfect than the album.


Throughout the gig Marlene is so naturally charming and enjoying all the magic she is creating with lots of relaxed chats with the crowd making everyone feel part of this – a very special thing to do. She closed out the night on her own singing a gorgeous rendition of hidden track ‘Holy Moly’ . A performer seriously not to be missed Marlene continues her tour in the coming weeks including playing as part of Cork Opera House Right Here, Right Now festival – make sure you see her for a complete musical treat.