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!

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.
    Cian!
    Cian!

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!

Huzzah!

JJ

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.

JJ

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
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!

Huzzah!

JJ

Listen Now – MINDRIOT, New Release

A couple of months ago I was introduced and reviewed the track ‘Low’ by the Corkonian rock band MINDRIOT.  A fresh Seattle sounding tune which filled me full of nostalgia, it’s well worth a listen and I’m not the only one who thinks so – the EP itself is nominated for ‘Best EP’ in the Pure M Awards 2015. Full details here.

Today sees the Mitchelstown group release another two songs ahead of their upcoming album later this year – ‘Angel Town’ and ‘Billy Ray’. Working alongside their favoured Producer/Engineer Ciaran O Shea at WhiteWell Studios in Cork, the new tracks do not disappoint in quality or immediate catchiness.

MINDRIOT mt
MINDRIOT mt

The forthcoming album name and artwork have yet to be released – as soon as I get my grubby hands on them I’ll let you know. In the meantime feast your ears on the tracks using the links below. If the likes of Therapy? Kerbdog, Alice in Chains etc are your tipple, you are going to enjoy these. I, for one, can’t stop listening.

Spotify

iTunes (available Monday 6th)

MINDRIOT play Fibbers on the 18th July. Go see them. You will not be disappointed. Have a goo at their latest video below too!

Live Review, White-Line Fever + Guests @ The Workman’s

When heading to a live show, you can never tell how it’s going to go, especially when it’s the last day of a back to back 5 day tour across the country. Will the energy and passion still prevail after 5 days and nights of living in each others pockets? Or did a niggle turn in to an insurmountable arguement where everyone is dreading the journey home. Thankfully, I needn’t have worried! Energy levels were through the roof, and everyone was smiling and joking around. Phew!

I was delayed getting to the venue so I unfortunately missed the very talented Míde Houlihan. Her style is acoustic/folk/indie mixed in with a bit of craic. She’s the perfect mix of Lisa Hannigan’s haunting vocals, a wax lyrical Regina Spektor and sock puppets. True story.

Mide Houlihan source debarra.ie
Mide Houlihan,source debarra.ie

I arrived to catch the tail end of Brass Phantoms who are a Dublin based indie band reminiscent of The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys. I liked what I heard, and have since listened to their other offerings on their bandcamp page. Check them out.

Brass Phantoms, source Facebook
Brass Phantoms, source Facebook

Up next was Transmission Club, and in all honesty, I was not prepared for the level of sheer sexual energy oozing from their pores. Between vocalist Michael kissing my cheek saying he wants me (!), Keyboard wizard Arthur taking his clothes off, masks for the audience, chats about naked baths, and a gargantuan rock out at the end of their set; the sweat-box that was upstairs in the Workman’s felt an awful lot hotter. I, and others around me, was an instant fan.

wpid-2015-06-30-17.15.13.jpg.jpeg
Transmission Club upstairs in The Workman’s

Up next was the top billed White-Line Fever. The room filled that little bit more as the lads sound checked. Breaking into song, there was an instant stage presence. Making it look like they had been doing this for years, they pulled us all together with lyrics and melodies binding us ear to ear. Onlookers sat on the floor gazing up in a mixture of smiles and awe. It may have been cooler in temperature on the floor, but the coolness was definitely coming from the stage. The hat worn by front-man Ali just made it that little bit cooler too!

White-Line Fever upstairs in the Workman's
White-Line Fever upstairs in the Workman’s

Calling other band members on stage for the final blowout was inevitable – last day of tour, last song (The Wisdonm of Sage, epic tunage!), last chance to go nuts. And go nuts they did. I was reminded of Pearl Jam unplugged at  one point when frontman Ali used his guitar to hit the cymbal. I was already smiling, but I smiled more.

White-Line Fever upstairs in The Workman's
White-Line Fever upstairs in The Workman’s

A thoroughly enjoyable night, filled with very memorable moments both for the bands and audience alike. With more ‘surprises in store’ from the White-Line Fever boys later this year, I’m starting to look forward to the next half of 2015.

White-Line Fever set list was:

Intro, Queyd Pro Qua, Lordship & Bondage, Sirens in the Distance, I See Icy Figures, The Wisdom of Sage.

 

For more pictures from the night, click here. Tag and share if you were there!

JJ

 

You are all Legends, thank you!

Last Saturday night saw the first ever Bootleg Project take place in the loft of Foley’s Merrion Row. Promising to be the first of many, the lineup saw three very talented guests woo an appreciative audience.

Intimate surroundings.....
Intimate surroundings…..

Our first guest was Luke S – A very warm and likeable bloke with a knack of controlling a crowd. He had everybody singing in harmony to his own songs, and at one point stood amongst them, no mic, guitar muted, everyone singing together. It was cool. It was awesome actually. Clearly no amateur, this guys knows his stuff.

Luke S at the first Bootleg Project in Foley's
Luke S at the first Bootleg Project in Foley’s

Our second guest was David McKechnie – Cool as a cucumber and also well endowed in the talent department, David had the audience in the palm of his hands for both his emotive song introductions and the songs themselves. Though not wearing shades as previously promised by yours truly, his cool exterior wasn’t shaken one bit!

David McKechnie at the first Bootleg Project in Foley's
David McKechnie at the first Bootleg Project in Foley’s

Our final guest was the indie/garage rock, post punk powerhouse Loop Culture. The sheer amount of pedals and cables these guys brought made it clear that they are passionate about playing. Playing mostly their own tunes, with a few covers thrown in between, we were all in awe of the talent these young lads were able to muster. I have no doubt in my mind they will be going places. Not jealous I swear.

Loop Culture at the first Bootleg Project in Foley's
Loop Culture at the first Bootleg Project in Foley’s

Personally, I want to thank everyone who made the night possible, who helped out (especially Cecile and Chris), pitched in, came to see the bands play, and the bands themselves. The night went swimmingly, and was more than I could have ever anticipated. Thank you.

The next Bootleg Project is on the 10th July with acts being announced in the coming days. Like, share, review, tag, hashtag, favourite, and whatever other social media you use. Let’s make #2 as special as #1.

See you all there.

JJ

 

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.

EP Review – Attack the Day, Shadows

Five Fermanagh guys,  influenced by every aspect of the musical spectrum and crafting it into their own style of post-rock/metal.

This is a very ambitious EP. One that certainly does dip in and out of many different styles and genres – without losing their own homebrew, signature sound.

Attack The Day
Attack The Day

And it’s all the better for it. It keeps your ears attentive and eager for the next track. You have plenty of opportunity to thoroughly ‘get’ what the young Fermanagh lads are up to – with 6 distinctly different tracks to salivate over, it’s longer than your average EP, but rewarding for being so.

The stand out track for me is the title ‘Shadows’. It encompasses everything I liked in music 15 years ago – gritty, thumping bass lines, garage sound, then moshing out at the end. Sweet.

One to watch in the alternative/metal scene. You can listen/buy the EP on bandcamp here.

Attack The Day Facebook play Fibber Magees on the 30th of June. Worth a look, and a mosh.

Attack The Day Shadows EP

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.

Spotlight – Ríona Sally Hartman

I have an insatiable appetite for all things unconventional and all who embrace the ethos. Unconventional musings however, can quickly become commonplace. Just look at the current trend of beards and comb-overs sweeping across Ireland. One must find a way to remain unorthodox, uncommon and rare. That’s what stands out.

Que the ever-changing, whimsical and free-spirited Ríona Sally Hartman who has been delighting audiences for years under many different guises – The Ríona Sally Hartman Band, Monster Monster, Dig a Little Deeper, Sami Moukaddem, Live Jazz Duo, and Yo Teach! (more info on these here). And she’s fluent in Irish too!

It’s hard to place Sally in one specific genre – something she is agreeable with. Dependent on the project you’re listening to, there are elements of Regina Spektor in her voice, Florence and the Machine, Fiona Apple and Bat for Lashes. The one aspect that prevails however, is that lyrically, she remains unconventional throughout – reminding me somewhat of Joanna Newsom.

With song titles such as Frida Kahlo’s Delight and the Sealegs EP (which itself holds many delights), Ríona Sally Hartman showcases both her ability to weave an original story in to a song, and create the musical splendor that surrounds it. And there are many stories to be told indeed – check her Youtube channel here for more.

Ríona Sally Hartman -  Big Starving Thing
Ríona Sally Hartman – Big Starving Thing

Speaking of insatiable appetites – Her recent fund it campaign sees the release of Big Starving Thing under her own namesake May 18th, available for pre-order here. I can’t wait to tuck in.

Band Spotlight – MKAI

What’s in the water in Cork lately eh? There are so many great bands dawning my horizon lately – too many to even mention here. The bulk of the bands come from Dublin, but in recent weeks, Corkonians are gracing my ears more and more.

MKAI, the brethren duo (quartet when playing live), are the most recent Cork band to make me raise and eyebrow with their mix of Sigur Rós, Radiohead, early Coldplay (Parachutes), Muse, Editors and even the 80’s sensation Talk Talk, to name but a few. A mixed bag of talent there, but MKAI have managed to blend the mix in to a very edible cookie dough chock full of tasty tunes.

There’s no denying the power of their sound either as they gained significant publicity in November 2014 by knocking Taylor Swift’s 1989 from its comfy number three spot on the iTunes chart. No mean feat.

The EP that did the damage, with help from Rob Kirwan, was Waiting.

Moving down the genre of alternative, electro-rock, their latest single Loop sets darker tones in both melody and lyrics – it’s a clever name too as you will find yourself playing it on loop.

Having already played Hard Working Class Heroes, headlined Guinness Amplify live stages Cork, The Grand Social and Electric Picnic, things are moving fast for these guys. You can catch them at Indiependence later this year.

Impressive stuff, and one band I will certainly be watching in 2015.

 

 

 

 

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