Sunday, 31 May 2009

Sunday Summer Song: Simple Kid

I know I'm repeating myself but it really was great to see that Simple Kid's two albums made it into's top 50 albums in the last 10 years. This is especially pleasing when you consider SK has been in hibernation in London for a number of years now!

'Staring At The Sun' originally appears on SK1 but here is the live version which appears on the Other Voices 2 album!

Staring At The Sun

Well I started out strong
And my hopes were high
I figured I’ll be like Bonnie and Clyde
25 beers as an alibi
Had to get connected

So I wrote a long letter to a government man
I told him I was born in the summer of Sam
He said: "Son I don’t think that you understand,
I just want to get elected"

But my heart got heavy and my hair grew long
I had to get a job just to get along
I was down in the gutter bellow,
I was down in the gutter bellow

As my daddy always said
Sing a song, how hard can it be just to get along?
He said: "Don’t go selling your soul.
Yeah, don’t go selling your soul."

Hey man, you know, what’s there, too slow,
Feels like im staring at the sun
Get high, get low, don’t let your ego
I’ve been staring at the sun, staring at the sun

Well I got a lot of love for the modern man
I read a lot of books that I don’t understand
Won a lot of things, but I lost your soul
Just want a hooker with a heart of gold

As my heart gets heavy and my hair gets long
How hard can it be just to get along?
When you don’t go selling your soul
Yes, don’t go selling your soul

Hey man, you know, what’s there, too slow,
Feels like im staring at the sun
Get high, get low, don’t let your ego
I’ve been staring at the sun, staring at the sun

Now baby I love you
But spring's in the air
But it just seems like, lately
We spend our days smoking pot and
Wondering how we got so fucked up

Hey man, u know, don’t let your ego,
Feels like we're staring at the sun
Hey man, u know, don’t let your ego,
I've been staring at the sun
Hey man, u know, don’t let your ego,
Feels like we're staring at the sun
Hey man, u know, don’t let your ego,
I've been staring at the sun,
Staring at the sun,
Staring at the sun

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Outdoor Summer Gigs Round-up!

Stage Times have been announced on their site:

Friday 26th June 09
Main Stage
10.30pm Kila
9.30pm Zion Train
8pm Donal Dineen
7pm David Kitt
6pm RSAG
5pm Túcan

Saturday 27th June 09
Main Stage
11.30pm Super Furry Animals
10.15pm Fred
9pm Mick Flannery
8pm 202,S
7pm Juno Falls
6pm Charis
5pm Onya

Oxegen 2009

At the time of writing there have just been 12 Irish acts announced for Oxegen 2009. [Please bear in mind I included The Saturdays due to Una Healy being in the band!] Does anyone else think this is a bit lame? What percentage are we talking about here? Barely 20%!

No such problems finding Irish acts in Oldcastle where the Le Cheile festival has probably their best line-up ever for the last week of July and first few days of August!

Lisa Hannigan
Declan O'Rourke
Fight Like Apes
Jason Byrne
Little Palace
The Barleyshakes
Fiona Melady
Noise Control
Nell Bryden
Adeibsi Shank
Heritage Centre

And more TBC

Limited amount of weekend tickets on sale now for €100
Jason Byrne tickets €18

Here's a nice promo video clip featuring most of the main acts!

The latest outdoor gig to be announced is the Cork X Southwest in Skibbereen on August 1st! Great line-up for the day and only €50 entry!

Castle Palooza in Tullamore will be competing with the above gig over the Bank Holiday in August!

Angel Pier
David Kitt
Project Jenny Project Jan
Channel One
The Lost Brothers
Dark Room Notes
Noise Control
8 Ball
Le Galaxie
Nell Bryden
The Ambience Affair
Followers of Otis
Patrick Kelleher

Also in Cork that August Bank Holiday in Mitchelstown is the Indie-Pendance Festival!

The Blizzards
Vesta Varro
The 202's
Ollie Cole
Gavin Glass & The Holy Shakers
Ian Whitty & The Exchange
The Hot Sprockets
Messiah J & The Expert
The Chapters
Wallis Bird
The Aftermath
The Minutes
Grand Pocket Orchestra
Le Galaxie
The Frank & Walters
Dark Room Notes

The end of Summer is near when the Electric Picnic comes to town! Will it be the final year for Oxegen's kid brother? Lets focus on this year! Alot of good Irish acts take centre stage for the EP including:

Bell X1,
Damien Dempsey,
Dublin Gospel Choir,
Fionn Regan,
Imelda May,
Lisa Hannigan,

Wayne Brennan - Peace In Your Mind

I know I post too many YouTube clips on this blog that for any regular reader is pure overload! I know myself I tend to go right past the video clip when I'm trawling blogs!

BUT............... You have to check this out!

Wayne Brennan upstairs in The Punt Bar in The Purple Sessions in Drogheda!

Friday, 29 May 2009

It's Friday, I'm in Love with

Fair play to the guys over at! While the world was only getting used to the web in May 1999, the Cluas gang began an Irish Music site and forum which is an improtant reference point for anyone interested in Irish music. I especially love reading the old concert reviews, especially those ones I was lucky enought to have attended!

"To mark the occasion of's 10th birthday the CLUAS writers were polled to find the top 50 Irish albums of's lifetime, i.e. from 1999 to 2009. A total of 35 writers voted in this poll, each of them voting for an average of 8 albums."

On that list is Turn's excellent album 'Forward' from which today's sample Ain't It A Love comes from:

Buy 'Forward'

Thursday, 28 May 2009

The Pale - Proper Order [Album Review]

The Pale probably should have become a massive band in the early 90's due to their original and distinct qualities. I loved their early tunes but for whatever reason [financial probably!] I simply never got round to buying an album and only caught the band live for the first time in The Academy before Christmas.

The Pale released their 8th [or 9th depending on source!] studio album entitled Proper Order earlier this month. I have to admit that I am really enjoying Proper Order. It sounds exactly what a 'The Pale' album should sound like. We have strong vocals, quality thoughtful lyrics, mandolin infused melodies and simply a great set of tunes.

I love the first three tracks which deal with the realities of being in a band. There's the plight of being a support act, getting noticed by the local area and having to deal with advances and temptations. Proper Order then kicks into the 2008 single Chocolate Factory which is the best pop tune on the album. The rest of the album includes many references to modern Ireland with the lyrics becoming very subjective. 'Beauty in the Riot' for example creates for me many images of love, clarity, chaos and acceptance.

Proper Order is a consistently strong album if a little on the short side at just under 30 minutes! But hey I'm always told it's quality not length that's important! If like me you haven't got round to acquiring an album from 'The Pale', let me recommend you start with Proper Order.

The Pale - We Were First On

The Pale - Proper Order [9 out of 12]

Buy The Album - Digital
Buy The Album - CD

Jun 12: Roisin Dubh - Galway
Jun 20: Midsummer Shindig - Corofin, Co. Galway
Jun 26: Clarence Hotel - Sligo
Jun 27: Tramore - Tramore, Waterford
Jul 24: Folk Holidays Festival - Naměšť
Aug 8: The Stables - Mullingar, Westmeath

Van Cleef Album Launch

The Van Cleef boys are having a party tomorrow night in The Village in which you can be there for just €10! Included in the price are Van Cleef, Might Atomics and Sarah Gleeson, the debut album and a great night!

Why shouldn't ya be there?

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Live Mic Weekend Review

Last weekend was full of amazing wonderful moving music in the Wicklow Mountains. The Community Hall in Conary played host to many acts over the weekend, however we got to see just five acts on Friday and Saturday. Aoife Moriarty kicked off the weekend by playing a strong set mostly with Aoife on the piano. However when she moved to guitar the tunes seem to come more alive!

Next up was Andrew Handrick who played a set almost entirely of new songs and nods to a special second album from Andrew.

Friday's headline act was Mark Dignam and it must be my 6th time seeing Mark live. If you get a chance to see Mark live just do it! Food for the soul!

We arrived just in time to catch Ciara Ashmore's set which was brilliant. She has great tunes, a nice voice and a good image. She will get lots of Kate Nash comparisons but the quality of the tunes reminds me of Dar Williams!

I was massively impressed with Brendan O'Shea, the headliner on the Saturday night. Brendan offers a simple mix of great tunes, inpirational lyrics and a sense of humour.

A highlight was the tune Dismantled which Brendan performed with Mark Dignam.


Here is the encore again where Paddy Casey, Mark Geary and Mark Dignam join Brendan onstage!

I for one will be hoping that the Live Mic Weekend becomes an annual event in the beautiful Wicklow Mountains! Thanks to Ais and the crew for all the great work!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Music News

Lots of Irish artists are playing to the masses in Glastonbury this year. The Acoustic stage finds Lisa Hannigan, Imelda May, Bap Kennedy, Sharon Corr and Lunasa! Fight Like Apes are on the Queen's Head stage, Japanese Popstars on the Dance stage while The Script and In Case of Fire are on the Other Stage!

Fight Like Apes - Lend Me Your Face

Lisa Hannigan - Lille

Full line-up is here:

June 5th is Phantom First Friday time again. This month is the turn of Messiah J & The Expert, 8ball and Heritage Centre, followed by all of your favourite phantom anthems with Derek Byrne 'til late.

Heritage Centre's excellent video for their single 'I Will Protect You'

Brian Canavan is going all generous as explained here:

Howdy Pop Fan

For each copy of GO bought from, we are giving €1 to OXFAM's Emergency Appeal in The Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ger Murphy, who plays piano in the band, works in OXFAM. We offered to help out with any fundraising events organised by OXFAM and he came back with this idea. Funding to Irish Aid agencies was cut by $225million over the past few months and this obviously has crippled their ability to complete projects in the 3rd World. So if we can get 225 million downloads then this will help.

To buy the song
1) TEXT music 2796 to 57501. You will receive a code
2) Go to and insert your obile number and the code
3) Click Download. The total cost to you is €1

Many Thanks and pass it on

One of the best and most consistent Irish Music sites is They asked their viewers to pick their favourite album in the last ten years since it's origen in 1999. Find the list here:

It's nice to see the two Simple Kid albums included as well as Mumblin' Deaf Ro and Alphastates debut album.

Sean Needham returns from Denmark to launch his second album ‘Time is a Friend' in Whelans on Friday 14th August. Sean from Donegal is one of Ireland's best talents who released a great debut a few years back.

Ruby Tuesday - Arrow In The Sky

Arrow in the Sky from Mullingar have just released their debut EP and it's a great start to their musical career. Taken from their bio online:

........ "If one were to look at the stage prior to an Arrow in the Sky show, one would expect to see at least ten men appear before you. When three men arrive on the stage surrounded by banjos, mandolins, basses, accordions, tin whistles, harmonicas, saxophones, trumpets, keys, various percussives and of course acoustic guitars, an air of expectancy can be palpably felt in the audience. The audience stares, as if a physical arrow were approaching, not quite knowing where to stand or what to do, merely looking, listening and waiting. And when the music starts up and the voices rise in melodious harmony, the hush of the crowd lets one know that the arrow has hit its target."

So we have three sound blokes, singing and playing in harmony songs that have real depth and character. Arrow in the Sky is not a folk band, or an indie folk band, or a pop band or a rock band! In fact they are so difficult to pigeon hole I'm going to stop writing and encourage you to download the sample mp3 and remember to befriend the band any way you can!

Sample Mp3 - Half Glass

Jun 1, 2009 The Platform @ Gleesons Clonmel, Ireland
Jun 2, 2009 Kenny’s Village Inn Co. clare, Ireland
Jun 3, 2009 Baker Place Limerick, Ireland
Jun 4, 2009 Phil Grimes’ Bar Waterford, Ireland
Jun 5, 2009 Sarsfields Bar Co. Louth, Ireland
Jun 6, 2009 Skellys Longford, Ireland
Jun 7, 2009 The Purty Kitchen Dublin, Ireland
Jun 9, 2009 Lethean Bar Portlaoise, Ireland
Jun 10, 2009 The Globe Bar & Cafe Dublin, Ireland
Jun 11, 2009 The Stables mullingar, Ireland
Jun 12, 2009 The Widows Cavan, Ireland
Jun 13, 2009 Skellys Longford, Ireland
Jun 14, 2009 The Bleeding Horse Dublin, Ireland
Jun 15, 2009 An Poc Fada Monaghan, Ireland
Jun 16, 2009 The Sky and the Ground Wexford, Ireland

Monday, 25 May 2009

Live Mic Weekend - Pull Your Socks Up

Here's the encore of the Brendan O'Shea gig on Saturday 23rd May 2009 in Conary, Co. Wicklow. Brendan brought Mark Geary, Mark Dignam and with some persuading Paddy Casey onstage for an 8 minute version of this silly anthem!

Mark Dignam is there [honestly] on the far left with Paddy Casey!

Monday Under The Covers: The Thrills do Madonna!

There was some good news on the State website found here about a new charity album in aid of the charity Aware, an organistion that provides support and awareness programs for people suffering with depression..

1. The Flaws - The Killing Moon (Echo & the Bunnymen)
2. Ham Sandwich - Stay (Shakespeare’s Sister)
3. Republic Of Loose - God Moves On The Water (Blind Willie Johnson)
4. Damien Dempsey - The Hackler From Grouse Hall (Christy Moore)
5. Dave Couse - Caroline, No (Brian Wilson / Beach Boys)
6. Lisa Hannigan - Courting Blues (Nick Drake)
7. Le Galaxie - Maneater (Hall& Oates)
8. Cowboy X - Gigantic (Pixies)
9. Dirty Epics - Glory Box (Portishead)
10. The Thrills - Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me (The Smiths)
11. Bell X1 - No Retreat, No Surrender (Bruce Springsteen)

Some album this will be and it's great to see Dave Couse included here.

I got thinking about The Thrills and wondering when the forth album will be released and if they will be performing any gigs in the near future. Here is this week's cover;

The Thrills - Like a Virgin

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Sunday Summer Song: Automata

Automata are a band I need to seriously discover in the near future. Liberty Bell was a big Irish hit for the band in 2006 and last year's 'Colours of Sound' album is regarded as one of the best Irish release of 2008. Need You Sunshine is something we all need in Ireland and is a quality pop song. 'Sunshine where are you hiding?' .....brilliant stuff!

Need You Sunshine

Friday, 22 May 2009

It's Friday, I'm in Love with Vampire Love

Taken from the official Ash website:

"For the past year they have been holed up in their New York HQ, Atomic Heart Studios, writing and recording a series of songs that will form the “A-Z series”. From September, each fortnight for the next twelve months, Ash will release a single on limited 7” vinyl and digital download... Commencing with ‘A’ and running through the alphabet, all 26 songs will be released on Ash’s own Atomic Heart Records and will be available through shops and by subscription through the band’s website

To kick off this series, Ash will be releasing a Mark Hamilton penned song RETURN OF WHITE RABBIT. Fans will be able to download this song free of charge from the Ash website from May 18, and 1000 limited 7” will be made available to buy through mail order and selected independent record shops from June 8.

New single RETURN OF WHITE RABBIT sees the band throwing angular guitars over electro hooks and growling bass, in a febrile departure from their recent output. Created with resident engineer Claudius Mittendorfer, this is an urgent and liberating take on classic heart-tugging Ash, indicative of the darker electronic influence across the forthcoming A-Z songs.

The exclusive promo CD’s RETURN OF WHITE RABBIT have been artworked personally by members of the band: Rick’s pack of playing cards, Tim’s apocalyptic bunny rabbits and Mark’s day-glo stencils.

Ash will be playing two nights at the Bloomsbury Ballroom on June 6 and 7 and a number of festivals over the summer in the lead up to the launch of the A-Z series in September 2009"

Vampire Love

I been listening again to the early albums and they sound so fresh. Some great rock tunes! Back in 1995 following a gig in the Tivoli where Ash supported Elastica, the drummer stumbles out of the venue, falls over with his bag landing a few metres from him. My friend [a chick] took the bag and ran. The boxers and towels were clean! Fun night!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Live Mic Weekend

I'm going here this weekend! Say hi if you are going yourself! I have a few blog posts scheduled but in general there won't be too much activity here over the next few days!


Nell Bryden's Ireland & UK Tour

Nell Bryden is touring in our neck of the woods so there's a good chance you will be hearing more from this Dixie Queen. I seen Nell live in Whelans last year and she was massively entertaining, with great vocals and stage pressence. Her new album has just been released into the shops and I'm sure Nell will pick up many friends on her journey through the land!

Here's a mini bio of Nell on

"NELL BRYDEN caused a stir in the press last year when she funded her career with a Milton Avery painting she found in her attic- which she brought to Sotheby’s to auction off, getting $300, 000 for it! Instead of depositing her good fortune in the unruly stock market, she poured it into her music career. Four major International tours in the last 12 months (totaling almost 500 in just over 2 years) including a tour with KT Tunstall, The Counting Crows and impromptu sets with Damien Dempsey & Declan O’Rourke, and Bryden is tipped as being one of the biggest breakthrough acts to hit Ireland and the British Isles this year. (Nell was named Best Unsigned Artist of 2008 on Hits Daily Double). Circling the globe, building a passionate following for her Americana-Country-Soul hybrid sound. Her single “Second Time Around” earned her a Top 40 in the Official Irish Charts and received weekly radio plays across Ireland & The UK. (And even on Terry Wogan’s Radio 2 show in the UK). It was “Song of The Week” on Today FM also. It was then featured in one of Ireland’s most well known compilations CEOL CD, featuring along side Glen Hansard, Duke Special, Mick Flannery and other well known Top Irish Acts."

20 May 2009 10:15 Dublin’s Country Mix - Lyndsey Dolan morning show Dublin
21 May 2009 19:30 Dublin South Radio with Brendan Hickey Dublin
21 May 2009 20:00 Clonmel – support for Mick Flannery
22 May 2009 22:00 WLRFM- Roddie Cleere Dublin
24 May 2009 15:00 Dublin City Soul Festival Dublin
26 May 2009 21:00 Ginglik London
27 May 2009 20:00 The Maze Nottingham
28 May 2009 20:00 Blue Cat Manchester (Heaton Moor, Stockport)
29 May 2009 20:00 Factory Sunderland
30 May 2009 20:00 Marrs Bar Worcester
31 May 2009 20:00 Norwich Arts Center Norwich
5 Jun 2009 8:15 Clare FM breakfast show with Conn
5 Jun 2009 20:00 Carlow - Mick Flannery Carlow
6 Jun 2009 20:00 Glor Arts Center Ennis
12 Jun 2009 20:00 The Thatch, Rahan Rahan
13 Jun 2009 20:00 Sky & the Ground, Wexford Wexford
18 Jun 2009 20:00 LAMB presents Go West! London
19 Jun 2009 20:00 The Riverbank, Wexford - Mick Flannery Wexford
20 Jun 2009 20:00 Thurles - with Mick Flannery Thurles
26 Jun 2009 20:00 The Pavilion, Cork Cork
30 Jun 2009 20:00 Whelan’s, Dublin Dublin
7 Jul 2009 20:00 Acoustic Edinburgh Edinburgh, Scotland
7 Jul 2009 21:00 Kenny’s, The Village Inn Lahinch, Co. Clare
18 Jul 2009 20:00 The Stables, Mullingar Mullingar
1 Aug 2009 17:00 Cork X Southwest Festival, Skibereen Skibereen
2 Aug 2009 17:00 Castlepalooza

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Free Music Tuesday - Ash, Delorentos,

Or so it seems!

Want the new Ash single? Get it here:

Want a free Delorentos song? Go here:

Want a free Padraig Rushe tune? Go here:

Also there's a free track by a new indie folk band Arrow In The Sky over here:

Also Camille O'Sullivan performed a wonderful version of Nick Drake's 'Way To Blue' last weekend!

Margaret Healy was today's guest on Balcony.Tv!

Ruby Tuesday - Aoife Moriarty

Aoife Moriarty released her debut album early this year called Dolls and Jigsaws. It's an interesting album of well crafted piano based pop songs that is growing on me with every listen. I seen Aoife supporting Brian Canavan in January and I'm really looking forward to catching Aoife's performance at the Live Mic Weekend where she is supporting Mark Dignam and Andrew Handrick.

Buy The Album:

22 May 2009 20:00 Conary Hall, Avoca, Co Wicklow w/Mark Dignam Wicklow, Wicklow
24 May 2009 20:00 The Cheeky Sunday Social Club Cork, Cork
20 Jun 2009 20:00 Roisin Dubh Galway, Galway
21 Jun 2009 20:00 The Spirit Store, Dundalk Dundalk

Monday, 18 May 2009

New Tunes from Padraig Digan

Wallmark was another band in the 'should've been massive' category. The band released their only album in 2005 entitled 'Everything, Something, Anything' and it's a super album with great tunes.

Here is the video to their single 'Melodies & Lines'

Wallmark's singer Padraig Digan is back recording again and will have a debut album out real soon. You can stream three of his tunes on his MySpace:

Padraig has a great voice, nice tunes and strong lyrics. Really looking forward to the debut!

Monday Under The Covers: Make a Deal With God?

I am going to remind you about one of the best covers I have heard this year by Ham Sandwich. 'Running Up That Hill' was recorded at the Inspirations gig in the Academy in late February.

See Ham Sandwich live:

4 Jun 2009 20:00 SLANE acoustic sessions Boyles Pub Slane, Meath
6 Jun 2009 20:00 The Purty Kitchen>> Dun Laoghaire Dublin
11 Jun 2009 13:00 Tower Records Dublin, Dublin
11 Jun 2009 20:00 LEITRIM>>Moon River, Carrick On Shannon>> Carrick On Shannon, Leitrim
13 Jun 2009 20:00 Whelans>> Dublin, Dublin

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Kiernan McMullan Dolans Gig Poster

Nice Video here!

Sunday Summer Song: The Walls

Last month The Walls played a few gigs in The Czech Republic and Vienna in preparation for releasing thier third album as The Walls. Details are patchy as to when that album will be released but as soon as I know, it will appear here!

This acoustic version of their big hit should brighten up anyone's world!

To The Bright & Shining Sun [Acoustic]

Saturday, 16 May 2009

In Honour of the Eurovision

My Lovely Horse

Where are you going, with your fetlocks blowing in the wind?

I want to shower you with sugar lumps, and ride you over fences

Polish your hooves every single day, and bring you to the horse dentist

My lovely horse, you're a pony no more

Running around with a man on your back, like a train in the night...

But seriously ...... if Eurovision is your thing check out this site:

My blogging pal Ronan is doing a live blog of the mad event tonight over at ....

Also check out this 'Path Finder Pat's blog for some interesting covers! Want to hear Shane McGowen singing 'What's Another Year'?

Past Oirish Victories:

And some funny clips!

Friday, 15 May 2009

It's Friday, I'm in Love with Whipping Boy

In light of the news that Fearghal Mc'Kee is gigging again with a new band 'SSS' I give to you one of the best love songs ever written by an Irish artist or band. 'So Much For Love' is from the 2000 self titled third album.

So Much For Love

All she wants is to be remembered
All he sees is his own reflection,
Standin' in the way
She says I wish we could kiss like we used to
I wish we could be
I wish we could just make time
Stand still for me
So much for love
When it's given away
So much for love
That it gets in the way

Like a summer breeze that turns chilly
You're quick to change
Reassurance now it don't come cheap
Your crutch is to blame
She said slow it down baby
Or you'll come too fast
Try too hard it won't last
But that's the nightmare of your nightmare's past
Easy to address

So much for love
When it's given away
So much for love

When you're livin' today
Livin' this way

So much for love
When it's given away
So much for love
That it gets in the way
When you're livin' today
Livin' this way

So Much For Love

Catch Fearghal upstairs in Whelans June 19th!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

VP Acoustic Tour 2009

There's a two week acoustic tour going araound Ireland over the next few weeks! All the details are below! Check out the low admission costs too!

May 15th
Acoustic Showcase Gig

Wayne Brennan
Bill Coleman
Danny Mahony
Aisling McCormilla
Mean Keith

The Stables, Mullingar

Doors: 8pm
Tickets: €5

May 17th

John Shelly & The Creatures
Ryan Sheridan
Bill Coleman
Followers Of Ottis
Aisling McCormilla

Cuba Galway

Doors: 8pm
Tickets: €5

May 24th

Bill Coleman
Ryan Sheridan
Rurai Coogan

Masons, Derry

Doors: 8pm
Tickets: £3

May 25th

John Shelly & The Creatures
Ryan Sheridan
Bill Coleman
Wayne Brennan

Auntie Annies, Belfast

Doors: 8pm
Tickets: £3

May 29th

Wayne Brennan
Ryan Sheridan
Rurai Coogan
John Shelly & The Creatures
Joy Booth

The Backroom, Navan

Doors: 8pm
Tickets: €5

May 30th

Ryan Sheridan
Wayne Brennan
Danny Mahony
Followers Of Ottis

Master Deerys, Monaghan

Doors: 8pm
Tickets: €5

May 31st

Aisling McCormilla
Ryan Sheridan
John Shelly & The Creatures
Wayne Brennan
Danny Mahony

Doyles Bar (upstairs), Dublin

Doors: 8pm
Tickets: €5

June 1st

Wayne Brennan
Ryan Sheridan
Danny Mahony
Aisling McCormilla
Ruairi Coogan

Whelans (upstairs), Dublin

Doors: 5pm
Tickets: €5

Kiernan McMullan Irish Tour

Blog favourite Kiernan McMullan posted a link to a performance of 'That Afternoon' recorded in a coffee house somewhere in America. The tune is amazing and the guitar playing is something else but watch the hilarious dancers in the corner! Very funny!

Also Kiernan has broken the 100,000 view mark on his MySpace page! Can't wait until he plays The 2UIBestow Sessions in June!

27 May 2009 21:00 De Barras Clonakilty, Cork
2 Jun 2009 20:00 Kennys (The White Horse Sessions) La Hinch, Clare
4 Jun 2009 21:00 Boyles Slane, Meath
5 Jun 2009 20:30 Dolans Warehouse (Headline Show) Limerick, Limerick
6 Jun 2009 20:00 Sky and the Ground Wexford, Wexford

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Album Review - Alphastates 'Human Nature'

I think I'm beginning to get a good understanding of the different factors that shape journalistic opinions. I went to the album launch of 'Human Nature' and Alphastates were simply amazing live. Therefore this album will forever stimulate good feelings and memories of that gig which makes the album sound perfect!

'Human Nature' is the second album from Alphastates which contains ten tracks designed to transport you to a different plane! Alphastates merge the best of electronica, indie and dance with Catherine Dowling's delicate vocals to produce a sound which offers the listener something different and fresh. The lyrics can be pretty powerful as well on tracks such as the love story of 'Anywhere' and the beautiful closing tune 'Comfort in Silence'.

This album works so well as a complete work. Individually there may be a case that not one track stands out on it's own as a 'hit'. I think the band were a long time settling on a track list and running order for the album which has paid off here. 'Human Nature' is as compact an album as you are likely to hear. However it does sound better after you witness the band live!

Alphastates - Human Nature (10 out of 12)

Martin Egan, Craig Walker & Fearghal McKee Live Whelans 19th June

Wow what a line-up for the tiny venue of Upstairs in Whelans. The only good thing about the recession is that while you may have less gigs to go to, you will have magical nights to experience.

More info:

Let's remember how brilliant Craig Walker (The Power of Dreams) and Whipping Boy were:

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Many Gigs on the Horizon

So ..... you get a night out, three artists and a free album for just €10? Fair play to the Van Cleef lads!

Blog tip for the top band The Funeral Suits are gigging this Friday in the Academy 2 with New Amusement in support. Here's their excellent single Black Lemonade:

It's all Director Vs Delorentos on Friday 22nd May when Director play The Button Factory and Delorentos playing in Whelans! Surely if these gigs were on different nights the punters would be a lot happier? I know Delorentos are playing the Saturday night but really promoters get it together!

Blog favourite Ruairi Coogan is keeping himself very busy over the Summer clocking in a good few gigs including The 2UIBestow Sessions launch and the high profile Damien Dempsey support in Slane at the end of August.

21 May 2009 20:00 Yukon Bar (The Stables) Mullingar, Westmeath
24 May 2009 20:00 Masons (Derry) - VP Acoustic Showcase Derry
29 May 2009 20:00 VP Instore Gig - E2 Music Navan, Meath
29 May 2009 20:00 The Backroom - VP Acoustic Showcase Navan, Meath
1 Jun 2009 20:00 Whelans (Dublin) VP Acoustic Showcase Wexford St, Dublin
4 Jun 2009 20:00 2UIBestow Sessions w/Ham Sandwich Slane, Meath
5 Jun 2009 20:00 Paddy Blues Sessions Gorey, Wexford
18 Jun 2009 20:00 Freedom Cafe Sessions - Galway Galway City, Galway
19 Jun 2009 20:00 The Backroom w/Peadar Farrelly Navan, Meath
28 Aug 2009 20:00 The Purple Sessions Drogheda, Louth
29 Aug 2009 20:00 Rock D Lough, Slane (w/ Damien Dempsey) Slane, Meath

Lunasa are playing in The Button Factory this Friday and I'd love to see this band live!

Finally the Meath Event Guide has helped us out big time with the following in the next edition. Thanks again Trish!

Click here for high resolution version:

Ruby Tuesday - Andrew Handrick

It's getting very close to the LiveMicWeekend in Co. Wicklow. All the details can be found here: .... artists playing include Mark Geary, Elder Roach, Brian Canavan and this week's Ruby Tuesday artist Andrew Handrick.

According to his MySpace: "Born in Dublin, Ireland, currently based between Bray, Co Wicklow and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy. Andrew is a self taught musician who writes edgy folk/rock music with deep, literate lyrics."

From what I've heard of Andrew Handrick I think the songs are well written with good vocals. I'm looking forward to Andrew's set just before blog favourite Mark Dignam as long as it doesn't take too long to put the tent up!


Monday, 11 May 2009

Declan O'Rourke - Sarah

Such beautiful music here:

Monday Under The Covers: David Kitt

David Kitt's album The Nightsaver released a few months back is another excellent Irish album to come out this year. I was a big fan of David's first two albums but when we moved to the UK I lost track of David's progression through the albums 3 to 5. The Nightsaver is album number 6 and to me there is a return to the simplistic beauty of the first album in conjunction with new fresh electronic sounds. I'm really pleased to read that David is playing two festivals in Spain this July and his appearance on the Castlepalooza bill should be the big crowd puller this year! Here is David Kitt covering Prince.

When Doves Cry

30 May 2009 20:00 Happy Valley Festival Thomastown, Kilkenny
16 Jun 2009 20:00 White Horse Sessions Clare
26 Jun 2009 20:00 Bundoran Surf Fest Donegal
11 Jul 2009 20:00 Razzmatazz Barcelona, Barcelona
19 Jul 2009 20:00 Benacassiom Festival Valencia, Valencia
1 Aug 2009 20:00 Castlepolooza Festival Tullamore, Offaly

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Album Review - Super Extra Bonus Party 'Night Horses'

Super Extra Bonus Party are releasing 'Night Horses' this Friday with a launch night in Andrews Lane Theatre. I am reviewing the album from an original perspective in that I never bothered checking out their infamous debut album!

SEBP collaborate with a whole host of artists on eight of the thirteen tracks and this brings massive variety to the album. I love hearing Captain Moonlight's Kilkenny accent on 'Tea With Lord Haw Haw'. Heathers prove what an amazing singing sensation they are on the song 'Comets' and how beautiful does Ann Scott's voice sound on the atmospheric 'Senora'!

I manage to get the humour in calling the first track 'Super Team Go!' which is a nod to the obvious comparison to The Go! Team. However it is evident that SEBP are pushing the boundaries of their sound with the electro dance title track and on the other end of the spectrum the acoustic, orchestral track called '2'. In fact '2' is three minutes and 40 seconds of best music I have heard in a long time.

There is a lot to be admired in this album. It's packed full of good tunes and as mentioned some excellent individual moments. I read a different album review recently where the reviewer would listen to an album in reverse order to assess the overall quality of the album and catch the weak fillers. I tried that with this album and if anything the better tracks were found at the end with only a couple of weaker tracks found.

Super Extra Bonus Party - 'Night Horses' (10 out of 12)

May 15, 2009 in Super Extra Bonus Party in Dublin at Andrews Lane Theatre with The Rubber bandits + special Guests
May 22, 2009 in Super Extra Bonus Party in Sligo at The Clarence
May 23, 2009 in Super Extra Bonus Party in Belfast at Club AU@Laverys
May 30, 2009 in Super Extra Bonus Party in Thomastown, Kilkenny at Happy Valley festival
June 4, 2009 in Super Extra Bonus Party in Galway at Roisin Dubh

I Am Not Lefthanded - Whelans Review

I Am Not Lefthanded played to a decent sized crowd on Tuesday 5th May upstairs in Whelans. The gig was free in with a 'Pay What You Like' system in place where you paid the amount you thought was fair.

The support for the gig was Murder Plan. They were amazing. Fronted by Stephanie with a powerful voice and a great image, the band create a fusion of sound which is fresh and exciting. Murder Plan bring together Jacques Brel style jazz, with raggae rhythm, indie rock and a singer who brings to mind Imelda May! Have a listen and tell me or them what you think!

Soul Dance
Nina's Waltz

I Am Not Lefthanded are a three piece based in London who are busy writing and recording their debut album. The set tonight shows a marked improvement on their previous show with the band's sound being alot tighter and sounding alot better. Here are the hightlights:

The current single Everybody Sleeps

Long Goodbyes [Quite possibly my favourite song of the year!]

Sunday Summer Song: My Brother Woody

My Brother Woody is one of Ireland's best acts who released a wonderful debut late in 2007. It's brimming full of folk pop tunes similar in style to Elliot Smith or The Thrills. This week's Summer sample should be downloaded to bring the Summer into your lives and lift the gloom from the recession!

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Ham Sandwich for Slane

We would like to thank Ham Sandwich and Kiernan McMullan for confirming their appearance at the launch night of 'THe 2UIBestow Sessions' on 4th June.

Spread the word folks!

Ham Sandwich - Acoustic Video from 'Kick Out The Jams'

Kiernan McMullan - Cardboard Sword

Friday, 8 May 2009

The 2UIBestow Sessions Update

As someone with the most basic music talents it really does feel great to be the creator of something you know will be amazing. We believe we have three nights of great music lined up! Here's a taster of the line-ups!

Venue: Boyles, Slane
Time: 9pm
Admission: Free

June 4th The Launch Night

Star Crossed Enemies

July 2nd

Perry Blake

August 6th

It's Friday, I'm in Love with Jenny Lindfors

Dubliner Jenny Lindfors released an amazing debut album in 2007 titled 'When The Night Time Comes' and it's one of my favourite albums to relax to in the evening with a bottle of wine. Jenny now based in London is gearing up for the difficult second album by playing gigs in London, uploading demos onto her MySpace and by creating a YouTube account to show the creating process. You have to read about her encounter with Cat Stevens in the diary section here!

The Friday lovesong appears on that debut called Lovestage. The tune starts off with that lovely hum sound you get from an old tape. A beautiful tune wih Jenny singing over piano and chello.

Jenny Lindfors - Lovestage


By The Wayside live in The Sugar Club Aug 2007

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Album Review - Garret Baker 'Fading Fast'

'Fading Fast' is my album of 2009 so far. I want to end the review at that but I'll do my very best to tell you why Garret Baker's debut album is rated so highly by this blog!

Garret Baker's album is full of chilling atmospheric moods with simple folk songs encircling enriched lyrics. We have love songs, songs of friendship, songs of Dublin and songs of desire. This album is all about the songs and the lyrics. It's about the places the songs bring you to! When I listen to this I am brought to a Parisian cafe on a warm Summer's evening!

Road Records compares Garret's sound to that of The Red House Painters and I agree but also fans of Doctor Millar, Mumbling Deaf Ro and Dave Couse will find solace in 'Fading Fast'.

Garret does have a very distinct voice that may not be to every one's liking but all I'd recommend is that you give Garret's music a chance or two. Even better is to go see Garret live and I can confirm Garret has confirmed a slot in the 2UIBestow Sessions in Boyles, Slane on July 2nd!

For a Pittance

Garret Baker - Fading Fast (11 out of 12)

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Margaret Healy News

All is going good for Margaret Healy at the moment. The new album 'Girls, Boys and Clockwork Toys' has an official launch Upstairs in Whelans on the 13th May. I have read many positive reviews of the album and Margaret announced today that the state broadcaster RTE has added the album to it's playlist. Support next Wednesday is from The Hedge Schools.

Album Review - Wayne Brennan 'In My Hands'

Wayne Brennan is an amazing musician and he can make the most beautiful sounds from his Spanish acoustic guitar. Wayne also has some quality tunes that come alive when you see this guy live. Strong songs include Make Me Smile, In My Hands and Moving Me which is the sample song. However 'In My Hands' is not the best representation of Wayne Brennan's talents.

The running order of the tunes make little sense because to my ears the best songs are towards the last third of the album. The awesome instrumental 'Peace in Your Mind' is nestled mid-set which gives an old LP two sides feel to the album. While there are strong songs on the album they are usually followed by a weak tune which disrupts the general overall feel to the album.

This is not to say that the album is bad. It's just I think Wayne has an amazing guitar playing talent which deserves a better album! Maybe I expected more because his live shows are so good!

In My Hands - 7 out of 12

I recommend you get to see Wayne Brennan & band live on his tour!

Tour Dates

14 May 2009 20:00 One Take Sessions Kilkenny
15 May 2009 21:00 The Stables Mullingar, Westmeath
17 May 2009 20:00 The Cheeky Social Sunday Club Cork, Cork
25 May 2009 21:00 Auntie Annies Belfast, Northern Ireland
29 May 2009 21:00 The Backroom Navan, Meath
30 May 2009 21:00 Birr Arts Theatre - Support to Mick Flannery Birr, Offaly
31 May 2009 21:00 Doyles Dublin, Dublin
1 Jun 2009 21:00 Whelans Dublin, Dublin
3 Jun 2009 20:00 The New Music Club Thurles, Tipperary
26 Jun 2009 20:30 The Cobblestone Dublin, Dublin

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

I Am Not Lefthanded - Tonight Whelans

Fancy a good gig to go to celebrate United's passage into the Champions League final? Or maybe you will want to drown your sorrows! Either way you got nothing to lose tonight because it's free in to see Murder Plan and I Am Not Lefthanded but you pay as you leave! Actually you can't leave until you pay..... massive big bouncers have been hired! Naaaa if you cant spare too much change the band honestly don't mind at all!

Murder Plan - Soul Dance

I Am Not Lefthanded - Endline

Ruby Tuesday - Pearse McGloughlin

I been meaning to write about Pearse McGloughlin for some time. The much travelled Pearse has a debut album ready to go for the summer and a host of dates to support it. As I write this I am listening to his MySpace tunes which are full of warm melodies and gentle soundscapes. Pearse's voice is similar to Neil Halstead from Slowdive over gentle guitar chords and arrangements. I'm cerainly looking forward to the debut but you can have a sneak peak with the sample mp3 below!

Pearse McGloghlin - Ways To Kill A Werewolf

Tour Dates

4 Jun 2009 20:00 OTV DSFM 93.9FM Dublin,
10 Jun 2009 20:00 Spirit Store (Tall Poppy Club) Dundalk
18 Jun 2009 20:00 Candlelight Sessions Waterford
26 Jun 2009 20:00 ORIGINS Cavan
30 Jun 2009 20:00 White Horse Sessions Clare
1 Jul 2009 22:00 ARTiculate Sessions Limerick
2 Jul 2009 20:00 Amnesty Cafe Galway
16 Jul 2009 20:00 Cleere’s Theatre Kilkenny
23 Jul 2009 20:00 NEAR FM
24 Jul 2009 20:00 Crawdaddy Dublin, Ireland
31 Jul 2009 20:00 Purple sessions Drogheda

Monday, 4 May 2009

Music News

Hamlet Sweeney - Sunshine on Balcony TV today!

Meet Laura Izibor this Friday May 8th at HMV Grafton St, Dublin Ireland where she will be performing and signing from her album "Let The Truth Be Told at 6pm.

Album released in Ireland 8th May, UK 18th May and USA 16th June.

All together now ...... MMMmmmmmmm

Tickets for Damo are selling fast! Get them from E2 Navan!

Blog favourite Brian Canavan got himself added to the LiveMicWeekend happening the weekend of May 22nd - May 24th! I wonder what are the chances of seeing the Rugby Final!

The briliant Heritage Centre are releasing another top quality single this Friday in Whelans and admission is just a tiny €8.

Finally Star Crossed Enemies will be the first band to perform at "The 2UIBestow Sessions" on June 4th in Boyles, Slane.

Monday Under The Covers: The Frames

This is another attempt to tick as many boxes as possible in the one short post. Last night I had a very enjoyable drink in the Gravediggers pub next to Glasnevin cemetery made famous in the movie 'Agnes Brown'. It was like a time capsule to Ireland's past and has inspired today's cover by The Frames. Also it's nice to post a Dylan cover on the eve of his dates in the O2.

The Frames - You Ain't Going Nowhere

It's great to see that Marketa is gigging again. This time it's as support to Liam Ó Maonlai in her homeland of the Czech Republic and Austria.

Liam Ó Maonlaí on tour in the Czech Republic and Austria. Support by Marketa Irglova:

May 31: Divadlo Horni Pocernice, Prague, Czech Republic
June 1: Snemovni sal minoritskeho klastera, Opava, Czech Republic
June 2: Hvezdarna a planetarium Mikolase Kopernika, Brno, Czech Republic
June 3: Haus der Musik, Vienna, Austria
June 4: Jazz Tibet Club, Olomouc, Czech Republic
June 5: Kino Bios, Milevsko, Czech Republic
June 8: M-klub, Valasske Mezirici, Czech Republic

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Album Review: Sixteen Layers - I Am No One

'I Am No One' is a good rock album that deserves the biggest audience possible. Dublin band Sixteen Layers make music that will mean something to people. The lyrics in the main are accomplished and thoughtful. It's not easy to make a record with crashing guitars and booming drumbeats that makes the ear tune in on the vocals and lyrics. The band are good musicians and the vocal harmonies work very well. Standout tracks include 'Into The Sun' , 'Former You' and the title track. 'I Am No One' certainly nods to grunge influences of Pearl Jam and Nirvana while fans of Muse will be up for this album. A very strong debut by a band who I hope will broaden their horizons in the future to get this album to the masses!

Sixteen Layers - I Am No One (7 out of 12)
Tour Details

3 May 2009 22:00 Harbour Bar Bray, Co Wicklow
23 May 2009 15:00 Music Maker Dublin, Dublin
12 Jun 2009 20:00 The Sugar Club Dublin 2, Dublin
25 Jun 2009 20:00 Dolans Warehouse Limerick, Limerick

Sunday Summer Song: Barry McCormack

Barry McCormack is one of Ireland's best songwriters and consistently releases brilliant albums. Barry was a Jubilee Allstar who had built a decent following in Ireland for their Americana folk sound and great tunes. In 2003 he released his debut album 'We Drank Our Tears' which is still an album I regularly come back to time and time again. One of the best tracks is the beautiful sublime and tragic love song 'On A May Morning'

On a May Morning

Why not head on over to Barry's main website here and help yourself to a whole host of sample mp3s like this one here!

Jubilee Allstars - Let The Evening Bring Them Home

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Music News

If you are in the Navan area next Friday you could do much worst than check out The Lost Brothers singing in harmony in the intimate venue of 'The Backroom' at the Lantern Bar.

This is a nice tune on the banks of a lake called "Last Day on the Job":

I seem to be mentioning the Nialler9 blog alot these days but I have to send you there to read the Adrian Crowley review for his latest album, Seasons of the Sparks.

You will find in the link above a free download for this week only of the first single from the album 'The Wishing Seat' which is four minutes of blissful joy!

Also in a 'Principles before Pocket' move Adrian has decided against selling his album at his gigs to encourage us to go buy the album in the shops. Coming soon is an 8-track tribute album to Daniel Johnson he recorded with James Yorkston.

Entheos are a band who are interesting me at the moment. There are a couple of YouTube clips of them performing live and we have a fusion of Celtic Rock not seen since the days of Horslips! They play Whelans upstairs next Sunday 10th May with support from Fia Rua!

I'll be in Boyles, Slane next Saturday for a headline show by Wayne Brennan. Waye is such a sound bloke, a great guitarist and songwriter who has massive potential to do a Jack L and capture the hearts of Ray D'Arcy listeners!

Pancake Tuesday ..... which sadly was left off his debut released yesterday!

Finally .......... Garret Baker is doing Jazz Hands next to his debut album in town today which was also released yesterday. Garret's debut is definately a contender for 'Album of 2009'. More on that soon!