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!
Hello, I’m Nay and yes, those mucky tracks all over your clean new year hallway belong to me
So here’s the speeds, skids and car-crash statistics of the holiday aftermath but before I go forensic on the Irish nethers, if you’re loathe to see the last three weeks’ festivities blur into mist then get yourself over to Seeping Into Cinemas‘ MySpace player for the newly-uploaded There’s Always Next Year and hug/kick-yourself into revolution 2009.
Branching out from their base in Cork, Livewire Presents take the show on the road to Limerick later this month with And So I Watch You From Afar providing the aural-crackle equivalent of a smashed champagne bottle at Baker Place. Then it’s back home to ready up for Elk‘s debut album launch on 23 Jan.
Aortal have big plans for your year which unsuprisingly include Eamon Dorans and more surprisingly, their very good friends Gina Moore, Carla Brunell, Jamie MacDonald and excellent blues-buskerman Wascana on 16 January.
BellX1 have been clearing their coffers and unearthed an unheard song Nobody Moves Me recorded during their Flock period. It’s been added to their MySpace player for a limited time so head over…it’s tranquil, classic BX1.
Firstly, congratulations to Niamh Farrell and Derek Byrne on the birth of baby Oscar! HP were first to report the news and well-wishes have been pouring in for Ham Sandwich‘s Niamh and Autumn Owls‘ guitarist Derek who met last year. Saturday night’s Hambo gig in Mayo was cancelled due to ‘illness’ on Niamh’s part but faced with the news of little O’s birth on Sunday, I’m sure there’s a welcome return on the cards. Best of luck to the new family…let’s hope a chaperone accompanies Podge, Olly, Darcy and John when babygro shopping for the latest addition!
The Kinetiks are very, very pleased to announce their inclusion on the bill for Punchestown 2008 as well. There’s a packed schedule to get through first including BalconyTVAwards and a special support with The Gorgeous Colours to Delorentos in the Academy on 27 June.It’s been non-stop with a steady slog through a gruelling schedule since their debut EP High Horse Olympics and Shuffle Your Feet/Bite The Bullet singles were released last year after the runaway success of Cop Yourself On.
A right stink was kicked up by one lone dissenter on the official Road To V messageboard regarding the inclusion of Galway band Blasterbra in the final 14 of the festival competition.
Apparently as the band are Irish and non-resident in the UK, they were not eligible to participate, despite the previous inclusion of the new-defunct The Immediate. V representatives contacted Blasterbra in search of a loophole to ensure they retained their place in the final but efforts proved fruitless and Blasterbra were dropped.
Since this was picked up by entertainment.ie as Video of the Week, Robotnik is a very happy…human. Created with cheap chalk and a blackboard, People Walk Away is anti-singer/songwriter Chris Morrin’s most popular track, rated #7 in the Vodafone Bright New Sounds competition. His MySpace shows busy times ahead and fun tunes on the player, so get a skiddle over if you like what you’ve seen.
Alphastates have juggled a heady couple of weeks with the impending release of Human Nature, follow-up to 2005′s Made From Sand. A shaky rendition of (I Lost My Heart To A) Starship Trooper on the Podge and Rodge Show last week left the uber-coolers a little red-faced but they’ve now bounced back on form, bringing news: users of music websites MySpace and iLike can stream tracks from the new album while 2005′s debut Made From Sand has been uploaded as seperate tracks to buy from downloadmusic.ie
Also on the download front but this time freeeebie-wise, Black Soul Strangers have uploaded a live recording of Wichita from their Crawdaddy show last week. They plan to start recording debut single Leave in April, having already started pre-production with Tom McFall (R.E.M, Bloc Party, Stars) and say everything is coming along nicely indeed…
Losing their original drummer Jimmy hasn’t set The Things back any: new EP Tiger sees the hairy scaries hit the Roisin Dubh in Galway tomorrow night (27 Mar), Tower Records Dublin at 6pm on Friday (28) and Psychotic Reaction at Crawdaddy on Saturday (29). It’s good to hear of launches further afield from home ground and indeed, The Things have big plans abroad, starting with a June jaunt to Berlin, recording new tracks for what is as yet known only as a “project”. Chilling!
Television Room return as headline acts to Revolver at Radio City this Saturday, accompanied by Cowboy X and The Ghandis. Great news for the hard-working quintet who’ve gigged a slew of dates and singles since their return to the limelight late last year. New single Modern Boys and Girls is almost trademark, jangling instruments and sunny vocals providing some of us (ie, sick, sniffly me) with a glimmer of sunshine. Be sure to download the single over at downloadmusic.ie or Sonikpollen.
It’s been a good week for The Eclectic as their excellent EP Breathe gets some well-deserved recognition over on State and Mp3Hugger. Check out their last.fm page for free downloads from their debut Songs For A Blank Canvas or stream the Breathe EP from their MySpace…just so you’re in the mood for what’s shaping up to be a storming headliner at Death Via Satellite with The Idiot and Verona Riots in Eamonn Dorans this Friday . and
Thanks to Forever Presents, Bats are very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very excited to support Chrome Horse at Whelans on Friday.
Upstairs, Subplots follow on stellar supports with Butterfly Explosion and Codes to launch new single Alarms also on Friday. They were fabulous at AC30, which was apparently the last performance of their old set list, from now on focussed on reflecting the tone of imminent, untitled debut album…
Codes have enjoyed a jaunt or two across the country in recent weeks, including Galway, Mullingar and an Irish language session on Newstalk, all to promote new single This Is Goodbye. On the agenda is a Cardiff trip to develop dragon-heads and a penchant for rugby, along with the lesser task of recording their debut album. On-board to produce is Greg Haver who previously worked wonders with Welsh luminaries Manic Street Preachers and SuperFurryAnimals. However you have one last chance to catch Codes live before they go, at next week’s IMRO Showcase (more info next week or see the website above)…
Speaking of Whelans and debuts, Readers’ Wives‘ self-titled album goes live Upstairs this Saturday. However you must first nab a listen of RW when they command the airwaves on Aoife McIndie‘s radio slot tomorrow night on 103.2 Dublin City FM…
Final gig recommendation goes to So Cow and Michael Knight who lend support to Norwegian label-mate Soda Fountain Rag (all three have released through Dublin-based yesboyicecream records) on Monday 31st March Upstairs Whelans. It’s looking to be a corker: considered a one-woman powerhouse of anti-folk, Soda Fountain Rag’s worked with Scandinavia’s finest including Jens Lenkman and Suburban Kids With Biblical Names. Her debut album It’s Rag Time! is released on April 4th and will be launched in London with the support of Michael Knight, so you’re being treated to a pre-release sorbet of tracks which all sound absolutely delicious….
Congratulations to whoever won Deis Roc on TG4 last night. I sent my text in for The Dirty 9s, had a giggle at the very clean and old Dirty Face Kids, marvelled how good-looking Ronan O’Snodaigh is when he’s shaved and popped out to make a cup o’cha…to completely miss the announcement. Bah!
And I’ll miss Yngve Wieland: he’s leaving our shores, sailing across to Albion in his steadfast guitar with only his album and some phone numbers to bide his way to London town. Convinced as much can be done in Ireland and ready for pastures new, Yngve hopes to release his debut album Tell Men This to a new audience and I can only wish him all the best of luck and late nights. Come back soon, ya hear?
Shocked, I am….Cork’s Hooray For Humans have split from lead singer Aine Mangaoang! Noo!
What a bitter February wind is blowing. As reported on HP.com, guitarist Alan Healy posted a MySpace blog announcing Aine’s decision to leave the band. However Tom and Alan want to honour tour commitments the band have made and push on with the release their 2007 debut Safekeeping on 7″ in March as planned. Signed to Out On A Limb Records and with most of their second album written, H4H are now on the lookout for fresh talent for the band. Can you sing, play keys or pluck a bass? HoorayForHumans need you.
Strange things happen in rock and roll: though these five young people set the Irish music circles in a tizzy back in 2005 and the world opened its arms to their commendable talents, I have it on good authority that The Chalets are no more.
Though they formed in 2001, The Chalets won Best New Band at the Meteors in 2005 and went on to global acclaim with their songs featured on television (Grey’s Anatomy, TG4′s Aifric), video games (Outlaw Tennis) and film (Madagascar) and they were also chosen as theme music to MTV Ireland’s branding campaign.
2008 was due to see a follow-up album to the fab Check In but now it appears the band decided to go their seperate ways a month ago. There is no mention of this on their website, MySpace or good old Thumped but my source is reliable.
It’s a sad day for sexy sounds and houndstooth check.
Halves‘ 2007 debut EP (Halves, HiteCD01 or Revenge EP) has been repressed for a 2008 release. You can stream the entire EP from their MySpace or click the pic to order from their online store (in fact, just click. Like desktops, websites give real insight to their owners and AHomeForHalves.com is one of Ireland’s most beautful music websites).
You must check out their gorgeous Eurosonic Diary Entry, an account of their first trip abroad as a band. Capping off a succesful 2008 with a Christmas finale at Whelans with The Jimmy Cake, Halves’ new year began with the Noorderslag festival in Holland in early January and a potentially fatal cello.
Personal touches and thoughtfulness are very endearing in a good band, especially one so instrumentally-motivated as Halves, taking the chippy format of drums and guitar to slather it with ketchup-bottle philosophy of good things come to those who wait. Every delicious drop of ambient sauce drips out in the end, sweet and tangy violins, cellos, keyboards and synths.
Their steady penetration into the Irish musical ether continues a Tripod gig on February 21st supporting Cathy Davey.