Category: 2015

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

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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.