Category: Venues

Blog Party

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Carriages

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 (http://www.ceolcollective.com/reviews/gigs/live-review–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.

http://youtu.be/jfIPWkxIERk

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Dear Desert

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September Girls

20150220_233912Bitch Falcon

Le Galaxie DJs with Nialler 9

It’s always hard to take photos at DJ sets – dark blurry snaps of people staring at laptops aren’t the most visually stimulating. I could pretend that is why I have no accompanying photos for this post. I could pretend that I felt it wouldn’t add any content to the blog so I didn’t bother. The real reason – I was so busy dancing like an absolute idiot that I totally forgot to take pictures.

For a taster of how brilliant Le Galaxie DJs are live, give this a listen – https://soundcloud.com/le-galaxie/prom-night-mix. While brilliant, what it doesn’t give is a taste of is the fun end to the DJ set – an 80s-tastic mix of Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Bonnie Tyler and Beastie Boys. Going home in a smiling, sweaty heap at 4 in the morning- the sign of an amazing night.

We Were Giants

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Next up was a gig I went to review it for Ceol Collective – We Were Giants. With some really good songs, and sounding solid live, I do think that We Were Giants could go on to good things. That said, I think they need some time to hone their sound and to decide which way they want to go, because at the moment their sound is a little scattered.

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

We Were Giants are a band on the rise – on the go since 2012, and with a couple of ear-worm singles which have received decent radio play already under their belt, they could go on to do great things. Last Friday’s packed show in the Mercantile venue, with support from Alex Smyth and Falling Lights, gave a taster of a band with an impressive body of work, given that their debut album is yet to be released. With infectious hooks, captivating vocal harmonies and strong lyrics, and a sound that blends indie-rock with hints of pop and metal, it’s easy to see why they have already had a number of successful Irish and European shows.

The only downside? For me, at times, their live show veered into Muse-esque excesses, which didn’t always make the most of We Were Giants’ strengths that I’ve mentioned above. A small complaint in a show packed with talent – it’ll be interesting to watch where 2015 takes We Were Giants.

Current single “All I Want” released Dec 2014.

http://youtu.be/uIQ76ymKy9c

Straight No Chaser

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A lovely surprise for a Monday evening -my friend brought me to this gig with me having absolutely no idea where I was going! Straight No Chaser are the acapella group who went viral with this (http://youtu.be/2Fe11OlMiz8) and who were one of the most entertaining nights out I’ve had in a long time. Funny, talented, and allowing me to channel my inner Gleek – it might not have been cool but by God was it fun.

The Erics

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State Lights

Emerging from a First Fortnight haze for The Erics took a bit of doing, but was well worth it. Getting to see openers State Lights again, who I had seen at the First Fortnight Big Gig, was a real treat – they are an impressive act who I’d expect to be seeing higher up the bill before the year is out. Further up the bill were Daithi, who is always brilliant, and headliners The Riptide Movement, impressive as always. The night was rounded out by Le Galaxie doing a DJ set, who unfortunately were on a little late for a school night and played to a largely empty venue. An eclectic mix of acts but a fun night!

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State Lights

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Daithi

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The Riptide Movement

20150129_230655Le Galaxie DJs

First Fortnight 2015

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Trailblaze Revolution, Christchurch Cathedral

This is a tricky one to write to be honest – I re-read last year’s post (https://gigaholic.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/first-fortnight-2014/) and can vividly remember how I felt writing that post, and during the festival. To be able to remember things so clearly and yet to know how much changed within the space of a year is a little bit disconcerting to be honest.

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Danny Battles

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The Lost Brothers

During 2014 I became much more involved in First Fortnight, having been asked to get involved with a pretty amazing group of people to do fundraising for the charity. Being more involved has let me see how much goes into this festival from the other side, rather than as a volunteer or as a spectator. The fact that this festival has been created by a bunch of volunteers is simply mind-blowing. That said, being more involved makes it challenging to write a review of it, so I’m not even going to attempt it. It’s impossible for me to be unbiased so all I’ll say is if you haven’t been to a First Fortnight event yet, then check out the festival next January, or one of the fundraising events during the year. I think that’s the fairest way of me keeping Gigaholic true to my views but without letting my love of this festival skew any review I wrote of it.

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I Have a Tribe

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State Lights
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Booka Brass Band

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I toyed with using this post as another spot of free therapy, but it a) doesn’t seem fitting, and b) doesn’t really seem needed. This year has given me so much more confidence – it is impossible to see how much can be achieved by a small group of volunteers with some big ideas, without some of that confidence rubbing off. Hard to sum up how grateful I am for that, so I’m not even going to try.

Le Galaxie

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If I could choose a way to welcome in a New Year, it would be at a Le Galaxie gig – minimum of New Years countdown, maximum of dancing like an idiot. Handy then that they are partial to putting on New Years gigs! I just never seem to get bored of seeing these lads.

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 Mick Le Galaxie goes wandering

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Delorentos

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I can’t believe this was my first time seeing Delorentos properly, having caught the end of one of their sets at a festival previously. They didn’t disappoint. With an amazing back catalogue and a new album that is on repeat on my ipod, this gig was always going to be a winner with me. Support from The Academic who are consistently great, and a finale with the two bands playing together was the perfect ending. Full review here

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

Delorentos made a triumphant return to Vicar Street to close their nationwide “Night Becomes Light” tour. Playing to a packed house, it was clear that Delorentos are back with a bang with their 2014 release.

Support act, Mullingar youngsters The Academic, played a rousing set to get the growing crowd in the mood. Signed earlier this year to Global Publishing, this quartet have an impressive list of support slots under their belt, having already supported the likes of The Pixies, The Riptide Movement and Little Green Cars. With solid tracks like “Bear Claws”, “Why Can’t We Be Friends” and “Girlfriends”in their repertoire, these are an act to keep an eye out for in 2015.

https://soundcloud.com/theacademic/bear-claws

Delorentos wandered onstage to little fanfare, but the understated entrance was the only sedate thing about the entire show. Opening with “Forget The Numbers” (the track from the new album that I was most excited about seeing live), the night just seemed to build and build, with a brilliant mix of new and old songs. With the exuberant crowd singing and clapping along from the outset, it was clear that the lads were enjoying themselves immensely.

Stand out tracks on the night from the new album for me were “Everybody Else Gets Wet” (if only for its immense audience participation) and “Valley Where the Rivers Run”, with old favourites “Petardu”, “Stop”, “Little Sparks” and “Secret” almost lifting the roof off Vicar Street.

Closing with a Bruce Springsteen cover played with The Academic (AcaRentos? Delodemic? I see a super group opening right there), and just enough chaos on stage to get the crowd whipped into a frenzy, this show was the perfect festive night out.

http://youtu.be/XBkofyZgbG0

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20141212_210121The Academic
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Delodemic

Ben Ottewell

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I have been a massive fan of Ben Ottewell since the Gomez days of my late teens/early 20s (I’m showing my age now!). While his solo work obviously doesn’t allow any of the unusual harmonies he could create with Ian and Tom as part of Gomez, his unique voice means that his solo work is a treat to listen to.

I reviewed the gig in more detail (see below) but just remember this night as one of my favourite types of charming intimate gigs where the focus is on the quality of the vocals and songwriting rather than the bells-and-whistles that go into bigger productions. Support act Michele Stodart was fantastic also.

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Michele Stodart

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

Taking to the Workman’s Club’s stage on a freezing, sleeting night in Dublin, Ben Ottewell’s intimate acoustic set was simply brilliant. Opening with the title tracks from his two solo albums, his recent release “Rattlebag” and 2011’s “Shapes and Shadows”, Ben set the tone for the night. He brought the audience on a meandering journey through his solo material, but also treated the crowd to some beautiful versions of Gomez classics, which pleased the more vocal members of the audience.

His distinctive voice continues to blend a rich smooth baritone with a hint of gargling with whiskey and gravel. Added to this the fact that he is also an extremely talented guitar player, means that with a Ben Ottewell show, you’re never going to be disappointed. He also managed to successfully balance playing solo tracks, as this is his solo tour, with pleasing the crowd with imaginative takes on Gomez numbers – always a tricky ask.

Personal favourites on the night were his solo tracks “Blackbird” (“Not the Beatle’s one”, as he pointed out) and “Starlings” (“Not Elbow’s One”, he giggled, leading to him stating that he “really needs to think up some more original song titles!”). However, hearing his solo takes on old Gomez favourites like “Get Miles”. “Love is Better than a Warm Trombone” and “Tijuana Lady” stole the show.

Special mention must be made to support act Michele Stodart, bass player from The Magic Numbers. Charming, talented and endearing, she opened the night in style. Catch more from Michele here (https://soundcloud.com/michelestodart).

https://soundcloud.com/okmanagement/rattlebag

The Riptide Movement

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So the December Riptide Movement show was my first time formally reviewing them, which proved much more tricky than I expected. While this show was great, and the crowd loved it, it’s hard not to remember their more raw, less slick shows of old with nostalgia. I think this inevitably happens with an act you’ve seen a lot and doesn’t detract from the show that TRM put on. It’s hard to review people that you know without letting that impact, but I think I did the show justice.

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

Making a triumphant return for their third show in Vicar Street, The Riptide Movement were determined to show how far they’d come since their days of busking on Grafton Street.

If 2013 was a big year for the Lucan quartet, with the signing of their Universal deal, then 2014 has been even bigger. Announcing at the Vicar Street show that their most recent album, “Getting Through” had just gone gold, the entire show seemed to be a celebration of all they’d achieved.

Slamming through a set-list with old favourites like “Shake Shake” and “Tip Jars” along with new classics like “All Works Out”, TRM never fail to entertain, and to make the most of additional musical punch provided by the brass section and backing singers, who are now an almost permanent fixture.

Having been to the other Vicar Street shows this year, it was a risk that it would all just start to sound the same, but in fairness to the lads, their encore set proved they are not resting on their laurels. From the encore opener played acoustically at the back of a packed Vicar Street, to the brass section interspersed through the crowd, and even lead singer Mal Tuohy’s impromptu appearance on the balcony (which appeared to be to the surprise even of the other bandmates!), it was clear that they were having a ball, and sounding as good as they ever have.

With shows as enjoyable as this and the fact that 2014 brought great things for them at home and further afield, I think 2015 is going to be a big year for The Riptide Movement.

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 An explosive Happy Christmas from The Riptide Movement!

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Support act Willie Nile – didn’t think much of him to be honest, not remotely to my taste.