Loney Dear – the Workman’s Club, Dublin

February 21st, 2018 by

In the almost 10 years since this reviewer last encountered Emil Svanängen, the Jönköping-born talent behind the Loney Dear moniker, in an intimate Sugar Club performance, he’s gone and changed his style. For reasons potentially related to the parlous state of the gig economy, or perhaps just in the spirit of shaking things up a […]

Or:la – the Menagerie, Belfast

February 14th, 2018 by

There has been a substantial buzz surrounding this Twitch event. The crew’s decision to take on the Menagerie, a much smaller venue, as their semi-adopted home is one that, throughout tonight’s proceedings, will prove to pay off. If there’s one thing I love it’s an intimate vibe. Give me fairy lights, an empty room and […]

Pale Waves – Grand Social, Dublin

February 7th, 2018 by

Barely five-foot tall, wearing a glistening PVC jacket with dishevelled Robert Smith-like makeup and jet-black bobbed-curls, lead-singer Heather Baron-Gracie is your quintessential dark-pop princess. The gothic aesthetics tell one tale, Pale Waves’ cheery pop sound tells another; can this much buzzed-about band liberate themselves from their troublingly facsimile beginnings? During their time in university, Baron-Gracie […]

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, […]

Josh Ritter – Vicar Street, Dublin

December 14th, 2017 by

Vicar Street is one of the capital’s most loved venues. Intimate, immaculately clean and secure. So secure in fact that a once over with metal detectors upon entry is now deemed necessary at a Josh Ritter show. If we can’t enjoy a healthy slice of lyrical country/folk without worrying about the threat of impending violence […]

Iceland Airwaves 2017

December 12th, 2017 by

There were many reasons not to go back to Iceland for our 13th Airwaves festival. The heady climbing cost of everything in the country — riding on the back of a massive tourist economy — hits the pockets from almost every conceivable angle. The level of acts have been curtailed so no-one really exists at […]

Robert Plant – Bord Gais Theatre, Dublin

December 9th, 2017 by

I will not lie, even an auld, well-seasoned, salty seadog like myself finds himself all giddy and in a skittish tizzy at the prospect of tonight’s performance. It’s not every night that you get a chance to be entertained by one of the Twentieth Century’s defining artists. Weak knees knock and butterflies flutter at the […]

Sun Kil Moon – Vicar Street, Dublin

December 6th, 2017 by

There’s a moment about twenty minutes into Sun Kil Moon’s three-hour show at Dublin’s Vicar Street when Mark Kozelek has his first whinge of the evening. After expressing his deep hatred of The Edge’s guitar playing, he goes on to berate U2 and bands like them for taking classic albums out on tour. Instead, Kozelek […]

Richard Dawson – Black Box, Belfast

December 3rd, 2017 by

“Everybody keep your eye on this mic stand,” says Richard Dawson, half stern-faced, half-giggled, as he gestures towards the offending article that’s innocently standing on stage in the Black Box. “It might transmogrify,” he enlightens us. And with a sense of bumble he launches into his first song of the show, ‘We Shepherds are the […]

Queens of the Stone Age – 3Arena, Dublin

November 30th, 2017 by

8.45pm in Dublin’s old Point Theatre, it’s that magical part of the night when the audience, having rushed the bars one last time, begin to occupy prime real estate for the evening. A swell of bodies amasses front and centre, the air crackling with anticipation. The PA music ebbs away, cheers and screams bounce off […]

Mac DeMarco – Vicar Street, Dublin

November 27th, 2017 by

There is a sense of wonderful unpredictability that one gets at a Mac DeMarco show. The Canadian singer-songwriter appears to have studied at the Iggy Pop School of stage performance and his antics at previous shows are the stuff of music blog dreams (his set at this year’s Primavera a particular highlight). Tonight’s show doesn’t […]

Cigarettes After Sex – Academy, Dublin

November 22nd, 2017 by

Nobody wants to admit they like slow melancholic dream pop accompanied by projected images of beautiful crying women and arthouse black and whites of snowy New York apartments. But they’re lying. Cigarettes after Sex, touring their debut self-titled album in Dublin on Friday night, provide exactly that, and go down a treat. Lead singer of […]

Depeche Mode – 3Arena, Dublin

November 22nd, 2017 by

In many respects, Depeche Mode are somewhat of an anomaly. While their peers from their formative era have simply called it a day or dissolved into indefinite hiatus, Depeche Mode, since their formation in 1980, have managed to remain creatively relevant without fully embracing the mainstream. Moreover, internal tensions and drug and alcohol problems (frontman […]

God Is An Astronaut – Button Factory, Dublin

November 20th, 2017 by

While enjoying a significant following internationally, especially in Eastern Europe and Russia, God Is An Astronaut are a band that have always operated somewhat under the radar in their native land, Ireland. Their brand of broodingly emotive, minor-key ‘post-rock’ has never sat easily alongside the ephemeral singer-songwriters and hipster electro-acts that have come and gone […]