Friday, December 20, 2013

Top Ten Albums of 2013 from Indielimerick

Well that's another year over, Apologies for the small number of posts throughout the year as I have been very busy and 2014 promises to be even busier. I did manage however to review 21 gigs throughout the year. (Reviews all down the right has side of the blog), Gig of the year has to go to Bruce Springsteen in Thomond Park. That gig was amazing as the city was on a high that the Limerick hurlers won the Munster final that week and having someone as big as the Boss play in Limerick was magical.
Another piece of the blog I did manage to keep up to date was the monthly album picks which all can be seen here and now its time to pick my favourite ten of the year. I have been drawing up these list for seven years now and as I always say these are records that I have personally enjoyed over the last year so more than likely I have left out some mainstream classics. In no particular order here they be, Happy Christmas!

Arctic Monkeys - AM
National - Trouble Will Find Me

Arcade Fire - Reflektor
Okkervil River - Silver Gymnasium
Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse
Phosphorescent - Muchacho
Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt

O Emperor - Vitreous
Villagers - Awayland

John Blek and the Rats - Leave Your Love at the Door

Friday, December 13, 2013

Little Green Cars live at Bourkes, Limerick 12/12/2013

Great night of music ensued in Bourkes bar last night as Little Green Cars were playing their first night of a two night sold out stint in the city. Tomorrow night sees Dolans warehouse as the host with support from the brilliant up and coming local band 'Bleeding Heart Pigeons' .

Tonight the support act were a trio from Dublin called 'Other Creatures' , This fresh faced band played a great short opening set. The lead singer played an impressive sounding vintage gretsch guitar which influenced their indie rock sound, I got a funeral suits vibe off their stuff. Definitely a band to keep an eye on.

The bar was very crammed as the main band assembled on the small stage, its great to see an Irish band like this sell out venues around Ireland and have such a great following. The band have had an amazing year with a number one album for their debut Absolute Zero . Touring with Jake Bugg, A Jimmy Fallon appearance , playing SXSW , Coachella, Lollapalooza and the list goes on.... You cant have it any better really.
They arrived out and just accompanied by one guitar and sang sans mics to the now hushed crowd for the opening number. Their harmonies were incredible all night and female singer Faye O'Rourke has an amazing range. After that hairs on the back of the neck opener the band plugged in and got down to business playing crowd favourites while we were entertained between songs about writing processes and band stories. This included the story behind their single 'The John Wayne' as lead singer Stevie Appleby regaled how we had an instant love for an American girl his brother had introduced to him back in the day and how we wrote the track that night on a small drum kit he had assembled at home called 'The Quiet Kit' and that's where the name came from as it was nearly called 'The Quiet Man'.
A thoroughly enjoyable set throughout which ended with the band walking out into the middle of the floor and singing like as they had done at the start of the set.
A great night of music ! Cheers to Seoda shows for a super night!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bombay Bicycle Club live at Dolans 20/11/2013 Review

Indie favourites Bombay Bicycle Club took to the warehouse last month to a full house, The band have a huge following and a great back catalogue to back this up. The sell out of tickets a testament to this.

Supporting the band on the night was Northern Irish singer-songwriter Soak , She silenced the crowd with her lovely tales, just accompanied by a guitar. The derry born artist will be back in Limerick on New Years Eve playing the NYE Bash in Howleys Quay.

Next up were the headliners all the way from London, It was a great scalp for Dolans to get the band as they are often found in huge sell out venues throughout Europe and are a big festival favourite.
Its always great when an band like this decides to play a local venue and you delve into their many albums in the lead up to the gig.
The band have sound tracked many a night out in Costellos and my favourite of theirs has to be the 2010 release 'Flaws'. The band changed their tact a little recording it acoustically and going for the folk feel instead of their usual indie eletro-pop stuff. The album went on to be nominated for the Ivor Novello Award in 2011.

I was amazed at the amount of equipment adorning the large stage in the warehouse. The drummer going for two kits (One Electric) , two keyboards and a horde of guitars and backing singers. They put on a huge performance and played lots from the upcoming album 'So Long, See You Tomorrow' which is due out in February of next year. Many of these songs got their first airing on the night and the crowd were very appreciative of this fact. The set included the new single 'Carry Me' and crowd favourite 'Always Like This' which you can see below in the second video and you will realise why I gave it the crowd favourite stamp.
Hopefully they will be back in this neck of the woods very soon,

Thanks for playing Limerick!

Set List:
Overdone(Live Debut)
It's Alright Now
Your Eyes
How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep
Come To(Live Debut)
Lights Out, Words Gone
Whenever(Live Debut)
Always Like This
Carry Me
Ivy and Gold
What If


Out on a Limb Records 10th Anniversary live at Bourkes & Dolans 10/08/2013 Review

This one is going back a bit but better late then never, the local record label put on and amazing day of music back in August.

Its incredible the work this label has done for Limerick and for the music scene in Ireland in generally and they continue to produce fantastic music to this day. Ten years is a long time for an independent label to be churning out records and especially successful ones including the choice prize nominated release from Windings.

To celebrate they decided to throw on a few gigs around the town which started off in Bourkes and ended in Dolans warehouse. All the bands that played on the day have released material through the label and the family vibe between them all was very much visible. Giveamankick even returned for one night to join in on the celebration. There was great talent on show and the merchandise table had some superb records for sale. I managed to take a good few videos of the bands on the day, so below is a compilation of them. Thanks to Out on a Limb for adding so much to the local scene and here's to another ten years! Cheers!

Go buy music from them here

Protobaby live at Dolans 01/11/2013 Review

Another local release in Dolans this time by Protobaby and yet again a full line up of support bands from limerick too. The honours this time going to My Empire (Video from the night here) and the superb Senakah (Video from the night here).
These two acts kicked off a great night which saw the warehouse flooded with people, some had decided to arrive in costume for Halloween which added to the fun.

The band newly fronted by Aoife McLoughlin were tonight releasing their debut single 'Keep Running' under the new line up. As mentioned before in the review of Protobabys last gig in dolans (Review here) with former frontman Colm McGuinness , the band have kept going after Colms departure due to work and time constraints. The decision of bringing in a female vocalist I am sure shocked a few as the sound of the band was very much led by his baritone voice.  However it was great to see the band not stopping altogether and tonight was the first local unveiling of the new sound.

They put on a superb performance even though it was a short set and I suppose this has to do with only being together for so long. The set included pre Aoife tracks in the guises of State of Affairs & Fluorescent taken from the bands debut album 'The Spark'. The new tracks and new sound is certainly very different from the previous bands work but it certainly works. The highlight of the night being the single 'Keep Running'. Aoifes voice and energy remind me a lot of Karen Os and was pleasantly surprised to hear them do a cover of Yeah Yeah Yeahs Gold Lion and plus its my favourite of theirs.
I am really looking forward to hearing them progress and bring out a full album as soon as possible, Cheers for a great night!

Set List:
Flyin' High
Gold Lion (Yeah Yeah Yeahs Cover)
State of Affairs
Keep Running

Animal Beats live at Dolans 15/11/2013 Review

The local band took to the warehouse to launch their 5 track EP Carnival back in November.
A full list of supporting bands played on the night which included three local bands Going 90, Sum Young Wans and the excellent Dead Red Light.
There was a nice crowd in attendance and was great to see another limerick record being released, The beats have been very busy of late gigging around the country since their stint in New York over the summer.
The lads put on a superb performance as always which included great performances from a string section on certain numbers. The video below sums up the performance with added smoke machine :)
Cheers for an excellent night of music and another gem for the limerick record collection.

Go buy the EP here!

Set list:
Cheap Carnival
Hollow Mountain
If he goes down
Worst of Words
Watching You
Family Tree
Is it a Coincidence
If my Body
Water to Sand

Albums Worth Listening to in Dec 13

Neil Young - Live at the Cellar Door
James Vincent McMorrow - Post Tropical (Not out really until Jan 14 but I have it :)
Jason Isbell - Southeastern
Primal Scream - More Light
Iron & Wine - Ghost On Ghost
Savages - silence yourself

Always suggestions very welcome, Best of 2013 coming soon....