Monday, June 22, 2009

Oasis trounce expectations, rock Slane to its core

Lost amidst the maelstrom of bad press for Slane this morning is one simple fact; 80,000 people bounced and sang along with every word of every song Oasis played on Saturday night.
I'm sorry for the people who were stranded, couldn't get on a bus to get back home to Dublin, but that wasn't my experience.
My experience was being at one of the finest concerts I have ever attended; a strong support (The Prodigy blazed their way through a blistering set including classics like Their Law, Breathe, Firestarter and Outer Space) and a superb headline act capable of delivering a euphoric set for fans and onlookers alike.
There are few other bands in the world capable of delivering such a powerful set and sustaining it over two hours, with little in the way of effects or a flashy stage show to reinforce that impetus. Oasis can do that. Screw the naysayers, those who say Oasis haven't hit the heights of the epic and seminal beginning to their career - all a load of tosh.
Alright, there has been plenty of tosh, but there has been some gems along the way - 70 million album sales speak volumes. The Gallagher twosome deserve their status as Rock and Roll Stars, all iconic swagger and lippy quotes; they don't need to pander to a critical audience - they just care about rocking the socks off the people in the crowd who came to sing.
And boy did we. Walking onstage to F*cking in the Bushes (used to memorable effect by Guy Ritchie in Snatch) they immediately tear into Rock and Roll Star and 80,000 people bounce, sending shockwaves for miles around.
In fact, it is said later that the crowd could be heard lustily singing along for miles in every direction, not surprising given that every man woman and child were holding onto each other for dear life - those tone-blessed and equal pars deaf - belting out the lyrics.
Lyla and The Shock of the Lightening - from more recent albums both - follow, before we are dragged back to the mid 90s with the anthemic Cigarettes and Alcohol and Roll With It.
Oh and how we love it. Beer in hand, sunglasses on head, people on shoulders. Wow.
To Be Where There's Life and Waiting for the Rapture - the second and third tracks from recent number one album Dig Out Your Soul to grace the set list - sit nicely alongside the classics, before Noel takes over on vocals and performs a spine-tingling Masterplan.
Liam comes back for Songbird and we got a two song highlight in the middle of the set, Slide Away and Morning Glory.
My Big Mouth from the under-rated Be Here Now precedes The Importance of Being Idle and Half The World Away, while ballad I'm Outta Time sits happily alongside a three song burst of Wonderwall, Supersonic and Live Forever.
We get the inevitable walk off before the band return for an encore of Don't Look Back in Anger, Champagne Supernova and I am the Walrus. Epic stuff.
Streams of happy punters make their way out of the amphitheatre-like venue, some headed for nightmare bus journeys, others going to wait the night out at their cars.
But, while getting home from Slane may have been a nightmare for some, without question the gig was superb - one that will linger long in the memory.
As Noel said: "Thanks, it's been Biblical".

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Deadmau5 for Trinity Rooms this Friday night and Ben Taylor in Dolan's on Sunday

The eccentric and exciting electro-house producer/musician Deadmau5 is to play in the Trinity Rooms nightclub this Friday, and anyone who saw his last show will tell you to get down there quick smart. Won't make it meself as I'm off to Slane to see Oasis, but I would be going if I was in Limerick. Here is a bit from this week's paper:

THE BIZARRELY named ‘Deadmau5’ (pronounced Dead Mouse) is to perform an exclusive show in Trinity Rooms nightclub this Friday, the electro musician’s only Irish club appearance this year.
One of the most in-demand electronic artists around at the moment, Deadmau5 (real name Joel Zimmerman) is a Canadian house and electro musician and producer from Canada, who has become renowned for his energetic shows - and the rather large mouse head that he wears while he performs.
The musician has had a rapid rise over the last 18 months, selling 250,000 copies worldwide of his debut album Random Album Title and finished the best selling artist on Beatport - a US-based online music store specialising in dance music - last year, thanks to singles ‘Not Exactly’, ‘Faxing Berlin’, and ‘Ghosts N Stuff’.
Anyone who caught the Deadmau5 show at last year’s Electric Picnic festival will be beating down the door of the Michael Street venue this Friday to see the full live stage show, featuring visual effects and powerful strobe lighting.
Speaking recently about the mouse head that has become his signature, Deadmau5 promised a show to remember in Trinity Rooms.
“I did the design of the head years ago and photo-shopped it onto my friend, then he said one day I should make it, so we did,” said the enigmatic musician.
“I can’t really say much at this stage (about the show) but yes, it will be very special,” promised Zimmerman.
Deadmau5 performs in the Trinity Rooms this Friday night.
A limited number of tickets are available from Ticketmaster, Empire Music and on the door from 9pm.
Elsewhere, Mr Ben Taylor plays in Dolan's on Sunday night. Taylor, boasting an interesting lineage (see below), will be joined by John Foster (yes, him from the Fugees, recently released from jail by Presidential pardon) and David Saw.
TALK ABOUT famous parents; they don’t come much bigger than James Taylor and Carly Simon.
The progeny of this superstar musical couple - who were married for a number of years in the 70s before splitting in the early 80s - is Ben Taylor, an acoustic guitar toting troubadour, who plays in Dolan’s this Sunday.
Taylor is a performer in the mould of Ben Harper or Jack Johnson, who have perfected the art of laid-back, surfer-esque acoustica - fans of both will be impressed.
Unsurprisingly, Taylor has been surrounded by music since an early age and in recent years has spent time travelling the world, while his first two releases have been acclaimed - Famous Among the Barns was his well received debut and Another Run Around The Sun was the follow-up and was hailed on Radio 2 as “LP of the Week”.
Taylor recently released his third album, The Legend of Kung Folk - Part 1 (The Killing Bite), which led to sessions on BBC Radio 2 and a sold out UK tour.
He is set to play at Glastonbury later in the month.
“I've had four summers in the UK without ever having attended Glastonbury so that is time enough to have heard many good and great things. I plan to shake my ass,” he explains.
In the meantime Taylor is to play in Dolan’s this Sunday night, while his band will include former Fugees member John Forte, who was recently released from prison after being pardoned by former US President George W. Bush.
The pair are childhood friends, Forte being jailed in 2000 after unwittingly passing on a briefcase with liquid cocaine for drug traffickers. Taylor and Carly Simon fought for his release, eventually securing a pardon late last year.
Ben Taylor and band, plus support from David Saw, play in Dolan’s this Sunday night.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Update on Cois Fharraige - from today's Limerick Chronicle

Alan Owens
LIMERICK music fans who have flocked to Kilkee in recent years for the Cois Fharraige festival might still be in luck this year, despite fears the MCD run festival would not go ahead.
Cois Fharraige drew 10-15,000 revellers to the small town last year, a significant portion of which were from Limerick. However, the sponsors of the previous festivals have not renewed their interest this year, leaving the three day festival in limbo.
A meeting was held in the seaside resort on Monday evening between local business people and an MCD official with the intention of ensuring the festival goes ahead again this year.
“An MCD official met with Kilkee business people this Monday - for a last chance meeting,” said a source who attended the meeting.
“The festival will be relying heavily on local business people and Clare Co. Council to come up with some form of sponsorship.
We have grouped together and there is a lot of local support for this to still go ahead - there is huge potential with this festival to draw large crowds to Kilkee.”
An official announcement is expected in the next couple of days.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mundy's Dolan's show postponed

Mundy's show in Dolan's Warehouse has been postponed until September due to "personal reasons", we have learned. The Offaly man was due to perform this Friday night in the venue but the show - and one in Cork's Pavilion on Saturday - have been postponed and will now take place at an unspecified date in September. More when we know it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dolores O'Riordan speaks to the Limerick Leader - confirms Cranberries to reform

Alan Owens
A RELAXED Dolores O’Riordan has given a rare interview in advance of the release of her second solo album and has confirmed that the Cranberries are to get back together in the near future.
Speaking exclusively to the Limerick Leader in advance of the release of her album, No Baggage, later in the summer, O’Riordan revealed that she got together wit her former band members as recently as last week.
“It was great, I saw them last week when I was down in Limerick, we all got together with all of our kids and had a nice time hanging out,” said a happy sounding O’Riordan.
In fact, the band, who sold more than 40 million albums worldwide before going on ‘hiatus’ in 2003, loosely discussed plans to reform earlier this year, but Dolores has instead insisted that they will return to both the stage and the recording studio in the near future.
“Oh yeah, I would see it on the cards in the future,” she said.
“With this (solo album) being out I will probably do a tour and in the next year or two it would be a really nice thing to do. I think creatively we (the Cranberries) would have to write some amazing music and go where we haven't gone before and make an album that is totally different to what we have done before.”
Dolores, who divides her time between Dublin and Ontario, where she lives with her husband Don Burton and their three children (aged 3 to 12) and a 17-year old son from Burton’s previous relationship, said that living ‘in the forest’ in Canada and bringing up a family has made her much more relaxed.
“I am very relaxed really and I think it was essential to step out of the equation of being in the Cranberries and take my four years in the forest being a full time mom and getting away from it all,” she explained.
“For so long there was so much pressure, when I was young I felt like there was too much focus on me, for any kid, when you are 20 years old and that many people are looking at you, of course you are going to screw up, everything is under a microscope, everything is magnified, every mistake that you make is publicised.
“But when you move away and get away from it all and start to have kids - suddenly it is not all about me, it is about life and you have this real love and this reality that perhaps is something that I craved for so long.”
The famous singer still feels a deep affinity to her home-town.
“Oh yeah, my parents being there is my biggest connection, when I go back it is like as if time hasn't elapsed. I go off walking and I fall right back into some of my childhood moments, which is nice. It is where the journey began.”
No Baggage is set for release on August 21 and Dolores has revealed she hopes to play in Limerick when she goes on tour in Erurope later in the year.
A full interview with Dolores O’Riordan will appear in the Limerick Leader closer to the release of her album.

Editors almost sold out - plus Hannah Montana madness

Editors is almost sold out, ticketmaster's allocation is now gone, but Dolan's still have a few remaining direct from their website (cheaper than ticketmaster too). Apparently selling faster than Dublin and Belfast too, and in a pre-sale on Editors' own website, Dolan's tickets sold miles faster than the other venues. Go Limerick!

I'm reliably informed that there were queues for Hannah Montana/Miley Sirus tickets outside Empire from 5pm yesterday evening. Dave Jackson, Empire owner, told the Limerick Leader that: "U2’s homecoming gig at Slane was the last time we saw a queue like it. It was incredible. The tickets went on sale at nine o’clock and they were gone in about eight minutes. It was unbelievable."

Fans young and old queue outside Empire for Hannah Montana tickets this Friday morning!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Editors to play Dolan's Warehouse in October

ONE OF the biggest UK bands of recent years is to play an exclusive show in Dolan’s Warehouse this October, the Limerick Leader can reveal.

Birmingham based indie band Editors, who have sold several million copies of their debut albums The Back Room and An End Has A Start - which went to number one in the UK charts in 2007 - are to play just three gigs in Ireland in October, in Belfast, Dublin and Limerick.

This is another significant coup for the Alphonsus Street venue that has seen The Charlatans, Roisin Murphy and Franz Ferdinand all play in recent months.

Editors are to release their third and latest album just before the tour kicks off, ‘In This Light and On This Evening’, one that is set to be one of the most anticipated releases of the year.

“We are delighted to announce that Editors are coming to play in October,” said Grainne Aspell, general manager in Dolan’s, adding that the gig was only confirmed in the last couple of days. “They have a new album out in September and this will be the only gig they play south of Dublin. The new album is rumoured to be their best yet so it is going to be great - they are only doing three gigs and we are one, so obviously word is spreading about Limerick, where people know and love their music.”

The news is extremely positive for Limerick based music fans - and those across the Mid West - more accustomed to seeing higher-profile bands merely playing in Dublin and ignoring the rest of the country, and is also a sign that Dolan’s are indeed strengthening their reputation among such acts.

“Absolutely, and also a good gig in these recessionary times will always pick you up,” commented Grainne.

Tickets for the gig, which takes place on October 9, go on sale this Friday, priced at a reasonable €27, inclusive of booking fee(Ticketmaster tickets will differ). For more see
*** Also announced recently is that Mexican acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela are to play two shows in Ireland in July, one in Dolan's Warehouse. They will be showcasing material from their forthcoming album, which will be released the same weekend that they play at Electric Picnic.

Demand will be considerable for these gigs (July 28 Limerick - 29th Cork School of Music) so get cracking here if you want to go along.
The album will feature 11 new tracks including a guest appearance by Alex Skolnick
from Metal legends Testament and it has been mixed by Colin Richardson (Slipknot/Sepultura). See here for more info on the duo.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Elton John in Thomond Park - from today's Limerick Leader

A HUGE crowd of 22,000 brave souls packed Thomond Park on Saturday night to see one of the world’s biggest music superstars deliver a storming set, despite the inclement weather.

After two weeks of glorious sunshine the heavens erupted on Saturday afternoon, but there was to be no ‘tantrums and tiaras’ from Sir Elton John, who blasted through a muscular 27 strong set of his greatest hits from his 40-odd year career, playing for just under two hours and twenty minutes on the hallowed turf.

The rocket man’ acknowledged the efforts of the crowd and his surroundings after his second song, the memorable Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting, declaring himself “very happy to be here – thanks for turning out in this rugby weather”.

Peter Aiken of Aiken Promotions, who began formulating the idea for concerts in Thomond Park several years ago, told the Limerick Leader that Elton John had been “very emotional” after he left the stage.

“Elton is a trooper and he put on a great show, he was very emotional at the end. I was at the far side of stage when he came off and he said, ‘that was amazing’,” said Aiken, speaking in the ‘Away’ dressing room in the bowels of the newly developed €40 million stadium after the concert.

“The great thing for us is that the audience were so good. We have a 100 percent satisfied artist, his manager was here tonight and was blown away by it.”

Over 400 people were employed on the night, and Peter paid tribute to the stadium and its management. “You can have a great venue but it doesn’t matter if you don’t have good people and there are good people here. This is one of the most accommodating venues we have worked in. This is one of the great stadiums,” he added.

Fans young and old, wet and dry, from the wheel heeled to poncho-wearing revellers, all danced their way through a tremendous set that showcased Elton John’s status as one of the best entertainers in the business.

Classics like Rocket Man and Tiny Dancer came early in the set, as did a number of songs from the seminal ‘Tumbleweed Connection’ album, while Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, Candle In The Wind, a rarely heard Skyline Pigeon and the upbeat Are You Ready For Love whipped the crowd into a frenzy. 22,000 voices joined in unison for the Crocodile Rock, which closed the set, before Elton returned for a two-song encore of I’m Still Standing and Your Song.

“You’ve been an amazing audience, you must be freezing, but what do you expect from the Irish? It’s always a pleasure to come here, you’ve been so warm and welcoming, thank you Limerick,” declared Elton John as he walked off stage, before being whisked away immediately to Shannon Airport to fly home.

Watching proceedings keenly was John Cantwell, Thomond Park director, who heralded the stadium as a world class venue.

“It was a brilliant show, he really went for it and didn’t hold back, I thought the sound was excellent,” said John. “We are used to superstars here in Thomond Park and we had another here tonight. This was a great occasion for the stadium and for Limerick and hopefully this will have highlighted what a truly world class venue we have here.”

News, bits and pieces - return from holidays

Apologies for the lack of updates on the site, unavoidable due to my being in Southern Spain, although we did let you loyal readers know that Lisa Hannigan is coming back to Limerick in August, see post below.
Anyway, a few other bits and pieces for you here, including additions to the Oxegen line-up and more. Back with a longer post later.

See pic above for one of the additions to Oxegen we are getting excited about, electro-fun band Passion Pit, of which we are currently listening to their debut album Manners. They play the Hot Press New Bands stage along with:

Confusingly, there is also an IMRO NEW SOUNDS STAGE at the Punchestown monolith festival, on which David Kitt, Director and Villagers will perform, the latter which we are pretty excited about. Not sure how David Kitt would feel about being described as "new sounds", but his latest album, the Nightsaver, is absolutely cracking, go get it now. Also playing are:
Heathers, The Joy Formidable, The Flaws, Yes Cadets, Cashier No.9, The Mighty Stef, Ruth Anne Cunningham, General Fiasco, And So I Watch You From Afar, Concerto For Constantine, Dark Room Notes Blood Or Whiskey, The Chakras and many more.

In other news, Sheffield rascals the Arctic Monkeys have announced that they are to release their as yet untitled third album on Friday August 21. The album was prodcued by Josh Homme in the Mojave Desert and Los Angeles and James Ford in Brooklyn apparently, and the track listing is as follows:
1. My Propeller
2. Crying Lightning
3. Dangerous Animals
4. Secret Door
5. Potion Approaching
6. Fire And The Thud
7. Cornerstone
8. Dance Little Liar
9. Pretty Visitors
10. The Jeweller’s Hands
Loads of dates announced (including the Reading and Leeds Festivals), but no Irish ones as of yet. Stay tuned.

Here at home, The Duckworth Lewis Method are to release their self-titled debut album - one devoted to their love of cricket. This amusing project is the brainchild of Neil Hannon (The Divine Comedy) and Thomas Walsh (Pugwash) - Lewis and Duckworth respectively - who have combined to produce an album telling of their love for cricket.

Mastered in Abbey Road Studios, all the songs are either "loosely or tightly connected to the beautiful game of cricket," we are told, and are "wonderfully crafted pop songs for cricket lovers and non-lovers equally to enjoy".

‘The Coin Toss’, ‘The Age Of Revolution’, ‘Jiggery Pokery’, ‘The Nightwatchman', ‘Test Match Special’ and ‘The Sweet Spot’ are just some of the track names.

Featuring guest appearances from Phil Jupitus, Alexander Armstrong and Matt Berry - and Cathy Davey - this intriguing project gets a release on July 3.