Steeleye Span….”there’s nothing sweet about us”

May 20th, 2014 by

Old school indie fans will know that any animated pub discussion about The Fall inevitably degenerates into reminiscence about that band’s almost innumerable personnel changes – the legendary whipping boys and girls who did their best before falling foul of Mark E. Smith’s iron thumb, and which particular line-up was the best. A similar discourse […]



Orange Juice – Coals To Newcastle

November 12th, 2010 by

When Orange Juice split onstage in 1985, first on the bill at a miners’ benefit gig in Brixton Academy, grown men openly wept. Even Smash Hits lamented the sudden passing of such a great group before the venue was even full. Thus, Glasgow’s finest band exited much like they’d arrived – under most people’s radar. […]


New York Dolls interview

April 20th, 2010 by

In August 1973, five skinny, shambolically glamorous young men released an album whose tentative tremors would help change the course of rock history for many years to come. They were the New York Dolls – and, after their self-titled debut, nothing would ever be quite the same again. Or, at least that’s the legend. It […]


Hard Working Class Heroes 09 – Sunday

October 22nd, 2009 by

Day three of the great gourmet gig shindig, but there are sad signs of festival fatigue at large. The crowds seem to have dwindled and buzz isn’t quite what it was on Friday and Saturday – hopefully this is more to do with it being a school night than any comment on the festival itself. […]


Hard Working Class Heroes 09 – Saturday

October 21st, 2009 by

Day two of our local showcase spectacular, and it’s a beautiful night for seeking out new musical talent. Having studied the form, we’re obviously hoping not to miss anything that turns out be brilliant; despite the frantic dashes between venues, we occasionally get the opportunity to stop, chat and compare notes with other hacks and […]


Hard Working Class Heroes 09 – Friday

October 20th, 2009 by

State has had to get in training for 2009’s Hard Working Class Heroes festival. The annual Dublin binge-gigging session, with Temple Bar as its linchpin, necessarily involves regular jogs, and sometimes sprints, across the Liffey and Dame Street, lest some bright, desperate-to-impress new light of the Irish music scene be cruelly missed by punters and […]


My Favourite Worst Nightmare – Morrissey & Madstock

October 11th, 2009 by

In retrospect, it had all the makings of catastrophe about it. London ska-pop legends Madness had reformed for a one-off weekend reunion in North London, and elected to turn it into something of a -Best of British’ showcase. On the bill were newcomers Gallon Drunk and Flowered Up, followed by Ian Dury and Morrissey. 75,000 […]


You’re Only Massive & Babybeef – Hideaway House, Dublin

April 6th, 2009 by

You’re Only Massive, and yet the venue’s only tiny. Not only that, no one seems to know where it is. It depends where you read about it, it seems (and you can read about a previous article in State here.). Hideaway House is an ordinary suburban semi, sitting on Deansgrange Road, the leafy south-side’s answer […]


My Roots Are Showing – Orange Juice

March 20th, 2009 by

When I first heard them something stirred within me. It was a typically dire Scottish summer’s evening in 1981, and I was sitting alone in my dad’s car, as many of us did during the golden age of CB radio. Sadly, my schoolmates, Pioneer and Velocity Girl, weren’t available to chat on channel 14, so […]


Meteor Awards – RDS, Dublin

March 18th, 2009 by

If there’s one thing Meteor Music Awards does peerlessly, it’s living up to everyone’s expectations. As a showbiz event, it knows its public inside out and feeds them everything they want, like zookeepers throwing fish at penguins. Indie snobs mightn’t like it but, as it proves year-in, year-out, this show isn’t for them – just […]


U2 – No Line On The Horizon

February 16th, 2009 by

The commentators are saying that Ireland needs an Obama-like icon to lift us out of our current economic and social gloom; a figurehead to inspire celebration, to provide a pointer to a new and promising horizon. Well, wherever there’s a cause, there’s usually Bono and co. providing the timely, rousing, crowd-pleasing soundtrack. They’ve got the […]


State gets a tour of The O2

September 26th, 2008 by

The Point of the whole refurbishment has now become spectacularly clear. While The O2 is still very much a building site, press were yesterday allowed a sneaky peek of Dublin’s newest gig venue, two-and-a-half months before it’s due to open its doors to Kings Of Leon on December 19th – and State came away very […]


Hard Working Class Heroes – Day Three

September 17th, 2008 by

On Sunday, the heavens opened. Now, this may not be a muddy-fielded squelchfest but rain in the city brings its own hardships. Especially as it’s that relentless, miserable rain that attacks your jeans, your boots and turns crossing the road between venues into wading across small lakes. However, State is very happy for the Scottish […]