Royal Blood – Academy, Dublin

October 29th, 2014 by

Royal Blood – The Academy, Dublin

Blink and you’ll miss it. There’s no prelude to Royal Blood’s set, as they emerge on stage with a billow of The Academy’s trademark choker smoke and the drum beat like gunfire of ‘Hole’. As the smoke fades, the image on stage bares no resemblance to the what we’ve heard – for two black-clad shy […]

Lucius – Whelan’s, Dublin

October 28th, 2014 by


Lucius, looking and sounding like they do – perfectly symmetrical, two nearly-identical lead vocalists – slink onstage, all smiles and waves, and slot neatly into position like Lego. It’s almost as if they’d rehearsed it. It has to be said, they look perfect on the iconic Whelan’s stage. In front of a heaving, sold out […]

The Hold Steady – Dublin

October 23rd, 2014 by

hold steady

It’s kind of appropriate that The Hold Steady land in Dublin on a Saturday night. The US band’s uncomplicated classic rock and lyrical themes act as both a paean and a celebration of boozy nights out filled with old-fashioned social interaction. What we all did, say, in the 1990s. They have songs that allude to […]

Polarbear – Dublin

October 23rd, 2014 by


Sometimes it’s good to push your own boundaries. For some, the idea of a spoken word gig is a daunting one. It’s a unique medium, offering perhaps the most direct relationship between performer and artist. There’s nowhere for either party to hide – no music to get swept up in, no wall of noise, not […]

State Oxjam Takeover live report and photos

October 22nd, 2014 by

Oxjam Takeover, Amidships

Now that’s a way to spend a Sunday evening. The final day of the Oxjam takeover at the Oxfam Home store on Francis Street saw four acts perform in front of a large crowd, all making themselves comfortable on the various pieces of furniture spread around the store. Booka Brass Band kicked us off in […]

The Amazing Snakeheads – Dublin

October 21st, 2014 by

amazing snakeheads' Dale Barclay

What can be said about The Amazing Snakeheads that doesn’t make them sound like a pastiche? That they are aggressive? Nah, that’s too gimmicky, too much like The Fall. Confrontational? Nope, that makes them sound like the New York Dolls with all their shock-generating garb. Threatening? That’s a bit Birthday Party-era Nick Cave. What the […]

Lady Gaga – Dublin

October 20th, 2014 by

Lady GaGa (Photo by Barry Brecheisen/WireImage)

‘For those of you who are just here for the hits I suggest you grab a Guinness, grab a Little Monster and head for the bar. This is our fucking artRAVE!’ Mother has arrived and she is angry. Who can blame her? The party has been pooped long before the storm clouds burst outside the […]

Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh – Dublin

October 20th, 2014 by

Caoimhín O'Raghallaigh

In the cabaret room of Dublin’s Sugar Club is Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, seemingly the hardest working musician in Ireland these days. You can hardly keep up with the bands he appears in and tours with, bringing the beguiling sounds of his custom made hardanger d’amore fiddle to a variety of musical approaches in what might […]

The Allah-la’s – Dublin

October 17th, 2014 by

Allah-Las (1)

Its Sunday evening, it could be the last balmy of the year for us. The weather is unseasonably warm, there is a good buzz around town and the Allah-la’s are in town to soundtrack it all for us. For what is their first Irish show the Workman’s club is heaving with fans who surely had […]

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Dublin

October 17th, 2014 by

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Button Factory, Dublin

Under a new world order Monday night gigs would be banished. In some countries where a mere witnessing of the band followed by polite applause is enough it would make no difference but over on our island it’s often the crowd who can be 49 or even 51% of a great gig. And we don’t […]

Elvis Costello – Dublin

October 17th, 2014 by


The seemingly evergreen Elvis Costello bounds on-stage, slightly lurched forward and faux-startled as if he just wandered into the guard’s spotlight during a prison break. His six guitars lined up behind him like willing accomplices, each one awaiting their chance to impress the leader. Tonight Declan McManus takes his solo show “home” and song after […]

Whole Lotta Zepp – Dublin

October 15th, 2014 by

Double Neck close up

The novelist Nick Hornby has an anecdote in 31 Songs about going to see Led Zeppelin in their mid-70s pomp at Earls Court. The band started soloing through ‘The Song Remains The Same’, at which point Hornby left the arena, walked down the road to a nearby boozer, had a pint and a game of […]

alt-J – Dublin

October 2nd, 2014 by


Last time alt-J played Ireland, they were a band on the rise, already feeling as if they had outgrown the 1200 capacity of The Olympia – making for a truly memorable night. Fast forward nearly 18 months and the band have released their second album This Is All Yours to a flurry of media hype […]

Jungle Brothers – Dublin

September 30th, 2014 by


Sometime it seems ridiculously mandatory for hip-hop fans to cling on to what is considered old school or classic. Many automatically shun new artists, claiming they could never replicate ‘how it used to be’. It seems like they are just unwilling to accept the genre’s progression, but the passion and skill showcased by the Jungle […]