Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Limerick Live on Cruises Street this Saturday

THE CREAM of the crop from the Irish music scene comes to Limerick this weekend for the debut music and arts festival Limerick Live, which is set to bring hundreds of music fans onto Cruises Street.
The superb Fight Like Apes and rising stars O Emperor will be joined by The High Kings and John Spillane, as well as exciting local acts We Should Be Dead, Supermodel Twins and Windings on two stages on the city centre pedestrian street.
The impressive initiative is being spearheaded by HMV on Cruises Street, in association with Dolan’s Warehouse - who will host Fight Like Apes, We Should Be Dead and Supermodel Twins in the Dock Road venue on Saturday night - and is being supported by the Limerick Chronicle and Limerick’s Live 95FM.
There will be two stages set-up on Cruises Street during the day, with some of Limerick’s brightest talent performing on the second staged, including performances from the Art In Motion Performance Company directed by Jenny Brown and guests, Myles Breen of Bottom Dog Productions, Choke Comedy Improv and Centrespace Studios. There will also be a signing area where fans can meet the bands and get autographs.
O Emperor are first on stage at 12pm on Saturday and we strongly recommend getting down early to see one of the finest Irish bands in recent memory.
Designed to be a “fun filled day out for all the family”, the street festival is intended to “celebrate what Limerick city has to offer”, according to HMV manager, Chris Keena.
“Essentially the idea behind the event is to promote Limerick city by providing people with a quality event that not only appeals to every walk of life but offers value for money,” explained HMV store manager Chris Keena.
“It is our sincerest hope that Limerick Live will grow and develop as an event and continue to attract people back to the city by re-establishing the city as the heart of the county,” he added. Dolan’s supremo Mick added his voice to a call for similar events established in the city.
“We need a project like this – and more like it – to drive on the city and take us out of the recession,” said Mick.
The FREE music and arts event takes place from 12-5pm on Saturday, while the event moves down to Dolan’s Warehouse from 9pm that night.

* We will be posting an interview with Fight Like Apes here tomorrow, do come back!

New play Chicane in the Belltable this week

A BLACKLY comic thriller, where the audience should “expect the unexpected”, is how Guna Nua Theatre Company’s Chicane is described, boasting a top notch cast and direction by Limerick man Paul Meade, a renowned actor in his own right.
Written by first time playwright Anthony Brophy and featuring Barry Barnes, Emmet Kirwan - of RTE’s Sarah and Steve - and highly promising up and coming actress Jane McGrath, this is definitely not one to miss.
Steeped in film noir and effectively a cinematic thriller on your local stage, Chicane is packed with suspense, violence and deceit and receives its world premiere on Limerick’s Belltable stage, a considerable coup for the venue.
“It is a thriller, set in a lawyer's office in contemporary Dublin and basically what people can expect is the unexpected,” laughs Paul Meade, founder of Guna Nua, whom local audiences may remember brought the superb ‘Little Gem’ to the Belltable in recent times.
“The name Chicane refers to something in the story, but it also refers to all the twists and turns in the play and it brings you around a different corner every ten pages or so. The play is like a revenge play, but your perception of what is happening is constantly being subverted. It is set in one office, there are three characters and it is really intense, but very funny at times - it is playful in the sense that it is constantly changing in that you don't know what is going to come next.”
He adds with a smile: “There are a lot of film noir overtones. If you like thrillers or black comedy, you will love this”.
The three-hander is a suspenseful whodunit, but is ultimately a story of love and loyalty. Happily, it provides the Dublin based Meade - whose performance in the Georgian House located Buck Jones and the Bodysnatchers lingers long in the memory - with a chance to return to his home city.
“It is great to be back in Limerick and it is always great to be in the Belltable - they have been very supportive of Guna Nua for the last number of years with Little Gem and this,” he says effusively.
Chicane runs in the Belltable @ 36 Cecil Street until Saturday, October 2.

Panic with The Rubberbandits in Dolan's this Thursday night

Mornin' folks (is it afternoon already?).. Apologies for the lack of posting up here over the last few weeks - if anyone is still reading - but Electric Picnic, holidays and black tie balls have crippled our output in recent times.. Back on the air and delighted to say there is loads going on over the next few days, weeks and months, all of which you can read about in the pages of the Chronicle/Leader, or get the rag-tag bits and bobs here!

This Thursday sees local heroes The Rubberbandits return to their roots for a show in Dolan's Warehouse as part of the excellent new Panic! club night, which has already featured DJ sets from Newton Faulkner and Ocean Colour Scene and the superbly talented Redneck Manifesto last Thursday. This week the 'Bandits (after their recent exploits at EP '10 and in the capital, see below, thanks to Ken Coleman for the pics) are joined at Panic! by DJs Paul Webb, Leon and John Kelly - all for the princely sum of five squids.. But get down for 10.30pm, because it'll be sold out by 10.35pm we reckon..

LIMERICK’S dastardly rap-comic duo The Rubberbandits - who maintain their secret identities by performing with plastic bags over their heads - joined a list of guest speakers that includes Jonathan Swift and Nelson Mandela by making an appearance before the Trinity College Philosophical Society recently.
The improbable appearance came hot on the heels of a rapturously received gig at the Electric Picnic festival in Stradbally, at which the Limerick duo were joined on stage by Crystal Swing, and also after the duo sold out Dublin music venue Whelan’s last week, on a Sunday night no less, an impressive achievement in itself.
The duo are also set to appear on Brendan O’Connor’s The Saturday Night show on RTE in the coming weeks, and have also recently been filiming a weekly slot on one of RTE’s top rated comedy shows - the identity of which cannot yet be revealed.
The Rubberbandits were invited to appear at the Trinity Philosophical Society - known as 'The Phil' - last week and caused such a commotion that a roadblock had to be erected on the Dublin city centre campus, with security shutting down the building the minute they came off stage, according to a spokesperson for the duo.
To put their appearance in some perspective, in recent years the society has played host to guests such as actor Al Pacino, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, presidential candidate John McCain, actress Dame Helen Mirren, writer Sir Salman Rushdie and Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The ‘Bandits themselves said of the appearance: “We just made an appearance before the Trinity College Philosophical society where we were guest speakers. They got us to sign some old brown book that had signatures from eejits out of the 1700's with long names. Today is the first time that a drawing of Bob Marley saying "chuckig our law" has been inscribed in those pages. I spotted that Jonathan Swift wrote something about UB40 in it though in fairness”.
The Rubberbandits return to Limerick this Thursday, September 30 for a special gig in Dolan’s Warehouse as part of the new Panic! weekly clubnight.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Album review - The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra 'Lowering the Tone'

The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra
‘Lowering the Tone’
(Silly Goose Records)
IF THERE was a fear that the devilishly theatrical musical collective of The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra might struggle to replicate their joyous, energetic live magnetism on record, that is quelled instantly on listening to the superb, brass-fuelled New Miracle, one of the stand-out tracks on the local band’s much-anticipated debut album, Lowering the Tone.
An ensemble that work in tandem with each other, indeed feed off each other in the live arena, this reviewer feared that the BPLO - in particular producer and chief songwriter David Blake - might struggle to capture that intensity on CD.
Thankfully, this is not the case, from the swooning, undulating opener of December to the more subtle and gentle album closer Lion’s Share.
Formed around the central triumvirate of the Blake siblings - David, Ann and James - the BPLO boast some superb musicians among their ranks, and this class is immediately apparent on an album that has been due for some time.
The band’s status is apparent from the presence of Today FM DJ and The Undertones singer Paul McLoone - a major fan of the group - who assumes mouth tuba duties on the brass-fuelled New Miracle, which packs a wonderfully vaudevillian flavour and some of the finest harmonies heard on record for some time.
The ability of the BPLO to flit between the carefree swing of the undulating December, the smooth, louche lounge-lizard tones of Grace Jones, the haunted, electric-rock groove of The Devil and Me (our favourite track) and epic crescendo of Soon!, is simply remarkable.
There are some other more heartfelt tracks, in particular the soaring, harmony-driven Millionaire and the heart-breaking All I Want, which would make a grown man weep.
The vivid lyrics are an eye opener also, in particular on the superb We Walked On - “we lifted a serpent, a dead man was healed / he spoke with a forked tongue, a truth was revealed”.
The sea-shantyesque balled Long Time Rogue is about the only off-key note on what is a superb, joy-filled, dervish of an album.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Electric Picnic 2010 preview (plus stage times for local acts)

IT IS the final major festival of the summer, and the weather looks set to put everyone in good humour as Electric Picnic approaches this weekend.
A sizeable contingent of local fans will again make the pilgrimage to the gorgeous rolling plains of Stradbally, but among the masses is a large contingent of local artists who will also perform at the three day music and arts festival.
As it is classed as such, Electric Picnic is not just about music - rather it offers a mind-bending array of comedy, theatre and discussion - indeed everything from political debate to cooking demonstrations - among such headline acts as Roxy Music, Massive Attack, Leftfield and The Frames.
Local bands such as The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra, Nick Carswell and the Elective Orchestra, Size2Shoes and the Limerick-based Roots Factory DJs will be joined by local comedian Karl Spain, the Choke Comedy Improv troupe and actor Zeb Moore, who will be performing his one-man show Spinal Krapp in the Theatre Tent in the Mindfield arena.
However, the pick of the bunch - and our absolute stone-cold highlight for the weekend - has to be the Rubberbandits pending debut appearance with cult-heroes Crystal Swing in the Little Big Arena on Friday night.

The bizarre gig - it is true, believe us! - will be one of two the Rubberbandits will play at the weekend, with the second an appearance on the Comedy Stage on Saturday. In an attempt to get an official comment from one of the plastic-bag wearing duo ahead of their appearance with Irish pop-trio Crystal Swing, On the Beat contacted one half of the dastardly duo to find out why they had chosen the Irish band as their special guests.

“I have fancied the Ma in Crystal Swing since I first seen her,” explains Mr Chrome in his inimitable Limerick accent.
She has this pure captivating look in her eyes. It is as if her iris is the setting for a fight between innocence and sin, and I am the referee. Finally, at the Picnic I will get my chance to shift the face off her,” laughs the Rubberbandit.

Local comedian Karl Spain will perform on a different type of stage as he hosts “ESB Picnic Power” on Sunday afternoon. Essentially a carnival style carousel with thirty bicycles powering an electric shower, Spain will be on hand to get volunteers onto the bikes and may even avail of a hot shower himself!

“It should be good craic. The thing has been described to me as a shower thing that is like a carousel, with 30 people on bikes creating enough energy to power the shower in the middle,” he says.
“My theory is, if you have 30 people cycling, all of them are going to need a shower afterwards! I dont know if that flaw has been thought through,” he laughs. Spain will also perform on the Comedy Stage on Sunday.
The local comedian has played at Electric Picnic a number of times, and says people need to take a break from the madness, and what better place than the comedy tent.
“It is a great idea having comedy at these things, because it is down time. As much as people like to think they are going to go mad for 72 hours, they are not, they need to sit and chill out for a while, and listen to someone who will entertain you,” he explains.

Local musicians Nick Carswell and David Blake of the BPLO are of a similar opinion and are big ‘Picnic fans.
“We're delighted to be playing again, especially in Body and Soul arena, which is the big cosy heart of the festival,” says Nick, who will play with his band on Sunday afternoon on the Love Letters Stage.
“It's the perfect setting for The Elective Orchestra - last year our stage was made from a fallen tree so we can't wait to see the setup, it's always a bit magical. We'll be soothing some sore heads on Sunday afternoon while gearing people up for the last day of the fest,” he adds.
The BPLO will play in the Theatre Tent in the Mindfield area on Sunday night, closing out proceedings in that tent.
“We're thrilled to be invited back to play the Electric Picnic again this year,” says David. “Delightfully we're due to play in the Theatre Tent this year (and the Cabaret tent) which should house our many members. Since we're playing in a tent, we'll be hoping for rain to drive the punters in! Just kidding,” he laughs.

No such luck Mr Blake, the forecast this weekend is for sun, and we can expect plenty of laughter along the way.
Electric Picnic takes place this Friday to Sunday in Stradbally, and some tickets remain on sale from

Don’t miss:

The Rubberbandits (Friday, Little Big Arena, 1.15am and Saturday, Comedy Stage 4pm)
Choke Comedy Improv (Saturday, Theatre Tent, 12.30pm)
Size2Shoes (Saturday, Village Green Bandstand, 2pm)
The Roots Factory (Saturday, Trenchtown, 5-8pm and midnight to 4am)
Spinal Krapp (Theatre Tent, Saturday, 5.30pm)
Karl Spain (Sunday, Comedy Tent)
Nick Carswell and the Elective Orchestra (Sunday, Love Letters Stage, Body and Soul, 4pm)
The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra (Sunday, Theatre Tent, 7.30pm)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Electric Picnic 2010 stage times (plus Body and Soul)

The times are up, gonna need to plan fairly well, some interesting clashes, not least Jonsi and Modest Mouse on Friday night (eek!).. I will have a list of stage times and locations for local acts up shortly also, or see this week's Limerick Chroncile..


Main Stage:
10:30pm – midnight Roxy Music
8:45pm – 9:45pm Modest Mouse
7:15pm – 8:15pm The Waterboys
6:00pm – 6:45pm Janelle Monáe
4:45pm – 5:30pm The Jolly Boys
3:45pm – 4:15pm Donal Dineen. Niwel Tsumbu & Friends

Electric Arena:
10:45pm – midnight Public Image Ltd
9:00pm – 10:00pm Jonsi (Sigur Ros)
7:15pm – 8:15pm Marc Almond
6:00pm – 6:45pm Black Mountain
4:45pm – 5:15pm Chew Lips
3:45pm – 4:15pm Nova Static

Crawdaddy Stage:
10:50pm – 12midnight Eels
9:20pm – 10:20pm Foals
7:45pm – 8:35pm Laura Marling
6:30pm – 7:15pm Hurts
5:30pm – 6:00pm Joe Echo
4:30pm – 5:00pm Cloud Castle Lake

Cosby Stage:
11:00pm – 12midnight Duke Special
9:45pm – 10:30pm Stars
8:30 pm – 9:15pm Cymbals Eat Guitars
7:30 pm – 8:00pm Here We Go Magic
6:30 pm – 7:00pm MNDR
5:30 pm – 6:00pm Delta Maid
4:45 pm – 5:15pm Vengeance & the Panther Queen
4:00 pm – 4:30pm James O’Connor with Audrey Trainor

Little Big Tent:
01:15am – 02:00am Rubberbandits feat Crystal Swing
12:15am – 01:00am Kormac’s Big Band
10:45pm – 11:45pm Booka Shade
9:30pm – 10:30pm Sneaky Soundsystem
8:30pm – 9:30pm Sebastian Leger
7:15pm – 8:15pm The Subs
6:00pm – 7:00pm Lorcan Mac
5:00pm – 6:00pm Phil Ryan
4:00pm – 5:00pm LRB

Body and Soul:
22:40-03:30 Donal Dineen live, with guests
22:00-22:40 Janelle Monae
20:35-21:20 Freelance Whales
19:10-19:50 Johnny Flynn
18:00-18:40 I Draw Slow
17:00-17.30 Que Pezon
16:00-16:30 Bocs Social

Main Stage:
12.30am – 2.00am Leftfield
10.30pm –11.45pm The Frames
8.45pm – 9.45pm Imelda May
7.00pm – 8.00pm Seasick Steve
5.15pm – 6.15pm Afro Celt Soundsystem
3.30pm – 4.30pm Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
2:15pm – 2:55pm Heathers
1.30pm – 2.00pm Mountain Man
12.30pm – 1.00pm Brian Deady

Electric Arena:
10:45pm – 12:15am LCD Soundsystem
8:45pm – 9:45pm Hot Chip
7:00pm – 8:00pm Bad Lieutenant
5:15pm – 6:15pm Crystal Castles
4:00pm – 4:45pm K'Naan
2:45pm – 3:30pm Robyn
1:30pm – 2:00pm Spilly Walker
12:30pm – 1:00pm Channel One

Crawdaddy Stage:
12midnight – 1:00am Gil Scott Heron
9:45pm – 10:45pm Cathy Davey
8:15pm – 9:15pm Steve Earle
6:45pm – 7:45pm Paul Brady
5:15pm – 6:15pm Villagers
4:00pm – 4:45pm Redneck Manifesto
2:30pm – 3:15pm Adrian Crowley
1:30pm – 2:00pm And So I Watch You From Afar
12:30pm – 1:00pm Goodtime John

Cosby Stage:
01:00am – 02:00am Joker & Nomad
11:50pm – 12:50am Edan
10:45pm – 11:35pm Monotonix
9:15pm – 10:15pm Brendan Perry
7:45pm – 8:45pm The Antlers
6:30pm – 7:15pm Steve Mason
5:15pm – 6:00pm Philip Selway
4:00pm – 4:45pm These New Puritans
3:00pm – 3:30pm Fang Island
2:00pm – 2:30pm The Mighty Stef
1:00pm – 1:30pm Aaron Wright

Little Big Tent:
00:45am – 2:00am Bloody Beetroots
10:45pm – 00:15am Tiga
9:45pm – 10:45pm Daniel Wang
8:30pm – 9:30pm The Japanese Popstars
7:25pm – 8:15pm Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip
6:10pm – 7:10pm Stacey Pullen
5:15pm – 6:00pm Crystal Fighters
4:00pm – 5:00pm Arveene & Misk
2:00pm – 3:50pm Trojan Soundsystem
12:30pm – 2:00pm Mikki Dee & Mystro

Body and Soul:
03:30-04:30 Phil Retrospector
02:15-03:15 Martin Hayes and Denis Cahill
00:45-01:45 Caribou
22:30-23:30 Crystal Fighters
21:00-21:40 Timber Timbre
19:50-20:30 Jimmy the Hideous Penguin
18:40-19:20 John Smith
17:20-18:00 Tucan
16:00-16:40 Lisa O’ Neill
15:10-15:40 Low Sea
14:00-14:40 SPECIAL GUESTS
12:50-13:30 Nouveaunoise
11:50-12:30 Ultan Conlon


Main Stage:
10.30pm – midnight Massive Attack
8.45pm – 9.45pm The National
7:10pm – 8:00pm Mumford & Sons
5:30pm – 6:30pm Friendly Fires
3.45pm – 4.45pm Dennis Alcapone
2:30pm – 3.15pm Bonobo (live)
1.15pm – 2.00pm Cymande II
12 noon – 12.45pm Dublin Gospel Choir

Electric Arena:
9:30pm – 10:40pm Fever Ray
7:45pm – 8:45pm UNKLE
6:15pm – 7:15pm Fat Freddy’s Drop
5:00pm – 5:45pm Two Door Cinema Club
3:30pm – 4:15pm Beardyman
2:30pm – 3:00pm DaM-FunK + Master Blazter
1:30pm – 2:00pm Neon Indian
12:30pm – 1:00pm Messiah J & the Expert

Crawdaddy Stage:
11:00pm – 12midnight Wolf Parade
9:15pm – 10:15pm Low Anthem
7:45pm – 8:45pm The Horrors
6:30pm – 7:15pm The Big Pink
5:15pm – 6:00pm Fight Like Apes
4:00pm – 4:45pm The Alarm
2:45pm – 3:30pm Stornoway
1:30pm – 2:15pm The Tallest Man on Earth
12:30pm – 1:00pm James McMorrow

Cosby Stage:
11:00pm – midnight New Pornographers
9:15pm – 10:15pm The Fall
7:45pm – 8:30pm Liquid Liquid
6:15pm – 7:15pm Archie Bronson Outfit
5:00pm – 5:45pm Field Music
3:50pm – 4:30pm Dandelion
2:50pm – 3:20pm Jerry Fish
2:00pm – 2:30pm O Emperor
1:00pm – 1:30pm Land Lovers
12 noon – 12:30pm Riptide Movement

Little Big Tent:
10:45pm – 12midnight Laurent Garnier live
9:15pm – 10:15pm 808 State
8:00pm – 9:00pm Juan Atkins
7:00pm – 7:55pm Mixhell
5:45pm – 6:45pm Jackbeats
2:30pm – 5:30pm Mr Scruff
1:30pm – 2:15pm Lorcan Mak

Body and Soul:
03:00-03.30 Visuals & Close
02:30-02:45 Judith Mok feat. Shane Booth & Daniel Forde performing Love & Life in Operatic Recital
01:00-02:00 Omar Souleyman
23:30-00:30 John Cooper Clarke
22:50-23:05 Sfear
21:30-22:30 Iarla O Lionaird & Steve Cooney
20:10-21:00 Neon Indian
18:30-19:15 Martina Topley Bird
17:25-18:00 Arborera
16:05-16:55 Cymande II
14:50-15:25 Special Guest
14:00-14:30 Jennifer Evans
13:00-13:30 Daithi O’Dronai
12.00-12.30 Paul Melia