Thursday, 23 April 2009

Whelans 20 Years of Live Music

Whelans has hit the milestone of 20 years and is celebrating with a series of gigs in the coming months starting tonight with the first of Mundy's three gigs. I predict Friday night will be mad in Whelans with Mundy downstairs and Groom in the upstairs venue. There's no doubt that Whelans is a special little venue that has accomondated many of Ireland's best artists as well as some of the very best International acts. The list includes Jeff Buckley, Townes Van Zandt, The Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, The National, David Gray and hundreds more. Here are my own personal highlights;

Katell Keineg:

Seen some excellent gigs in Whelans over the years. My most poignant moment was watching Katell Keineg from the balcony dedicating her new single ‘One Hell of a Life’ to her friend Jeff Buckley who died a few weeks before. The crowd sang the song so beautifully. Perfect moment.

Katell Keineg - Beautiful Day

Mark Dignam:

We seen Mark possibly four times in Whelans with the most recent time being this February. Mark's performances were always special as he is such a great songwriter. We seen Mark around 2003 with an up and coming singer-songwriter in support by the name of Declan O'Rourke!

Nick Kelly:

Like with Mark, we seen Nick many times in Whelans and most of the time the support slot was handed to the wonderful and mesmerising young singer Gemma Hayes. Along with his great music, Nick is a great story teller mid-song and invariably has the crowd in stitches.

Dar Williams: [X2, once with Mic Christopher, once with Jeffrey Foucault]

American folkster Dar has some excellent tunes in her back catalogue and as a performer she is amazing. Was a real treat to see Mic Christopher showcase some new tunes as a recent solo artist. I remember thinking that 'Heyday' was a special tune!

Other notable artists at Whelans include; Foy Vance, Joseph Arthur, Ben Kweller, The Frank & Walters, Josh Ritter, Tim Rogers, Los Campesinos, Nell Bryden and most recently One Day International.

The best of Whelans on YouTube

Gemma Hayes

Ray Heffernan - Let Go Of The Wheel [Recorded last month]

Ham Sandwich

Mark Geary

Luka Bloom

To read many many reviews of gigs in the las few years you should check out;

..... and go here to check out some live legal bootlegs;

Remember Mundy for the next three nights to kick off the celebrations!

Mundy - To You I Bestow

Here's to many more years....

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Peadar King - The Nature of Flaws [Album Review]

A few weeks back I was listening to a recently purchased Irish artist compilation album in the car when I heard 'Wanted Something'. You know the moment you hear a song that is near perfection at that moment in time? 'Wanted Something' was that song for me and led me to seek out it's creator; Peadar King.

'The Nature of Flaws' is the debut album by Peadar King released last July. I am reviewing this album here now because I have this hunger to tell the world about this amazing talent. Some Peadar King background info first:

"Peadar King is a singer and songsmith from Inishbofin Island, Galway, Ireland. In 2004 He began his first Music Project entitled "Cornerstone" with Orla Gibbons (singer), Ray Hahessy (guitarist),Michael Curran (bassist), and Leroy Smith (Drummer). They played together for two years in which they garnered a loyal fan base. In early 2007, they went separate ways. Peadar went to France for six months where he continued to write and perform, while returning sporadically to Galway to record his Debut album -"The Nature of Flaws" on which many of the musicians he had worked with in the past featured. He returned in November of that year and completed work on the project.He released the Album independently on the 18th July 2008.".... from Peadar's MySpace.

'The Nature of Flaws' is musically an interesting album in that it crosses many genres. Folk, pop, country and good old singer-songwriter genres are represented here. The problem with the different genre's is that the album has a rather disjointed feel to it. What does make this album shine is Peadar's voice over beautiful melodic guitar strumming. His voice carries qualities similar to the heyday of The Irish folk scene of the seventies. Add in Orla Gibbons harmonies and you get three or four of the most pleasant tunes you'll hear this year. Fans of Declan O'Rourke, Luka Bloom and Hothouse Flowers must check out Peadar King and be sure to let him know how great he is!

The Nature of Flaws - (8 out of 12)

Wanted Something

>Wanted Something (Copyright- Peadar King 2007)

> Wanted something, sun on my back> move like a cloud and never look back
> Train tracks are neverending
> and the light in my life's depending
> on your love
> Down mountains the views descending
> and the wild flowers are neverending
> flow downstream like a coffin on the water
>> And if you put it to the test
> your mum will find the very very best
> for you now, for you now
> and all the shit that you crawled through
> well all of it will stand to you
> all your life
> All your life
> and dont be the one to do me wrong
> i loved you for so very long and i'll carry on
> if you hold to me like chalk and cheese
> i'll see you sheltered in the breeze
> in the cool wind
>> Well the people they deplore
> the wind and the downpour of rain
> cos it cleanses the soul
> Down winding streets
> they've lost their clamour
> and the queens say goodbye to glamour
> as they fall from glory and the steeples
>>> And if you put it to the test
> your mum will find the very very best
> for you now, for you now
> and all the shit that you crawled through
> well all of it will stand to you
> all your life
> All your life
> and dont be the one to do me wrong
> i loved you for so very long and i'll carry on
> if you hold to me like chalk and cheese
> i'll see you sheltered in the breeze
> in the cool wind
>> some of us - we've outlived
> our sell-by date
> got nothing left to give
> Wanted something, sun on my back
> move like a cloud and never look back

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Alphastates - Whelans [Album Launch] Review

This blogger was in attendance for Alphastates excellent gig in Whelans last night. It was the album launch for the band's second album; 'Human Nature' which will get a review in the coming weeks.

Alphastates are impossible to categorise according to genre. They can write a brilliant dance floor anthem such as 'Champagne Glass', an indie shoegazer of a track like 'Mercury' as well as the beautiful tender soundscapes such as 'Anywhere'. The sizable Wednesday night crowd showed their enthusiasm and appreciation to the band throughout the hour and 15 minute set. There was a nice mixture of tunes from both albums including an early run of their wonderful single 'Sometimes' from the 2004 debut.

The band have great energy onstage with accomplished musicians and a front woman who owned the stage and the ultimately the night. All of this means that you need to make Alphastates a band you should become more familiar with. Friday 24th April sees 'Human Nature' in the shops with tour dates below.

Free tracks on Last FM from the debut:

Good Stuff

Kiss Me

17 Apr 2009 22:00 Greystones Arts Theatres Greystones, Wicklow
24 Apr 2009 20:00 The Purty Loft, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin Dun Laoghaire Co Dublin, Dublin
25 Apr 2009 20:00 Revolver at Radio City DUBLIN
9 May 2009 20:00 McGarrigles Sligo Town, Sligo
12 May 2009 20:00 Roisin Dubh, Galway Galway, Galway
13 May 2009 20:00 Crane Lane Theatre Cork
28 May 2009 20:00 Green and Live, Dolans Warehouse LIMERICK, Limerick

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

The Resistance - Bag of Bones [Album Review]

'Bag of Bones' the debut album by The Resistance is released on the 15th of May and this blogger has been sent a promo copy. 'Bag of Bones' is this week's reviewed album.

Bag of Bones is a substantial impressive debut album. The lyrics are engaging and in the main very catchy without being intrusive. The vocal melodies are pleasing on the ear and there's enough variation to keep the listener interested and wanting more. The strength of this album lies in the catchy radio friendly songs such as the single 'Show Me A World To Love', 'Spinning Tops' and the album closer 'Half The Burden'. Bell X1 and The Guggenheim Grotto comparisons are going to be made and I hear a lot of the Pearl Jam influence in their music. However this unveils a slight flaw I have with some of the rockier tunes such as 'The Water' and 'In Time'. I find myself urging an Eddie Vedderesque vocal from the pit of the stomach that fails to appear. I know it's superficial but I love the packaging!

Bag of Bones is an accomplished debut album; [9 out of 12]

Catch the band live!

23 Apr 2009 20:00 Belltable Sessions Limerick, Limerick
25 Apr 2009 21:00 Late Lounge Kill, kildare - Jack L Support Kill, Kildare
1 May 2009 20:00 Acoustic Sesssions Cavan, Cavan
8 May 2009 20:00 Electric Avenue - Support to Delorentos and Aftermath Waterford, Waterford
19 May 2009 20:00 Wexford Song Club Wexford, Wexford
20 May 2009 20:00 The Song Room at the Globe dublin, Dublin
12 Jun 2009 20:00 Backroom Sessions Meath

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Ruby Tuesday - Groom

Groom are a band who only jumped onto my radar when I got an email informing me of their new album; 'At The Natural History Museum'. However as I checked out the five piece I realised they are probably the most blogged about band in Ireland at the moment. Check out reviews/posts here, here, here, here oh and here! So here I am on the bandwagon and I feel fine because Groom are cool.

Groom are low-fi indie loving, acoustic crooning, electronic melodic architects. Well I did have to think up something unique to describe this band! I'll give the album an individual review in a few weeks but I have here a sample from the album. 'Death of a Songwriter' is a beautiful tune which reminds me of Yo La Tengo at their best.

Live Dates:

24 Apr 2009 20:00 Launch of new mini-album in Whelan’s (upstairs) w/ Neosupervital
30 Apr 2009 17:00 Tower Records Dublin
1 May 2009 13:00 Road Records

Saturday, 4 April 2009

My Top 50 Best Irish Artist List

Nialler has encouraged us all to make a list to help promote the best Irish music out there at the moment. For an hour yesterday and another hour or two this morning I thought about all the Irish artists I like at this moment in time. It's not an easy thing to do a list because I know I'm leaving out far too many good bands. However I'm happy to publish this list today as it defines what this blog is about and let's ya know what I think is great music in Ireland at this moment in time.

1. The Swell Season/Frames/Glen
2. Terry Sutton
3. Martin Finke
4. Pony Club
5. Lisa Hannigan
6. Iain Archer
7. Brain Canavan
8. Shaz Oye
9. Mark Dignam
10. I Am Not Lefthanded
11. Kiernan McMullan

12. Alphastates
13. The Guggenheim Grotto
14. Nick Kelly
15. Gemma Hayes
16. One Day International
17. Wallis Bird
18. My Brother Woody

19. The Gorgeous Colours
20. Damien Rice
21. Ham Sandwich
22. Angel Pier
23. Sinead O'Connor
24. Perry Blake
25. A Lazarus Soul
26. Susan Enan
27. Foy Vance

28. Bell X1
29. Bill Coleman
30. Mumblin' Deaf Ro
31. Declan DeBarra
32. Fred
33. Armoured Bear
34. Lunasa
35. Miss Paula Flynn
36. Colin Devlin
37. Oppenheimer
38. The Spook of the Thirteeth Lock

39. Mark Geary
40. Padraig Digan
41. Barry McCormack
42. The Hedge Schools
43. Damien Dempsey
44. David Kitt
45. Liam O'Maonai
46. Declan O'Rourke
47. Butterfly Explosion
48. Percolator
49. Groom
50. Emmet Scanlan & What The Good Thought

Got an opinion? Let me know!

Friday, 3 April 2009

50 Best Irish Acts Right Now

Pop over here to see the 50 best Irish acts as voted by the four Ticket music journalists - JIM CARROLL , TONY CLAYTON-LEA , SINÉAD GLEESON and LAUREN MURPHY.

It's an interesting list which will create lots of debate on Jim Carroll's Blog:

Hit the links for the top 50.... here are the top 10:


9: BELL X1









It's all a bit of fun for us in these depressing times but I bet there will be much revolt in the comment section over on 'On The Record' Ha.... I just noticed The Script were championed by Jim himself! I can only imagine the resulting (insulting)comments!

On another note tonight I'm in Whelans for One Day International & The Hedge Schools.

Should be a great night.