After 0.02 decades of plans for photography, Chris ‘Robotnik‘ Morrin and I finally joined time for some malarkey. We didn’t have much in the way of direction; off-beat fun was enough. Dr Quirky’s Amusement Arcade on O’Connell Street would be the venue. However, there was more to come.
“Let’s make it weird. What’s the last thing you’d ever expect to see in an amusement arcade, Nay?”
So we went to Dunnes on Talbot Street to hunt down cream horns or a TeaTime Express. Waiting in the queue, however, a superior candidate caught our eye. Hello Thomas the Tank Engine, you big, bad blue bastard you.
Cutting neatly through the armour plating of icing wasn’t going to be easy. I proposed a 30cm ruler from the stationary department. Instead we nipped into the Earl cafe next door, strode past the wilting cabbage dinners to the cutlery stand and got busy carving a perfect portion and headed back out again. We still needed a receptacle to eat from however and Chris disappeared as I read the dozens of e-numbers printed on the packaging’s side under the watchful eye of Mr Joyce. Suddenly Chrisbot reappeared, his eyes wide and haunted in the bustling metropolis.
“Yo, let’s walk, walk, walk!” He surged into the crowd, his beige mac flappping in the wind, revealing the gleam of stolen crockery.
Amusement arcades with their bright, blinking lights are a Mecca for photographers. Free rein to run around snapping up the colourful displays would be marvellous, complementing the sunny tones of Pleasant Square, the recently-released debut Robotnik album.
We didn’t ask though. Chris was barely on the chair two minutes before a pair of burly men appeared, looking very put out.
Despite the glaring EP sticker (THIS BELONGS TO LIONEL RICHIE) there was a lot of talk about my camera and its beastly professional appearance which secretly pleased me. Except they didn’t give a shit if I worked for Mr Richie or anyone: only financial amusement allowed. Bottom line, no photography, except Chris asked to see the manager.
Now, I’m not a bad person. I buy homeless people tea and King, coach my children in equality and rescue snails from the pavement. I understand that people on the jackpot machines before noon have a problem and tried to cater for that by choosing the least popular row of one-armed bandits. If a lone gambler chooses to play beside us, eyeing my camera all the while, well, I won’t be held accountable for the off-chance his debtors are Irish indie fans.
And when the manager appeared and wanted to know what we were doing the striking resemblance to the Fat Controller hit me and I answered that our little brother was a massive Thomas fan and we were taking the cake to all his favourite places for photos of each slice in a different location so he could celebrate his birthday from his bed in Our Lady’s where he was treated for hydrocephalus. I meant well.
The manager almost simpered before composing himself, “Out now and I don’t want to see these photos in any paper or the fuckin’ telly!”
Well, what a pisser. With a Belgian gig to get to and forty minutes of an hour’s shoot gone, there was nothing left for us to do but dump our gear by The Spire and make some buttercream inroads. People gawked, mitching schoolgirls tittered, one guy roared into his phone so vehemently I half-expected it to start ringing in his hand. Chris chomped cake. He looked so lost, a little boy throwing a birthday party in the middle of madness. Which is something of a metaphor for a solo musician, eh?
**In the interests of professionalism, all pilfered items were returned and thanked for very nicely indeed.**
Despite Jackie Hayden’s brand of “self-serving tosh‘ in early August, something of a buzz sprang up around a certain band as Hard Working Class Heroes approached. Dublin Duck Dispensary. No one seemed to have heard of them before but everyone planned to check out their set in Academy2. I was shooting Tiger Empire and We Were Promised Jetpacks at the time, did anyone go?
Never mind if you didn’t make it: get past the PR bluster about their Islands-esque sound on www.rackandruinrecords.com and make up your own mind with the free download of Luanqibazao, a new album with the auspicious tag of ‘RRR081′ -lucky because I love any number adding to 9. It’s a perfect number!
Now that the summer
has gone is here and festivals finished, I’m taking a break from blogging for a week in order to spend some time with my family, cook, visit the dentist, read loooads of books (have five on the go), go to some gigs without a camera, walk outside at 11am with no idea where I’m going, clean this messy kip of a gaff, write loads of bad poetry, get enormously fat on potato salad and bacon, brush my hair, visit friends and just be me for a while.
So while I’m gone, here are my favourite OHR things:
feature: The Real Underground Scene
breakthrough: The Urges Sign to US Label
interview: I Still Have A Suitcase In Berlin
photos: Dry County at Club AC30
argument: BallyKnockanstockan Hiccup
singles: The Ultra Twist/Nackers split 7″
photoshoot: The Eclectic
competition: National Student Music Award
radio: The Revellions on BBC
flyer: Butterfly Explosion
in-store: Terrordactyl in Tower
mindfuck: The Wiggers’ Brawl
artwork: Halves 57 Varieties
joke: Taking the Pez
download: Hoovers & Sledgehammers
photographers: Breaking Down Brick Walls
exclusive: The Chalets Split
decision: Distractors Cancel SXSW
meme: Seven Songs
gift: BATS desktop
failure: I Still Catch My Breath
achievement: I Promise Never To Do This Again
…Could you do me a favour while I’m off? Let me know what kind of stuff you like and don’t. Loads of posts go uncommented but I don’t take this as necessarily meaning it’s unwanted. Flyers for example, people like to just look at them? What would you like to see more of? Are the comprehenisve news features missed? Do you trust me to review releases? Would OHR improve with more features and interviews or is it just fine the way it is? Do let me know in the comments below because when I come back I’ll be raring to go for 2.0!
Missing you all ready!
If you like what you’ve heard of the five hoodied Northside lads over the last two years, show your support tonight…fuck Eastenders!
Noise Control‘s unreleased album track Mudbath will see its world premiere tonight on none other than BBC radio! Tom Robinson has a new show on BBC6 and our kids are amongst the features on his playlist, thanks to their lucrative deal with Disney that saw two tracks signed over for inclusion on the new multi-platform extreme sports game.
Tom Robinson, BBC6 radio, 7 – 9pm, 19 September.
Entertainment.ie are ever so good to us. Sheena‘s got the tastiest, scurrilous gossip and Lauren Murphy is just ledge, ledge, ledge. I <3 Lauren. I would marry her tomorrow* and feed her irascible ire with green beans and CDs while fanning her pale complexion as she reclined in a hammock for the rest of her days….
*shakes out of reverie*
Aaanyway, E.ie have created a mini-site for Fight Like Apes fans to get their fill of monkey music in the run up to the album’s release next week. On entertainment.ie/fightlikeapes they’ve created a mini-site of yellow madness packed with photos, videos, blog and review and most importantly, the full 12-track album featuring all your favourites like Jake Summers, Do You Karate? and Lend Me Your Face along with newbies like Tie Me Up With Jackets and I’m Beginning To Think You Prefer Beverly Hills 90210 To Me.
A must for fans or disbelievers. Or the Chinese regime.
* …except marriage is a load of codswallop. Unless we’re talking all four members of Franz, at the same time.
I just saw this on my dashboard:
There are currently 394 posts and 1,000 comments, contained within 46 categories.
Thanks so much to everyone who’s read Off Her Rocker since its first inception. You make this job so worthwhile and I appreciate every second that you take from your busy days to share your thoughts.
You’re all welcome round to mine for lasagne, poker and the very best in Irish music. Loves you I do, loves you one and all!
Ultimate of Irish music, the festival line-up catered all imaginable tastes with eighty homespun talents and an ‘Invasion’ curated by Sons & Daughters, one of Scotland’s finest musical exports of recent years.
Friday kicked off with a quirky blend of alternative pop from Fred in Meeting House Square despite the persistent shrilling of a neighbouring alarm.They exploded into a big deal across the Atlantic this year and have the tour dates to prove it.
Flying to the Button Factory for Panama King‘s set, to my dismay the bands were running twenty minutes early and the northerners had already finished. Instead re-routed to Fiach, only to emerge minutes later, ears ringing from a crucifying volume level of intimate Dame Lane.
Thank YOU for your patience. I appreciate it! You all need to hold yo’ hosses anyways, how do you think they managed without me, back in the day without an interactive website and my scintillating witticisms?
Aoife McIndie shares her thoughts
MuzuTV pre-recorded studio sessions with each band and promise to complement with live vids. Just do the www.muzu.tv/<bandnamehere>
I need sleep. So tired. All I can see is weeks and weeks of work stretching back years. Zzz..
Ah, grrreat stuffs! BBR knocked back with the untimely closure of Conways and relocation to O’Connell Street (below Murrays, which used to be Fraziers, up near Parnell’s monument) but that stalwart of Irish music independence, the Boom Boom Room, is well and truly back in the game with a chockahfullsome calendar of brilliant gigs coming up to warm the cockles of your leather heart. Seee: