10. Speakeasy Jazz: The Freeform Foundation - Shannon Rowing Club (January)
This was our first chance encounter with the Freeform Foundation, who blazed a hole through January 2010 at the popular Speakeasy Jazz gig, their lose-flowing and eclectic rhythms washing away the cobwebs of the New Year. Superb
9. Word of Mouth Presents: O Emperor, Sons of Noel and Adrian and Alessi's Ark - Dolan's Upstairs (January)
A new tour showcase that trundled through Limerick in January, and returns in Jan '11. This gig was special for our first opportunity to breathlessly witness the live brilliance of O Emperor, whose musical tastes belie their tender years. Smashing stuff.
8. Tommy Tiernan - Thomond Park (June)
An incredible gig from the top Irish comedian of this and any year - this Thomond Suite gig was centre piece of his World Tour of Limerick series which saw the funnyman play eight gigs in eight days around the city and county. 600 people laughed, very hard.
7. Bump Muzik Festival - Clonlara (June)
Limerick's own - very special - boutique festival on the shores of the River Shannon at the Angler's Rest in Clonlara. Organised by Viva, Double Bass and Secret Stash, the finest local and international DJs bumped and grinded at this amazing location. Set to return in 2011 at a new location. We can't wait.
6. UnFringed Festival (January)
Limerick's 13th UnFringed Festival was reduced this year to five days but the programme didn't lack in depth, with 16 distinct productions being packed into the festival line-up. Superbly eclectic, and returns for an amazing 14th year in January 2011.
5. Two Door Cinema Club - Dolan's Warehouse (March)
We approached this one with trepidation; lots of hype had built up this quirky, electro-pop driven Norn' Irish trio. As it turned out, the hype was justified - a packed Warehouse danced and waved glow sticks and we left happy.
4. Bell X1 - St. John's Church (November)
The finest, most stunningly atmospheric venue in the city provided one of the best gigs of the year - a stripped back and acoustic Bell X1 playing a selection of new songs and greatest hits to a rapt capacity audience. Had the X-factor.
3. And So I Watch You From Afar - Baker Place (February)
We knew they were special (if you haven't heard their clarion call self-titled debut, get it now) but we didn't know quite how good they were live. A rammed Baker Place was treated to a smashing set of balls-out, instrumental rock and roll. Crowd surfing, moshing and grins ear to ear. Wow.
2. Villagers - St. John's Church (December)
Would have been gig of the year but for a pair of grinning, plastic bag wearing rappers. Conor O'Brien returned to Limerick 18 months since his first Villagers gig, and blew a full St. John's Church away. The album of the year also, in our book.
1. The Rubberbandits - Electric Picnic (September)
It could have been any of a number of 'Bandits 2010 gigs in top spot; the mystery Christmas gig; a UL Rag Week stormer in the Stables; a triumphant Warehouse/Panic gig in September (very special); the A Conversation With gig in Daghdha; or the recent spate of three sold-out gigs in two days in the Warehouse (an amazing feat in these times). Let's face it, 2010 was the year of the Rubberbandits, and nothing captured their seizing of the zeitgeist - ahead of Horse Outside, Republic of Telly etc - than the duo's amazing gig in the Little Big Tent at Electric Picnic on the Friday of the three day festival. Nearly 2,000 people bounced, sang along and worshipped at the feet of the 'Bandits as they threw it down royally - performing the gig of the weekend at the Stradbally fest. Quite simply our favourite music moment of 2010.
What the bloody hell happened to horror?
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