Tag Archives: Come On Live Long

Camden Crawl Dublin: Day One

Day One of the inaugural Camden Crawl Dublin didn’t pass without a few logistical hiccups, but a couple of late starts and some general bewilderment didn’t stop patrons from going home with some wonderful tunes swimming around in their heads.

Dubliners don’t appear all that familiar with the original Camden Crawl; most seem to have heard more about individual performances (like this Florence + The Machine show from 2008, or this security-defying Odd Future gig from last year) than the festival itself.

Punters who found themselves confused by the unusual scheduling (Ghostpoet performs at 7.50pm tonight, while relative unknowns occupy much later slots), myself included, clearly missed the ethos of the event.

“All bands on the Crawl receive equal billing,” reads a statement on camdencrawldublin.com, “with no acts being billed as a headliner…please be aware that any artist can and may appear at any venue, at any time.”

Which brings us to an even more disorienting point; stage times and venue line-ups were kept a closely guarded secret until just two hours before the event, leaving punters pretty much in the dark.

On a rainy Friday night, you have to forgive the Irish crowd their grumbles. Spoiled rotten by similar events like Hard Working Class Heroes and the outrageously frugal Ones To Watch festival, we’re used to rocking up at 9pm, and squeezing in half a dozen bands before finishing the night with the biggest, loudest act on the bill.

At the Crawl, everything kicks off at 6.45pm and most venues have wrapped up by 11. The schedule is based around five time slots, which, factoring in 15 and 20-minute walks between some venues, makes darting around from gig to gig, catching a couple of songs here and there, damn near impossible.

Thankfully, with one night down, we’ve now had ample time to get our heads around the Lucky Dip that is Camden Crawl Dublin.

Day One was a triumphant one for homegrown acts; Le Galaxie, Jape and ASIWYFA all pulled in massive crowds, while, across the Liffey, the phenomenal DELS played to seven people. Understandably but surprisingly, given the festival’s penchant for placing all acts on an equal footing, most ticket-holders were happy to catch just a few bands that they know and love. I, on the other hand, was after fresh blood.

Here’s what I saw…

The Good:

Young Wonder live in The Grand Social at the Camden Crawl Dublin. Photo by Ruth Medjber.

Young Wonder

There’s something terribly jammy about tonight’s set from Cork duo Young Wonder, although I should stress that it’s the crowd, rather than the musicians on stage, who have struck it lucky. The starry-eyed electronic outfit, comprising beats man Ian Ring and pipes girl Rachel Koeman, appeared on our radar not four months ago, fully-formed and sounding very much like a band breezing their way through their third album.

The Camden Crawl set is only their second ever live show (the first took place just last week in Cork’s Pavilion, which the fledgling band miraculously packed to the rafters) so, naturally, I’m happy to forgive a few hitches and bumps, but as it turns out, I can relax – Ring and Koeman have it all under control.

Ring busies himself with a bounty of electronic gadgetry while Koeman happily grinds along to his every musical twist and turn, dropping an icy, somersalting vocal as she goes. Clueless happen-uponners and seasoned musos alike are instantly charmed by their blissed-out, hook-heavy tunes, particularly the handsomely glossy ‘Orange’ and the jittering, Avalanches-sampling ‘Flesh’. If this is takeoff, I can’t wait to see Young Wonder in full flight.

The Great:

SertOne live in The Mercantile at the Camden Crawl Dublin. Photo by Ruth Medjber.

SertOne

Portadown lad SertOne cuts a particularly memorable figure in his cocked cap and specs, which is probably why the man responsible for what happens on the screen behind him, namely, Brendan Canty of Feel Good Lost Films, has chosen to feature his silhouette so heavily in his visual show. From the very first glitch-fed blast, it’s clear that this hip hop-influenced producer and remixer is just as distinctive on the ears as on the eyes.

Ranging from the delicate to the banging, his electronic creations are strikingly different, but each one carries the same masterful flow. After a year of near-constant gigging, being the centre of attention is nothing new to the 23-year-old, so whether thundering through his razor-sharp set solo or vibing with Young Wonder’s Rachel, who, sans headdress, joins him on stage to add a couple of verses to his remix of ‘Flesh’, Sert seems thoroughly at home. A quick scan around the Mercantile floor proves what I already suspected; every single head is bobbing along to the groove.

Also great: Jogging, whose thrash-happy set left me thirsting for a new album, and the shapeshifting sounds of Scotland’s Dam Mantle, who plays The Twisted Pepper tonight at 10pm.

The Swine:

Wounds live in The Twisted Pepper at the Camden Crawl Dublin. Photo by Ruth Medjber.

Wounds

“Drat! What’s that I’ve trodden in?” I regularly find myself asking at gigs, but never before has the answer been fresh pig’s blood. To be quite clear, Dublin rockers Wounds have gone all out for their Camden Crawl debut – an unsettling, ear-splitting and grotesque affair, during which front man Aidan Coogan hurls the severed heads of two deceased pigs around the Twisted Pepper floor. Only 50% of Wounds perform from the stage; Coogan and his brother, guitarist James, both spend the entire set writhing around with the punters, occasionally threatening to knock one over into a pool of hog innards. Our red-faced master of ceremonies clearly delights in his role as the band’s premiere shock tactician, throwing tortured shapes with every inch of his body and carefully constructing a makeshift shoji screen from a couple of the festival’s stand-alone banners just to dramatically knock it down again.

Of course, some form of physical ambush was to be expected from a group who describe themselves as “four disgusting people in one disgusting band”, whose online home can be found at fuckwounds.com, and who have opened for the all-spitting, all-snarling Gallows, but unlike the boys from Watford, they don’t have the hard-hitting prose or the musical heft to back it up. That said, it’s not an entirely bad thing that the theatrics outweigh the tunes tonight – at a festival like Camden Crawl, it’s all about making an impression and Wounds’ gag-riddled set certainly captured my interest.

TONIGHT:

Clock Opera

Melodica Deathship

Lemonada

Tieranniesaur

Alarmist

We Are Losers

Hands Up Who Wants To Die

Lafaro

Cashier No.9

Ghostpoet

Katie Kim

Kwes

My Best Fiend

Toby Kaar

Rubberbandits

Deaf Joe

Girl Band

Sleep Thieves

Bantum

Fionn Regan

Gaz Coombes

Mystery Jets

Axis Of

The Crayon Set

Dott

I’m Your Vinyl

Inni-k

Kool Thing

Moscow Metro

No Monster Club

The Notas

Rhob Cunningham

Simon Bird

Swords

Tara Masterson Halley

Yeh Deadlies

Hush War Cry

Fred & Bob

Nanu Nanu

Barry Not Garry

And more from Evi Vine, Trophy Wife, Polarbear, Let’s Buy Happiness, Dam Mantle, Blacklisters, Dels, D/R/U/G/S, Dutch Uncles and Becoming Real.

Day tickets are priced €25.00. To buy, go here.

Ones To Watch 2012: Day Four

Although I sadly missed the debut live performance by Nanu Nanu, Day Four of Ones To Watch couldn’t have been sweeter, thanks to great sets by Bouts, The Dying Seconds and more. It was a perfect, if a little overwhelming, end to the festival that is fast becoming one of the most essential events in Irish music.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 14

Depravations

Bouts

Spies

Alarmist

Redwoods

Dying Seconds

CFIT

Holy Roman Army

The Gandhis

Come On Live Long

Hush War Cry

Nanu Nanu

Trap Door

Futures Apart

Raglans

Gypsies OnThe Autobahn

The Great:

Performing in Whelan’s on Day Four. Photo by Ruth Medjber.

Spies

Doom rockers Spies have an average age of about 19, so it would make perfect sense if their live show involved all five members awkwardly fumbling about the stage, bumping into each other and knocking over their monitors. Instead they are, simply, one of the most composed bands around, which perfectly suits their booming, epic, thundering sound. Drummer Jeffrey Courtney-Flynn earned plenty of fans last night with his roaring, rumbling grooves. Meanwhile, Michael Broderick’s floor-skimming voice gets me every time.

The (also) Great:

Performing in Whelan’s on Day Four. Photo by Ruth Medjber.
Alarmist

Instrumental foursome Alarmist are already known for their incredible live show, but even their biggest fans (myself included) will have been impressed with last night’s set, which countless members of the audience watched literally open-mouthed. Typically of the alt. rockers, the show was was totally gimmick-free (aside from perhaps, when Barry O’Halpin played guitar and keys at the same time, which is surely a gimmick worth applauding). Alarmist don’t do smoke and mirrors, just soaring, arresting choons, flawlessly executed.

The Surprise: 

Performing in the Village on Day Four. Photo by Ruth Medjber.
.
Gypsies On The Autobahn
Cabra Indie rockers Gypsies On The Autobahn are allegedly one of the most talked-about bands in Ireland (at least, according to a press release issued by erm, Gypsies On The Autobahn), but these chart-ready wise guys were far from the most talked-about band at Ones To Watch. While Lethal Dialect, Wizards Of Firetop Mountain, Daithi, Spies, Alarmist and others received their fair share of smoking area back pats, GOTA’s Village show passed without a hint of hype, for two possible reasons. 1) Despite forming in 2006, the band only perfected their spiky, harmony-led, Maccabees-style Indie pop in the last few weeks, or 2) because we all figured that if they were worth a look, surely someone would have said something before now.
.
However you explain it, the important thing to remember is that Gypsies On The Autobahn played a striking set last night to a tiny, freezing (the inexplicably Baltic temperatures in the Village are a story for another day) but nonetheless enraptured crowd. At a festival where rap and metal played happily alongside folk, rock and electronica, it was nice to see some thoughtful, accomplished pop sneak in at the last minute.
.
For more pics from Friday and Saturday, see Ruth’s blog.
.

Ones To Watch: Day Three

Sleep Thieves performing in The Village on Day Three. (Deadly) photo by Ruth Medjber.

Day Three of Ones To Watch 2012 boasted more musician-with-laptop types than any other event I’ve been to on Irish shores, which, at first, appeared to be good news for the beat-hungry paying customer, but bad news for the artists themselves. With so many similar acts on the bill, how does Joey Two Synth make his name count? And more importantly, how many individuals from this tipsy Friday night crowd will be able to remember it tomorrow?

There’s no questioning the Irish appetite for computer-generated sounds – you only have to look to the drool-inducing line-up gracing the Twisted Pepper tonight (SertOneBantumMontoDatadrip, Reid and more) for proof that electronic music is in marvelously good health – but a truckload of them all at once was just too much to process. At least, this is what I assumed.

As it happened, the acts on last night’s bill were innovative and versatile enough to vanquish my worries completely. On first gawk, it would have been easy to mix up Last Days Of 1984, Tenaka and White Collar Boy or equally, Reid, Simon Bird, Bantum and Trophy Boyfriend, but each set was genuinely memorable, with each new sound tugging at a different nerve.

I’m not even going to attempt a comprehensive review of last night’s goings-on. Reid delivered above and beyond what I was expecting. Daithi trumped anything I’ve seen him do before. It was a night for overachieving.

Tonight, at the band-heavy fourth installment of Ones To Watch, I’ll be asking the same questions as before, only replacing Joey Two Synth with Billy New Strat. If I get anywhere near as encouraging an answer, I’ll be a very happy punter.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 13

Bantum

Reid

Daithi

Last Days Of 1984

White Collar Boy

Tenaka

Simon Bird

School Tour

Trophy Boyfriend

Nanobot

Sleep Thieves

North Sea

Morning Hush

Girl Band*

Ghost Estates

* Change from original line-up which listed Future Monarchs.

The Good:

White Collar Boy

The brainchild of Dubliners Gavin White and Mark Cummins, White Collar Boy sound mightily impressive on wax (by which of course I mean SoundCloud), but their oft-peaceful electronica took on a whole different form in the upstairs crook of Whelan’s last eve. The dreamy, ambient grooves on their Solar Midnight mini-album gave way to freewheeling rhythms, razor-sharp hooks and periodically, bone-shaking thumps, made all the more charming with some eerie, booming vocals. I was pretty floored to learn that their first live show took place only a month ago.

The Great:

Simon Bird performing in Whelan’s on Day Three. Photo by Ruth Medjber.

Simon Bird

Dublin-based Brit Simon Bird is the man responsible for one of my favourite sets at 2011’s Hard Working Class Heroes festival, so I was hardly surprised when I fell for his jarring, industrial grooves all over again last night. The real miracle is that, in just three months, Bird’s live show has become sharper, louder and all the more engaging.

A bonus: if you took a step back and squinted, it kinda sorta looked like Prince Harry was banging out the choons.

The Painfully Clever:

Trophy Boyfriend:

Dublin-based production whiz and probable evil genius Gregor Ruigrok AKA Trophy Boyfriend didn’t so much as flinch when he dropped his remix of Jedward’s ‘Lipstick’ towards the end of his set, but, to me at least, it felt like a dastardly plan to trick music-lovers into dancing blissfully along to the country’s most frequently-bemoaned musical duo. And dance they did…while bellowing out the reconstituted chorus. Interestingly enough, Trophy Boyfriend received equally ecstatic reactions for remixes of tracks by The Cast Of Cheers (‘Family’) and Le Galaxie (‘Powers Of Miami’), two bands whom it is acceptable, nay demanded, for any self-respecting Irish music fan to like. Clever, clever lad.

TONIGHT:

Depravations

Bouts

Spies

Alarmist

Redwoods

Dying Seconds

CFIT

Holy Roman Army

The Gandhis

Come On Live Long

Hush War Cry

Nanu Nanu

Trap Door

Futures Apart

Raglans

Gypsies On The Autobahn

For times, go here.

New Irish Sounds: Reid

The name: Reid. Just Reid.

The deal: yet another young Irishman making potent, swoonworthy electronica, 22-year-old Corkman Eoghan Reid launched his solo project a little quicker than most, playing his first ever live show at Electric Picnic last September. Since then, he’s released a debut EP, Genesis, and rustled up some really lovely remixes of tracks by Twin Sister, Owensie and Come On Live Long.

The sound: Woozy, atmospheric and heavy on the fizz and crackle.

This remix of Come On Live Long‘s ‘White Horses’ is my favourite Reid number yet, available for free download here.

There’s also Genesis, the free mini-album which was released on Blah Blah Blah Records last November. Here’s the video for the title track, featuring footage from Dimensions Of Dialogue, a stop motion animation created by Czech artist Jan Švankmajer.

 

He says: “MPD32 is making my live set so much more fun… Can’t wait to test it out at the Ones To Watch 2012 in Whelans.” – from Twitter

I say: If the live show’s half as good as the recorded material, Ireland’s got another truly brilliant beatmaker on her hands.

For lovers of: Toby Kaar, Solar BearsPaul Kalkbrenner 

In a word: cryptic

What now? Get an earful of Reid here and an eyeful of Reid tonight in Whelan’s as part of the Ones To Watch festival, or tomorrow in the Twisted Pepper along with, among others, SertOne, Bantum and Monto.

Follow: EoghanReid

Like: Reid on Facebook