Thursday, 31 January 2013

2Day's Tune: Riot Tapes - The Key


Dublin band Riot Tapes [Dropped the 'The'?] are about to stir things up with a fantastic debut album to be released in the Summer and a series of promotional exploits in the near future.


This single, The Key is a super pop song with a funny video.








Check out the new website: http://www.riottapes.com/

See them here:


Wednesday, 30 January 2013

2Day's Tune: Valerie June - Workin' Woman Blues



Valerie June announces 
May 3rd – The Sugar Club Dublin
Tickets on sale Thursday 31st January, 9am

Valerie June is coming to play The Sugar Club Dublin on Friday, May 3rd. Tickets €13 inclusive of booking fee are on sale this Thursday, January 31st at 9am from Ticketmaster outlets and online from www.ticketmaster.ie




I was very fortunate to see Valerie June in Vantastival a number of years ago but her music has progessed wonderfully since then. Check out this superb tune here: 


Check out this teaser from her new album 'Pushin' Against a Stone'



Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Album Review: Ana Gog - Making Trails

Ana Gog's debut album 'Making Trails' is one amazing album of big dynamic sounds that demands repeat listens. Possible Irish album of the year!


'Making Trails' is for me one of them hard to define and categorise albums which simply sound perfect in every way. The eleven tracks are big on ambition and scope. Some tracks sound nearly theatrical while others bring a charming delicateness to the table. 'Making Trails' brings an 80's adult contemporary pop sound back into focus with their piano driven sound and perfect harmonies.

Of the eleven tracks, two are ballsy psychedelic instrumentals which are only to be admired. The epic '100 Years' is a slow moving emotional tune perfect for movie soundtracks. My favourite track is 'A Study of her Painted Face' with that wonderful guitar riff and quality vocals.




There's not a thing I'd change on 'Making Trails'. It's a powerful, emotional, dynamic, artistic, ambitious album which inspires and I hope it reaches as many people as possible. 

Ana Gog - Making Trails [12 out of 12]


Monday, 28 January 2013

2Day's Tune: David Hope - Scarecrow

Plans are well under way for David Hope's 'Scarecrow' Album Launch Tour. The album was reviewed here:  http://2uibestow.blogspot.ie/2012/11/album-review-david-hope-scarecrow.html  last November but getting it's official launch in Ireland with the following tour:

Scarecrow Album Launch Tour Dates: 
Wed. 6th Feb. - Coughlan's Live, Cork
David Hope (solo) w/ special guests Miriam Donohue Music & Monorail
Doors 8pm, Tickets €5

Thurs. 7th Feb. - The Crane Bar, 2 Sea Road, Galway
David Hope (solo) w/ special guests Miriam Donohue & Vickers Vimy
Doors 8pm, Tickets €5

Fri. 15th Feb. - Kenny's Bar, Lahinch, Co. Clare
David Hope w/ special guest Miriam Donohue
Doors 9pm, Admission free

Sun. 17th Feb. – The Grand Social, 35 Lr. Liffey Street, Dublin 
David Hope (solo) @ Saucy Sundays 
Doors 5pm, Admission free

Thurs. 21st Feb. - The Locke Bar, Limerick
Doors 9pm, Admission free

David Hope w/ special guest Miriam Donohue 
Doors 9pm, Admission free

Sun. 24th Feb. – The Model Sligo, The Mall, Sligo
Doors 8pm, Tickets (tba)

Check out the single and album title track here:





Sunday, 27 January 2013

2Day's Tune: Mark Eitzel - All My Love

'All My Love; is a perfect lazy Sunday song full of warmth & charm from the San Francisco singer-songwriter Mark Eitzel from his comeback album 'Don't Be A Stranger'.



See Mark on tour in Ireland at the end of February. http://decorrecords.com/artists/mark-eitzel/


MARK EITZEL
“Don’t Be A Stranger”
Available in Europe on Décor Records
Mark Eitzel’s new record, Don’t Be a Stranger, will be released by Décor Records in Europe/Australia/NZ on and Merge Records in the USA.

::: LIVE ::: Irish Tour February 2013
Feb 21 Dublin - Workman's Club
Feb 22 Cork - Cyprus Ave
Feb 23 Kilkenny - Cleeres
Feb 25 Galway - Roisin Dubh
Feb 26 Belfast – Errigle Inn

Saturday, 26 January 2013

2Day's Tune: Red Queen Contest - Eiderdown

Tonight in The Sugar Club there's an excellent line-up gigging for Haiti Week:

Saturday 26th January, The Sugar Club

Featuring:
Ham Sandwich
Raglans
Red Queen Contest
and very special guests The Walls

Tickets are only €15

http://www.tickets.ie/events.aspx/search?s=Haiti+Fest

Bringing Hope to Haiti

Donate €2 to Haven Text HUGS to 50300

www.haitiweek.org



I'm delighted to see Navan rock band Red Queen Contest on the bill and opening the show. Their alternative rock sound is made unique by the impressive dual vocals on many of their songs such as this one 'Eiderdown'




Friday, 25 January 2013

2Day's Tune - Gavin James - Say Hello

With the current revival for singer-songwriters, Gavin James is charging forward as Ireland's best bet to join the league of Ed Sheeran, Matt Corby, Passenger and the likes. With one headline gig in Whelans sold out and a second show announced, Gavin James is well on his was to becoming a star. His debut EP 'Say Hello' is a really good foundation and hints at a superb debut album.



Buy the EP: https://itunes.apple.com/ie/album/say-hello-ep/id571624140

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Album Review: Mary Dillon - North

"North" is the debut album from Irish folk star Mary Dillon and it's an all round great listen with reworkings of popular folk and traditional tunes. 


Hailing from the famous Dillon clan as well as being the singer of popular tad/folk group Déanta in the 1990s, Mary Dillon is no stranger to the folk music world. After a hiatus of a decade Mary returns with a collection of tunes that confirms her as one of Ireland's best vocalists in her genre. I may not be an expert on this form of Celtic folk music but I've really warmed to 'North' over the last few weeks and highly recommend it to you.

'North' is high on nostalgic feelings for me. Growing up in the 80s in Ireland you were never far from rustic Celtic folk music and traditional ballads. As someone who doesn't actively listen to Celtic folk these days, 'North' has brought back all them child-like feelings of holidays in the Gaeltacht or listening to early morning Irish radio.

The tracks that stood out on repeated listens include the beautiful version of 'Edward on Lough Erne Shore', a spine tingling version of 'The Month of January' and the album opener 'When A Man's In Love'.




With a major folk revival in Ireland & the UK, 'North' is released at the perfect time to find new lovers of folk music. I for one am hooked on the sounds of Mary Dillon.

Mary Dillon - North [10 out of 12]



Buy the album: http://www.marydillon.com/

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

2Day's Tune - The Young Folk - Letters

With much surprise The Young Folk sprung their debut album on the world entitled 'The Little Battle' to coincide with their recent gigs in New York. The album cover looks brilliant and you stream the album on the band's website here: http://www.theyoungfolk.com/


One of the highlights of the album is this tune 'Letters':



Check out The Young Folk performing their song "Letters" alongside author Colum McCann reading from his book "Fishing the Sloe Black River" from The Scratcher Bar in New York.



Plans are underway for a nationwide tour to promote the album with a headline gig in Whelans to be announced soon. 

Monday, 21 January 2013

2Day's Tune: Parallel - Siren

Another 2012 release which I missed is the debut album from Cork two-piece Parallel. "Paper Walls" is a fine album of original tunes which have depth and variety flirting with genres such as acoustic, blues and radio friendly pop/rock. One of the highlights is this delicate pop tune 'Siren'.





Listen to the album here: https://soundcloud.com/parallel-band


Sunday, 20 January 2013

2Day's Tune: Treetop Flyers - Long Cold Winter

Treetop Flyers were the winners of Glastonbury's Emerging Talent Competition in 2011 which enabled the band to play the Other Stage at Glastonbury. Here's a good example as to why they were the overall winners:




Here's the details of the 2013 Competition:

Acts will be able to enter FOR ONE WEEK ONLY from 9am on Thursday 17th January until 5pm on Thursday 24th January.

Entries to ETC2013 are free. To enter, acts will simply need to supply us with a link to listen to one of their songs online (on YouTube, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, etc). Enter via the official Glastonbury website,

http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/news/emerging-talent-competition-2013-enter-now


Once the entries are in, a panel of 40 of the UK's best music bloggers [ME INCLUDED] will help compile a longlist of 120 acts. The longlist will then be whittled down to a shortlist of eight artists by judges including Glastonbury organisers Michael and Emily Eavis, before the live finals in Pilton in April decides the winning act.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

EP Review: Mikey & The Scallywags - Living in the Light

Living in the Light is the 2012 EP released by Galway folk band Mikey & The Scallywags and it's very much worthy of your attention. 


Bizarrely bands are keeping me informed with releases from last year. 'Living in the Light' caught my attention on first listen from a band determined to make 2013 a successful year. Mikey & The Scallywags fuse folk, bluegrass and gypsy rock to fine effect with six genre crossing tracks.

All six tracks features fine vocals throughout with the Fiddle playing of Juliana Erkkonen key to their charm such as on this track 'When We Were All One:



The title track is a rocking catchy tune, while 'Loola' is a good-time rockabilly track. All six songs are really good songs in their own right with the best track on the album is 'Holy Rollercoaster' that would stand up to anything from popular folk bands like 'Mumford & Sons' or 'The Lumineers'.



Mikey & The Scallywags - Living in the Light [10 out of 12]

http://www.mikeyandthescallywags.com/

2Day's Tune: Friends of Emmet - Coming Apart

There's nothing like a bit of international success to conjure up press inches for Irish bands. Dublin band 'Friends of Emmet' are now based in LA and on the cusp of greatness. F.O.E. will release State Of Mind in 2013 which have been licensed to MTV & used on show such as Jersey Shore, The Real World, FriendZone, The PaulyD Project the Hit UK show HollyOaks. Wow ...... and one of the tracks, "Hero," will be featured in the independent movie "The Saving ..... and the single 'Coming Apart' has a great story to it and it's a pretty decent rock tune.



http://www.friendsofemmet.com/

See the band live in Dublin's The Sugar Club on April 11th: Tickets Here

Friday, 18 January 2013

2Day's Tune: PictureHouse - Hello

Ok let's run through a check list for a comeback band like PictureHouse ......


Get a son of a famous Swedish Pop Band's Manager to co-write the single ...... Check (Lasse Anderson- Stig Anderson's (Abba Manager) son - is the co-writer of the album and of 'Hello')


Be away from the 'Scene' long enough to be 'nostailgic' while maintaining a fan base ..... Check (New album is the first since 2002)


Launch the new single in an intimate venue ..... Check (their new single “Hello” which will be launched with a gig in The Village on Wexford Street in Dublin on February 15th.)

Launch a new website ....... Check (http://www.picturehouse.ie/)

Ensure all your previous albums are for sale ...... Check (http://picturehouseie.bandcamp.com/)

Ensure your frontman keeps making headlines in the band's absence .... Check (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2011/0617/breaking109.html)

Ensure your return single "Hello" is high on catchyness and less than 3 mins ...... Check

Thursday, 17 January 2013

2Day's Tune: Villagers -Nothing Arrived





It's been really great hearing so much Villagers on daytime Irish radio stations such as Today FM and RTE 2FM. I'm not going to review the new album 'Awayland' as there's already so many great reviews on there from the likes of The Guardian,  Entertainment.ie, as well as this disappointing review from Pitchfork. 



I like the album and would get a 9 or 10 out of 12 because it didn't blow me away in any meaningful way. Also it takes many listens to find out the context of each song. Having said that I adore this track 'Nothing Arrived'.







Check out this acoustic version of the song from the Ian Dempsey Show:




TOKYO 03 Feb Hostess Club Weekender Japan TICKETS

SHEFFIELD 08 Feb Leadmill England TICKETS

NEWCASTLE 09 Feb Warehouse England TICKETS

GLASGOW 10 Feb Stereo Scotland TICKETS

LEEDS 12 Feb Wardrobe England TICKETS

MANCHESTER 13 Feb Gorilla England TICKETS

BIRMINGHAM 14 Feb HMV Library England TICKETS

BRISTOL 16 Feb Trinity England TICKETS

BRIGHTON 17 Feb The Old Market England TICKETS

PORTSMOUTH 18 Feb Wedgewood Rooms England TICKETS

LONDON 20 Feb Village Underground England SOLD OUT
LONDON 21 Feb Village Underground England TICKETS

PARIS 22 Feb Maroquinerie France TICKETS
COLOGNE 23 Feb Gebaeude 9 Germany TICKETS

ZURICH 25 Feb Mascotte Switzerland TICKETS

MUNICH 26 Feb Club Strom Germany TICKETS

BERLIN 27 Feb Festaal Kreuzberg Germany TICKETS

STOCKHOLM 01 Mar Debaser Medis Sweden TICKETS

OSLO 02 Mar John Dee Norway TICKETS

HAMBURG 04 Mar Uebel & Gefaehrlich Germany TICKETS

BRUSSELS 05 Mar Botanique Belgium TICKETS

TOURCOING 06 Mar Le Grand Mix France TICKETS

ZEEWOLDE 08 Mar Where The Wild Things Are Festival Netherlands 

UTRECHT 09 Mar Tivoli Netherlands TICKETS

GALWAY 14 Mar Seapoint Ireland TICKETS

LIMERICK 15 Mar Dolans Ireland TICKETS

BELFAST 16 Mar Empire Music Hall N Ireland TICKETS

KILLARNEY 18 Mar Inec Acoustic Club Ireland TICKETS

CORK 19 Mar The Savoy Ireland TICKETS

DUBLIN 21 Mar Olympia Theatre Ireland SOLD OUT DUBLIN
22 Mar Olympia Theatre Ireland TICKETS

BOURGES 26 Apr Le Printemps de Bourges Festival France TICKETS

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

2Day's Tune: Ana Gog - Between The Rocks

One of myy favourite Irish bands, Ana Gog have lots of news. The debut album is entitled 'Making Trails' and has this album cover:


The launch gig is in the fine surrounds of the Unitarian Church in Dublin on March 1st and you can get your tickets here: http://www.tickets.ie/event.aspx/ana-gog-unitarian-church-dublin-01-March-2013/M4WW6

Can't wait to hear the album but until then I'm happy to have a listen to three sample album tracks; 'A Study of her Painted Face', Mr Magpie' and this wonderful instrumental track 'Between The Rocks'.





Tuesday, 15 January 2013

2Day's Tune: Bear's Den - Pompeii

One of the reasons why I've begun blogging about International acts is because promotions companies like Communion Dublin are forever bring in great bands to Ireland. Coming to Whelans, is London three piece folk band Bear's Den and I'll be front and centre on the back of this fine song:


Get a free download of the song here: http://www.musicglue.com/bearsdenmusic/downloads/



Monday, 14 January 2013

Live Review: Dropkick Murphys - Vicar St [Sun 13th Feb]

Dropkick Murphys kicked off their 2013 world tour with two sold-out gigs in Dublin's Vicar Street with Sunday seeing Dublin punk/trad band 'Blood or Whiskey' providing the opening support at the beginning of the night before Frank Turner. While I'm not a huge fan of all three artists I was thoroughly entertained all evening with some sublime performances.

Blood or Whiskey:

Blood or Whiskey have a similar make-up to Dropkick Murphys and performed a great set to a sizable crowd early on last night. You sensed from the intensity and quality of musicianship of the band that they are seasoned professionals with three albums and hundreds of gigs under their belt. New songs sounded really good and hints to a powerful punk rock album. Blood or Whisky are another great Irish band without a prominent fanbase.




Frank Turner

Armed with an acoustic guitar and simple tales, folk star Frank Turner won over the crowd with a set of great tunes served with a punk rock attitude. The stand-out tracks from the set were 'The Road', 'I Still Believe' where he had a big help from the crowd and the closing track 'Photosynthesis'. I know he won me over and I'll be at his next gig in Ireland!

Check out the video for 'Photosynthesis' here:




Dropkick Murphys

While low on subtlety in terms of their 'Oirish' context, the Dropkicks are high on entertainment value which was again proven to me last night. It takes some great band to play Vicar Street for two nights and almost sell out both nights especially considering they've yet to achieve an identifiable 'Hit' song.

The set was heavily reliant on the new material from their 9th [I think] studio album called 'Signed and Sealed in Blood'. Songs from that album in the set include the opening track 'The Boys Are Back', 'Jimmy Collins' Wake', 'Don't Tear Us Apart' and 'Rose Tattoo'. Of course their recognisable songs and the few Paddy tunes like The Irish Rover and The Fields of Athenry were mixed in there to keep the energy levels sky high.

Watching from the balcony the most entertaining aspect of the night was the crowd interactions with the band. At times the mosh pit was huge with sometimes three crowd surfers at a time. The lead vocalist spent lots of time right up to the crowd offering in the microphone on many tracks. In what must be a Dropkicks tradition there was a ladies track in the encore. Last year it was 'Kiss Me. I'm Shitfaced' but this time the drinking song from the new album 'End of the Night' proved to be one of the highlights of the gig. Around 30 ladies from the crowd joined the band on stage which made their night.

Everyone needs to see a Dropkick Murphys gig in their lifetime!



http://www.dropkickmurphys.com/

2Day's Tune: Carswell & Hope - Johnny's Sorry Lot

"Carsweel & Hope" is the new band formed by Limerick man Nick Carswell in his new hometown of Lawence, Kansas. Carswell & Hope are the songs of Nick Carswell set to the sounds of Hope! The band are: Austin Quick (keys), Nick Carswell (guitar&vocals), Jason Slote (drums), Dan Hines (bass) and here is a very nice video of the band performing the song 'Johnny's Sorry Lot'



Sunday, 13 January 2013

2Day's Tune: John Blek & The Rats - Don't Take The Road I've Taken

John Blek & The Rats loos like they'll have some year as they release an official video for their single 'Don't Take The Road I've Taken', announced the name of their debut album called "Leave Your Love at the Door" and have booked UK gigs in February:

© Richie Tyndall Photography


UK Tour: 13th to the 18th of February.

The Dublin Castle, Camden on Sat 16th of Feb
The Prince Albert, Brighton on Sun 17th of Feb

More dates to be confirmed:

Have a look at the official video for 'Don't Take The Road I've Taken' to hear a very accomplished folk rock sound which I love.


Saturday, 12 January 2013

EP Review: Adam Sullivan - You Don't Have The Heart

'You Don't Have The Heart' is a super little EP from American indie-folk artist Adam Sullivan which gives a glimpse of what to expect from Adam's new album due in the Summer. 


"You Don't Have The Heart" is one of four seasonal EPs released last year which will form the bedrock of a new album due in 2013. It kicks off with the heartbreaking atmospheric track 'In Them Hills' which flows seamlessly into the charming Ukulele based 'Cool Kids' where Adam is desperate to be a cool kid himself.




The strength of Adam's songs lie in his ability to fuse piano chords with vocals that tell real tales and invariably using strings to elevate them above the ordinary. He does this successfully on 'Goodbye to Me' and on the wonderful closing track 'Resolution'. My personal favourite track off the EP is 'Home' which has this nostalgic 80's vibe and a heartfelt story. 

 

Adam Sullivan - You Don't Have The Heart [10 out of 12]

2Day's Tune: Blood or Whiskey - Jard For Life

The Dublin trad/punk rock band 'Blood or Whiskey' are hitting the stage of Vicar Street at 7.45 tomorrow supporting Dropkick Murphys and you should be there.


'Blood or Whiskey' have had three albums released since 2000 and are currently putting the finishing touches to album number four due out soon.



http://www.bloodorwhiskey.ie/

Friday, 11 January 2013

2Day's Tune: Knoxville Morning - Knoxville Morning

I've had a good listen to the Knoxville Morning album that was released last October in Ireland and there's some really nice charming tracks on there. It's an album of drinking songs, tales of love and romance and full of stories with an American twist.  




Here's the deal with Knoxville Morning: "Knoxville Morning began life as a solo side-project of Band on an Island’s Ciaran Dwyer, before in time, growing into something far bigger. Joined by fellow Band On An Island members, Stefan Murphy (The Mighty Stef), Gavin Elsted (We Are Losers), Brian Gallagher (Humanzi), Claire Prendergast, Stephen Fahey (Super Extra Bonus Party), Deirdre O’Hagan, Rachael Caffrey and Laura Caffrey, they have created an inviting blend of folk, country and Americana, a classic sound with an Irish twist, draped in Ciaran’s intuitive storytelling." lifted from here.

Get the story of all the tracks from the album here: http://knoxvillemorning.com/album/

Thursday, 10 January 2013

2Day's Tune: Mary Dillon - John Condon

Mary Dillon releases her debut album 'North' this month for what is one of the most anticipated folk albums released this year. Mary has been away from the music business for a decade after being a member of the folk group Deanta in the 1990's with a return to form in the single 'John Condon' and the album 'North' released on Jan 28th.



Listen to samples of every track from 'North' here:



Buy the album: http://www.marydillon.com/shop/

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

2Day's Tune: Laura Elizabeth Hughes - Hearts and Spades

It's always a pleasure to share great news about new young Irish artists. Laura Elizabeth Hughes has amassed a total of 1 Million views and counting of her YouTube videos. This young lady recorded original and cover versions from her home in Terenure and getting to this milestone is truly remarkable.



Already Laura has a songwriting ability far beyond her years and a voice that sounds like a melting iceberg made of honey. Now Laura has management, is working in the studio, a single coming out in May and 30 gigs booked over the next 10 weeks. Laura Elizabeth Hughes is a genuine and proper musical talent that you will be hearing a lot more of in 2013.

Check out her song Hearts & Spades here:


Monday, 7 January 2013

2Day's Tune: Frank Turner - I Still Believe

Frank Turner is playing Dublin this coming weekend as special guests for Dropkick Murphies in Vicar Street where if it's anything like this gig last year then they'll party like it's Paddy's Day! The gigs are on Saturday [sold out] & Sunday and cost €26.90 + the usual add-ons from ticketmaster: 



http://frank-turner.com/

List: Irish Sound of 2013 [with Swear I'm Not Paul]




For the fifth year running Swear I'm Not Paul & 2UIbestow have spent many many minutes agonising over this list of 10 Irish artists we think will have a fruitful and successful 2013. 



Bairbre Anne

Bairbre Anne is the new stage name for Bairbre Munnis. Having released her debut EP Helium Hearts in 2010, it looks as though Bairbre is nearly ready to release a debut album which showcases her wonderful vocals and radio-friendly pop songs.



--------------------------------------------

Benny Smiles

Having released debut EP Sunshine/Moonlight and played his first ever gigs in summer 2012, Benny Smiles is just starting out what could be a huge career. His warm electronica has already produced the funktastic 'Sunday Morning', while 2013 promises a follow-up EP and maybe even a full album's worth of tunes.



http://www.facebook.com/bennysmilesmusic

-------------------------------------------------------

The Blue Choir

Kildare band The Blue Choir are going to have a great 2013 with the release of their debut album. With one EP and a few free downloads released, The Blue Choir have a sound which fuses the delicacy of mature lyrics with an abrasive dark edge when the guitarist Stevie Darragh is in full flow. Check out the current free download ‘Human Heart’.



------------------------------------------

Cash is King

Imminent debut single 'City Lights' shows that indie rockers Cash is King were much more than a clever covers band, with the rough acoustic version posted on Soundcloud last summer containing a warmth absent from most Irish rock thes days. A nomination for the MRU Awards came before the band even set foot in the recording studio, proving there's many people rightly following the progress of the Dublin-based foursome.




http://www.facebook.com/CashIsKingmusic

----------------------------------

Cry Monster Cry

May single 'The Fallen' announced Dublin brothers Richie and Jamie Martin's arrival on the Irish folk scene. The title track of their debut EP, it recalled those two legendary Nicks - Garrie and Drake. In a world where Mumford, Lumineers, and Of Monsters are all becoming big stars, there's no reason why the brothers Martin can't follow suit.


http://www.facebook.com/crymonstercrymusic


-------------------------------

Evora

While there’s a band from North Co. Dublin on the verge of going global [Kodaline] up pops out of nowhere this five piece from Howth with incredible heartfelt songs such as this one featuring Navan singer Shannon on vocals.




----------------------------------------------

Lets Set Sail

Dublin five piece ‘Let’s Set Sail’ write quirky folk pop songs which really excites me. This writer has heard a new song ‘Too Far to See a Whale’ and it’s a great tune that hints at a really great debut album to be released later in the year.




----------------------------------------

Lydia Ford

Gabrielle Aplin topped the UK Charts in December with her cover of 'The Power of Love' despite pedalling her own gorgeous originals for the last couple of years. West of Ireland singer-songwriter Lydia Ford released her Hearts on Sleeves EP back in 2010, while her collection of radio pop covers posted online in January last year could well see her following Aplin's lead. However, she shines brightest when belting out her own acoustic-pop tunes as on August's impressive Taking Shortcuts EP.




http://www.facebook.com/LydiaFordMusic

---------------------------------

North Side Drive


Jonathan Pearson is perhaps best known for his work on drums and vocals with Former Monarchs, but he turns his attention to piano arrangements for his new project North Side Drive. Showcasing his talents as a composer, July's 'One' was one of the best instrumental songs of the year, and easily could have been used to soundtrack this month's Oscar contenders.



http://www.facebook.com/NorthSideDrive

-------------------------------------

The Unusual History of Ether

The Unusual History of Ether is the Copenhagen-based collaboration between Irish singer-songwriter Rebecca Collins and Danish guitarist Mikkel Ploug. Their sound is folk-pop with a real European influence. The 2012 debut EP entitled ‘Part One’ contained a few great tunes which hints at a very successful year when the band plan to release their debut album this Spring.


Sunday, 6 January 2013

2Day's Tune: Rae Morris - Way Back When


Rae Morris is a potential star in the making. The 19 year old Blackpool artist is playing the Unitarian Church in Dublin on Saturday 23rd February and it's an opportunity to catch this rising performer in a small intimate venue before she goes global.


http://www.raemorris.co.uk/



This recent Soundcloud upload called 'Way Back When' is a perfect piece of piano based pop primed for mass radio play.




Check out her EP here: https://soundcloud.com/raemorris

Saturday, 5 January 2013

2Day's Tune: Biggles Flys Again - Friends

2Day's Tune is this chirpy pop tune from a Dublin band that I hope will have an amazing 2013; Biggles Flys Again





---------------------------------------------

You can catch Biggles Flys Again on Friday night in Whelans as part of their annual 'Ones to Watch' mini festival:

Wednesday 9th Jan:
Mossy Nolan, Alpaca Jamboree, The Eskies, Sons of Caliber, Ria Czerniak, Tara Stewart, Rufus Coates & The Blackened Trees, Twin Headed Wolf, Autumn Owls, Red Sail

Thursday 10th Jan:
Guilty Optics, Blind Yackety, Girl Band, Fern Floor, Hidden Highways, Soil Creep, Ginnels, Magic Pockets, Windings

Friday 11th Jan:
Wiltz, Biggles Flys Again, Gangs, Tandem Felix, Orphan Code, I Heart The Monster Hero, Soldiers Can't Dance, Croupier, Dott

Saturday 12th Jan:
The Hot Sprockets, Little Bear, Harboured, Dogs, Kates Party, Skelocrats, The Notas, Walking on Cars, Boat To Row

TICKETS:
€5 per day or €10 for all 4 days, available online from WAV Tickets [Lo-Call 1890 200 078] (50c per ticket service charge applies on phone or creditcard bookings)

***Free pint of Carlsberg with every ticket stub***

Friday, 4 January 2013

2Day's Tune - Si Schroeder - Jump Ship


I got the press release for this year's Certain Three Tour and it reminded me to check out Si Schroeder's tunes again. I know Si Schroeder has been making music for a number of years but he always seemed to pass me by. He has four tunes on his Soundcloud page, the most intriguing of which is 'Jump Ship' which begins life as a gentle folk tune before ending up in a state of chaos with an apocalyptic outro. 



THE CERTAIN THREE TOUR
Returns for its fourth annual outing January 2013
NANU NANU
SI SCHROEDER
TRUMPETS OF JERICHO



Jan 17th (Thurs) - Bourkes                                Limerick
Jan 18th (Fri)  - The Bowery                              Cork
Jan 19th (Sat) - De Barras                                Clonakilty, Co. Cork
Jan 20th (Sun) - Pine Lodge                              Myrtleville, Co. Cork (Afternoon Show)
Jan 24th (Thurs) - The Spirit Store                     Dundalk
Jan 25th (Fri) - The Model                                 Sligo
Jan 26th (Sat) – Whelans                                  Dublin
Jan 27th (Sun) - The Chestnut Bar                     Birr (Afternoon Show)
Jan 31st (Thurs) - Monroes,                              Galway
Feb 1st  (Fri) - The Palace Bar                          Athlone
Feb 2nd (Sat) - Set Theatre                               Kilkenny
Feb 7th (Thurs) - Gifted at Empire Music Hall     Belfast 


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Album Review: The Crayon Set - Self Titled

The Crayon Set's long awaited debut album is a little gem of an album featuring uplifting quirky indie pop songs composed to bring rays of pop sunshine into your life. 


Having formed five years ago with various different members, The Crayon Set have perfected their sound to create a folk-indie sound that mixes the indie elements of Belle & Sebastian, the non indulgent aspects of The Polyphonic Spree and the delicacy of a Lisa Hannigan album.

You'll hear a fine array of instruments among the 13 tracks including oboe, harmonica, piano, fluke, banjo, melodica, cavaquinho [small guitar], as well as the usual drums, guitars and interchanging female and male lead vocals. Vocally it's a really good album with backing vocals becoming very infectious throughout.

Songs that stand-out include radio friendly single 'No 1 Fan', the catchy 'Drifting Closer to the Sun', the excellent album closer 'Eurodisco' with my favourite being this wonderful track 'Wonderland'.



With 13 tracks there are a few blips in quality and there's a number of tracks which sound very similar to each other but that in my book is not a major issue. In a music world where perfection is demanded this could prevent the band from progressing from the smaller stages to bigger venues and larger audiences. I however wholly endorse The Crayon Set's debut album for you to check out.

The Crayon Set -  Self-titled [11 out of 12]

*** Album is due to become available soon in 2013, when I have details of the launch and where to buy the album I'll post it up on the blog then ***

http://www.thecrayonset.com/

2Day's Tune: Red Sail - Balcony Balloons

2Day's Tune comes from a band who are about to embark on a months tour of Germany, Belgium & Holland bringing their charming style of folk music with them. Red Sail are a three piece with great songs, superb musicianship and wonderful harmonies as evidenced by this free download through bandcamp called Balcony Balloons:









Wednesday, 2 January 2013

2Day's Tune: Lisa O'Neill - Dreaming

Nearly four years after she released a raw organic debut album it's looking like 2013 will be a great year for Lisa O'Neill. I adored that debut album for it's biting lyrics where Lisa has this ability to tell a great story with few words. After listening to this new tune 'Dreaming' a few times it looks as though Lisa has taken her music to a whole new level which really excites me. It makes her sophomore album the most anticipated album of 2013.

  

Directed by http://arbutusyarns.net/ 


See Lisa on Tour with BellX1:

Jan 23rd - King Tut’s, Glasgow with Bell X1
Jan 24th - Ruby Lounge, Manchester with Bell X1
Jan 25th - Bush Hall, London with Bell X1

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Recent photos of Lisa O'Neill & band from Whelans by http://www.facebook.com/AntoKanePhotography 

Lisa O'Neill

by AK Photography

Mossy Nolan

by AK Photography

by AK Photograpy

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

2Day's Tune: Perry Blake - New Year's Wish

2Day's Tune is the new feature for 2013 where Monday - Friday I'll post a song by way of Soundcloud, Bandcamp or YouTube in a varied and random way.

Perry Blake - New Year's Wish

This is a beautiful song from Sligo's Perry Blake and sums up for me anyway the limitations of them pesky resolutions we carry around in our pockets during the early months of the year.




Streets are full of people
Laughter echoes through the halls
Christmas makes me dizzy
I have many friends to call

And pockets full of promises
I tried to keep them all
Calling out for someone
To replace the one that's gone

Sparkles like the diamond
That you've hidden in your room
I look into this night sky
And I wondor, where are you?

And winter's full of memories
That summer leaves behind
A new year's wish, an offering
To give another try

And pockets full of promises
I tried to keep them all
Calling out for someone
To replace the one that's gone


Perry Blake News: According to his Wikipedia page Perry is busy working on an electronic pop album entitled ESB [Electro Sensitive Behaviour] with a single being released in February. 

In Focus: 2012


Here's my summery of 2012.


January:

The year began with me being a tad critical of the revamped Choice awards stating that it was "... a generally safe list! ...... So the bands getting the attention and appearing on the shortlist are the well resourced bands [Bell X1, Lisa Hannigan, Cashier No.9] the popular bands with the establishment [Pugwash, Jape, The Japanese Popstars] and the bloggers [hipsters?] favourites [ASIWYFA, Patrick Kelleher, Tieranniesaur, We Cut Corners]. The Olympia on March 8th will be so cosy! "

Albums reviewed were The Lost Brothers first album of 2012 So Long John Frante, Marc O'Reilly's debut My Friend Marx, Michael Brunnock's excellent album The Orchard and Emmett Tinley's self-titled second solo album. I also reviewed a number of Videos and Singles back in January and introduced artists such as Twin Terrace, Eric McGrath, Window Seats and the wonderful Sarah Red.




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February

This month was quiet for me. It was the first month in my new adventure with Gerry and The Purple Sessions crew in Boyles of Slane. First up was a line-up featuring The Riot Tapes, Marc O'Reilly, Polly Barrett and Rory Bowens. I wrote many posts focused on the line-up announcement for Vantastival and reviewed albums by  Cars Love Girls, Daniel Thomas, Valentine Black and this excellent compilation Cafe Irlandais featuring this amazing track from Sí;



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March

I got to review quality music in March with album reviews of Twin Terrace's debut Plurals, Mossy Nolan fantastic self-titled debut as well as the debut EP from Navan sensation Shannon. I discovered Blancatransfer, an indie-pop band working out of Spain with Irish connections who produce really great tunes like this one;




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April

Albums reviewed in April included the debuts from Kopek, Robb Murphy, the new album from Mark Geary and Sinead O'Connor's latest effort. Album of April was the second album from Spook of the Thirteenth Lock.

I wrote my usual Top 50 list of Irish acts list over ten parts in April. It's a fine snapshot of artists who impressed me in the months leading up to April.

Here's the Top 10:

10. The Gorgeous Colours https://www.facebook.com/TheGorgeousColours
9. Bona Fide Federation http://www.facebook.com/bonafidefederation
8. Junah http://www.junah.com/
7. Bill Coleman http://bcoleman.com/
6. The Young Folk http://www.facebook.com/TheYoungFolkMusic
5. Mossy Nolan http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mossy-Nolan/193571684009953?ref=ts
4. Marc O'Reilly http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marc-OReilly/188928571123136
3. Jukebox Gypsy http://www.facebook.com/jukeboxgypsymusic
2. I Draw Slow http://www.facebook.com/idrawslow
1. Ana Gog http://www.facebook.com/anagogmusic



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May

Vantastival kicked off a Summer of Festivals for 2UIBestow. Our family crew was halved with illness so I had to cut short this year's Vantastival experience and I didn't see half the bands I wanted to. I did get to see quality performances from Huey & the Hobgoblins, Town Criers, RedTwelve with band of the festival going to Master & Dog:




Albums reviewed in May were from The Plea and Sive's brilliantly charming debut album. I also got to review EPs from Cry Monster Cry and Foxglove as well as beginning a new 'Top 5 Videos to See' feature. 


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June

June was about Football and the Westport Festival. Poor football and crappy weather ruined both events for me! I got to see some fantastic acts at Westport including Damien Dempsey, Lloyd Cole, Colin Devlin, Kopek, Imelda May, The Lost Brothers, Sam Amidon with the performance of the weekend belonging to Duke Special;



Reviewed this month was the charming debut Eric McGrath, Duke Special's latest Oh Pioneer, the debut from Dubliner Dayo and the debut album from blog favourites 'I Am Not Lefthanded'.

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July

July was a good month for the blog. I got to see some great gigs and reviewed some fine albums. It was a first trip for the family to Knockanstockan which resulted in a nasty dose of food poisoning. Again shitty Irish weather killed the festival with some headline bands playing to tens of people at best. Bands that impressed at Knockanstockan included Sarah Red, The Viking Project, John Blek & The Rats, Lights Camera Sundown and Twin Headed Wolf. Albums reviewed this month came from Glen Hansard, Mick Flannery and the brilliant album from The Prairie Dawgs called 'Halfway To Poughkeepsie' which just failed to get into my top 10 list of the year.



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August

So August was all about the Olympics and the lead up to Electric Picnic. Artists reviewed include The Aluskas's debut album, a fine pop EP from Sinead McNally, the second album from Frantic Jack and this excellent single from the wonderfully charming EleventyFour called Snapshots;






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September

Electric Picnic was an amazing festival experience for all the right reasons. The weather was perfect and the music was excellent. I seen some great performances from Roisin O, Jerry Fish, Shannon & The Shortcuts, David Kitt, Seamus Fogarty and Youth Mass. Albums reviewed included the brilliant debut from Heritage Centre, the glorious debut from Suzanne Savage, Joey Ryan's charming album, Alan Marshall's debut and the second album from goth murder ballad band Reverend JM's Panic Worship.



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October

October was the month of album reviews with reviews from Windings, Deetrich, John Cathal O'Brien, Autumn Long, You Kiss By The Book, Mark Black & The Trips, Seamus Fogarty and the debut album from Roisin O;



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November

We turned 4 in November so I did a few posts reflecting on the music released in the four years of the life of the blog. I reviewed The Chapters return to form gig in the Unitarian Church as well as reviews of Damien Dempsey's new album Almighty Love and this debut album from Kaplin called Devastating Ways;



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December

A month of lists and Alternative Christmas Tunes helped me to finish off the year. The blog got a lick of paint and I announced that if the music is good I'll feature it regardless of it's origin. It means I'll be featuring music from the best of Irish artists as well as those international acts such as Dry the River, Anais Mitchell, Jonathon Wilson, Calexico and Aimee Mann who I'm looking forward to seeing at the end of the month in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre;




The blog dipped in quality this year but I've clear plans for 2013 which will see the return of the 'song of the day' style regular blogging I began in 2011.

Happy New Year