Monday, 25 January 2010

Cover Me Monday - Duke Special

Recently dropped by his record company Duke Special is not a man to take things easy. He is releasing 3 records soon. Taken from

"The first contains Studio Versions of the songs I wrote with Brecht’s words for the recent production of Mother Courage & Her Children at the National Theatre

The second is an E.P – ‘Huckleberry Finn’; the first ever recordings of 5 songs which comprise an unfinished musical by Kurt Weil based on the Huckleberry Finn novel by Mark Twain.

The third is a collection of songs inspried by Paul Auster’s Novel ‘The Book of Illusions’, entitled ’The Silent World of Hector Mann. This comprises 12 songs written by myself and 11 of my friends including Neil Hannon, Matt Hales and Ed Harcourt amongst others, and recorded by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio in Chicago, USA."

Here is Peter Performing the Yeah Yeah Yeahs Maps!

Duke Special - Maps

See Duke Special Live:

Dublin Pledge Gig - Smock Alley Theatre (Feb 19)

Belfast Pledge Gig - May Street Church (Feb 20)

London Pledge Gig - Hoxton Hall (Feb 25)

New York - Mercury Lounge (Mar 13)

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Norabelle - Come The Bluest Dawn EP Review

Norabelle are in the main Ken Clarke and Shane O'Hanrahan with occasional drummer Steve Ludlow. Ken and Shane write the songs, play guitars and piano and sing really pleasent harmonies! I can only describe Norabelle's sound as Simon & Garfunkel harmonies to a Bon Iver soundtrack!

Come The Bluest Dawn contains just four songs and comes in at a healthy 26 minutes. Norabelle write Red House Painter inspired atmospheric songs of great depth. 'Still' opens the EP and is a song which showcases the guitar playing of the band. 'Pins & Needles' shines towards the end when the piano is introduced. 'Underpass' also contains a beautifully written piano score. The standout track for me is 'Lemon' which illustrates the power of the vocal harmonies Norabelle have to offer! This band write songs and music on an epic scale.

See Norabelle Live;

March 2nd 2010 - Spirit Store

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Blog Co-Operation - 10 Acts for 2010!

For a second year in a row Ronan over at Swear I'm Not Paul and myself have been working on creating a list of 10 Irish acts in alphabetical order who we believe will make considerable progress towards world domination in the coming 12 months. Ronan picked five acts and I picked five acts ready to invade your music world in 2010.

A Plastic Rose

Belfast based A Plastic Rose consists of equal parts Sligo and Belfast and make the type of Indie Rock music Tim Wheeler dreams about. The vocals are shared by the contrasting styles of Ian and Gerry which results in harmonies not normally associated with the alternative rock genre. So far in their career they have released Eps and Singles with the full LP hopefully out this side of Christmas 2010. Seeing A Plastic Rose live is a must for the new year.

Candice Gordon

Born in South Africa, but resident here since the age of seven, the
Dubliner has an amazing voice as well as a wild backstory including a
stint in the circus. But it's the music that really does the talking -
it's a deep down dirty whiskey swagger that pulls no punches.

Candice Gordon - 'Smoking Like the Barrel of a Gun'

The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra

Hailing from Limerick The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra make some wonderful indie folk music which is receiving radio play across the country. They've released two EPs, played Electric Picnic and HWCHs as well as picking up celebrity fans like Paul McCloon and Cormac Battle along the way! 2010 could be the year of The BPLO with the likely release of their debut on the horizon.


Is it better to release a number of mediocre albums or wait until the time is right to make and release an amazing debut album? Fiach has been around forever but in February he will finally release that debut album that he has spent years preparing. Fiach is a veteran of many a sessions night clocking up an impressive apprenticeship of live performances. The recent Whelans gigs proved he is equally impressive fronting a band and owning his audience. I think 2010 will find us falling for the singer-songwriter again with Fiach's uplifting songwriting being at the forefront of the movement. February 25th finds Fiach in The Button Factory for the album launch!

Henrietta Game

Henrietta Game only formed last January and already they've released a single, selected as Tony Fenton's daily download, performed with the legendary Peter Green and got a high profile slot at The Electric Picnic. Henrietta Game are guitar, cello, violin, glockenspiel and four part harmonies which send shivers down the spine. Henrietta Game is one of the most original bands out there which will appeal to indie kids and folk lovers alike.

Oliver "Ollie" Cole

Many of you may remember Ollie Cole as the frontman in the
sadly-missed Turn. Well, he's back under the guise Oliver Cole and has
signed to EMI. He released the excellent What Will You Do EP last year, and looks set to release full-length debut album We Albatri sometime in 2010.

Oliver Cole - 'We Albatri'

Padraig Digan

Padraig was the lead singer with Wallmark and later with Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. In 2005 Wallmark released a great album but Wallmark didn't last much longer after the release. Since then Padraig has been writing a whole bunch of great tunes that will become his debut album this year with Karl Odlum's input. Padraig writes honest emotional songs full of life and character. With luck 2010 will be Padraig's year!

Planet Parade

Clane produces a lot of good music. Planet Parade are the latest act
to join Bell x1 and Damien Rice as exports of Kildare's Detroit Rock
City. They're a fantastic indie-pop band who have been honing their
craft in a live setting - particularly at autumn's Hard Working Class
Heroes Festival in Dublin. Check out their EP Ghosts to People, and if you're around, head over to Whelan's on Friday, January 15th to catch them

Planet Parade - 'Sunshine'

Two Door Cinema Club

With a debut album imminent, Bangor, Co. Down's Two Door Cinema Club could be the biggest Irish act of 2010. They've been hyped by the BBC
and Spinner, and will be releasing their first album, Tourist History, on March 1st. They played the Introducing Tent at Glastonbury last year, but expect them to feature higher up the bill at Festivals in 2010, as well as joining
the NME Shockwaves Tour throughout the UK and Ireland.

Two Door Cinema Club - 'I Can Talk'

We Cut Corners

Ireland's other singing drummer duo Oppenheimer split up over
Christmas, but instead of the Nordies' electronic feel, We Cut Corners
are a beautiful folk-pop group with songs that sound so much bigger
than the sum of their parts. They also joined the lineup at Hard
Working Class Heroes in 2009 and featured on RTÉ 2's When Under Ether. Expect to hear much more from them in 2010.

We Cut Corners - 'YKK'

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Hidden Gems of 2009

It's the season of awards and back slapping for the massive effort our finest and best musicians have made during 2009. This post is about celebrating those hidden gems I found throughout the year which for many reasons won't get the recognition they deserve in the coming weeks!

1. Susie Soho - Spinning Top

Susie Soho released an excellent debut last year which had a few great tracks including 'Spinning Top'.

2. Arrow in the Sky - Verbal Waltz

Arrow in the Sky are a three piece from Mullingar who released their debut EP during the Summer. Their brand of folk rock is fresh and exciting.

3. Michael Brunnock - Shine [Live in New York]

2009 was a busy year for Michael Brunnock. Firstly there was the return of Little Palace and their excellent album 'Invitation Time'. This was followed by the release of Michael's Live in New York Album which should be purchased for the song 'Sensation' sung with Moe Holmes.

4. Land Lovers - Paul Treacy Probably Knows

I caught Land Lovers at this years HWCHs festival and was really impressed by their style of indie pop. Their EP 'Immovable Feet' is full of great tunes!

5. Junah - Low La Day

Junah spent most of 2009 preparing and recording their debut album due for release in 2010. They did release 'Low La Day' as a single with a hilarious video to go with it. 2010 might well be the year of the Indie-folk genre!

6. Odi - Leaving My Love in New York

Odi's debut album was released last year and included some wonderful tunes like 'Leaving My Love in New York'. Odi is now based in Leeds and will be touring all over the UK and Ireland in the coming year.

7. Joe Echo - Let's Change The World

This song has been used in an advert right? Coca Cola maybe? I can't get any info. Joe Echo will be massive next year. He has written a hit single for Madonna and released a super version of the song 'If I were A Boy' which this song appears as a b-side and was co-written by members of Statue Quo!

8. Heritage Centre - You Are Something

Heritage Centre had a great 2009. They headlined their own Whelans gigs, bagged many a support slot as well as a headline gig at the HWCHs. They also released a number of excellent Eps and singles where you will find some of the best indie songs of 2009.

9. Bobby Noonan - Confusion in F

Bobby Noonan released his debut EP, toured the country and formed a band called 'Fat Baby Panda'. Not the worst name for a band! Close but not the worst! Bobby is a massively talented songwriter and I predict great things for Bobby in 2010.

10. Doctor Leaves - When Darkness Turns To Light

Doctor Leaves are Ben Shorten and Dara Munnis who also released their debut EP in 2009. Get it for free by hitting the link below. Doctor Leaves write melodic pop tunes and are an act to watch out for in 2010.

11. Elder - Nobody Knows

Another artist who had a great year was Elder Roche. Elder has a particular artistic glow about him and when he sings there's no holding back. His live performances are sensational and come highly recommended.

12. Melophobia - The Gift

I popped along to Melophobias Summer album launch in Whelans and was blown away by the quality of the music, the performance of each musician and the ambition of the band. Since then I've barely heard anything of Melophobia but the album is highly recommended.