Thursday, 29 April 2010

Album Review: Simon Fagan - Outside Looking In

Fine debut album from a talented songwriter and singer. Full of catchy American Rock anthems which deserves some attention from the established media.





When Simon Fagan arrived onto my radar last year I was very unsure. However in the past six months Simon has settled on an Americana rock sound similar to Ryan Adams which suits his voice and songwriting. He has a really pleasant voice on the album and writes songs of real meaning.


The lead single 'Damn Honey' [downloadable from Simon's own Bandcamp below] is a wonderful uplifting radio friendly catchy song. 'Water's Edge' sounds like something Paul Simon would have written in the mid 80s while the Gospel sounding harmonies of the title track pretty much transports you to the deep South of America. While I like the ambition of the song 'Memphis' the chorus does represent a real low point on the album.


'Outside Looking In' is a varied album ranging from the central Americana genre to rootsy folk to singer-songwriter ballads. The best songs are 'Something I Don't Know', 'Tired of Tryin'' and that single 'Damn Honey'.


Simon Fagan - Outside Looking In [9 out of 12]


http://www.myspace.com/simonfagan



<a href="http://simonfagan.bandcamp.com/track/damn-honey">Damn Honey by Simon Fagan</a>

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Album Review: Miracle Bell - Light Shape Sound

Really good album from Indie - Electro Kildare three piece 'Miracle Bell'. It's surprisingly full of charm and melodies!




'Light Shape Sound' is in many ways similar to Foals and Vampire Weekend and it's a really good album. There are many tracks on the album which should make mainstream radio airplay such as 'Love Sounds', 'You and I' and the single 'Fit For You'. The album's full of electro melodies, singalong choruses and charm such as the best track on the album 'You're Not Enough'.


I mentioned I was surprised by the quality of the album because when I caught the band live recently I wasn't inspired. However the production on 'Light Shape Sound' is spot on and the songs shine. All songs come in around the three minutes 30 seconds mark and at ten tracks the album doesn't outstay it's welcome.


Miracle Bell - Light Shape Sound [9 out of 12]

Linkage: http://www.miraclebell.com/

http://www.myspace.com/miraclebell


See the band live:

30 Apr 2010 20:30 Vantastival Festival *Light Shape Sound Tour* Louth, Louth
1 May 2010 19:00 The Academy *IMRO TOUR BEST OF 2010 SHOWCASE* Dublin, Dublin
5 May 2010 12:00 Croke Park special guests at YSI Annual Showcase Dublin, Dublin
7 May 2010 20:30 Andrews Lane Theatre *ALBUM LAUNCH CELEBRATION* Dublin, Dublin
8 May 2010 22:00 Laverys *Light Shape Sound Tour* Belfast, Northern Ireland
25 May 2010 22:15 The Cavern Pub Liverpool
26 May 2010 18:45 The Cavern Club Liverpool
19 Jun 2010 12:00 No Place Like Dome Festival Ballymote, Sligo
31 Jul 2010 20:00 Indiependence Music Festival Mitchelstown, Cork

Arrow in the Sky Invades 2UIBestow [Part 2]

Day 2 in the 2UIBestow House...

The Spanish say, "on Tuesday, neither get married nor begin a journey"
and if you do it serves you right! So we've decided to include "Little
Puritan" with today's post. It's a song about not getting married to a
girl in Japan and subsequently coming home only to form a band called
Arrow in the Sky. This all happened on a Tuesday. Or it could be
because it's the second track from our debut ep, "Do What Thou Wilt."
Either way it's a great song that you should download and listen to
alone in your room.


<a href="http://arrowinthesky.bandcamp.com/track/little-puritan">Little Puritan by Arrow in the Sky</a>

Bill Coleman Invades 2UIBestow [Part 6]

The Morning After the Singsong - The London Marathon

I've spectated at a marathon before, Dublin, but it's safe to say that even though I knew there were far more people running London, I still was taken aback a bit by the scale of the race. Not only the people running it, but the number of spectators on the route.



I took myself off to Shadwell L:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadwell, which is between Canary Wharf L:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canary_wharf and Tower Bridge L:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_Bridge on this route Map , which doubles back through this area, the plan being to catch herself (link: http://www.graciesbakes.com/) at 13 miles and at 22. The more encouragement the better.

In all I was standing by the route for something in the region of three hours and the sea of people running past me was remarkable. Neither words nor pictures do it justice.



All shapes, all sizes, fast to slow, big to small, stressed to euphoric. Pretty much most of the runners had their names on their jerseys so spectators could personalise their encouragement.

There were also some pretty epic fancy dress costumes; one Elvis, I think I saw four Supermen, at least three Batmen, one of whom also had a Robin in tow, to say nothing of the camel, the lad running with a ladder, the Big Bird costume with the extra extendable neck, at least two conga lines, the lads from the Lifeboats who were running carrying a dingy, many hundreds of people in tutus (male and female), several soldiers with backpacks, one fireman, one policeman and god knows how many others I missed.

I think you're all crazy. But fair play to you all it's an incredible achievement.



Herself was delighted to shave 7 minutes off the time she did Dublin in. Recovery might take a little bit longer though!







Big thanks to Bill and herself for bring another dimension to what you get when you hit up this site. If you wanna check out how Bill's new look repaired Macbook is doing he is performing at the unbelievably good Brownbread Mixtape this Wednesday night upstairs in The Stags Head.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Arrow in the Sky Invades 2UIBestow

Greetings placental amniotes and ye inhabitants of the ten thousand worlds!

We have been on tour for the better part of a month now and have
managed to squeeze in a week off! To celebrate our little mid tour
break, we would like to give you our debut ep for free! Check back
here every day this week to find a track from 'Do What Thou Wilt.'

Kicking it all off, and helping you overcome those Monday blues, is
Half Glass, a song about city skylines, all those things you talked
about doing that slipped through your fingers, and lot's of other
random stuff too!


<a href="http://arrowinthesky.bandcamp.com/track/half-glass-2">Half Glass by Arrow in the Sky</a>

EP Review: A Band Called Wanda - Roses Are Still Red

Really impressive debut EP of quirky folk pop songs from Galway band with a great name!





'A Band Called Wanda' only came onto my radar a few weeks back when I seen them at 'The Song Room' on George's Street. In fact I'm officially the first person to buy the EP they collected that day. 'Roses Are Still Red' was recorded Fort William, Scotland and contains six songs which would brighten up the darkest of Irish Summer days!


According to their MySpace ..... "Expanding upon the standard four-piece arrangement of drums, bass and guitars, they have incorporated fiddles, brass, woodwind and anything at hand to kick their feet from the fixed bar room table and entertain the masses with their all-singing, multi-instrumental display of musical chairs."


The title track brings the fiddle to the forefront of the song and is a great quirky pop song. It's another song from an Irish act which deserves daytime radio play. The quirkeyness continues with the song Two by Two.


A couple of the songs move into singer-songwriter territory and sound similar to the beautiful tunes produced by fellow Galwegian Ultan Conlon. The closing track 'Where Has The Day Gone' finds the band flirt with bluegrass and roots for a satisfactory ending. This EP is a quality release by a brilliant band.


A Band Called Wanda - Roses Are Still Red [11 out of 12]


http://www.myspace.com/abandcalledwanda

Bill Coleman Invades 2UIBestow [Part 5]

Friday and Saturday - The Deep Breath Before the Marathon Plunge

First, the random and bizarre. No Dougall, it's not really a "near, and far away" thing. See, these are actually tulip half-pint glasses, next to a normal size tulip pint-glass, all obviously filled with lovely, creamy Guinness.



Friday was Georges day over here in Ingerland. They don't seem to take it as seriously as we take Paddys Day, but there were some flags and bunting out and whatnot. No sign of the Thames being dyed red, white and blue though.

My main mission was to see what could be done with the aforementioned Macbook. Good news and bad news on that front. The bad news being that it's logic board is faulty. They cost about €700 to buy from what I can make out. You'll understand that I'm pretty happy that this is covered by Apple, so I just have to fork out for someone to take the faulty one out and put the new one in. Bit of a relief! I had visions of me throwing it in the bin!

That done, part ordered and so forth I headed town-wards for the evening.

Managed to bag an iTunes sale from the pub. God bless our hyperconnected world, that someone can browse the web from the comfort of their bar stool and make me 50p richer in the process.



I'm in good company! Good man Johnny!

Herself arrived over on Saturday and we spent the day chuntering around London, getting her registered for the marathon (link: http://www.virginlondonmarathon.com/) and catching up with friends. Herself headed off to leaba-land early enough while I ended up back at base in Clapham singing songs until 2 in the morning.

Good job I'm not running the marathon...

"Aaaaaaannnnnd the 'aul triiiiiiiiiannnngllleeeeeeee...."

And so on and so forth...

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Best of Boyles Mixtape

It's been just over a year since I discovered the musical oasis Boyles in historic Slane. If it was in walking distance of my house I'd be 'Norm' from Cheers! Here's a little mix of songs from some of the best acts to have played Boyles in the last twelve months.







Wayne Brennan - In My Hands

Wayne was the first established artist I seen live in Boyles. He had just released his debut album 'In My Hands' and played a wonderful gig showcasing his great songwriting, amazing guitar skills and his interpretation of songs like 'Stairway to Heaven' and 'Spanish Caravan'.


The Long Knives - Pheremones

The Long Knives played the most recent 'Live at Boyles' gig in March. Their performance rates as one of the best because they had great songs, fine vocals and a big rock sound. They are playing Boyles again on May 3rd!


Henrietta Game - Berlin

Boyles has almost become the 'home ground' for Henrietta Game. Their performances have been outstanding in Boyles. Catch the band back in Boyles on June 17th where they suport 'Jukebox Gypsy'.


Sean Needham - Hey Juliet

It was a real pleasure to catch Sean's set in Boyles last Summer but it was even better to get to know the guy. Like all Donegal folk Sean is such a genuine guy who's busy in Denmark gigging and promoting his wonderful second album 'Time is a Friend'.



Elder Roche - Flowering Flame

Elder headlined the November sessions gig and was so good Andrew booked him there and then for the Mary Coughlan support in January.



The Whiskey Limbs - Dancing on the Fuse

The Whiskey Limbs played a great set in the sessions gig in January. Not only were their songs great, their sound perfect but also their stage pressence and between song charm. They are also playing Boyles on May 3rd.


Groom - Moving West

Groom played the August sessions night and it was my favourite sets. I love their album released lasy year and the acoustic arrangement on the night gave a different dimension to their indie pop sound.


The Whatmans - Follow Me

I seen The Whatmans play Boyles last Summer to a packed venue. I think every mate and family member arrived to Slane from Navan! While there was potential at that gig the recent performance in Boyles was outstanding. Definately a band to keep an eye out for.


Dayo - Wave after Wave

Dayo is going to release a debut album which is going to be superb. Can't wait to hear it.


Junah - Margin Walking

Junah played a lovely set at our Christmas gig in Boyles. I really love their sound and set-up and is another act whose debut album released this Summer is going to be a joy to hear.


I could have picked out twenty or more outstanding performances. Other notable excellent performances include Van Cleef, Red Queen Contest, Declan DeBarra, Blind Pilots, Miss Paula Flynn, Johnny Murphy, Pete Courtney, Gemma Hayes and Joy Booth.




My Favourite Performance in Boyles last year was for me Kiernan McMullen who played the very first '2UIBestow Sessions/Live at Boyles' gig and did this to a packed crowd of maybe close to 80 people:

Roesy - New Album, Artwork, Irish Tour

Roesy has just released his forth album which can be purchased from http://roesymusic.net/





Irish Tour:

- April 27th Whelans 8pm 25 Wexford St. Dublin
Tickets / E12 plus booking fee
Booking & Reservation / WaV 1890200078 & www.tickets.ie

- April 28th Cyprus Avenue 8pm Caroline St. Cork
Tickets / E15 plus booking fee
Booking & Reservation / www.tickets.ie

- April 29th Sol Y Sombra 7pm Old Church of Ireland, Lower Bridge St. Kilorglin, County Kerry
Tickets / E15 + E25 tapas dinner
Booking & Reservation / +353 87 6894014


- May 1st Dolans 7:30pm Dock Road, Limerick,
Tickets / E13 inc. booking fee
Booking & Reservation / +353 61 314483

- May 6th Langtons 8pm 69 Lower John St. Kilkenny,
Tickets / E10
Booking & Reservation / +353 567721728

- May 7th Roisin Dubh 8pm Dominick St. Galway,
Tickets / E14 or E12 online
Booking & Reservation / www.roisindubh.net

- May 8th The Cellar Bar 9pm 37 St Patricks St Draperstown, Co. Derry
Tickets / E6
Booking & Reservation / www.cellarbar.info

- May 11th The River Sessions 8pm Moonriver, Main St. Carrick On Shannon, County Leitrim
Booking & Reservation / + 353 76 6027225

- May 13th De Barras 9pm 55 Pearse St. Clonakilty, County Cork
Tickets / E10
Booking & Reservation / +353 238833381

- May 14th McCarthys 9:30pm Upper Main St. Dingle, County Kerry
Tickets / E10
Booking & Reservation / +353 6691512051

- May 15th McGarrigles 8:30pm 11 O’ Connell St. Sligo,
Tickets / E10
Booking & Reservation / +353 669151205

- May 19th The Spirit Store 8:30pm Georges Quay Dundalk, Co.Louth
Tickets / E10
Booking & Reservation / +353 42 935 2697

- May 21st The Vine 8:30pm, 109 North Main St. Wexford,
Tickets / E10
Booking & Reservation / +353 87 2159428


Here's a really great video from The Scratcher Sessions in New York.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Bill Coleman Invades 2UIBestow [Part 4]

Macbook RIP


Roundabout 3pm yesterday, actually just after I'd done yesterdays blog, my macbook died on me.


Boo. Hiss. Down with this sort of thing!


For those of you who've not seen the Billy Coleman live experience I should explain that this means I have to completely change my set around, as the macbook runs all my beats and synths and a lot of my loops. It's a bit of a disaster in other words.


I put it to sleep for 15 minutes and when I went to wake it up, it refused to get out of bed. It's still refusing to get out of bed. I'm hoping that the guys I've left it with will be able to resurrect it somehow, but for the time being I've borrowed a laptop from my buddy Brian and so I'm writing to you from the comfort of his couch in Clapham. I'll be buying you a pint later on Murph...


Put it together with the other night and I think this means we'll christen this tour 'The Technical Difficulties Tour'. Or we could call it 'The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves Tour'. I think that might have been done already though.


Thus, a drastically different Billy Coleman live experience hit Club Yoyo (http://www.myspace.com/yoyouk) at the Notting Hill Arts club last night. This place is the grungiest, slummingest dive of a hole I've played in for a long while. I loved it. Concrete floor and walls, lovely sound in there, run by guys who knew what they were doing and couldn't do enough to help you out. I'll update later on with a picture of the place...





Short of fixing my macbook. Wouldn't really expect them to be able to do that though in fairness.


Also playing:


Foreign Office http://www.myspace.com/foreignofficemusic
Diagram of the Heart http://www.myspace.com/diagramoftheheart
Xoman link: http://www.myspace.com/xomanmusic


So it's probably a good thing for me right now that I'm not playing tonight. Time to catch my breath, have a few pints and tune out. Herself is arriving tomorrow so there'll be marathon preparations. I'll be out and about around the route on Sunday so expect some colour from that, the weather is supposed to be good so it should be a great day.


More later...


[Bill didn't ask to include the following widget but I wanted to bling the post up a bit .... Peter]

<a href="http://music.bcoleman.com/album/black-and-red-ep-welcome-to-the-breakdown">Welcome to the Breakdown by Bill Coleman</a>

Heathers Irish Tour

Heathers are aiming to increase their profile even more after their Late Late Show appearance by touring the country over the next few months:





APRIL..

-HMV Limerick – Saturday April 24th – 12.00pm

This will be free in!


MAY

-Dublin – Sugar Club – supporting Nerina Pallot – Tuesday May 4th
(Tickets are 16Euro, Available at www.ticketmaster.ie)




JUNE *= Tickets are 8 Euro

*-Dublin – Whelan’s Thurs June 3rd
( Available from WAV Ticket Office on Camden Row or Lo-call 1890 200078 or www.tickets.ie )

*-Limerick – Dolans (Upstairs) Saturday 5th June
(Available from www.dolanspub.com or 061 314483 )

*-Galway – Roisin Dubh – Saturday June 12th
Available from www.roisindubh.net or 091-509960 or www.tickets.ie

*-Dundalk – Spirit Store – Thursday June 17th
(Available from 042-9329649 or from www.spiritstore.ie)

*-Mullingar – The Stables – Friday June 18th
(Available from www.tickets.ie and www.ticketgroup.ie)

*-Cork – Cyprus Avenue – Thurs June 24th
( available from www.tickets.ie and www.ticketmaster.ie )

*-Wexford – The T Morris – Friday June 25th

*-Kilkenny – The Hole in The Wall – Saturday June 26th

-Bundoran, Donegal – Sea Sessions - Sunday June 27th
(http://www.seasessions.com/)


JULY

-Athlone Music Festival - Saturday July 31st
( http://www.athlonemusicfestival.com/)



Thursday, 22 April 2010

Album Review: Mugger Dave - What's She Doing Here

Decent Debut from Galway's good time three piece in the mould of recent r.i.p. bands Supergrass and The Fratellies. No better time to release?





'What's She Doing Here' is the type of album I'd play loudly at a party. There's a couple of low tempo songs similar to the sound of Elliot Smith but in general this is a good time rock'n'roll album.


While there's no 'Pumping on the Stereo' or 'Chelsea Dagger' here for full on daytime radio the single 'Crawl Up' is a great attempt at a lads out singalong rock tune. 'Looking Back' and 'Got a Lot on my Mind' are brilliant songs full of big sounds and vocals. The best track for me is 'Good Times'!


In the main the songs are catchy and the album is a good un!


Mugger Dave - What's She Doing Here [10 out of 12]


http://www.myspace.com/muggerdave


I'm going to try my best to catch this band live as I'd say they'd be great entertainment.

27 Apr 2010 20:00 Spirit store Dundalk, Louth
24 May 2010 20:00 The Backdoor Wexford, Wexford
26 May 2010 20:00 The Quad Cork, Cork
4 Jun 2010 20:00 The Stables Mullingar, Westmeath
5 Jun 2010 20:00 The Chestnut Birr, Offaly
10 Jun 2010 20:00 Whelans Dublin, Dublin

Kopek Unplugged MB Slatterys




Kopek are back gigging after a long break and are doing an intimate acoustic gig in MB Slatterys on May 1st.


http://www.kopekmusic.com


Here's two excellent videos from 2008:






Bill Coleman Invades 2UIBestow [Part 3]

Welsh Leeks and/or Daffodils, appear at the most random moments too...


Who was spotted in Hammersmith, nodding her head and singing along to 'I Want You to Know'?


Charlotte Church.


She's got great taste that one in fairness...


Go on, click the play button there and make like Charlotte :).


<a href="http://music.bcoleman.com/album/black-and-blue-ep-i-want-you-to-know">I Want You to Know by Bill Coleman</a>


I've rarely had such a loud, fun-filled, raucous, sing-a-longa ending to a set. Or such a problematic start.


To illustrate what a tiny margin can be involved in everything running perfectly to everything getting absolutely fecked up to a FAIR THEE WELL, I direct your attention to the following pics.


This is good.






This is BAD.






The firewire cable must be plugged in. COMPLETELY plugged in. Otherwise the sound goes in, but she no comes out again.


Once that transpired, I put Plan C into operation, and it all came off rather swimmingly from there on. Very swimmingly, actually. Charlotte-Church-and-her-Welsh-cohorts-singing-along-lustily-to-a-Billy-Coleman-tune swimmingly in fact.


Unfortunately I don't have photographic evidence of the Church but my witness is Dave from ODI, and he's got a face that couldn't tell a lie, I assure you.


Last nights gig was a four-act, two-set-each extravaganza put together by the inestimable Tony Moore http://www.tony-moore.com/, former member of Cutting ((I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight) Crew http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cutting_crew.



Also playing were:


ODi - http://www.odimusic.co.uk/index.html - Claire Odlum and Dave Redfearn do a lovely line in acoustic-y, folk-y at times jazz-tinged pop.

Matteo Scumaci - http://www.untitledsketch.com/ - torch songs in a Jeff Buckley, Tom Mcrae kind of way. Bit of a piano virtuoso too. A lot of a piano virtuoso actually...

Jonathan Powell - http://www.myspace.com/jonathanpowellmusic - almost a folk/bluegrass vibe off this Welsh guy who manages to fit viola into that mix. Great voice.


All these guys are well worth checking out and keeping an eye out for. ODi & Matteo both have albums coming soon and Jonathan has just released one I think.


Now I need to go make sure all my stuff is as it should be for going back to plan A tonights gig in the Notting Hill Arts club. It's a lovely sunny day here in London, and it's supposed to be getting better for the weekend. So roll on the weekend!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Tweet Review: The Frank and Walters - The Parson [single]





A Tweet Review is a review in 140 characters or less!


The Frank and Walters - The Parson


Classic Franks tune, gr8 vocals, big sounds, catchy lines, simple but brilliant video, nostailgic lyrics, cant wait 4 new cd, [10 out of 12]


http://www.frankandwalters.net/


Bill Coleman Invades 2UIBestow [Part 2]

Flowers Bloom in the strangest of places...

Car ferries always strike me as being kind of eerie. Particularly the car decks. Close your eyes and work on it and you could imagine that you're on a plane, not a boat. Or even better - a space ship!





Maybe that's just me though...

I'm happy to report that bringing the pillow along was a total win. I think I even impressed the staff, the guy who woke me up in Holyhead even remarked that I'd have to 'make my bed' now. Too right, buddy. Three hours kip on a couch on the ferry plus one hours kip in the car in a layby on the A500 makes for a tired bunny, a gritty mouth and a hairy sound check though. On a plus point though, there were no 'Adventures on the Motorway' to report.


Last nights gig was in the Flowerpot http://www.flowerpotlondon.com/ on Kentish Town Road in London.






Booked by Jay from Beans on Toast http://www.beansontoastmusic.com/, the Flowerpot, true to it's name, seems to have some large kind of shrub growing on it's roof. I'm not sure you'll be able to make it out from the pic though.





Suffice to say that perhaps the Flowerpot actually is, in some weird way, a Flowerpot. By the by, they do a mean line in Wasabi Peas. There's a name for a band, wha'?





Big up to all of you people in there who turned out, especially the long-lost cousins who I'd never met before in my life. We'll have to do it again sometime ;-)


I've managed to catch up on my sleep a little since you'll be glad to know, by virtue of the very comfortable couch bed in Gary Dunne's www.garydunne.com gaff. That's why this post is a little late (sorry Peter!).

Playing in Hammersmith tonight, and in good news, it looks like there'll definitely be marathon reportage by the end of the week - that volcano can't stop us!

Album Review: Burning Codes: Burning Codes 2

I've had the pleasure of listening to Paul Archer's Burning Codes 2 album pretty much non stop for the last 5 or 6 days. It connects with me on many levels and I'm going to take a few minutes of your time to convince you that Burning Codes 2 might well be up there as one of the best albums from an Irish act this year.



I'm a massive fan of Yo la Tengo and Burning Codes 2 is almost like a best of Yo La Tengo album. Every song is as good as the previous. On the Indiecator label site it describes Burning Codes 2 as Gospel Pop which isn't a band descriptor! There are eleven delicious indie pop tracks full of atmosphere and emotion on this album.



It's the swirling atmosphere of the album which really stands out. The melodies are usually accompanied by indie guitar rifts and pounding drumbeats. I love how the album begins with the track 'Speaking in Code' where the listener is as such invited into the album and finishes with the song 'Codes are Innate'. The best track is 'Can You Hear The Sound' with it's delicate vocals and harmonies. 'You're Worth So Much More' is equal to anything Snow Patrol has produced. The song Keep It Up contains wonderful positive messages in the lyrics.







Burning Codes 2 is a wonderful album which I'm going to be telling as many people as I can about!

Burning Codes: Burning Codes 2 [12 out of 12]


Linkage:

http://www.burningcodes.co.uk/

Buy The Album for just €4

http://www.indiecater.com/burning-codes-burning-codes-2/

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Bill Coleman Invades 2UIBestow

Here's part 1 of a series of guest posts from the wonderful Bill Coleman who's in London this week playing a few gigs and making friends!






Notes on planning a trek into the heart of deepest, darkest England.

Hello everybody, my name is Bill Coleman and I make music with a guitar and a laptop and some loops and various other bits and pieces and this week I'll be your guest blogger on 2 U I Bestow.

I'm invading England this week, which is always fun. While I'm there I'll be playing a few tunes and also, hopefully, volcano allowing, cheering on herself as she runs (or as she'd say herself, shuffles) the London marathon. Thankfully I don't have to worry about the volcano myself as I'm on the ferry.

I've spent today getting things ready for the jaunt. Making sure I have all the necessaries, sample list follows:

Packed lunch - a rightfully time-honoured Irish tradition I was introduced to on trips to various All-Irelands. Nothing like some tae and sangidges from the back of the car. I believe I have some chicken salad numbers with me, and obviously there's the oranges and bananas and a dodgy modern edition the red bovine (or cheap Lidl replacement) energy drink.








I'll be able to pick up tea in England, but it never seems the same for some reason. They pronounce it differently and all...

Sat Nav - I drove around London once without a Sat Nav. Never again. Trying to read a tattered A to Z somewhere in the middle of Camden with what seems like half the city beeping their horns at you isn't an experience I'd care to repeat.

Tunes - vital, obviously. I'm very chuffed with myself as I've got Spotify on my mobile phone and am loving the offline playlisting capability. I know. It's sad, isn't it... Bit of Elliott Smith in there, bit of the old Drowned in Sound randomness. That's not sad, is it!? Well, Elliott Smith is sad, but in a different way of course...

Pillow - comes in VERY handy on the Ferry. Particularly when the ferry leaves at 2:15am. I'm looking forward to three hours of kip as I've been on my feet all day. Need my beauty sleep!

Sleeping destinations - I always like to know which friends couch I'm sleeping on for the first few days at least. You could just wing it I suppose, that might be more rock and roll, but I like to have that kind of detail sorted out in advance.

Layers - that coat you have for deepest, darkest winter is going to be a useful garment in Hoylhead at 5 in the morning.

More soon - "Adventures on the Motorway"

Friday, 16 April 2010

Vantastival Invades 2UIBestow [part 5]




Vantastival is a three-day family-friendly festival held at Dunany Estate in mid-Louth over the May bank holiday weekend, April 30 - May 2, 2010.

A full schedule of live music and entertainment on three stages with further attractions for campervan and scooter owners - trade stalls, competitions, and workshops will provide the perfect occasion for admirers to exchange ideas and share their passion for the lifestyle and vehicles.

http://vantastival.com/

This week on the blog I'm going to bring to your attention some of the many excellent new bands playing the weekend. Today I'll focus on Susie Soho and Scarecrow Disco.



Susie Soho - Friday 20.10 - Paddy Mirage Stage




Susie Soho just missed out of being the most promising act at this year's meteor awards! Their rock songs are well crafted, with great vocals and catchy lines! Oh and the band have a lady drummer! That's always good!



http://www.susiesoho.com/








Scarecrwo Disco - Sunday 17.50 - Main Stage




Scarecrow Disco are one of a number of goodtime rock bands playing the vestival. I think what distinguishes this band from the others are the vocals of Rob and vocal harmonies of the band. I'm really looking forward to seeing this band!



http://www.myspace.com/scarecrowdisco

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Vantastival Invades 2UIBestow [part 4]




Vantastival is a three-day family-friendly festival held at Dunany Estate in mid-Louth over the May bank holiday weekend, April 30 - May 2, 2010.

A full schedule of live music and entertainment on three stages with further attractions for campervan and scooter owners - trade stalls, competitions, and workshops will provide the perfect occasion for admirers to exchange ideas and share their passion for the lifestyle and vehicles.

http://vantastival.com/

This week on the blog I'm going to bring to your attention some of the many excellent new bands playing the weekend. Today it's the turn of Miracle Bell and The Hot Sprockets.



Miracle Bell - Friday 21.10 Paddy Mirage Stage





Kildare's Miracle Bell have released a really good debut album of alternative rock songs. I caught them live in The Backroon in Navan supporting The Chapters and they were an impressive unit!


http://www.myspace.com/miraclebell




The Hot Sprockets - Sunday 16.45 Second Stage





I love the country rock sound of The Hot Sprockets. Their 70s influenced rock along with their image, vocals and sound make for great fun-time rock music. I caught their support slot for Nell Bryden over a year ago in Whelans and they proved to me that the band will have a long career!



http://www.myspace.com/thehotsprockets

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Vantastival Invades 2UIBestow [part 3]




Vantastival is a three-day family-friendly festival held at Dunany Estate in mid-Louth over the May bank holiday weekend, April 30 - May 2, 2010.

A full schedule of live music and entertainment on three stages with further attractions for campervan and scooter owners - trade stalls, competitions, and workshops will provide the perfect occasion for admirers to exchange ideas and share their passion for the lifestyle and vehicles.

http://vantastival.com/

This week on the blog I'm going to bring to your attention some of the many excellent new bands playing the weekend. Today I shine a torch on The Whatmans and The Ambience Affair!








The Whatmans - Saturday 11.45 [b4 noon] Second Stage




Navan band The Whatmans released a really good debut single 'Devil Shoes' last year. They've been busy gigging all over Ireland playing their style of goodtime alternative rock!


http://www.myspace.com/thewhatmans











The Ambience Affair - Sunday 21.20 Second Stage





There's not many Irish bands who can say they've had their music featured in CSI New York but The Ambience Affair will always have that on their CV! Their style of Indie Rock is excellent and I'm really looking forward to their first long play album!



http://www.myspace.com/theambienceaffair

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Tweet Review: Gavin Glass - Just Like Rome






The Tweet Review is a review in 140 characters or less:



Big band sound from seasoned musician, lovely singing voice, them organs give a gospel feel, cant wait 4 album, b-side is old hit Ooh La La!



http://www.myspace.com/gavinglass


Here's some amazing footage of Gavin Glass recording in Nashville!





Catch Gavin live with some talented friends and Mundy in Whelans on April 22nd!

Vantastival Invades 2UIBestow [part 2]




Vantastival is a three-day family-friendly festival held at Dunany Estate in mid-Louth over the May bank holiday weekend, April 30 - May 2, 2010.

A full schedule of live music and entertainment on three stages with further attractions for campervan and scooter owners - trade stalls, competitions, and workshops will provide the perfect occasion for admirers to exchange ideas and share their passion for the lifestyle and vehicles.

http://vantastival.com/

This week on the blog I'm going to bring to your attention some of the many excellent new bands playing the weekend. Today I'll feature Sleep Thieves and The Long Knives.






Sleep Thieves - Sunday 16.45 Main Stage





Sleep Thieves are Sorcha, Wayne and Derek and they make really good electronic pop music. Sorcha glows as the main singer in the band while Wayne and Derek are busy swapping instruments between sets. I caught their recent headline gig in Whelans and really enjoyed their sound and as a gig they were highly entertaining!


http://www.myspace.com/wearesleepthieves





The Long Knives - Sunday 12.45 Main Stage




Picture taken from The Purple Sessions!


The Long Knives have recently relocated to Drogheda and have a new spring in their step. The have been together many years but so far have released two Eps. Their latest Ep 'Cheap Wine' contains three excellent rock tunes from a great band that has two stunning vocalists.



More info: http://www.myspace.com/thelongknivesireland

Monday, 12 April 2010

Tweet Review: Gavin Mee - Breech Birth




The Tweet Review is a review in 140 characters or less:


Gavin mee - Breech Birth

Breech Birth consists of well crafted tunes, nice voice similar to Ron Sexsmith, lovely harmonies, odd lyrics on some songs, [8 out of 12]



http://www.myspace.com/gavinmee


Sunday, 11 April 2010

Katell Keineg - At The Mermaid Parade [Album Review]




I've had Katell Keineg's 'At The Mermaid Parade' a number of weeks now and it's been played pretty much non stop. It's preventing me from getting other reviews done because I can't stop playing the album!


Katell was born in Brittany and raised in Cardiff and the only daughter of Breton poet and playwright Paol Keineg and his then wife, Judith, a Welsh political activist and schoolteacher. Katell qualifies for coverage on the blog because she lived in Dublin for well over a decade and because I've been a massive fan since her majestic debut 'O Seasons, O Castle' released by Electra in 1994.


It is important to know I've been a fan since then of Katell's beautiful voice and amazing songwriting. I'm already converted and to me 'At The Mermaid Parade' is a return to the quality of her debut. I love how this album marries all the wonderful attributes of Katell like her delicate voice with a biting attitude in her lyrics. Songs like 'The Arsehole Song' and 'World of Sex' brings an extra dimension to Katell's charm!


The album's best track is 'Summer Loving Song' which charts a road trip near her new home in America. 'Thirteen' is a lovely song about being thirteen and in love! 'Old Friend' is Katell's voice a few notes on piano about the loss of a friend:
"Out in the pasture, at dusk, old friend, I miss you, so much". The song 'Calenture' is such a great song to finish the album with beautiful refrains and again the lyrics paint wonderful mental pictures. The song 'Olden Days' is a good representation of the quality of this album:



'At The Mermaid Parade' is a great album. I'm not too sure if it's going to win Katell millions of new 'fans' but if you've been lucky enough to have a Katell Keineg cd in your possession then you won't go wrong here.


Katell Keineg - At The Mermaid Parade [11 out of 12]


The album is out on Damon Albarn's label Honest Jons. You can listen to the whole album there and get the full album on download for just £5 or the cd for £10!

http://www.honestjons.com/shop.php?pid=36065



Here's Glen Hansard championing Katell Keineg for an Irish TV programme back in 2002! This song was covered by Natalie Merchant!


Friday, 9 April 2010

I Am Not Lefthanded Invades 2UIBestow [part 5]




I Am Not Lefthanded invade 2UIBestow

I Am Not Lefthanded are busy. They're currently releasing their second EP, Time To Leave. They're also raising £15,000 to record a full-length album with the help of SliceThePie.com, posting a new free download every week on their website and gearing up for their first European and American tours later this year. To try and share some insight as to how they're coping with the madness, they're invading 2UIBestow with a 5-part guide to holding on to your sanity in the modern music world.



I Am Not Lefthanded's Modern Music Industry Sanity Survival Guide (5/5)



5. Be really, really good.


You can spend all your time promoting your music to the ends of the earth, but it doesn't really mean anything unless it's really, really good. You invest hours in fiddling with trivia, signing up for things, sending out electronic press kits, just trying to get people to listen to your latest songs. And it's a tough, emotionally draining process. But it's a thousand times harder if every time you upload a song you hear the mistakes in the guitar part that you should have re-recorded. Or the lyric you thought you'd fix later but you never got around to it. If you don't believe in it 100%, you will find it very difficult to get anyone else to take your music seriously. You don't have to be the best guitarist in the world, or have the fanciest production, or the most versatile voice. All you have to do is be the best version of yourself that you can be.


That said, don't be afraid to be terrible for a while. This may seem like it contradicts the previous paragraph entirely, but the point is that it takes time to learn how to create great music. Give yourself a chance to learn and grow. The record labels used to have a term for it - artist development - but they seem to have lost the stomach for it these days. Almost every band out there took a few albums to really hit their stride. The most destructive and pervasive lie out there is the idea that musicians should be amazing at 19. Take your time to learn your craft. Get it right. And then get it out there. Music that is 10% better will spread 1,000 times easier. Trust us, we've done the math (it involved square roots and logarithms and plenty of cake).


There's only one thing you need to learn for this one to work - just keep improving constantly. Keep your standards high. Make each thing you do be better than the last. We don't make any claims to be really, really good. But we do claim to be better than we were a month ago. Better then than a year previously. Every bar we set ourselves, we have to try and match or exceed. So we're leaving you this week with a song that we think is the best we've written. This is what we're trying to better with every new song we produce. It's called boatsbutnottheocean (swept away). Apparently the internet thinks that's too long for a song title though. So between friends, we just call it boats.


<a href="http://iamnotlefthanded.bandcamp.com/track/boats-swept-away-2">Boats (Swept Away) by I Am Not Lefthanded</a>





Massive thank you to Dan, Kathryn and Benji for really elevating the quality of posts on the blog this week.

http://www.iamnotlefthanded.com/


Catch the band live:

1 Jun 2010 20:00 Whelan’s - Time To Leave Irish Tour
3 Jun 2010 20:00 Roisin Dubh - Time To Leave Irish Tour

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Hermione Hennessy - Songs My Father Taught Me




Christie Hennessy's daughter Hermione has released the album her father had encouraged her to make when he was alive. Hermione is keeping the spirit of her father's music alive with this collection of songs.


Included on the album are songs written by Iris DeMent, Carole King, Neil Finn as well as three Chrisrty Hennessy songs; Oh Jealous Heart, Late at Night and Soho Square which is also a duet with Chrisrty Hennessy.



I do admire the scope and ambition of the album and it has many good things going for it. The album really does bring attention to the greatness of Christy Hennessy's songwriting. The single best thing about the album is the opening track 'Wise Up' written by Aimee Mann as it made me delve back into Aimee Mann's back catalogue to remind myelf of her brilliance. The single 'Fall at your Feet' is also a really good version of the Crowded House hit. I have to admit that the album does lose my attention after track four hence:


Hermione Hennessy - Songs My Father Taught Me [9 out of 12]

http://hermionehennessy.com/

I Am Not Lefthanded Invades 2UIBestow [part 4]




I Am Not Lefthanded invade 2UIBestow


I Am Not Lefthanded are busy. They're currently releasing their second EP, Time To Leave. They're also raising £15,000 to record a full-length album with the help of SliceThePie.com, posting a new free download every week on their website and gearing up for their first European and American tours later this year. To try and share some insight as to how they're coping with the madness, they're invading 2UIBestow with a 5-part guide to holding on to your sanity in the modern music world.



I Am Not Lefthanded's Modern Music Industry Sanity Survival Guide (4/5)


4. Work hard


A lot of people get into music for the wrong reasons, at least initially. When you're young, it seems like the perfect occupation - you get to hang out and impress people all the time, with no desk job or heavy lifting required. There are a lot of people who quite casually enjoy being in a band but never really take it any further. They tend to give it up and find a different career or just continue half-heartedly, playing at the weekends in the local pub. To actually persevere and try and get somewhere with your music is one of the toughest tasks imaginable, in terms of sheer drudgery and hours put in playing to empty rooms of disinterested people. And there's a lot more heavy lifting than you'd think...



If you are serious about it though, what will lift you above the throng is putting the time in. You don't have to work on every area all at once - no one can, it'll drive you crazy. Make sure you put in enough time for writing and rehearsing, and beyond that, find something you're good at and work it. Whether it's touring relentlessly, working on remixes, performing in a different band every day of the week, endlessly schmoozing your way through every party you can find, making friends on social networking sites or creating incredible album art for yourself and others -if you put in the time, it'll pay off.



We've been given a chance to earn £15,000 to record an album. This goal seems a lot more concrete than the lottery ticket nature of being spotted by a record label at a show, or being picked up based off of an unsolicited demo. The reason for this is that we can see the work we put in being rewarded. When we were selected we knew we had to go for it full steam ahead, so we decided to post a new Thing every week on our website. These range from old songs, live recordings, covers of songs that are important to us, brand new material and any other quirky bits and pieces that we can come up with. It makes us put the work in - every Sunday we need to get something up there, and keep it fresh and interesting for ourselves as well as for our audience. It keeps us working and improving, and we get feedback straightaway on whether people like it.



So here are two of our recent Things - One is an acoustic version of Late Night Drive. It's one of our newest songs, the words aren't quite finished, but the gist of it is there.









The second is a cover of I Will Follow You Into The Dark, a song by Death Cab for Cutie, a band we're pretty fond of. They've certainly been a big influence in terms of how they do things. We were very reluctant to play any covers at all for a long time, we wanted to be sure about the music we were writing before we lead ourselves too far down someone else's path. But we've put in the time and we're pretty confident we know what sounds like us - now it's an interesting challenge to bring that to someone else's music.







More info: http://www.iamnotlefthanded.com/

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Peter Doran - Wood Free Album Download

Peter Doran released a really good album 'Wood' in 2007 and it's an album I come back to for Peter's incredible vocals and atmospheric moods of the album. I seen Peter support Nick Kelly in Whelans last year as well as part of Mark Geary's band for the album tour of his album Opium.

Peter is supporting Arrow in the Sky in Boyles, Slane on April 23rd!

http://www.peterdoran.com/


Get the album in exchange of an email address here!

<a href="http://peterdoran.bandcamp.com/album/wood">scenic route by Peter Doran</a>

I Am Not Lefthanded Invades 2UIBestow [part 3]



I Am Not Lefthanded invade 2UIBestow


I Am Not Lefthanded are busy. They're currently releasing their second EP, Time To Leave. They're also raising £15,000 to record a full-length album with the help of SliceThePie.com, posting a new free download every week on their website and gearing up for their first European and American tours later this year. To try and share some insight as to how they're coping with the madness, they're invading 2UIBestow with a 5-part guide to holding on to your sanity in the modern music world.


I Am Not Lefthanded's Modern Music Industry Sanity Survival Guide (3/5)


3. Be everywhere, but focus where it counts.


It's a big ocean, out in the internet - but we've done our best to dip our toe into as much of it as possible. Your number one friend in getting your music out there is having a folder on your desktop with your mp3s, press photos, a short bio and other bits and pieces that you can dip into easily. There are many, many different music start-ups, each of whom are trying to create a music community. It can be a pain signing up to different ones, but once you've done two or three, it becomes pretty doable to sign up to a new one in ten minutes. It's worth the time spent - you never know where your music will blossom.


Once you've put everything up, go away and forget about it for a couple of weeks. Then check back and see which sites seem to be reacting best to your music. Focus your efforts on these ones: learn their rules, engage with the community, just give your music a chance to spread.


Here are some of the sites that have been particularly good to us:


TheSixtyOne - www.thesixtyone.com/iamnotlefthanded - TheSixtyOne is one of the best music discovery sites out there. It's filled with people who are actively trying to find new music. The site is based around a game of sorts, with people getting points for discovering new songs. Definitely worth signing up to. The key to this site is to upload one song every couple of weeks - it gives each song a chance to rise up the charts. And talk to the community if they comment on your songs, they're lovely people.


Bandcamp - iamnotlefthanded.bandcamp.com - Bandcamp is simply the easiest and most elegant way to run your own music store online. It's free and they don't take a commission. They're constantly adding new features to make this the best place to sell your music - or give it away in exchange for an email address.



Last.fm - www.last.fm/music/I+am+not+lefthanded - Last.fm is a great site, it basically keeps track of your listening tastes and recommends bands based on your history. Make sure your profile there is full of information and pictures and videos. It also gives you a real count of people who have listened to your music - rather than MySpace and its frequently bot-inflated play counts...



SliceThePie - www.slicethepie.com/Music/ViewArtistProfile.aspx?ArtistId=12341 - we'd like to give a particular mention to SliceThePie. There are a few different fan-funding websites out there, but unlike Sellaband and its ilk, SliceThePie doesn't rely simply on you hustling and harrassing people to invest in your music. Instead you put your music into a blind taste-test, and get ranked by the site's reviewing community. If you get marked high enough, you get through to the showcase round where you get a chance to raise £15,000 in 9 months to make a full-length album. There's a strong investment community on the site - if you can convince them you're a good prospect, they will support you. They're also a very engaged and friendly group of people, who'll give you feedback and encouragement throughout the process. We've been in the showcase for about a month and a half, and we've currently raised £2,567. Basically it's a fantastic opportunity to shoot for a fan-funded record deal.


Some honourable mentions go to:

Tubemogul - www.tubemogul.com - instead of uploading your video just to youtube, upload it to many different video sites at once.


ArtistData - www.artistdata.com - You just have to input your gig listings into ArtistData and they syndicate it out to Myspace, Facebook and many other sites. A definite time-saver, especially if you have to change details on the fly.


Reverbnation - www.reverbnation.com - Reverbnation have a lot of nice tools that work behind the scenes to make running your band a lot easier. We use them for mailing-list management, and their widgets are easily embeddable and shareable, so you can put them into your site or myspace very easily.


Tunecore - www.tunecore.com - simple efficient digital distribution. Highly recommended!


And lastly - it is so, so important to have your own website and mailing list, do not just rely on myspace. It gives you a chance to create your own world and build a community around your music, creating something that will last.


http://www.iamnotlefthanded.com/

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

I Am Not Lefthanded Invades 2UIBestow [part 2]



I Am Not Lefthanded invade 2UIBestow

I Am Not Lefthanded are busy. They're currently releasing their second EP, Time To Leave. They're also raising £15,000 to record a full-length album with the help of SliceThePie.com, posting a new free download every week on their website and gearing up for their first European and American tours later this year. To try and share some insight as to how they're coping with the madness, they're invading 2UIBestow with a 5-part guide to holding on to your sanity in the modern music world.



I Am Not Lefthanded's Modern Music Industry Sanity Survival Guide (2/5)



2. Be interesting


Once you get it out there, people will listen to your music. If they like what they hear, then they will want to find out a bit more. You make music, it's your passion - but in this game, everyone makes music. What sets you apart? It could be that you might make the most elaborate costumes, or choreograph intricate dance routines, or make home-made musical instruments - or ice all the lyrics of your songs into cakes. Whatever it is, this is your chance to catch that spark of interest and nurture it - to really engage the casual listener. Find something you care about and make it your focus.



For us, we love movies - specifically odd, quirky movies, with a very particular brand of humour (Loaded Weapon, Groundhog Day and our surprise recent discovery, Fired Up, to name but a few that we can heartily recommend). So we focused on music videos. These can be some of the most wasted chances out there - otherwise excellent bands have created the most pointless, tedious and uninspired videos. Even if your song is the most fantastic thing imaginable, watching you mime-along to it on youtube, no matter how nicely shot it is, is simply criminal. A video can be a wonderful thing, it can give you a chance to recontextualise your song, subvert it, or ignore it completely and just brighten someone's day.



So we'd like to share the first live action video that we made, Long Goodbyes. It grew out of different conversations - what if your teddy-bear was cheating on you? In some ways it matches the themes of the song, but it really took on a life of its own. Although throughout the whole process, the panda was the betrayer, we added the final shot, at the bus stop and everything got changed around. He looked so forlorn and alone it made him seem the victim. For our last single, Everybody Sleeps we made a prequel, but that, as they say, is another story.







http://www.iamnotlefthanded.com/

Monday, 5 April 2010

I Am Not Lefthanded Invades 2UIBestow [part 1]



I Am Not Lefthanded Invade 2UIBestow


I Am Not Lefthanded are busy. They're currently releasing their second EP, Time To Leave. They're also raising £15,000 to record a full-length album with the help of SliceThePie.com, posting a new free download every week on their website and gearing up for their first European and American tours later this year.


To try and share some insight as to how they're coping with the madness, they're invading 2UIBestow with a 5-part guide to holding on to your sanity in the modern music world.





I Am Not Lefthanded's Modern Music Industry Sanity Survival Guide (1/5)




1. Be honest

The music industry is changing faster than anyone can keep track of it. The basic costs of recording, manufacturing, distribution and promotion have dropped to almost nothing. You can get your music out into the world in a way that was never possible before. Unfortunately, so can everyone else. It's an amazing and terrifying time to be a musician. You get a chance to be heard by the largest possible audience, but you're also competing for their attention with every other band on the planet.


Ignore them. Make music for yourself.


We may do nothing else right, but we are honest. We want to make music that means something to us, that makes us feel alive. We won't write songs that try to sound like someone else, or that we think are what will sell, have great hooks or are what people want to hear. There are already far too many people doing that, and it makes us sad. All you can do is find something true and try to express it. If it means something to us, it at least has a chance of meaning something to someone else.



So here is one of our songs that we enjoy playing the most at the moment. It's got fire in the belly. It just came out this way, we couldn't change it if we wanted to, although we're sure there are hundreds of A&R execs that would love to tell us how.




<a href="http://iamnotlefthanded.bandcamp.com/track/the-place-that-wont-take-me-back">The Place That Won't Take Me Back by I Am Not Lefthanded</a>



More info on I Am Not Lefthanded:

http://www.iamnotlefthanded.com/

http://www.myspace.com/iamnotlefthandedeither

Friday, 2 April 2010

Top 50 Irish Acts - Part 5 [1 - 10]




This week [Monday - Friday] I'm counting down my Top 50 artists in my humble opinion at this moment in time. The artists are to have released an album/ep or played a gig since Jan 2009 in order to qualify for the list.




1. The Chapters


I've chosen The Chapters as my number one band/artist in Ireland at this moment in time because they released a great album last year and they are one of the best live bands I've ever seen. The music is really uplifting with super vocals and lyrics.




2. Bill Coleman


When you see Bill Coleman live you'll be initially impressed by the huge sound he gets from his mastering of loops and pedals. However beyond that are songs of real meaning. New songs like 'False North' and 'Church of Second Chances' are majestically written. Bill has alot to say and I for one wanna be listening!


<a href="http://music.bcoleman.com/track/she-moved-through-the-fair">She Moved Through the Fair by Bill Coleman</a>





3. The Swell Season/The Frames/ Glen Hansard


In the space of 18 months I've seen Glen n Mar 5 times which isn't bad for a band who's forever on the road making new friends all around the world. I would be hopeful for a bid Dublin gig from The Frames as well as their headlining appearance at Electric Picnic.



In These Arms from Vimeo.







4. Mark Geary


2009 was the year I really got into Mark Geary's songs in a big way. Mark released a live album last year and his album launch in Whelans was special. He was accompanied by Karl Odlum, Graham Hopkins and Ann Scott to produce an amazing night of music.




5. Fiach


Fiach has just released his long awaited debut album 'So I' reviewed here and it's full of great tracks. Fiach has the ability on some songs to ignite a fire inside you and fight the man while on others he uses his charm and wit to write beautifully crafted songs.




6. I Am Not Lefthanded


I Am Not Lefthanded are an indie folk power pop three piece consisting of two thirds Irish! With his band you get beautiful vocals, harmonies and lyrics from Kathryn and Daniel. They've released two EPs recently which contain so many brilliant tunes like 'Long Goodbyes', 'Persuade Yourself', 'Lifelines' and the sample mp3 below.






7 Henrietta Game


Henrietta Game consists of Guitar, Cello, Violin and Glockenspiel as well as four part harmonies and great songs. I've seen Henrietta Game live many times in the last 12 months and with each time I see and hear massive improvements.







8. The Whiskey Limbs


For me the best live band I've seen in Boyles were The Whiskey Limbs. The energy of the songs, the vocals of Colm and Amy and the quality of the songs make The Whiskey Limbs one of the best good time bands out there at the moment.



9. Declan DeBarra


Declan's album last year 'A Fire To Scare The Sun' was the best album of 2009. The mood, atmosphere and lyrics really connected with me on many levels. Declan is an amazing live performer as well! On his bandcamp Declan is giving his debut album away for free which can be accessed through the links below!


<a href="http://declandebarra.bandcamp.com/album/song-of-a-thousand-birds">Throw Your Arms Around me by Declan de Barra</a>




10. Heritage Centre



I'm well aware that this list for 50 acts covers many different genres. Indie Rock isn't represented too much here partly because I judge the acts against Heritage Centre and most don't some anywhere close to this great band. This band has the songs, the musicians and the energy to become massive. Hit the links below for some great free music from the band!



<a href="http://heritagecentre.bandcamp.com/album/sidney-maxwell-williamson">Stolen It Twice by Heritage Centre</a>







11. Mark Dignam
12. Miss Paula Flynn
13. Ultan Conlon
14. Lisa Hannigan
15. Murder Plan
16. Brian Canavan
17. Mark Black
18. Foy Vance
19. David Hope
20. The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra
21. Padraig Digan
22. Pearse McGloughlin
23. Arrow in the Sky
24. Lisa o'Neill
25. Sean Needham
26. Kitty and the Can Openers
27. The Garret Wall Band
28. Saramai and the Swords
29. Joe Echo
30. Heathers
31. Junah
32. Reader's Wives
33. Pony Club
34. Kiernan McMullan
35. Elder Roche
36. Michael Brunnock/Little Palace
37. The Lonely Schizophrenic
38. Adrian Crowley
39. Keith Mullins
40. Damien Dempsey
41. A Plastic Rose
42. Garry O'Brien
43. Pete Courtney
44. Valerie Francis
45. Dayo
46. Brendan O'Shea
47. Bobby Noonan
48. Entheos
49. BellaJane
50. Andy Delamere