@gypsyrabble were a new find for me in 2012, but I was lucky enough to see them 5 times at various gigs and festivals. Gypsy Rebel Rabble are a foot-stomping, rip-roaring posse that never fail to cheer me up – I just wish that their gigs didn’t tend to be on very late on work-nights!
The Riptide Movement at Electric Picnic
Lee Scratch Perry & Max Romeo at Electric Picnic
Gypsy Rebel Rabble at Electric Picnic
Electric Picnic – Day Three
Raglans at Electric Picnic
Bombay Bicycle Club at Electric Picnic
Elbow at Electric Picnic
James Murphy at Electric Picnic
*Originally posted on www.gigaholic.tumblr.com on 06/09/12*
With the Tall Ships Festival 2012 happening literally outside where I work, it was inevitable that the lure of free gigs would be too much for me to resist. Unfortunately for various reasons, I missed most of the impressive line-up that had assembled for the four day fest (some due to already having plans and some due to scheduling – I think Riptide Movement being scheduled for such an early slot on the first day was strange, with their proven track record as crowd pleasers). But I did manage to get along to see a couple of the acts on the first day.
Foy Vance has been on my “must see again” hit list since he hugely impressed with his acoustic set at Arthur’s Day 2011 in Whelans. When I arrived just as he started, I was so disappointed. Sound problems meant that he sounded, well, awful, initially and I hated to think that this was a portent of things to come. But with the sound issues being sorted out before anyone lost an eardrum and his easy style with the crowd, coupled with his ability to laugh off his initial woes, Foy eventually drew a respectable crowd and settled in for an enjoyable set.
Next up was Duke Special. Now Duke wouldn’t be my usual style and I will admit that I have never seen him live and have never listened to his albums, and when I see him I get an uncontrollable desire to take a scissors to his hair. But I will admit that his easy listening style was a pleasure to see and kept the crowd engaged despite the arrival of the rain that had been threatening all afternoon. His set also contained a moment that for me seemed to sum up the spirit of the Tall Ships festival. He introduced us to Jakob, who played trumpet on one song. Jakob was a Polish sailor who had basically blagged an onstage jam session with Duke and who was pretty spectacular as a musician. Duke’s impromptu walkabout in the crowd left Jakob to man the stage alone and he was more than able to hold the fort. For me this was a perfect example of the vibe of the whole festival – a pile of Irish determined to give a pile of international sailors the welcome they deserve.
A stroll around the quays to soak up the atmosphere kept the energy levels up so next we were off to Whelans to catch The Bambir’s pre Electric Picnic set, supported by Gypsy Rebel Rabble. Rebel Rabble have yet to disappoint me, and kept my foot tapping throughout their hectic set with barely a pause to draw breath between songs. It was a pity the Tall Ships and Marlay Park gig had kept the crowds away though.
The Bambir slightly flummoxed me – maybe there is one word in the language from their native Armenia to sum up their sound, but despite wracking my brains for the last few days to find a single word in English or even Irish, I have drawn a blank. Rock edged folk with lashings of flute and incoherent lyrics is approaching their sound but doesn’t do it justice. They intrigued me enough to want to catch their set at E.P. if I can, and maybe by then I’ll have figured out how to describe them. My advice – go see them, and then you’ll see what I mean about this crazy quartet!
Tall Ships Festival Foy Vance at the Tall Ships Festival Duke Special at the Tall Ships Festival Gypsy Rebel Rabble at Whelans The Bambir at Whelans *Originally posted on … Continue reading Tall Ships, Rabble-rousing and crazy Armenians
Gypsy Rebel Rabble at Workmans Club
The Eskies at Workmans Club
The Hot Sprockets at Workmans Club
Jack of Diamonds Rhythm and Roots Festival was an absolutely brilliant event run over a few different venues in Dublin. On Friday night, headed to the Workman’s Club to see some of my festival favourites – Gypsy Rebel Rabble, The Eskies and Hot Sprockets – and they didn’t disappoint. The place was hot and sticky but it didn’t stop these bands from getting everyone dancing like absolute loons. Managed to make it to Sweeneys after Hot Sprockets’ set to catch the tail end of Boo Box’s set and I was glad I suffered through the world’s hottest venue – these lads are class.
You may notice the same heads popping up in a few photos – these band members fairly get around the place!
Cocaine Ponytail at Knockanstockan
Gypsy Rebel Rabble (well some of them!) at Knockanstockan
Bipolar Empire at Knockanstockan
The Yipps at Knockanstockan
#18 And bringing me up to date with my 2012 gigs so far was my most recent festival – Knockanstockan 2012. I cannot recommend this festival highly enough – beautiful setting on the banks of the lakes of Wicklow, intimate set-up, friendly organisers, and no segregation between acts and festival goers for either socialising or camping, this festival is everything I could have asked for to celebrate my birthday.
The line-up was also impressive for a not for profit festival – the lack of big international names detracted nothing from the quality of the music on offer. My old reliables Bipolar Empire, Riptide Movement, and Viking Project were joined by my rapidly-becoming old reliables Raglans, Barley Mob and Gypsy Rebel Rabble. A scheduling clash meant that I missed the Hot Sprockets in favour of Raglans, but when this is the only fault you can find in a three day festival, you know it’s a good ‘un!
J Roots at Knockanstockan
#11 Onto May and the first of my many festivals of 2012, and my first camera fail of 2012. Vantastival is a small festival run just north of Dundalk and is an intimate festival with just a few stages. Its focus is on campervans and the culture that goes with camper-vanning (hence Van-tastival, geddit?!) and this leads to a gloriously eclectic crowd of all ages.
Unfortunately, the May Bank Holiday weekend in Ireland may just be slightly too early in the year for comfortable camping and we froze. I don’t know whether it was the cold, or a lack of organisation on my part, or a bit of both, but battery drain on both my phone and my camera meant I left this festival photo-less.
This does no justice to what has been one of my highlights of 2012. The line-up was brilliant and introduced me to a whole new set of acts who have now become some of my favourites. Old festival pros like Ham Sandwich, Cathy Davey, the Viking Project and Le Galaxie were joined by The Barley Mob, RSAG, The Original Rudeboys, Gypsy Rebel Rabble, Willow Sea and Raglans. I’ve been lucky enough to catch most of these acts again since, and they are quite simply brilliant and are making me freshly excited about the state of Irish music at the moment.
It was also highly entertaining for the crowd to see the acts freezing, just like us, and the sense of camaraderie was probably peaked for me when (yet another) technical glitch for Le Galaxie resulted in an entire tent of star jumping punters being led by Dave Le Galaxie. Surreal but summed up the weekend for me!
New ones to watch:RSAG, The Barley Mob, The Original Rudeboys, Willow Sea, and most definitely Raglans (these lads are seriously good).
*Originally posted on http://www.gigaholic.tumblr.com on 02/08/12*