Thursday, 29 October 2009

An Irish Halloween Mixtape

It does seem in Ireland that this year's Halloween is being celebrated like never before and I'm loving it. Here's an Irish Halloween mixtape! Some of the tunes are technically not written about Halloween but are included for atmospheric qualities.

1. And So I Watch You From Afar - Set Guitars To Kill

2. Ham Sandwich - Running Up That Hill [Live]

3. Pearse McGloughlin - Haunting Room

4. Shaz Oye - Blood on the Bone

5. David Hope - See The Ghost

6. Entheos - Ghost on the Stairs

7. Melophobia - Hurricanes & Gravestones (part 2)

8. The Angel Pier - Skulls & Xs

9. Jape - Haunt Me

10. Mumblin' Deaf Ro - Trouble Under A Murder Moon

11. Dave Geraghty - Cracked Skull

12. Jack L - The Devils

13. Shane MacGowan & Sinead O'Connor - Haunted

14. Murder Plan - The Dead (Tango)

15. God is an Astronaut - From Dust To The Beyond

[Disclaimer: These links are removed after a number of weeks and are intended as music samples only. Please support the acts in any way possible. If your music is here it means that your music is search-able on some of the biggest music sites in the world; ]

Friday, 23 October 2009

Friday's Forgotten Favourites - Pelvis

Pelvis were a three piece indie pop band with great tunes and image.

Pelvis were:

Johnny Rogan
Vocals, Bass Guitar & Piano

Ed Reynolds
Guitars & Backing Vocals

Mick Goss
Drums & Backing Vocals

Around '97 Pelvis was a great indie pop band and were creating a nice buzz in the Irish music scene. They won the Heineken Green Energy Unsigned Band Competition, in May '97 winning £10k worth of recording time and within no time their star was rising. Pelvis released singles 'Streetlight' and 'Hang My Hat' and the album 'Who Are You Today' on Setanta Records. They even got a spot on Later With Jools Holland alongside Pulp and Lenny Kravitz. As well as performing all over Europe with time for more BBC radio session, Pelvis have recently opened and toured with The Jesus and Mary Chain and Divine Comedy respectively.

In 1999 the band were dropped from their record label and as a result were no more. I can't find any information on what the three members of the band did after their fifteen minutes.

Pelvis - The Change

Pelvis - Peace & Love

Buy from Setanta Records

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Album Review: Mark Black - Sweet Rescue Blues

Mark Black is an exceptional performer and artist from Donegal. Mark Black's most recent album 'Sweet Rescue Blues' was released earlier this year and proves that we Irish can perform the blues!

Watch 'Ramblin on my Mind'

'Sweet Rescue Blues' has many fine moments. The song 'Crazy in the Light' is a fine dixie inspired blues track. The closer 'Stay (Here With Me)is Dylanesque in it's nature. 'Rough Park' and 'Lough Swilly' are two beautifully composed acoustic instrumentals. The title track is also a fine track with nice melodies.

On a whole it doesn't work too well for me. Mark's voice is suited for the blues but can be laboured. The gritty blues tracks have an altogether unreasonable familiarity about them. There's also a lack of warmth or atmosphere in the album which is badly needed.

Mark Black - Sweet Rescue Blues - [8 out of 12]

7 Nov 2009 22:30 Chasin Bull Bundoran, Donegal
13 Nov 2009 20:00 Balor Arts Centre Ballybofey, Donegal
19 Dec 2009 22:30 Bridge Bar Ramelton, Donegal
27 Dec 2009 20:00 An Grianan Theatre Letterkenny

Monday, 19 October 2009

HWCH's Day 3 Review & Overal Thoughts!

For the last night despite my desire to see bands like Funeral Suits, Super Extra Bonus Party and Ham Sandwich I decided to stay in The Button Factory for the last night of HWCHs.

Pearse McGloughlan

Pearse was accompanied by Sean Lynch on Mandolin and played a great set of songs from his debut album 'Busy Whisper'. It was a small but appreciative audience for Pearse's music.

Ultan Conlon

Ultan and his band of excellent musicians played a brilliant set from Ultan's soon to be released debut album. This was one of the first gigs for Ultan and the band but it didn't show. In an Irish world full of singer songwriters Ultan has a massive amount to offer with great tunes and songwriting.

Fiona Melady

I've been fortunate to see Fiona perform many times this year and this was the best I have seen. Fiona was at ease and looked like she was having a ball. She was accompanied by Gavin Fox [fresh from playing in Ollie Cole and Fionn Regan's bands on Saturday] and Ian Melady of Little Palace on Drums. Fiona's music has midday radio written all over it! Come on Tony Fenton play her music!

The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra

.... were amazing. A breath of fresh air! The nine piece played a blinding set which gives hope to a fine successful debut album in the future. There were like the missing link between Arcade Fire and Jack L!

The Angel Pier

The Angel Pier confirmed their greatness with a neat set to finish the night to a decent crowd.

Best 3 Bands

Murder Plan [not part of HWCHs but playing in Le Cirk on Friday night]
The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra
Heritage Centre

Best 3 for Entertainment

NoLady [see video]
The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra
A Plastic Rose

3 Things I Learned

Beards are back. Not silly goatees but big folk off beards .... Gavin Fox, Ultan Conlan, Ollie Cole, Heritage Centre, Angel Pier, .... are all at it!

ALT is a great venue!

People I've had a chance to have a chat with [ie called Networking] are really sound and there was a really lovely vibe about the place! Was great to talk about music rather than Nama, Taxes, Budgets and Anarchy!

I'll be uploading more video clips from the festival in the coming days and weeks:

Sunday, 18 October 2009

HWCH's Day 2 Review

The afternoon industry panels were hugely enjoyable and informative in The Button Factory. The Media panel discussed the future of music promotion on a whole with emphasis on getting the best from the online resources available. The 'TV on the Radio' panel opened up a whole different side to the music industry that I never knew existed.

Ollie Cole in The Button Factory

A decent sized crowd turned up for the early evening gig time of 7.10 for former Turn front man Ollie Cole. There was a stupid rattle noise from the stage which simply pissed me off. I was expecting a low key performance from Ollie but the songs are in the main more indie than the expected Elliot Smith influenced folk! A fine set from a fine performer.

Land Lovers in The Button Factory

The five song set from Land Lovers showcased their songwriting talents. It was a solid performance but there isn't much to write about!

O Emperor in Andrew's Lane Theatre

The first thing to note is the folk image the band offers on sage. However it's a odds with the KOL/Killers imspired indie rock. The penultimate track was really good but again I wasn't really impressed.

Ali & The DTs in Andrew's Lane Theatre

The best way to describe Ali & the DTs is to imagine if The Commitments went Country Rock instead of Soul. There were ten people on stage and it was a mess. There was a wall of sound blasting from the stage where nothing made sense. I'm listening to their songs on the breaking tunes site and they sound great! They need to sort out their live performance.

The Holy Roman Army in Twisted Pepper

I have listened to the debut album from The Holy Roman Army a few times but seeing the band live brought the album to life. There was a really good crowd for the band and the band were on top form.

Valerie Francis in Twisted Pepper

My night ended with seeing and hearing Valerie Francis for the first time. She performed well at a difficult pre-clubbing time slot. I have to make sure I buy her album soon.


Saturday, 17 October 2009

HWCH's Day 1 Review

The best thing about day one of the Hard Working Class Heroes festival was that so many people were talking about Irish music. All the bands I seen were playing for their lives last night. Great night.


Aine O'Doherty formally known as the act 'Onya' from Donegal has recruited a fine band and are now 'NoLady'. They make cheeky alternative pop music which can easily be compared to The Sultans of Ping.

City of Angels

From NoLady the plan was to go straight to see the lovely Heathers but on my way past Twisted Pepper I heard a great voice and some decent alternative sounds. 'City of Angels' are a brand new band in that the gig last night was their forth ever concert. I got to hear about four tunes and I was massively impressed. I thought the vocals could have been louder but the four piece have a decent set up!


I think due to an earlier band not making the festival Heathers were due to play until 9.30 but finished as soon as I took my first sip from my pint at 9.10. There was a great crowd in the new look Think Tank.

A Plastic Rose

Over to The Button Factory for Belfast's 'A Plastic Rose' who I knew nothing about. The set was amazing. The twin vocals on most of the songs work well for me as the distinct vocals compliment each other. The sound is probably as big as their ambition and will be a band to watch out for in the future.

Dark Room Notes

Staying in The Button Factory Dark Room Notes appeared to the large crowd and performed a decent set. As 'headliner' they didn't engage the crowd and I felt as though they were going through the motions. I really wanted to be impressed!

Heritage Centre

Of all the bands I really wanted to see this weekend Heritage Centre was the band I most wanted to see and they did impress me. I love their songs and live they have energy in abundance. I'm sure this band will become an international success.


I was delighted to enter Twisted Pepper and see a big crowd for Tim's electric sound of dance rock. I love the song Rachel which he performed and it was a real party atmosphere.

Murder Plan

Not part of HWCHs but playing a free gig in the beautiful room upstairs in Le Cirk were Murder Plan. It's a tough task trying to describe their sound. Stephanie's voice is amazing and is their greatest quality. Their songs are really good, they have lots of energy and are excellent musicians.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Album Review: Miss Paula Flynn - Self-titled

It's been two weeks since the release of Miss Paula Flynn's self titled debut and it's been on regular play in my car and at home during the fortnight. I could easily write a decent sized essay about this album. I'll try to explain why it's a special collection of songs that will compete with Lisa O'Neill's and Declan DeBarra's albums for my album of the year.

The first thing you should notice about the album apart from the wonderful packaging is that it's a big album of 17 tracks. This includes 13 songs and three spoken word tracks backed by a music soundtrack and a closing lullaby. The spoken word tracks for me act as intermissions and give a rather structured 'peak and trough' feel to the album on a whole.

'Miss Paula Flynn' is a very personal reflective album. It's full of thoughtful imagery about many of life's personal issues. 'Wallpaper's Peeling' is like a tragic waltz dedicated to an end of a relationship. 'Angels in the Dark' contains many references to nature with the trees in the moonlight being the angels in the dark. The reflective tones in 'Killed a Bird' has the ability to bring me close to tears. This personal reflection and thoughtful imagery is wrapped up and delivered by Paula's delicate beautiful voice and the amazing musical compositions on the album.

You could say the above represents the 'Trough' and the 'Peaks' are the uplifting tracks such as 'Magic', 'Goldfish at the Fair' and 'Five a Day' where Paula is trying to convince us of the message that sex, love, pain, death and Miss Paula Flynn is good for you.... or so the doctors say!

I love the spoken word tracks. 'Disco Dance' paints the picture of a situation which we have all found ourselves or in fact find ourselves in a nightclub in the middle of a dance floor some weekend. 'Boxed In' is a poetic story all about being trapped in a situation you don't want. Is there a better way to close an album than the lullaby 'Little Black Sheep'.

Overall 'Miss Paula Flynn' is a great album. It has great lyrics, beautiful folk music and that voice you could easily fall in love with. It's an album I would buy for my niece in college, my 40 year old sister and my best friend and they will all love it!

Miss Paula Flynn - Self Titled [12 out of 12]

Listen to three album tracks as well as last year's Christmas single 'Happy Chrstmas Valentine' and the cover 'Let's Dance' over at

Buy the album: Miss Paula Flynn on itunes

Holiday In Sweden from Miss Paula Flynn on Vimeo.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Hard Working Class Heroes Schedule


7.30 - 8.00 - MIRACLE BELL
8.10 - 8.40 - WE CUT CORNERS
8.50 - 9.20 - SUBPLOTS
9.30 - 10.00 - THE DEAD FLAGS
10.10 - 10.40 - THE AMBIENCE AFFAIR
11.00 - 12.00 - VILLAGERS

(12:00 - 2.00AM HWCH CLUB)

7.15 - 7.45 - MIDATLANTIC
8.00 - 8.30 - ALRIGHT CHIEF
9.20 - 9.50 - A PLASTIC ROSE
10.00 - 10.35 - DARK ROOM NOTES

7.30 - 8.00 - I ♥ THE MONSTER HERO
8.10 - 8.40 - NO LADY
8.50 - 9.20 - DEAF ANIMAL orchestra
10.10 - 10.40 - NOT SQUARES
10.55 - 11.30 - HERITAGE CENTRE

7.45 - 8.15 - ALBERT PENGUIN
8.30 - 9.00 - CITY OF ANGELS
10-00 - 10.30 - SERGEANT MEGAPHONE
10.45 - 11.15 - TALULAH DOES THE HULA
11.30 - 12.00 - NEOSUPERVITAL

7.30 - 8.00 - LADYDOLL
8.15 - 8.45 - THEME TUNE BOY
9.00 - 9.30 - BLACK ROBOTS
9.45 - 10.15 - ZEALOTS
10.30 - 11.00 - IDENTITY PARADE

7.30 - 8.00 - GIRAFFES
8.15 - 8.45 - HIRED HANDS
9.35 - 10.05 - THE STAR DEPARTMENT
10.15 - 10.45 - HEATHERS
10.55 - 11.30 - MORE TINY GIANTS


8.30 - 9.00 - O EMPEROR
9.10 - 9.40 - ALI & THE DTS
9.50 - 10.20 - GRAN CASINO
10.30 - 11.00 - SWEET JANE
11.15 - 12.00 - ADEBISI SHANK

(12:00 - 2.00AM HWCH CLUB)

7.10 - 7.40 - OLLIE COLE
7.50 - 8.20 - LAND LOVERS
8.30 - 9.00 - BRIANA CORRIGAN
9.10 - 9.40 - DEAF JOE
10.00 - 11.00 - FIONN REGAN

7.30 - 8.00 - FINGERSMITH
8.15 - 8.45 - KILL KRINKLE CLUB
9.00 - 9.30 - CUTAWAYS
9.45 - 10.15 - DISTRACTORS
10.30 - 11.00 - CHEAP FREAKS

7.30 - 8.00 - KYON
8.15 - 8.45 - YES CADETS
8.55 - 9.25 - C!TIES
9.35 - 10.05 - THE HOLY ROMAN ARMY
10.15 - 10.45 - VALERIE FRANCIS
10.45 - 12.15 - DJ SETS FROM:
12.30 - 01.00 - THE SPOOK OF THE 13TH LOCK
01.15 - 01.45 - THE DYING SECONDS
02.00 - 02.45 - HUNTER GATHERER

8.00 - 8.30 - ESCAPE ACT
8.45 - 9.15 - P.DOG
9.30 - 10.00 - BLOOD BOTTLER
10.15 - 10.45 - COLLIE

7.30 - 8.00 - RORY GRUBB
9.00 - 9.30 - GOATBOY
9.45 - 10.15 - THE POORMOUTH
10.30 - 11.00 - LIZ IS EVIL


8.15 - 8.45 - DISCONNECT 4
9.00 - 9.30 - ROBOTNIK
9.45 - 10.15 - ONLY FUMES & CORPSES
10.25 - 10.55 - 202s

8.10 - 8.40 - ULTAN CONLON
8.50 - 9.20 - FIONA MELADY
10.15 - 11.00 - THE ANGEL PIER

7.30 - 8.00 - ARMOURED BEAR
8.10 - 8.40 - BIGGLES FLYS AGAIN
8.50 - 9.20 - AUTUMN OWLS
9.30 - 10.00 - TIDAL DISTRICT
10.10 - 10.40 - VERONA RIOTS

7.30 - 8.00 - GO PANDA GO
8.10 - 8.40 - HASSLE MERCHANTS
8.50 - 9.20 - JOGGING
9.30 - 10.00 - TINY MAGNETIC PETS
10.55 - 11.30 - HAM SANDWICH

7.30 - 8.00 - PRIMO
8.15 - 8.45 - VOX POPULI
9.45 - 10.15 - REMMA
10.30 - 11.00 - AIRSTRIP ONE
11.15 - 11.45 - KILLER CHLOE

8.10 - 8.40 - THE VALS
8.50 - 9.20 - PLANET PARADE
9.30 - 10.00 - EXIT THE STREET
10.10 - 10.40 - POCKET PROMISE

Friday, 9 October 2009

Friday's Forgotten Favourites - Label

Label were a four piece rock band based in Dublin. Their musical collaborations began in 2001 after an incident involving some local thieves and the four members of the band. Simon Good (The Mary Janes), Shane Fitzsimons, (Damien Rice, Mundy, Lisa Hannigan) and Binzer (The Frames, Concerto For Constantine) - while taking a break from the a jam session at a rehearsal space near the Temple Bar area of Dublin - stumbled upon a lone busker, Terry Sutton. They noticed Sutton was in trouble with some local thieves who where about to take what they could. With raised voices and fist flying the trio managed to save him from a beating and the price of four beers in the process.

An hour or so later in the nearest drinking establishment, the three realised they needed a singer and the fourth needed a band and a place to stay, so 'Label' were formed.

Having played with, and alongside, some of Ireland's top artists such as the Frames, Bell-X1 and Damien Rice, Label have been tagged a super-group of sorts. Their live shows are an exceptional strength of the band, with the intensity and energy that?s created, delivering great songs with blistering full-tilt guitars, a powerful rhythm section and an equally powerful vocal performance. This has landed them a slot at witness 2002, a fanning session on 2fm and a place on the i.m.r.o show case tour 2003.

..... mainly taken from

I remember constantly checking out the bands website for developments and there wasn't any after 2004/2005. The band seem to fade and with it all hope for a Label album. It is still a mystery as to why Terry Sutton has not delivered an album.

Label - Morning Riser

Label - Ali [live from Eamon Dorans]

Terry Sutton - The Laughter

Legacy: The members of Label have continued in the music business. Shane is currently the bassist with Lisa Hannigan and Damien Rice while Binzer is drumming in Concerto for Constantine. However Terry Sutton who played a few gigs last year is working on a debut album.

If you like the above tracks could you the reader do me a massive favour by adding a comment. I'll then send this post onto Terry in the hope that in some small way we may encourage an album out of the amazing talent that is Terry Sutton.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Elder Roche - Nobody Knows [Album Review]

Elder's debut album which was officially released a few weeks back in The Button Factory was in fact recorded in 2007 and shows massive promise and potential which Elder has lived up to since the recording of the debut.

The most significant aspect of 'Nobody Knows' is the quality of Elder's specific style of folk rock. This along with Elder's quality voice and his songwriting makes for a really good debut album which gets better after every listen!

The best songs on the album are Heart to Strum, Diamonds and Nobody Knows. I also love the swaying folk of Greenfield Terrace. The atmospheric Figures Dress in Black transports you to a cafe in Paris while the album opener Shine brings a positive vibe to the album. Overall it's one of the best releases this year in Ireland.

Elder Roche - Nobody Knows [10 out of 12]

15 Oct 2009 21:00 The Odessa Club Dublin
25 Oct 2009 20:00 The Sky and the Ground, Wexford Wexford
5 Nov 2009 20:00 2UIBestow Sessions. Boyles, Slane. Meath
13 Nov 2009 20:00 Dolans Warehouse. Support to Mundy Limerick
6 Feb 2010 19:45 Nighthawks at the Cobalt Cafe

I can confirm Elder Roche is playing November 5th at The 2UIBestow Sessions in Boyles, Slane with blog favourites Brian Canavan, Pete Courtney and local favourites Meridas.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Mark Geary - Whelans Gig Review

I've been to some amazing gigs this year. Most of them I've organised myself ;) well as going to Mark Dignam in Whelans, One Day International in Whelans, Little Palace in Navan but for me Mark Geary's gig in Whelans last night reignited my faith in Ireland. Yes Ireland! I have proof of how good it was .....

Here is America performed with Ann Scott and the band!

The band consisted of Graham Hopkins on Drums and Karl Odlum on Bass. There was this wonderful feeling from the band that playing live was simply great fun. The set consisted of the best of Mark Geary as well as Mark performing a cover of The Pixies Gigantic which in the end turned out to be a duet with an enthusiastic Pixies fan in the crowd! Ray Lamontagne's 'Jolene' also made an appearance during a song outro! Here is Mark introducing and performing 'Angel'. It includes some great lines from Mark!

The single best thing about the gig was that every song turned into a sing-song. Whelans was packed out which is some achievement considering the national context! I often write about concerts and Irish music as music for the soul! This was so true last night! Everyone needs a night with Mark Geary at least once a year!

Here is the wonderful concert closer 'It Beats Me'.

Damien Rice & Glan Hansard at The Ruby Sessions

My next post will be a gig review of Mark Geary's excellent album launch at Whelans last night. However down at Doyles, The Ruby Sessions were celebrating their 10 years in style with sets from Damien Rice, Vyvienne Long, Liam O Maonlai and Glen Hansard. Here's Damien and Glen pissing off Dublin Bus drivers in College Green!

Friday, 2 October 2009

Friday's Forgotten Favourites - The Prayer Boat

Here's some background info from various websites:

The Prayer Boat were formed in 1987 in Blessington, Co. Wicklow. After a short period of playing in local bars and clubs, The Prayer Boat attracted a cult following in Dublin and two years of touring in Ireland culminated in the release of the band's first single Beautiful History on their own label, Stem Records. The band were eventually signed to RCA in 1989 and released their debut 'Oceanic Feeling' in 1991. Dark Green, released in 1995 became a chart hit in Ireland and also featured in the Top 20 Singles of the Year in Hot Press.

The Prayer Boat released Polichinelle with Setanta Records in 1999 in the UK and with Atlantic Records in 2001 in the United States. It is this album which both critics and fans of The Prayer Boat think best represents the unique music of the band.

The album Polichinelle as a whole was highly acclaimed by music journals. Top magazine said that it was 'Absolutely incandescent' and 'So consistently beautiful it could be displayed in a shop window'; NME described it as 'quite stunning' and Billboard voted it as its album of the year, saying that, 'this gorgeous set of intimate, meticulously crafted pop tunes was among the best albums to come across our desk this year.'


Soon The Stars Will Steer Me

If I did a list of my top three favourite albums I'd have to go for Jeff Buckley's Grace, Mark Dignam's 'Poetry & Songs ...' and 'Polichinelle' from The Prayer Boat. Unbelievably in about two weeks I'll get a chance to listen to the whole record live in a special ten year anniversary gig in Whelans on October 14th. When you see the success of bands like Coldplay and Keane it really is criminal that the world hasn't had a chance to listen to Emmett's voice and their beautifully written tunes.

It Hurts To Lose You