Friday, April 20, 2012

Ryan Adams live at the Olympia Theatre , Dublin 19/04/12 Review

It would be my fifth time to witness Ryan live and tonight already was shaping up to be a great gig as it must have been the best venue of the five. The Victorian Music Hall that is the Olympia oozed history as you walked in, The walls covered in images of past greats to adorn the stage everyone from Johnny cash to Radiohead. Inside the large stage was surrounded by ornate balconies and a fully seated venue. Ryan obviously seems to like the venue too as it is his fifth time to play the Olympia.
Inside we found ourselves in the ground floor bar called Maureens, Once again this bar was wall to wall pictures of acts that have played the venue down through the years. Most of the pictures featured the bars oldest employee Maureen, 64 years on and Maureen is still helping out in the bar. Had a nice chat with her as she stung us for a few euro for charity for a local hospital, a nice lady with some great stories. Over the intercom we were ushered to our seats, the support act was about to commence.

I am always very interested and excited to find out who Ryan has made his support for the gigs as you often see some great names for his American tours, of the four previous times I have seen him live he has only provided one support in the shape of Jessie Malin for the Glasgow gig I saw last year. All the others were with the Cardinals and there wasn't a need for a support. Tonight saw the honours fall to Alasdair Roberts , Unfortunately after the first few seconds of the performance I had wished I stayed in Maureens bar. I don't like to slate any act but I really didn't see what Ryan saw in this guy, Poorly constructed songs and even worse vocals made for a chatty/bad atmosphere around the venue. The Scottish folk ballad singer didn't fit the bill here at all, its rare your looking forward to the end of a song.

Well that's not what we came for tonight and what we did come for just walked out on stage and blasted straight into a 18 strong set of greatness. He was clearly on form tonight with witty remarks throughout the show on the first night of his European tour 2012. He interrupted the start of one song due to some loud audience members chatting about their day, Ryan said he was trying to let his body do the song while he tried to interpret the Irish accent and find out what the hell they were talking about but to him it just sounded like bees buzzing. His latest and thirteenth album Ashes and Fire featured heavily in the set and a great sprinkling of his superb back catalogue, the set also included "16 Days" from previous band 'Whiskeytown' which he referred to as the 'Space Maggots'.
He deviated from the piano on the left of the stage to chair on front and standing to the right of the stage throughout the night, The sound might have been a little too low at times as they were really going for that intimate acoustic feel.
He misheard a song request for La Cienega Just Smiled at one stage, instead hearing Reba McEntire still smiling. He then went on to hilariously lambaste the American County Music Awards to which Reba had just hosted. This became a running joke for the night with tales of red necks singing about Jesus and their favourite pick up truck while wearing chaps, He was in flying form!

I Really enjoyed hearing some of Ashes and Fire live, it really is a superb addition to his back catalogue ,and certainly my top record of 2011. Managed to pick up a nice vinyl version of it at the gig too. Apologies for no pictures or video but like the last tour Ryan is on a strict no camera rule, with which I respect. I'm sure some will surface and I will post here if I can.
For one of the piano numbers Ryan played a lament for his cat referred to as Mr.Cat , the extremely funny thought out number had tales of the cat getting up to mischief with his not so intelligent cat brother. How he looks like a tiger when stoned and reads high brow literature when Ryan is out. All this before playing a beautiful slow rendition of New York, New York.
He thanked the crowd and said he loves playing Ireland and exited the stage and then returned minutes later joking that he was just back to pick up his amps and leave, Ryan then played a cover of 80s heavy metal outfit DIO's 'Holy Diver' putting his excellent stamp on it. He then left to a standing ovation from the crowd.
Yet again another great Ryan Adams gig and was delighted he was in such good form, Well worth the trip from limerick even when you make it home at all hours in the am.
01 Sweet Carolina
02 Ashes and Fire
03 If I am a Stranger
04 Dirty Rain
05 My Winding Wheel
06 Rescue Blues
07 Please do not let me go false start
08 Please Do Not Let Me Go
09 Banter & Tuning
10 Do I wait
11 Send in the next audience
12 Firecracker
13 Everybody knows
14 Sweet Lil Gal
15 More Banter & Tuning - this place really is haunted
16 Let it Ride
17 Reba McEntire and the CMAs
18 English Girls Approximately
19 My career is fucked - cowboy hats over Tennessee
20 Chains of Love
21 More Banter & Tuning - intro to 16 Days
22 16 Days
23 Mr Cat
24 New York New York
25 Drink more orange juice - Metallgher
26 Lucky Now
27 Goodnight
28 Come pick Me Up
29 Encore Break
30 Holy Diver - Dio Cover

Thursday, April 19, 2012

If Memory Serves + Birdthistle live at Cobblestone Rocks 18/04/12 Review

Last night was the second installment of Cobblestone Rocks, The weekly original gig night in Cobblestone Joes is going well and has some great bands lined up in the coming weeks. Check out a review of Dead Red Light and Randolf's gig there last week on the left.

This week was yet again the turn of two local acts taking to the stage, First up were Birdthistle tonight in acoustic format and without a bassist. These lads are extremely hardworking and its clear in their sound how much they play together. They are hoping to release their debut full length album sometime this year and I'm really looking forward to hearing it after the success of their single release 'Let It All Go Home'. The county limerick lads put on a great set as always, Hopefully we will have them back to Cobblestone Rocks soon headlining with a full band on tow. Keep an eye on them here.

Next up were the young limerick band If Memory Serves , These rapscallions play a balls out rock and roll show in stark contrast to the acoustic folk show the previous act had played. It very easy to mistake the lads for a Arctic Monkeys tribute band but its also very hard to shy away for the resemblance right down to the look and the on stage carry on and especially in the sound and lyrics. Hell they even played a few covers but at the end of the day these guys are from Limerick and they are producing a big fun sound. I guess id prefer to be compared to Alex Turner than Tina Turner. They are currenlty in the process of recording and have already released 'Chip Shop Rock n' Roll Machine' check it out here.
The four piece made up of Adam Haugh, Aaron Davis, Ian Brew and Niall Warfield are gigging mad at the moment and play the Blind Pig this Saturday supporting dREA, Looking forward to seeing these lads grow as a band and I'm sure we will see a lot more of them,
Cheers for a good night.

If you would like to feature at Cobblestone Rocks give us a shout at

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dead Red Light + Randolf live at Cobblestone Rocks 11/04/12 Review

Tonight saw the first edition of the weekly Cobblestone Rocks gig nights in Cobblestone Joes. The Wednesday night gig will see two acts play the excellent venue each week. The pub itself has recently put up a large stage at the back of the pub which makes for a perfect gig venue.

There was a nice crowd in the bar and there was a BBQ blasting out burgers and hotdogs, not too bad for a midweek night in April. First to take to the stage was singer songwriter Randolf
Randolf is currently in the middle of recording an EP and is hoping to have a lead single coming out in the next few weeks, Tonight he played a nice 30 minute set. The Limerick man gave us a great insight into to what to expect from the the EP , Looking forward to hearing a full band sound on the record. Keep an eye on him here.

Next up were Dead Red Light , The hard working Limerick band played a great loud energetic set as always. As with Randolf the lads are currently in the process of bringing out their EP, Tonight saw them play a few brand new tracks never before played live. Once again really looking forward to hearing their new release. Check them out here.

A successful first installment of Cobblestone Rocks and another great addition to the massive music scene in Limerick.
Next Wednesday sees If Memory Serves take to the cobblestone stage, Keep an eye on the gig listings for Cobblestone Rocks here

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cobblestone Rocks every Wednesday night

Starting tomorrow night with the excellent Dead Red Light and Randolf , Cobblestone Joes will be transformed into a rock bar every Wednesday night. All original bands and singer songwriters will make up the midweek gig. Another great venue addition for bands and fans in Limerick.

Keep an eye on the facebook page Cobblestone Rocks for more info, Here is a sample of the upcoming nights:
11/04/12 - Dead Red Light support Randolf
18/04/12 - If Memory Serves plus support TBC
25/04/12 - AFMR POP plus Support TBC

Friday, April 6, 2012

Albums Worth Listening to in April 2012

The Shins – Port Of Morrow
Life Support -A Compilation in Aid of Pieta House (Out on the 20th)Gaz Coombes - Here Come The Bombs
Paul Weller – Sonik Kicks
M. Ward - A Wasteland Companion
The Cheiftains - Voice of Ages

As Always Suggestions very welcome!