And So I Watch You From Belfast!

It’s amazing how life can change in a few months. New job, new gigs, new shoes. Old habits die hard, but die they must!

Time to get back to it really. Posts, pictures and podcasts coming very soon.

I’ll start with the ASIWYFA gig in T13 in Belfast on 30th July. This gig was too fucking awesome to stand there with my camera phone out (plus the pics are shit in low light). I took this the next morning when my body was able to move:

ASIWYFA Cons & Set List Belfast T13 Gig
ASIWYFA Cons & Set List Belfast T13 Gig

There was no stage, no barriers and no limits. I could smell and taste the sweat from everyone in the warehouse-come-skatepark. It was a great venue and one I will never forget.

Hot Cops warmed us up before the main act. Young and talented, they reminded me of early Nirvana at times. Worth checking out.

Muchos gracios to Brian in Pure Sound Review for the lift and the ticket. I am forever indebted.

God bless leather Cons……

Speak soon,



Transmission Club, Salt – EP Review

I need to go to Cork more. Not just for a holiday to see the regular sights that everyone talks about, but to actually go down and let my body soak up as many local gigs and bands as possible over the course of a weekend.

Why? Well I’m contacted by many bands for reviews – bands of all genres, but an overwhelming number of them are from Cork. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I need to say it again as it sees no sign of abating. And this is a good thing as all the bands are staggeringly great. No, really.

I’ve reviewed Cork band Transmission Club before. I was sucked in by their frankly sexual energy from the moment I saw them live . I loved their debut single too; ‘A Weak Heart’, so I was very excited when my inbox received their latest outing – ‘Salt’ a 3 track EP.

Transmission Club @ The Workman's
Transmission Club @ The Workman’s

Opening track ‘Honey and Milk’ had me immediately. You all know how I love a string arrangement in a song. Lead vocalist Michael Prendiville’s restrained, almost whisp like vocals are inspired. The band have found their trademark sound. It’s beautiful, and indeed flows through the ears like honey and milk.

‘Make Waves’ begins with an almost 90’s throwback drumbeat. then subtly reminds my of ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ by The Stone Roses once it kicks off. Again Transmission Club’s signature sound is undeniable throughout – it’s a mixed blend of Cranberries, The Corrs, Sigur Rós, Villagers, and grunge/garage bands from the 90’s.

The final track ‘Sailing’ raises the tempo and volume slightly; going for a more seasoned grunge sound. There’s a definite deep south feel – it’s the perfect song for a Texan funeral. And the closing crescendo at the end is quality.

With this astonishingly high level of recording, production and verse emanating from a bedroom in Cork, it’s easy to see why Transmission Club are garnering the attention they deserve. Watch. This. Space.

Transmission Clubs EP ‘Salt’ drops on the 20th of November and will be available on iTunes, Spotify and Bandcamp. Physical copies will be available in Plug’d Records, Cork. The launch will take place in The Roundy, Cork on the same night. Be there.

Transmission Club Salt back sleeve
Transmission Club Salt back sleeve



Barry Jay Hughes – Guiding Light (Foy Vance Cover)

Looking for a new tune to get you through the week? Well look no further!

Barry Jay Hughes (a previous Bootleg aficionado) has done a beautiful job of covering Foy Vance’s ‘Guiding Light’ . The bleak seaside setting for the video (recorded by The Soundfeed) is ideal and works perfectly with Barry Jay’s baritone vocals. Amazing.

Definitely worth a look, as well as his other original songs too!

The Bootleg Project Tomorrow night

We have a great line up for the next Bootleg Project tomorrow night (Wednesday 2nd Sept) – a pre Electric Picnic party if you will.

Grainne Hunt, Neev Kennedy and Kicking Bird will climb the stairs to the loft in Foleys of Merrion Row for a night of great original music. I can’t wait!

See you all there!


grainne hunt
Grainne Hunt
kicking bird
Kicking Bird
Neev kennedy
Neev Kennedy

Listen – Penrose, Live for The Dream EP

I came across Penrose a few weeks ago, and become an instant fan for two significant reasons.

The first reason – I received a physical copy of the CD in the post. This excited me no end. Seriously. I am of the age where I still love to have CD’s. Of course, like everyone else, I use the interwebz to listen and discover music, but nothing beats a physical product in your hand to salivate over. I love the smell of polycarbonate in the morning!

The second reason – and directly related to the first, is their genre defining sound. Instant 90’s Indie/Britpop/Rock throwback. It seemed quite fitting to receive a CD in the post then. Playing on my inner teenage emotions or a neat little marketing technique? You decide! I like to think it’s both. Good job Penrose.

The glorious Penrose!
The glorious Penrose!

The first track ‘See you again’  weaves clever guitar riffs reminiscent of The Coral and Oasis but with the softer, almost deliberately held back vocals of Travis. It works really well as an opener to the EP.

‘Melody’ is a nice happy go luck summer track which has enough gusto and catchiness to be a single and gain significant airplay. It will have you humming or singing along after a few listens. In keeping with the era, I’m reminded of  ‘Lemon Tree’ by Fools Garden – but don’t worry! Melody doesn’t exasperate like Lemon Tree does!

Harmony‘ throws a mixture of Ocean Colour Scene and Oasis at youSlower in tempo, introducing the guitar solo in the mid section and tambourine tapping throughout; this is Britpop 101, without being trite, and a tune I can’t wait to catch live.

‘Where you go now’ closes the EP Champagne Supernova style. It’s a fitting finale and sounds fantastic.

The EP sound, quality and production are of a high quality – even the physical CD screams excellence. Don’t misinterpret my Britpop references for a rehashed version of the afore-mentioned bands. Penrose has managed to pull this off without being clichéd and this EP could very well see them Live for the Dream.



London Gets The Fever

The White-Line fever boys are about to go all Austin Powers on London. Yeah Baby!

White-Line Fever
White-Line Fever

They have just finished off a tour of Ireland where I managed to catch their unreal set in the Workmans, and now they are spreading their pandemic further afield to The Spice of Life – Soho. I’ve never been, but I hear it’s very spicy. And full of life. In Soho.

Not able to make it to Soho? no probs, the lads are playing at the 96/1 Festival on August 29th in the The Poor Relation Grocery & Pub alongside Stewart Dixon, Clare O’Mahony and  Hvmmingbyrd. Savage.

More news in the works and it’s shaping up pretty well……

Just be careful in London lads – Keep it Austin Powers-like, not 28 Days Later-like?!

‘Wan the lads!




Listen – Grainne Hunt, Lilacs

Lilacs by Grainne Hunt is officially out in the open today. I’ve been bending my ears around the tune for a few days now, and it is definitely an emotional roller coaster.

Grainne’s voice is soothingly soft and mellow, complemented by the strings running throughout. It this were a one word review it would be simple – Gorgeous.

Watch/listen below now.

Next Bootleg date, news, and general updates

Hi All! As the title suggests, the next Bootleg Project in Foley’s is the 15th August with a new start time of 9pm. The 3 guest slots are full, but I think I’ll do a 4th – get your applications in if you’re interested. I’ll announce the guests playing later this week.

The Bootleg Project - new time of 9pm
The Bootleg Project – new start time of 9pm

All things Skyrockit Music are  running at a pace that can only be described as rampant. Thank you all so much for your continued support, likes, shares and music – The entire ethos of Skyrockit Music has always been to showcase your music, so I’m delighted that it has been working out well so far.

Right now I’m working on a few projects, ideas and collaborations – all at early stages, but I am hopeful that most of them will come to fruition and announcements can be made over the coming weeks and months. Working with so many like-minded people is rewarding and great to know that we share the same passion and belief in the Irish music scene. I’m busy with it all, so forgive the sporadic and untimely updates etc!

Don’t forget the Monster Monster gig happening on the 23rd of this month! Tickets available here – think of it as a gig in your sitting room with friends, where you can interact with the band and bring your own beer.

Stay classy people.



Listen – Busking for Tea, Tenslotte

Busking for Tea is not just a clever name. The Kilkenny based duo really do like tea – so much so that they had to grab their guitars and sing their hearts out just to scrape enough money together to buy a couple of teabags for the fine nectar. The band was born.

Busking for Tea, Tenslotte Album Cover
Busking for Tea, Tenslotte Album Cover

I have never busked, and I admire anyone who does – it’s not an easy way to make money by any means, but it’s good to know it can bring two lads together to start a band and boil the kettle.

The album hosts 11 songs, three of which are covers – they busk for tea so cover songs are inevitable! Full of equal measures of gratuitous melancholy and happiness, listening through the album really does sound like you are listening to buskers on Grafton Street. I really like it for this. Check them out here now.

Competition | Win two tickets to Monster Monster at MART

The Last Mixed Tape

Monster Monster

The Last Mixed Tape is giving readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to Monster Monster’s upcoming gig at MART on August 23rd. 

Alternative-pop act  Monster Monster will play the Rathmines venue this summer as part of Skyrockit & MART’s new monthly live music series An Evening With, which will also see Fiach Moriarty play the event this September.  

Monster Monster first came to the attention of many in the Irish music scene with the debut single ‘Assassin’, which was released last year.

To be in with a chance of winning two tickets to Skyrockit Music & MART present: An Evening with Monster Monster on Sunday, August 23rd simply answer the following question in the comment section at the bottom of the page.

Q. Finish the title of this Monster Monster single, ‘Christmas in…”

Tickets to ‘An Evening With Monster Monster’ at MART are priced at €10.00…

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Abner Browns Live – Definitely a cut above

It has been a long time coming, but I was finally able to get my bum over to a live event in my local barber Abner Browns last week to catch Neev Kennedy and Scott Maher wow an enthusiastic and respectful crowd.

An odd thing really, saying you went to a gig in a barbershop. Good thing I like odd. And music. The set up is magnificently simple – it’s an acoustic session in a setting that requires nothing added to make it special. Every inch of every wall of Abners is chock full of music memorabilia from guitars to records to saxophones to gig posters. If Johnny Cash was a teenager now, this is how his bedroom would look. It oozes cool.

Neev Kennedy and David Payne kicked off the night. Well, I say kicked off, but it was more of a gentle pat on the shoulder and a kind whisper in the ear of the listener. God they were good. So understated, so gentle, so full of energy and emotion, that they commanded your full attention from the get go. Their melodies were fantastic too – akin at times to the familiar tones of HamsandwicH during their more gentle pieces. It was poetically romantic.

Neev Kennedy & David Payne!
Neev Kennedy & David Payne!

Next up was the headliner Scott Maher flying solo. This guy did things with a guitar and a loop pedal one can only dream about. Normally with a full band in tow, Scott compensated for this by singing directly in to the sound-hole, mimicking a saxophone, foot stomping, and guitar tapping. The loops were complex as his songs are quite layered, but he pulled it off. It was great to watch. His voice was powerful too – and we all enjoyed hearing the stories of how his week went at Facebook HQ et al. He wasn’t even phased when an audience member started chopping a lemon in front of him. Kudos.

Scott Maher
Scott Maher!

I didn’t drink on the night, but it is BYOB and free entry. Where do you out your beer did you ask? Why, you simply plonk it in the sinks full of ice. Genius.

Should you go? Yes. Will I be back? Yes. Is it cool? Ooooh yes.

Salute Abners, salute.


The Bootleg Project – 25th July Lineup


The Bootleg Project is very quickly becoming more popular than I could have ever imagined. The emails are coming in quicker than I can read/reply for bands and singers that want to jump in – Huzzah!

So who are the acts that are playing next? Feast your eyes below – Let’s get to know them….

  • Kate Dineen hails all the way from Tralee but we won’t hold that against her. We love that region! Lucky for us, Kate is now residing in Dublin – it would be some trek for the Bootleg otherwise! Currently doing the rounds in the Dublin music scene Kate loves to sing live, and says that ‘being invited to play the Bootleg Project is a dream come true’ – even more so than Ian Dempsey calling her ‘sweet and soulful’ after entering Today FM’s Even Better than the Real Thing competition! Currently working on her first EP, Kate is a promising act, and I haven’t even mentioned how she can play the spoons with her toes….. Original, soft yet punchy, we’re honoured to have her play.

    Kate Dineen!
    Kate Dineen!
  • Barry Jay Hughes is a Monaghan native and aself confessed ‘gigaholic’ (Ed – this has been toned down for our younger viewers!). Over the years he has played as a four piece, a two piece and now solo. By that reckoning and economies of scale, Barry will be awesome. Actually I know he will – he wouldn’t be playing otherwise. In his spare time, Barry likes to whisper sweet nothings in to his guitar’s sound-hole. Filth. In other news, Barry is a ‘classically trained pianist’ – I hope that means what I think it means……

    Barry Jay Hughes!
    Barry Jay Hughes!
  • Cian was born and raised on music. His musical tastes far outweighs men of his age bracket, and his talent outshines most. Cian loves to gig all over the planet, but when not sleeping on hotel roofs or recording track after track, he loves nothing more than attend parties, hen nights and even the odd stag as an Andy Samberg look-a-like. Soulful and honest in all that he writes and sings,Cian will have you singing along, and weeping with joy. Can’t wait.

So there you have it. All of that awesome talent for just €5 in Foley’s of Merrion Row, tunes before, during and afterwards and drinks promotions throughout.

See you here on the 25th!



Listen – Jamie Duff, EP

Jamie Duff is a busy man – and with good reason – He’s good. In fact he’s very good.

The folk rock scene both nationally and internationally is in its heyday and has introduced the world to many great artists. After developing his confidence on guitar for the last few years, Jamie jumped right in to the folk rock scene with enough panache, good looks and charm to warrant the attention of his peers.

Jamie Duff!
Jamie Duff!

It’s refreshing to listen to an EP released in this genre that does stand out. So what makes Jamie different? Well, vocally, Jamie’s voice is punchy, gritty and reminiscent at times of an early Bob Dylan. The rhythm of the EP is fast paced but doesn’t leave the listener jaded – there’s enough electric guitar, powerful kick drum beatings and raw energy to warrant hitting the replay button. The biggest seller for me though is introducing the listener to catchy riffs interwoven with topical or sad lyrics that you have no right tapping your feet to. Topics that should depress not impress The sign of a good singer/songwriter? You bet.

So now you can see just why he is in demand. He different. He’s unique, and after catching him in Bruxelles a few weeks ago, I can confirm that the women (and most probably the men) think he’s a dish. A musical trifecta sure to see him starside. Catch him while you can.

Jamie Duff EP Out Now!
Jamie Duff EP Out Now!

The EP is available now for download on Bandcamp here and iTunes here. Well worth more than the price offered if I’m honest.


Bootleg Project #3 – Saturday 25th July

Get your calendar ready people – the next Bootleg Project is happening in Foley’s on Saturday 25th of July – that’s Saturday week. Details guests playing will be revealed in the next few days.

Karla Chubb @ The Bootleg Project
Karla Chubb @ The Bootleg Project
Loop Culture at the first Bootleg Project in Foley's
Loop Culture

If you haven’t been able to make one yet, you can check out the shenanigans from the first one here and the second one here. The quality of the bands and solo singers that have played so far has been exceptional. They have been great fun too with jokes, sing-a-longs and dodgy stories.

See you there.


Hot Press – Longitude Site Preview

It’s time to start salivating – Hot Press has been to Marlay Park to scope out what Longitude 2015 looks like before it get bombarded by eager punters. Worth a look if you are heading there this weekend! Sweet.

Longitude Site Preview | Music | News | Hot Press.

The timetable is here too. So many great bands to see. If I had to pick a favourite day, it would be Saturday.

Longitude Timetable 2015
Longitude Timetable 2015

Listen – Paradox, Chapters

You  can’t spell Cork without Rock. I used that in a tweet recently and knew I would have to use it again. I knew I would want to use it again.

MTV had a profound effect on me when I was younger. Not the known MTV of now, but the MTV of yore when the likes of ‘Unplugged’ played to heavy hitters, grunge was being introduced to eager teenagers, and it actually played good music. I count myself as one of the lucky ones who was around to appreciate it for what it was.

20 years later, my musical tastes haven’t changed all that much – Sure, I like many more different types of music now, and have distinct views and tastes, but I still know good music when I hear it. Enter Paradox.

Paradox. Photo credit Gilbert Fonteyn

In a time when it’s easy to get lost in the swarm of new and music wherever you go, it’s nice to get hit with an album that sounds like it was forgotten about in the 90’s only to be dug up in the digital era of now. For me, at the ripe age of 34, it’s a nice feeling.

Paradox hail from Cork – currently the grunge/rock/punk capital of Ireland as far as I’m concerned. A local music scene can create a popular bubble of the same musical genre in the area with many bands sounding the same, or playing homage to their surrounding peers. Paradox has been the band that others play homage to, and now they are bursting from that bubble and creating waves further a-field.

The lengthy 14 track album is distinctly different from their previous 3, a paradox in itself one could say – notes of Alice in Chains (particularly their Unplugged album), Nirvana, Silverchair, Mad Season and A Perfect Circle and NIN. As with these bands, there is a certain melancholy and assuredness to their sound particularly with top track and video ‘Nothing lasts’. I was sold on this song alone.

With an independent band producing music of this standard, my hopes are high for the future of the grunge/rock genre and era in Ireland, wherever it might exist. If MTV was to fall back to its 90’s roots right now, this band would be all over your TV screens, not just your computer screens. Just like the 90’s, pay your respects here.


Listen – Transmission Club, A Weak Heart

Transmission Club are an interesting and enticing band from Cork (yes another!). They first hit my radar when it was announced they were supporting one my favourite White Line Fever at this.  I did a little bit of research beforehand so had an idea of who they were and what they were like, but nothing beats that feeling of hearing a new band live. The goosebumps. We’ve all been there – I live for that feeling.

Transmission Club @ The Workman's
Transmission Club @ The Workman’s

Currently recording the new EP, Transmission Club’s newest tune Weak Heart  is on Soundcloud for all you aural pleasure. If you haven’t had the pleasure of hearing them before, this single is a great introduction, and only the tip of the iceberg to their complete madness live.

I love the mix of violin and piano throughout – used very delicately indeed, it gives unique warming feeling to the song. I’ve always been a fan of strings in songs, so I’m instantly bias and I don’t care! Lyrically it’s deep and purposely understated – it’s quite a sad song, but like any great sad song, it has a catchy riff, a sing-a-long chorus and the ability to put the listener in a good mood.

Well worth a listen here now. Keep an eye on them here and make sure you catch them live. I’ll be first in line when they’re back in Dublin.


Bootleg Project #2 roundup

My energy levels are just coming back to me now hence this post only going live! The vibe last Friday was very different from the previous, but comparable in band/singer quality, effort and fun had by all.

Josie Harrington hit the mic first. And hit it she did – her voice is so powerful even Janis Joplin would have perked up to have a listen. I needn’t have bothered setting up the mic for her, but as powerful as her voice was, her lyrics and stories behind each song were all the more powerful. A belter of an opener, Josie promises to be back in the loft soon. Make sure you check out her album available on iTunes here.  Keep an eye out for my review soon.

Josie Harrington @ The Bootleg Project
Josie Harrington @ The Bootleg Project

After the break saw Kevin Casey up next. Usually with a full band present, we were honoured to have him play solo. The lovechild of Bruce Springsteen and David Gray, Kevin song with the soul and emotion normally seen on the bigger stage. With beads of sweat rolling down his face, he had the crowd in the palm of his hands, particularly with his rendition of Tom Petty’s ‘Free Fallin’. Catch his next big gig in Odessa here. He has promised to return to the Bootleg with full band in tow. Can’t wait.

Kevin Casey @ The Bootleg Project
Kevin Casey @ The Bootleg Project

Next up saw Karla Chubb and Sean rock the crowd. Karla’s gritty voice immediately hushed the room with her originals, while Sean’s harmonies added a nice sweet richness in baritone. Content that they had the crowd by the heartstrings, the pair also belted out a few covers, including Wheatus’ ‘Teenage Dirtbag’, which had all of us singing along. It was pretty cool if I do say so!

Karla Chubb @ The Bootleg Project
Karla Chubb @ The Bootleg Project

The next Bootleg Project will be in two weeks – date to be confirmed. Hope to see you all there!


The Bootleg Project #2 Lineup – 10th July

The first ever Bootleg night really went down a treat. It was a great night, with music from some very fine musicians. We have lots more on the way.

Bootleg Project #2 hits your lobes this Friday 10th. Doors open at 8pm so you can grab your spot and eye up the talent!

So who are the acts that are playing? Feast your eyes below – Let’s get to know them….

  • Josie Harrington is a rock queen meets folk angel meets singer/ songwriter & producer. Her debut album ‘The Red Road’ is available on iTunes here . Well worth a listen. She is the only person I know who ever used the phrase ‘like a suckler calf’ on stage in the middle of a gig! Many people don’t know that Josie is also an artist (with colours like), and a champion dancer. I want to see her do both at the same time – let’s ask her Friday so!

    Josie Harrington!
    Josie Harrington!
  • Kevin Casey has been rocking out the Dublin and countrywide music scene for as long as you can think back. You name it, he’s played at it. Kevin’s music style ranges from hard-hitting blues rock, to softer homebrew ballads. His new single It all begins here is on the horizon and he’s hosting a special intimate night to go with it. No smooching in the back row! Judging by the shameless crotch/white tee/blue jeans shot below, he’s a definite fan of The Boss. Let’s hope he has room in our cosy surroundings to pull off a few of these moves! For you Kevin, we’ll make room.
Kevin Casey!
Kevin Casey!
  • Karla Chubb (and the 3 handsome men) are a four piece indie/folk/rock/every-influence-under-the-sun band. After meeting through mutual friends, the band have quickly gained a reputation for energetic, entertaining and enthusiastic live shows. From snapping strings, spilling pints and breaking leads, you can be sure Karla and the gang will put on a great show.

    Recent finalists in the Workman’s club Battle of the Bands, the guys proved they give it all or nothing in every show, with Karla even bruising her hand from playing the tambourine too vigorously!

    Their emotive lyrics, clever songwriting and booming performances are really all just a cover to keep their handsome spanish guitarist, Sergio, in Ireland long enough to find his dream girl. Currently competing in another battle of the bands, you can liking/sharing votes here!

    Karla Chubb (and the 3 handsome men)!
    Karla Chubb (and the 3 handsome men)!

So there you have it. All of that awesome talent for just €5 in Foley’s of Merrion Row, tunes before, during and afterwards and drinks promotions throughout.

See you here on the 10th!



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