Public Service Broadcasting – Academy, Dublin

January 31st, 2018 by

Sold out since before Christmas and with an 80-deep queue slinkying down Abbey Street at 7pm – this gig is a sleeper hit. The demographic slice is clear – this is a crowd with a major in STEM. If the world ends tonight or worse, the internet breaks, then (in large friendly letters) DON’T PANIC, […]

Exploded View – Summer Came Early EP

November 27th, 2017 by

Drawing on similar soundscapes to their eponymous 2016 debut, the Summer Came Early EP from Exploded View showcases a heady concoction of heterogeneous influences and the unique instrument that is the voice of Annika Henderson. After its dizzying pitch drop intro the title track settles into a reassuringly harmonically resolved sixties reverb guitar figure over […]

John Maus – Screen Memories

November 21st, 2017 by

It was either Soren Kierkegaard or Billy Joel (I forget which) who observed “There’s a new band in town but you can’t get the sound from a story in a magazine (aimed at your average teen).” It is tempting to consider the metapop produced by John Maus as merely the extension of a philosophical premise […]

Ron Sexsmith – The Last Rider

May 2nd, 2017 by

Thirteen albums and thirty odd years in, Ron Sexsmith shifts the goalposts somewhat on The Last Rider, eschewing session musicians for his regular touring band and for the first time producing the record himself. Having changed so much the results are pleasingly as quintessentially idiosyncratic as ever, as if high-end fining agents have been employed […]

Spoon – Hot Thoughts

March 20th, 2017 by

Befitting a band possessed of a canny way with a pop hook and a deep love of Anglo-invasion chord changes, Spoon have quietly engineered themselves a gradual yet inexorable path to significant critical and commercial success stateside. Yet there was always a sense that while they had no shame in their love of a lowest […]

The Feelies – In Between

March 7th, 2017 by

Making music. Some just give it up forever. It ain’t easy, you know how hard it can be. For the 99% it’s very far from a financially rewarding, secure or even self-supporting career; rarely good for your health – anti-social hours, some downright shady people and the spotlight looks like a prison break. Why do […]

Son Volt – Notes of Blue

February 21st, 2017 by

Son Volt’s Notes of Blue testifies to a love of lesser-spotted folk and blues luminaries and esoteric open guitar tunings, shifting in tone from reflective and drifting folk bliss to scratchy, hard-scrabble blues scuzz. Led off by ‘Promise the World’ Jay Farrar’s voice masterfully inhabits the world weary but resilient tone (“Light after Darkness…that is […]

Band of Horses – Vicar St, Dublin

February 20th, 2017 by

The evening augurs well with the impressive Israel Nash serenading an already substantial crowd with his marque of tough but sweet country soul. Flanked by the very able Eric Swanson on pedal steel, they produce a nicely balanced sound, stepping through highlights in ‘Rexanimarum’, ‘Parlour Song’ and ‘LA Lately’. His full-bodied voice and the swelling […]

Tinariwen – Elwan

February 9th, 2017 by

Tuareg musical collective, Tinariwen, were formed in exile in Algeria in 1979. Refugees from the Tuareg homelands in Northern Mali, Niger and South Libya, many of the group were participants in the ongoing insurgency and only began to concentrate fully on music following a cease-fire in the mid-1990s. Coming to international prominence through headlining Festival […]

You Me At Six – Night People

January 24th, 2017 by

Who knows what discussions are had behind closed doors when a band – and its handlers and managers, labels and publishers – decides now is the time to go big or go home, step into their imperial phase, reach for that filthy stadium lucre. What sacrifices made, what secret committees convened and satanic bargains struck […]

Suede — Olympia Theatre, Dublin

February 15th, 2016 by

Tonight, Suede, in the familiarly ornate yet louche Victoriana surroundings of the Olympia theatre, depart from the script. Noted for their innovative and transgressive visual impact, Suede present a bi-polar evening opening with a full, in sequence rendition of their new album Night Thoughts and its corresponding film. Following a venue-appropriate interval, they unleash an […]