Wednesday, June 26, 2013

O Emperor live at Bourkes, Limerick 20/06/2013

Waterford's very own O Emperor were back in Limerick to release their brand new album 'Vitreous' last Thursday in the intimate surrounds of Bourkes bar on Catherine street. The highly successful venue have been putting on a great number of acts recently under the new moniker of Seoda Shows, go check out upcoming gigs here.

First up on the bill tonight was that of Cat Dowling , The ex-Aphastates band member played a lovely set of tracks armed just with an acoustic guitar and her incredible voice akin to 'Karen O' or a grittier 'Regina Spektor'. She is able to obtain some great sounds from her vocal chords as she seems to be transported right into the lyrics of the tracks on stage. The haunting gravely vocals go excellently well with the guitar plucking as she warmed up the night nicely. Cat currently has an album on sale entitled 'The Believer' which boosts a full band, She explains to the crowd that she feels a bit lost without them tonight but she is quite able without them. Go check out more from Cat here

Next up were the five piece headliners who smashed straight into their sixteen track set. The venue was wall to wall people at this stage and was a bit too packed for comfort , the warm weather during the day not helping but it didn't really matter as any where you stood in the bar you were less than 8 feet from the stage.

The set consisted of five from their debut album 'Hither Thither' and the full listing from the brand new album out that day 'Vitreous'. I was must say I was wary of the new stuff hearing bits and pieces on the lead up to the release but listening to it live and on the album it all seems to work perfect. I was a big fan of the debut so it was hard to hear such a change in sound for the band. The lads have become far more experimental with the new record and the sound has matured greatly.

The new album comes in at just under the thirty minute mark and before you know it your half way through the whole album again, not necessary a bad thing as the songs get better as you grow into them. The album boosts a massive wall of sound with epic vocal layering as always, think the crescendos of Sgt. Peppers and the Beach boys inspired surf rock yet they still keep their own identity with beautifully crafted tracks such as the piano driven 'Grandmother Mountain' to the in your face edgy rock number 'Contact'. Also loving the Baba O'Rileyesque piano flow on the album track 'Whitener(Part 1)' .The album is a joy to listen to and I am sure will be on many a top ten list at the end of the year.
The band have come along way since I first saw them live in Dolans back in January 2010. (Review here). The lads are currently on a full Irish tour and then off on a  heavy summer of giging in Europe. The lead singer and the drummer have brought their dads on tour to do the driving and merchandise selling at the gigs. They seem to be doing a good job anyways and I managed to pick up a lovely vinyl copy of the new album on the night. They put on a great show , cheers to Bourkes and O Emperor!
Go find out more and buy their album here .

Set List:
Don Quixote
Grandmother Mountain
Holy Fool
Taloned Air
Erman Gou
Don't Mind Me
Land of the Living
This is It
Soft In The Head
Electric Tongues

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Who live at the Point ,Dublin 08/06/2013 Review + Bootleg

The last time I witnessed the Who was back in 2006 at the Oxegen festival, That gig blew me away so I headed to Dublin to get another blasting by the legendary troupe. Tonight's gig would be their eight time to play Ireland and their first night of the Quadrophenia euro tour.

Support tonight came in the form of L.A. rockers 'Vintage Trouble' , This band were incredible! The front man Ty Taylor's energy was something to behold and the full band were decked out in three piece suits oozing 50s soul music. The look was not where the comparisons stopped as the sound was James Brown/Otis Redding/Chuck Berry reincarnated and it was just a joy to watch. The band clearly were loving every second of it and really got into the swing of things. Their infectious sound and energy had the early O2 arrivals on their feet and clapping. These guys were a great opener and well worth checking out, go pay them a visit here.

The Who assembled on stage and went straight into playing the full 1973 Quadrophenia rock opera from start to finish. The album is pretty much a autobiography of the members of the band and the theme of the conflict between the Mods and Rockers at the time. Tonight saw the point filled with many fans reliving their Mod days in the full gear.
The stage was adorned with impressive screens as you will see from the videos , These screens were filled with classic shots/videos of the band and also practically gave a full history lesson of images throughout the world down through the years. It was a fascinating watch!

Being the first night on the tour you could see the band were still shaky playing the album tracks as they must not have had much time to rehearse and it would have been awhile since a lot of these had an airing on stage. The interaction between Daltrey and Townshend was great fun to watch as they seem to be really enjoying it and making fun at each other particularly Pete taking the piss out of Rodger. I have watched many a live gig from the Who on DVD and I must say Rodgers voice was the best I have heard, I presume being the first night of the tour helped but he nailed every note and really was sublime throughout.

They had some great images of the band down through the years on the big screen and the late Keith Moon and John Entwistle played big parts on the nights proceedings, The track Bell Boy was started by Moon via video footage and he played and sang throughout as Rodger looked at the screen with huge emotion. The same was done for the Ox as he played a classic bass solo seamlessly with the band thanks to brilliant video footage again quite an emotional moment as Rodger saluted the big screens.
Considering the age of these guys sixty eight and sixty nine they put on a serious show, Daltrey looked like a young man and I was genuinely impressed by his physique. Not many sixty nine year olds would be able to pull of the shirt half open look. He was giving it socks on stage classic swirling of the microphone into the air at a crazy speed and catching it like a young fella. Townsend was at the same classic moves jumping around the place and windmilling the guitar like he was back when they first started out. The rock and roll lifestyle clearly suits this pairing.

After playing the full length album it was time to dust off the classics with 'Who are Who' stating the proceedings. This prompted the crowd to rise to their feet and stay standing until the end. I must say I really enjoyed this part and the seats I got we the icing on the cake being only five rows from the front , dead centre. The band finished with the brilliant 'Wont Get Fooled again' and then Rodger and Pete came back out to play 'Tea And Theatre' from 2006′s Endless Wire with Pete on the acoustic guitar and Rodger with a mug of tea. This ended a superb night of music! What's great is that someone recorded the whole gig and the bootleg is free to download from here. Enjoying listening back to it all day, Cheers for a great night!

01 I Am the Sea
02 The Real Me
03 Quadrophenia
04 Cut My Hair
05 The Punk and The Godfather
06 I’m One
07 The Dirty Jobs
08 Helpless Dancer
09 Is It In My Head?
10 I’ve Had Enough
11 5.15
12 Sea and Sand
13 Drowned
14 Bell Boy
15 Dr Jimmy
16 The Rock
17 Love Reign O’er Me
18 Band intros
19 Who Are You
20 Behind Blue Eyes
21 Pinball Wizard
22 Baba O’Riley
23 Won’t Get Fooled Again
24 Tea and Theatre

Animal Beats live at Dolans 31/05/2013 Review

At the end of last month saw local outfit Animal Beats put on a great show of music upstairs in Dolans.
Support on the night came from local bands 'Randolf and the Crokers' and 'Purple Earth Theory' who warmed up the crowd nicely. By the time Animal beats were to take to the stage the small intimate venue was wall to wall people. This was the last night in limerick before the band headed off to New York for the summer taking in gigs and releasing their brand new EP 'Carnival'. They played a great set full of their local crowd favourites and some brand new tracks that will be released on the new EP . The EP will get its first outing over in America and will be released here when they head home after the summer, So expect another string of dates from the lads. Check out one of the newer tracks below taken from the night in Dolans.
The new tracks sounded super with additions of strings and added piano , the bands sound is maturing excellently. They played a cracking night of music with the crowd demanding encores which were not rehearsed, The band replayed some of the set with the crowd more than happy to hear them again.
Hope the American trip goes well for them and looking forward to hearing the stories and checking out the new EP when they return, check them out here.

Milk Baby live at Cobblestone Joes 22/05/2013 Review

Only a month late on this review but here goes, Local band Milk Baby played a super midweek session in Cobblestone Joes. The Wednesday original night has really taken off and has been showcasing some great talent over the last year.
Tonight's turn was four piece student band Milk Baby, the lads have a great following in town and have recently released a self titled EP which can be downloaded for free over on their soundcloud page here . The bands sound is a great mix up of reggae , rock and rap. An usual mix but it works well.

Randolf and the Crokers supported the lads on the night, It was the first gig with a drummer and the set is sounding great, Next gig for the lads is a headline slot in Cobblestone Joes on the 27th of June, Well worth checking out. Support on the night comes from local singer songwriter Jen Ronan.

Milk Baby are well worth checking out , go download their EP and like them on facebook here,
Cheers for a great night!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Albums Worth Listening to in June 2013

Editors – The Weight of Your Love
Beady Eye - Be
Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires Of The City
The O’s – Thunderdog
Miles Kane - Don't Forget Who You Are
Laura Marling – Once I Was An Eagle
As Always suggestions very welcome!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Siobhan O'Brien Album Launch live at Dolans Review 17/05/2013

One of the pillars of the limerick music scene released her album in Dolans warehouse last month to a full house. Local singer songwriter Siobhan O'Brien is constantly gigging , your sure to find her playing in town most weeks with a cover band or on her own. She found the time between gigging to release her self-titled third full album. The album has been doing the rounds for awhile without any main launch so finally she found some time to show it off to people.
It was nice to see a full night of just her original material and on the night she was joined by a full plethora of backing artists including Eamonn Hehir , Danny Byrt , James Hanley , Moriarty, Ralf Leidheim , Aoife McLoughlin and Jen Ronan. A serious night of great music ensued , I have had the album myself awhile and it was great to hear some of the studio tracks really come alive on stage. Check out the brilliant 'Guilty of Despair' below.The album is well worth buying here , truly another limerick gem! Siobhan is off to the states for the summer touring and will be playing loads of local dates too, keep an eye on her here.
Cheers for a great night!