Friday, August 28, 2009

Electric Picnic 2009 Preview

It's all Picnic all the way here, getting very excited. Here's a preview..

THE CLOCK is ticking, days are rolling by and kids are getting ready to go back to school.
For many September represents a return to normality, but for 32,500 lucky revellers - a sizeable share of whom hail from the Treaty City - the beginning of Autumn is that time again, the return of Electric Picnic.
The festival, now in its sixth year, has become the de rigueur music and arts extravaganza in Ireland, arguably better than any taking place in the UK or Europe.
In an era when words like ‘vibe’ and ‘boutique’ are thrown around like confetti, this is the only festival that can claim to be both.
Taking place in the rolling hills of Stradbally on Thomas Cosby’s estate - he sends the 400 sheep that normally occupy the fields off on holidays for the week of the festival - Electric Picnic Inc has suffered a year of ups and downs since last year, but seems to have emerged unscathed.
POD Concerts owner John Reynolds has had his much publicised problems this year, resulting in UK promoter Festival Republic buying into the festival. Festival Republic are owned by the same parent company as MCD, with many fearing that Electric Picnic would lose its aura if the Oxegen-bookers got involved.
This seems not to have happened, with Reynolds and POD still involved in booking acts for the festival, and it will continue in its vein as last year, when it was rebranded as a “Music Arts Festival”.
While the promoters are undoubtedly struggling to sell tickets in the recession, it is believed that - as other years - it will sell out in the coming week.
Admittedly attending the festival costs about as much as going on a week holidays, but most would argue it is well worth it.
This year the marquee names are Orbital, Brian Wilson, Flaming Lips, MGMT, Fleet Foxes, Basement Jaxx, Bell X1 and Madness, but there are literally hundreds of bands and acts playing over the three days, with another batch announced just last week, including Passion Pit, The XX and Irish artists David Geraghty and David Kitt.
But the festival is so much more than just music, as comedy, debate, cinema, cookery displays and theatre will take place over the weekend.
This year there is a brand new feature in Trenchtown, a reggae Jamaican village, while the usual boutique food stalls will be a fixture, including the Lennox St café, Diep Noodle and more.
As Siobhan O’Dowd of POD concerts told the Leader, this balance is what makes the Picnic so special.
"Its a three dimensional festival, as well as the music, the art, theatre and comedy are as heavily weighted and I think that is more defining and you wouldn't see that with any other festival," she explained.
"There is also an attention to detail and there are little pockets of activity like the Body and Soul arena which is like a micro-cosmic festival happening within Electric Picnic."
In fact, the aforementioned Body and Soul arena is basically the heartbeat of the festival, a natural amphitheatre surrounded by trees that hosts all manner of exciting events.
Limerick musician Nick Carswell and his band the Elective Orchestra are to play in the Body and Soul area at 7pm on the Saturday of the festival, while comic Limerick rap duo the Rubberbandits will play over the weekend, as will local DJ Paul Webb, well known from his residencies in Trinity Rooms and Saturday night show on Spin South West.
With everything from an Irish language tent to a free phone recharging facility on offer, this is the festival where literally anything can, and probably will happen.
Electric Picnic takes place September 4-6. Tickets are still available on

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Electric Picnic day to day breakdown and site map

The day to day breakdown has been released for the Picnic, now just nine days away!! It's alphabetised and there are (as yet) no times, but you get the idea..

Here it is:


8 Ball
Boy 8 Bit
Buraka Som Sistema
David Kitt
Dinosaur Jr
Duckworth Lewis Method
Fake Blood
Japanese Popstars DJ set
Jeffrey Lewis
Luciano presents Aether
Lykke Li
Major Lazer Soundsystem
Michael Nyman Orchestra
Peter Broderick
Richmond Fontaine
Rob Carty
Rodrigo Y Gabriela
Seasick Steve
Smash Hits
The Infomatics
The Rubberbandits
The Temper Trap
Wave Machines
Zero 7


2 Many DJs
A Flock of Seagulls
Baaba Maal
Barry Redsetta
Bat for Lashes
Billy Bragg
Brian Wilson
Cap Pas Cap
Chew Lips
Chris Cunningham live
Dave Geraghty
Explosions in the Sky
Four Tet
Imelda May
James Murphy & Pat Mahoney
Jazzanova (live)
Jon Averill
Julie Feeney
Just Jack
Kid Creole & the Coconuts
Lisa Hannigan
Lost Brothers
Low Anthem
LRB & Conor G
Magnolia Electric Co
Marina & the Diamonds
Neko Case
One Day International
Optimo DJs
Roots Manuva
Stee Downes
The Field
The Hacker
The XX
The Walkmen
Whitest Boy Alive


Alabama 3
Amadou & Mariam
Arveene & Misk
Basement Jaxx
Bell Orchestre
Bell X1
Blitzen Trapper
Damien Dempsey
Dublin Gospel Choir
Duke Dumont
Ebony Bones
Echo & the Bunnymen
Erol Alkan
Fionn Regan
Flaming Lips
Fleet Foxes
Florence & the Machine
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
Laura Izibor
Micachu & the Shapes
Mick Flannery
Nightmares on Wax Soundsystem
Okkervil River
Our Fold
Quantic & his Combo Barbaro
Passion Pit
Simian Mobile Disco
Skream & Benga (Magnetic Man)
The Acorn
The Big Pink
The Sugarhill Gang
The Wailers
Two Door Cinema Club
Transmission DJs
Zombie Nation

Phew! What a list... The full site map is available here.

Gotta go lie down now.

P.S Of course don't forget that Nick Carswell and the Elective Orchestra are playing in the Body and Soul Tree Stage at 7pm on Saturday... More on this to follow

Monday, August 24, 2009

Coors Light Peak - free gig on Limerick Docks in September

There you have it, you are looking at the site for the Coors Light Peak event, that is to take place on Limerick docks on September 19, featuring Reverend and the Makers, RSAG and Dark Room Notes, with more to be announced.
Not easy to find info on this gig, which is free and tickets are available via the Coors Light website, four per person. Something to do with docklands, a bar made out of a steel container, and gigs in Limerick, Cork, Galway, Dublin etc.
On the Beat has been aware of rumblings about this gig for sometime, due to chatter from informed circles around town and the surreptitious billboards that went up in various locations around the city in recent weeks, none containing any details or information.
We are trying to track down the promoters of said event to get more info, and you will have it as soon as we do.
Anyhow, seems to be taking place on the Steamboat Quay side of the docks, as opposed to the other end where Dolan's had their D-10 festival last year.
Line-up isn't bad, although RATM played in Dolan's already this year, but such innovation is to be congratulated regardless.
Hey, it's a free gig, and there'll probably be a limited supply of free booze, so who are we to complain! Ha!
More info in tomorrow's paper.

Swell Season play in Ennis, give away album track

The Swell Season play in Glor Theatre in Ennis tonight as part of their Irish tour, and while the gig is sold out, Hansard and Irglova have kindly decided to give away a track from their new album Strict Joy, which is due for release on October 23.
Although seemingly not together anymore, the duo and assorted Frames members are still very much recording and releasing, and “In These Arms” sounds like the follow-up material their self-titled debut - including, of course Oscar winner Falling Slowly - will be as strong as their debut.
Unfortunately the Swell Season have no Limerick date on the tour, but impressed at their gig in St. John's Church last year, a magical experience for those lucky enough to be in attendance.
Download the album track here.
For more information click this link.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Laura Izibor, The Blizzards added to Cois Fharraige line-up

Soulful Dublin born singer Laura Izibor and perennial Irish festival favourites The Blizzards have been added to the Cois Fharraige line-up, On the Beat can exclusively reveal.

The Irish acts join an already impressive line-up consisting of Doves, The Zutons, Newton Faulkner, Noah & The Whale, The Hold Steady, Stereo MC's, Lightning Seeds, Jerry Fish and The Saw Doctors.

Izibor is hot property at the moment, having finally released her hugely anticipated debut ‘Let the Truth be Told’, which went straight in at number two in the Irish album charts.

Boasting a voice that R’n’B and soul legends would kill for, Izibor has been billed as one to watch for a long time, winning the 2FM Song Contest at the age of 15. A 'Hope for 2006 Award' at the Meteors followed, as did festival appearances.

Recent appearances with Aretha Franklin, India Arie, John Legend and counts Stevie Wonder as a fan.

The Blizzards are well known in these parts, having played here repeatedly over the last few years, garnering a huge following for their brand of pop-rock, as demonstrated on the ‘A Public Display of Affection’ and 'The Domino Effect' albums. Sure to bring in a big crowd also, which will help with ticket sales.

Tickets are on sale now for the three day festival, which takes place in Kilkee, September 11-13. Tickets are still available at the early bird price of 89 yo-yos, increasing a tenner after Sept 1.
See here for tickets.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Body and Soul line-up for Electric Picnic

This is getting better and better.. The line-up for the Body and Soul arena for EP '09 includes the likes of Four Tet, Dan Deacon (solo show), J Tillman (of Fleet Foxes fame), Villagers, 3epkano, Charlie Parr, Roots Union, Chequerboard, Niwel Tsumbu, Lamb - and many, many more..

On the Beat can't see anything else for it, but to set up in the Body and Soul for the weekend and completely ignore everything else that is happening.

Here is the line-up in full, lifted from Mr Jim Carroll's fine blog (thanks Jim!):

Donal Dineen and guests, Kormac’s Big Band, Blindfold, Katie Kim, Villagers, Funzo, Colin Devlin

Tulla Ceili Band, Four Tet, Tunng, Lamb, 3epkano, Wiggle, Niwel Tsumbu, Tiny Vipers, Island Line, Ohbijou, Kill Krinkle Club, Chequerboard

Estas Tonne featuring Ise, Beach House, Amorphous Androgenous, The Sound Carriers, Golden Animals, Dan Deacon (solo show), Charlie Parr, Roots Union, J. Tillman, First Aid Kit, Baah Band, Chequerboard (DJ set)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Additions to Electric Picnic line-up!

More news in regarding the Electric Picnic line-up, which is now becoming one of the most complete for this or any year, in our humble opinion.

The superb Passion Pit have been added (yaay!) after an excellent gig at Oxegen earlier in the summer, and releasing the superb album Manners this year. Top quality addition.

Also added are diverse electro act The XX, who release their debut album this week and have been heavily tipped in certain quarters to make a breakthrough. We loved their song Crystallised, see here.
David Kitt also gets the nod (double whoop!) after his most recent album, The Nightsaver (tip for one of the Irish albums of the year) and a jaw-dropping turn in the Body Soul last year with his younger bro' in their Spilly Walker guise. Can't wait to see Kittser do his thang again this year.

Cadenza label boss and Chilean DJ/Producer LUCIANO’s new project AETHER is another of the new additions, "an entire orchestra of live sets, an orchestra of colour, shape, form and sound… with Luciano conducting", as the blurb tells us.

David Geraghty will also appear (listening to his new album as we speak) as will 8 Ball.

The line-up for the dance orientated Little Big Tent has also been released, consisting of THE HACKER, OPTIMO DJs, SWITCH, ZOMBIE NATION, DUKE DUMONT, AEROPLANE DJs, EBONY BONES, ARVEENE & MISK and JAPANESE POPSTARS to an already stuffed programme.

Woop! For a full A-Z listing of the line-up see here.

Tickets are still on sale for 240 big ones and available here. Stay tuned for more news and a large colour feature that is presently being prepared for next week's paper (hopefully!)

Review of Arctic Monkey's new album 'Humbug'

Arctic Monkeys
HERE’S A question. What to do after releasing the fastest-selling debut album in British music history, scooping the Mercury Music Prize and a nomination for your second album, both reaching number one in the charts and having already moved in a different direction with your side project the Last Shadow Puppets?
The answer for Alex Turner and his fellow Arctic Monkeys was to take themselves into the desert with Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age and record a much more considered and deliberate third album than the frenzied Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not and Favourite Worst Nightmare, the first two Monkeys albums, the latter which Turner has admitted they “banged out in two weeks”.
Homme brought the band to Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree to record the bulk of this album, before it was finished with James Ford in New York, who worked with the band on album number two.
Turner has revealed that the band listened to Hendrix and Cream while writing the album and this is apparent. There is an old-school scuzzy rock feel to this album and fans of the pepped up offerings of the first two albums might be put off by the spacey rock on offer here, the only throwback to the style of those albums appearing on ‘Pretty Visitors’ and the early parts of ‘Potion Approaching’, which descends into a Doors-esque space out for a finish.
Turner’s songwriting is also as lyrical and imaginative as ever, plumbing deeper depths here than ever before, allegories and dark themes twisting their way around and through the ten tracks on offer. However, while he is at pains to dismiss the notion of him as merely cheeky chappy, his wry wit still abounds here - ‘What came first, the chicken or the dickhead?’ he sings on Pretty Visitor.
But it is the eerie menace of this album that is eye-opening, plus the liberal use of keyboards and guitar solos, the latter in particular which have never graced a Monkeys offering before, beyond short two or three second bursts.
This is clearly Homme’s influence at work.
It is clear from the opener My Propeller that Homme has steered the Sheffield unit away from the urgency of Riot Van and Mardy Bum, the song growling with reverb and thumping bass - oozing decadence.
The first single, Crying Lightning, shows the influence of the Shadow Puppets, an eerie wail in the background while a military style drumbeat greets Turner’s hushed vocal – “I hate that little game – twisted and deranged, I hate that little game you had called crying lightning”.
‘Dangerous Animals’ boasts the most obvious classic rock influence, a deliciously dark riff pumping through the song.
It is ‘Secret Door’ that might cause jaws to drop however, as Turner hits higher notes than heard before, definitely a follow on from the vocal heights hit with his pal Miles Kane on the Last Shadow Puppets album. There are echoes of the Doors Unknown Soldier on this, Turner warbling as his band mates ‘ooh and aah’ in the background.
The rattlesnake opening of Fire and the Thud is chilling, evocative of the desert location it was recorded in. Out of nowhere the song tears into psychedelic rock territory before slowing to a satisfying crawl – guest vocalist Alison Mosshart of the Kills helping out on vocals.
This is one of the highlights of the album.
The shimmering guitars and heavy drums of Dance Little Liar cover more harmonies and hushed vocals; this, the second longest track on the album boasting yet more guitar solos.
The album climaxes in the opaque rock offering of The Jeweller’s Hands, all tingly xylophone keys and military drums - a jaunty, almost strangely hope-filled offering, considering its menacing beat.
The infectious throb of the song will ring in your head for days, but while clocking in at nearly six minutes, there is no over-indulgence here, rather a dizzying climax to a most unexpectedly different album from the Sheffield band.
Who would have thought the Monkey’s would evolve to this point when they first blazed onto the scene?
Thankfully for us all, they have, and how splendidly.
'Humbug' is available in shops this Friday, August 21.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

In the Limerick Chronicle today

Loads in the Limerick Chronicle today, Limerick's finest weekly city paper including:

Interviews with the Derry dance music superstars the Japanese Popstars and Birr singer songwriter Roesy; a full and complete dissection of the new Arctic Monkey's album Humbug (and it's good!); an interview with local up and coming band Better Than You; the inside scoop on Giveamanakick's split; and full listings for gigs etc for the coming week.

Also, check out our two page spread on the problems facing city businesses in the recession, plus get the full scoop on the plane crash that happened in Coonagh yesterday.

All this for €1 in shops at 12pm! The Chronicle, top quality, full-colour reading!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bits and pieces - What's On guide

Plenty going on at the weekend in this here city, full listings below.

If classical music is your thing, the Summer Music on the Shannon festival draws to a spectacular close in the UCH this weekend, with a performance of The Mermaid - music by acclaimed composer Carl Davis, who wrote the music to the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale as a "bribe" to get his daughter into a prestigious London school.

For music/film fans, Davis will be leading the SMS orchestra through his own compositions for two Charlie Chaplin silent films, Easy Street and The Pawn Shop. Live music and film - this is a truly breathtaking experience.

On Sunday fledgling band Funeral Suits play Upstairs in Dolan's, with support from the excellent Heritage Centre.

Funeral Suits have been together a little over a year, yet have already supported Franz Ferdinand, the Breeders and played at Electric Picnic. Not bad for this electro-rock outfit. Featuring Cappamore man and former LIT student Greg McCarthy on drums, Funeral Suits are also made up of Dubliners Michael McKeogh and Brian James, and have already caused a stir with the release of their debut EP ‘Oh Dear - which from which the track 'Black Lemonade' was included in Steve Lamacq's (BBC Radio 1) top 60 records of the moment last year - and follow up Eye Spy, which was released in May.
Now about to launch a new single this Limerick/Dublin outfit are embarking on a national tour that includes a date in Dolan’s this weekend.
FRIDAY - 14.08.09
Dolan’s Upstairs, 8pm. €6.
Dolan’s Warehouse, 8pm, €15.
The Mermaid - SMS Orchestra SMS 2009 Festival.
UCH. 8pm.
The Demise
Baker Place, 9pm. Free.
The Release Party Aubars.
Doors 11.30pm, €5.
Trinity Rooms, 9pm.
Chart. 10pm.
Sin Bin
Chart. 10pm.
SATURDAY - 15.08.09
The Sound of Silence SMS 2009 Festival.
UCH. 8pm.
99 Problems
Trinity Rooms, 9pm.
The Navigators
Dolan’s Warehouse, 9pm. €10
Barry Barnes - Sinnerboy
Dolan’s Upstairs, 8pm. €11.
The Last Tycoons
Baker Place. 9pm. Free.
Chart. 10pm
Sin Bin
Chart. 10pm
Access All Areas
Trinity Rooms, 11pm.
Saturday Night Party With DJ Rob Quigley
The George Hotel.
SUNDAY - 16.08.09
Homage to Mendelssohn
Lunchtime Concert, 1.30pm. UCH.
Funeral Suits
Dolan’s Upstairs, 8pm.
Bad Reputation Ireland
Oliver Dawson Saxony and Soloway.
Baker Place, 9pm. €10.
Trinity Rooms. Doors from 9pm.
Les Dimanches du Monde
Mickey Martin’s, 9pm.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Saw Doctors added to Cois Fharraige line-up

Venerable Irish rock and rollers The Saw Doctors have been added to the line-up for this year's Cois Fharraige festival, to be held in Kilkee on September 11-13.
The Saw Doctors, who won a Lifetime Meteor Award last year, will celebrate their 21st year on the road as a touring band this Summer and are the latest additions to an impressive line-up that already features Doves, The Zutons, Newton Faulkner, Noah & The Whale, The Hold Steady, Stereo MC’s, Lightning Seeds, and Jerry Fish.
Tickets for the three-day festival went on sale this Tuesday at the early-bird price of €89.
On the Beat is expecting more acts to be announced in the coming days, so keep it here for updates.

Album reviews - Grizzly Bear and Pocket Promise

Grizzly Bear
(Warp Records)

IN 2004 Grizzly Bear - then largely the solo project of Ed Droste - released the hypnotic Horn Of Plenty, an atmospheric record dubbed “anti-folk” in some quarters. Whatever about that baffling label, in 2006 Grizzly Bear released Yellow House, a more complete offering, featuring a full band for the first time.
The journey this quartet have come over the release of these albums is interesting, and relevant to the album. This third offering from Grizzly Bear, Veckatimest, was released earlier in the summer but is already shaping up to be one of the finest of the year.
Veckatimest is definitely the group’s most complete offering in their short career. The band have said they feel it is their most accessible, but that is a debatable point. This is an album that will take weeks to sink in, but as it does, it will insert claws and refuse to be put to the back of the pile.
Opener Southern Point feels like a folk song, but is suffused with a polka beat, driving it forward. Interestingly the band are one of the few non-electronic outfits signed to Warp, but, for all their folk-indie leanings, there is an electro feel to some of the songs on this.
Fleet Foxes comparisons are inevitable, if a little lazy; although likely to be this year’s best release, as that self-titled debut was last year, there is more complexity here, an element of darkness that does not feature on Fleet Foxes pastoral folk offering.
However, the cheery, uplifting doo-wah of clear album highlight Two Weeks feels like it could have made it onto Fleet Foxes album, if not a Beach Boys one. The epic All We Ask features an opening spine-tingling central guitar part that Jeff Buckley would have been proud of, while the song itself goes through at least three distinct phases, rising and falling through thumping bass, military drums and soaring vocals.
This is an example of the genre-mixing, experimental rock that Grizzly Bear excel at and shows why this band are Radiohead’s favourites.
Listen to While You Wait For The Others and fail to be impressed, the band coming together sporadically for glorious multi-vocal choruses.

Pocket Promise
I’ve Been Here For Ages
(Stop Go Music Limited)

THERE IS so much good music coming out of the North of this country that, at last, the notion that the anaemic Snow Patrol are the sole ambassadors for Northern Ireland should be counteracted.
Hard rock outfit And So I Watch You From Afar have already impressed this year, while this debut from the hugely promising (and aptly titled) Pocket Promise appears ready to add to the strength in depth among the booming scene in Belfast and beyond.
Where And So I Watch... are all screeching guitars and a Rage-esque wall of sound, Pocket Promise have produced an album full of lush instrumentation, indie-rock with an intelligent bent. The band released a double A-side before the album came out and one half of that single opens this album, the excellent, Radiohead influenced If Not The Tide Will Change.
Surprisingly the other half of that single is one of the lower points of the album, Talking Over Talking just a bit too standard soft-core guitar rock for us.
However, if this is a low point - there are many high points, an impressive level of depth, melody and heartfelt harmony on several of the songs.
The lush, sweeping strings of Deja Vu is preceded by the seven minute epic Sorry, while the skiffle lullaby beat of Inside Out will drag you under its spell.
There is an energy prevalent throughout all the songs on this offering, which at a little under 50 minutes, feels a little short.
However, if this album gets heard by the right people, you will find it difficult to wander past a radio without Pocket Promise’s indie rock blasting at you.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Nick Carswell and the Elective Orchestra in Dolan's tonight

HIGHLY rated local band Nick Carswell and the Elective Orchestra are gearing up for a national tour this August, one which will see the band play six towns in seven days.
The Elective Orchestra’s ‘Great Southern Tour’ will begin Upstairs in Dolan’s this Tuesday evening, before the band decamp to DeBarra's Clonakilty, Phil Grimes Waterford, Gallery 126 Youghal, Kilkenny Arts Festival and Wexford Song Club.
To celebrate the tour, the band will also be releasing the single Oceanview as a digital download from
“The release of the single will make this the Great Southern Oceanview Tour,” laughed Nick, well known local musician and Spin South West DJ.
“We are planning to release our debut album later in the year and this will be our second single release, so we thought we would travel around and try and spread the word a bit,” he explained. The soft acoustic nature of Oceanview is a long-time favourite in the band's set, and has already enjoyed national success, reaching the Top 10 in the Vodafone Bright New Sounds Competition in 2008.
It displays the subtler side of the Elective Orchestra's lush instrumentation, and the quiet musings of Nick's delicate songwriting that contrasts nicely with debut single When I'm Not Around, a much more up-tempo affair.
The tour kicks off in full in Dolan’s, Tuesday August 11. For more details see

Monday, August 10, 2009

Review Lisa Hannigan in Daghdha

SINGER LISA Hannigan held an audience in her thrall last week as she performed a stunning set in Daghdha Dance Company’s St. John’s Church, delicately mixing her set with some impressive new songs as well as songs from her Mercury Music Prize nominated album.
The Meath chanteuse declared herself “mesmerised” by the venue when speaking to the Limerick Leader before the gig, but it was the large audience that were transfixed to the sight of Hannigan and her merry band, most of whom used to form part of Damien Rice’s band along with the beguiling singer.
Eminently more confident than the last time she played in Limerick little under a year ago, many months of gigs across the US and UK has seen her attain an almost symbiotic relationship with her band, consisting of Gavin Glass, Donagh Molloy, Shane Fitzsimons and Tom Osander - all of whom still play with those broad grins that were prevalent on their faces in their first few gigs with Hannigan. It is clear that they are also under her spell.
While still quite shy between songs, Hannigan has become a much more solid performer, opening her set with Pistachio, Sea Song and Splishy Splashy, three songs from her by now classic album Sea Sew.
However, it is the unsettling and eery Courting Blues that still transfixes, Molloy screeching a violin bow over the keys of a xylophone, Hannigan reduced to an almost zombie-like state as she sings, eyes closed.
Bob Dylan’s Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues is a favourite of Hannigan’s and sat comfortably either side of her Venn Diagram with John Martyn’s epic I Couldn’t Love You More, Hannigan’s “favourite song of all time after the Ghostbuster’s theme tune”.
Her whispered performance of the latter is a particular highlight, stunning in execution. The jaunty Ocean And A Rock is followed by My Pirate Disco, which didn’t make it onto the album for some strange reason, and the excellent I Don’t Know.
New song Brolly Beats shows that her new material is strong, while the epic Teeth and Lille finish out the set. Hannigan returns for a solo encore, playing another new song, Passengers, by herself. This song is clearly influenced by her recent tour of the States, namechecking American cities in a winsome manner.
The group return for a final track in Keep It All, the standout track on the album and on the night, before they depart.
“This is a beautiful room, thanks very much for letting me bring my uncoordinated dancing in here,” whispers Hannigan before she vanishes.
Here’s hoping it won’t be long before she returns.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cois Fharraige to go ahead - Doves to headline

This hot off the press, with barely a month to go before it is due to take place, Cois Fharraige is to go ahead and Doves are to headline the three day festival, taking place September 11,12,13.
Also included in the line-up are The Zutons (returning again), Newton Faulkner, Noah & The Whale, The Hold Steady, Stereo MC’s, Lightning Seeds and Jerry Fish - with more acts to be announced in the coming days.
As exclusively revealed on these pages and in the Limerick Leader, the festival has been in the pipeline for the last weeks and months, but sponsorship and licencing issues and recession problems have meant it was touch and go to go ahead.
With the support of local businesses and all relevant parties on board, MCD have today announced that the hugely popular festival - which has drawn in excess of 15,000 people into the seaside village in the last two years - will go ahead, with a rather impressive line-up.
More from the blurb:
Early bird weekend tickets are priced 89 euro inclusive of booking fee up until September 1 and 99 euro incl. booking fee after. Tickets go on sale this Tuesday August 11 at 9 am.
Please note: There is no on site camping available. For further information please contact Western Tourism on
Keep it here for more updates, interviews, giveaways to come.

Interview with guitar duo Tucan

THERE IS something about a clash of cultures and influences that makes the best combination - opposites attract and all that.
This clash is one of things that makes Sligo acoustic guitar duo Túcan sound exciting and invigorating, the very different musical backgrounds of Donal Gunne and Pearse Feeney combining to form something different.
“Donal, when I met him, was a big metal head, and that hasn't changed - he is even more into it now and probably will be until the day he dies,” laughs Feeney when he speaks to the Limerick Leader.
“He came from that metal, hard rock background but when I was younger, I liked nothing more than the sound of an acoustic guitar just strummed. We are always trying to find out how we can mix these different influences that we bring, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t,” laughs Feeney.
It certainly works on the duo’s debut album, released earlier in the summer. Aliquot Strings is a delightful nine track collection of instrumental guitar music, the duo chasing and challenging each other through a rich repertoire of classical and 60’s rock, heavy metal, trad, flamenco and jazz. ‘Aliquot’ means several in Latin, which is somewhat apt.
“Donal came up with Aliquot and I liked the idea, it does tie in with the many different sounds that we encompass,” explains Pearse.
“We are two very different people and it is very hard for us to agree on anything! Even down to the name of the band, album, the songs - everything, we always have to find a happy medium and I think we have,” he adds.
The self-financed debut was also self-released, requiring a hard slog to promote it and get it out there.
“We released it and got it charted - we spent a few weeks touring around all the record shops in Ireland. We got into the charts at no 29. If we sold seven more cds we would have been higher than the Pussycat Dolls,” laughs Pearse.
The album is exceptional; a buzzy, energetic affair, suffused in the guitar skills of the duo, but benefiting from the presence of drums and bass, filling out their sound.
“When we went into record the album we decided to get a rhythm section,” says Pearse. “
Since we recorded and started touring the album we have started bringing the full band. It will be the first time playing Limerick with the band, so we are looking forward to it.”
The inevitable comparisons will be made with Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela, who have had such huge success in Ireland. Pearse says Túcan have been heavily influenced by the duo and see no harm in comparisons.
“We have learned that comparisons are inevitable, even if I don't think we would see comparisons any more,” he says.
“When we started off we would have listened to their music and it was a great learning tool to try and figure it out, but I suppose we have developed our own sound as time has gone on. I'd be a big fan so I would hardly take it as an insult,” he laughs.
Túcan play Upstairs in Dolan’s next Friday, August 7. Aliquot Strings is available now in record stores.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Album reviews - La Roux and Temper Trap

La Roux
La Roux
THIS IS an album I really didn’t want to like; is that highly unprofessional to say?
Billed from the first of this year as one of umpteen female-led electro-pop outfits to watch by music magazines (exclusively British-based publications) my hackles were raised when I heard about La Roux, along with Florence and the Machine, Little Boots etc.
However, even a mere half-listen to this album will induce a disco-high, foot-tapping, enjoyable-against-better-judgement, aural experience.
La Roux, the electropop, synth duo of Elly Jackson and Ben Langmaid have pulled off that most impressive of feats, namely living up to the hype.
Where Jackson is the singer/synth-playing La Roux persona, Langmaid is the shadowy co-writer and producer, willing to leave Jackson in the limelight. But Jackson is no window dressing, there is real talent and spikiness in her voice and performance, while the former Faithless contributor Langmaid has clearly done much to encourage her out of her shell.
The interesting thing is not just that they have co-written most of the offerings on this 12-track debut - but that Jackson comes from a folk background, and that comes through in the songs, despite being twisted inside out with synthesizers and drum machines.
First single Quicksand is not as dancy as expected, a synth-pop sound in evolution and an interesting contrast with In For The Kill, the second single from the album, Jackson allowing her personality to filter through.
The effortlessly cool and unflinchingly dark Tigerlily is an eye-opener, right down to the clearly Thriller-inspired spooky voiceover.
Things hot up on the bouncy disco-beat of Bulletproof, the duo’s first UK number one, “I’ve been there done that, messed around / I’m having fun don’t put me down / I’ll never let you sweep me off my feet”, declares Jackson boldly.
The best thing about this is that the album is so much more than the sum of its singles; the gentle, relaxed beat of Cover My Eyes is stuffed with emotion; the acerbic I’m Not Your Toy is a smash waiting to happen, while Armour Love will seduce you with its angular rhythms.
A thrilling debut, worth the hype.
Temper Trap
(Infectious Records)

THIS Australian four-piece have literally mined every known influence under the sun and produced an album suffused with bits from here and there; U2/Edge jangly guitars, Bloc Party’s angular drumming, the Killers’ thumping bass-lines, Coldplay harmonies, Stars/Broken Social Scene vocals, Sufjan-strings - the list could go on. Do they succeed?

Yes, in a word.

Hailing from the musical hotspot of Melbourne - there is literally a bar around every corner groaning with any manner of new, up and coming bands - this indie quartet have recently decamped to London and it is hard to see them remaining relatively unknown for long.

The plodding beat of opening track ‘Love Lost’ echoes with these influences and more, finding peaks and troughs, rising and falling along with Dougie Mandagi’s (what a great name) vocals.

‘Rest’ is stuffed with pulsating rhythms and atmospheric guitars, no standard run of the mill indie music here. The Unforgettable Fire-esque Sweet Dispositions impresses, “Don’t stop till you surrender”, sings Mandagi and we are tempted to agree.

The epic ‘Soldier On’ is the centre-piece of this album, a whiff of Empire of the Sun about it despite its acoustic nature, building to a booming conclusion.

‘Resurrection’ exhibits the confidence this band has in spades; what could be a bad Scissor Sisters-style disaster instead veers toward a bouncy, Zeppelin influenced - check out the falsetto vocals on this - breakout, all jangly-spacey guitars and thumping drums.

Oh yes, I’ll have some more of this please.