Monday, 29 April 2013

Album Review: Niall Thomas - Breathe Easy

The debut album 'Breathe Easy' by Dubliner Niall Thomas is a fine collection of Americana folk songs which has been an enjoyable listen over the last number of weeks.

'Breathe Easy' was recorded in a cottage in Wicklow, engineered and produced by Karl Odlum and mastered in Abbey Road Studios by Steve Rooke. The album is a collection of ten songs and features Karl Odlum, Martin McCann, Petra Odlozilikova, Scott Davis, Kevin Murphy, Aidan Courtney and Christophe Capewell and can be listened to and bought here:

While I've enjoyed listening to 'Breathe Easy', I'm finding it really difficult to write a review for a collection of songs that trickle along nicely without really lighting a fire within. There are some really nice tracks on here including the title track, the lovely guitar playing of 'Hook by Hook' and the thought provoking 'Nothing & Everything':

The best songs on the album are the opening trio of 'Down This Road Before', 'Hit and Run' and the folky 'Spillin' Diamonds' featuring the fine fiddle of Christophe Capewell. They showcase Niall's fine vocals and an ability to come up with nice folk hooks and melodies. 

'Breathe Easy' is a good album with some really nice songs and had the potential to be a great album. I've no doubt that Niall's has a great album in him but 'Breathe Easy' isn't it. Due to a number of weaker tunes and a lack of warmth and charm, the album failed to hit me with a passion.

Niall Thomas - Breathe Easy [8 out of 12]

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Live Review: Oddsocks - Whelans April 27th 2013

Dublin based rock and roll band Oddsocks played a storming show upstairs in Whelans to promote their new EP 'Something's Going On' and it proved to me that they are one of Ireland's best bands at this moment in time.

AK Photography
Support act 'Sal Vitro' played a decent opening set of hard rock in that retro style that I normally find unappealing to me. 'Sal Vitro' were a pretty tight unit with some decent tunes, excellent musicianship and fine image but they lacked a unique selling point and ultimately failed to impress. However the night belonged to headliners 'Oddsocks'. 

Upstairs in Whelans was stuffed for 'Oddsocks' EP launch with the band in fine form throughout. The whole EP 'Something's Going On' got played along with a couple of new tunes as well as the best tracks from the 'Oddsocks Revival' debut album released a number of years back. Standout tracks include the opening track from the debut album 'How You Gonna Get It Done?', 'Chasing The Dollar' and the title track 'It's Time'.

Oddsocks stand out from other bands for a number of reasons. While heavy on the 70's southern rock revival sound the current EP contains four great tunes which are funky, good time rock and roll catchy tunes that are really impressive live. The 6 piece were very tight and contained at times two, three and four part harmonies with different lead vocals throughout the whole set. Finally the 'live' version of Oddsocks consisted of the four main members as well as keys and saxophone which enhanced the impact and delivery of the songs. 

Everything about the band sounded and looked right with the band high on entertainment value as well. Must see Irish band on the scene at the moment.

Tour Dates:

03/05/13 Dundalk VANTASTIVAL Ireland
Time: 10:00pm. Address: Bellurgan Park, Dundalk, Co. Louth.

05/05/13 Thomastown MURPHYS Ireland
Time: 10:00pm. Address: Thomastown, Kilkenny, Ireland.

10/05/13 Castlebar THE ROYAL THEATRE Ireland
Time: 8:30pm. Address: Old Westport Road, Castlebar, Co. Mayo.

11/05/13 Belfast THE EMPIRE BAR United Kingdom
Time: 8:30pm. Admission: £6. Address: The Belfast Empire 42 Botanic Avenue,Belfast, BT7 1JQ.

17/05/13 Dingle, Kerry McCARTHYS BAR Ireland
Time: 10:00pm. Address: Goat Street, Dingle.

18/05/13 Bandon THE WATERGATE Ireland
Time: 9:30pm. Address: Bandon, Cork.

24/05/13 Mullingar JOHN DALYS Ireland
Time: 10:00pm. Address: No.2 Oliver Plunkett Street, Mullingar.

25/05/13 Tullamore JOE LEES Ireland
Time: 10:00pm. Address: Tullamore, Co. Offaly.

26/05/13 Castleblayney THE COMET BAR Ireland
Time: 10:00pm. Address: Main Street, Castleblayney, IE..

31/05/13 Ballyshannon RORY GALLAGHER FESTIVAL Ireland
Time: 1:00pm. Address: Ballyshannon town centre.

01/06/13 Ramelton THE BRIDGE BAR Ireland
Time: 10:00pm. Address: Bridge Bar Bridgend Ramelton Co. Donegal.

12/07/13 Galway TOWNHOUSE BAR Ireland
Time: 9:30pm. Admission: FREE. Address: Townhouse Bar & Restaurant, Quay Lane, [Across from the Spanish Arch] Latin Quarter, Galway City

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Mix: Cambridge Folk Festival 2013

Folk Festival 2013
25, 26, 27, 28 JULY 2013 


Here's the wonderful line-up for this year's Cambridge Folk Festival. I so wish I could make it this year but sadly can't. Here's the line-up with songs from 10 must see artists:


Lucy Rose

Lucy Rose 
Willy Mason
Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman
Larkin Poe
The Willows
Rusty Shackle
The Brass Funkeys
 Jamie Smith’s Mabon 
Marika Hackman


Liam O’Flynn, Andy Irvine, Paddy Glackin & Dónal Lunny aka LAPD
Sam Lee & Friends 
Patty Griffin

The Bombay Royale
Brian McNeill
Larkin Poe
Patty Griffin
English String Band
Monster Ceilidh Band
Amadou & Mariam
Darrell Scott
Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo
Ross Couper & Tom Oakes
Hudson Taylor
Common Tongues


The Mavericks
KT Tunstall    
Heidi Talbot

Heritage Blues Orchestra
Martin Simpson
Le Vent Du Nord
Heidi Talbot
The Chair
Bella Hardy & the Midnight Watch
Jim Moray’s Silent Ceilidh
Brian McNeill
We Banjo 3
Shelby Lynne
BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet
State Of The Union
Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar
Tommy Emmanuel
Thea Gilmore
The Rambling Boys of Pleasure
Blair Dunlop
Ewan McLennan
Blue Rose Code

Le Vent du Nord

The Waterboys
Martin Simpson
Le Vent du Nord
Mud Morganfield Band
Heidi Talbot
The Chair
We Banjo 3
BeauSoleil avec Michael DoucetBreabach
John Hegley
Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick
Peter Buckley Hill
Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar
The Staves
The Rambling Boys of Pleasure
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
Valerie June
Nick Mulvey
Emma Sweeney
Rae Morris

2Day's Tune: Huey & the Hobgoblins - I'll Be Fine

Huey & The Hobgoblins are releasing "I'll Be Fine" on April 26th in aid of the great work being done by Pieta House. The track is from our forthcoming album which we're happily working away on which they hope to have out in mid July.

I'll be fine is a brilliant positive tune for a very worthwhile charity. One of the best songs I've heard all year.

There is two launch nights for the single. McPhails in Drogheda on April 26th and then the Sugar Club in Dublin on April 30th.

Please pop down to one of these nights and support a great cause, and please please please download the single (NOT AVAILABLE UNTIL 26th APRIL), with all funds going to Pieta House

More info:

Monday, 22 April 2013

Album Review: Heidi Mattsson - Mama's Sadness

'Mama's Sadness' is the wonderful Americana folk debut album from Danish singer-songwriter Heidi Mattsson. She's such a great talent and this album is one of the best I've heard this year.

Lifted from her website: "Heidi Mattsson is a 26-year-old Copenhagen based singer and songwriter, originally from a small danish island called Bornholm. The last four years she has been playing with a steady handful of musicians and the cooperation has now become the artists debut album Mama's Sadness which will be released in February 2013." 

Heidi played Boyles of Slane two years ago and sent me on the album to review. Not thinking much initially, the album has steadily grown on me to the point where I really feel that this album and Heidi's songs are very special indeed. There's no pushing of boundaries in terms of composing or musicality but the songs are beautifully sung folk ballads that charmed their way into my life.

Songs that stand out include the title track, 'Once You Had Me' and the slow burning opening track entitled "The Land is Beautiful" which is a fantastic love song. Listen to 'Once You Had Me' here:

The best track for me is this little country folk song entitled 'Return' with it's charming chorus that showcases Heidi's wonderful vocals.

It's been a real pleasure listening to a perfect little country folk album of great songs and I can't recommend enough 'Mama's Sadness' from Heidi Mattsson.

Heidi Mattsson - Mama's Sadness [11 out of 12]

More info:

Buy The Album:

List: Top 30 Irish Albums of All Time

amp; Night I've decided to write something I've been meaning to do for over a year and present ....

My Favourite 30 Irish Albums of All Time

30. Declan O'Rourke - Since Kyabram [2004]
29. Marc O'Reilly - My Friend Marx [2011]
28. Foy Vance - Hope [2007]
27. Wallmark - Dryland [2005]
26. One Day International - Blackbird [2008]
25. Pony Club - Home Truths [2002]
24. The Sultans of Ping - Casual Sex in the Cineplex [1993]
23. Declan DeBarra - A Fire to Scare The Sun [2009]
22. Compulsion - Comforter [1994]
21. Favourite Sons - The Great Deal of Love [2011]
20. The Frames - Set List [2003]
19. The Fat Lady Sings - Johnson [1993]
18. U2 - Achtung Baby [1991]
17. The Devlins - Waiting [1997]
16. Bill Coleman - I'll Tear Down My Own Walls [2007]
15. Thin Lizzy - Live and Dangerous [1978]
14. Nick Kelly - Between Trapezes [1997]
13. Rollerskate Skinny - Shoulder Voices [1993]
12. Michael Brunnock - The Orchard [2012]
11. Damien Dempsey - Live at the Olympia [2006]

10. I Draw Slow - Redhills [2011] 

I wrote in the original review that:
 "While the music is wonderful it's the vocals of 'Louise Holden' along with the songs often heartfelt vocals which elevate the band and album to heights other bands rarely get near. I love the deep lyrics of songs like the already mentioned 'Goodbye Beulahland' where Louise sings about "... coming back to the heart of everything that is wrong in this world ...." and the sublime haunting lyrics of 'Cry Help'. "

9. Whipping Boy - Heartworm [1995]

Whipping Boy had great songs in them with a kind of punk attitude to a blissful indie soundtrack. Their rage was in the lyrics of Fergal McKee while the often restrained guitar riffs and organic bass lines meant that Whipping Boy were unique among an Irish music scene intent on finding the next U2. 

8. My Bloody Valentine - Loveless [1991]  

I didn't even know MBV were Irish until well after falling in love with Loveless. After the grunge years of the early 90s, MBV and PJ Harvey helped me to broaden my musical tastes into the fuzzy world of shoegaze and angst alternative rock. 

7. Dr. Miller - Always Coming Home [2002]

I adore this album to bits for the powerful, funny lyrics written by the hugely talented and under-rated Sean Miller. "Feel Everything & love Yourself" is such a powerful positive song but every track is brilliant. I'm sharing this track for these lyrics: " ...... i want one more chance one more kiss one more shot of your love i cant help myself my hands inside your skirt your hands inside my shirt your mouths like hot blood pulling me down my heart starts to sing and the room its begins to dance and I want one more chance one more kiss one more shot of your love"

6. Damien Rice - O [2002] 

I liked him before you know who he was! Nuff said! Honestly I got the chance to see Juniper in 2000 ish, maybe in 1999 and he was a star then. O is a fine piece of work and became a firm favourite in our house. 

Just seen the guy is touring again! Details here:

5. The Prayer Boat - Polichinelle [1999] 

Emmett Tinley is one hell of a great singer and songwriter who made four great albums. Two solo albums and two with The Prayer Boat. Polichinelle is the second album from The Prayer Boat and contains deep heartfelt tracks such as 'It Hurts To Lose You', 'Dark Green' and 'Saved'. 

4. Van Morrison - Astral Weeks [1968]

About 10 years ago I became obsessed with Nick Drake, Neil Young and this album. If you haven't got round to listening to it go now and do it. 

3. Mark Dignam - Poetry & Song From The Wheel [1994]

The who now, what now album on the list. Released in 1994 with best buddy Glen Hansard on bass and backing vocals, Mark Dignam released a debut album of pure brilliance which means as much to me today as it did as a young adult in the mid 90s. Unfortunately you can only buy second hand copies on Amazon or Ebay as and when they are available.

More info: 

2. The Frames - Dance The Devil [1999]

So no Fitzcaraldo or Lay Me Down in the Top 30 but 'Dance The Devil' makes it to number 2. It contains my favourite Frames song in 'Seven Day Mile' and is full of wonderful tunes. 

1. U2 - An Unforgettable Fire [1984]

I chose this U2 album as my favourite Irish album of all time because I became obsessed with the album and that era of pre-Joshua Tree U2 when I began getting into music as a young teenager in the early 90s. It contains my three favourite U2 songs in 'A Sort of Homecoming', 'Bad' and the title track. Also there's always that bass line in Pride! ............... "One man come in the ......."

Buy It:

Sunday, 21 April 2013

List: Top 30 Irish Albums {Part 2 [11 - 20]}

Following this list from respected Irish Independent Journalist John Meagher in Friday's edition of Day & Night I've decided to write something I've been meaning to do for over a year and present ....

My Favourite 30 Irish Albums of All Time

30. Declan O'Rourke - Since Kyabram [2004]
29. Marc O'Reilly - My Friend Marx [2011]
28. Foy Vance - Hope [2007]
27. Wallmark - Dryland [2005]
26. One Day International - Blackbird [2008]
25. Pony Club - Home Truths [2002]
24. The Sultans of Ping - Casual Sex in the Cineplex [1993]
23. Declan DeBarra - A Fire to Scare The Sun [2009]
22. Compulsion - Comforter [1994]
21. Favourite Sons - The Great Deal of Love [2011]

20. The Frames - Set List [2003]

I was living in the UK when Set List was released but it looked to me that it was this live album that took a good album band to a level of popularity that the band had looked for in the previous ten years. Songs like 'Santa Maria', 'Your Face' and 'Fitzcaraldo' proved what a great live band The Frames are.

Buy It:

19. The Fat Lady Sings - Johnson [1993]

Johnson is a brilliant album of great songs featuring three well known singles and not a bad track on the album. Their 'Drunkard Logic' time together ended shortly after Johnson was released and it's another hard to find album. Surely with the likes of Bandcamp that Johnson could be made available for people to listen to and buy?

More info:

18. U2 - Achtung Baby [1991]

Christmas 1991 was spent listening to Achtung Baby over and over again while waiting for the Terminator 2 game to load up on my new Commodore 64 console. I always preferred side 2 of the album with songs like 'Love is Blindness', 'Acrobat' and 'Ultra Violet (Light My Way).

Buy It:

17. The Devlins - Waiting [1997]

'Waiting' is a powerful album of great songs from Dublin band The Devlins. It includes some of my favourite songs ever in 'World Outside' and this wonderful tune 'Surrender'.

Buy It:

16. Bill Coleman - I'll Tear Down My Own Walls [2007]

Here's another album that makes the list because every song is quality from the positive 'Offer Up The Hope'  to 'Slow Hurricane' to this delicate and tragic tune 'The Pull of the Pint'.

15. Thin Lizzy - Live and Dangerous [1978]

So many positive accolades have been bestowed on 'Live & Dangerous'. I arrived very late to the conclusion that this album is the best representation of the brilliance of thin Lizzy and Phil Lynott.

Buy It:

14. Nick Kelly - Between Trapezes [1997]

To think with all the funding initiatives, that Nick Kelly self funded a project to bring about the release of 'Between Trapezes' in 1997 by asking his mailing list of fans [me included] to pay for the album prior to it's release and therefore enable Nick to physically press the CD. The former 'Fat Lady Sings' frontman put together a wonderful album of 10 perfect tracks that I've listened to hundreds of times. Stand-out tracks include 'Faint Heart', 'Crawl' and 'Tiburon Prayer'.

More info:

13. Rollerskate Skinny - Shoulder Voices [1993]

Funny how all the writers claim that Rollerskate Skinny's second album 'Horsedrawn Wishes' eclipses their debut 'Shoulder Voices'. However songs like 'Bow Hitch-Hiker', 'Slave' and 'So Far Down Up To Heaven' made my teenage years a better place.

Buy It:

12. Michael Brunnock - The Orchard [2012]

Reviewing 'The Orchard' last year I wrote: "Every song on 'The Orchard' in their own right is meaningful and special. There are three songs that stand out slightly above the rest. These are 'Man Overboard', 'Untouchable' and 'Sensation' but I can write about any of the songs with enthusiasm and praise. It's the melodies and the refraining powerful lyrics that relate to me. On 'Sensation' when Moe Holmes begins singing
        "All your love comes on strong, when I need it"  it simply gets to me. I feel the lyrics and the songs lingers within me. I love it when great songs do that and most of this album does this!"

Buy it:

11. Damien Dempsey - Live at the Olympia [2006]

This live album acts as a 'Best Of ....' career highlights up to 2006 for Damien Dempsey and it best represents the showmanship, musicianship and quality of his songs like 'Apple of My Eye', 'Negative Vibes' and 'Factories'.

Buy it:

Full List  ...... later!!!!!

2Day's Tune: Mark Geary - That's What They All Say

I was at The Grand Social on Friday night for Mark Geary's 'Homecoming' gig with support from Gavin Glass. One of the highlights of the set was this track 'That's What They All Say' from Mark's latest album 'Songs About Love, Songs About Leaving'.

Normally I'd be writing a full review but I wasn't able to stay for the whole gig. The tightly packed crowd got to hear a bunch of tracks from the new album as well as older loved ones such as 'Gingerman', 'Tuesday', 'Ghost' and 'Cold Little Fire'. Many of them established tracks were subject to the 'artistic expressionist' right to extended live versions and alternative arrangements which worked on some tracks but made little sense on others. Standout song from my time there was 'That's What They All Say' featuring the talented vocals of Grainne Hunt.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

List: Top 30 Irish Albums {Part 1 [30 - 21]}

Following this list from respected Irish Independent Journalist John Meagher in yesterday's edition of Day & Night I've decided to write something I've been meaning to do for over a year and present ....

My Favourite 30 Irish Albums of All Time

30. Declan O'Rourke - Since Kyabram [2004]

Declan's debut album is full of great tunes such as 'Love is the Way', 'Galileo', 'Your World' and my particular favourite 'Sarah (Last Night in a Dream)'.

Buy It:

29. Marc O'Reilly - My Friend Marx [2011]

Great tunes and a fine mix of cajun style folk sounds from an extraordinary guitarist propels 'My Friend Marx' into my Top 30 albums ever.

Buy It:

28. Foy Vance - Hope [2007]

After being blown away by Foy when he supported Joseph Arthur in Whelans in 2005 I think, Foy released an epic album of 15 tracks which hit home in a big way. 'Indiscriminate Act of Kindness' is the key track for on the album. Simply epic!

Buy it:

27. Wallmark - Dryland [2005]

Dublin band Wallmark did everything right in the lead up to releasing their debut and only album 'Dryland' in 2005. They were making a name for themselves, playing regularly and building a fanbase before this album 'Dryland' broke them. Frozen in time this album is a gem of a rock album.

26. One Day International - Blackbird [2008]

Blackbird is the only album from Dublin band One Day International fronted by Australian Matt Lunson. After playing Electric Picnic in 2008 and having previously supported the likes of Richard Hawley and Elbow it looks like the band called it a day within two years of being formed. Blackbird's such a beautifully composed album that deserves to be re-discovered.

Buy it:

25. Pony Club - Home Truths [2002]

Being Morrissey's favourite band did much to aid Pony Club in Ireland and the UK but the tragic lyrics of life from the working class perspective of Finglas was never going to be commercial. Key tracks from the album were 'Single', 'Millions Like Us' and this one about men!

Buy it:

24. The Sultans of Ping - Casual Sex in the Cineplex [1993]

Irish post punk rock'n'roll in the early 90's came from Cork with bands like The Fatima Mansions and The Sultans of Ping FC. Casual Sex makes the list for all them great singles like 'Veronica', 'Stupid Kid' and of course 'Where's Me Jumper'.

Buy it:

23. Declan DeBarra - A Fire to Scare The Sun [2009]

Former 'Clann Zu' lead singer gave up the rock sounds for deep enriched Alt-folk Balkan/Gaelic fusion with 2009's 'A Fire To Scare The Sun' becoming a huge favourite of mine in 2009.

Buy it:

22. Compulsion - Comforter [1994]

I can nearly exclusively blame 'Comforter' for making me realise 2 things about music as a 16 year old. Firstly the music doesn't have to be commercially successful to be good and that U2 and Thin Lizzy are not the only good Irish bands to follow. I loved 'Comforter' and listened to it for days at a time.

Buy it:

21. Favourite Sons - The Great Deal of Love [2011]

Dubliner Ken Griffen is to feature twice on this list. Sadly this album seems to have disappeared from itunes and soundcloud so if you don't have it, you can't get it! Sad really that!

For the review I wrote: "The title track has all the best lines. The catchy chorus of 'I love. I love. I Love to watch you live your life the wrong way, expecting way too much out from the day' is both heartbreaking and thought-provoking. Ken's vocals draw you into the song and you're with him when he changes his outlook on his subject by encouraging her to 'live your whole life the wrong way'. This is followed by another wonderfully written track 'For Dear Life' with it's uplifting lyrics and similes. I also adore the lyrics of the track 'They Call Me Coco Rushdie'." 

Friday, 19 April 2013

EP Review: Oddsocks - There's Something Going On

'There's Something Going On' is a great little EP from Sligo band Oddsocks. As the band describe themselves this EP is full of "Melody, Harmony and Groove".

If there's one type of band Ireland has many of it's the Stone's inspired retro rock and roll band. For some reason this has become very popular indeed with success coming to bands like The Riptide Movement and The original Rudeboys. Hoping to ride that crest of a wave are 'Oddsocks' minus the Revival of previous years and this Ep proves to me that the band should become huge.

The inclusion of Keyboard player Kieran Quinn using Hammond organ, Rhodes piano and grand piano has a big influence on the four tracks. Together with some funky bass lines, excellent musicianship and quality vocals makes 'There's Something Going On' a must hear Ep.

The Ep on a whole has four fine tracks with the title track showcasing the quality within the band. The best track on the Ep for me is the third called 'Bringing The Love' for it's harmonies and catchy chorus.

I'm not normally a big fan of retro rock and roll but 'Oddsocks' have that something special which clicked with me. 'There's Something Going On' is well worth investing time and money into.

Oddsocks - There's Something Going On [10 out of 12]

Check out the band on their nationwide tour:

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Gigs 2 Go 2: April 18th - 24th [Mark Geary, The Crayon Set & more]

There's another packed Gig Listings for the coming week. Some nice posters from the bands as well:

Thursday 18th April

Help celebrate Fox.E's release of their debut album in The Grand Social on Thursday.

Support comes from the wonderful Dem Fools!

Thursday 18th April

Dolittle presents

Colin Smith & Ari Hest
Thursday April 18th
The Workman’s Club

Friday 19th April

Mark Geary @ Grand Social 19th Apr

Support by Gavin Glass
Tix on sale now at (No Booking Fee Applies)

Friday 19th April

Live 5 feat Reekus Records acts Sweet Jane, Deetrich, ESB with Perry Blake, Keith Moss and Death in the Sick Room:

Saturday 20th April

Jack Of Diamonds presents:


Sunday 21st April

Amazing value here, three bands and an album for €6!!!!!

Tuesday 23rd April

Dolittle presents
A Hawk And A Hacksaw
The Workman’s Club
April 23rd 2013

Support from very special guests Cian Nugent and the Cosmos

Wednesday 24th April

Birds of Chicago, Whelans Upstairs, €13.50

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Mix: Indie Week Ireland 2013

Just over a week from now is this year's Indie Week Ireland Showcase/Competition and I do believe this year the organisers have the best line-up ever:

WHEN: April 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th
WHERE: The Sweeney Mongrel
ADDRESS: 32 Dame St, Dublin 2, Co. Dublin, Ireland

WHEN: April 25th, 26th
WHERE: The Mezz
ADDRESS: 24 Eustace St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Co. Dublin, Ireland


Weds - April 24th The Sweeney Mongrel Basement

9:00 John Cathal O’Brien (Ireland) 

9:45 Emily Wryn (US) 

10:30 tba 
11:15 Children of the Son 

12:00 Tic Til Friday (Ireland) 
1245 – 115 HEADLINER 
130 – 2 I Saw the Deep


Weds - April 24th The Sweeney Mongrel Upstairs

8:30 – 9 Keith Moss 

 9:15 – 9:45 Like A Fire  
10:00 Elevation Falls (Ireland) 
10:45 The Mad Violinist (US) 
1:30 tba 
12:15 tba 
1:00 Dearly Beloved (Canada)


Thurs - April 25th The Sweeney Mongrel Basement

9:00 Cormac O Caoimh (Ireland)

9:45 Emily Wryn (USA)
10:30 Ian O’Doherty (Ireland)

11:15 tba
12:00 Fauxlie (Ireland) 
1245 – 115 HEADLINER 
130 – 2 Fluorescent Hearts


Thurs - April 25th The Sweeney Mongrel Upstairs

8:30 Last Rush (Ireland)
9:15 Stephanie Rainey (Ireland)
10 :00 Milk Baby (Ireland)
10:45 Dearly Beloved (Canada)
11:30 The Mad Violinist (USA)
12:00 Corner Boy (Ireland)

1:00 tba

Thurs - April 25th The Mezz

8:30 I Saw the Deep (Netherlands)
9:15 The Arcadeans (Ireland)

10:00 Prisma (Switzerland)
10:45 BURNING THE DAY (Canada

Fri - April 26th The Sweeney Mongrel Basement

9:00 Last Second Magic (Ireland)

9:00 tba
10:30 Purple Earth Theory (Ireland)
11:15 tba
12:00 Last Rush (Ireland)
12:00 tba
130 tba


Fri - April 26th The Sweeney Mongrel Upstairs

8:30 Hip-Neck Blues Collective (Ireland) 
9:15 We Were Giants (Ireland) 

10:00 Mad Violinist (Ireland) 
10:45 tba 
11:30 Burning the Day (Canada) 
12:15 tba 1:00 Prisma


Fri - April 26th The Mezz

8:30 Fluorescent Hearts (Scotland)
9:15 tba
10:00 Dead Red Light (Ireland)
10:45 Ciaran O’Neill (Ireland)


Sat - April 27th Sweeneys - Grand Finale

Monday, 15 April 2013

EP Review: Miriam Donohue - Bookmarks

Bookmarks is the impressive, beautiful and charming six track EP from Galway singer-songwriter Miriam Donohue. The CD format comes highly recommended with it's original lino printed artwork. 

Miriam Donohue's ability to write quirky, catchy folk tunes is evident big time on her debut EP entitled 'Bookmarks'. The EP is just Miriam on guitar and vocals accompanied by Mike Chang on viola and mandolin and Paulie Smalls on bass. There's five studio tracks with a live recording of the song Beautiful to finish off the album. The songs are blissful, charming compositions with fine lyrics throughout.

The title track for me is the real star and favourite on the EP for it's lyrics and charm. The song is beautifully sung with a charming chorus and the viola adding depth to the song.

The EP begins with 'Street Car' with meaningful lyrics that for me equates the journey of life with the journey in a street car. 'Feathers and Stones' is a mature and deep track that encompasses you on every listen. The live version of 'Beautiful' is a lovely little love song while my other favourite track is the chirpy little tune 'Waiting'.

I've really enjoyed listening to 'Bookmarks'. It represent's an artist who's at the beginning of a very long career. If the huge success of Laura Marling and the current love for Lucy Rose proves anything it's that there's a market for the music of Miriam Donohue and I wish her every success for 'Bookmarks' and beyond.

Miriam Donohue - Bookmarks [10 out of 12]

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Mix: Glastonbury 2013

It's been over 2 weeks since we got to know the line-up below:

I've really enjoyed checking them artists that are new to me on this line-up and I present the 10 artists I'm most looking forward to seeing in order: These are my 10 must see acts! They better not clash!

Lucinda Williams on the Acoustic Stage

Calexico on the Park Stage

Glen Hansard on the Acoustic Stage

Ben Caplan & The Casual Smokers on the Avalon Stage

Lucy Rose on the Avalon Stage

Newton Faulkner on the Avalon Stage

Xavier Rudd on the Avalon Stage

Villagers on The John Peel Stage

Matthew E White on the West Holts Stage

JJ Grey & Mofro  on the Avalon Stage

Thursday, 11 April 2013

EP Review: Kiernan McMullan - Company

'Company' finds Kiernan McMullan in the form of his life with it's intricate simplicity suggesting that Kiernan's songwriting is better than ever. 

Regular readers of the blog will be tired of reading positive reviews of albums and eps but the truth is I'm at the point where I can pick the very best music to listen to and review. With 'Company', the new Ep from Kiernan McMullan I was asked by the artist to review the EP before his headline show in Whelans on Wednesday May 1st and it's been a real pleasure listening to 'Company' non stop since the weekend.

Kiernan's biography is fascinating with links to Ireland and America where his hometown location on his facebook page is 'A Van' in Nashville. With two albums, an Ep and a full schedule of gigging up and down the east coast of America over the last five years, Kiernan is living that nomad life I crave. To me Kiernan is almost an 'enigmatic character' where I'm really interested in what he has to say, his journeys on the road, his relationships while touring and his outlook on life in general. While Kiernan is one of them incredibly talented guitarists and vocalists, I've always felt he struggled a bit with the songwriting aspect of his career but this opinion is blown out of the water by the five tracks on 'Company'.

'Company' begins with 'Kickin' Rocks' which is co sung with Rico Sisney. It's a mellow track about loneliness and isolation with some fine lyrics conjuring up many wonderful images. The title track is an 'Anti-love' song with harsh lyrics about finding and losing love on the road. That theme continues with 'Intermission' but with the hope that the relationship could come together after their 'Intermission'.

For me the best track is 'You Had To Leave Me' for it's piano melody and it's wonderful lyrics: "I tell myself that everything will come around, but before it goes full circle, it always seems to hit the ground."  .....  is the first line of 'You Had To Leave Me', another heartfelt love song which fails due to being on the road. The best lyric on the EP is in that song; "I tell you I hope that it's you gripping my fingers at the end but for now you had to leave me ...."  It's a wonderful track that deserves your attention. 'All The Same' describes the trials and tribulations of touring constantly, being away from home and getting Love from those you can barely remember or passer bys.

I cannot recommend Kiernan McMullan enough with 'Company' being an excellent start point to explore a back catalogue of great music.

Kiernan McMullan - Company [12 out of 12]

Buy the EP:

See Kiernan in Whelans on May 1st supported by TKO and Senakah: