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.
Amongst others, this Saturday 7 March sees two entirely different gigs: Angel Pier, A Lazarus Soul and Lines Drawing Circles take over Andrews’ Lane Theatre – LDC also play Hideaway House in Deansgrange the following night, Sunday – you can read Angel Darragh’s Soundtrack over on Drop-D.
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!
While March hares have yet to come bounding through this neck of the docks, here’s some upcoming madness to pay heed to : Adebisi Shank and Jogging join the bill for the return of Baltimore’s highly-feted four-piece Ponytail on 11 March. This undoubtably hangs down the back of The Vinny Club‘s storming display of support in September. I didn’t go to that but after checking out the latest Ponytail album Ice Cream Spiritual I wish I had.
Foggy Notions have kindly offered two double passes to lucky parties. I’m sure you’ll be beating down the door for these so give the following challenge a bash and send your answers to rockeroffher[at]gmail[dot]com:
Shank’s Pony, Jogger’s Nipple, Blogger’s ….??
Entries close on 9 March. I’m not that finicky about time so 23:59:59 if you’re determined to wrest one.
Grrr, poxy GMail ain’t letting anyone into their inboxes. I knew I shoulda set Mail up on my Mac but running a blog that gets 200+ spam hits a day means the 2990-new-messages inbox download action would make a wrestler quail. I hate when we lose technology for a few hours and feel bereaved as a result. And oh, it’s just back!
However this is the poignant poster for what should be a great gig this weekend: Hooray For Humans, Kidd Blunt, Ran and Wounds. The latter were something else at the Lower Deck on Saturday…the combined age of about 30, they’re very hard, raw and..bleak in a blackhearted new-music way. So…yeah…go!
*CHECK THESE GUYS* Doing great work for Irish Punk and Hardcore so they are!
“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?
Last time I saw Lights was months ago in Dorans and they were bloody brilliant, danciness. Now they have emerged into a burgeoning spring with new single I Don’t Know Myself and it’s blissful electro blammer.
I need danciness! Once again Club AC30 Dublin steps up to the plate with yet another well-rounded serving of Irish:
They say recession is a time of baby booms and indeed I’ve noticed a swelling of Distractors…check out their MySpace to see the new name joining the ranks. Yes, restoring the Dubliners’ sound to its original five-piece, welcome Paddy Distractor!
Previously a member of Rabi Junior and merry man of The Brilliant Trees and John Spillane, Paddy Doyle is no stranger to stages. Joining the Distractors’ fold he’ll be filling out on guitar, vocals, keyboards and pure unmitigated energy.
And just in the nick of time too! Fresh from supporting Inner City Pirates last week, Distractors launch their EP this Friday in Academy 2 with support from The Parks and Sleepy Rise, followed by Dublin’s favourite Indie night No Disko afterwards…should be a right corker!