Category Archives: Live Venue

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,

JJ

 

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!

JJ

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

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!

JJ

 

 

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.

Saute!
Salute!

White Line Fever Tonight @ The Workman’s

The sheer talent of these guys is jaw dropping.

If you’re looking for me tonight, this is where you’ll find me!

Finishing off their Irish tour in the Workman’s tonight after a string of savage venues which included The Grand Social and Crane Lane, I recommend catching White-Line Fever as they are on the cusp of becoming a pandemic**.

Artwork for White-Line Fever's Anomie EP
Artwork for White-Line Fever’s Anomie EP

If spooky echoes, haunting vocals, heavy riffs,  reverb and a whole lot more are your thing, I’ll see you there tonight. Let’s give them a good send off before they head back to Cork where they have already infected the population there.

Click here for my review of their current Anomie EP.

**Hazmat suits not included**

 

 

Bootleg Project #1 Lineup

Just a couple of days now until we get well and truly stuck in to a night of tunes that will arouse your ear-lobes into total submission.

So who are the acts that are playing? We did a shout out on Facebook yesterday name dropping the legends that will be playing, but let’s get to know them a little better….

  • Currently rubbing after-sun lotion all over his body from playing a scorcher in Body and Soul, Luke S is currently on a mission to do 300 gigs in 2015. Impressive stuff considering he’s just about at the halfway mark. He writes his own music, looks great in a suit and enjoys  long walks on the beach. Smooth.

    Luke S!
    Luke S!
  • David McKechnie is a hard-working ambulance chaser by day, and a shades wearing, guitar hugging hippy by night. The shades never come off. Ever. Also shedding skin from his stint at Body and Soul, David has been known to make girl weep and scream simultaneously at his live shows. Bring the tissues.

    David!
    David!
  • The talented quintet that is Loop Culture don’t do things by half. Radio interviews, music videos, endless gigs, styled hair, fashioned beards and photo shoots are keeping these lads on their feet, but there’s nowhere else they’d rather be. Their musical influences span far and wide – we just hope we have enough room for their awesomeness. We do, don’t worry lads!

    Loop Culture!
    Loop Culture!

So there you have it. All of that awesome talent for just €5, and tunes afterwards.

See you here on the 27th!

Huzzah!

ASIWYFA, Olympia Theatre, Live Review

Hard work prevails and the prevailing winds of ASIWYFA blew my mind.

I was excited about this gig. Very excited. For various reasons over the years, I’ve persistently missed these guys live, so I snapped up tickets super quick when I heard they were headlining the Olympia just down the road. Sweet.

Hitting the stage and instantly making my ears bleed with Run Home and Wasps from the new album Heirs, the Northern foursome almost stunned the crowd with pure, raw adrenaline. I say stunned because there was a lot of young fans there who had never seen anything like this before I’m sure. I certainly hadn’t, and I’m a grizzled ancient.

ASIWYFA wowing the crowd
ASIWYFA wowing the crowd Olympia Theatre 2015

And it was loud. I mean really loud. But I expected nothing less, especially when they launched in to the old favourites like Set Guitars to Kill, BEAUTIFULUNIVERSEMASTERCHAMPIONS and 7 Billion People All Alive at Once – which was a great tune for the gaping audience to sing along with, especially when egged on by the energetic Rory Friers.

Highlight of the night was Rory jumping in to the pit, guitar in hand to sit on the floor with everybody who had already sat down in godlike worship. It was a great sight to behold. One I’m sure Rory and the rest of the band won’t forget for a long time.

Rory Friers in the pit, Olympia Theatre 2015
Rory Friers in the pit, Olympia Theatre 2015

This gig meant a lot to ASIWYFA. Humbled Rory said it did, with a very audible lump in his throat in the process. But even if he hadn’t said it, we knew. Hard work prevails and the prevailing winds of ASIWYFA blew my mind.

ASIWYFA Olympia Theatre 2015
ASIWYFA Olympia Theatre 2015

Pound for pound, these guys are heavyweights in a genre they have refined, and even redefined in parts. I’d go to see them again today if I could and so should you.

ASH, Whelan’s, Live Review

‘Because you’re the best crowd ever, you can have whatever you like!!’

These are the fine words shouted by ASH front man Tim Wheeler half way through their set in Whelan’s on Sunday night. A set that saw itself re-written a few times with the constant shout of requests from the adorning jam-packed crowd.

ASH Whelan's 2015
ASH Whelan’s 2015

ASH were exceptional on the night. Not only are they now older and wiser, but they have honed in on what they already know how to do  well – please a crowd with surging, fast-paced, stomping floor fillers (despite being a man down). And the hits just kept on coming too – Cocoon, Go! Fight! Win!, Burn Baby Burn, A Life Less Ordinary, Shining Light, Angel Interceptor (which was relentlessly requested by the crowd until ASH coughed up along with Walking Barefoot and others!). You name a hit, it was played in amongst the new ‘Kablammo!’ tracks.

ASH Whelan's 2015
ASH Whelan’s 2015

And that was just it – ASH wowed the crowd. They knew they were on to a winner when the crowd started moshing from the start. And, up until Sunday night, I had never witnessed crowd surfing in Whelan’s before! Sad but true, and a great sight to see.

ASH Whelan's 2015
ASH Whelan’s 2015

Walking out for the encore, Tim was stopped in his tracks by yet another fan – this time requesting ‘4 more tunes’ instead of the usual ‘one more tune’. Smiling, Tim obliged, but then had to concede with only three more in the end due to the Sunday curfew. This didn’t matter at all – finishing with Burn Baby Burn was mighty and boiled the crowd in to a happy moshing frenzy. Kudos to the sound and lighting in Whelan’s too – it was perfect.

It was a sight to behold indeed. Glad I was thereto witness a triumphant return.

ASH Whelan's 2015
ASH Whelan’s 2015

The Bootleg Project

Welcome to The Bootleg Project. A new place to showcase the wealth of musical talent in Ireland.

We’ve been busy working on this for a while, and now we are so glad to get it out there.

The plan is a weekly singer/songwriter night in Dublin city. The vibe is cool and cosy and the set up is basic. Bands play for free on the night. Demand on each night will dictate how long each band will play.

Kicking off on the 27th of this month in Foley’s Merrion Row, doors open at 8pm, first act starts 9pm. The price to the public is €5 on the door – which is really cheap for a night of good music with friends. There’ll be drinks promotions on the night too. Nice.

The Bootleg Project - Yuss!
The Bootleg Project – Yuss!

The second showcase event will be in an entirely different location and will happen monthly. This will be something very special indeed – intimate, very limited tickets, BYOB, and unique. One act will play in ‘an evening with’ style event where dialogue is encouraged between the audience. Something a little different. Details of this venue will be revealed soon.

Did we mention that the band gets paid for the monthly event? No? Well they do! – We share the money based on the ticket sales, after the venue cost has been deducted. Got merch to sell? Bring it, sell it, we take no cut! Sweet deal.

Details of all bands, dates and venues will be available on all our social media and this site. We’re trying to do things a little bit differently, where we support artists, and artists support each other. Fingers crossed we all get along!

We are taking applications from bands and singers – hit here now for the application form!

See you all there on the 27th! It’ll be  a great night in a fantastic venue.

All The Young Dudes – remembering Tony Fenton

Loads of you, just like myself, grew up listening to the dulcet velvety tones of Tony Fenton. His voice was instantly recognisable and always there in the background whether at work, at home, or in the car. I’ll never forget him anyway.

He was a great ambassador for Irish music and loved interviewing up and coming bands and singers. His interviews always brought a smile to my face because he had a great ability of making the interviewee feel at ease bur just having a chat. Radio gold.

All The Young Dudes
All The Young Dudes

In honour of his radio brilliance and Today FM’s Shave or Dye in support of the Irish Cancer Society, a charity gig is taking place in Vicar Street on the May 14th. The gig will feature bands and singers that Tony supported throughout the years.

More names have yet to be announced, but so far the likes of Mick Flannery, Aslan, Wallis Bird and The Minutes will hit the stage.

Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster and outlets priced at €26. It’s a great cause with great artists.

 

Review – Audible Joes, Medicine for Modern Living

Punk rock by its very nature is undoubtedly one of the hardest genres of music to gain significant recognition in. There are only a handful that stand out from the crowd.

I have thought long and hard about why it’s so difficult to rise above the crowd- the band needs to be confident, the lyrics clever, the melodies catchy, the songs short and epic, and the band members or front-man needs to likable and engaging.

Audible Joes Group Shot

For me, Audible Joes debut album Medicine for Modern Living ticks all of these boxes. All of the 13 tracks on the album have melodies that are somehow familiar enough to mosh along to from the moment you press play. The opener How to Build an Urban Soldier is an absolute banger of a tune sure to fill floors. It immediately tells you that these guys know what they are doing. It’s a textbook fan grabber – it was for me anyway!

Influences are obvious throughout; Green Day (the Dookie years), The Offspring, gritty/early Foo Fighters, Nirvana, The Sex Pistols…….. All reputable bands to sharpen your sword on, but it’s this variety of influences that sees Medicine for Modern Living carve its own niche while confidently standing in the corner shouting in your face.

The album is under 40 minutes, and it keeps the momentum and tempo throughout, only breaking this mold for the surprising stripped down acoustic Shame of Being Human. A nice simple tune full of angst ridden lyrics. To me, that’s where punk rock stands out from other genres – lyrics are always stripped back and honest, taking no prisoners.

I’m not going to lie – I wasn’t sure I would like this album – I have heard mountains of punk rock throughout the years that left me regretting pressing play. This album did the opposite.

Artwork by Sarah Mackey
Artwork by Sarah Mackey

I like these guys and I like their debut album. It made me feel like when I first heard Green Days Basket Case or the Foo Fighters debut album. Any album that does this is a winner for me and I look forward to seeing these guys live in Whelans in May- I have heard nothing but greatness.

Audible Joes Medicine for Modern Living – go get your fix!

Find them – Facebook (the bio alone has to be worth a like?!), Twitter, Soundcloud, Bandcamp

 

 

Canalaphonic Launch Party

Canalaphonic is holding the official launch party in the The Sugar Club on the 11th April. Clear your calendars for this one – I know I have.

With fellow Wexicans Corner Boy, Featuring X, Mother Mooch, and yet another fellow Wexican and old pal Johnny Stewart the night is shaping up to be a good one.

Canalaphonic Launch Party

 

I’m sure the Abner Browns Barbershop lads have something else up their sleeves for the night as this event takes on an organic life of its own. Well deserved too.

Imagine how good this actual festival will be, given that the launch party already rocks!

At only a fiver for entry, you’d be foolish to pass this up. Get ’em here.

Kevin Casey – Grand Social tonight!

Hard working Kevin Casey headlines The Grand Social tonight, celebrating the launch of his new single ‘I was wrong’ before grabbing a flight and heading off to Germany for a pit-stop tour.

Kevin Casey, I was wrong
Kevin Casey, I was wrong

Known for his expressive lyrics and strong vocals, ‘I was wrong’ doesn’t disappoint with it’s flowing melody. reminiscent of slower version of Kula Shaker’s Hush at times. Not a bad comparison, and sure to be a good night of quality live music.

Building up quite a following online and at gigs, grab a listen to some of his great songs here, you won’t be disappointed.

Supporting Kevin Casey and his band are Deco Greene and The Sex Beasts. The night is being curated by Radio Nova’s Pat Courtenay – Doors open @ 8pm – tickets are a great price of €5 each!

Spotlight – MINDRIOT, Low

I was 11 when I first set ears upon the Seattle sound I was about to fall in love with. My introduction was, and still is, one of my favourite albums to date – Pearl Jam, Ten. It has been a whirlwind romance with Pearl Jam for me throughout their album releases, but invariably, I always end up listening to ‘Ten’ as the fond memories of childhood flood back. Everyone has that kind of album I’m sure.

Imagine my amazement when I discovered an Irish band was able to evoke the same reaction in my sub-consciousness. Enter MINDRIOT and their recently released ‘Low’.

These guys have been around for a significant amount of time – two decades, this is enough time for any well-oiled machine to break down and stop working. Truth be told, these guys have been through their share of breakups and varying career breaks, anybody would after two decades, but their music has prevailed, just like many of their Seattle influenced bands still rocking our stages and arenas today.

The above mentioned influences are evident the moment you press play on any of their songs – Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Metallica, Alice in Chains and Mother Love Bone, to name but a few. It’s very easy to see why these bands are influential from great lyrics to melodies to soulful guitar solos, and MINDRIOT really have played homage to their forefathers here – Raw gritty vocals, a very catchy and radio friendly chorus, and well positioned guitar solos you can hum along to.

Perhaps we are seeing our very own Seattle bubble of rock in Ireland – I’d certainly like to think so. And if we are, MINDRIOT has not just kicked it off, but also set the standard.

MINDRIOT
MINDRIOT

Rocking Whelans on the 9th April, MINDRIOT will definitely put on a show worthy of you hard-earned cash. Tickets available here.

Sounds like: Seattle infused awesome rock

Find them: Reverbnation, Twitter, Facebook

What a big Hulla-palooza!

One of the most exciting new independent music festivals this year in Dublin was forced to change its name due to a court application for an injunction. Harsh.

Not to worry! The now named Canalaphonic, the brainchild of the quirkiest barbershop in town, Abner Browns, is set to take place in the Rathmines/Portobello area.

abner browns

 

The exciting new festival will be rock out 2 stages and 18 venues spread across the area – Interestingly, one of the stages will be a barge docked at Portobello Harbour, aptly called ‘The Making Waves Stage’ with local legends The Hot Sprockets and Mother Mooch kicking off proceedings.

The Hot Sprockets
The Hot Sprockets
Mother Mooch
Mother Mooch

 

Did we mention that the gigs will be free and that the acts are actually earning a buck? Abner Browns Barbershop are proving that this event will be a cut above the rest!

More acts have yet to be announced, but there’s plenty of time for that as the event doesn’t take place until 8th and 9th May.

With the level of interest this event has gathered in just over two weeks and even a little bit of controversy, we continue to watch this space very closely indeed. And so should you.

 

|Tune Tuesday| – One Horse Pony, Staring Blues

One Horse Pony

Tune of the day goes to ‘Staring Blues’ by One Horse Pony. We have been listening to it all day since it dropped by the inbox in the early hours. Nothing like a bit of Blues, and there is nothing like the Blues these guys introduce you to – cool, soft and understated, but with an obvious and unique European feel.

Staring Blues uses the old addage of love lost in a cool and fresh way; revamping what you thought you already knew about the genre.

With unique videos like the one below, and a collection of quirky handles that include a badger, a meerkat, a Reverend, a King and Germany (!), these guys are certainly enjoying making the music we enjoy listening to – seeing them currently top the iTunes Blues chart. Well deserved in my opinion.

You can get the single on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and Google Play, or catch them singing it live at their monthly slot in Whelans – free entry! I know where I’ll be this weekend……

 

|Music Monday| Cry Monster Cry, Rhythm of Dawn

18 months in the making, the debut album of brothers Richie and Jamie Martin, ‘Rhythm of Dawn’, is an easy listen that’s hard to put down.

The opener ‘Darkest Hour, Longest Day’ immediately shoots the listener back to the 1970’s with impressive harmonies and shoulder swaying choruses reminiscent of ‘A Horse With No Name‘ by America. It’s a great choice as the opener; immediately grounding the listener with loud baselines and delicate relentless percussion letting us know what’s in store in the following 9 tracks.

Delving in to experiential folk rock, swaying in and out of country and touching on traditional, this is an album that gives a lot back to the listener with lyrics and harmonies that the likes of Paul Brady and Damien Dempsey would be very proud of. There is a very real sense of openness and honesty with the lyrics too, especially in the track Old at Heart, which is refreshing.

Rhythm of Dawn

Well worth many listens, this album will please many ears, and delight many faces and foot stompers during their tour of Ireland which has just kicked off. Details and tickets are available through the links below.

Sounds like: Simon and Garfunkel, Paul Brady, America, Damien Dempsey

Winning tracks: Old at HeartHomebird and Darkest Hour, Longest Day

Find them: Website, Facebook, Twitter

Catch our 2012 Vantastival interview with the lads here. Funny stuff!

 

 

 

Pure M Awards 2015

They’ve only gone and done it. Pure M, the music and entertainment magazine has announced that they are running a live music award show happening at a tbc location in Dublin this year.

awards

According to the site, the award show will;

“give recognition for artistic creation in Ireland, we also have European and International awards too”

They aren’t doing the live show by halves either – talk of live music, special guests, snap happy photographers, and actual awards for the winners certainly sounds like it will be a great night. Roll out the red carpet people!

If you want to be in with a chance of winning an award, or running amuck on the red carpet, hit here to fill out the entry form. Nominations will be announced on May 1st. For more details, keep an eye out on the Pure M site.

Wheeler Dealers

Great news for those who got tickets – the June 7th date for Ash rocking Whelans is sold out! We got our tickets, did you get yours?

If not, don’t fret, we’ll keep you posted of the nights shenanigans. Wanna dress yourself accordingly for the impending epic night of Intergalactic Sonic Sevens? Head here to get your wears and pre-order the new album ‘Kablammo’ !