Fountains of Wayne – Dublin

November 22nd, 2011 by

There are bands who burn out and fade away after a few huge hits and then there is Fountains of Wayne. Plugging away consistently since the dark days of 1996, unlike many of their college rock contemporaries, Fountains of Wayne have long settled down into a comfortable middle ground of releasing solidly consistent albums. Luckily, […]

Hercules and Love Affair – Blue Songs

February 2nd, 2011 by

A change of label and sound for the New York based Hercules and Love Affair with their new album Blue Songs, one would think, would be as good as a rest. Gone is the formidable spectre of Antony Hegarty which hovered over their debut, and all the connotations of being a “DFA” band (good and […]

Robyn – Body Talk Pt 1

July 6th, 2010 by

Anyone of a certain age will forever associate Sweden’s Robyn Carlsson with her Max Martin and Denniz Pop produced output of the mid-90s, which, even at its sickly-sweetest, far outshone the vast majority of what was churned out of Martin and Pop’s studio in the following years. However, following a slight lull, it’s all coming […]

Kele – The Boxer

July 6th, 2010 by

Coming off the back of a turbulent few years as the somewhat tortured lead singer of music press darlings Bloc Party appears to have taken years off Kele Okereke. Whereas Bloc Party’s slow slide into dance led to an indefinite hiatus, with The Boxer, Okereke sounds fresh, confident and downright aggressive at times. This is […]

Tegan and Sara – Olympia Theatre, Dublin

June 21st, 2010 by

The clichés about rock band siblings abound and maybe always will. In contrast to, say, the Gallaghers’ stubborn silences and infamous lack of audience interaction, going to a Tegan and Sara gig is akin to a Sunday dinner at your cool aunt’s house (and her letting you sneak a glass of white wine spritzer). This […]

Wolf Parade – Vicar Street, Dublin

May 24th, 2010 by

It’s easy to dismiss Wolf Parade, with their various associations with basically every vaguely hip Montreal/Pacific Northwestern band, and alterna-pop influences that were trendy all of 6 years ago. However, despite these considerable odds being stacked against them, they appear to have amassed a fanbase that any of their members’ side projects could only dream […]

Kid Sister – Ultraviolet

May 24th, 2010 by

In the days before a certain Mr Kanye West was better known for his ludicrous blog and upsetting teen country stars, he was far too busy bigging up his protégés in the manner of a mid 90’s rapper to indulge in such nonsense. One such protégé was a Melissa Young, discovered by West in his […]

Kate Nash – The Academy, Dublin

April 12th, 2010 by

Of all the things you might expect to find at a Kate Nash gig, the least of it was her to prance onstage in a white studded jumpsuit that would put Grace Jones to shame. Same sugar-sweet voice, same singsong cockney tones, different girl slinking about the stage of The Academy. Almost three years on […]

The Kissaway Trail – Sleep Mountain

April 8th, 2010 by

The comparisons to Arcade Fire which were continuously levelled at The Kissaway Trails’ eponymous debut always seemed slightly unfair, and as a defender of said album, it’s hard not to feel slightly let down by Sleep Mountain, the young Danish mob’s second LP. Where one would have hoped for stretching and flexing of musical muscles, […]

Pavement – Quarantine the Past

April 7th, 2010 by

There’s a record shop joke that the best bands never release “Best Ofs”, and great pleasure was once to be had from rebuffing teenagers sloping in and asking for the Best Of Metallica or The Best Of AC/DC. But my, how things have changed on Walton’s mountain when we have the pioneers of Gen X […]

Brendan Benson – Vicar Street, Dublin

March 4th, 2010 by

There’s always been something mildly melancholic and definitively downbeat about Brendan Benson. Could be his mournful-yet-cosily genial vocal timbre cradled by self-pitying tales of bitchy girls and under-achievement, or maybe it’s the fact that his knack for a knock-out power pop tune has been entirely undermined by his association with one of the most charismatic […]

Xiu Xiu – Whelan’s, Dublin

February 22nd, 2010 by

Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart is not some one given to reservedness or restraint when it comes to his music. So it is generally with trepidation that people tend to approach Xiu Xiu gigs (if you could even call them that). Having built up a hardcore following since their inception in 2002, it’s not surprising to […]

Four Tet – There Is Love In You

January 27th, 2010 by

The lazy ‘folktronica’ moniker has been slapped on a number of poor unfortunates over the years, but no one seems more associated with it than Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet. As dance music came of age, in some senses, in the mid-to-late Noughties, it seems apt that Hebden’s fifth studio album is one of the […]

Cheryl Cole – 3 Words

November 5th, 2009 by

In a tale that’s as old as time itself, we of a certain age have seen the rise and fall and eventual rise again of Ms. Cheryl Tweedy. Once arch WAG and toilet attendant-baiter, she has of late been reborn as Cheryl Cole, Britain’s favourite big sister and heroine-with-an-air-of-tragedy. However, it has to be said […]