Monday, December 21, 2015

Top Ten Albums of 2015

Gaz Coombes - Matador
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Chasing Yesterday
Editors - In Dream
Ryan Adams - 1989
Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear
Villagers - Darling Arithmetic
Circa Waves - Young Chasers
Blur - The Magic Whip
Jape - This Chemical Sea
Foals - What Went Down

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Albums Worth Checking out in August 2015

Gavin Glass - Sunday Songs
Marty O'Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra - Pray for Rain
Wilco - Star Wars
Iron & Wine & Ben Birdwell - Sing into my mouth
Danny & the Champions of the World - What Kind of Love
The Macabees - Marks to Prove it

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Libertines live at the Point, Dublin 09/07/2015 Review

Last night I got my chance to tick another band off my list of bands to see before I die. My first taste of the Libertines was hearing their 2004 self titled album shortly after it was released. Since then the band has been a mainstay on the pod, record player and any playlist I’d make. That same year the lads went their separate ways and after a long eleven years they find themselves in Ireland headlining their third ever Irish date. During those years I kept an eye on all the side projects from both Pete and Carl and along with the rest of the world, looked on as Pete self-destructed, hoping that he would get himself together and that the band would finally play live again.

 I got to see Carl live when 'Dirty Pretty Things' played limerick in 2008 (Review). I managed to meet him later on in the night in Costellos (a local nightclub) and bought him a double whiskey :)

 I’m delighted to see that Pete has turned himself around somewhat and that the lads are currently bringing out new tracks. The latest offering of last weeks single 'Gunga Din' gives us great hope for the third album 'Anthems For Doomed Youth' which is out on September 4th.

I arrived at the Point early and managed to get a good spot middle center amongst the rowdy crowd, populated with young Pete-a-likes and older Mods wearing smirks of amusement at the high-jinx of the plethora of wasted teens. Unsurprisingly the boisterous crowd was bubbling with excitement and despite a love of throwing their plastic pints full of very over-priced beer into the air throughout the night, the atmosphere managed to build to the cusp of anarchy without ever spilling over into full blown carnage. The support act 'The Courteeners' warmed up the place nicely. I wouldn't know much of their stuff but the crowd seemed pleased with their well-played, if somewhat forgettable set. It nearly felt like a hometown gig for them with the amount of Manchester heads knocking around at the front of the gig.

The lowering of a banner brandishing the now iconic font of ‘The Libertines’ on stage signalled the lads arrival on stage with the Dubliners 'Molly Malone' providing entrance music to a frenzied reception from the crowd. Without any hesitation, the band blasted through an excellently picked set sprinkled with three new tracks from the forthcoming album which all sounded brilliant live. The old tracks still stood up and sounded fresh. I wasn't expected much judging from past live shows in which I have witnessed sloppy vocals and poor playing, but the band were surprisingly tight with Pete and Carl chemistry at the fore. It was really nice to be proven wrong and the crowd squealed to see the pair sharing a mic throughout the set and clearly having such great craic on stage.

The gig had it all. From marriage proposal fails to the random appearance of a bleary-eyed Shane McGowan on stage (apparently falling asleep at the side of the stage during the gig, or so Pete said). He joined them a second time at the end for a bow to the crowd. The band finished the night in true rock and roll style throwing around their guitars and launching mic stands and mics into the crowd.

I had fully intended to drive back to Limerick after the gig but this was too good of a gig not to enjoy with a few pints so three songs in and following some frantic phone calls, a hotel was booked :) It truly was an amazing gig and it was brilliant to hear those tracks live and it was mad to see all the kids at the gig having that same love of those songs.

 The length of their time away would have been detrimental to most bands but the Libertines are if anything bigger than ever playing secret shows in Glastonbury and headlining festivals for the summer. The new album sounds promising so hopefully we will see more live dates cropping up around. It is one show not to miss out on before another possible break up happens :)

Check out my video below for a sample of the brilliance.

Set List:
The Delaney
Campaign Of Hate
Time For Heroes
The Ha Ha Wall
What Katie Did Music
When The Lights Go Out
The Boy Looked At Johnny
Boys In The Band
Gunga Din
 Can't Stand Me Now
Death On The Stairs
Tell The King
The Good Old Days
You’re My Waterloo
What Became Of The Likely Lads
Don’t Look Back Into The Sun
Up The Bracket
What A Waster
I Get Along


Friday, May 29, 2015

Albums Worth Checking out in May 2015

Randolf & the Crokers - Conversation Amongst the Ruins
SOAK - Before We Forgot to Dream
The Vaccines - English Graffiti
The Milk Carton Kids - Monterey
Changing Trains - Theory of Everything
The Sandy Rats - EP

Friday, April 24, 2015

Albums Worth Checking out in April 2015

Ryan Adams - Live at Carnegie Hall
Villagers - Darling Arithmetic
The Tallest Man on Earth - Dark Bird is Home
Jesse Malin - New York Before the War
Circa Waves - Young Chasers
Blur - The Magic Whip

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Albums Worth Checking out in Mar 2015

Butch Walker - Afraid of Ghosts
Gaz Coombes – Matador
The Decembrists – What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
Noel Gallagher - Chasing Yesterday
Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear
Natalie Prass - Natalie Prass

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Ryan Adams & the Shining live at the Cork Opera House 03/03/2015 Review

This was to be my fifth time witnessing Mr. Ryan live and was delighted to be finally seeing him playing in Cork. The other three occasions he played the city always didn't work out for me so it was great to just head down the road for an hour and a half and get to such a great gig. We arrived into the opera house just as the support act Natalie Prass was in full flow , It took me a few minutes to realise that in the corner was Ryan on electric guitar and also fellow band member Daniel Clarke on keys. She played a really nice set and will be sure to check out her brand new album just out in January.

After a short wait and a shuffle to pretty much standing in the front row on came Ryan and the Shining to blast out the tour front runner 'Gimme Something Good' . I must admit at this point my dislike of the shining and its purely on the basis of being absolutely spoilt from the Cardinals. I guess that nothing will ever match 2008's gig in the Ambassador in Dublin when the Cardinals were in full flight. The harmonies and that tight knit feeling will never be replaced . I also keep hearing the new live stuff yearning for Jon Graboff's steel guitar parts. That said listening to the live performances of late the band are certainly growing in sound and I was looking forward to hearing a band sound from Ryan after the last two gigs I witnessed have been solo outings (Olympia, Dublin 2012 & Glasgow in 2011) .

Throughout the first two tracks Ryan was indicating to the sound board of issues and after a few songs stopped up and tried to sort it out. He let us know that their were issues with his monitor and jokingly described it like coming to work to find your desk glued to the ceiling. He also said he wrecked his voice during Dirty Rain and there was definitely a croaky element to the vocals throughout. I hope he wasn't walking around Cork that day in the denim jacket and t-shirt but most likely he was considering we don't see much else from his wardrobe :)

After seven songs with the band he decided it best to just play solo to save his voice , We were treated to fourteen intimate acoustic tracks with super crowd interactions and a very laid back vibe as he flicked through his song book picking random gems from his catalogue . Hilariously choosing to cover Bryan Adams' Run to You , the now classic improvised Mr.Cat and covering Patrick Swayze's She's like the Wind. He then dragged the band back on stage to close the night with the crowd favourite Come Pick Me Up . All in all a great night , looking forward to Ryan coming back to Ireland again soon hopefully.

For previous reviews & a History of Ryan's Irish Tour Dates click here

Set List:
Gimme Something Good (w/Band)
Let it Ride (w/Band)
Stay with Me (w/Band)
Dirty rain (w/Band)
Dear Chicago (w/Band)
House not for Sale (w/Band)
Everybody knows (w/Band)

Winding Wheel
Why do they Leave
New York, New York
La Cienega Just Smiled
Let go
If I am a Stranger
Run to You (Bryan Adams )
Mr. Cat Improv
Carolina (w/Natalie Prass)
Friends She's like the Wind (Patrick Swayze) (w/Natalie Prass)

Come Pick Me Up (w/Band)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Albums Worth Checking out in Feb 2015

Bob Dylan - Shadows In The Night
Jape - This Chemical Sea
Gemma Hayes – Bones + Longing
The Phantom Band – Fears Trending
The Charlatans – Modern Nature
Belle & Sebastian - Girls in Peacetime want to dance