The Worry Dolls @ Workman’s Club, Dublin - Mon 25th Sept 2017

This talented duo comprises of Rosie Jones and Zoe Nicol, who originally met at Liverpool University and have been playing together for a number of years, culminating in the release of 2 previous EP’s and their debut album, earlier this year. The ten songs included on Go Get Gone have been receiving widespread acclaim and their decision to uproot to Nashville and record with local musicians has really borne fruit.

So, with an increasing media hum surrounding them, the Worry Dolls come to Ireland for a short tour that sees them play a number of dates around the country. The audience in Dublin is disappointing and indicative of an increasing reluctance to seek out new music that has been all too prevalent in the city over recent months. It is unfortunate, to say the least, as talent like this really deserves a greater platform – hopefully the rest of the tour will see increased numbers coming out to support live music.

The set tonight includes the debut release in its entirety and it is great to hear these songs played in such an intimate setting, stripped down and without studio production and other musicians in the mix. There is a real energy and vibrancy about Rosie and Zoe as they deliver rousing versions of their songs on guitars and banjos, together with some very tasteful harmonica parts from Rosie on certain songs. She also plays a percussion board during the songs that adds a rhythm and tempo to the beautiful harmony vocals and interesting song structures.

Make no mistake, these musicians are going places and have the right attitude and work ethic to get them there. All the songs are written from personal experience and visit such topics of taking chances in life; Train Leavin’ & Endless Road, together with relationships sacrificed; Miss You Already, Don’t Waste Your Heart On Me, and growth through lessons learned; She Don’t Live Here and Passport. Things Always Work Out is something of a mantra for how they approach life on the road and some older songs are also given an airing; Long Gone and Be So Cruel.

We get a sneak-peek at a new song called Tidal Wave, currently in construction, which sounded rather tasty too … The encore is another old number called Drive (Zoe on Ukulele was a treat) and the girls finish up the evening with a smile and a thank you to those who witnessed their first gig in Ireland. Hopefully it will not be their last visit to Dublin and the joy in the performance of these very talented artists is reminiscent of the best in folk & country traditions.   

Review and photograph by Paul McGee