Category: Bands – Dear Desert

Blog Party



Another review gig for Ceol Collective (with thanks to Goldenplec for the passes), the Blog Party in the Sugar Club was an interesting idea. With each of the blogs involved choosing one act for the night, it meant there was a real mix of talents involved. My favourite were Carriages, closely followed by Dear Desert, both of whom I’d seen before. The acts that weren’t for me were the two I hadn’t seen before – September Girls and Bitch Falcon – who just weren’t to my taste.

This gig was originally reviewed for Ceol Collective which has now ceased operations. The review that was published is preserved for posterity here!

When Abner Brown’s decide to throw a party, they do it in style. Their event in the Sugar Club brought some of the best up-and-coming acts and DJ crews of 2014 to the stage, with the range of styles on offer reflecting the diverse Irish music blogs who had chosen them.

First up was Nialler 9’s choice Carriages, who blend producer Harry Bookless’ field-recordings with rich electronic layers and the stunning vocals of Aaron Page. They may have been the openers, but for me, they were the highlight of the night and set a high bar for those who followed.

Next was Le Cool’s selection Dear Desert. Having seen them before (–columbia-mills—whelans-upstairs-nov-29th.html) I knew what to expect, and they didn’t disappoint. Channelling the 80s but avoiding cheesiness is a tricky one to pull off, but Dear Desert do it in style. I’d be surprised if they aren’t snapped up by one of the big labels soon.

The Last Mixed Tape chose September Girls, who brought their noise pop sound to the stage with tonnes of swagger. While not my personal taste, they were the first act of the night to get people to the floor and were a real crowd-pleaser.

However, the final live act, Goldenplec’s pick Bitch Falcon, were the ones that really got the crowd going. Bursting onto the stage with massive riffs and a loud, grunge sound, Bitch Falcon were the perfect closing live act as there were few not on their feet by the end of the set.

Wrapping up the night were Choice Cuts best of 2014 DIP, WellKnown and DiscoTekken, who kept the party going well into the wee hours. A unique idea that created an opportunity to showcase some of the diversity of home grown music around at the moment, the Abner Brown’s Blog Party was a real musical treat.


Dear Desert


September Girls

20150220_233912Bitch Falcon

Columbia Mills


Columbia Mills (called Empire Saints in a previous life) debuted their first EP upstairs in Whelans and I went along for Ceol Collective. Really impressive opening – dying to see them again to be honest. And their support act Dear Desert are definitely ones to watch as well.

This gig was originally reviewed for Ceol Collective which has now ceased operations. The review that was published is preserved for posterity here!

Columbia Mills started as they mean to go on by selling out their debut headline gig in Dublin, upstairs in Whelans, where they launched their new EP “Factory Settings”, with support from the exciting Dear Desert. Watching Columbia Mills smash out one song after another to a packed room, it seems like they have been around forever. This is likely helped by their indietronic sound which is a delicious melting pot of 80s and 90s influences and manages to sound both completely new and utterly familiar.

Support act Dear Desert opened the night with an explosion of synths, deep rhythms and soaring falsettos, impressing the growing crowd. Having recently launched their own EP “Give it Up”, Dear Desert almost stole the show from the headliners with their accomplished sound which hints at impressive things to come. I highly recommend checking them out (here

But Columbia Mills were never going to allow themselves to be surpassed by their brilliant support act. Opening with the distorted vocals and heavy beats of “The Perfect Day”, they clearly stated their intent to be recognised as an exciting new addition to the live music scene. It is apparent that they are not an act who have rushed their EP release – apart from their cover of The National’s “Sorrow” which did the original justice while making it their own, the set consisted of original songs. These Bray natives seem to have far more tracks ready to go than just the four included on Factory Settings, so it is likely that we’ll be getting another release in 2015.

Standout tracks on the night were the encore set of “Bass Soup” followed by current single “Never Gonna Look at You the Same” which highlights the band’s ability to resist relying on the more electronic influences of the rest of the set and to produce a radio-friendly single while maintaining their distinctive sound. A brilliant debut, it seems likely that this is only the beginning for Columbia Mills.

“Factory Settings” is available here  




Columbia Mills



Dear Desert