David Kitt plays The Big Romance – Dublin

December 13th, 2011 by

Anniversary shows are always going to be a little strange. Dedicating a night to one particular album takes a bit of guts or naivety or blind self-confidence to pull off. You need an album that is somewhat forgotten but is fondly remembered, resonating still with those who loved it once. You need songs that haven’t […]

St. Vincent – Dublin

November 15th, 2011 by

Last time Annie Clark was in town almost two years ago, she was alone. She played a short solo set to a half-full Vicar St. as the warm up act for Grizzly Bear. On that night she was stunning, coming with a bag full of songs fresh from her second album Actor. Her incredible musical […]

My Roots Are Showing – Nirvana

September 27th, 2011 by

My brother just posted a video of Nirvana playing ‘Lithium’ live at Reading on Facebook. I stopped what I was doing and listened. When he posted it, he said that despite so much changing for him since he first started listening to Nevermind and trying to learn Dave Grohl’s drum parts, the songs and the […]

Castlepalooza 2011

August 4th, 2011 by

Now in its sixth year, Castlepalooza has become one of the most well-established small festivals in the country. Its main strengths are its cosy feel and the large quantity of quality Irish acts. The festival opened on Friday night with a small selection of acts to keep the early arrivals busy, ranging from the indie […]

Body & Soul 2011: Holy Fuck, Delorean, Toro Y Moi, Nicolas Jaar & more

June 22nd, 2011 by

After an impressive first installment last year, the Body & Soul festival once again sprung up in the grounds of Ballinlough Castle in Westmeath for a two-day feast of great music and good vibes. The festival grounds were much the same as last year, with a few minor tweaks augmenting the experience. It remains a tiny festival, […]

Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry… bubblin’, dubblin’, rubblin’ and tubblin’

June 16th, 2011 by

Where do you start with someone like Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry? In his 50-odd years in the music business, the man known as The Upsetter has been credited with revolutionizing reggae, inventing dub, producing some to the finest records to come out of Jamaica and maintaining a creative output that beggars belief. Though he is now […]

Kate Bush – Director’s Cut

May 13th, 2011 by

As a precocious and determined 19-year old, Kate Bush was exactly what pop music needed in 1978. Against the back-drop of the violence and revolution of the rapidly exploding punk scene, Bush showed the world that pop music could be as experimental, vibrant and vital as anything coming out of a bondage boutique on King’s […]

Baths – The Workman’s Club, Dublin

May 4th, 2011 by

The appearance of Cerulean last summer marked a high-water point in the year’s releases. Sunny, glitchy, emotive and, most of all, fun, it captured a precocious talent in a flush of joyous creativity. That gifted youth was Will Wiesenfeld, a 21-year old from Los Angeles. With all the brio of a man unencumbered by the […]

Interview with Gavin Friday: “So, do you still think I’m a punk?”

April 28th, 2011 by

There are few more divisive figures in modern Irish music than Fionán Martin Hanvey, better known as Gavin Friday. As a member of the Virgin Prunes (read State’s feature on the band here) and as a solo artist, his single-minded pursuit of artistic expression has caused him to be hailed as vitally progressive in some […]

TV On The Radio – Nine Types Of Light

April 8th, 2011 by

It’s always going to be tough to follow a record like Dear Science. That album was nigh-on perfect, earning every one of its critical plaudits, as well as its commercial success. So, where do you go after a record almost universally acclaimed as the best of the year and their career? TV On The Radio […]

The Decemberists – Vicar St, Dublin

March 8th, 2011 by

The Decemberists are touring on the back their new album, The King Is Dead, which scored them their first Billboard number one record at home in USA. Initial reaction might suggest this to be a bloody weird thing to happen but on closer investigation of the album it is not exactly surprising. Somewhat logical even. […]

Bright Eyes – The People’s Key

February 18th, 2011 by

There’s always trouble around a new Bright Eyes release. They’re an important band to a lot of people, with messianic frontman Conor Oberst’s lyrics guiding many a sensitive heart through those awkward teenage years since he himself was barely out of short pants. At the heart of everything Oberst has done, and the reason that […]

Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx – We’re New Here

February 15th, 2011 by

Coming across not so much a remix album as a collaboration of sorts, this pairing of shamanic stalwart with savvy boy wonder is nothing if not interesting. From the first drop, half way through opener ‘I’m New Here’, you can tell exactly what you’re going to get over the course of this rather special album. […]

Imelda May – Olympia Theatre, Dublin

December 20th, 2010 by

Quiff that hair and shine up those dancing shoes, Ireland’s own queen of Rock & Roll is home again. Even though she is loaded with the spoils of commercial success, critical praise and international stardom, Imelda May still retains that which brought her this far in the first place – style, charisma and bucket-loads of […]