Sunday, 30 August 2009

Damien Dempsey - Rock d Lough Review

The 'Rock D Lough' gig went really well last night in Ryans of Gormalough, Slane.

Headliner Damien Dempsey was in fine sing-song form with all his best tunes present in the set-list such as Negaive Vibes, Apple of my Eye, Colony and Rocky Road to Dublin.

The support bill also impressed the large crowd. Peadar Farrelly started the night on the main stage in fine form. Ruairi Coogan [pictured] was playing with a full band showed massive progress in the quality of his songs and live performance.

There was a real festival feel to the venue. The main marquee was big enough for the thousand punters who attended. There was some great folk rock music from Entheos on a side stage at the beginning and end of the gig. There were also fire dancers to entertain the smokers!

However I was most impressed with future Hard Working Class Hero and former keyboard player with Turn and Paddy Casey; Fiona Melady who played a great set of radio friendly tunes that reminded me of what a great songwriting talent Fiona is!

Well done to the Profile Music Group for a great night of music and entertainment to help finish off the Summer! Who needs the EP anyway?

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Declan DeBarra - A Fire To Scare The Sun [Album Review]

Here's some background info from Declan's bio:

"In 2008 I recorded “A fire to scare the sun” in the same abandoned room I recorded my first album. I would love to say it was an easy process but it was like pulling teeth with rusty pliers and then shoving them back in again after dipping them in salt. Paralysis by analysis. Sometimes you have to say “Fuck it, it is what it is...shut the fuck up and play”. So after months of agonizing over this word and that note I just went in and played. I let the songs be themselves without worrying. I sat back and realized I had “A fire to scare the sun”.

I was lucky enough to have Brian Hogan from Kila on lapsteel and Gretsch goodness , James Dunne from the RTE symphony Orchestra on drums, long suffering touring buddy and cellist extraordinaire Mary Barnecutt and virtuoso Cora Venus Lunny on violin and viola. After hearing Cora sing at a concert we played together I convinced her to sing on some songs. A good move."

If I review an album here then you know it's an album I like. The challenge for me is to express in the written form how good the album is and to convince the reader to go and explore the artist's music. I bought Declan's debut a couple of years back and it was a slow burner but over time it was an album I'd come back to time and time again. When I read that Declan's second album was imminent I knew I had to have the album.

'A Fire To Scare The Sun' is being released next month to coincide with an appearance at the Electric Picnic. It's an atmospheric Irish folk rock album. Actually the power of the album is that it's difficult to describe. If you want a great male voice singing beautiful love songs you have it here with songs like 'Diamonds' and 'Beautiful One'. If you want a rustic Irish contemporary sound it's here with 'Brightest Star' and 'Red Forests' which includes the stunning vocals of Cora Venus Lunny. If you're a fan of Irish indie such as Jape, David Kitt etc you are in luck with tunes like 'On and On' and '57 years'.

The real strength of 'A Fire To Scare The Sun' is that the sum of all the above elements is an atmospheric album of real quality. I am able to connect to these moods and when I listen to the album I get that great feeling that this album was meant for me.

A Fire To Scare The Sun - 11 out of 12


3 Sep 2009 20:00 IRELAND - Dublin - The Pint Bar - 28 Eden Quay -(pre e picnic session) Dublin
6 Sep 2009 20:00 IRELAND - Electric Picnic - Ceol stage (singing in Irish) Laois
12 Sep 2009 20:00 FRANCE - Paris - France Inter - Le Pont Des Artistes Paris
14 Sep 2009 20:00 FRANCE - Paris - Sunset Paris
15 Sep 2009 20:00 FRANCE - Paris - Sunset Paris
16 Sep 2009 20:00 FRANCE - Paris - Sunset Paris
26 Sep 2009 20:00 FRANCE - ORLEANS - Festival De Loire Orleans
27 Sep 2009 20:00 France - Paris - Spectaculaire Paris
28 Sep 2009 20:00 SPAIN - Gerona - TBA Gerona
29 Sep 2009 20:00 SPAIN - Tarragon - TBA Tarragon
30 Sep 2009 20:00 Spain - Salamanca - TBA Salamanca
1 Oct 2009 20:00 Portugal - Spain - TBA TBA
2 Oct 2009 20:00 Portugal - Lisboa - TBA TBA
3 Oct 2009 20:00 Portugal - TBA TBA
4 Oct 2009 20:00 Spain - TBA TBA
5 Oct 2009 20:00 Spain - Don Benito - Dolce Vita Don Benito
6 Oct 2009 20:00 Spain - Madrid - TBA madrid
7 Oct 2009 20:00 Spain - Barcelona - TBA Barcelona
8 Oct 2009 20:00 FRANCE - Toulouse - Fairfield cafe Toulouse
31 Oct 2009 20:00 FRANCE - PARIS - au Café de la Danse Mariee Sioux + Matt Bauer Paris
5 Nov 2009 20:00 France - Paris - Point Ephémeré Paris
13 Mar 2010 20:00 Paris - Lens - Le Colisée Lens
30 Apr 2010 20:00 France - -Chateaubriant - Theatre de Verre Chateaubriant

*** Note remember the French were the first to tell the world about how great Jeff Buckley was! Also they fell for Ben Harper and Irish artist Perry Blake first!

Here is Declan singing with French star Maidi Roth!

Friday, 28 August 2009

Mark Geary & Glen Hansard - It Beats Me

Recorded in the Odessa Club Dublin 27th August. On stage were Mark, Glen, Karl Odlum [The Mary Janes] on bass and Graham Hopkins [The Swell Season] on drums.

Mark's European Tour

16 Sep 2009 20:00 SANDNES SANDNES
17 Sep 2009 20:00 MARTINIQUE, STAVANGER Stavanger
18 Sep 2009 20:00 2.ETAGE, BERGEN BERGEN
19 Sep 2009 20:00 VERKSTEDET,OSLO OSLO, Oslo
5 Nov 2009 21:00 U Nacelnika - Czech Tour 2009 w/ Nestihame Praha
6 Nov 2009 20:00 c.k.Solnice - Czech Tour 2009 w/ Nestihame Ceske Budejovice
7 Nov 2009 18:00 Festival Folkovy spiz - Czech Tour 2009 w/ Pavel Pokorny and Martina Trchova and Nestihame Namest nad Oslavou
8 Nov 2009 7:30 Hotel Gustav Mahler - Czech Tour 2009 w/ Martina Trchova Jihlava
9 Nov 2009 19:00 Dum kultury - Czech Tour 2009 w/ Zdenek Hamrik Mohelnice
10 Nov 2009 19:30 Festival Pisu pisnicky - Czech Tour 2009 w/ Zdenek Hamrik Olomouc
11 Nov 2009 20:00 DK Zrkadlovy haj - Czech Tour 2009 + SK & AT w/ Sany Bratislava
12 Nov 2009 19:30 Verein08 - Czech Tour 2009 + SK & AT Wien

Friday's Forgotten Favourites - Compulsion

Compulsion's album Comforter was the first time I realised that an Irish band could produce music on a par with everything else I was listening to at the time. I think it was when Pearl Jam's Vs album was on repeat play in my teenage bedroom that Comforter found a home in my life. They were a punk influenced indie alternative act who probably suffered from the 'sound like Nirvana' tag!

Here's some background info:

In 1992 Compulsion was formed by Joey Barry also known as Joseph Mary. Joining him were Sid Rainey and Garrett 'Jacknife' Lee, all of whom had played together in Thee Amazing Colossal Men. The band recruited Jan Willem Alkema from Holland on drums.

The Compulsion EP was released in 1992 while in 1993 the band released two more singles before Comforter was released in 1994 with the lead single being mall Monarchy. A Little Mistake was one of the three b-sides on that single:

A Little Mistake

Officially Compulsion only released two albums. Comforter was followed by The Future is Medium in 1996. A b-sides compilation was released in 1995 called Hi-Fi which includes the song Yabba Yabba Yes Yes

Yabba Yabba Yes Yes

In 1996 Compulsion broke up with Garret Lee becoming the electronic artist Jacknife Lee and later becoming the producer of choice for artists such as U2, REM, Editors, Snow Patrol, Weezer and Bloc Party among many others.

Legacy: Compulsion was a band for me who introduced me to Irish bands. They had the ambition to break into the UK indie scene with many of their singles flirting with the UK charts and they appeared live on The Word as well as playing many of the big UK festivals. The vast majority of their music is standard punk indie music with a few exceptions. The album closer on Comforter is one of the best closing tracks to any album. At two minutes into 'Jean Could Be Wrong' the singing stops and is replaced by one of the best indie guitar melodies ever! Other stand-out tracks include Rapejacket, Oh My Fool Like, Juvenille Scene Detective and the instrumental Dick, Dale, Rick and Ricky!

Jean Could Be Wrong

Keep Compulsion's music alive by listening to their music and spreading the word!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

The 2UIBestow Sessions - September 3rd, Boyles

The next sessions night is Thursday 3rd September in Boyles, Slane.

Here's the line-up:

I Am Not Lefthanded

From their website: "We don't play pop music, we don't write music for art's sake, we don't represent any movements, we're not hip, we're not cutting edge, we don't dress to be cool. We do manage ourselves, we write our own songs, we do our own recordings, we shoot our own videos, we design our own covers, we made our own website. We're not generally negative people - oh yes, and we're not lefthanded."

Long Goodbyes

Margaret Healy

Here's what people have said about Margaret's second album:

"...easily one of the best Irish albums of the year. ****" Sunday Business Post, "...questioning and vulnerable songs, deftly played and beautifully scored..****" Hot Press, "..should be snapped up by whoever makes the sequel to Magnolia.." The Ticket, "..a beautiful collection of grown-up songs and dark lullabies that will keep you up at night just to listen one more time." Totally Dublin

Garret Baker

"Garret Baker's album is full of chilling atmospheric moods with simple folk songs encircling enriched lyrics. We have love songs, songs of friendship, songs of Dublin and songs of desire. This album is all about the songs and the lyrics. It's about the places the songs bring you to! When I listen to this I am brought to a Parisian cafe on a warm Summer's evening! "

Bobby Noonan

"Bobby Noonan has that voice that demands attention when he sings. His lyrics are thoughtful; I especially love the imagery and cartoon references of "Little Red Hen". The EP on a whole is a great body of work showcasing the very impressive talent of Bobby Noonan. "

Confusion in F

See you there?

Hard Working Class Heroes 2009

99 bands have been announced for this year's HWCH's gigs next month!

A Plastic Rose
Adebisi Shank
Airstrip One
Albert Penguin
Ali & the DTs
Alright Chief
Armoured Bear
Autumn Owls

Biggles Flys Again
Black Robots
Blood Bottler
Briana Corrigan
Carpool Conversation
Cheap Freaks
City of Angels
Dark Room Notes
Deaf Animal Orchestra
Deaf Joe
Disconnect 4
Doug Sheridan

Escape Act
Exit the Street
Fiona Melady
Funeral Suits
Go Panda Go
Gran Casino
Ham Sandwich
Hassle Merchants
Heritage Centre
Here Comes The Landed Gentry
Hired Hands
I Love Monster Hero
Ian Whitty And The Exchange
Identity Parade
Killer Chloe
Kill Krinkle Club
Land Lovers
Liz Is Evil

Mail Order Messiahs
Miracle Bell
More Tiny Giants
Not Squares
O Emperor
Oliver Cole
Only Fumes & Corpses
Pearse McGloughlin

Planet Parade
Pocket Promise
Rory Grubb
Sergeant Megaphone
Sounds of System Breakdown
Super Extra Bonus Party
Sweet Jane
Talulah Does The Hula
The Ambience Affair
The Angel Pier
The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra
The Brothers Movement
The Dead Flags
The Dying Seconds
The Holy Roman Army
The Kinetiks
The Poormouth
The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock
The Star Department
The Vals
Theme Tune Boy
Tidal District
Tiny Magnetic Pets
Ultan Conlon

Valerie Francis
Verona Riots
Vox Populi
We Cut Corners
Yes Cadets

Well done to the above acts. I believe many of this blogs favourite acts were overlooked but then that's the reason why this blog exists!

Tickets from here

The Swell Season - National Concert Hall [Review]

This was my 4th time seeing Glen & Mar in the past 14 months. I seen them before Neil Young in Malahide, in the Olympia before Christmas, in Vicar Street for the charity event and now in the most beautiful music room in the land. The National Concert Hall is the perfect venue for The Swell Season. Perfect sound, a listening audience and it's in their home town! The only drawback was the annoying ushers asking people to turn off their cameras. I waited until the encore to whip out my camera!

Here's the setlist from memory. Please correct my errors people!

This Low
When Your Mind's Made Up
Low Rising
The Moon
Feeling The Pull
High Horses
Leave (Glen Solo)
Hairshirt *REM cover (Glen Solo)
Strict Joy poem by James Stephens and read by Glen
Back Broke
In These Arms
I Have Loved You Wrong
Falling Slowly

If You Want Me
**** (Marketa sung a new song dedicated to her Dad whose birthday it was)
The Court of New Town (Colm solo)
Go With Happiness
Red Chord (Snippet of Drive All Night) (snippet of Heyday)

I know the above setlist is wrong. I think I missed out on at least one song in this list. It was a nice mix of old, new and nostalgia!

Go With Happiness

Red Chord with snippets of Springsteen's Drive All Night and Mic Christopher's Heyday!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Album Review: David Geraghty - The Victory Dance

David Geraghty releases "The Victory Dance" on 28 August 2009. In case you don't know David is the guitarist with Bell X1 and this album is his second release following on from the Choice nominated 'Kill Your Darlings'. Here's some background information:

"The Victory Dance is very much a collaborative effort, with band members Marc Aubele, Kevin Brady, Clare Finglass, Tiger Cooke and Dave Redmond involved from the very outset.

“I spotted a clearing in the dense forest that is the Bell X1 tour machine”, says Geraghty, ‘so in June 2008, we retreated to a friends’ house in West Cork to begin recording. We ended up using the old barn beside the house, which had a great vibe and the added bonus of a colony of bats, who lent us their vocals on a number of tracks. I subsequently forgot to include the addendum that no bats were harmed in the making of the album. I’m sure it wasn’t an ‘FX first’! I can’t imagine that Meat Loaf hasn’t used bat noises on a number of his recordings!’"..... taken from the Press Release!

The Victory Dance consists of 10 songs of which there could easily be 4 radio hits on there. They are the uplifting songs of 'Instant Sunshine', 'Tuesday's Feet', the beautifully crafted 'Stones' and the opener 'Watch Her Win' from which the album title comes from. Just like Sean Needham's new album 'The Victory Dance' is an optimistic album full of feelgood melodies and moods. The album reminds me alot of Mark Geary's most recent album 'Opium' and on some tracks there's a real folk sound to them. These include the songs 'Wear out your name' and 'Soft Spot' which should find itself onto a romantic comedy soundtrack. 'Stones' is quite possibly the closest I have heard to John Martyn's 'May You Never'. It will be in my best of list of songs for this year.

Overall it's a great album which deserves to be successful both in Ireland and Internationally. In many ways I prefer this album to the over-long songs typical of Bell X1. However just like my feelings on Bell X1 I am not making a huge 'song and dance' about this album mainly because I didn't become completely enthralled by the lyrics and the overall mood of the album.

The Victory Dance - 9 out of 12

The lead single from the album Tuesday Feet is available from David's website here:

Catch David Live:

Saturday 5 September Electric Picnic, Stradbally, Co. Laois
Wednesday 9 September The Pavilion, Cork
Friday 11 September The Roisin Dubh, Galway
Saturday 12 September Upstairs, Dolans, Limerick
Sunday 13 September De Barra’s, Clonakilty, Cork
Tuesday 15 September The Spirit Store, Dundalk
Wednesday 16 September The Button Factory, Dublin

Monday, 24 August 2009

Luan Parle - Parade [Single Review]

If ever there was someone destined to be a massive star in the Irish music scene it was Luan Parle. At the age of 11 she appeared to every household in Ireland when she sang a song she co-wrote on the Late Late Toy show! Her debut album from a few years back had some decent radio friendly tunes in particular Free and Ghosts. I always thought Luan was stuck between genres. On one level sounding like a cool indie chick with a great voice and on the other level trying to be the new Mary Black!

Luan's new single seems to suggest that she has found her sound. The RTE1 play listed song 'Parade' is a very optimistic happy pop song. It showcases her main quality and that is her wonderful voice! 'Parade' is a big song full of trumpets, whistling, melodies and catchy lines. 'Parade' is the perfect tune to forget about the bills, recession, negative equity, Ronaldo.... etc etc

BUY Parade in Ireland VIA SMS TEXT:
"music 3597" to 57501

Listen to parade: or

If you want to help Luan out you could always request to hear Parade....

Station Txt Request

2FM 51552
RTE1 51551
Today FM 0834100102
4FM 53544
98FM 53981
FM104 53104

Here is Luan's version of U2's One on the Ian Dempsey show!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

New Sounds Sunday - Declan De Barra

Declan's second album is released next month entitled 'A Fire To Scare The Sun'. There will be a review very soon on the blog!

<a href="">Until the Morning Comes by Declan de Barra</a>

However you can download the excellent debut album 'Song of a Thousand Birds' for free over at



6 Sep - Ireland - Laois - Electric Picnic festival - Singing a few new songs on ceol stage in Irish.
12 Sep - FRANCE - Paris - France Inter - Les point des artistes - Radio show with audience (5 songs)
14 Sep - FRANCE - Paris - Sunset
15 Sep - FRANCE - Paris - Sunset
16 Sep - FRANCE - Paris - Sunset
26 Sep - FRANCE - ORLEANS - Festival De Loire
27 Sept - France - Paris - Spectaculaire
28 Sep - Spain - Girona - With Holmes (Sweden)
29 Sep - Spain - Tarragon - With Holmes (Sweden)
Sep 30 - Spain - Salamanca - TBA - With Holmes (Sweden)
Oct 01 Portugal - Gijon - With Holmes (Sweden)
Oct 02 Portugal - Lisbon - With Holmes (Sweden)
Oct 03 Portugal - TBA - With Holmes (Sweden)
Oct 04 - Spain - TBA - With Holmes (Sweden)
Oct 05 - Spain - Don Benito - Dolce Vita - With Holmes (Sweden)
Oct 06 - Spain - DOn Benito- TBA - With Holmes (Sweden)
Oct 07 - Spain -Barcelona - TBA - With Holmes (Sweden)
Oct 08 - France - Toulouse - Fairfield cafe - With (Sweden)
Oct 31 - France - Paris - Café de la Danse - avec Mariee Sioux et Matt Bauer
5 Nov - France - Paris - Fort Macleod - COUTH COUNTY FAIR 5.10pm Mainstage


Mar 13 - France - Lens - Le Colisée
Apr 30 - France -Chateaubriant - Theatre de Verre

Album Review: You Kiss By The Book - Bear Leader

This feature replaces Ruby Tuesday with Sunday's being be the new sounds day for the blog. I will feature new albums, new artists or a combination of both. The first featured band is You Kiss By The Book.

Phibsboro based You Kiss By The Book was formed by Simon Dowling sometime this decade. Apparently they sing about chopping wood, stones, sleep and bears. According to their breaking tunes page they sounds like Bright Eyes, Leonard Cohen, The Band and Wilco while their influences consist of Bill Callahan, Bob Dylan, Conor Oberst, Jim O'Rourke, Neil Young and Will Oldham.

They have released their new album Bear Leader which is the culmination of all their influences. I really like this album because in many ways it doesn't sound like an Irish album. Simon Dowling sings in the off key style of Conor Oberst and the mood and atmosphere of the album is very much Americana. Standout tracks are 'Hands On Water' 'Explorers' and the song 'Smile'.

You Kiss By The Book have created a wonderful album and I do feel privileged that I got to know about it through the writing of this blog. I'm thinking YKBTB will be at the forefront of the new folk scene in this country with the other great bands in this genre such as Arrow In The Sky, Henrietta Game and Armoured Bear.

Bear Leader - 10 out of 12

Friday, 21 August 2009

Music News Round-up

Henrietta Game played a really great set last night which confirmed to me that they are one of the best new acts in Ireland. You have to catch them live in their upcoming gigs!

21 Aug 2009 20:00 Backroom, The Latern Meath
24 Aug 2009 20:00 Whelans Dublin
5 Sep 2009 0:00 Electric Picnic Laois, Laois

Tomorrow upstairs in Whelans you will find three of Ireland's best acts playing together. Herm have recruited Groom and Patrick Freyne as quality support for thie gig tomorrow night! If you haven't heard Patrick Freyne's tunes then check this out!

Halfset, 202's and Holy Roman Army competition [kinda]!

Want to see three of the best Irish artists in the Crawdaddy for free next Wednesday? It's a simple competition for you lucky readers! Just turn up on the night and walk in!

Aiken Promotions are proud to present...
Colm Lynch & Band
Live at The Village
25th September 2009

Tickets on sale Mon. Aug. 24th @ 9am!

Colm Lynch launches his brand new album " Tickety Boo" on September 25th at The Village. Tickets are €15 on sale Monday August 24th @ 9am through Ticketmaster and other usual outlets nationwide. Booking Line: 0818 719 300.

It's been three years since his first offering, "A Whisper in a Riot" received widespread acclaim and his return showcases a new, even bigger sound from the Dubliner.

On the night, Lynch and his eight piece band will unveil songs from the new album "Tickety Boo" as well as performing a host of fans favourites from his first album.

Special guests on the night include The Last Tycoons and newcomers Arrow in the Sky.

Great news from Andrew Handrick the Italy based singer-songwriter who just yesterday signed a worldwide music licensing deal! I was asked recently for the name of an artist or band who really impressed me this year and I said Andrew Handrick. Here is a new song recorded at the Live Mic Weekend in Conary, Co. Wicklow.

Pic from

Nick Kelly plays Whelans upstairs on September 30th. Here's some copy'n'paste news from his website

I’m currently putting the final touches to a very unusual new musical project – one in which my fans will be invited not only to witness but also to actively participate in the making of the next Nick Kelly solo album.

I don’t think quite what I’m planning has ever been done before. I’m also hoping it’s going to be pretty good fun for you and me both.
The Gestation Project kicks off in September 2009 and, as its name suggests, will run for 9 months."

Go to the site and join Nick's mailing list to be the first to know what's up with the Gestation period!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Declan O'Rourke - Time Machine [new song]

Fair play to Declan for playing a new tune on the excellent BandWagonTV.

I love the addition of the singular Oldcastle church bell about a minute from the end of the tune!

Go to the Bandwagontv youtube channel for more videos from the likes of Pearse McGloughlin, I Am Not Lefthanded and Little Palace:

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

The Swell Season - In These Arms

OK I'm still on a break from the blog until Friday but I decided to tell you about a free download of The Swell Season's In These Arms which is taken from their new album 'Strict Joy'.

Here's the link to the website Spinner Music who is hosting the free mp3:

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Sean Needham - Time Is A Friend Album Review

This is my last post for a week as I'm on a Jolly Boy's outing with my boys to sunny Swansea!

Sean Needham has a second album 'Time Is A Friend' ready for release to the world. Sean is originally from Donegal but moved to Denmark a number of years back. He is in Ireland this month for the album launch before making the big push on the music scene in Denmark.

'Time Is A Friend' contains 13 inspirational happy tunes bursting with life. Some of the tracks are so uplifting they make the clouds go away and sunflowers blossum! [I've written 3 album reviews so far this week so I got to write something original!]

Tracks like 'I'm Not Afraid', 'A Better Way' and 'Love Is' are written with so much positivity that you can not help but be inspired. There are as well some beautifully written tunes such as 'Tenderness', 'A Child Could Save Us All' and 'Life Goes On'. In fact there is alot of variety on the album ranging from sing-a-long pop to folk and bluesy/gospel influenced tracks. If you like the music of Little Palace, Declan O'Rourke or Paul Brady then you need to check out this album.

With this recession we need to be inspired by great lyrics and amazing tunes and this is what you will get from Sean Needham's album. If you are in Dublin on Friday you should pop into Whelans upstairs for the album launch.


Sean Needham - Time Is A Friend [10 out of 12]

Monday, 10 August 2009

Album Review: Michael Brunnock - 'Live in New York'

About three weeks ago I informed you of Michael's 'Live in New York' album released last month. That post is here!

The more I listen to Michael's music the more I get engrossed by the lyrics, the imagery and the melodies. According to his MySpace: "2009 is a big year for Michael; there will be three LP releases before this year's end. Little Palace have reformed and released Invitation Time in April 2009 (U.S. order info). (see reviews) Michael Brunnock : Live in New York set for official release July 13th, 2009."

Here's what you will get when you buy 'Live in New York'; 12 perfectly crafted rock songs performed by a great band in front of an appreciated audience of The Living Room in NYC. Guest appearances on the night were by Jenna Nicholls, Libby Johnson, Kelly McRae, Brendan O'Shea, Colin Smith, and legendary R&B performer, Moe Holmes, who teamed with Brunnock on the unreleased ballad, "Sensation." That song sends shivers down my back every time I listen to it. Moe Holmes was sensational on the track. Every album needs at least one amazing track and 'Sensation' is that track.

Other highlights of the album include Shine, Give and the sample mp3 Niagara Falls. 'Live in New York' is everything you want from a live album in that the focus of the album is on the songs and performances of Michael and the band. The quality of the songs really stand up on the album because there are no gimmicks on the album. It sounds as though not a note or sound was withdrawn, replaced or added in for effect. When I listen to this album I feel as though I was in that Living Room in NYC on June 10th 2007.

Live in New York : 11 out of 12

See Michael Live:

10 Aug 2009 22:00 The Red Lion New York, New York
16 Aug 2009 20:00 Scratcher New York, New York
14 Sep 2009 22:00 The Red Lion New York, New York
17 Sep 2009 20:00 WEE CRAIC on SEPT 17TH @ THE STUDIO @ WEBSTER HALL New York
28 Sep 2009 20:00 The Black Box Theater at LexArts Center Lexington, Kentucky
7 Dec 2009 20:00 The Bitter End New York, New York

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Sunday Summer Song: Pete Courtney

Pete Courtney is an amazing artist from Monaghan who has album number two ready to be released. Back in the days of 2001-2003 when I was in the UK there was a decent buzz about Pete's music and in particular his live shows! I can't wait to hear his new tunes and see the man gigging live again.

Kissing Stars

In fact if you go here you can download his debut album for free!

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Review of August 2UIBestow Sessions

I know this is my little project so I have a highly biased view of the gig that happened on Thursday. It was a great success for a number of reasons. While the venue wasn't packed a good crowd appeared. Many were in attendance to Boyles for the first time to catch one of the bands live. There was an opportunity for new artists such as Dayo and Peadar King to get noticed outside their own communities. It was another gig for the hugely talented Joy Booth and her band to solidify their sound. Van Cleef found many new fans with their electric set and Groom finished the night in fine form.

Here are the highlights of the gig:


Joy Booth


Van Cleef:

Friday, 7 August 2009

It's Friday, I'm in Love with Entheos

Another reminder about this gig tomorrow night: Entheos perform in the Cobblestone in Smithfield Square in Dublin this Saturday August 8th. They are headlining the 'Tumbleweed Love Sessions' on Saturday night, with Mark Conway playing as well, and one other act to be confirmed.

Admission is €8 and doors are at nine, we will be on at around 11pm.

Here is an epic love song from Entheos' debut album called 'In Each Other's Arms' and sums up what Entheos are about. It's a grungy folk tune that sounds amazing live.

In Each Other's Arms

Oh and Entheos have been added to the Rock de Lough festival in Slane on August 29th.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Album Review: Rory Grubb - Sketches From The Big Sleep

I've talked previously about a new genre of indie folk in it's infancy in Ireland by artists such as Henrietta Game, Arrow In The Sky, Joy Booth and you can add Rory Grubb to this list. Rory Grubb is one of a host of excellent Irish artists who have recently released new albums. Rory Grubb's second album "Sketches From The Big Sleep" was released last month.

In many ways I really like this album. I'm a massive fan of soundscapes and atmosphere in an album and 'Sketches...' has this in abundance. There's alot of variety on offer in terms of lenght of song, from multi-intrumental tunes to the acoustic and vocal songs. The lyrics are full of nature images with the sea and water being a central theme on songs like 'Pirates' and 'Keep Rising, Rising Tide'.

There is far more than just a nod to 1960's British Folk because at times the album feels like a lost Nick Drake classic that has just been discovered. This is mainly due to Rory's vocals sounding very similar to Nick Drake (not a negative point). At various stages the album is capable of transporting me to various physical locations as well as nearly dressing me in flares and adding flowers in my hair!

The album opener "I Saw You Go Out Fishing" and closer "Down To The Sea" are brimming with charm and are really great tunes. If the album on a whole had a little more charm and warmth I would easily describe 'Sketches ....' as the male equivalent to Lisa Hannigan's Sea Saw.

Sketches From The Big Sleep - 8 out of 12


After listening to the album many times I will have to see Rory play these songs live in the future!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Ruby Tuesday pt 2 - Fin O'Brine

I was made aware of Fin O'Brine's music recently by the blog favourite Garret Baker. The much travelled Fin has "established himself as a regular oddity of the open mic circuit and support gigs have followed, including Weedway and Garret Baker. Fin O'Brine's debut release, Dim Ego Din - (studio skeleton ep), released in June '09 is a mellow collection of songs, based on travels abroad and experiences at home. Unable to pick a genre, he terms his own material as 'hangover music', though it could be probably best described as modern acoustic folk." from Fin's MySpace!

Do check out his tunes, then go see Fin with Garret Baker and Sonja upstairs in Whelans next Tuesday!

Entheos Headline The Tumbleweed Love Sessions

Entheos perform in the Cobblestone in Smithfield Square in Dublin this Saturday August 8th. They are headlining the 'Tumbleweed Love Sessions' on Saturday night, with Mark Conway playing as well, and one other act to be confirmed.

Admission is €8 and doors are at nine, we will be on at around 11pm.


Monday, 3 August 2009

Wallis Bird UK & Irish Autumn Tour

WALLIS BIRD UK, Irish & German Tour details!

It's great to see Wallis playing the Acadamy this time in Dublin as I thought the recent Whelans gig lacked a bit of ambition on the management side!

7 Aug 2009 Relentless Boardmasters Music Festival, Newquay, UK
21 Aug 2009 Frequency Festival, St. Poelten, AUT
22 Aug 2009 V Festival, Hylands Park, Chelmsford, UK
23 Aug 2009 V Festival, Weston Park, Stafforsdshire, UK
30 Aug 2009 Solfest - Festival, Silloth, West Cumbria, UK
2 Sep 2009 Koko - Supporting Rodrigo y Gabriela, London, UK
8 Sep 2009 Borderline, London, UK
12 Sep 2009 Jimmy’s Farm Festival Ipswich, Suffolk, UK
19 Sep 2009 Maschinenhaus, Berlin, GER, Berlin
23 Sep 2009 Underground, Cologne/Koeln, GER
24 Sep 2009 Alte Feuerwache, Mannheim, GER
25 Sep 2009 Reeperbahnfestival, Hamburg, GER
27 Sep 2009 Kulturhalle Abdera, Biberach an der Riss, GER
28 Sep 2009 B72, Vienna, AUT
15 Oct 2009 Lynch’s Storehouse, Tullamore, IRE
16 Oct 2009 Academy, Dublin, IRE
17 Oct 2009 Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda, IRE
18 Oct 2009 Cyprus Avenue, Cork, IRE
21 Oct 2009 Town Hall Theatre, Galway, IRE
23 Oct 2009 Auntie Annies, Belfast, UK
24 Oct 2009 Dolan’s Warehouse, Limerick, IRE
25 Oct 2009 Sligo Live Festival, Sligo, IRE

Here is the official video for 'To My Bones'

Monday Under The Covers: The Devlins

Along with Duke Special's version of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's 'Maps' song I'd have to put The Devlin's version of 'I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man' as being my favourite cover version by an Irish artist.

I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man

The good I have heard recently that 'The Devlin's' as an entity is finished. Colin Devlin released a great album back in January called 'The Democracy of One' and has not ruled out a future album being released by 'The Devlins'.

Catch Colin Devlin live in The Sugar Club on September 11th.

Colin keeps a blogspot you need to check out over at

Oh I just found this cover online from The Tony Fenton Show. Here is Colin with Peter Devlin, Emm Gryner and Fiachna O'Bréanán (Prenup, Hothouse Flowers) doing a super version of Slave To Love by Roxy Music!