Lloyd Cole – The Empire, Belfast

September 2nd, 2016 by

Lloyd Cole

I feel somehow like I, if not Belfast, has some amends to make to Lloyd Cole. The last time I saw him perform in the city was as part of a festival I was involved with. It could have gone better. There’d been a (ahem) “clerical error”, which meant that Lloyd had elected to do his […]

Warpaint – NCH, Dublin

August 27th, 2016 by

Warpaint at the NCH shot by Mark Earley for State

When you’ve held a band with a certain indefinable affection your expectations are elevated with unattainable visions of perfection if the opportunity arises to see them live. Warpaint were that band for me, and have been for quite some time. The combination of hefty, layered arrangements, shouty vocals heard alongside their softer lullaby-like compositions was something that […]

Godspeed You! Black Emperor — Vicar Street, Dublin

August 26th, 2016 by

GSYBE by Killian Broderick

While the hum from the stage widens into disparate but slightly threatening constituent parts, Godspeed You! Black Emperor assemble in front of a nearly-packed Vicar Street and a mesmerising display of analogous projector images. Eight or nine songs later there is a palpable sense of disarray coming from some of the crowd; presumably it is […]

Grandaddy – Vicar Street

August 25th, 2016 by

Grandaddy by Mark Earley for State (2 of 15)

Excited fans funnel into the Vicar Street auditorium over the course of an excellent support set by Limerick alt-rockers Windings.  It’s a mature crowd, comprised mainly of thirty somethings, some of whom, like me, missed Grandaddy the first time round before their untimely disbanding in 2006, or even during their reunion tour in 2012.  Since […]

White Denim – Whelan’s, Dublin

August 18th, 2016 by

White Denim

Globules of sweat have erupted on my brow. I’m standing in a glacial queue to enter Whelan’s on the last night of summer. From inside, the burnt-sugar groove of ‘Sweet Life Ruiner’ wafts out between the gaps in the shuffling ticketholders. Wyvern Lingo are opening proceedings tonight, which given everyone’s giddiness about the headliners’ return […]

Knockanstockan ’16 – Blessington, Co Wicklow

August 1st, 2016 by


“Happy Knockanstockan my friend…” State has just made a new acquaintance while sheltering from a, thankfully, brief rain storm late on Sunday night. It’s not the first such conversation we’ve had over the past three days in the beautiful spot nestled between the Wicklow mountains and the Blessington lakes – a remarkably regal and elegant […]

Little Green Cars – Iveagh Gardens, Dublin

August 1st, 2016 by

Little Green Cars, Iveagh Gardens by Leah Carroll_12

The spectacular surrounds of Iveagh Gardens played host to the homecoming of Dublin’s own Little Green Cars. A clement midsummer’s Saturday evening grew into a mild night, which ensured that the crowd remained in high spirits throughout – with clusters of spectators opting to sprawl out on the grass to take in the pleasant vibes […]

Holy Fuck – The Bowery Ballroom, New York

July 29th, 2016 by


Holy Fuck don’t perform. They play turned in, facing each other. On the very odd occasion that they acknowledge the crowd, they mutter towards their footwear, the voice distorted to render it unintelligible. To bend the old adage, this is a band who play what they like and if anyone happens to have paid to […]

Richard Hawley – Iveagh Gardens, Dublin

July 28th, 2016 by

Richard Hawley, Iveagh Gardens by Leah Carroll_15

When the Arctic Monkeys won the Mercury Music Prize in 2006, they sportingly declared that fellow nominee Richard Hawley should have won. “Call the police”, they said. “Richard Hawley’s been robbed!”. Yet, the bequiffed Englishman has always seemed like the perennial underdog, a status he appears comfortable with. After all, his music often chronicles the […]

Dan Deacon – Roisin Dubh, Galway

July 26th, 2016 by

Dan Deacon by Mark Earley for State (17 of 35) a

A sense of humour is an underrated quality in music, but a little goes a long way. This is the main thought that strikes as Meltybrains? make their way through their support set at the Roisin Dubh. Dressed in all white, sporting ironic moustaches, and playing a mix of noise, post-rock and electronica that calls to mind […]

Villagers, Absolut Big Top – Galway

July 25th, 2016 by

Villagers by Mark Earley for State (12 of 20)

We’re uncertain if it’s to do with the relatively smaller size of the venue set aside for headliners, the subdued nature of the music on offer, or the cartwheel’s distance between the entrance to the tent and the bar, but if there is a significant problem during Villagers’ set at the Galway Arts Festival, it’s the […]

Sunday, Longitude – Marlay Park, Dublin

July 24th, 2016 by

Longitude 2016, Sunday by Kieran Frost-17

Today, the sun is out in force, and the sky is dotted with puffy clouds that seem perfectly content to just hang there and lazily watch the spectacle. The final day of Longitude starts relatively different to the first. The previously seen fresh, bold faces that were ready to tackle this epic excursion now look slightly worn […]

Saturday, Longitude – Marlay Park, Dublin

July 22nd, 2016 by

Major Lazer, Longitude by Leah Carroll_9

After last year’s issues that we raised on this very site, the announcement of Major Lazer as one of the headliners brought up some fears that it was going to be even worse this year. Reports from the night before that the average age of attendants at the Kendrick Lamar gig was barely legal didn’t […]

Friday, Longitude – Marlay Park, Dublin

July 22nd, 2016 by

Kendrick Lamar, Longitude by Leah Carroll_2

The clouds threaten rain. If there was one thing that has proved itself exceedingly successful over the years at sapping the energy away from Irish festivals, it would be poor weather conditions. You can hope. The first day of Longitude, and much like the first day of any popular music festival, there’s a distinct sense of excitement […]