Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Album Review: Murray & Falkenau - The Leipzig Sessions

Fine debut album from Galway based duo 'Murray & Falkenau'. The Leipzig Sessions is the merging together of Irish traditional music with Springsteen-esque folk rock and makes for a fun listen!

Murray & Falkenau are the instrumental talents of Anna Falkenau (Fiddle / Lead Guitar) and the songwriting / lyrical capabilities of Ivan J. Murray (Vocals / Guitar). The Leipzig Sessions were unsurprisingly recorded in Germany in 2010 and the album released earlier this year. The album flips back and forth from 'Jigs and Reels' to earthy gutsy contemporary songs and includes a wonderful cover of Joseph Arthur's 'In The Sun'. It makes for a good listen and a decent debut album.

The most impressive songs are the album opener 'Wake Up The Neighbours' with it's fine lyrics, 'Riposte' for the sublime lead acoustic guitar over rhythm guitar and haunting sounds of 'Western Plains'. In fact 'Western Plains' best sums up the sound of 'Murray & Falkenau' with it's wonderful violin enhancing the vocals and guitars of the song.

The album is an album of two halves which don't completely compliment each other. There are times I'm thinking I'd love another non jig track like 'Western Plain' or 'Song for Little Man'. Not that the jigs are bad but they sound a little flat in comparison to the quality of the contemporary tracks. I've no doubt that these reels and jigs will appeal to trad Irish enthusiast.

There's enough good tracks on 'The Leipzig Sessions' to give a generally positive review. It'll be well worth your while checking out the video to 'Western Plains' below and to get the album for the Joseph Arthur cover 'In The Sun'.

Murray & Falkenau - The Leipzig Sessions - [9 out of 12]

Buy the album:

Tour Dates:

8 December Kelly's, Galway w Lena Ullman
10 December An Bodhrán, Mitchelstown
11 December The Crane Bar, Galway w Murray & Falkenau Band
16 December, Old Firestation, Torgelow, Germany,
17 December, Molly Malone's, Berlin, Germany
20 Dec, Green Island, Zeitz, Germany
21 Dec, Cafe Lebensart, Greiz, Germany
22 Dec, Geleitshaus Weißenfels, Germany
23 Dec, Kaffeeschuppen, Halle, Germany
26 Dec Slyne Head, Senftenberg, Germany
30 & 31 Dec Dubliner, Dresden, Germany


6 & 7 Jan 2012 Shamrock, Dresden, Germany
24 March Cafe Toucouleur, Tregastel, France.
25 April Blue, Portland, ME, US
28 April Chandler Hall, Randolph, VT, US
29 April The Music Box, Craftsbury, VT, US

Amhrán Gach Lá - The Lost Brothers

This takes place at 8 PM tonight and will be an amazing gig.

The few tracks I've heard from The Lost Brother's new album 'So Long John Fante' sound amazing. The pick of the three free downloads available on bandcamp is Bells They Won't Ring.

Bells They Wont Ring by Hill 16 Management

Download the three freebies from here:

Get the full album here:

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Single Review: Michael Brunnock - Every Step

Charming folk song 'Every Step' is the first single to be taken from Michael Brunnock's new album 'The Orchard'.

'Every Step' is a very positive uplifting song perfect for escaping. There are references to dawn, dreams, hope, journeys, delight which along with a gentle soundtrack and a relaxed drumbeat makes this the perfect Summer track. The vocals are pleasant and clear and are aided by fine backing vocals to complete the track.

If 'Every Step' is an indication to the quality of Michael Brunnock's new album 'The Orchard' I'll predict it'll be one of my most listened to albums of 2012.

Michael Brunnock - Every Step by 2uibestow

Buy the song here:

Posters for 2 upcoming shows:

Amhrán Gach Lá - Mic Christopher

It's ten years since Mic Christopher left this earth in his prime. His memory and music is celebrated tonight in Vicar Street!

Here's Mic in his Heyday in The Spirit Store:

According to The Frames manager:

"Still tickets left for gig for Mic at Vicar St. tomorrow night! Note from Claire: "mary janes and mundy, gemma, lisa, ronan, glen, matthew pale, acko, eoin glacklin will be opening the proceeding"

RIP Mic Christopher

Monday, 28 November 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Delorentos

DELORENTOS are your PLAY IRISH artist this week!

Jon Richards will be playing ‘Did We Ever Really Try?’ from the band’s current EP ‘Little Sparks’ all week on Galway Bay FM @ 3.30 and as with every week you can listen to the song here by checking out the wonderful video for the song.

I love the 'Little Sparks' EP and book which landed in my door today! It's only available at the band's gigs and well worth the cash!

For the physical release of their EP, the band wanted to showcase creativity in an interesting way with the new release, and the result is the 'Little Sparks' Magazine. The new release is strictly limited to 1000 copies, and will ONLY be available at the Acoustic shows!

Thurs, Dec 1st, An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny, €12, stage time 8.30pm, *All Ages*

Sat, Dec 3th, Roisin Dubh, Galway, *Free*, Stage time 1pm, *All Ages*

Sat, Dec 3th, Lar Corbett’s Bar, Thurles, *Free*, Stage time 10pm, 18+

More info:

Buy Little Sparks EP:

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Donal Dineen

The coming week is a sad week for the fortunes of many Irish artists who have been championed and most importantly listened to by the influential Donal Dineen.

Donal Dineen’s long running and award winning late night radio show The Small Hours comes to an end on December 1st, it's passing is celebrated at the Small Hours Wake on Friday 2nd December at The Joinery in Stoneybatter.

Donal will be joined by some very special live guests on the night including Katie Kim, David Kitt, Cian Nugent, Beautiful Unit and the Xmas Soup Collective.

Here's Donal's musical creation The Parish which is a collaboration with Liam O Maonlai & Ronan O'Snodaigh among others.

Hi-Five 0 by parishrecords

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Album Review: The Henry Girls - December Moon

'December Moon' is a quality folk/roots album which is consistently brilliant from start to finish. The Henry Girls hit all the right spots on this their third album.

The Henry Girls are sisters from Inishowen in Co. Donegal, Ireland and have been performing together as a band for almost a decade. I get the feeling that 'December Moon' is going a breakthrough album for the band. It's released on the back of European tours and a successful Summer tour in the US. It's recent release also precedes a big European Spring tour as well as a return back to America. There are many really great songs on 'December Moon' which will appeal to fans of folk and roots with the band being comparable to The Dixie Chicks, The Good Be Tanyas or The Indigo Girls.

The 14 tracks include two instrumental arrangements, eleven original tracks and a fine cover of Elvis Costello's 'Watching the Detective'. While it's fair to call this album a folk album it flirts with happy Pop on tracks like 'When Will I See You Again' and 'Fool's Gold'. There are well written ballads such as the beautiful 'Farewell' and the blissful 'Sweet Dreams'. We also have homage to roots and bluegrass on 'Ol' Cook Pot' and 'The Long Road' and then there's the theatrical cover of the brilliant 'Watching the Detectives'. All these genres fit together because of the cohesiveness of the harmonies and the musicianship on the album.

The best track on the album is the title track and it best sums up what The Henry Girls have to offer. This love song 'December Moon' contains wonderful harmonies and a soundtrack that begins with a simple beat, violin and a hand-clap but builds up nicely while still holding the vocals at it's core. It's a superb song.

02 December Moon by The Henry Girls

I really couldn't find a major fault with the album. However out of 14 tracks I'd only consider four of the tracks being of the highest standard [December Moon, Rain and Snow, Sweet Dreams and Farewell]. I have a feeling this album will take The Henry Girls all over the world and on bigger stages than they currently play now.

The Henry Girls - December Moon [11 out of 12]

Amhrán Gach Lá - O Emperor

O Emperor have gone all seasonal by giving away a free gift in time for Christmas. You can download a superb track from their second album to be released in 2012 here for free!

Some Small Matter is by far their best track in my books and has totally changed my opinion of the band!

Some Small Matter by O Emperor

Go to Harmless Noise to win tickets for any of the three O Emperor gigs in the next few weeks!


Friday, December 16, 2011 at 8:00pm until Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 11:30pm

Cork, Dublin & Waterford

Word of Mouth Agency presents:

Support from Hush War Cry
Doors 8pm
Tickets €14/€12
Support from Katie Kim
Doors 7.30pm
Tickets €17
Support from Katie Kim & Solar Taxi
Doors 9.30pm
Tickets €15

Friday, 25 November 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Shayne Byrne

Mullingar's Shayne Byrne takes on Bon Iver on this cover entitled 'Flume' and it's a nice version of it too.

Flume (Bon Iver cover) by shaynebyrnemusic

Catch Shayne live with Sive and James O'Connor this Thursday Dec 1st in Boyles of Slane.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

IMTV Awards 2011

I'm a few days late with the news of the Irish Music Television Awards for 2011. The nominations are below with the embedded video in each category being my preferred choice to win!

2011 Nominees – Full List!


James Vincent McMorrow for the video ’ Sparrow and the Wolf ‘ Directed by John Phillipson, Elton Mullally, Rob Davis.

Ryan Sheridan for the video ’Stand Up Tall’ Directed by Simon Eustace.

Gavin Friday for the video ’Able’ Directed by Kevin Godley.

Patrick Kelleher for the video ’Miracle Candle’ Directed by Sophie Gateau.

Rhob Cunningham for the video ’Quiet Song’ Directed by Myles O’Reilly.


Allie Bradley for the video ’Sincerity’ Directed by Darren Lee.

Odi for the video ’One in a Million’ Directed by Odi Music.

The Danger Is for the video ’All for Gold’ Directed by Myles O’Reilly.

Lisa Hannigan for the video ’Knots’ Directed by Myles O’Reilly.

Maighread for the video ’In The Beginning’ Directed by Diz & Co.


The Minutes for the video ’IMTOD’ Directed by Simon Eustace.

Henrietta Game for the video ’The Last Thing’ Directed by Finn Keenan.

Lisa O’Neill for the video ’Muse Head’ Directed by Myles O’Reilly.

Villagers for video ’Meaning of Ritual’ Directed by Myles O’Reilly.

I Draw Slow for the video ’Swans’ Directed by Hugh O’Connor.


This Club for their video ’I Won’t Worry’ By Rory Bresnihan

I Draw Slow for the video ’Goldmine’ Directed by Rory Bresnihan.

The Larkfield Four for the video ’Down by the Riverside’ Directed by Hugh O’Connor.

Republic of loose for the video ’The Blah Bounce Video’ Directed bys Gareth Averill and Luke Franklin.

Dirty Epics for the video ’Entralled’ Directed by Vittoria Colonna.

Most Original Concept:

Ham Sandwich for the video ‘ANTS’ Directed by Marc Corrigan.

Storyfold for the video ‘The Battle’ by Story of ID

Lowly Knights for the video ‘ Burning Powder’ Directed by Phil Harrisson

King Kong Company for the video ‘Acetate’ Directed by John Loftus.

Zombie Cops for the video ‘You Do’ Directed by Eoin Heaney.


The Minutes for the video ‘Black Keys’ by Biba Logan

Keys of Atlas for the video ‘Bullets and Sand’ Directed by Darren Lee.

Sleep Thieves for the video ‘Hope is Dead’ Directed by Simon Eustace.

The Hot Sprokets for the video ‘Cruisin’ Directed by Ross Bradshaw.

The Brilliant Things for the video ‘Something to Say’ Directed by Rob O’Connor.

Best Production Effects:

Miracle Bell for the video ‘Future Kings’ Directed by Simon Eustace.

The Gorgeous Colours for the video ’ It’s Ok to Be Normal’ Directed by Bob Corish.

Le Galaxie for the video ‘Midnight Midnight’ Directed by Ross Bradshaw.

Halves for the video ‘Darling. You’ll Meet your Maker’ Directed by Donal Mangan

Funeral Suits for the video ‘Florida’ Directed by Jonathan Irwin.

Window Seats for the video ‘Local Superhero’ Directed by Marty Stalker.


Bitches With Wolves for the video ‘Hurricane’ Directed by Martin Gaughan.

Arveene and Misk for the video ‘Lonely Money Music Body’ Directed by Simon Eustace.

Dirty Epics for the video ‘Entralled’ Directed by Vittoria Colonna.

Veda for the video ‘Dynarod Man’.

Toy Soldier for the video ‘Summertime’ Directed by Shaun O’Connor.

Echogram for the video ’Conspiracy’ Directed by Shaun O’Connor.



Funeral Suits for the video ‘Colour Fade’ Directed by Vincent Gallagher.

Lisa Hannigan for the video ’Little Bird’ Directed by Myles O’Reilly.

Fight Like Apes for the video ’Jenny Kelly’ Directed by Vincent Gallagher.

The Hot Sprokets for the video ’Cruisin’ Directed by Ross Bradshaw.

The Kanyu Tree for the video ‘Radio’ Directed by Stevie Russell.


Darren Lee

Simon Eustace

Killian Broderick

Stevie Russell

Vincent Gallagher

The Brilliant Things and The Gorgeous Colours will be performing live at the IMTV Awards in the Sugar Club on Nov. 30th.

Amhrán Gach Lá - Halves

Everything about this gig is pure class.

Halves are a quality band, Jennifer Evans is gonna be mega when her debut is released next year, the venue, the price ..... all good! But especially the beautiful epic sounds you're going to hear on December 9th! Get your tickets here:

May Your Enemies Never Find Happiness by halves

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Steafan Hanvey

"Steafán Hanvey and The Honeymoon Junkies" debut album was released in Ireland in 2006 but this year gets a big push in the US! The US release was on Oct 24 in conjunction with the US premiere of 'Desperation' on FUSE TV ON DEMAND.

I really liked the debut album and it's a sign of the times that an album five years old still has legs if it's good enough! There's some sweet songs on the album but my favourite is this seasonal song!

Hundred Days Of Snow by Steafan Hanvey

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - The Holy Roman Army

Carlow's Electronic band The Holy Roman Army are back with a new EP entitled Lazarians and this is the title track.

Lazerians by theholyromanarmy

The EP which is due for release on iTunes and the band's website on 25th November.

Love the EP artwork!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Introducing: A Mix of New Irish Bands #6

It's that time again when my inbox begins to fill up with new music! Here's the best of the batch and there's some great music in here!

Fun With Ropes

This band are brand new. Their first gig is The Sunday Roast in the Mercantile this Sunday and they have two songs to check out on Soundcloud!. The first song Mariner is alright but I love the second track Weatherstation. Hints of early 90s indie music like Slowdive or Lush. Wonderful stuff!

Weatherstation by Fun with Ropes


Sport of Kings

At the heart of the New York band Sport of Kings is an Irish songwriter, Richard Kelly, who moved to New York from Ireland in 2006. This video is a cracker and the song ain't half bad either in a Pavement/Beach Boys sort of way! The band play Dublin's Grand Social venue on 24 November.


runaway GO

Belfast based Indie band runaway GO are set to release their second single ‘Delicate Man’ on November 25th. Runaway GO have just announced a string of dates in Ireland:

Monday 28th November Spirit Store, Dundalk
Tuesday 29th November Whelan’s (upstairs), Dublin
Wednesday 30th November Kazbar, Wexford
Thursday 1st December Crane Lane, Cork

The single 'Delicate Man' is excellent!



Chloe is a Dublin singer and songwriter who came to my attention through this excellent Interview & Live Performance video from The Purple Sessions. It was filmed in Boyles of Slane and is a quality introduction to this promising singer!


Gareth Dunlop

Gareth Dunlop could easily end up being a mega mega star!

Here's some of the facts…

● Born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland, 23-year old Gareth Dunlop was hailed “One to Watch” by BBC Radio Ulster.
● Named 2011 Young Songwriter of the Year at the Annual Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival
● Dunlop’s songs have been featured in numerous hit television series including “Cougar Town,” “One Tree Hill,” “Private Practice,” “Army Wives,“Life Unexpected,” and more.
● Dunlop has opened for Jeff Beck, Jools Holland, Nanci Griffith, Angus & Julia Stone, Paul Carrack, The Steeldrivers, Imelda May and more.
● Snow Patrol performed Dunlop’s song, “Firefly,” with a full orchestra and invited him to join the band on stage as the lead vocalist for their special homecoming performance in Belfast.

Here's why there's lots of interest in Gareth Dunlop!

Fools Desire by GarethDunlopMusic


More Than Conquerors

Indie rockers from Belfast More Than Conquerors make some pretty good rock music with a worldwide appeal! It's all good!

More Than Conquerors - I've Done Nothing / I've Done It All by bandwidthmusic


The Henry Girls

Hailing from Donegal this band of three sisters make wonderfully charming folk music! Their new album 'December Moon' is a pleasure to listen to and will be reviewed on the blog real soon!

02 December Moon by The Henry Girls


Amhrán Gach Lá - Tupelo

Tupelo are your PLAY IRISH Galway artist next week – they are a Dublin based all original rhythm and roots band, and the song Jon Richards on Galway Bay FM will be playing all week is ‘Firefly’ their current single.

Some things you may not know about Tupelo:

Tupelo are named after the Van Morrisson album “Tupelo Honey”.
Tupelo played at the All-Ireland Hurling Final in Croke Park in front of 80,000 fans in September of 2011.
Tupelo count Imelda May, Damien Dempsey and Kerry GAA player Paul Galvin among their loyal fans.
Tupelo will take part in the London 2012 Olympic Games playing live at the massive Irish Village festival taking place over 18 nights next Summer.
The band is made up of 3 Dubliners, 1 Mayo man and 1 Australian from Coff’s Harbour, New South Wales.
Tupelo are a great band who have a Christmas gig booked for Whelans on Saturday 17th December!

Listen to the single here:
02 Firefly by Tupelo

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Candice Gordon

I'm really looking forward to the Candice Gordon ‘Before the Sunset Ends’ album launch this Wednesday in the Workman's Club.

Expect a great gig and a few special guests!

Grab the single 'I See a Demon' here while ya can!

Candice Gordon - I See A Demon by The Wounded Jukebox

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Album Review: Smith & Reilly - Arise and Go

'Arise and Go' is a powerful collaboration of music and poetry from poet Stephen James Smith accompanied by the vocals and instrumentation from Enda Reilly.

The majority of the eight tracks on 'Arise and Go' celebrates the poetry of Yeats, Kavanagh and Luke Kelly along with two original works. Smith & Reilly describe this collaboration of poetry and music as 'Spoken Word Sung Verse' and their objective is to give new life to old poems. It's a bold move by the artists to merge these two aspects of the arts and to release it in CD format.

In general the album works for me. The key powerful stand-out track is the original poem from Stephen James Smith called 'The Gardener' with guest musician Elder Roche providing a beautiful background piano soundtrack. 'The Gardener' is a powerful poem about the poet's mother and they get the tone and atmosphere right in this track. The other highlight is the original track sung and composed by Enda Reilly called 'Donal Ná Fág'.

The fact that I enjoyed the two original tracks most in the album means that as a concept album it doesn't really fulfill the objective mentioned above. They do a great version of 'Amhrán Na bhFiann' to close the album. I love Stephen's recital of Yeats' 'September 1913' and the album opener 'Mise Éire/I Am Ireland' sets the tone of the album nicely. The one major negative is the version of 'Raglan Road'. The vocals and the spoken word compete for attention and causes unease and confusion. It's the one track which I wish they did two versions of it, a spoken word and a version with Enda's great vocals at the fore.

'Arise and Go' is a very good concept album which brings new life to previously loved poems and ballads. It's a powerful album which makes you think about Ireland in the past and present and for me breaths new life to poetry.

Smith & Reilly - Arise and Go [10 out of 12]

Amhrán Gach Lá - The Pieces of Shit

Yep that's right ...... The Pieces of Shit!

No I'm not going to slag off every shit band I don't normally mention on this blog.

Sean Penn is looking like The Cure's Robert Smith for his new film "This Must Be the Place,". 'The Pieces of Shit' is David Byrne from Talking Heads forming a unique collaboration with Will Oldham and Irish Singer-songwriter Michael Brunnock.

Brunnock leads most of the five original tunes from 'The Pieces of Shit', with the music by Byrne and the lyrics by Oldham.

Full tracklisting:

Lord I'm Coming - Gavin Friday (6:50)
Lay & Love - The Pieces Of Shit (3:49)
Open Up - The Pieces Of Shit (2:04)
Chairmaine - Mantovani & His Orchestra (3:07)
Spiegel Im Spiegel - Daniel Hope & Simon Mulligan (8:55)
This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody) [Edit] - Trevor Green (6:43)
This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody) [Live] - David Byrne (5:21)
Gardermoen - Julia Kent (4:07)
Happiness - Jonsi & Alex (9:17)
Eliza - The Pieces Of Shit (3:42)
The Passenger - Iggy Pop (4:41)
You Can Like It - The Pieces Of Shit (1:52)
Achille's Heel: II. Second Bounce - Brooklyn Rider (5:26)
If It Falls It Falls - The Pieces Of Shit (2:40)
This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody) - Gloria (4:12)
Every Single Moment In My Life Is a Weary Wait - Nino Bruno E Le 8 Tracce (3:15)
The Sword Is Yours - The Pieces Of Shit (2:07)

Michael Brunnock - Tour Dates:

House Concert, Dublin, Wednesday November 23rd
Odessa in Dublin, Thursday November 24th
Clonmel, Tipperary, Friday November 25th
Swan Lane in Navan, Saturday November 26th .... support Peter Doran
St. Iberius' Church, Wexford Town, Friday December 2nd...supporting Declan O' Rourke
The Model, Sligo Town, Saturday December 10th...supporting Declan O' Rourke

Friday, 18 November 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - James Vincent McMorrow

James Vincent McMorrow is fast becoming one of the most entertaining tweeters on twitter! Follow him here:

He's also part of the first batch of wonderful performers for the 10th series of 'Other Voices':

Cherry Ghost
Cold Specks
Edwyn Collins
Frank Turner
James Vincent McMorrow
Jimi Goodwin (Doves)
King Charles
Lisa Hannigan
Little Green Cars
Mick Flannery
The Coronas
The Frames
Wild Beasts

with more to be announced.

The IMRO Other Room will be showcasing performances from Irish artists including
The Ambience Affair
We Cut Corners
Eithne Ní Chathain
Ham Sandwich
Gypsies on the Autobahn

with more to be announced.

Here's the wonderful version of Chris Isaacs 'Wicked Games':

James Vincent McMorrow - Wicked Games by The Clink

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Jerome's Law

In a crowded radio friendly rock pop market where it's nearly impossible to get radio play .... Jerome's Law make some good music which could see the band breakthrough to the heights of ..... Bipolar Empire? The Coronas!

Their debut album entitled 'Not Today' will be released digitally on Monday, November 21st. It will be available for free and you can listen to the song 'Open Eyes' in the meantime.

The tracklisting will be as follows:
1. Simple As It Seems
2. Kicking In The Brain
3. Spy In The House Of Fun
4. Throwing Stones
5. How To Kill A Living Thing
6. First It's Separate Chairs
7. Albedo
8. Open Eyes
9. Say The Word
10. What's To Come
11. Just Don't Ask

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - The Guilty Folk

The Brownbread Mixtape have joined forces with Bodytonic and The Twisted Pepper to present a super special Mixtape on November 18th showcasing the finest performers in Dublin's contemporary arts and music scene. And all this for a mere 10 EURO!


Colm Keegan |


EleventyFour |

Pearse McGloughlin and Nocturnes |

The Guilty Folk |


James Earley |


The Brownbread Players |

The Brownbread Mixtape will be broadcasting LIVE ON THE INTERNET at

Here's Lovelocked by the brilliant and funny The Guilty Folk:

The Guilty Folk - Lovelocked- Live Studio Version by The Guilty Folk

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Album Review: Polly Barrett - Mr. Bookshop

Sweet folk sounds from Cork's Polly Barrett. A quality debut that hints at a long musical career!

On one level I love the simplicity of 'Mr Bookshop'. The clear and pure vocals of Polly bring her songs to life. They are accompanied by a simple soundtrack of acoustic guitars, banjo and drums. While the genre is folk many of the songs could also be described as pop without the fanfare.

On another level the album was almost too simplistic. I missed the warmth a bassline can bring to the songs. In a time when Irish musicians like Lisa Hannigan and James Vincent McMorrow are raising the bar of the concept of an album, a bunch of sweet sounding songs may not be enough to reach the masses! If anything a fanfare on a couple of tracks would have been very welcomed!

However that been said there are some lovely tunes on 'Mr Bookshop'. The best songs for me include the title track, the album opener 'Weak', the folkie 'Almost Friend' and the glorious 'February' with it's wonderful enriching imagery. The bluegrass feel of 'Synchronicity' really suits Polly's vocals and is another standout track.

All in all 'Mr Bookshop' is a fine debut which showcases the massive potential of Polly Barrett.

Polly Barrett - Mr Bookshop [9 out of 12]

02 POLLY BARRETT - Mr Bookshop by Music Week

Buy the Album:

Tour Dates:

Wed, 16 Nov Galway, IE Garvey's Inn
Tue, 22 Nov London, UK The Troubadour Club, Earl's Court, London
Fri, 25 Nov Slane, MH, IE Boyles in Slane
Tue, 29 Nov Wexford, WX, IE The Sky & The Ground
Wed, 30 Nov Kilkenny, KK, IE Ryan's Bar
Thu, 08 Dec Letterkenny, IE An Grianan Theatre
Fri, 09 Dec Galway, IE Roisin Dubh
Sat, 10 Dec Dublin, IE Vicar Street
Sun, 11 Dec Cork, IE Triskel Christchurch
Fri, 30 Dec Mayo, IE Royal Theatre

Amhrán Gach Lá - The Gorgeous Colours

Wow I really love The Gorgeous Colours. Their 2008 debut was a wonderful album but the singles and EPs the band are releasing recently hit all the right spots.

Here's their new single: Chopped Heart

Chopped Heart by The Gorgeous Colours

You can get the song as a free download from:

Isn't this a great gig poster?

Monday, 14 November 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Mob Fandango

Who knew Dublin has a Jazz Scene?

One of the bands playing the 'Jazz Is ..... Festival' in Dublin is the wonderful Mob Fandango:

Mob Fandango - Ghetto Life by RisingStars

Taken direct from the Press Release:

Jazz Is…mini-festival - presented by the Prime Collective

22-26 November in Dublin City Centre

A boutique musicfestival presented by The Prime Collective. Five days of gritty funk, smoothtones, hard-hitting jazz, acoustic instrumental and experimental improvisedmusic in Dublin’s City Centre -

Tue NOV 22 – International Bar, Wicklow St.

8pm (Suggested Donation €5) 01-6779250

Julyo'sLiMEN 8pm

Dublin based nu-jazz act LiMEN are Antonellod'Orazio on saxophone and flute and Julyo on bass and synthesizer. LiMENdescribe themselves as nu-ambient, dream pop, post-jazz, brain music, and aresure to sooth your ears.

Locoswing 9.45pm

Locoswing, a sassy gypsy jazz and swing band, payhomage to a bygone era. Taking their inspiration from the 20’s and 30’s, expectthis quintet to mix some old standards with some novel takes of contemporaryhits.


Tue NOV 22 – Sweeney’s, Dame St.

8pm €8 01-6779250

Max Zaska’sGRooVE 8pm

GRooVE is the work of Max Zaska - whose talentseven extend to spitting some rhymes when you least expect it. Expect ‘harmoniesgalore and the funkiest drums 'n bass section in Dublin’. Featuring KarenCowley, Andrew Hozier-Byrne, Sam Comerford, Kevin Higgins & Dylan Lynch.

Nature 9pm

Nature represents clashes between vocal &instrumental, human & mechanistic, pre-written & improvised. Thisgroove-jazz quartet is led by bassist Kevin Higgins, whose music fuses techno,swing, dub and funk into a brash, elemental style. Watch out for manic guitarfrom Chris Guilfoyle, trancy vocal hooks and textures from Georgia Cusack andstreet-smart beats by drummer Tommy Gray.

Superhands 10pm

What happens when you put top musicians BillBlackmore, Colm O'Hara, Shane Latimer, Darragh O'Kelly, Derek White, EddieMcGinn and Keith de Barra together on stage? Superhands, that’s what. Expectoriginals, 70's Herbie Hancock and Dave Douglas - plenty of funk and plenty ofimprovising.


Wed NOV 23 – Crawdaddy, 35 Harcourt St. D2

8pm €5 01-6779250

TongueBundle 8pm

Tongue Bundle might just be the most exciting bandthat Dublin has yet to realise is in her midst. Thrilling to listen to, nearimpossible to categorise, the Tongues are guaranteed to open some ears.

Mob Fandango 9pm

This 10-piece band has been steadily rising inprofile since winning the ‘Rising Stars’ award in the Dublin City Soul Festivalin 2009. The Mob offer a unique brand of funk and soul, complete with brasssection.

CreamyGoodness 10pm

Fresh from playing five gigs at Electric Picnicwhere they played five different sets, Creamy need little introduction. Theyhave built a solid reputation as one of the funkier bands on these isles.


Thu NOV 24 – International Bar,Wicklow St.

8pm (Suggested Donation €5) 01-6779250

Sandra Melo4tet 8pm

Sandra Melo is a vocalist from Minas Gerais,Brazil, and is currently finishing her studies here in Dublin - but that won’tstop her from breaking free and delivering a fiery performance of her favouriteMPB (Musica Populara Brasiliera) tunes.

Emilie singsElis 9.45pm

Through the lens of one of Brazil's most lovedsingers, the enigmatic Elis Regina, Emilie Conway & the Brazilian Jazz triopresent bossa nova and MPB from the country's greatest composers and lyricists:Jobim, Powell, Lins, Bosco, Buarque & more.


Thu NOV 24 – SingSing (downstairs Mercantile,Dame St.)

8pm €5 01-6779250

Foluain Trio8pm

Dublin stalwarts Matt Jacobson (drums) and NeilO’Loghlen (bass) have gotten together and invited guest Parisian SaxophonistJonathan Orland. Jacobson and O’Loghlen are two of the next generation of Irishjazz musicians, while Orland is a seasoned performer across various continents.

Roller Trio 9.45pm

Roller Trio is an up and coming band from Leedsthat has recently signed to the F-IRE collective label in London. Leavingtraditional notions of a jazz trio behind, this one uses electric guitarinstead of bass, and delivers a powerful blow through the heavy tone of Tenorsaxophonist James Mainwairing.


Fri NOV 25 – Back Loft, 7-11 St. Augustine St,Dublin 8

8pm €8 01-6779250

Leafzangsextet 8pm

Leafzang sextet takes the approach of adding cello,clarinet and sax to a guitar trio, resulting in a balance of warm acoustictones ranging from chamber ensemble to European jazz.

Bryan Quigley& Gordon Delap 8.45pm

Quigley plays the bass like few others, approachingit from the basis of pure sound rather than notes and rhythms. Delap providesthe electronic ammunition – live processing that results in an otherworldlysound world between the two.

Rhombus 9.20pm

Playing all originalmusic written by Dennis Wyers, Rhombus draws from Norwegian and British jazz,contemporary classical, blues and South-Indian music, moving between texturesto create colouristic and often rhythmic compositions.

Paul Roe& Danny Roe 10.00pm

Everyone loves to see things kept in the family,and this is no exception – son Danny provides the percussion to his father’sethereal clarinet – Paul, who recently had an album released on Diatriberecords.


Sat NOV 26 – Back Loft, 7-11 St. Augustine St,Dublin 8

8pm €8 01-6779250

Colm O’Harapresents Concrete Soup

Colm O’Hara is one of the best trombone playersaround - he’s been playing with all sorts of interesting musicians over thepast few years. Recently, he’s been curating a night that he dubs ‘ConcreteSoup’, an assortment of improvising musicians that O’Hara personally assemblesin one-off groupings. The result is an evening of music that will never beperformed the same way twice, but one that leaves a lasting impression.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Youth Mass

Kells oops Trim Indie Rockers 'Youth Mass' have a new single and it's getting worldwide attention!

Gimme Indie is a web radio airing alternative sounds 24/7 focusing on independently released (or unsigned) artists mainly from Scandinavia, UK and North America. They got the World Exclusive to play Youth Mass's new single 'Wide Eyes'. If the song makes it onto their playlists the band will be played up to six times a day on radio, in clubs and streaming on the net.

Youth Mass - Wide Eyes by Gimme Indie

Youth Mass have been asked to play with The Naked and Famous this Sunday 13th of November in The Olympia Theatre in Dublin. Thats tonight folks!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Myles Manley

There's an eloquence and charm in this song which probably shouldn't be there given the subject matter in hand! It just works for me ..... the drawn out 'Ron Sexsmith' style vocals, the backing vocals, the guitar rift all work perfectly with the lyrics. A masterful song from Sligo's Myles Manley that you need to hear:

I Fuck Your Wife by mylesmanley

See Myles Manly support The Young Folk with Sive in Whelans on Thursday night. Admission €10 with an EP thrown in for good measure! Probably the best value out of a tenner this side of the European Championship!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Ultan Conlon

Ultan Conlon is one of a number of Irish artists who contributed a song to the recently released John Martyn Tribute album:



Let The Good Things Come (David Gray)
Glorious Fool (Clarence Fountain and Sam Butler)
Small Hours (Robert Smith)
Stormbringer (Beck)
Over The Hill (Ted Barnes featuring Gavin Clark)
I Don’t Wanna Know (The Swell Season)
Bless The Weather (The Emperors Of Wyoming)
Couldn’t Love You More (Lisa Hannigan)
Go Easy (Vetiver)
Solid Air (Skye Edwards)
You Can Discover (Cheryl Wilson)
The Easy Blues (Jelly RollBaker) ( Joe Bonamassa)
Dancing (Sonia Dada)
Certain Surprise (Sabrina Dinan)
One World (Paolo Nutini)


May You Never (Snow Patrol)
Go Down Easy (Beth Orton)
Fairytale Lullaby (Bombay Bicycle Club)
Fine Lines (Syd Kitchen)
Head And Heart (Vashti Bunyan)
Run Honey Run (Morcheeba)
Angeline (Nicholas Barron)
Walk To The Water (John Smith)
Hurt In Your Heart (Judy Tzuke)
Road To Ruin (Jim Tullio)
John Wayne (Oh My God)
Rope Soul’d (The Blackships)
Back To Stay (Ultan Conlon)
Anna (Brendan Campbell)
Tearing And Breaking (Phil Collins)

Buy Here

Have a listen to Ultan's version of 'Back to Stay':

See Ultan live:

The Greyhound, Kilkee,
Co Clare (3 piece)

Roisin Dubh Galway (Full Band)
10 Euro

Cleere's Kilkenny (TBC)
10 Euro

The Workmans Club Dublin (Full Band)
10 Euro

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Michael Brunnock

Michael Brunnock is a New York based singer-songwriter and creative force of Little Palace. He is back touring in Ireland at the end of Nov and into December. The official dates are:

Odessa in Dublin, Thursday November 24th
Clonmel, Tipperary, Friday November 25th
Swan Lane in Navan, Saturday November 26th
St. Iberius' Church, Wexford Town, Friday December 2nd...supporting Declan O' Rourke
The Model, Sligo Town, Saturday December 10th...supporting Declan O' Rourke

Michael has sent a newsletter to his fans asking for people to consider putting on a House Concert! Here's the details!

"We will be in Ireland between Nov 22nd and Dec 12th 2011

Michael has been playing some house concerts, here States side. They are very intimate, fun and relaxed shows, where you really get to know more about Michael and his music. We are interested in playing house concerts in Ireland if there is any friends who are interested in hosting one.

Here’s how it works:

1. You have a house or space that can comfortably and safely host 20-40 people. A place with a big living room, finished basement or a comfortable outdoor space if the weather is nice.

2. You invite friends and family over for a night of music. We like to try to play to at least twenty people. It is obviously more fun for us and for the audience to have a full room!

3. We put out a 10 euros Suggested Donation bucket with our CD’s and T-Shirts. You as the host don’t have to deal with money at all.

4. You are welcome to provide guests with snacks and/or drinks, though it’s not necessary. People often make it BYOB.

5. As far as set up goes, all we need is two chairs to sit in while we play. No sound system is necessary.

If you are interested, please email Colin or Michael at: AraglinPromotions[@]gmail[.]com.


I included the song 'Sensation' from Michael in my top 30 songs [2008 - 2011] featuring Keb Mo on vocals. Here's that version with photography by Debra Reschoff-Ahearn

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

New Videos from Irish Bands

The one thing I don't do on the blog enough is to discuss the videos that can accompany a song or single from our wonderful artists. In the week when the MTV awards came to Belfast and went with only Gaga's outfit and Beiber's spunkiness the topic of trends here's the best new videos from Irish bands!

[Tipping my cap to Nay at Harmless Noise who writes so eloquently about music videos and where I discover the best videos!]


Rams Pocket Radio - Dieter Rams Has Got The Pocket Radios

I've heard lots about this band and this song is pure quality.


Autumn Long - Ten More Reasons

Stop motion video made by Barry MacCourt and Pádraig Digan for the debut single TEN MORE REASONS
Available to download on


Sive - We Are Moving

Music video made by E. G. Cooper. Single "We Are Moving" played by the band Sive. It's their first officially released single. All done for about €50.


Delorentos - Did We Ever Really Try

I'm not the biggest Delorentos fan but I have to give due credit for this fine video for their new single.


Seven Days
- All Falls Down

Seven Days are one of the best live bands in the country and this video of the band performing live shows their musicianship very well:


Cashier No 9 - Lost at Sea

Lost At Sea is taken from Cashier No.9′s debut album To The Death Of Fun which was released on Bella Union in June.


The Ambience Affair - The Fallen

The Fallen is a track from Burials, the debut album by The Ambience Affair.

Directed by - Souljacker


Allie Bradley - Bad

Allie Bradley's official video for the single Bad off her E.P Flashbacks and Reruns. While the song begins slow it develops into a good radio friendly song.


The Dead Flags - You Got it Wrong

This homage to the Back to the Future scene looks brilliant and it's a decent indie pop tune to go with it!


Eleventyfour - The Friend Song

Eleventyfour wrote such a sweet song and has created a friendly video which almost leads itself to be satirical .... except it's not!

Amhrán Gach Lá - El Hombre Jokes

I remember way back in the 80s and 90s I'm sure a residency in a venue was a very common thing! I'm really surprised there isn't more bands doing a residency! El Hombre Jokes is one band bringing back the residency!

El Hombre Jokes have announced on Facebook today that in December they'll be starting a residency in the Front Bar of Whelans every second Saturday! They are such a great band and this is a perfect band for a busy Whelans front bar on a Saturday night!

Here's a free download of their single from earlier this year .... Wake Up!

WAKE UP by El Hombre Jokes

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Mixtape: Best 30 Irish Songs [2008 - 2011]

The 2UIBestow blog is three today! The fact that I regularly get 400 visitors a day to this page must mean that my music tastes connects with some of you out there! As long as people keep visiting the page I'l keep writing about the music I love!

Here's the best 30 songs in alphabetical order I've discovered since the beginning of the blog three years ago!

Bill Coleman - Church of Second Chances

The Blue Choir - What If I Could Be The One?

David Hope - Daybreak Someplace

Daybreak Someplace by David Hope

Declan DeBarra - Beautiful One

Eric Eckhart - Lost

Lost by Eric Eckhart

Favourite Sons - The Great Deal of Love

The Great Deal of Love by FavouriteSons

The Gorgeous Colours - It's Ok to be Normal

The Gorgeous Colours - It's OK To Be Normal by TheDiscoverialist

Henrietta Game - The Last Thing

LAST THING by Henrietta Game

Heritage Centre - You Are Something

I Am Not Lefthanded - Long Goodbyes

Long Goodbyes by I Am Not Lefthanded

I Draw Slow - Goodbye Beulahland

Iain Archer - Frozen Lake

Jukebox Gypsy - The Month

Jukebox Gypsy - The Month by 2uibestow

Keith Mullins - Mistakes

Kiernan McMullan - That Afternoon

Lisa Hannigan - Paper House

The Making - Safe and Well

Michael Brunnock - Sensation

Miss Paula Flynn - Killed A Bird

Killed A Bird by Miss Paula Flynn

One Day international - Miss Your Mouth

Miss Your Mouth by Brian Crosby

Peadar King - Wanted Something

Pearse McGloughlan - Passion Song

Peter Doran - Pathways

Peter Doran - Pathways by rayrecordings

Pony Club - What are you Angry For?

Preachers Sons - Lipstick

Lipstick feat Gavin Friday by Preachers Son

Reader's Wives - Laughter/Commute

Laughter / Commute by ReadersWives

Resurrection Fern - Brothers

03 Brothers by Resurrection Fern

Sean Kangataran - Hairpins

Salt and Sea - "Hairpins" by Seán Kangataran

Terrance Rowlands - Red Sunrise

Red Sunrise by Terence Rowlands

Youth Mass - Tony Don't You Worry

Tony Don't You Worry by Youth Mass