A successful week for Irish music all-round! Firstly congratulations to Jape on winning the Choice Music Prize – many have already said it went to the nicest man in Ireland and of those on the final shortlist, he was certainly amongst the most deserving. Halfset made a really good album and R.S.A.G. certainly set tympanics trembling with Organic Sampler but in the end the award went to one whose music played truly massive role in 2008. Despite fear and suspicion on the night due to the presence of David Holmes and The Script, Richie Egan is now wealthier to the tune of ten thousand fruits and a smooth celebratory trophy declaring Ritual the most critically-acclaimed Irish album of 2008. Thank you Jape.
There’s an interview with Choice founder Jim Carroll over on Analog. It’s a decent read…have Phantom really been binning bands’ CDs? In this age of carbon neutrality I thought unwanted promos found a home in charity shops. It’s all a wicked lie!
Salulations are also in order for Falter Ego who won the DIT Battle of the Bands in Think Tank on Wednesday (by the by, how fantastic is the new Cylon ceiling in the Eustace Street club?! Totally makes up for the naff Diet-Cokesque mural and porn-star toilets…!) Falter Ego beat off competition from Bojangled, Flying Columns and The Harm to win the first heat. Myself and two judges from Drop-D were level-pegging at 3/4 time and prepared for a fight amongst Indies when the three metallers rocked on and settled the score with four great, catchy songs. Look forward to hearing from you lads but if I can make one teeeny suggestion – introducing online visitors to your music with “The Official…Myspace Page” is a bit naff. Just sayin….
Before I launch into the plethora of upcoming releases and shows, take a moment to consider Parhelia‘s words on the effects of illegal downloading on small bands.
The Dublin post-rockers released Shifting Sands in early February and yet to date there have been over 500 downloads from one filesharing site alone – more than the album’s total legitimate sales. That ain’t cool. Support your local music industry people – it’s the only way to survive without selling out.
The other gigging biggie is The Urges in Whelans, also tomorrow – biggie because it’s their last Irish date before they descend on the not-so-sleepy town of Austin, Texas for SXSW….did you know the city has a bat population of 1.5 million? Sounds like a kind of haven!
If you don’t know the Choice Music Prize takes place tonight you better have an excuse along the lines of having been off hunting for water on Titan, opals on Venus or at least decent pint of beer in Dublin.*
Anyway, yaddah yeah…tonight in Vicar Street, twelve judges will decide who wins the coveted prize for best Irish album of 2008. The contenders are:
*sulk* I had a whole plan to go along under the premise of snapping, having stolen The Vinny Club‘s muscleman suit to smuggle in under my photographer clothes so I could storm the stage during one of the dreadfully boring performances in order to douse phosphorescent lighter fuel across my cleverly-bulkier person whilst roaring “ADEBISI SHANK“ to be ejected, screaming and vindicated to St James’ Hospital burns unit. But I’m not arsed. I have better things to do tonight. It’s bin day tomorrow.
New video from supremely talented Gemma Hayes – she’s a special favourite for many. This is Home, second single from The Hollow of the Morning. It was shot on location in Californiain the same area where Gone With The Wind (“I’s a-scairt a cows!!”), one of my all-time movie faves was also filmed. Which is just kinda cool and interesting, a funny choice considering Casablas is a thousand miles from Tipperary. Lucky, lovely Gemma. The song’s great too…
“Developing at breakneck” doesn’t sound like the healthiest start to a year but despite juggling a full-time band and 9-5 job, things couldn’t be better for Rupert Morris. Not even fatigue can burst the creative bubble surrounding BATS‘ debut album, already one of the most highly anticipated Irish records of 2009.
“We’ve been super-busy getting everything ready to go to Salem next week to record our album with Kurt Ballou. Can’t remember what a free weekend is like. We played Cork on Saturday night. Rushed home on Sunday to finish writing the last song. Song 11. Before that we were wading through the click-track swamp for weeks. We’re on track now. We’ve been spitting out some of these songs easier than expected. Some not so easily but there’s definite buzz coursing through our neurons. We’re like kiddies the night before Christmas, knowing what presents we’re getting but not knowing what they look like.”
“We” are lyricist Rupert, conjoined with Craig Potterton and Conor McIntyre to bring the guitar tally to three, backed by Timmy Moran on bass and drummer Noel Anderson. Vocal roles range across the board. Martha Washington is their missing link, a band of which no trace remains: many months elapsed before the songs were fully weaned but since BATS hatched in late 2005 their music has grown into an instinct-driven freak like nothing Ireland’s ever known. When the progressive metal enthusiasts released their Cruel Sea Scientist EP on the Armed Ambitions (now incorporated into The Richter Collective) label just over a year ago, it was to an uncertain future. Diversifying rapidly, was alternative rock scene quite ready for 15 minutes’ textbook-thumping?
Mightily sad am I to bring two cessation notices in one day…Delorentos are soon to be no more:
We’ve got some sad news.
It’s with a very heavy heart that we have to let you know that Ronan has decided to leave the band. He feels it’s best for him to move on and do other things. The three of us will still be making music and will let you know what happens next.
As our songs always came from the four of us playing together we’ve also decided that it wouldn’t feel right to continue “delorentos” without him.
We’re all very proud of the songs we’ve written over the last year, we feel they’re some of the best we’ve ever done, and as a result we’re determined not to discard them or let them go.
Next month, the four of us are going to record this album together and plan on making it something we’ll all be proud of. It’ll be our last collection of songs as delorentos, and we hope you’ll like them.
We want to thank everyone that’s supported us since we started, we’d never have gotten this far without you. We hope to play a gig or two to say goodbye.
We’ll be in touch soon with more details.
Ross, Níal and Kieran and Ro
One of the best-loved bands of recent years, they were bright, cheery indieheads with great tunes, marauding guitars, immensely singable, bright and fresh. Without them, I would not be sitting here now…I was just saying to Ian Thrillpier the other week that Delorentos were the band who got me into the Irish scene proper – Hot Press were behind the lads from the outset. I met Kier at a Christmas interview in 2005 and a few months later, blagged my first photopass: their April 2006 gig in Whelans. Up til then I was loving Franz, Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian…I had no idea there was better on my own doorstep. I’m not the only one who found them inspiring – The Kinetiks were incredibly impressed by their North Dublin neighbours and Jacqui Carroll attributes her discovery of Irish music to an early Delos~ show while UnaRocks, John Walshe of State, Jonnie Craig and countless others championed their sound.
The Leave It On EP sold-out in shops immediately on its release - a comment I left on the Delorentos profile asking how to get a copy led to meeting two lovely friends, one of whom hunted down the elusive record as a gift. The title track remains a constant favourite to this day – if I close my eyes and listen, I go back to the heady start.
Time passed and new music kept coming:just like good NSMA winners, In Love With Detail was considered a worthy candidate for last year’s Choice Prize. Our paths crossed repeatedly, from tiny venues to the huge oul’ barn formerly known as The Point, at the biggest festivals Oxegen and Electric Picnic to the smallest and most independent. They worked their arses off, gigging the length and breadth of the country, playing shows in Italy, the UK and US and yet never looked or sounded tired, would always, always smile, wave and come say hello. Unlike BellX1, it was always enough to be loved by those at home.
When I last saw Ronan at HWCH in September, we had a great chat about the band’s new direction and he was full of praise for developing bands, especially The Parks. It’s good to know there’ll be one last dash of Delorentos flavour, a final parting shot of that north Dublin spirit which paved the way for guitar bands to reclaim Irish stages from singer-songwriters. Doing it for the kids til the end.
Lovers beware! Perhaps sick of one year too many without an appreciative Valentine from the Irish music scene, Simon and the Ghost have scrapped their plans to release a debut album and called it a day. Drop-D leaked the news yesterday with a statement from Simon himself.
Truly contrary, everything about Simon and the Ghost was polarised: these Dublin phantoms were lighthearted and serious. Though their name conjured to mind deadly ’80s BBC sitcoms, they were not-so friendly Ghosts, professing little love for trappings and fashions of Irish music, claiming “it’s time to throw this whore out of bed having realised she corrupted you to your very core” and so loitered on the fringes, purposefully detatched from the live scene.
His name is Chris, not “the super-hot drummer in asiwyfa“. Although he is super-hot. In terms of hunky music, whole band are Chippendales, new haircuts, headbangs and all. Tunes to make the hardest palate drool. And yeea to the new merch, I’m never taking off my t-shirt!!
They played loud, hard and fast, at long last people got the chance to find out for themselves why I’ve been raving about this band for so long. It was superb to see so many out for two support bands at the unprecedented alternative-rock hour of 8pm on a freezing Thursday night.
So worth it tho…new material came to light, including new single Don’t Waste Time Doing Things You Hate but the all-too-short set mostly comprised lovely, faithful oldies such as I Capture Castles, The Machine and of course, wondrous And The Voiceless. I hope these pics go some way towards expressing their phenomenal energy onstage, although it’s really the military precision of their songs which sweep you off their feet. There were moments, eyes closed, I really felt as though we were on the march. Fall in…