Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Debate of the Year!

Another mixtape4melfi repost here. In February, four middle age Irish Times rock critics created a top 40 Irish Album list of all time. As lists go.....this one stirred up many a comment or 220 odd on the Irish Times blog. Link:


So in the Irish Times on friday 29th Feb, the below list of the best 40 albums was compiled by 4 Ticket rock writers. I found the list interesting due to a couple of exclusions and a few surprises. It is widely accepted that the Irish public would have voted Damien Rice's "O" into the top three accompanied by The Joshua Tree and Astral Weeks. I have no complaint about the choice in first place! However, no room for The Fat Lady Sings? Nine by Damien Rice? Dance the Devil by the Frames? No Duke Special, Foy Vance, The Devlins, Ann Scott, Julie Feeney .....sigh!

1: My Bloody Valentine: Loveless (1991)
2: U2: Achtung Baby (1991)
3: A House: I am the Greatest (1991)
4: The Radiators: Ghostown (1979)
5: Van Morrison: Astral weeks (1968)
6: Microdisney: The Clock down the Stairs (1985)
7: Rollarskate Skinny: Horsedrawn Wishes (1996)
8: The Pogues: Rum Sodomy & The Lash (1986)
9: The Undertones: the Undertones (1979)
10: Whipping Boy: Heartworm (1995)
11: Ash: 1977 (1996)
12: The Blades: Raytown Revisited (1985)
13: Thin Lizzy: Live and Dangerous (1978)
14: U2: The Joshua Tree (1987)
15: Therepy?: Troublegum (1994)
16: Planxty: Plaxty (1973)
17: David Holmes: Lets Get Killed (1997)
18: The Stars of Heaven (1988)
19: Stiff Little Fingers: Inflammable Material (1979)
20: The Revenants: Horse of a different colour (1993)
21: The Stars of Heaven: Sacred Heart Hotel (1986)
22: U2: Boy (1980)
23: The Blades: last Man in Europe (1984)
24: My Bloody Valentine: Isn't Anything (1988)
25: Sinead O'Connor: I do not want what i haven't got (1990)
26: Van Morrison: Moondance (1970)
27: Snow Patrol: Eyes Open (2006)
28: the Divine comedy: Promenade (1994)
29: Rory Gallagher: Live in Europe (1972)
30: Van Morrison: It's too late to stop now (19724)
31: Bellx1: Music in Mouth (2003)
32: The Cranberries: Everybody Else is Doing it, so why can't we (1993)
33: The Frames: For The Birds (2001)
34: Something Happens: Stuck together with God's glue (1990)
35: Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill: Live in Seattle (1999)
36: The High Llamas: Hawaii (1996)
37: The Undertones: Hypnotised (1980)
38: Damien Rice: O (2002)
39: The Pogues: If I should fall from the Grace of God (1988)
40: Microdisney: Crooked Mile (1987)

Further Reading!


Sunday, 28 December 2008

Music Highlight of the Year

This is a Mixtape4melfi repost written about the Saturday I had at the Hot Press Music Show in the RDS.

Yesterday I had the pleasure to spend the day at the Hot Press Music Show in the RDS. Over this weekend it was a convention to showcase the best of Irish music, the best music stockists, record companies, seminars, galleries etc etc! This weeks themed mix celebrates the best of the weekend's music.

First up and nearly an hour late were The Blizzards. The band is adored in Ireland mainly by teens who have expanded their definition of a pop band. They make good songs and have a great front man. My hope is that people see them as more than a Scouting For Girls or Script copycat when they try to break into the UK market next year.

The Blizzards - Dangerous Bitches


Next up with a short three song set was Declan O'Rourke. When Declan appeared around five years ago he charmed his listeners with beautifully written songs and a wonderful voice. I have seen Declan three times live and the man is master of his trade. The difficult second album wasn't great. His debut is still a favourite in my household. His set was Big Bad Beautiful World, Galilao and Your World.


Cathy Davey is another brilliant Irish artist who is busy conquering Irish hearts at present. She has sung on an Elbow album and contributed backing vocals for Lisa Hannigan and Automata. Cathy's debut a few years ago got her noticed but her second album Tales of the Silversleeve written on drums beats initially which has propelled her to near super stardom in Ireland.

Cathy Davey - Cannonballs


Ham Sandwich from Kells in Co. Meath were the act of the day yesterday. I caught a few minutes of their acoustic set before they went to the live area for an electric set. They were a great laugh during the sound check. Amazing set of five songs. At the end Podge threw a drumstick into the crowd and got an old dude in the eye! It was hilarious. The guy was fine....still laughed my ass off!

Ham Sandwich - Keepsake


Ham Sandwich - Words live from The Village

I caught a few minutes of an acoustic from The Aftermath. Their debut album Friendlier Up Here is a good album and signals great things for the future for the band.


The final act I seen was Fionn Regan. When Fionn released the EP Reservoir a few years back I thought it was brilliant and we had a real talent here. The mercury music prize nominee has not produced the music his raw talent suggests. However the demos on his MySpace hints at a great second album! Time will tell.

Fionn Regan - Resevoir


Fionn Regan - Put a Penny in a Slot

Sunday's artists include Jaded Sun, The Coronas, Republic of Loose and Damien Dempsey.

Republic of Loose - Comeback Girl


Jaded Sun - Stay With Me [whelans]

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Top 100 (Number 1) ...and repost mixtape4melfi post!

I'll start with the end. This is the final post on Mixtape4melfi. I have a new Irish Music only blog 2 U I Bestow which I think has a more specific purpose in the hope of promoting Irish bands. I'm inspired to do this because I feel it is a major injustice if the music world doesn't get to know about Mark Dignam.

1. Mark Dignam - Glide

Mark was centre of Dublin's busking scene in the post Joshua Tree pre Economic Boom Ireland. Mark busked with Glen Hansard, Mic Christopher, Kila, Hothouse Flowers, Miriam Ingrid and Paddy Casey who in The Times today named Mark as a major influence in his early music days. Everyone should have Mark's debut in their music collection. The sound Mark created was a mixture of old Irish Folk and Irish Rock with wonderful song-writing and melodies. I'm trying to write this with a wide perspective because Mark grew up very near to my house and when he clarifys our world in song I feel it deeply subjectively. Glide is a song about the space between on the ground life and over the top escapism. It's about making sense of our past, our experiences and our lives! Download it here...

The future is here with me
If you could only see
If you could just close your eyes and Glide

It's just as easy for you.. drop the other shoe
Take off your harness and dive into your sky

Oh... no... My flameless soul...
With my uncried tears at the bottom of a hole X2

The future is here with me
If you could only see
If you could just close your eyes and glide

Bend with the wind forget time lose your mind
this is the greatest moment there's ever been...

Oh... no... My flameless soul...
With my uncried tears at the bottom of a hole X2
Oh no... My flameless soul..
With my uncried tears at the bottom of a hole..


Quiet... it was hot... my pours opened wide
My sweat rained across my body
From the height of this dream
I could see down below
Our great beloved goldfish bowl
and I realise how small my perspective has been
I realise how small my perspective has been....

Oh... no... My flameless soul...
With my uncried tears at the bottom of a hole X2
Oh no... My flameless soul..
With my uncried tears at the bottom of a hole..

The Big List

100. Jawbreaker - Want (1990)
99. David Ford - I Don't Care What You Call Me (2006)
98. Ben Harper - Glory & Consequence (1997)
97. The Stereophonics - Maybe Tomorrow (2003)
96. The Black Crows - Remedy (1992)
95. Tracy Chapman - Open Arms (1992)Link
94. Slowdive - Allison (1993)
93. The Frames - Angel at my Table (1994)
92. Counting Crows - I Wish I was a Girl (1999)
91. Pearl Jam - Immortality (1994)
90. The Flaming Lips - Yeah Yeah Yeah Song (2006)
89. Sonic Youth - Superstar
88. Coldplay - Warning Signs (2002)
87. Grant Lee Buffalo - Fuzzy (1993)
86. Rage Against The Machine - Know Your Enemy (1992)
85. PJ Harvey - Missed (1993)
84. Damien Dempsey - Apple of my Eye (2003)
83. Belly - Slow Dog (1993)
82. Sinead O' Conner & Shane McGowen - Haunted (1995)
81. The Fat Lady Sings - Drunkard Logic (1993)
80. Damien Rice - Cannonball (2003)
79. Yo La Tengo - Little Eyes (2003)
78. The Frames - When Your Mind's Made Up (2006)
77. Neil Young - Rockin in the Free World (1989)
76. Ben Harper - Amen Omen (2003)
75. The Levellers - One Way
74. David Rovics - Falluja (feat Dope Poet Society)
73. The Lemonheads - Kitchen
72. The Cure - Just Like Heaven
71. Buffalo Tom - Late At Night
70. Paddy Casey - It's Over Now
69. Deacon Blue - Real Gone Kid
68. Jeff Buckley - Vancouver
67. John Martyn - May You Never
66. Eddie Vedder - Hard Sun
65. McAlmont & Butler - Yes
64. Tracy Chapman - Almost
63. Mark Dignam - Bumble Bee
62. The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy
61. Paw - Sleeping Bag
60. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Soul To Squeeze
59. Ben Harper - Oppression
58. Whipping Boy - We Don't Need Nobody Else
57. U2 - The Unforgethable Fire
56. The Breeders - Cannonball
55. Blue October - Hate Me
54. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Into Your Arms
53. The Devlins - Surrender
52. David Gray - Sail Away
51. Deus - Suds & Soda
50. Damien Dempsey - Negative Vibes
49. Mother Love Bone - Stardog Champion
48. Sugar - A Good Idea
47. Katell Keinig - Gulf of Araby
46. The Afghan Whigs - Gentleman
45. U2 - All I Want Is You
44. Van Morrison - The Way Young Lovers Do
43. Michael Franti & Spearhead - Everyone Deserves Music
42. Nick Drake - Northern Sky
41. Damien Rice - Moody Monday
40. The Counting Crows - Mr. Jones
39. David Gray - What Am I Doing Wrong?
38. Mark Dignam - This Is Love
37. Massive Attack - Live With Me
36. Ray Lamontagne - Trouble
35. Pearl Jam - Sleight of Hand
34. The Replacements - Unsatisfied
33. The Hold Steady - First Night
32. The Frames - Seven Day Mile
31. The Cure - Fascination Street
30. Grant Lee Buffalo - Jupiter & Teardrop
29. Rollarskate Skinny - So Far Up To Heaven
28. The Mary Janes - Friends
27. Live - Supernatural (Vic Chestnut)
26. The Smashing Pumpkins - Mayonaise
25. Pearl Jam - Other Side
24. Beth orton - Sweetest Decline
23. Katell Keineg - Coolea
22. Ani DiFranco - Napolean
21. Elbow - Scattered Blacks & White
20. The Smashing Pumpkins - Luna
19. Chris Cornell - Seasons
18. Joseph Arthur - In The Sun
17. The Pony Club - Single
16. Wheat - Don't I Hold You
15. Pearl Jam - Pilate
14. Swervedriver - Dual
13. Jeff Buckley - Last Goodbye
12. The Prayer Boat - Slow Down
11. Ben Harper - Jah Work
10. The Smashing Pumpkins - Rhinoceros
9. The Frames - Fitzcaraldo
8. Nick Kelly - Tiburon Prayer
7. The Afghan Whigs - My Curse
6. Temple Of The Dog - Hunger Strike
5. Thin Lizzy - Dancing In The Moonlight
4. U2 - Bad
3. Pearl Jam - Breath
2. Jeff Buckley - What Will You Say
1. Mark Dignam - Glide

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Sunday's Seven Degrees of an Irish Christmas [links fixed]

Here's my collection of Irish Christmas songs I have posted these last few weeks with added tracks from Damien Rice and Damien Dempsey.

Tadhg Cooke - Let It Snow Mp3 MySpace

Paddy Casey - The Power of Love Mp3 MySpace

Pony Club - Driving Home For Christmas Mp3 MySpace

Fia Rua - Lonely This Christmas Mp3 MySpace

Damien Dempsey - Holy Night Mp3 MySpace

Damien Rice - Happy Xmas (War is Over) Mp3 MySpace

Paula Flynn - Happy Christmas Valentine

Miss Paula Flynn - Happy Christmas Valentine

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Irish Bands on YouTube - The Devlins

I adore The Devlins. The Devlins should have been massive. On Tuesday I seen Colin Devlin live in the un-christmasy Whelans upstairs room. Colin was excellent and the debut album A Democracy Of One is full of wonderful tunes. He was joined onstage by his brother Peter and Fiachna O'Braonain from the bands Hothouse Flowers and Prenup. The three played most of Colin's debut as well as Waiting, Drift, World Outside and There Will Be A Light from the The Devlins. More is promised in February.


The Devlins - I Knew That from Feila 95 (First of their songs i loved)

The Devlins - Heavens Wall (.....should have been massive!)

Colin Devlin - Raise The Dead

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Sunday's Seven Degrees of 2008

I have just done the now traditional best of the year mixtape (cd) for my neice and our good friend in the UK. It wasn't an easy task this year trying to fit everything into 70 minutes. I think 2008 was a great year for Irish music. You can argue that there wasn't a 'Joshua Tree' or 'Live and Dangerous' to be seen but the sheer volume of really good albums was encouraging. Remember to support the artists by visiting their MySpace, catching them live and buying their albums.

Best of 2008 Mixtape

1. The Coronas - Heroes or Ghosts
2. The Blizzards - Trust Me I'm a Doctor
3. Ham Sandwich - Words
4. Gemma Hayes - Home
5. Heathers - Remember When?
6. One Day International - Little Death
7. The Guggenheim Grotto - Her Beautiful Ideas
8. Fred - Keep Me Clear
9. Lisa Hannigan - Ocean and a Rock
10. Jape - Phil Lynott
11. Pony Club - To Tell The Truth
12. Oppenheimer - Look Up
13. Duke Special - Sweet Sweet Kisses
14. Armoured Bear - Imagination
15. Susan Enan ft Sarah McLachlin - Bring On The Wonder
16. The Gorgeous Colours - Miss You
17. The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock - The Hare
18. Colm Mac Con Iomaire - Time Will Tell
19. Terry Sutton - The Laughter

.... if you get a chance add me on MySpace

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Irish Album of the Year - Pony Club

I love the fact that music is such a subjective thing. I don't do reviews on this blog for the reason that I don't want to write negatively about any form of subjective art. With music, I believe most people listen to music which reflects their position in life. It is a rare thing to find that album. The album that you believe was written just for you in the exact moment in time. In the past I think Pearl Jam's Ten, Katell Keineg's O Seasons, O Castles and Mark Dignam's Poetry & Songs from the Wheel are the albums which spoke to me personally. In this period of time Post Romantic for me is this album. Mark Cullen writes witty social urban tales of love and life. The lyrics are commentaries of society from a working class perspective. In a recent review in State magazine the reviewer simply didn't understand the social perspective of the album. Post Romantic is like a musical equivalent of the Channel 4 series Shameless in so far as it respects and celebrates the social context of the working class without being patronising. A perfect album in this moment of time.

What Are You Angry For? [Last song on Post Romantic]

Single [From debut album Home Truths, number 17 in my Top 100]

Driving Home For Christmas [Chris Rea cover]



Post Romantic Lyrics

I Still Feel The Same

The World Didn't End

Monday, 8 December 2008

Monday Under The Christmas Cover - Paddy Casey

We had a great night last night. We caught Ian Whitty and Fred in The Button Factory. The two bands were great. Can't fault them at all. Ian Whitty has a brilliant debut out and Fred are about to conquer America. We then popped over to The Stag's head for the end Padraid Digan's excellent set before Terry Sutton took to the stage. Both Terry and Padraig are exceptionally talented singers and musicians and the songs were on a par with anything mass produced by the major record labels. Back in 1999 Terry sang backing vocals on Paddy Casey's debut Amen (So Be It). Here is Paddy doing a wonderful cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's The Power Of Love which appeared as a B-Side to the single 'Living'.

The Power of Love

Paddy Casey MySpace

12 Dec 2008 20:00 QUEENS HOTEL ENNIS
13 Dec 2008 20:00 INEC KILLARNEY
14 Dec 2008 20:00 WHELAN’S DUBLIN
20 Dec 2008 20:00 BIRR ARTS THEATRE BIRR
29 Dec 2008 20:00 TIME VENUE NAAS
23 Jan 2009 20:00 ROISIN DUBH GALWAY

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Sunday's Seven Degrees of the Cold

This week has been the longest cold snap Ireland has been through in a long time. The warm southerly air from the mid-Atlantic drift tends to ensure Ireland has a moderate Winter. This last week has been crisp and cold. It has been very different and I'm loving it. Here are some nice pre-Christmas wintery tales! Remember to support the artists if you like anything you hear. Also tell me what you found was good in the comments section!

Ash - Dark and Stormy Mp3 MySpace

Prenup - Cold Wind Mp3 MySpace

Colm Lynch - The Storm Mp3 MySpace

Cathy Davey - Cold Man's Nightmare Mp3 MySpace

The Plague Monkeys - Breaking The Ice Mp3 Website

Kitty & The Can Openers - Cold Wind Mp3 MySpace

AnĂșna - Winter, Fire and Snow Mp3 MySpace

...... Join 2UIBestow at MySpace

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Irish Bands on YouTube - A House, Dave Couse

A House were a great band and their 1992 "I Am The Greatest" album has been played alot this week in the car to remind of their greatness. Dave Couse went solo and two members of A House joined with Mark Cullen in the Pony Club.

A House - I Don't Care

A House's Endless Art with updated lyrics (including Jeff Buckley & George Harrison) performed by former A House singer Dave Couse, backed by Duke Special, Neil Hannon & Thomas Walsh (Pugwash). Amnesty International Benefit - Vicar Street, Dublin 14 Oct 2008.

A House MySpace
Dave Couse MySpace

Dave Couse - Beauty Is

Friday, 5 December 2008

Something For The Weekend - A Lazarus Soul, The Swell Season

This Friday Weekly feature is about setting you up with some great music in time for the weekend! This week I have a few songs from Finglas indie band A Lazarus Soul and yet another update about The Swell Season charity gig.

A Lazarus Soul are a brilliant indie band made up of members from The Future Kings of Spain and frontman Brian Brannigan. Brian hailing from Finglas, Dublin and creates the sort of indie melodies that make A Lazarus Soul essential listening. The band are to play with Director tonight in the Tripod and are supporting Damien Dempsey at the Vicar Street gigs this month.

5 Dec 2008 20:00 Tripod (Phantom First Friday) Dublin
17 Dec 2008 20:00 Vicars Street Dublin
18 Dec 2008 20:00 Vicars Street Dublin

A Lazarus Soul MySpace
A Lazarus Soul Website

Another gig bites the dust. The amazing Swell Season charity gig mentioned in previous posts below has had to be postponed until the new year. "Unfortunately the December 8th Vicar Street charity gig had to be postponed and moved to a further date - sometimes early next year - due to unforeseen circumstances." MySpace Bulletin! I hope this ain't due to the bloody recession!

Moving on..... EXCLUSIVE for the blog. The lovely folks over at http://www.playedlastnight.com/ have given us a brand new live song from The Swell Season to promote the site.

Leterkenny November 2nd 2008

The recordings found on playedlastnight are available to purchase for a reasonable price. As I type there are 48 shows for The Swell Season with shows added every week.


Thursday, 4 December 2008

Ruby Sessions Xmas Gig News 16th December

The Ruby Sessions Xmas Parties are amazing and this year is going to be no different. Confirmed to appear are Duke Special and this blogger also understands that The Guggenheim Grotto is scheluled to appear. These two acts will be joined by another two acts for a great night.

Tuesday 16th Dec - Doyle's Pub College Green

Ruby Sessions MySpace
Duke Special MySpace
The Guggenheim Grotto MySpace

Get Duke's cover of Yeah Yeah Yeah's "Maps" from the widget thingy on his MySpace page.

Get a free 5 track mini Duke Special album here:


Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Ruby Tuesday - The Funeral Suits

New Indie Irish music this week for the Ruby Tuesday feature, "The Funeral suits are three nerds who found each other on the internet. Sickened and terminally bored of generic indie bands that had taken over the music scene the three conspired to form a band so that they could write some songs that would make their friends smile. The joining of these three young men from Dublin and Limerick resulted in a melodramatic popular sound which has been heard in various poky clubs all over Ireland. Three sets of very empty pockets had meant that the funeral suits had been unable to record any of their songs, leaving their friends sad and broken. This has changed.. The Funeral Suits have just released their debut 4 track e.p. 'Oh Dear' and have more songs on the way." Taken from The Funeral Suits MySpace

The 'Oh Dear' EP shows immense potential for the band to jump onto the musical wagon driven by the likes of MGMT, Los Campesinos and Fight Like Apes. A band to watch out for in the future!

The Funeral Suits - Black Lemonade


Monday, 1 December 2008

Terry Sutton Stags Head 7th December - Repost

Copied from sister site Mixtape4melfi:

"Terry Sutton was a revalation this week in Ruby Sessions. How has he not become successful? His voice is strong, songwriting is amazing, and his image is excellent. If your a fan of Damian Rice, Glen Hansard, Paddy Casey watch out for a Terry Sutton album in the near future!"

Terry is performing with Padraig Digan in the Stags Head on 7th December. Entry is just a fiver!

Terry kindly allowed me to host a sample mp3 called The Laughter. I can honestly admit with no bull that this song has been on repeat on my laptop since I got it. It's a beautiful melodic tune with strong lyrics that stands up against anything released by the established singer-songwriter genre. I can't recommend this track enough. I'm even going to say it's the best song I have heard this year.

Padraig Digan MySpace
Terry Sutton Pure Volume