Category: Bands – Gavin James

Hot Press Big Break Live 2014

20140605_202907

 

 

 

Hot Press Big Break Live brought a big crowd to Odessa Club to see winners Rocstrong, with the ever charming Gavin James opening. He’s always a pleasure to watch and is so unbelievably talented.

20140605_202915

Rocstrong, meanwhile, brought some swagger to the night – although admittedly, not entirely to my taste. It’ll be interesting to see what they do in the future, but after tonight, I wonder whether they are at risk of being a one-hit-wonder (although admittedly their single “Go Head” is brilliant).20140605_210712

Advertisements

The Erics

20140130_225428

If I’m honest, I probably shouldn’t have been at the Erics. Getting over a chest infection is never the best scenario for getting the best out of a gig – freezing, knackered and hacking up a lung, I felt like I should apologise to those standing around me for the added sound effects!

 

But that aside, Entertainment.ie had managed to put together a great line-up for their awards night, The Erics, with some of the best acts around at the moment. Cave Ghosts and Gavin James opened up the night, followed by O Emperor (who I had been dying to see again since their new album came out) and stars of the show, Le Galaxie. It was a night definitely worth staying out past my bedtime for!

20140130_201417

20140130_204022

Cave Ghosts 20140130_205643

Gavin James 20140130_213326

20140130_213427

O Emperor 20140130_223428

20140130_223953

20140130_225433Le Galaxie

20140130_224515

Dave Le Galaxie has a rock-star moment

First Fortnight 2014

20140112_011407Vann Music (First Fortnight finale gig, Button Factory)

As is rapidly becoming a January tradition for me (and by the look of the crowds, for lots of people!), my first outing of the year was to First Fortnight, Ireland’s mental health arts festival. I’ve talked previously about how amazing I think this festival is, with its mix of music, poetry, art, film and theatre in addition to discussion forums. The fact that year-on-year, this festival has managed to gather growing crowds at a time of year when the tendency is to hibernate, and to keep prices at a level that allows people to come when no-one is feeling flush, is a testament to just how brilliantly organised it is. The growing numbers in attendance mean that the festival is continuing to spread its message of normalising the discussion of mental health in Ireland, and continuing to challenge mental health prejudice through the creative arts. In a country that seems to only be slowly coming to the realisation that talking is important, the open discussion that takes place at the First Fortnight events encourages people to talk but manages to avoid being preachy.

20140111_212123Spot Gavin James going unplugged in the crowd (First Fortnight finale gig, Button Factory)

20140111_215424The Academic (First Fortnight finale gig, Button Factory) – disgustingly talented for ones so young!

20140111_222539

Come on Live Long (First Fortnight finale gig, Button Factory) 20140111_232609

Heathers (First Fortnight finale gig, Button Factory) 20140112_010810 Vann Music (First Fortnight finale gig, Button Factory)

This year, I went to more events than usual. Apart from my traditional trips to the Therapy Sessions music and poetry events, and the Finale gig featuring some of the best Irish acts around at the moment, I went to Silver Linings Playbook followed by a discussion panel and a play so brilliant that I went back to see it again and brought my parents – Confusion Boats (I’m not going to say anything about this other than that I think Ger Kelly, writer and star, is a serious talent, and that everyone should go see it!).

20140103_213755

Laura Elizabeth Hughes (First Fortnight Therapy Sessions 1, Workmans Club) 20140103_220914

Ger Kelly (First Fortnight Therapy Sessions 1, Workmans Club) – he writes, he acts, he sings, is there nothing he can’t do? 20140103_222935

Mark Geary (First Fortnight Therapy Sessions 1, Workmans Club) 20140103_234247Daithi (First Fortnight Therapy Sessions 1, Workmans Club) – disappointingly small crowd hung around for his set, which was brilliant as always

I also did some volunteering at the festival for the first time this year. From freezing my arse off at Happy Clouds to getting a chance to see the Poetry Slam, the Milk and Cookies storytelling and baking evening, and the No Room at the Inn mental health service discussion forum – volunteering at this festival was such a privilege. Tiring, but a privilege! The organisers are the nicest, most hard working group of people you’ll ever meet. The fact that this group of my peers (they are normal people, with day jobs, who organise this festival on a voluntary basis) can achieve something so amazing – well, it is humbling, inspirational and just a little bit intimidating!

20140110_204734

Susan Quirke (First Fortnight Therapy Sessions 2, Workmans Club) – she may have been nervous but she played a belter of a set

20140110_212721

Evie Murtagh (First Fortnight Therapy Sessions 2, Workmans Club) – another terrifyingly talented youngster 20140110_222700

Idiot Sounds (First Fortnight Therapy Sessions 2, Workmans Club) – slightly more alternative than I could deal with, I’m afraid 20140110_230745Tara Lee (First Fortnight Therapy Sessions 2, Workmans Club)

In last year’s blog (https://gigaholic.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/first-fortnight-2013/), I touched on why this festival means so much to me, and now that I’ve had a chance to be involved in it in a small way, it means even more. The next piece of this post is something I’ve struggled with – I just couldn’t decide whether to include it or not. I’ve never revealed a huge amount of personal information in this blog, and this was deliberate. Last year’s First Fortnight post was probably the most I’ve spoken about myself here but I felt that in the spirit of what the festival is all about, it was appropriate. And I still feel like, when it comes to First Fortnight, sharing honestly is the least I can do.

 

So, in that spirit, here goes. While I’ve had my issues (haven’t we all?), I’ve been lucky that they have never been too severe, in the greater scheme of things. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t almost cripple me with self-doubt at times – trust me, my brain is often my own worst enemy. I really wanted to sign up to volunteer for First Fortnight for quite some time, but I had to think long and hard about whether I was actually up to it. While I’ve made huge strides in working on myself and my confidence from my lowest point at the end of 2012, I still have my bad patches. The last thing I wanted to do to the First Fortnight organisers was sign up and then back out, which is my pattern when things get too much – but I decided it was time to push myself out of my comfort zone. If I’m honest, I was so nervous on my first day volunteering that I didn’t know whether I wanted to cry or puke, and nearly turned back so many times. I’m sure the people who met me at that first event probably thought I was some kind of mute – nope, not mute, just terrified. But it got easier, and easier, with each event I helped at – luckily, I helped out at quite a few events, so my lasting memory is of how much fun I had, and not how scared and out-of-place I felt initially. The people running this festival are so welcoming, the other volunteers were a lovely bunch, and I am going to be the first in line to sign up to volunteer again next year.

 

If anyone has actually bothered to read until the end of this blog, well done – I think I’d have given up long ago if I wasn’t writing it! Thanks for sticking with it, and letting me share, even though it doesn’t really fit in with what Gigaholic is about. And if anyone who made it this far happens to be a part of First Fortnight, I hope you know how amazing what you’ve created is. From the fact that I look forward to the festival every January, to the fact that I often take a different route to work just so that I can see Maser’s You Are Alive wall on Camden St, First Fortnight has really got under my skin. I don’t think I can express how much being involved in First Fortnight 2014 meant to me, mainly for the amazing festival it is, but also for proving to myself that despite being terrified, I could do it. So, thank you. It’s not enough, but it’s all I can say – thank you. Roll on First Fortnight 2015!

20140111_124401

Stuart Semple’s Happy Clouds (First Fortnight, Meeting House Square)

The Coronas

20131210_211617

The Coronas in the Olympia Theatre in December is fast becoming a Christmas tradition. Our seats this year were slightly less favourable for the taking of photos (right at the back of the Circle!) but that didn’t take away from just how talented these guys are. They hammered through their hits to give them time to play quite a few of their new songs. An amazing light show, a crowd that were more than happy to join in with EVERY song, a band that were bouncing about the stage and support from the rather brilliant Gavin James – all in all, a pretty awesome night.

20131210_213848

20131210_211223

20131210_215010

Choice Music Prize 2012

20130307_194228

Heathers starting the night in style

20130307_200049

Bouncy pixie, miss Wallis Bird (this was the least blurry photo I managed to get)

20130307_202019

Adrian Crowley

20130307_204006

Windings

20130307_210126

Julie Feeney

The 2012 Choice Music Prize was back to its proper home in Vicar Street and the nominees meant that those of us in attendance really got to see some of the best live acts around at the moment. While some were acts that I had seen before (some even at previous Choice Music Prizes!), some were ones I’ve been wanting to see for ages – Damien Dempsey – or more recently – Windings.

20130307_211912

Gavin James, winner of Irish Song of the Year

20130307_213203

Damien Dempsey

20130307_215330

Mumblin Deaf Ro

20130307_221137

Delorentos

20130307_222954

The Cast of Cheers

Delorentos went on to be well-deserved winners, and their emotional acceptance speech summed up just what this prize means to the acts themselves.

20130307_224721

Collecting their gong