Megan O'Neill at 229 with Emily Faye. Review, Photos & Video's by Danny Coffill-Brown



I Arrived at 229 The Venue Downstairs just off Great Portland street in Central London at 6:30, with plenty time, an hour before the doors, looking to get a front spot, and as expected there was already 5 in the cue of which I see at almost every gig I attend and that is a lot. No surprise it was same 5 as last week when I came here for Katy Hurts Headline show last week.


I Have Been to 229 a fair few times as it one of Talent Banq’s favourite venues for their large gig promotions  and Megan did her 'Ghost Of You' album release her in 2018.

This would also be 12th time seeing Megan this year. There no secret that I am  big fan and I was looking to complete my full hour of listening to just the track rootless live.


Doors opened promptly at 7:30 with full set of the gig regulars in the queue.

After 30 minute wait Ray the promoter of Talent Banq did his usual rowdy introduction and remarking that when Megan messaged him when she landed he felt a buzz in the air and then moving on to Emily Faye remarking how he had seen her and 'Write like A Girl' group take over there smaller venue the Camden Chapel and sell out!



This would be my second time seeing Emily Faye this month as I attend almost all UK Country gigs in London. Tonight she was joined on stage by Michael Clancy. She started her set with  “Leaving Looks Good On You” a very catchy duo guitar riff which is becoming one of my favourite Emily Faye songs which will be released in 2020. She then moved on to her next track “Fearless“ which was written about herself with one of her song writing friends Sue McMillan. She mentioned she hadn’t written a song about herself in a while. The song "fearless" is about being vulnerable with another very catchy strummed guitar riff created by Jake Morrell in one of their writing sessions.


Emily next played “Open Road” a very upbeat catchy song which most of the front crowd knew and were singing along. Emily next took us to the beach with some sun for her song “Barefoot” with the click along section that the gig regulars were ready for and Michael Clancy's guitar solo which for a few years I have been used to Elliott Joseph's guitar solo.


Emily moved on to “looking For A Real Thing “ a song where Michael Clancy plays the guitar part and Emily Faye lets her voice do the work after that we had Emily's last song of the set  “Sucks To Be You” which was written by Sue McMillan & Jess Thristan which has a very catchy singalong part which all regulars already knew so there wasn’t much prompting needed from Emily to get them to sing along.


Ray once again took to the stage to thank Emily Faye for her set and mentioned that the crowd had sold her out of all her merchandise then he introduced Megan with rock star welcome.



Megan started with “Lets Make One Up” from her last album 'Ghost Of You'. She was joined by her full band 2 guitarists, bass player and drummer and Meg playing on the keys for one of her slower numbers. After that number Megan welcomed the crowd and mentioned that the gig would be in two parts staring some older songs and then moving on to some brand-new songs that people wouldn’t have heard before.


Next she played “Bottle” another slow down tempo number. After that she slipped in to “Ghost Of You” the title track of her last album with some cheers from the crowd. After that we moved on to probably my favourite Megan song “Without” a very catchy piano number which showcases her vocals very well. Then she moved on to “Why I Need You” which always sounds great with the full band and the Bluesyish riffs from the guitarists and also one day the wedding song of the year.


Megan then gave the band a break and jumped on the guitar to play a song “Strangers Before We Met” co-written with Ben Earl from The Shires which will be featured on the new album.   The song is about the fact that we are all strangers before we meet. We could see someone and not even talk to them and then become friends. After that Megan brought the band back in for the last of the older songs “Any Younger” which Meg mentioned had been produced by The Dunwells which they played last night at a different venue and signed one of the Vinyl as Megan’s producers. They have also produced Megan's up and coming album for 2020.


We then moved on second part of the set, the new material which the fans and I where really excited about. 6 new tracks. First up we had “Devil You Know” co-written with Jake Morrell. A very catchy number with a great guitar solo. After that she moved on “Fighting Fire With Fire” as Megan described it as a very bitchy song. A very epic full band number with some excellent electric guitar riffs and excellent piano chords. A very emotive but up beat number with great applause from the crowd.


The 3rd of the new songs “Winter Sun” as Megan billed it her 'John Lewis advert number' which her new PR agent asked her why when she is not releasing as a Christmas Single with it's very catchy progressive chord. Moving up and down in scale for great effect and moments with just the piano and cymbals only.


The 4th of the new songs “Some Times I Learn” is a co-write with Kaity Rae with its funky chords and hard back beat the 5th song was also a cowrite with Kaity “Break Hearts“ which Lewis, her guitarist joined her on the vocals. The track started with some deep chord progressions moving on to some very emotive chords. After that Lewis took lead on vocals and then Megan joined him on the tracks with a solid back bone of high hat and snares building in to some very emotive chords with vocals both working very well with harmony’s with vocals dropping out for one of the reflective moments in a song.


The 6th and final one of the new songs “Underrated“ which we have the producers of the new album The Dunwells to thank for bringing the incredible song out of the woodwork because it was written 8 years ago. It catches you with the first hit of the vocals which would be perfect for a film.


That was it the run of new songs was over but then we next moved on to her most streamed song of the last year “Girl Crush” she was joined by Lewis on harmony vocals again.


After that we moved on to “Ireland” which may have been new to some people in the room but not for the Megan regulars as this song and been getting played by her a few times at previous gigs.  The song encapsulates how Ireland is still her home even though she had moved away at 22.


The finals song of the night “Should've Known Better” is another brand new song to delight the packed room full of fans. She says its very simply about being a musician.   The track starts with Megan getting the crowd to sing along to the very catchy part oooo which was joined in perfectly by the percussion and electric guitar in the chorus. It's a very rocky number and a perfect way to end an incredible set by Megan.


Of Course there would an an encore which was a Christmas song marking that it is December now so it's acceptable. As soon as Megan started singing “White Christmas” the crowd were encapsulated singing along with Megan’s perfect voice for this song.


The final song “Rootless” marked an end of the concert and me getting to hear “Rootless” live for a whole hour. There was an immediate singalong by some of the gig regulars  "Rootless" is an excellent track that just builds and builds. Tonight it finished with a big crowd singalong with the chorus "rootless" repeating and repeating.


2020 is set be a stella year for Megan, even greater than 2019 in which she supported Sir Tom Jones.





Emily Faye Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKZKyHCjpAA


Megan video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKOaL7cfSbE


Review Author, Photographer & Videographer - Danny Coffill-Brown

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