Rusangano Family – Workmans Club

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Rusangano Family fairly got around this year. Since their last gig in the same venue earlier in March, they’ve played Forbidden Fruit, the Beatyard and countless other places and venues in and out of Ireland. With a handful of new tracks and a new set list arrangement they have somehow made an untouchable show even more enthralling and consistent.

Opening for the trio was Gemma Dunleavy, an Irish singer who has also played her fair share of big shows this year. Her set is a unique one that sees her smooth vocals take center stage, only aided by some effects now and then. It is an encapsulating showing from one Ireland’s best young singers at the moment. There’s no frills or unnecessary visuals, just a fantastic voice on display that needs to be heard.

When the lights go dim and silence dawns on the room, the three members of Rusangano Family enter chanting slowly and demanding attention from the audience. After a slow walk to the stage, they quickly launch into some new material, including recent single ‘Heathrow’, which gets energy levels raised throughout the room. These new songs are welcome additions to their set-list, which has become an even bigger force to be reckoned with.

The acapella segments from God Knows and MuRli highlight not just their abilities on a microphone but their writing skills also. It’s clear that both have evolved a lot since we first saw them and it’s looking like this upcoming album, Let the Dead Bury the Dead, will feature all 3 members at the peak of their abilities, which is an incredibly exciting prospect. With no tentative release date yet, we’ll just have to rely on excellent live shows like this one to keep us going.

Ross Logan