State Magazine http://state.ie Music news, reviews, photos, features, films. Sat, 28 Feb 2015 16:45:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Placebo – Olympia Theatre, Dublin - "Every bit the band they once were..." http://state.ie/live-reviews/placebo-olympia-theatre-dublin http://state.ie/live-reviews/placebo-olympia-theatre-dublin#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 16:45:42 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=68058 There’s something about Placebo – or more specifically, Brian Molko. The Londoners are a wonderfully morose, throbbing headwrecker of a rock act, but it’s Molko’s lyrics that make them truly exceptional. He pours his soul into taking in heartache, androgyny, desolation and drugs, and tonight’s career spanning set does a great job of putting that desolate perfection front and centre.

The Olympia show is the first night of a retrospective tour/ period leading into 2016’s 20th anniversary of Placebo, and some fans are so enthused by the prospect that when we wonder past mid afternoon, the queue’s already building. The show’s nicely preceded by the launch of all seven of Placebo’s albums onto streaming services for the first time. It’s also the first show with a new drummer, with Steve Forrest departing after seven years to be replaced by Matt Lunn. Not that you’d know; there are no signs of nerves in recent scuzzy openers ‘B3′ and ‘For What It’s Worth’.

If we were expecting dramatic change, that’s not what we get, with the setlist near identical to their last outing in Lisbon back in November. While Placebo’s power once lay in the heaviness of their pointed, chemical-infused poetry, their nods to more recent genres really freshen up their current dynamic. ‘Too Many Friends’ stands out as particularly strong, taking on a slight dance-punk-meets-Interpol element in delicately editing their sound. ‘Rob The Bank’ and ‘Begin To The End’ are similar offshoots that offer a nice change of pace.

Having attempted to ban mobile phone filming and photography from the Olympia tonight (we even see security have a good go at enforcing the ban), the crowd are utterly absorbed, and inevitably go most wild for the classics. ‘Running Up That Hill’ has always sounded suitably rock-opera in Placebo’s hands, and lights up the encore, while ‘Every You, Every Me’ is every bit the thumping outside anthem it was all those years ago. ‘Post Blue’ and ‘Infra-Red’ make for unlikely set-closers, but do reinforce the key to tonight’s success: Placebo build sets, rather than stringing together hits (Meds, in fact, features more heavily tonight than any other album, with the manic beats and brutal pace of ‘Space Monkey’ in particular emphasising why).

The result is pulsating and dynamic, lent drama by some stunning lighting and a lively stage antics from strutting, silhouetted bassist Stefan Olsdal in particular. ‘Nancy Boy’ (rarely played in years) and ‘Pure Morning’ (referenced in the intro, but openly despised by Molko these days) are conspicuous in their absence for old-time fans, but that can only be a minor grumble on a night like this.

If there was a complaint to be levelled at a Placebo live set ten years ago, it was that there was no break from the darkness; that they charged through, struggling to find even a modicum of ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ amongst what was a memorable but desperate dirge. Today they have those breaks, and – perhaps surprisingly – it’s a few of the newer tracks that actually stick in the mind. They’re a welcome distraction, but also have the exact contrary effect: bye bye dingy dirge, hello mellow sparkles amongst the cavernous depression. It’s hard to associate Molko, Olsdal and co. with lightness and rock-fusion balladry, but it works.

It’s easy to feel old watching so many of the bands that sound-tracked teenage ‘rebellion’ at house parties celebrate their second decades, and many of them have returned for anniversaries less powerful, less committed and with the not so subtle glint of $ signs in their eyes. Not so tonight. With a tight brooding soundscape, pummelling bass and desperate honeyed vocals to die for, Placebo are every bit the band they once were. Silence the backing track and lean on Molko’s voice alone and they’d still be pure poetry.

Placebo photographed for State by Olga Kuzmenko

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New Names Added to Forbidden Fruit Line-up http://state.ie/news/new-names-added-to-forbidden-fruit-line-up http://state.ie/news/new-names-added-to-forbidden-fruit-line-up#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:40:21 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=68055 Creating a decidedly electronic hue around the Forbidden Fruit festival, even more names have been added to the bill for this Summer’s event. Erstwhile Darkside man Nicolas Jaar, Adam Beyer, Hot Since 82, Tensnake and the man known to many of us as Stringer Bell or John Luther – Idris Elba have all been confirmed and we’re sure this isn’t the last of the additions.

Keep an eye on the festival site for more acts slated to appear this June Bank Holiday weekend.

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Watch Myles O’Reilly’s ‘The Sound of a Country’ documentary - Vision on http://state.ie/features/watch-myles-oreillys-the-sound-of-a-country-online http://state.ie/features/watch-myles-oreillys-the-sound-of-a-country-online#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:05:50 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=68053 Irish filmmaker and all-round decent sort Myles O’Reilly has just made his beautifully shot music documentary The Sound of a Country available online for free. Made without any inhibitions this stunning piece of film, set around Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill’s recent tour of India, sets out only to bring a story to those who wouldn’t otherwise be aware of it and as such, Myles wants to share it with those willing to watch it. We’re sure you’ll enjoy it.

The Sound Of A Country from Myles O'Reilly on Vimeo.

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Beck Live At The Marquee 2015 http://state.ie/news/beck-live-at-the-marquee-2015 http://state.ie/news/beck-live-at-the-marquee-2015#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:37:18 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=68052 Aiken Promotions have just released two more names for their already impressive Live At The Marquee series this year. Joining The Waterboys, Billy Idol and ZZ Top and many more acts to appear over the Summer months will be the Grammy winner Beck plus Ellie Goulding.

Beck made his long awaited return to Ireland last year at Electric Picnic and for most people in attendance it was more than worth the protracted delay. Tickets for his show, scheduled for June 16th, go on sale on Thursday March 5th priced at €57.15.

Ellie Goulding, conversely, has rarely been too far away for too long and will be back once again to assert herself as the queen of folktronica on June 24th. Tickets for her show go on sale on Friday March 6th priced at €44.05.

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Colm Mac Con Iomaire announces new album, launch party http://state.ie/news/colm-mac-con-iomaire-announces-new-album-launch-party http://state.ie/news/colm-mac-con-iomaire-announces-new-album-launch-party#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:57:10 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=68044 Traditional music fiddle hero Colm Mac Con Iomaire (The Frames, The Swell Season) has announced the release of his second full-length record, And Now The Weather (Agus Anois An Aimsir), which drops on the 17th of April via Plateau.  To celebrate, Colm is launching the album in The Pavillion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire this coming Friday, May 29th.  Tickets for the event are €20 can be found here.  

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More names added to Belfast’s AVA festival http://state.ie/features/more-names-added-to-belfasts-ava-festival http://state.ie/features/more-names-added-to-belfasts-ava-festival#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:22:59 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=68043 Having already released the details for what is set to be an amazing electronic music event in the heart of Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, AVA festival have today released the first wave of details of who will be speaking at the conference portion of the one-day event.  Adam Smith (Chemical Brothers AV Director/Video Director), DJ Nu-Mark (Jurassic 5), the Vice President of Beatport, Ashley Howard of Hospital Records, the CEO of Association of Electronic Music and Bicep will be talking all things electronica this coming Saturday, May 30th from 11am.

Performances will follow throughout the evening from the likes of Ejeca, Phil Kieran, Optimo, an Extended Play label showcase and a special debut of Space Dimension Controller’s new live, laser show.  LASERS.  If that’s not reason enough to attend, then the spectacular lineup should more than convince you.

Registration for the conference can be found here and tickets for the event itself, here.

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Shine Belfast 20th Anniversary celebrations continue http://state.ie/news/shine-belfast-20th-anniversary-celebrations-continue http://state.ie/news/shine-belfast-20th-anniversary-celebrations-continue#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:12:11 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=68040 In what has been a stellar series of events marking Shine Belfast’s 20th year of bringing the party to the people, details of the next event have been released.  Techno overlord and creative conquistador Richie Hawtin will bring his M_nus label to the Mandela Hall, Belfast, for a show that also boasts Phil Kieran, Miniminds and James Kirkpatrick, all playing in the name of twenty years of sweet, techno goodness on Bank Holiday weekend, Saturday the 2nd of May.  Tickets (which are £18) and details for the event can be found here.

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Cronin to release new EP http://state.ie/news/cronin-to-release-new-ep http://state.ie/news/cronin-to-release-new-ep#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 10:44:09 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=68038 Irish indie five-piece Cronin will release their latest creation, the ‘Nelson Riddle’ EP, this March 2nd.  Recorded in their own home studio, Transmission Rooms Ireland, which has seen the likes of Kodaline and The Strypes stand behind the mixing desk, Cronin’s forthcoming EP bears a more robust, matured sound than earlier works.  Have a listen to the title track –

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Kitty, Daisy & Lewis for Academy in May http://state.ie/news/kitty-daisy-lewis-for-academy-in-may http://state.ie/news/kitty-daisy-lewis-for-academy-in-may#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 10:24:03 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=67984 Having successfully expanded on their rock ‘n’ roll revival roots on their excellent, Mick Jones produced third album, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are to play the Green Room at Dublin’s Academy on May 22nd. Tickets are on sale now, priced €16.50.

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BD Festival (formerly Barn Dance) announces lineup http://state.ie/news/bd-festival-formerly-barn-dance-announces-lineup http://state.ie/news/bd-festival-formerly-barn-dance-announces-lineup#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 10:19:54 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=68036 Ireland’s finest one-day festival, BD (formerly Barn Dance), have announced that Leftfield, along with Benoit and Sergio, Ben Sims, Omar S, The hot Sprockets and more will descend on Glendalough House, Co. Wicklow this April 3rd.  Plus, it’s bring your own, so you’ll only need to grab a ticket, which are €60 and are available here.  Buses will run from Custom House Quay from 3pm and every 30 minutes thereafter with tickets priced from €10 and all the info/tickets for this service can be found here.

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Placebo – Olympia Theatre, Dublin – in photos - Like stepping back in time http://state.ie/photo-gallery/placebo-olympia-theatre-dublin-in-photos http://state.ie/photo-gallery/placebo-olympia-theatre-dublin-in-photos#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 20:06:21 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=68021 You don’t have to be one of the people queuing up outside the Olympia since lunchtime to get up close at Placebo’s glorious return. State’s Olga Kuzmenko got as close as possible with her camera. Get ‘Teenage Angst’ into the headphones and enjoy the view.

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Le Galaxie and Twin Atlantic are Academy-bound http://state.ie/news/le-galaxie-and-twin-atlantic-are-academy-bound http://state.ie/news/le-galaxie-and-twin-atlantic-are-academy-bound#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:02:55 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=68018 To celebrate their major label debut, Irish electro-pop heroes Le Galaxie have announced that they’ll be taking over the Academy in Dublin for two nights this April. Le Club (obviously!) will feature the band curating two separate nights over which time they’ll play host to some of Ireland’s most prolific and promising acts, before doing what they do best and reducing the place to an electro-disco-funk-fueled sweaty riot.

The first takeover will be on April 24th when Le Galaxie are joined by Lethal Dialect and Buffalo Woman. The follwing night will feature R.S.A.G. and Hare Squead.

If that’s not enough, Glasgow rockers Twin Atlantic will be popping up at the Academy to bring their stadium-flavoured anthems to an Irish audience on May 2nd. Tickets for all of these shows go on sale tomorrow morning (Friday, Feb 27th) from usual outlets.

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Noel Galagher’s High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday - "Much more acceptant of both his strengths and limitations..." http://state.ie/album-reviews/noel-galaghers-high-flying-birds-chasing-yesterday http://state.ie/album-reviews/noel-galaghers-high-flying-birds-chasing-yesterday#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:23:49 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=68015 Sticking to the script would be an accurate, if slightly undemonstrative description of Noel Gallagher’s latest outing under his High Flying Birds solo project. If his first record could be seen as an extension of Oasis’ later years, then the aptly titled follow up most assuredly harks back to the band’s glory period. There is certainly no escaping that the bulk of the album sounds like it could’ve been recorded in the mid ’90s but, despite the notable perpetuation, Chasing Yesterday still gives the impression of an artist not so much evolving as carving out a distinct identity.

Whereas his 2011 eponymous debut seemed to somewhat veer off the beaten path as he came to terms with being a solo artist, this feels much more acceptant of both his strengths and limitations, with the now 47 year-old treating us to some of his best work in years. Yes the chord patterns remain symmetrical, song structures simplistic, and lyrics rather light-weight, but bluesy garage anthems like ‘In The Heat of The Moment’, ‘The Mexican’, and ‘The Ballad of the Might I’ emphasise exactly what Gallagher does best, namely fetching hooks and enduring melodies.

Add in a splash of creativity, such as the jazzy arrangements and cascading rhythms of ‘Riverman’ and ‘The Right Stuff’, and the steady balance of reminiscent ballads like ‘The Dying of Light’, and ‘While The Song Remains the Same’ and you get the feeling an autonomous Noel has finally managed to created the album he always wanted, rather than the one that was expected of him. As a founding member of a band known more for their superfluous longevity and occasional belligerence rather than their originality, Gallagher remains typically unperturbed by his critics, comfortable with his own authenticity as an artist, and confident in his ability to make a good record. On Chasing Yesterday he has accomplished both.

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Brit Awards 2015 - Jennifer Gannon on Madonna and some other people http://state.ie/features/brit-awards-2015 http://state.ie/features/brit-awards-2015#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 09:23:21 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=68007 Well it wasn’t the finale expected. Up until a painful point in proceedings the most interesting thing to happen at the Brits 2015 was watching Kim Kardashian undulate to the stage and give top class selfie tips. It was a night where Ant and Dec nudged each other in the ribs, two Jimmy Tarbucks out on the tiles, overseeing the event as if MCing a wedding or the most turgid office Christmas party ever, awkwardly chatting to charisma-voids such as Ellie Goulding and Rita Ora but exuding their usual tea-time cosiness.

Those relatable everymen went on to introduce winners Royal Blood like they were a forgotten health insurance policy before taking refuge in talking to the people’s friend, patented ‘nice guy’ pencil-topper Ed Sheeran. Everyone was a nice guy. Everyone was friends. Taylor Swift, pop’s own My Little Pony squeaked about her friend Ed, Ellie Goulding and Karlie Kloss simpered about their friend Taylor. This bland, circle-jerk of nothingness had everyone pining for the days when a Spice Girl offered Liam Gallagher out for a scrap or when Sarah from Girls Aloud was too drunk to speak, accepting their award in a thick half-slur.

The show had a slick boredom about it befitting its credit card sponsorship. The Brits always will be a glorified industry piss up, a place where acts give hand wringing speeches last heard in 1987 where record execs are actually thanked in earnest. It’s a place for the populace, the folk who voted ‘grafter’ Sam Bailey as their X Factor winner, a place where the brightest British popstar Charli XCX was not even acknowledged; instead she was resigned to presenting an award rather than opening the show with any of her world dominating hits.

Eyes misted over with performances from professional sad-sack Sam Smith who rocked back and forth in his ill-fitting Top Man suit having a moan about being single, the shadow cast by Adele and Amy growing longer and further away. Multi-award winner Ed Sheeran looped himself into oblivion in an attempt to be interesting in a sea of lonely fuckers mewling into the darkness brandishing their acoustic guitars. Even the once poptastic, cod-piece flashing Take That were reduced to a confused Coldplay tribute band, weekend dads dressed in jumble sale clothes or, in Mark Owen’s case, auditioning for Waiting for Godot -The Musical. Kanye West diligently attempted to inject something into the deflated serious-fest with his flame-throwers and stage crammed with a posse so motley it haunted a terrified Lionel Richie agape in the crowd. Alas the old establishment fearing complaints about the ruckus muted the audio leaving Kanye sputtering and the audience at home over-hearing imbecilic coked-up industry chatter. The night was supposed to end with a bang and it sure did, but just not in the way anyone was predicting.

The triumphant return of Queen Madge to the Brit Award stage after 20 years was supposed to ignite the party. It was meant to do showcase what Madonna does best, to exhibit pop as a unifying force that suffocates the uniform, supposedly soulful blandness with the Technicolor of its choruses and the dizzy heights of its hooks. It couldn’t have gone any worse than if she’d arrived on stage using Ed Sheeran as a mop after Paloma Faith’s rain drenched performance. Dragged down the stairs by the throat like an unruly stage invader due to her faffy Armani cape (perhaps it’s time for immediate retirement Giorgio), it was the crash and wallop heard round the world. At once a thousand GIFs were born.

Undignified yes, unmitigated disaster – perhaps not, as she scrambled back to her feet wryly grinning at the irony of spouting lyrics like ‘watched me stumble’ and ‘lift me up’ as the Detroit house clang of single ‘Living for Love’ morphed into something else, something true, a glimpse behind the curtain. After months of Brand Madonna attempting to cultivate the cool-thing ahead of the release of Rebel Heart, from premiering her video on Snapchat, the Grindr takeover to the endless badly written Instagram updates, this one uncontrollable accident oddly enough could be the boost Madonna desperately needs. If this phase has reinforced anything about Madonna it is her unyielding strength, after the album itself was demolished through leaks she, the master control freak, had to let go of the reigns and ride through the wild-west of the net. And now there’s this face-palm moment of pure embarrassment.

This was Madonna the perfectionist at her most vulnerable, dusting herself off and carrying on, indefatigable, undefeated, as she held those bull horns aloft like a triumphant matador she had made it through. The show went on through Kim and Kanye’s self-obsessed obliviousness, through Taylor Swift’s shocked whispering to bum-chum Karlie Kloss, through the Twitter meltdown, through hundreds of real time hilarious ‘old people falling over’ jokes. This was Madonna dancing through the pain like the solid-gold trooper she is. Even if the unfortunate dancer who yanked her off the stage is found flayed in a dumpster somewhere and the war on capes begins in earnest, this was a moment where her patented frostiness thawed and non-Madge fans perhaps thought differently about the Queen of Pop.

The Brits may have been on the cusp of irrelevancy but the unpredictability and pageantry of pop may have just saved it from retirement, it bestowed the gift that just a guy and his guitar could never give – good gossip.

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PEACE - ...be with you. http://state.ie/features/incoming-features/peace http://state.ie/features/incoming-features/peace#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 09:21:32 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=68009 Who are you and where are you from?

Dominic from PEACE, from the British midlands.

Who are your favourite artists from home?

Led Zeppelin is my all-time favourite. They are from the midlands too. John Bonham’s grave is about 10 miles from my parents’ house.

What’s it really like touring?

We have always been a band that prefer touring to anything else. So for us it’s great. Some bands really see it as a chore, but we start pulling our hair out when we’re home for too long.

What’s your favourite city/town/venue to play?

I think a lot has to be said for Birmingham now. There was definitely a time when Birmingham was a stop on a tour that people weren’t too excited about, but now its as exciting as going up north or Scotland, (where we have found the crowds to be especially rowdy). Rock City in Nottingham is probably my favourite venue in the UK. It’s just an old school rock venue, and a great size, not too big, and not too small.

What’s your ideal festival line-up?

That’s a hard one, I would love to see LCD Soundsystem play a late slot. Think they would be a great headliner. Fat boy slim? Bassman Jaxx? Tame Impala on any stage is amazing. I saw Ibibio Sound Machine at a festival last year, and they we’re incredible. For a bit of nostalgia, Black Sabbath?

What has been your biggest achievement of the year?

I think releasing our second album has to be up there. Its early days though…

What was the worst piece of advice you were given?

To make sure you always appear “cool”….. an impossible goal, we wouldn’t be fooling anyone.

What do you do to relax?

My girlfriends got a dog, so i seem to spend all my time off walking her (the dog)

What are you reading?

I’ve just got on to the second Harry Potter, don’t spoil it for me…

How about TV, anything good on the box?

It seems to be very dry at the moment, although the new Bear Grylls has just started..

Do you have a favourite YouTube video?

There’s a 15 second video of Tony Royster Jr. playing with Jay Z. It’s incredible.

What website do you visit most?

Probably Chicago Drum Exchange, because I’m a nerd.

What is your favourite:

Record? Led Zeppelin, Houses of the Holy

Song? Led Zeppelin, ‘The Ocean’

Lost classic song? The Young Rascals, ‘Groovin’’

Record label? Columbia…

Who is your favourite current artist?

Yak. I used to live with the singer and they’re all good friends. The best new band I’ve heard for ages.

A new artist that you are most excited about?

Yak again. Although there’s a band called the Moon that we played a few shows with who are great.

What was the last great gig you have seen?

I saw Goat last year which was an experience. The best gig I’ve been to for a long time though has to be Unknown Mortal Orchestra, who I saw in london at the end of 2013.

Worst show?

I didn’t get much worse than our early shows.

What should we expect from your Irish shows?

I feel like we haven’t spent anywhere near as much time there as we would have liked to, so I guess we need to make up for lost time. 110%

PEACE play in Whelan’s in Dublin on March 20th. Tickets are available here.

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Focus - I'm a hustler baby http://state.ie/film/focus http://state.ie/film/focus#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 07:56:30 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=68012 Directors: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
Cast: Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Rodrigo Santoro
Certificate: 15a 
Running Time: 105 minutes
Release Date: February 27th

Perhaps the best con a con-movie can perform is to trick the audience into thinking it’s not a con movie. Heading in to Focus, we keep one eye on the rug at all times, waiting for the film to finally pull it out from under us, a distraction from the genuine chemistry that its leading stars are effortlessly generating.

From the same writer/directors of Crazy Stupid Love, the cool-as-ice vibe has been transplanted on to their latest feature, along with some of its more general plot points. The handsome, expensively suited Nicky (Will Smith) takes the raw talent Jess (Margo Robbie) and moulds her into a tactical machine, but whereas previously it was for attracting the opposite sex, here it’s for slight-of-hand pickpocketing and low-yield conning.

When Nicky feels his attraction to Jess is distracting him from his work, he dumps her on the side of the road, and the movie jumps forward three years. Nicky is now working a multi-millionaire race-car enthusiast (Rodrigo Santoro), hoping to sell a fake version of a fuel injection formula to the mogul’s competitors. Then we’re introduced to Santoro’s new beau – Wouldn’t you know it? It’s Jess! – and Nicky is left reeling, trying to reignite his relationship with her while trying to figure out if she has her own long con in the works.

First and foremost, we cannot stress enough just how cool this movie is. A lot of movies try to be cool, and end up stinking of effort, but Focus is just … really damn cool. From the gorgeous cinematography and settings the movie brings us to, from the picturesque snowy banks of the opening scenes to the hustle and bustle of New Orleans right on through to the glamorous and gorgeous Buenos Aires, not to mention the drool inducing suits and gowns that Smith and Robbie are decked out in, everything is made to look as tantalizing as possible.

Then there’s the leading duo themselves, soon to be reunited for DC’s comic book villain mash-up Suicide Squad, and here laying some sexy groundwork with a level of crackling back-and-forth that almost consumes the screen with its charge. With two actors as talented and charismatic as these, the writers don’t let them down, as they are suitably supported by the sizzling screenplay that reaches its peak whenever the movie allows the two of them to just sit down and talk.

Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the rest of the movie’s plot, as the con that is central to it is not given nearly as much room to breathe, and nor are we given as much information to find it interesting. Much like the cheapest of con movies, the rug-pull doesn’t come from higher intelligence, but merely from keeping key items of information from the audience. “Bet you never seen that coming, did you?”, the movie seems to gloat. Well, no, we didn’t, because how could we?

As con-movies go, it’s neither as sexy as The Grifters, nor as smart as Matchstick Men, nor as emotionally involving as American Hustle. What it does have in spades is style, but unlike the art of the con, Focus shouldn’t rely on its looks alone.

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Jungle – Olympia Theatre, Dublin - Too busy duelling http://state.ie/live-reviews/jungle-olympia-theatre-dublin http://state.ie/live-reviews/jungle-olympia-theatre-dublin#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 00:42:12 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=68001 There’s an enormous sense of anticipation at the Olympia as an audience awaits the London collective to take to the stage. A muffled kick drum pulsates through the dark auditorium while Jungle’s trademark twin keyboard workstations stand silhouetted against a dimly lit backdrop. All Tvvins have only finished moments before after providing a remarkably energetic support slot but now we wait for the band, fronted by Tom McFarland and Josh Lloyd-Watson, that has gone from its conception to household name in the space of two short years.

The building beat is eventually cut short by a huge sub-bass drop that tickles the chest hairs as a neon logo flashes at the back of the stage and the band take up their positions. Joining the two founding members are a pair of backing singers on either extreme of the stage, a guitarist/bassist, a drummer and a percussionist. Straight away the faithfulness to the album recordings is evident: they hardly alter a note throughout ‘Platoon’ and, as they drop their best song ’Julia’ next, it’s pretty clear that this band are all about delivering the full package. There’s also a theatricality to their performance that pulls in impressive visual elements as well as a pristine sound. Sudden dynamic breaks in sound that return with an explosion of cymbals are carried off with aplomb and everyone on stage seems to be genuinely enthusiastic about this performance.

As a band with just one album to date we are treated to it in its entirety, with ‘The Heat’ and ‘Busy Earnin’’ providing sing along moments, along with an encore of ‘Time’. It’s pretty clear that Jungle bear the hallmarks of becoming a major festival headline act, but the fact that their debut album is comprised of a signature sound that rarely veers too far from a tried and tested formula may be their greatest obstacle. About two thirds of the way through tonight’s gig there is a discernible slump in energy being transmitted to the crowd, that is only clawed back by the synth brass hook of ‘Busy Earnin’’. If Jungle are going to pass the test of time they are surely going to need to come up with a new angle for their next album. Maybe a break from the duelling falsettos or some more daring melodic lines could shake things up. Let’s wait and see.

Thanks to Tudor Marian and DublinConcerts.ie for the photo.

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Second Ed Sheeran Croke Park show added http://state.ie/news/second-ed-sheeran-croke-park-show-added http://state.ie/news/second-ed-sheeran-croke-park-show-added#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 16:56:42 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=68004 The first one hasn’t even gone on sale yet but already Ed Sheeran has announced another date at Croke Park for Saturday 25th July. Tickets for both gigs are available from 9am tomorrow.

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Watch Sleater-Kinney live in Washington DC - Love songs http://state.ie/features/watch-sleater-kinney-live-in-washington-dc http://state.ie/features/watch-sleater-kinney-live-in-washington-dc#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 16:15:38 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=68003 Easily one of our most anticipated gigs this spring, Sleater-Kinney play Dublin’s Vicar St on March 26th in support of their marvellous No Cities To Love record. The band are currently on tour in the US and, thanks to NPR, you can watch last night’s show at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC in its entirety. Those who hate set list spoilers should look away now, everyone else head here.

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New music from Warpaint http://state.ie/news/new-music-from-warpaint http://state.ie/news/new-music-from-warpaint#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 15:25:51 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=68002 Having promised a series of new songs this year, Warpaint honour their intention and have posted ‘No Way Out (Redux)’, a bouncy tune that reminds us that a third album can’t come too soon.

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Bulmers Live at Leopardstown programme launched http://state.ie/news/bulmers-live-at-leopardstown-programme-launched http://state.ie/news/bulmers-live-at-leopardstown-programme-launched#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 14:27:29 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=68000 Nominated in the Best Medium Festival category at the Irish Festival Awards 2014, the mix of music and sport that is Bulmers Live at Leopardstown returns this summer. The first set of shows to be announced is as follows:

June 11 – Aslan
June 18 – The Hot Sprockets (pictured)
June 25 – Delorentos
July 09 – Hermitage Green
July 16 – The High Kings
July 23 – Damien Dempsey

Two more names are to be confirmed for August which, given the fact that the likes of Johnny Marr and Peter Hook played last year, should be worth keeping an eye out for.

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Songhoy Blues - Rebel warriors http://state.ie/features/songhoy-blues http://state.ie/features/songhoy-blues#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 11:11:52 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=67996 Most musicians probably think that they have to struggle for their art but, in the case of Malian quartet Songhoy Blues, sometimes it can become a matter of life and death. Members of the marginalised Songhoy tribe, Oumar Toure, Aliou Toure and Garba Toure (son of Oumar Toure, long term percussionist in Ali Farka Toure’s band), began to make music in their early twenties – inspired by hip-hop, R&B, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix as well as the songs and dances of their own culture.

The growing unrest in the north of Mali saw Oumar, Aliou, Garba and many of their family take refuge down south in Bamako as hostilities worsened in early 2012 and Songhoy Blues were born from this adversity. “We met up (in Bamako),” remembers Garba, “and told ourselves we couldn’t just stay shipwrecked by a crisis like this. We had to form a band.” They roped in a young drummer called Nathanial ‘Nat’ Dembele from Bamako and baptised their band Songhoy Blues in celebration of their displaced people and culture.

Coming into contact with French music manager Marc-Antoine Moreau, in the city to scout for musical talent on behalf of Africa Express, the band were invited to record a song with Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the track, ‘Soubour’, ended up as opening track on the Africa Express album, Maison des Jeunes. It’s a relationship that has continued onto their excellent debut record Music In Exile, just released on the Trangressive label and one of the most joyous experiences you’ll have this year.

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Watch Fox Jaw’s ‘Siren’s Call’ video http://state.ie/news/watch-fox-jaws-sirens-call-video http://state.ie/news/watch-fox-jaws-sirens-call-video#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 10:45:57 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=67994 Released on on digital download and limited edition transparent purple 7″ vinyl next month, Fox Jaw’s new single ‘Siren’s Call’ also comes with a timely, sweet video on the nature of forgotten and forbidden love. Watch it and get ready for the Marriage Equality vote in May.

See the band live at the following dates:

Wed 11th March – Crane Lane Theatre, Cork
Fri 13th March – Sweeney Mongrel’s, Dublin
Sat 14th March – Cobblestone Joe’s, Limerick
Thurs 19th March – Roisín Dubh, Galway
Fri 20th March – Kavanagh’s, Portlaoise

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Feder – ‘Goodbye’ - A State exclusive http://state.ie/features/feder-goodbye http://state.ie/features/feder-goodbye#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 09:49:42 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=67991 Known to his mother as Hadrien Federiconi, French producer Feder grew up in Nice before moving to Paris and quickly immersing himself in the deep-house scene, combining his own take on pop with what he heard around him. His first release was a remix of Rodriguez’s track ‘Sixto’, which quickly reached a peak of #3 on Hype Machine at the beginning of 2014.

Nw track ‘Goodbye’ (featuring vocalist Lyse) created a similar buzz across Europe last summer and now reaches Ireland, complete with this State exclusive video.

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Win Absolut DIY live photography slot tonight - Tweet us your best live photo today! http://state.ie/news/win-absolut-diy-live-photography-slot-tonight http://state.ie/news/win-absolut-diy-live-photography-slot-tonight#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 08:00:32 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=67988 In a collaboration, Dublin’s international design event Offset (taking place March 5-6) and Absolut vodka are running a series of creative workshops in the city this week under the Absolut DIY banner. One of these events features State photographer Olga Kuzmenko providing a masterclass in getting a great live photo while Faune play in the Button Factory later on tonight, Wednesday 25 Feb from 6pm – 8pm. All the slots are taken but State has two last minute slots to give out to some budding photographers! Tweet your best live gig photo to us (@statemagazine) by 2pm using the #AbsolutDIY tag and we’ll contact the two winners through Twitter before 2.30pm. You must be able to get to the Button Factory, with your camera, for 6pm tonight.

AbsolutDIY

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