Last Friday I had the pleasure of going to the secret Hot Press Big Break competition gig in association with Alcatel One Touch. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, Hot Press have been running a competition for artists to submit a song of theirs in order to get the chance to appear on the cover. With hundreds of entries and an unfathomable amount of talent to contend with, the team at Hot Press managed to whittle the list down to one winner…
That winner was 17 year old Walkinstown native Katie Laffan who was described by Hot Press editor Niall Stokes on the night as “someone of truly extraordinary talent, in her entry we heard songs of wonderful brilliance that we believe could be huge hit records.”
Playing a short set in the packed out Odessa posed no challenge to Laffan. Her repertoire included a handful of originals and a unique cover of Dontcha by The Pussycat Dolls which, I think it’s fair to say, left everyone feeling more than a little jealous of the teenager who, before tonight, had never before performed live as a solo artist.
The rest of the night’s entertainment came from The Riptide Movement who I’m sure at this stage need absolutely no introduction on my blog. It was bizarre yet lovely to see them in a room as small as the Odessa having seen them do a double headline at the Olympia theatre just weeks beforehand.
New songs were the main order of the night with each one beginning to sound like the finished product as the lads become more acquainted with them in the live environment. Animal, You & I, Glór and All Works Out are all impressive songs that I can’t wait to hear on the next album, due for release towards the end of this year after a handful of exciting dates here and in the UK, including a support slot for The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park on the 13th of July!
The highlight of the night was probably seeing The Riptide Movement invite Katie Laffan herself onstage to join them for their now-infamous cover of Beyoncé’s Halo. Having seen them perform it several times now, I can confidently say that this was by far the best it’s sounded, no doubt thanks to Katie’s powerful vocals! All in all it was a wonderful night, it is truly great to see such a powerful institution such as Hot Press doing so much to support emerging talent, and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing more and more from this talented young artist.
Have a listen to Katie Laffan’s impressive original song Bubbly here!