Monday, 1 September 2014

Album Review - Mark Dignam & The House of Song "Re-Build"

Re-Build is the latest offering from Dublin born troubadour Mark Dignam. I am not going to beat around the bush, this album is bloody fantastic. Falling somewhere in between a live album and a studio album (I believe this to be the music equivalent of "filmed in front of a live studio audience"), Re-build captures all of the energy and atmosphere of a live show, but is met with the sound quality of a studio engineered album and is something rather special.

For some reason, this is a review that I am really struggling to write. I genuinely can't find anything to fault it on and there is only so much time I can devote to saying how great it is without seeming like I am being bribed to say good things about it. The songs are masterfully crafted, lyrically they are simply breathtaking. An inspiring collection of stories showcasing the strength of  the heart to persevere in the face of adversity, about picking yourself up and not only continuing, but growing from your experiences. There is a beautiful balance between the poetry of Mark's words and the music, which compliment each other perfectly. Mark's voice goes from theatrical declarations in the style of Roger Waters to passionately belting it out in the style of Glen Hansard. From start to finish the album is overflowing with a kind of exciting, dynamic energy that sees songs grow effortlessly from simple, heartfelt ballads into anthemic sing alongs.

The songs range from folk to country to indie rock with even some pop sensibilities thrown in for good measure (and a great sing along chorus like in Damn You California). In an album full of highlights, real stand out moments include the songs  Red Is The Sky, Build, Hope The Sun Shines, I Thought That Love Would Win and Stay. For fans of The Frames, Josh Ritter, The Tallest Man on Earth etc... I cannot recommend this album more highly. Without question the best Irish album I have heard this year. Incredible!


Mark will be playing his only Irish show this year in Whelan's in Dublin on Thursday, October 9th

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Folk 2une of the Week: Ben Howard - Under The Same Sun

I do love this song from Ben Howard which appeared on the extended edition of his massive debut album 'Every Kingdom'. Awesome finger picking guitar, slow build up and wonderful lyrics make this a fantastic track from Ben Howard.

I Forget Where We Were Tour:
3rd December – The Apollo, Manchester
4th December – Civic, Wolverhampton
6th December – Usher Hall, Edinburgh
7th December – Olympia, Dublin - Sold Out
8th December – Olympia, Dublin
10th December – Brixton Academy, London
11th December – Brixton Academy, London

Sunday, 31 August 2014

In Photos: Electric Picnic Saturday 2014

Some photos from Saturday @ Electric picnic. 
Posted by Anto K

Photos of - Stephen James, Raglans, Benjamin Booker, Sinead White, Camembert quartet, Cold draw, Hozier, I'm your vinyl, Eric Butler and the revellators, Melty Brains, Koukie, Saint John the gambler, The ground will shake, Camille O'Sullivan, The amazing few and last but not least Ollie Cole. Have a listen to the Amazing few "bruce lee movie" while having a peek at the pics. 

Created with flickr slideshow.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

In Photos: Electric Picnic Friday 2014

Some photos from Friday @ Electric picnic. 
Posted by Anto Kane

Photos - Phil Cosby, Storyfold, Strange boats, The Altered hours, The trampz (Dundalk's finest!),Oki's wagon, Prison love, Clive Barnes & A cult called man. While you look at the photos please check out "Everyone is inside" by The Altered hours who have fast become my "Fuck yeah" band on the festival circuit. High energy performance mixed with some kick ass tunes, what more do you want? stage presence by the bucket load too! All photos ©AK photography. We are back at the festival tomorrow and promise better photos, today was a long day.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Electric Picnic Picks - Bobby Picks

So today is the day, gates are open, and those of you lucky enough to have tickets are most likely making your way to Stradbally for this year's Electric Picnic. Here is a quick look at the acts that excite me most on this year's bill. (Seeing as Anto got to pick 6, I think it's only fair that I get to pick 7!!)

So, in no particular order:

The Eskies (Body and Soul Earthship Stage, Saturday)

PHOX (Little Big Tent, Saturday)

My Fellow Sponges (Trailer Park, Sunday)

Sinead White (Body and Soul Earthship Stage, Saturday)

Fiach Moriarty (Oxjam Stage, Sunday)

Cult Called Man (Salty Dog, Friday)

And a very special mention goes to Ashley Tubridy, who I had the absolute pleasure of dueting with at the Ballinamore Free Fringe Festival in Leitrim last weekend. You can catch this gifted young Troubadour on The Word Stage in the MindField area at around 2:45 on Sunday


Kevin Casey EP launch @ The Workmans club

Kevin Casey EP launch @ The Workmans club 
Anto Kane

Some photos from Kevin Casey's EP launch at the Workmans Club Dublin tonight's. Support on the night from Deco Greene & Danny C. A very enjoyable gig over all, but, the showmanship from Kevin Casey & band on the night was incredible! 

Created with flickr slideshow.