Saturday, 28 March 2009

Irish Music on the Blogsphere!

Here is my attempt of a mini aggregator of the best Irish music in the blogsphere at the moment. It's been a busy week with 22 Irish artists at SXSW in Austin, Bell X1 getting a big push in the US and new albums by Jinx Lennon and David Kitt. Oh and U2 are still getting major blogsphere coverage!

Let's say you happen to be born in the 80's and have limited knowledge of pre Joshua Tree U2 then is the place to go for a few decent hindsight reviews and sample mp3s of U2's first four albums!

Culture Bully has both the video clip and mp3 of The Great Defector as performed by Bell X1 on Letterman.

Many blogs have Lisa Hannigan's new video for the single I Don't Know.

State have some excellent pics of our Lisa Hannigan, One Day International and The Mighty Stef amongst others from the SXSW festival!

Also at SXSW were The Brothers Movement whose tune Blind can be found on the RCRD LBL here.

The famous Nialler9 picked David Kitt as this month's Music Alliance Pact featured Irish artist. This means that you can find a sample mp3 of his tune Move It On here.

Finally on another issue the motherboard that is HP recommended it's troops to seek out my video clip of Ham Sandwich's excellent version of Running Up That Hill from the recent Inspirations gig. Kudos to me so!

Irish Artists on YouTube - Lisa Cuthbert

Lisa Cuthbert was a featured artist on Monday Under The Covers a few months ago when she offered her version of The Cranberries Daffodil Lament as a sample mp3. Lisa has a few video clips of tunes from her forthcoming album on YouTube which showcase her excellent musical talents and her wonderful Sarah McLachlinesque voice.

The first clip is called brilliant is this?

On Tour

11 Apr 2009 20:00 De Rots Antwerp, Antwerp
12 Apr 2009 20:00 Perron 55 Venlo, Limburg
14 Apr 2009 20:00 Die Halle Frankfurt, Hessen
16 Apr 2009 20:00 Lizard King Krakow, Lesser Poland
24 Apr 2009 21:00 The Purple Sessions Drogheda, Louth
6 May 2009 21:00 New Music Club Clonmel, Tipperary

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Iain Archer - To The Pine Roots Album Review

Iain Archer is an artist from Bangor, Northern Ireland, who was once a secondary lyricist within the indie band Snow Patrol and is basking in the royalties coming from co-writing Leoan Lewis' massive hit 'Run'. However don't let that fact put you off because Iain's music is a million suns away from that of Snow Patrol!

I think this is a great album. I can hear a worthy successor to Elliot Smith in the songs, melodies, tunings and lyrics. At 39 minutes in lenght and with 9 songs, 'To The Pine Roots' is a sweet delight of folky pop tunes which can either function as background music at home or full on attentive listening. The album includes 'That' stand-out track which gets the repeat treatment. Frozen Lake is five minutes of pure perfect love all wrapped up in a song.

Iain Archer - To The Pine Roots [10 out of 12]

If you happen to be discovering Iain Archer's brilliance now you will be happy to know there is a decent sized back catalogue to discover including the side-project 'The Reindeer Section'

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Martin Finke - Make Daylight Review

Make Daylight is the 7th studio album from Martin Finke since his home recorded debut in 1999 and it's a superb album. The much travelled performer having lived in Galway, Boston and now residing in San Francisco has created an album worthy of your attention. Martin has a distinct voice which finds me attentive to every lyric within the various soundscapes on the album. Those lyrics are mini compositions about love, relationships, motivations, despair and life amongst many other themes. The 11 tracks range from Martin's take on a singer-songwriter song such as 'Make You Sing' and 'Bad Wine' to the electronic pop of 'Stay' and 'Brendan Gardens'.

To me, an album becomes special if you can connect with the album either musically or lyrically. Make Daylight for me at present is that album. This album is a must if your a Jape or David Kitt fan while it could easily be the male equivalent to Beth Orton's Trailer Park album. Another obvious comparison to Martin Finke is Jose Gonzales. Fingers crossed Sony grabs hold of Make Daylight for future advertisements.

Martin Finke - Make Daylight: 10 out of 12

Buy The Album: Emusic

More info:

Thursday, 12 March 2009

My Top 40 [Irish Artists & Songs]

The main feature on Mixtape4Melfi I was most proud of was the countdown of my Top 100 tracks of all time. I have decided to produce a Top 40 list of Irish artists and their best songsin honour of St. Patricks Day next Tuesday. Of course it's totally subjective but I'd love your comments:

1. Mark Dignam - Glide
2. U2 - Bad
3. Thin Lizzy - Dancing In The Moonlight
4. Nick Kelly - Tiburon Prayer
5. The Frames - Fitzcaraldo
6. The Prayer Boat - Slow Down
7. Pony Club - Single
8. Katell Keineg - Coolea
9. The Mary Janes - Friends
10. Rollarskate Skinny - So Far Down Up To Heaven
11. Damien Rice - Cannonball
12. Van Morrison - The Way Young Lovers Do
13. Damien Dempsey - Negative Vibes
14. The Devlins - Surrender
15. Paddy Casey - It's Over Now
16. The Fat Lady Sings - Drunkard Logic
17. Sinéad O'Connor & Shane McGowen - Haunted
18. Terry Sutton - The Laughter
19. Mundy - To You I Bestow
20. Dr. Millar - You're Not Paranoid
21. Sack - Laughter Lines
22. My Bloody Valentine - Soon
23. Nina Hymes - Universal
24. Whipping Boy - We Don't Need Nobody Else
25. Mic Christopher - Heyday
26. Declan O'Rourke - Sarah [Last Night In A Dream]
27. A House - Take It Easy On Me
28. Duke Special - Freewheel
29. The Plague Monkeys - Breaking The Ice
30. The Pale - Butterfly
31. The Frank & Walters - New York
32. Gemma Hayes - Home
33. Bill Coleman - Don't Suffer In Silence
34. Mexican Pets - Stigmata Errata
35. The Golden Horde - Friends In Time
36. Mark Geary - Suzanne
37. Pelvis - Hang My Hat
38. Susan Enan - Moonlight
39. Revelino - Don't Lead Me Down
40. The Hitchers - Strachan

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

2 U I Bestow on Internet Radio Update

The Anatomy of a Blogger show is up on and OMG I'm cringing here listening to my voice! Anyway if you have an hour free you will hear the following!

00:57 Cate Blanchett - Oppenheimer

05:28 The Pull of the Pint - Bill Coleman

11:57 Blue Skies - Jaymay
15:50 This Life - La Rocca
19:21 Sophia - Butterfly Explosion

25:12 Boy With A Coin - Iron And Wine
29:18 Asking For Flowers - Kathleen Edwards

35:16 I'm Alright Now - David Ford
39:50 Idle Hands - The Gutter Twins

45:15 I Wanna Get You Alone - Joseph Arthur
49:19 A Song Of Stone - Simple Kid

53:06 How Your Heart Is Wired - Bell X1

The gaps above are when I waffle on about the blog and music!

Big thanks to BTR and Ike for bringing to me this opportunity to spread the word about the blog!

Reflections on a Year of Blogging

I began the Mixtape4Melfi blog on 1st March 2008 in the hope of speading the word about great music I thought were at times ignored by the majority of the Blogsphere. I changed to the Irish Music only blog 2 U I Bestow to solidify the identity and objective of what I was trying to do. The feature I'm most proud of is the Ruby Tuesday feature where I give a small insight to a new artist trying to make it in the difficult music world. Here is the Best Of Ruby Tuesday:

Wayne Brennan is an interesting artist who I'm going to predict will have an amazing career ahead of him. Wayne creates wonderful music that is rather difficult to describe. Armed with a Spanish guitar he can at times sound similar to Rodreigo Y Gabrielle but with other tunes he is like an Irish Newton Faulkner.

Hong Kong born Kiernan who grew up in Limerick is now making friends all over America plugging the debut album Perfect People Are Boring. In 2007 he released his first official single in Ireland called “Borderline” which went to number 3 on the Irish download charts. It sounds like Kiernan has been heavily influenced by the likes of Dave Matthews, Ben Harper and John Mayer which produces a John Butler trio sound. Kiernan is one of many irish artists at this year's SXSW in Austin, Texas.

I love bands with a female singer like Alphastates or Rilo Kiley. Joining this list is the band 'I Am Not Lefthanded'. I cannot recommend them enough. The band are Kathryn - Vocals/Guitar, Daniel - Vocals/Bass and Benji - Drums and sound like Natalie Merchant fronting U2. Download their single Long Goodbyes for free from their website!

The Gorgeous Colours are fecking brilliant. This seems to be the general consensus of anyone interested in the Irish indie music scene! Who am I to disagree? The Dublin five peice have released a self-titled debut album of nine songs which will appeal to fans of Calexico, Arcade Fire, and TV on the Radio. It is indie rock at it's best. The singing is a joy to listen to, the melodies are superb (esp Locksmith) and the quality and variety of the music is impressive.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Sunday's Seven Degrees of our Radio Debut

Tomorrow marks the start of my residence for Blogger of the Week on Break Thru Radio. It is a cross promotional week where my regular 2 U I Bestow features appear on the BTR website and I make the radio show Anatomy of a Blogger. This show is based on the musical influences of Mixtape4melfi and 2 U I Bestow blogs. Within the tracks chosen are international acts such as David Ford, Jaymay, The National and The Gutter Twins as well as the following Irish acts I have chosen. This radio broadcast will appear on Thursday and can be accessed for a week on ....

I'd love some feedback...good and bad!

Butterfly Explosion - Sophia MySpace

Oppenheimer - Cate Blanchett MySpace

La Rocca - This Life MySpace

Nina Hynes Universal MySpace

Simple Kid - A Song of Stone MySpace

Bill Coleman - The Pull of the Pint MySpace

Bell X1 - How Your Heart Is Wired MySpace

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Irish Bands on YouTube - Inspirations Gig 27th Feb

The inspirations gig was an excellent showcase of Irish talent and was a great night. I was massively impressed with most of the bands who gave up their time free of charge in aid of the wonderful charity Barretsown for sick children.

The highlights for me were:

Ham Sandwich - Running Up That Hill

The Walls - Everything is Broken

The Kinetics - I Will Follow

Sinéad O'Connor with Republic of Loose - You Can't Do That

Friday, 6 March 2009

Something For The Weekend - ReverbNation

Bell X1 is a featured artist on, where you can listen to their new album in full here!

ReverbNation is a wonderful musical resource which has many Irish bands offering some damn fine free music. Including.....

Red Kid - Rocket Ship

HiRise - Human Resource

My Brother Woody - Wish I Was A DJ


I Am Not Lefthanded - Long Goodbyes

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Damien Dempsey Australian Tour

Damo Dempsey is off to Australia with his guitar looking for work during March and April. Make sure you send Damo back home when you're finished with him!


MARCH 2009

6 - Northbridge, PERTH Rosie O'Grady's
13 - Melbourne, The Hi Fi(Australian Fleadh)
14 - Sydney, The Forum (Australian Fleadh)
21 - Brisbane, O'Malleys Bar
28 - Weston, Canberra Canberra Irish Club

APRIL 2009
3 - Marrickville, NSW The Factory
4 - Clifton Hill, Melbourne Clifton Hill Hotel

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Many Gigs on the Horizon

I think I have myself a new weekly feature where I shamlessly plug the gigs I either want to go to or will be attending in the near future!

Story of Hair + So Cow

Whelans {Main Stage} Thursday 19th March

Story of Hair and So Cow are two of the best indie hopefuls out there at the moment and this is a big gig for the bands. Only €10!

Brian Canavan [support Bill Coleman] - 7th April Whelans {Upstairs}

Potentially this could be a great night. In the old boom days these brilliant singers would have been able to play The Village and pack the place out. If you can afford it, go to see these two acts. Brian Canavan is plugging his album and a new single while Bill Coleman is preparing to release a new album on us. Here he is singing Devilette live!

Ian Whitty & The Exchange with Armoured Bear - 12th April

Blog favourites Ian Whitty and Armoured Bear bring their fresh folk pop to Whelans Upstairs on the 12th April. Ian Whitty was very impressive at a pre-christmas Button Factory gig and his debut album was brilliant pop. Armoured Bear produced one of the most melodic debuts last year. If you haven't heard the beautiful single Immagination by Armoured Bear then hit the play button below.

Pony Club - Whelans {main stage} 1st May

Another blog favourite; Mark Cullen and band are playing the main room of Whelans on MayDay! The album 'Post Romantic' was this blog's album of the year in 2008. [Ironic that I'm writing this and listening to the Choice Awards show on TodayFM.] Pony Club writes songs about ordinary life, love and people.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Meteor Awards 17th March RDS Update

The Meteor Ireland Music Awards will be presented by Amanda Byram at the RDS on St Patrick’s Day 17th March. Performing on the night are Boyzone, Stereophonics, The Blizzards, Sharon Shannon with Mundy, Imelda May with more to be announced. With nineteen Meteor awards up for grabs music fans will be able to let their fingers do the voting. Full details available on

Tickets €30 (including booking fee) are on sale now from Ticketmaster. This is strictly an over 16 year’s event, 16 – 18 year olds must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Also get your vote in for the 'Hope of 2009' public vote before Friday at .....

The nominees are as follows:

Autumn Owls -

Fred -

House of Cosy Cushions -

James Vincent McMorrow -

Wallis Bird -

Monday Under The Covers - U2 Walls

By this stage now have you had enough of U2? If not here's a bit more. In the recent weeks I have seen The Walls twice in the charity gigs with The Swell Season and in the Inspirations gig last Friday. I have been blown away by how good they are and the new songs they played are signs of an excellent radio friendly album on the way this year. They make U2's With or Without You their own song which appeared on the comilation Even Better Than The Real Thing Vol.3. [Buy on Amazon]

The Walls - With Or Without You

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Mumblin' Deaf Ro Indiecater Re-Issue

This blogger is constantly in awe of the wonderful work Indiecater and Mp3hugger are doing for the Irish music scene. I believe the Blog Awards folk should have acknowledged this last month but on with the present. 'Senor, my Friend' is the 2003debut album by the unique Mumblin' Deaf Ro and thanks to Indiecater is easily yours for just €4. This digital release includes the album and 3 bonus tracks, 2 of which were not on the original release and another which is a solo version of ‘These Men Get Paid To Know’. Also bundled in the download is the original artwork, some photos of Ro from the time and an in-depth analysis from the man himself about each of the tunes.

I first discovered MDR through mp3hugger last year and got the second album on World Record Day last year in Road Records. He is unique because his voice takes a couple of listens to accept and his lyrics are multi-layed commentaries on life and relationships.


Get the Indiecater USB Stick with an option to load on any of the Indiecater releases from the likes of In Moion, Sunbear, Burning Codes, The Brilliant Trees or Michael Knight. Perfect if you have slow internet connection!