Category: Venues – The Workmans Club

First Fortnight 2013

2013 began with the First Fortnight festival – two weeks aimed at challenging mental health prejudice through creative arts. This year I went to far more of the diverse arts events on offer than I had in previous years, when I tended to stick more closely to the music events. The Therapy Sessions had a brilliant mix of music and spoken word artists; Solpadeine is my Boyfriend and Silent reawakened my love of theatre in two very different ways (Silent has stuck with me since in so many ways); Please Can You Make Some Noise for Mental Health gave a safe forum for discussion with Stuart Semple in particular sharing in such an open way about his battles with mental health difficulties; and No Kidding, Me Too! shared Joey Pantaliano’s experience of addiction and depression.

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Tara Lee, Dylan Tighe, Verse Chorus Verse and Heathers at Therapy Sessions 1

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Mumblin Deaf Ro and This Club at Therapy Session 2

As usual, the musical finale was a highlight, not only because after seeing them work so hard for the entire festival, it was nice to see the organisers and volunteers let their hair down!

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Vann Music, Kopek, We Cut Corners, and Le Galaxie at the finale gig

I have spoken in previous posts about how amazing I think this festival is, but I have to admit that this year’s festival hit a particular nerve with me. 2012 marked a particularly low period for me and ended with me finally getting professional help to get through it. First Fortnight came just weeks after admitting to my family at Christmas how much I had been struggling for a long time, and how successfully I had kept it hidden from them. So to say there were a few layers of skin missing around that time would be an understatement. Seeing a festival such as this pushing to get mental health into people’s everyday conversations proved to be a real turning point for me, and I have since been far more open about my own experiences, and far more open to hearing about others’.

Le Galaxie

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Reid at the Workmans Club

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The Last Days of 1984 at the Workman’s Club

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Le Galaxie’s #Workmania Christmas shows in the Workman’s Club were brilliantly bonkers as only these lads can manage to pull off (well, can pull off and still manage to be cool as f*ck)! From the now traditional dispersion of glow-sticks to the what-will-hopefully-become-traditional Jurassic Park ending, the crowd went suitably mental. With support from Reid and Last Days of 1984, this was the sweatiest gig of 2012 for me, and I think was my favourite Le Galaxie gig yet.

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Le Galaxie at the Workmans Club
*Originally posted on www.gigaholic.tumblr.com on 01/01/13*

Hard Working Class Heroes 2012

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The fabulous Elaine Mai at Hard Working Class Heroes

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Ghost Estates at Hard Working Class Heroes

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Croupier at Hard Working Class Heroes

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Le Galaxie at Hard Working Class Heroes

Hard Working Class Heroes – a brilliant (and amazing value for money) opportunity to see some of the cream of Irish music across a whole heap of venues. My obvious highlight was Le Galaxie who have yet to disappoint, but also got to see a whole load of acts for the first time – Forrests, Ghost Estates, Croupier, The Strypes, Hudson Taylor, Heritage Centre and the Dirty 9s – along with another chance to check out the supremely talented Elaine Mai.

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The Strypes at Hard Working Class Heroes

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Hudson Taylor at Hard Working Class Heroes

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Heritage Centre at Hard Working Class Heroes

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The Dirty 9s at Hard Working Class Heroes

*Originally posted on www.gigaholic.tumblr.com on 31/12/12*

Jack of Diamonds Rhythm and Roots Festival part 2

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Raglans at Workmans Club

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Slim Pickins at Workmans Club

Saturday brought a slightly more laid back vibe. The tone in the Workman’s Club was set by Raglans who played a pared back acoustic set, being a Raglad down. On much earlier than billed, I caught about 2/3 of the set and it was a pity there wasn’t a bigger crowd there to see it. These lads are a really talented bunch who are definitely going places, and it’s a treat to catch them in smaller venues while I can.

Slim Pickins brought the roots to the Rhythm and Roots festival, with a deep south bluegrass sound that makes the Irish accents all the more surprising! While not my usual taste, I enjoyed their set and their harmonies were nothing short of lovely.

Last up for me were Nathan Conway and the River Valley Band, who were a pleasant surprise. Loved their sound, and having picked up the album on my way out, they’ve been added to my list of bands I’d like to try to see again.

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Nathan Conway and the River Valley Band
*Originally posted on www.gigaholic.tumblr.com on 19/08/12*

Jack of Diamonds Rhythm and Roots Festival

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Gypsy Rebel Rabble at Workmans Club

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The Eskies at Workmans Club

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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!

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The Boo Box at Sweeneys
*Originally posted on www.gigaholic.tumblr.com on 19/08/12*

Workmans Club Block Party

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The Workman’s Club Block Party was a celebration of all that I have come to love about the Dublin music scene and all that goes with it. Pop-up markets, a draw with Don class, and beautiful acoustic sets from some of Ireland’s finest were a real treat.

We arrived in time to catch Elaine Mai’s last two songs, and it was the first time I had seen her perform solo (I’ve only seen her before doing guest vocals with Le Galaxie and Daithi). Her voice is amazing. That is all I need to say – check her out and you’ll hear what I mean.

Next up was The Man Whom, someone I’ve been trying to catch since Whelans Ones to Watch 2011. He didn’t disappoint and I’m looking forward to listening to his album that I picked up from him.

Verse Chorus Verse (aka ex-ASIWYFA’s Tony Wright) was his usual charismatic self and I just love his solo work. Roll on the release of his album whenever he gets it out (kinda hoping he does go for the “Leaking it myself” option he discussed yesterday!).

Last up, and not on the offical bill, was Barry Kirwan from Blue Choir who nabbed himself a set while his bandmates soundchecked for Overhead the Albatross. This guy can seriously sing, and the fact that it was such an intimate setting (there were four of us left there at that stage!) just added to the magic.

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Elaine Mai at Workmans Club

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The Man Whom at Workmans Club

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Barry Kirwan at Workmans Club

*Originally posted on www.gigaholic.tumblr.com on 12/08/12*

Camden Crawl Dublin 2012

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Verse Chorus Verse at The Village

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Jape at the Village

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Le Galaxie at the VIllage

 #12 Onto Festival number two of the year for me – Camden Crawl Dublin. This is new to Dublin and if this year was anything to go by, I hope it becomes a fixture. Well organised and requiring a little planning on behalf of the punters, this worked really well. The fact that it involved no camping, particularly after the cold of Vantastival, was another unexpected highlight!

Featuring a wealth of Irish and international acts, it was a case of either picking a venue and sticking there for whatever was on, or picking acts and hoping the venue wasn’t full when you got there. We did one night of each, and in my experience, CHOOSE YOUR VENUE! Pick the one act that you have just got to see, and then watch the other acts in the same venue. Friday night was built around Le Galaxie, so it was off to the Village. The fact that the Village was also host to Verse Chorus Verse (the uber talented Tony Wright, ex- of ASIWYFA), Jape and We are Scientists was a pretty awesome coincidence.

Saturday we headed to the Workmans Club to see Girl Band and NaNu NaNu and I hoped to see Toby Kaar, but was outvoted so we headed across town to the Village to see the Rubber Bandits. I was disappointed but not surprised to be proven right and to find that the venue was at capacity and we hadn’t a hope of getting in, thus ending our Camden Crawl experience.

I definitely hope to head to this in 2013 and see if it can live up to the highs of its inaugural year.

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Girl Band at the Workmans Club

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Nanu Nanu in the Workman’s Club

*Originally posted on www.gigaholic.tumblr.com on 02/08/12*