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Showing posts from 2018

A Love Letter to Music Venues

I was in Dublin city centre this morning for the first time in 12 months.  The last time I was there was to see Jane Willow perform in the Cobblestone Pub  on February 29th 2020.  I never, not for a moment, thought things would turn out as they did.  I was looking forward to a year full of gigs and excitement.  I think we all know how that turned out. After doing what I had to workwise, I took a spin around Dublin before I headed home.  I drove by the aforementioned Cobblestone Pub , the Voodoo Lounge , The Grand Social , The Workmans Club , The Sugar Club and ended up outside Whelans . I've had great nights out in each of those venues and in many more around the country!   Dolans of Limerick, Crane Lane Theatre and Kino in Cork,  Odd Mollies in Drogheda, the Moat Theatre in Naas, the Riverbank Arts Centre in Newbridge, the Solstice Arts Centre in Navan, Visual in Carlow...  The list goes on and on. 2017 and Helmet played Whelans.  There I am partying with them after the s

2018-12-27 Paddy Casey - Whelans Dublin

Well, I thought that the Finns gig was the last gig of the year, but it seems that I was wrong, very wrong actually! Last night I headed to see Paddy Casey play Whelans in Dublin and he had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand.  They, and I, loved every minute of his 2.5 hour long gig! Support on the night was by Gary Tiernan , but unfortunately I didn’t make it in time to see his set.  I’ve seen Gary before, he’s bloody good and worth checking out. To paraphrase some other famous Dublin singer, what a night, what a city, what a show! I’ve one last gig planned for the year and that’s Mik Pyro , again in Whelans on New Years Eve.  A great way to ring in 2019! Check out the photos below:

2018 in review

I could  write a long blog post all about the different bands and acts I’ve seen in 2018, but a couple of pictures will probably sum it up better! Roll on 2019.

2018-12-14 The Finns - The Cobblestone Dublin

Wow… Half way through December already.  The year is nearly over and last night was my last gig of the year.  Well… It’s the last planned gig of the year, but you never know what can happen! Anyway, back to last night.  The Finns were launching their debut album Creations in the Cobblestone in Smithfield, Dublin. I’d heard plenty about The Finns, heard their music online, but hadn’t managed to see them live, so when I was told about the gig, sure I just had to head along! It also happened to coincide with my birthday celebrations, so it sure made for an interesting and fun night! We got a full run through of the album plus a few covers thrown in for good measure!  Stand out tracks on the night, for me at least, were: Dissident    Queen of Camden Street Banjo on My Back Folk Man If folk music is your thing, you’ll absolutely love what these guys do.  The vocals are superb with some sweet harmonies all complimented by various string instruments and harmonicas. As it happ

2018-11-23 Peco McLoughlin - Rathangan

I’ve been watching Peco play for the last few years and tonight, tonight is the culmination of a lot of hard work!  We finally got a live run through of his as of yet untitled debut album which will be released early in 2019. The setting for tonight's gig is the beautiful studio of NC & JO'B Photography in Rathangan. The original stone walls, solid oak floors and signage lend an air of authenticity to the venue that just can’t be bought.  It’s simply beautiful. First up on the night was the wonderful Tracy Gallagher . I’d not heard of Tracy before, so I’d no idea what to expect.  She has an amazing voice and the crowd really enjoyed her set.  She’s well worth checking out if you get the chance. We all took a break after Tracys great set. We had a little bit of time to get some fresh air and have a chat and a drink on the main street in Rathangan.  After Peco and the band set up, we were all called back in. Now I know there is always a difference between what is recorded i

2018-11-12 The Mulligan Brothers - Naas Presbyterian Church

I first saw the Mulligan Brothers back in January 2017 when they last toured Ireland and when I heard they were back in town, sure I had to go.  The Mulligan Brothers, who by the way, are not brothers or called Mulligan, are an Americana group hailing from Mobile, Alabama.  Ross Newell Melody Duncan Ben Leininger Led by Ross on main vocals,  with Melody on fiddle and Ben on bass, the sound is just sweet sweet country music. If they’re passing through your town, check them out.

2018-11-02 Johnny Marr - National Stadium

This was very much a last minute decision to go see Johnny Marr.  I had intended keeping it quiet this weekend, but sure… Well, it’s Johnny Marr and he was playing the intimate setting of the National Stadium in Dublin, so I went. Johnny has a huge back catalogue to choose from.  Obviously he has his own solo material stretching back years.  He also plays select songs from The Smiths song book and to cap it all off, he throws in a few from his Electronic days also! The crowd was a very eclectic mix with a massive range of ages.  Just goes to show that his music transcends the boundaries of time! Anyway, as last minute decisions go, this was a damn fine one.   I wonder where I’ll end up next!

2018-10-27 Counting Crows - 3 Arena Dublin

Another weekend, another gig.  This time it was Counting Crows in the 3 Arena, or as I prefer to call it, The Point Depot. The last time I saw  Counting Crows live was back at Oxegen 2008. That seems like a lifetime ago.  Anyway, I was offered a free ticket to the gig, so it would have been rude of me not to go. Also on the line-up for the night were The White Buffalo , who were new to me and Alison Krauss , who needs absolutely no introduction.  So, first up was The White Buffalo , certainly a country act, but with a mighty fine rock edge.  I really enjoyed his set and given the chance, would love to see him play in a smaller, sweatier setting where I think he’d be amazing! I can’t recommend this guy enough! Next up on Saturday night was Alison Krauss .  She certainly needs no introduction and is one of country music’s megastars! I have to be honest here though, whilst she sounds incredible live (what a voice), it’s just not my cup of tea.  I enjoyed the set, but would I

2018-10-23 U2 - The O2 London

I go to see U2 every time they tour. Since 1987, I’ve only missed one tour and that was the Lovetown Tour, I couldn’t get a ticket for love nor money! Anyway, this time it was the eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour and the chosen venue was the O2 Arena in London. After having toured last year with The Joshua Tree, it was no surprise that it was left off the setlist for this tour. Surprisingly though, there were 6 songs for Achtung Baby and I finally got to hear Acrobat live.  What a song that is! Check out the setlist below courtesy of U2 Gigs . Setlist: The Blackout Lights Of Home I Will Follow Gloria / Patti Smith's Gloria (snippet) Beautiful Day Zoo Station The Fly Stay (Faraway, So Close!) Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses (Intermission - Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me) Elevation Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car (snippet) / Vertigo Even Better Than The Real Thing Hall of Mirrors (snippet) / Acrobat The Showman (Little More Better) (snippet

2018-10-20 Fuck Buddies Festival 2018 - Voodoo Lounge

I like Punk… The Dead Kennedys, Stiff Little Fingers, The Clash,Me First and the Gimme Gimmes…  It’s not an exhaustive list, but there you go… Anyway, an old friend of mine was in town with his band.  Called Bolanow Brawl , they hail from Hamburg Germany and they like to rock, oh and they like to party too!  Check them out, it’s good stuff and I’m not just saying that because I know one of them! The only other band I got to see were Dublin based punk rockers, The Nilz .  I’m not exactly sure how to describe them… Sure, they rock and put on a great show.  But… Well the drummer wears a gimp mask, guitarist wears a gas mask, the bass player a sailor hat and the front man… Well he wears a dildo and a firework in his arse cheeks. Even if you don’t like the music (I did), the show is worth seeing just for the power and energy!  You really should check them out. There were other bands on, some of which I saw, some I didn’t, but over all, it was a great day.  Some excellent punk mus

2018-10-13 King Kong Company - Olympia Theatre

I go to see King Kong Company a lot… And I mean A LOT!  7 or 8 times in the last 3 years.  Why?  Well they just put on an amazing live show and you never leave a gig thinking they could have done more! So, when I heard they were playing the Olympia Theatre in Dublin, I just had to be there! Also playing on the bill were Prymary Colours . I’d not seen them live before, but I follow them on Instagram and was looking forward to their brand of dance music.  They put on a great, high energy show and it was the perfect opener to a fun night! Prymary Colours are my new favourite party band! Next up on the night were Dublin Hip Hop / Rappers  Mango X Mathman . Now, I’m not a keen follower of the Irish Hip Hop scene, I can name only one other action and that’s This Side Up, so I had no idea what to expect. Front man Mango is one hell of an energetic fecker! He doesn’t stop moving, spitting rhymes while he jumps around the stage.  Behind him on the decks was Mathman laying down the beats