Introducing: Anderson

anderson music

I would just like to jump in very quickly and introduce this guy before he explodes and I miss the proverbial boat. Daniel ‘Anderson’ is a Dublin based folk artist, one which I’ve followed with great interest since I saw him enthrall the mellow crowds of the INEC Killarney when he opened for Villagers back  in 2013.

Anderson effortlessly blends soft (almost whimsical) folk with a truly exceptional song-writing ability. And it is this delicate touch that allows him to explore an array of hard-hitting themes in effortless fashion.

Anderson’s songs are mature and literate, but also melodically appealing. Influenced by the pioneering production techniques and arrangements of the 1960s and ’70s, Daniel’s carefully crafted material manages the rare feat of conveying classic pop melodies without sacrificing the distinctive character of the introspective, personal sentiments. (www.andersonsongs.com)

Patterns, Anderson’s debut musical offering will be released later this year and it’s fair to say that it is one that I am most looking forward to. I’ve included two tracks below to give you a little preview of what’s to come. If you like what you hear be sure to follow Anderson on Facebook.

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New Music: Elm – Amends

Elm, a captivating Dublin five-piece, are relative newcomers to the Irish music scene. But what they lack in terms of a musical back-catalogue they more than make up for with an abundance of style and talent. They’ve just released new single ‘Amends’ with an accompanying video which I’ve included below for your viewing pleasure.

Continue reading “New Music: Elm – Amends”

Live Review: Girls Names – Hangar (June 6th)

Girls-Names-Dublin

In the late 70’s and early 80’s Belfast found it’s sound. At a time of great struggle and difficultly, residents of the besieged Northern Irish capital took solace in a new form of music spilling-over from across the Irish Sea. And whilst the troubles may have dissipated, the resonating edgy  tones of punk remained an indicative cornerstone of the Belfast music scene. One such flag bearer for the favoured genre took to the rough and ready stage of Hangar in Dublin last Saturday night.

Before I review the gig I think it’s only fair that I provide a few words on the venue. Last Saturday was my first time inside the doors of Hangar, a venue which started its life as a shirt factory in the heart of Dublin city. Over the years production ceased and the warehouse in Andrews Lane became a music venue/nightclub. With exposed walls and no discerning features bar a stage and sound desk, Hangar works well as a blank canvas and takes nothing from the artist. But at the same time it exudes a distinct atmosphere and character and this seemed to add layers to Girls Names intense performance.

Opening with “The New Life” the title track from their highly successful 2013 release, it was to be one of the few familiar songs dished out. But that’s not to say that the night was without substance. The plethora of new material (of which I will not pretend to know) seemed to be well received by the intimate audience. More recognisable nuggets came in the form of “Zero Triptych” an 11 minute juggernaut of a song and of course “Hypnotic Regression”. The latter was preceded with an apology for the abundance of new material. But judging from the sheer quality of what was on offer, it was an apology that fell on deaf ears.

What Girls Names delivered last Saturday might may very well turn out to be a seminal chapter in an impressive origin story. The cornerstone of any talented band is forged through the relationship between bass player and drummer. And this is something that Gib Cassidy and Claire Miskimmin have in absolute abundance. Adding an enigmatic front-man and overall desire to progress and develop a signature sound, Girls Names certainly have all necessary ingredients in place.

Forgiving their one (mortal) sin of ending the set with a less than familiar track and not following up with the standard encore, the Hangar gig was still pretty impressive. I’ll happily put it down to character building and eagerly look forward to the October’s release.

Upcoming Gig: Girls Names

Girls Names - Live in Hangar Dublin

Girls Names @ Hangar Andrew’s Lane, Dublin – June 6

Belfast band Girls Names are set to play their biggest Dublin show to date this coming Saturday in Hangar. Whilst the Northern Irish four-piece have been gracing far away fields (Primavera, London Roundhouse) with their brand of psychedelic punk, Dublin appearances have become somewhat of a rarity and in such not to be missed.

On the back of their staggering ‘Zero Triptych’ and on the promise of a forthcoming release ‘Arms Around A Vision’ (October 2015) Saturday’s gig should provide Andrew’s Lane revelers with a much anticipated first glimpse at new  material.

Tickets are available online from tickets.ie and for the reasonable sum of 12 euro.

 

Jameson St Patrick’s Live – Vicar Street

Little Green Cars performs at Vicar Street as part of Jameson St

Whilst the world was busy painting their famous landmarks green, Vicar Street (and more so Jameson) were going one shade deeper with a star-studded, whiskey fuelled Paddy’s Day (well Paddy’s Eve) celebration.

Kicking off the party was a band who are anything but strangers to the atmospheric Dublin 8 venue. With the echoes of We Cut Corners’ Meteor Choice Prize performance still ringing throughout the hall, they effortlessly set down a marker for the night to follow. With a host of tracks ranging from the delicately balanced ‘Maybe in the Future’ to the boisterous ‘Blue’ the Dublin duo showed why their second album ‘Think Nothing” rightfully deserves to be up there with the best of 2014. Older staples such as ‘A Pirate’s Life’ and ‘The Leopard’ did well to showcase a wealth of material and a surprise cover of Sinead O’Connor’s ‘Mandinka’ rounded off the set nicely.

Interludes between acts were filled with burger vendors and complimentary Jameson and ginger from the wall to wall whiskey bar within the venue. They also provided ample opportunity to check out the impressive stage and venue decorations as well as two large screens which displayed live twitter feeds. One such tweet from Delorentos included a photo of a ‘blank set-list‘ with an attached call for song suggestions. But thankfully this list far was from empty by the time the house lights were dimmed.

Keeping with Meteor Choice nominees, Delorentos were next to take to the stage. They have had somewhat of a stellar year, adding a host fantastic new songs under the guise of their fourth studio album ‘Night Becomes Light’ to an already impressive repertoire. Keeping with their patented energy and enthusiasm, the something rockers engaged the crowd from the offset. From the opening ‘Forget The Numbers’ to their trademark finisher ‘S.E.C.R.E.T’ Delorentos poured heart and soul into every song. And whilst the crowd may have been a little quieter than used to, the bands enthusiasm never waned.

But unfortunately the same could not be said for the headline act. Little Green Cars enjoyed success back in 2013 with their debut release ‘Absolute Zero’. Becoming associated with such iconic hits as ‘The John Wayne’ they quickly amassed a following, many of whom were present at the sold out gig in Vicar Street last night. What Little Green Cars possess in terms of vocal prowess and subtle musicianship they lacked in stage presence and seemed to be ‘going through the motions’. Their set, mainly utilised as a proving ground for new material, seemed to alienate and shut out the majority of the crowd creating an uneasy stillness that no amount of whiskey could reverse. 

But it would be unfair to condemn a band for playing to their strengths. Rare treats in the form of ‘My Love Took Me Down to the River to Silence Me’ and the aforementioned ‘The John Wayne’ showed that the Little Green Cars we all know and love haven’t strayed too far. The line-up for the night was simply unbalanced.

But all in all, it’s hard to be too cynical about Jameson St Patrick’s Live or in fact any event which endeavours to put home-grown Irish talent in the spotlight. Ireland is once again experiencing a golden age of music and last night in Vicar Street three examples of such took to the stage. Hopefully Jameson will be providing the soundtrack to Paddy’s Day for many years to come. 

Hello Darkness My Old Friend

writers blockI’ve been a bit afraid of the blue ‘publish’ button lately. Not that I’ve anything against the button itself or even the colour blue for that matter. But I have found myself at a loss for words. I spoke about writers block in a previous post, in fact I somehow managed to pen an entire article about not having anything to write about. But don’t worry, I’ll try not to do that second time round.

So I haven’t published anything of note on this blog for a while now. And whilst I’ve had plenty to say, I just haven’t found the time to sit down and articulate it in the form of a post. The biggest reason for this would probably have to be the fact that my entire life has changed over the past few months. Sounds a bit dramatic right? But lets see what major events have dominated my little and insignificant life (just a bit of existentialism thrown in for good measure)  over the past year, more or less. Here I’ve even made you a nice chronological list (kind of):

  • I graduated from College/University (depending on which part of the world you’re from)
  • Questioned my life for a bit (sure has to be done)
  • Began working with ROR Guitars, a local guitar designer
  • Had the craic going to gigs, meeting bands and building up the brand of the previously mentioned guitars
  • Got offered a new job as a Marketing Exec and Content writer
  • This meant that I had to pack my bags and move to the capital (Dublin)
  • And pretty much since then I’ve been adjusting to the new and sometimes confusing ways of ‘city life’.

And so here we are now. As I hope you can imagine, it was hard to find time between all the above bullet points to sit down and actually write something. I come from a small town called Killorglin (see the video below). I studied locally, worked locally (kind of) and lived locally and at the ripe old age of 21 I found myself in the ‘big shmoke’ with a new house, new job and above all else a new life away from everyone and anyone who I once knew. Also at this point I should detract from the drama by saying that home is only a few hundred miles away.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, so far there hasn’t been a single shred of either to report. Whilst it can be difficult to pack up your life and start a new, it is also a challenge which I have both embraced and enjoyed. I’ve been up in Dublin  5 months to this very day so I suppose the excuse of ‘settling in’ is wearing fairly thin now. But I’ll certainly try to write more and also draw on the inspiration of the city’s prolific literary heritage. Sure the birthplace of W.B. Yeats, the famed Irish poet and playwright, is only a few doors down!

Now how about some music?
Hozier – From Eden

GANGS to record debut EP

GANGS

GANGS are delighted to announce that they will be recording their debut EP with the Dublin label Reekus Records. Under the guidance of Brian Foley, bass player with iconic 80’s band The Blades, GANGS aim to bring their hard-hitting sound to a new level.  The teenage rock and roll quartet will begin recording this weekend and look forward to drawing on Foley’s experience as both a musician and producer.

“We’re delighted to be working with Brian (Foley), he’s a hero of ours so we’re really excited about working with him. The Blades played a big part in our development as a band and we really look up them.”  Jordan Curtis – GANGS Frontman

Speaking at the announcement, owner and founder of Reekus Records Elvera Butler had nothing but praise for the Dublin four-piece. “I am delighted to announce that Reekus will be working with GANGS for their debut EP. These four teenagers are extremely talented and will no doubt make big waves both here and abroad when this EP comes out. Without a single release they have been selling out venues around Dublin which is testament to their infectious music.”

The EP is an ode to Dublin and explores life and growing up in the capital through a younger vantage point.  The four tracks, each distinct yet bound by a common theme, document the tumultuous love affair between a young man coming of age and his city. From the upbeat opener ‘Daisy’, which deals with love of place, to the darker undertones captured in ‘There’s Poison In Your Liffey Blood’ the EP cycles through the entire emotional spectrum.

Like previous exports from Dublin City, GANGS too are proud of their hometown and heritage. Their music is passionate and full of anger towards the issues which are dragging down their homeland. With this EP they delve into the dark and gritty elements of life in Tallaght, highlighting the poison which has emptied streets and left youth feeling frustrated and hard done by.7

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The 4-track EP is set for release this July. The track list will include:

  • Daisy
  • Young Employment
  • Back To School
  • There’s Poison In Your Liffey Blood

 

Upcoming Gigs

  • May 24 The Kesbah Social, Limerick (YouBloom)
  • June 7th Sweeneys
  • June 14 The Mercantile
  • July 16 The Water Rats, London,
  • July 17 The Alley Cat, London