Monday, 28 February 2011


It really doesn't take much to get me excited about festival line-ups but I'm loving what the Cork X Southwest people have put together including

Favourite Sons!

Here's the line-up:


I'll be there!

Listen to some of the artists here:

Sweet Upon The Vine by FavouriteSons

In a Million - Nina Hynes by UpStart

Tickets €95 including booking fee from

Limited ‘early bird’ tickets at €79 including booking fee on sale Tuesday March 1st at 9am from

Amhrán Gach Lá - Burning Codes

Some great news from Indiecater Records yesterday when a tweet alerted me to a new Burning Codes album out this May. An album a year from Burning Codes is a joy to behold.

Here's the opening track to Burning Codes 3! called We Are Like Gold.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Lonely Schizophrenic Interview on Anti-folk!

This is an edited copy of the 'For The Turnstiles' article which appeared on the 4fortyfour website:

Anti-folk [or Antifolk or Anti Folk] is a genre I discovered recently. When I hear about a sub-genre like 'Anti-folk' I always think that the new tag came about because the music didn't fit the original genre! While researching the NYC development of 'Anti-folk' in the 1980's I couldn't help but wonder if the music initially tagged 'Anti-Folk' was so bad that the musicians had to create a whole new community because the original folk community failed to acknowledge their musical endeavors? Similarly with the resurgence of the sub-genre in the UK over the last number of years I have to ask if this 'Anti-folk' has any substance or is it a bunch of people who write songs that only they themselves enjoy.

Brooklyn based band The Soft Collapse, UK based Erin K & Tash and Dublin band The Lonely Schizophrenic have answered a few questions for the feature and will help me decide on an answer to the question; Is 'Anti-folk' any good!

Anto Kane is the vocalist and chief songwriter in The Lonely Schizophrenic and has kindly contributed his thoughts on the 'Anti-folk' tag.

Hi Anto what's your opinion of the 'Anti-folk' genre?

Personally I love to see/hear any alternative from the usual singer songwriter stuff. Too many times I have seen performers in emotional turmoil perform songs about why their ex girlfriend/boyfriend left them. Nothing wrong with wearing your heart on your sleeve but if you are going to be a depressing bastard about it please keep your jacket on.

When I look at the 'Anti-folk' genre I think The Lonely Schizophrenic is a perfect match for the 'Anti-folk' tag. As the main songwriter and frontman of the band would you agree?

I'd agree with you there Peter, from the get go our MO was to take the piss out of everyday situations by writing songs about them. We just try to have as much fun as possible, with the lyrics and music and take nothing serious in between. We enjoy performing material that isn't the norm, it's all about having the craic for us.

How do you describe your music to new people who’ve never heard your music?

A fine, sexy, tasty blend of aromatic tunes served piping hot on a bed of humour with a hint of satire. Not fit for human consumption.

How can people get access to your music?

They can check out or alternatively they can check out some live performances on youtube

The Lonely Schizophrenic - Rest in Pieces

The Lonely Schizophrenic - Rest in Pieces by 2uibestow


Amhrán Gach Lá - Ross Breen

Ross Breen and the Kanootzens launch the debut album When I Met The Devil in Crawdaddy, Dublin on Friday 18th March.

This line-up will be larger than ever before: For the first time in history band stalwarts Ross Breen, Ciaran Oman and Wolfy will be joined onstage by members of various other brilliant bands including Funzo, Scarecrow Disco and the horn section from funksters The Candidates. Copied from the album launch Facebook Event!

Download the 'Life Support' EP for free here:

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Daithi O'Dronai

Daithi O'Dronai is launching his seven track EP tonight in The Workmans Club in Dublin where it is a completely free gig!

Here's the last track from that EP called The Dog!

Buy The EP here:

Friday, 25 February 2011

Vantastival - Line Up Announced [kinda]

The main headliners for this year's Vantastival have yet to be announced but the following list went online:

Deep breath .... playing at Vantastival during the May bank holiday weekend will be ......

Donal Dineen
Wallis Bird

Wallis Bird - Just Can't Get Enough by Dimasn

Jamie Lawson
The Cujo Family
The Hot Sprockets
Miracle Bell
We Cut Corners
The Riptide Movement
Bill Coleman
Bipolar Empire
Prairie Dawgs

The Prairie Dawgs - Drift Away by 2uibestow

Preacher's Son
Sounds of System Breakdown
Sweet Jane
Beans on Toast
The Barley Mob

The Barley Mob - We Go The Distance by RisingStars

Anthony Furey and the Young Folk
Catherine Dowling
The Fontanels
The Gandhis
Louisiana Joyride
The Dirty 9s
The Amazing Few

01 Russian Girls 1 by The Amazing Few

I'd Fight Gandhi
Identity Parade
Rainy Boy Sleep
Von Shakes
DC Tempest
Adela and the Meanits

Adela And The Meanits - Boogie by RisingStars

The Bluestack Mountain Boys
The Fallen Drakes
Heroes in Hiding
The Kapitals
Machine Gun Baby
The Casanova Wave
Saving J
Pressure Drop
The Butterfly Graveyard
Albrecht's Pencil
She's a Beauty
Jupiter and the Infinite The Cabin Fever Band
little xs for eyes
Black Svan

Gregarious Bird by norabellemusic

The Curtain Thieves
Neptune City
Henrietta Game
Ghost Estates
Fox.E and the Good Hands

Please Me by Fox.E and the Good Hands

Reverend JM's
Panic Workshop
Kloe Humm
Cry Monster Cry
Saint John the Gamble

Saint John the Gambler - Rollin' By by Indica Records

Amhrán Gach Lá - The Cujo Family

There are some amazing gigs on in Dublin this Saturday night! However which of them come with a JD & Coke 4 a fiver deal!

This song is dedicated to the Fianna Faillers who have to sign on now!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Mixtape: Canadian Music Fest [The Irish Mix]

The list of bands performing in Canada during the Canadian Music Fest are

Autumn Owls
Butterfly Explosion
Funeral Suits
James Vincent McMorrow
Kill Krinkle Club
Kormac’s Big Band
Lost Chord
Miracle Bell
Preacher’s Son
Sacred Animals
The Dirty 9s

Check out the music below:

Autumn Owls:

Butterfly Explosion:

Butterfly explosion-sophia by sanitash

Funeral Suits:


Growing & Glow by halves

James Vincent McMorrow:

James Vincent McMorrow - If I Had A Boat by partisanpr

Kill Krinkle Club:

Kill Krinkle Club - Airport from james b featherstone on Vimeo.

Kormac's Big Band:

Lost Chord:

Miracle Bell:

Miracle Bell - Love Sounds by Audio Networks

Preachers Son:

This Time of Life by Preachers Son

Sacred Animals:

Wired, Islands by sacredanimals

The Dirty 9s:


Windings - Cathedrals by OOAL

Amhrán Gach Lá - TKO

I've mentioned the launch last week. For just a fiver entry this BYOB event consists of Sweet Jane, Henrietta Game, Bipolar Empire, The Kapitals and TKO!

Here's a decent tune from folk rockers TKO!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Album Review: Padraig McCauley and the P Affection – Self-Titled

The debut album from Padraig McCauley and the P Affection is a superb collection of pop songs designed to lift your spirits.

[Originally appeared on the collaborative blog 4fortfour here:]

The self-titled debut album from Padraig McCauley & The P Affection is a breath of fresh nostalgia. The ten tracks are a homage to the best of 1980's pop. I'm not talking Bananarama pop but the good stuff like Lloyd Cole, Aztec Camera and Prefab Sprout. This album though is not a weak imitation of the best music from the 80's but it's a bunch of well written catchy pop gems which shamelessly displays it's influences on it's sleeve.

The album kicks off with the best pop song written in about 25 years entitled 'Worries of the World'. The brass section and guitar rift of 'Trouble in Paradise' brings to mind Madness. 'The Flood' is a well written love song with colourful lyrics. The catchiest chorus belongs to the track 'I'm Fucking Amazing' and reminds me of the pop music Irish band Blink used to make in the early 90s. The album closer 'Beggars & Cannibals' even has steel drums in it in case you missed all the 80's references during the previous nine tracks!

I really enjoy the simplicity of Padraig McCauley & The P Affection. It's a fun album from a quality vocalist and songwriter. The music is just pure pop from start to finish. With all the gloom in the country someone should tell the radio stations to play some of this album for high value entertainment!

Padraig McCauley and the P Affection – Self-Titled [10 out of 12]

Check out the best tracks here:

Worries Of The World by thepaffection

The Flood by thepaffection

Beggars & Cannibals by thepaffection

Amhrán Gach Lá - We Cut Corners

The next three Amhran Gach La posts will be talking about this Saturday night. It looks like there won't be much political drama so I'll be at this gig in The Grand Social to find out if all the buzz about We Cut Corners is justified!

Link: Communion on Facebook

We Cut Corners - Go Easy by The Certain Three

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Politics & Music #8

What Am I Angry For?

This for a start:


I'm angry because of this:

"... our National Debt is in fact more realistically 185,000,000,000, this is then divided by our population of 4,000000, the result is now 185 billion divided by 4 million = forty-six thousand two hundred fifty or 46,250 Euros.

This is per each citizen in Ireland .i.e. man, women and child."

... taken from here:


I'm angry because apart from Fianna Fail making a balls of the country over that last number of years I now am finding myself angry at the substitute Muppets. That's even before they get elected!


I'm angry because in 2002 Enda Kenny makes a racist joke! 2002! Not the 1960's or older but in 2002! Oh lord!


I'm angry because the Fine Gael spokesperson for Equality doesn't know the meaning of the term!


I'm angry because I genuinely thought this election was going to be about HOPE! All I see is a political party foaming at the mouth at the thought of power and the rest simply sitting back and observing. Where's the hope for the future?

Pony Club - What Are You Angry For? by 2uibestow

Amhrán Gach Lá - Bipolar Empire

Bipolar Empire are gaining momentum at the moment after their Late Late show appearance and having their last single Tempomanic used in a television advertisement in Ireland.

Here's a video for their lastest single 'Feel That You Own It' released on April 1st featuring World Champion boxer Katie Taylor.

Monday, 21 February 2011

EP Review - Gareth Brannigan - Say It Anyway

Say It Anyway is Gareth Brannigan’s second independent release, and strengthens and extends the quality of his earlier EP entitled Walk with Me, recorded in 2008.

We all know there's a massive amount of music out there and while I've mentioned last week that there might be a resurgence for singer-songwriters musicians like Gareth Brannigan are finding exposure very difficult. I'm only now getting round to reviewing his new EP which was released at the end of last year. 'Say it Anyway' along with his earlier EP proves that there is an excellent debut album is this artist.

The EP is brimming with charm which makes a rather simply formula into a very pleasant listening experience. Gareth's vocals are really nice, his lyrics are thoughtful and the music is just right for the feel of the tracks. The title track is the most accomplished track on the EP but my favourite track is the delicate 'Anam Cara'. It's music that's not going to push any boundaries of the genre but impresses due to the charm of the tracks.

Gareth Brannigan - Say It Anyway [9 out of 12]

Amhrán Gach Lá - Marc O'Reilly

Performing at The Glor Sessions tonight is Marc O'Reilly who has just released a decent album 'My Friend Marx' through the Waterford based record company 'Salt and Shake Records'

05 La Question by Salt and Shake Records

Listen to the album in full here:

Billed as the greatest Glor Sessions ever the full line-up for tonight includes:

Colm Keegan:

Clement La-Touche from London:


Harry Bird & The Rubber Wellies:

Marc O'Reilly:

David Hope:

Baum: from the Swiss land

Here's a video of Baum live on New Years Eve a few weeks back:

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - The Dirty 9s cover Bruce Springsteen

I'm on Fire (Bruce Springsteen cover) by TheDirty9s

I heard this cover live on Friday night when The Dirty 9s played Boyles of Slane and it was immense. The Dirty 9s are close to being the best band in Ireland in my humble opinion! See them on Thursday in The Grand Social.

Canadian Music Week’s showcase in Toronto will see the following travel to Canada to perform:

Autumn Owls
Butterfly Explosion
Funeral Suits
James Vincent McMorrow
Kill Krinkle Club
Kormac’s Big Band
Lost Chord
Miracle Bell
Preacher’s Son
Sacred Animals
The Dirty 9s

Might have to put together a mixtape coming up to the festival!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Lisa O'Neill

I just seen the amazing news that Cavan's wonderful songwriter Lisa O'Neill is David Gray's support for his North American tour beginning in a few days. How amazing is this?

I don't want to score any points but when Lisa's debut album was released in 2009 this blog championed it and it was listed as the second best album of that year!

Photo by Ian Pearce:

Here's a track from that album called 'Work to the Bone'.

Lisa O'Neill - Work To The Bone by morganclark

Feb 21 Wag TheatreBoston, Boston, MA
Feb 22 Music Centre at StrathmoreBethesda, MD
Feb 23 Beacon TheatreNew York, NY , US
Feb 25 Massey HallToronto, ON , CA
Feb 26 Detroit Opera HouseDetroit, MI , US
Feb 27 Chicago TheatreChicago, IL, US
Feb 28 State TheatreMinneapolis, MN , US
Mar 3 Marion Oliver McCaw HallSeattle, WA , us
Mar 4 The Centre in Vancouver for the Performing ArtsVancouver, Brithish C, CANADA
Mar 5 Performing Arts CentreSpokan, WA
Mar 7 Davies Symphony HallSan Francisco, CA , US
Mar 8 Royce Hall at UCLALos Angeles, California, US
Mar 9 Speckels TheatreSan Diego, CA

Friday, 18 February 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Bill Coleman covers Kanye West

The best song I've discovered this week is this Kanye West cover by Bill Coleman called Runaway. I adore Bill's version which went onto Soundcloud this Wednesday.

Cover - Runaway (Kanye West) by bcoleman

Bill has been added as support for Jamie Lawson's Irish tour beginning next month:

2nd March - Whelans - Dublin [Sold Out]
3rd March - Set Theatre - Kilkenny
4th March - Forum Lounge - Waterford
5th March - Roisin Dubh, Galway
8th March - The Spirit Store, Dundalk
10th March - Upstairs at Dolans, Limerick
11th March - Cyprus Avenue, Cork
12th March- The Thatch, Co Offaly
13th March - INEC Acoustic Club, Killarney
16th March - Wexford Arts Centre, Wexford

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Politics & Music #6

Copied from "Nominations for the General Election have closed with 233 Independent and smaller party candidates standing; FF has 75 candidates, FG 104, Labour 68, Greens 43 and Sinn Féin 41."

There's a whopping 233 people out there aiming to get elected for the Irish Government! Are they insane? What good can an independent do? He [or she] will only look after their back garden! They won't care about the big issues that affect us all. They'll be gliding around their patch thinking they're kings of the playground pretending to do an important job. These people are power hungry media whores who only look after their own needs and impulses. Please don't vote for an independent. Especially not someone who is 23!

Here's a decent tune from Irish band Susie Soho which fits our Politics & Music theme nicely!

The video is excellent too!

Amhrán Gach Lá - Wayne Brennan

If you are free tonight in Dublin you could do worst than going to see Wayne Brennan in the wonderful surroundings of The Sugar Club. Tickets are €10.

Check out the guitar style of Wayne here with a video of his song Pancake Tuesday.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Midweek Round-up #2

Here's a rundown of all the events tickling my musical tastebuds!

St Patrick's Eve in Vicar Street is the place to hear music to enlighten the soul and the Gaelgoir inside of you!

Republic Of Loose - You Know It by djilo


The 3rd Inspirations Gig in aid of Barretstown takes place on Friday April 1st 2011 at The Olympia Theatre in Dublin. Tickets: €30

Secret - Delorentos by Delorentos


Here's the poster for The Danger Is gig in Crawdaddy on March 5th. It means I have a reason to share that wonderful pop song 'Rub Who You Love'.

Rub Who You Love by the danger is


The launch for Vantastival will take place at The Complex in Smithfield on Saturday 26th February, as one of Ireland's newest music festivals prepares to return to Co. Louth over the May bank holiday weekend. Up-and-coming Irish acts Sweet Jane, TKO, The Kapitals, Bipolar Empire and Henrietta Game are confirmed for the festival line-up and will perform at the launch.

Shortlisted in seven categories at the recent Irish Festival Awards, Vantastival earned great praise last year for its endorsement of the Irish music scene and the full 2011 line-up will be announced at the launch party. Doors will open at 7.30pm and admission is €5, which includes a complimentary beer. In keeping with the spirit of the festival, there will be no bar in the venue and attendees are invited to bring their own booze. Earlybird festival tickets will be on sale on the night for a discounted price of €65.

Still Broke Enough by The Kapitals


This Sunday evening there's another superb line-up in The Grand Social for Saucy Sundays!

BAUM (Switzerland)
BIG STU (Hip Hop)

Here's the amazing Fox.E!

Please Me by Fox.E and the Good Hands

Amhrán Gach Lá - The Gorgeous Colours

The Gorgeous Colours are busy getting a few really quality gigs together. Friday night they perform live in Crawdaddy!

Then on April 9th they play The Button Factory with Ham Sandwich and Thousandaires while on April 15th they support O Emperor with Sacred Animals in The Academy.

To bring even better news you can now download their excellent self-titled debut album from here: which includes this song of beauty!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Politics & Music #5

Talk, talk, talk .... that debate last night was a shambles. It really failed to highlight how f**ked we are as a country. These manifestos they talk about won't be worth shit in a few weeks time!

The majority of people in Ireland have no money because we are tied to mortgages/loans/credit cards or all three and we really are in a bad place.

It's about time the leaders eye-balled the teachers, Gardai, Nurses, civil servants and tell them you have to take massive pay cuts. There's no other way.

A good theme tune for Ireland at the moment would be this track by The Prairie Dawgs called 'Aint No Money'.

The Prairie Dawgs - Ain't No Money by 2uibestow

Introducing: State of Play

Stare of Play is the self-titled debut and is an electro-ambient delight from the Dublin-based artist Nick Carswell. Nick records with his band The Elective Orchestra as well as being an integral part of The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra. The 'State of Play' album is available to listen and download from below!

More info:

State of Play by sillygooserecords

Amhrán Gach Lá - Damien Dempsey

With Valentine's Day over we turn our attention to St. Patrick's Day next month where Damien Dempsey will be performing an acoustic show in The Ashbourne House Hotel for the reasonable sum of €22.50.

It's most certainly an opportunity to 'Sing All Your Cares Away'

I also noticed that Damien is to star in an Irish movie called 'Between The Canals'. If you check out the trailer you'll notice it isn't a light-hearted comedy!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Introducing: Kenny Bogan

Here's a question for Irish music fans; Is there a renaissance for Singer-songwriters? After years of ridicule and demotion of status we 'liked' Jamie Lawson's 'Wasn't Expecting That' and are falling in love with Ryan Sheridan! If the'Singer-songwriter' genre is making a comeback then there's hope for Kenny Bogan.

Dubliner Kenny has been based in Amsterdam for a number of years where he recorded and released an album in 2010 called 'The Skinhead and the Daisy'. Just like Damien Dempsey, Kenny sings with his Dublin accent intact and writes some good tunes as evidenced by this song 'Mountains'.

Tour dates:

FEB 20
The Stables Market

FEB 21
The Bedford, Balham

FEB 22

FEB 23

FEB 25
The Regal Room, London

MAR 17
Sugar Factory, AMSTERDAM
Amsterdam, The Netherlands,

MAR 18
St. James' Gate
Amsterdam, Holland,

Amhrán Gach Lá - Dr. Millar [Anti - Love Special]

I've never been a mad romantic and it bothers me that today is proudly sponsored by the Hallmark executives! However it gives me an opportunity to post my favourite Anti-Love song by Dr. Millar.

"You're Not Paranoid" is a wonderful song for anyone not feeling the love! It's comforting to think there might be paranoid people out there who should be single!


Saturday, 12 February 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - A Plastic Rose

Watch this new video to see why I picked A Plastic Rose as a band to look out for in Jan 2010!

A Plastic Rose are such a wonderful alternative rock band!

A Plastic Rose - Promises

Check out some live tracks from their 2009 Leeds & Reading performances!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Live Review: Ryan Sheridan - Boyles 10th Feb

Ryan Sheridan performed in Boyles, last night as part of his countrywide single tour promoting the radio hit 'Jigsaw'. The gig confirms that Ryan is a fantastic performer with superb vocals.

Support for the gig was one half of Navan's hotly tipped rock band Red Queen Contest. Cormac and Paul takes turns with lead vocals and harmonise on many of the tracks. Their stripped down acoustic set really showcased their songwriting talents and hints at a superb debut album in the making.

There was a real air of optimism amongst the packed crowd in Boyles before Ryan Sheridan and percussionist Arthur Graczyk took to the stage. While it's taken years for Ryan's talents to be discovered the recent radio play for the single Jigsaw has resulted in Ryan gaining new fans at a rate not seen too often seen these days.

A confident Ryan belted out unheard of material that got due attention from the crowd because of the animated introductions. It wasn't long until he declared to the crowd that he is sick of playing 'Jigsaw' and it won't be played! Of course he lied and played the hit mid setlist and then again as the encore. [A few years ago when I seen Little Palace in Navan I was amused when the band played their radio hit first and last with a totally different crowd reaction ..... probably due to alcohol consumption!] There were also two covers played with 'Baby Please Don't Go' early in the set and a superb version of Bronski Beat's 'Smalltown Boy'.

Ryan announced that the album is ready for release in May. The songs played tonight suggest that lyrically there will be some interesting tracks on the album to get stuck into. I'm not too sure if there is another 'hit' single like 'Jigsaw'. It won't be long until we find out!

What I learned from the gig is that Ryan Sheridan is on the path to being a recognisable star in Ireland. He is a confident performer brimming with charm and a bunch of high energy acoustic tracks!

The Setlist:

Stand Up Tall
Take It All Back
The Game
Baby Please Don't Go [Cover]
All And More
High Roller
The Day U Live 4Ever
Nutbush City Limits
Smalltown Boy [Bronski Beat Cover]
The Dreamer

Feb 11th: The Garage, Monaghan
Feb 12th: Roisin Dubh, Galwaye
Feb 17th: The Thatch, Tullamore
Feb 18th: The Venue, Waterford
Feb 19th: Cyprus Avenue, Cork
Feb 24th: Dolan's Limerick
Feb 25th: The Queens, Ennise
Feb 26th: The Hideout, Warrenpoint
Mar 3rd: McHugh's, Belfast
Mar 5th: Spirit Store, Dundalk
Mar 17th: TF Royal, Castlebar
Mar 18th: The Stables, Mullingar
Mar 19th: Gonzo Theatre, Cavan
Mar 24th: O'Keefe's, Clonmel
Mar 25th: INEC, Tralee
April 7th: Whelan's, Dublin

Ryan is also in line to perform at this year's Inspirations gig at The Olympia with Glen Hansard, The Stunning, Delorentos, O Emperor , Dirty Epics and more.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Youth Mass

Youth Mass have a single party planned for Crawdaddy on March 4th with support from Zombie Cops.

This is another excuse for me to share this fine track from the band!

False Starts - Youth Mass by Clockwork Apple

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Album Review: Dave Morrissey - Bring out the Light

Bring out the Light is the debut from the experienced singer songwriter Dave Morrissey. It's a pop album full of well composed songs with some nice melodies and hooks!

Dave Morrissey released 'Bring out the Light' at the end of last year and he's been busy promoting the album with gigs all over the country. Dave's an excellent singer and writes a decent uplifting tune. The album contains ten very uplifting and positive tracks with the standout track being this track 'Happy Day'.

Other quality tunes includes the catchy opener 'Mother Nature Says', the Spanish guitar filled 'Leaving' and the Beatles-esque closer 'Magic Night'. 'Bring out the Light' is an inoffensive album of catchy radio friendly tunes.

This brings me to the problem I have with the album. It doesn't offer anything different to the singer-songwriter genre. At a time when artists like Villagers include layers of hooks and strings into their songs or when James Vincent McMorrow strips the songs back to amazing effect; a straight forward inoffensive album isn't going to make the grade.

There are some really good tunes on this album and I'd highly recommend you go to see Dave Morrissey live around the country. Dave is supporting Aslan in The Olympia on March 16th.

Dave Morrissey - Bring out the Light [7 out of 12]

Buy The Album

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Album Review: Owensie - Aliens [4fortyfour repost]

This reviewed appeared last weekend on the 4fortyfour blog!

Owensie’s album Aliens is blissful to listen to but difficult to describe and confirms the trueness of Costello’s comment on writing about music is like “… dancing about architecture.” The album is all about texture, atmosphere and charm. It’s a folk album of great depth where you can easily become submerged within the intricate finger picking of the guitar or the subtle layers of strings which accompany the tracks. However while admiring the beauty of the album I’m conscious that the vocals feel more like an instrument on the album rather than the focus point of the tracks. The result of this is that Aliens does not grab my full attention and leaves me feeling that something is missing!

All of the songs from Owensie’s self-titled debut EP are included here with the wonderful instrumental ‘Ronda’ nestled mid album. Of the four new tracks I adore ‘Lonely Wood’ which reminds me of Pink Moon era Nick Drake with that haunting cello behind the quality guitar playing. ‘Subtle Connections’ is for me the best track on the album due to the vocal melodies blending with the strings towards the end of the track. ‘Dark Place’ is a song where the lyrics are unrecognisable but the vocals provide a layer of instrumentation and charm. The piano led ‘Cat and Mouse’ is another strong song.

Have a listen to the track 'Lonely Wood'

Lonely Wood by OOAL

Aliens is a fine album with charm and atmosphere in abundance. I would have enjoyed it more if Owensie’s quality vocals were not blended into the musical backdrop as much as they were. It is definitely an album worth checking out if you’re looking for a chilled out folk album with superb musicianship!

Owensie - Aliens [9 out of 12]

Owensie: Dark Place by OOAL

Amhrán Gach Lá - Jenny Lindfors

It was a welcome surprise when I seen that Jenny Lindfors is to support Oliver Cole in The Grand Social on March 12th. It's been ages since Jenny has performed a gig in Ireland.

Here's a video of Jenny performing Timewarp / On The Road Again in October 2009.

I was later delighted to see that Jenny is the support act for some of Rumer's UK tour:

Tuesday 29th March 2011:
Sage, Gateshead (opening for Rumer)

Wednesday 30th March 2011:
Grand Opera House, York (opening for Rumer)

Friday 1st April 2011:
Queens Hall, Edinburgh (opening for Rumer)

Saturday 2nd April 2011:
Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool (opening for Rumer)

Sunday 3rd April 2011:
Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (opening for Rumer)

Here's the reason why Rumer is getting recognition:

Slow by Rumer

Monday, 7 February 2011

List: Most Anticipated Irish Albums of 2011

Ronan from Swear I'm Not Paul published a new list of 10 anticipated 2011 album releases from Irish artists. Here's the 10 Ronan albums chose:

Bell X1
The Brilliant Things
The Cast of Cheers
Lisa Hannigan
The Holy Roman Army
The Plea
The Riot Tapes

Read all about these albums here:

Here's my list of 10 different albums which I'm looking forward to hearing this year.

Autumn Long - Debut Album

AUTUMN LONG is Pádraig Digan and a line up consisting of Leanne Doyle (Violin), Ruairí De Barra (Guitars), Michael Murphy (BASS), Joe Digan (Drums) and Norah O'Leary (Cello). I know Padraig has written wonderful tunes over the last number of years and he now has the right band to turn the songs into a full album ready for release.

The Frames - Album Number 6

There has to be a new Frames album? Maybe it'll include this song which I heard a few weeks back?

Henrietta Game - Debut Album

Henrietta Game get better live with every time I see the band. Their debut album due for release this Summer will be one of the highlights of the year.

Berlin - Henrietta Game by Clockwork Apple

I Am Not Lefthanded - Debut Album

I've been waiting for three years to get to hear the debut album of I Am Not Lefthanded. Not only will you be able to hear I Am Not Lefthanded's debut album this year but you can actually see and hear them recording it through web streaming:

Boats (Swept Away) by I Am Not Lefthanded

Jukebox Gypsy - Album # 2

Formed in 2007, Jukebox Gypsy started as a three-piece from Liverpool. Having toured extensively through Britain and Ireland, they now consist of five members and have released a critically acclaimed debut album with Irish distribution and management. The bassist is Been Dolan who released the outstanding album 'Transcend Mortality' as Resurrection Fern.

Here's a demo from the second Jukebox Gypsy album which is planned for release in April or May.

Birth Of You by Ben Blance

Junah - Debut Album

Junah are a band I've seen many times before and they have a whole list of great tracks. I think their debut album released this Summer will be bursting with wonderful folk rock songs. I can't wait for this album!

Norabelle - Debut Album

Gorgeous lyrics, gorgeous harmonies, gorgeous songs, gorgeous piano ..... in fact Norabelle's immanent debut should be called Gorgeous!

Gregarious Bird by norabellemusic

Rezlow - Debut Album

I can't wait to hear Terry Sutton on an album. It will happen in the next few months when Kerry based band Rezlow release their debut album. No doubt I'll be raving about them here!

Sleep Thieves - HeartWaves

While I'm not passionate about Electronic music I do love the indie Electronic sounds of Sleep Thieves. The debut album is entitled 'HeartWaves' and it'll be launched in The Workman's Club on April 7th.

01 Winter by wearesleepthieves

Storyfold - Rocket Science

I love how bands like Storyfold are documenting the recording process. The band have returned back from the UK where they've recorded their debut album provisionally called "Rocket Science".

Amhrán Gach Lá - Gary Moore

Rest in Peace Gary Moore! Here's hoping the sessions with Philo includes a rendition of this classic!

Gary Moore & Phil Lynott - Still In Love With You by Parisfirst-2

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Digital Socket Awards - The Aftermath

On Thursday, a bunch of passionate bloggers proved to The Music Business that you can celebrate the best in Irish Music in style without the need of sponsorship or Arts funding.

The nominated artists were firstly choosen by the public and then voted on by 26 bloggers to create the 'Shortlist' with a final vote by the same bloggers to create the list of winners:

Best Design (Website, Artwork, Posters)
Adebisi Shank - This is the second album of a band called Adebisi Shank

Best Independent Label
Richter Collective

Best Video
Ambience Affair - Devil In The Detail

Best Music Photography
Loreanna Rushe

Best Radio Show
Donal Dineen

Best Pop
Cathy Davey - Best Pop

Best Folk
Villagers - Becoming a Jackal

Best Rock and Alternative
Adebisi Shank

Best Electronic & Hip Hop
Solar Bears

Best Indie
The Cast of Cheers

Best EP
And So I Watch You From Afar – The Letters

Best Newcomer
The Cast of Cheers

Song of the Year
Villagers – The Meaning of the Ritual

Album of the Year
Adebisi Shank – This is the second album of a band called Adebisi Shank

There have already been offers of thanks to everyone involved but I want to share the articles and web inches which have already been written about the live event:

RTE Young People Dept:

Drop-d confirmed the value of The Digital Socket Awards by stating: "For the first time in years, Drop-d couldn’t have been prouder to be Irish."

MOG Music Network ... thanks to

BBC5Live: We got a few mentions from the 43rd Minute onwards!

Swear I'm Not Paul: Ronan wrote about his top 10 moments!

Golden Plec Review:

MEG Review:

Take The Candy:

The Lost Continent:

Thank you big time!

Some Happy Customers:

Sargent House:

Loreana Rushe:


Photos Galore: Thanks to the Music Photographers

The Live Bands: Thanks to the bands for their excellent performances!

Ham Sandwich



Photos by:

The Live Final was a charity event for Aware and there is a tidy sum of €1000 + going to the charity!

See ya for The Digital Socket Awards next year?

Finally .... in case you haven't seen it here's the Best Music Video of 2010: