What a year…the most fun ever, cross my heart. Off Her Rocker is 1 year old on 20 December!! Hot Press took a gamble approving my idea for an Irish music catablogue: just two years earlier I’d turned up on the doorstep a musical orphan, clinging to memories of my abandoned parents Papa Black Flag and Mother Love Bone. I thought cameras came from vending machines and gigs were a type of horse-drawn carriage.
“Are you familiar with the magazine?” I was asked at my interview.
“Sure, I’ve ate many a dinner off a Hot Press on my lap!”
Chancing it gets you everywhere: invigorated by the discovery of a thriving scene on my own doorstep, OHR opened the way towards some truly brilliant musical experiences in 2008. Though Berlin and Berkeley have their own vibe there are people who will never even see a guitar, or know what it’s like to call for an encore. They live in Beirut and Bangladesh but also in Ballymun and Ballsbridge. It’d be a waste to not love it all, my job, my life. From roars, chants and sighs, conducting rolling hillsides to a divine post-rock soundtrack on the train to the NSMA heats, shy helloes after gigs, grabs for set-lists, the infinitesimal number of drunken faux pas…it’s been a blast from start to finish, all so real and live.
With such a fresh soundtrack it feels I haven’t aged a day this year. I’m a grumpy mama as as well as a giddy PJ and in our house, music’s always on. We have SEBP raves and bake biscuits to Leanne Harte. Aged eight and seven, my kids are deadly brats who give me zits, hugs and a full schedule…Although it seems as though I’ve covered a lot of live gigs this year, some I simply couldn’t make. There have been so many kind messages and invitations to which I’ve not responded and I’d like to apologise for this negligence. Sure I’m always at 90mph and my memory’s woeful but sometimes it just feels crap to say no.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been publishing shots from the year that were waiting in the wings. I’m afraid I lost some brilliant pics of Halves, New Amusement, 202s and Realistic Train. Other bands’ lighting conspired to foil best efforts…I’m coming back for you!
Anyway I thought it would be nice to pop back to some of the high points of the year and so as a birthday present/indulgence for the occasion I delved into the Happy Moment files: 2008 news and photos from festivals. Look what lovely memories you’ve given us…