A chance to see The Viking Project on their home turf was a big draw, so the night after Halloween was spent in The Harbour Bar in Bray – an impressive little venue! The Viking Project are consistently brilliant, and are another act that I’ve spoken about at length in other posts. You all know that I seriously rate them at this stage, so no need for me go on about them again!
While The Grand Social is challenged only by Upstairs in Whelans in terms of worst venue in which to take photos, it is a great venue for intimate gigs like The Viking Project album fundraiser. With a slightly different sound, and drummer Andy doing more vocals than previously, the Viking Project were great as always. If you haven’t seen them yet – do. That’s all there is to say.
I had missed The Viking Project’s “mini-album” launch in the Purty Kitchen so I jumped at the chance to see them in Bewleys. Their new sound is slicker than ever – the harmonies, alone, would bring me back to see them every single time they play.
Ailbhe Reddy provided a solid, if nervous, support – all in all, a fantastic night.
I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this, as an avid gig-goer, but this was the first time I had actually made it along to Saucy Sundays in the Grand Social. This night is a brilliant, free showcase of Irish acts from all over the country and I have intended to go along so many times. But to be honest, Sunday is not the best night for me to be going to gigs, because it leaves me wrecked for work on Monday. However, it was worth being tired that particular Monday, cos it meant that I got to see a pretty brilliant line-up – The Apachis, Mark Black, Ross Breen, The Viking Project, Amidships and Sails. Needless to say, my highlight were the Viking Project. I hadn’t seen the lads in ages, and they, as always, were worth waiting for.
The Viking Project
Raglans at Knockanstockan The Riptide Movement at Knockanstockan The Viking Project at Knockanstockan The Hipneck Blues Collective at Knockanstockan *Originally posted on http://www.gigaholic.tumblr.com on 02/08/12*
Django Django at Body and Soul
#15 The end of June brought another festival – number four for 2012 Body and Soul. And yet another washout! The festival itself was an eclectic mix of music and arts, which was marred by the muck that managed to get everywhere, leading to flooded carparks and a real mess of a campsite.
Don’t let this imply that I didn’t enjoy Body and Soul because I really did – the line-up had a few acts that I knew and a few more that I now know and love. The massive highlight for me was Django Django who I had missed at the Grand Social (I played ticket fairy and gave away my two tickets to some randomer on Facebook).
Django Django at Body and Soul
Spiritualised at Body and Soul
The Viking Project at Body and Soul
Kormac’s Big Band at Body and Soul
Arveene at Body and Soul
Gold Panda at Body and Soul
M83 at Body and Soul
The Barley Mob at Body and Soul
#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*