The two Neils from Hybrasil came down to say hello on the indie hour on Thursday the 21st of June, the night before the launch of their insanely catchy new single God Bless The Devil. It was kind of cool to have the drum and bass section this time around, as back in 2006 we were joined by Joe and Spud from the band, giving us the story of Hybrasil so far from the vocalist and synth-dude point of view.
The lads have been through a lot in their time as a band together. The last three years have seen two EP releases, a split from a label, a formation of a new label, Manazo Records, on which they released God Bless The Devil, and will also release their debut album The Monkey Pole on the 7th of September.
Not only does the single display the pop-tastic brilliance of Hybrasil, but I can vouch for their live set, and their ability to get more than a few booties moving in a crowd. I can also say that The Monkey Pole, after being given a pre-view listen, will be sure to launch the lads into the Irish consciousness, if not beyond our wee isle. If it doesn’t, we’re all tone deaf and shouldn’t be allowed to listen to music. Strong words. But I mean them.
Also on this show we heard from Vincent Salafria, live from the Hill of Tara to celebrate the 2007 Summer Solstice. Vincent is with Tara Watch, and he filled us in on the forwards and backwards steps of the campaign to stop the proposed M3 motorway being built so close to Tara since we last spoke to him. He was also welcoming everyone to not only head down to Tara over the weekend to catch some of the great music happening through til Sunday, but also to contact the organisation to find out more information and to get involved in the cause.
On this show we also heard Postcards from Italy from Beirut’s Gulag Orkestar, Albyno Rhino’s Masks, Red Light Cock Fight from Thinguma*jigsaw, and nialler9 recommended Rainin In Paradise from Manu Chao – that track is available for free download on his website.
Until then – here’s Hybrasil!
Apologies for the delayed blog of last Thursday’s indie hour. It took me a few days to recover from the antics of Life in Gort, Co Galway over the weekend. A lot of fun was had – or so I’ve been told. I can’t really remember much. I’d love to write lots of details and tell you about all the great music I heard, but apart from a memorable set by Super Extra Bonus Party, it’s a bit of a Buckfast fuelled blur. Apparently I was dancing vigorously to Dreadzone so I must have been having a rather good time. When I wasn’t talking to semi-clad hippies down at the swimming area on the lovely lake, attempting to dance to relentless psytrance at a day-glo stage, or hanging out at the coolest tree I’ve ever seen…
…I was checking out the bands at the Mantua stage, and thus am looking even more forward to The State of Mantua festival in Roscommon on the 13th and 14th of July. I think I’ll forego the Buckfast down in Ballaghadereen so that I actually eh see some music. Kate Moss would be proud.
NC Lawlor visited us on the indie hour last Thursday the 14th of June. The first time I came across Niall was when I saw him play in The Purty Kitchen about three years ago. I was mesmerized by his playing. I know mesmerized sounds a bit silly but I can’t think of a more appropriate word for it. I’ve seen him quite a few times over the years – if not busking on Grafton Street, on recordings with Gavin Glass and The Holy Shakers, or at a Ruby Session – and he has always blown me away.
And so I was really delighted when Niall said he’d come down to the Anna Livia studio and play a few tunes. Most people would recognize him from Grafton Street (he’s the dude with the slide guitar and the cowboy hat) or possibly Whelan’s on a Sunday afternoon. He has a playing skill that has him out on his own in Dublin – I like to think of him as our own Kelly Joe Phelps.
Last Thursday, as you may remember, was a miserable bloody night, and so I would hope that people listening at home would be somewhat comforted by Niall’s music coming through the wireless.
Niall is an outstanding talent, and he is a very humble musician. There’s a melancholy honesty in his lyrics, which, combined with his particular style of country-blues picking, takes you away and has the power to instantly change the mood of a room.
As Niall admits himself in this interview, there isn’t a lot of information about NC Lawlor on the internet. Rest assured though, as you will no doubt see him busking on Grafton Street, or you can find him in the front lounge of Whelan’s every Sunday late afternoon.
Also on the show we heard The Radio’s One of Two Ways from their album Charm Offensive, Highs and Lows from The Laundry Shop, Hybrasil’s single God Bless The Devil which they will release in The Village on Friday the 22nd of June, and nialler9 recommended See a Penny Pick It Up from the excellent album I Believe In You. Your Magic Is Real from Yacht. In anticipation of Life Festival, we finished up the show with Rónán Ó Snodaigh’s Bhi me Ann from his 2004 album Tonnta Ro.
This comic book obsession is really the fault of my temporary flatmate, who is a big nerd. I’ll be a bit blue when the time comes for him to move out upon the return of my real flatmate, as I will miss his Star Wars and original Star Trek boxsets and comic books IN THEIR ORIGINAL BOOK COVER. Or whatever comic books come in. And I guess I’ll miss having him around too (insert smiley emoticon here – they look really stupid so I’ll just have you imagine one if that’s ok)
Anyway. Here is last week’s show for your downloading pleasure. Apologies again for the delay. I fell off that detox bandwagon with a hard thud. And the wagon hadn’t even left the driveway. Bah.
I’ve spent every free moment of the last week getting through Grant Morrison’s comic book series The Invisibles – bloody amazing stuff. I’m on the last book of seven and I still don’t have a clue what’s going on. If you like The Matrix, conspiracy theories and chaos magick then head down to SubCity on Exchequer Street and get the first book Say You Want a Revolution – you’ll be hooked.
I did manage to find some time out from my nerdy comic book obsession to go down to the Anna Livia studios on the glamorous East Wall Road to talk to Stagger Lee on Thursday the 7th of June.
I had heard good things from a few people about Stagger Lee’s live set, as well as reading a few favourable mentions in the music press. They released their debut single Bad Shoes last Friday 13th of April after getting quite a bit of attention from audiences and critics alike.
Singer Donna and guitarist Grum were the band’s representatives on the indie hour, and were a pleasure to have on the show. Their music is a strikingly dark, emotive affair – in particular, the B-side Misery River – and it almost sounds like it’s coming from a place a long time ago, and not from Dublin in 2007. It deifnitely evokes some of the old Delta Blues sadness, with a bit of the attitude of a punk flicking snot at the Queen, as well as the tortured soul of an outlawed cowboy, drunk on cheap whiskey in a bar on the wrong side of town. Or something like that.
We spoke about their single Bad Shoes, the inspiration for their name, Venus in Furs and asked when was Grum going to get his own radio show? He’s a natural! Donna and Grum also played two live tracks for us, and we heard Bad Shoes and Misery River.
We also had a chat with Mike Cleary about the upcoming State of Mantua music and arts festival on the 13th and 14th of July in Roscommon, with shit loads of great acts heading down – The Sultans of Ping, The Skatalites, 65 Days of Static, Jinx Lennon, Super Extra Bonus Party, Decal, Thalamus, Jah Shaka, 2-bit… the list goes on. Weekend tickets are a supremely reasonable 65 euro, and can be bought from Road Records, Big Brother Records, Spin Dizzy Records, Abbey Discs, as well as on-line through The Mantua Project website.
Mike was also talking about the Mantua stage at Life Festival, taking place in Lough Cutra Castle in Gort, Co Galway, from the 15th until the 17th of June. “A 3 day international electronic and acoustic dance gathering”, it promises to be a festival catering for varied tastes in dance music – the extensive line-up spread over four stages is quite impressive. Weekend tickets are 95 euro and are available from Spin Dizzy Records, Red Eye, WaV Ticket Box and Freebird Records, as well as on-line from Acces All Areas or GTickets
On this show, we also heard the Corrugated Tunnel remix of Noise Control’s Steel, Crayonsmith’s Unnatural from debut album Stay Loose, and nialler9 recommended Stagger from Dubstep’s wonderboy Skream, from young Skream’s eponymously titled debut album. We finished up with Everything Flow’s from Super Extra Bonus Party – definitely my favourite track on a brilliant album. The lads are playing at both Life Festival and The State of Mantua. Nice one.
Now this is what I call a face for radio:
Big thanks to Ian Oliver for the great pics every week.
The boys from Noise Control joined us on the indie hour on Thursday the 31st of May. They visited us for the first time on May 5th 2006, after I’d found them on, that’s right, myspace – hurrah! I remember getting their three track cd for the first time, and couldn’t believe they were Irish. And that’s not just because of MC Mark K.I.D. who is English, but of the Prodigy influenced sound. In fact, the lads had recently supported Prodigy in Marley Park when we spoke to them last.
The boys were back in 2007, this time without Mark K.I.D., to talk about the 8th of June launch of their single Steel. The lads are launching the single on Thursday the 7th of June in Crawdaddy – it’s a free gig, and they’re brilliant live, so get your arse down to Harcourt Street this Thursday.
I’m a big fan of the lads, not just because I like their tunes and think they’re a great live band, but also because of their attitude. They’re a hard working band, they believe in what they’re doing, and they don’t do things by half measures. I really respect that about them. And also, they’re a lovely bunch of fellas 🙂
We also spoke to Bo from Human Music about Saturday night’s Rock Candy vs Primal Jelly Social Club do in McGruders pub on Thomas Street. There was a bevvy of bands playing throughout the day, from 2pm til 2am, with a free bbq, dj sets all taking place in possibly the nicest beer garden in town.
Also featured on this show was Jinx Lennon’s City of Styrofoam Cups, from his album Know Your Station Gouger Nation. We heard The Gorgeous Colour’s new single Hunting Something, which they are releasing in The Village on Thursday the 7th – I’m sure you’d be able to squeeze The Gorgeous Colours and Noise Control into one night, it’s definitely do-able! Nialler9 recommended a track by Orchestra Baobab called Boulmamine, methinks just so I’d embarrass myself through gross mispronunciation. Thanks nialler. Ah no, he picked it because it’s a great track from a compilation called Senegal, which nialler9 heard about through the podcast site Short Attention Span Radio. To finish off the show we heard Tangerine from Red Kid, which is the second single being released by the band on July 4th.
We do have a few limited edition copies of Noise Control’s single Steel to give away. If you’d like to get your paws on a copy, leave me a comment to this blog or send me a message through the indie hour myspace.
Here you have it – download away!
Good jaysus, I’m knackered after the Bank Holiday weekend. Quite a lot of fun was had though, has to be said. The weekend actually started last Wednesday at the Bonde do Role gig in Crawdaddy, with support from Super Extra Bonus Party. It was a really fun gig, very very silly, with a happy crowd in a packed out Crawdaddy dancing to the simple style of the bonkers Brazilians. Check out the videos on nialler9 to witness the crowd surfing and front lady Marina’s rudey dudey dancing.
Friday night started out in The Sugar Club for Jinx Lennon, who was as energetic as always, along with his partner Paula Flynn who had a wonderful new microphone decorated like a Christmas tree. Jinx is playing a few gigs around the country, and will also be playing at the State of Mantua music festival in Roscommon on the 13th and 14th of July. There seemed to be a lot of people at The Sugar Club who came down because of the RTE documentary on Jinx, Noisemaker, which aired on May 29th. Jinx Lennon is always an experience, and he really is one of the few acts I’ve seen who can create a bit of a buzz in The Sugar Club – a beautifully plush venue with lovely sound, just not that conducive for a good night out. More on that later.
It was off to the Temple Bar Music Centre after Jinx, where I caught the majority of Channel One’s set. Unfortunately I missed the support slots from Herv and Cap pas Cap, but did catch Channel One’s performance of the tracks from their excellent Permissions EP. It’s the second time I’ve seen the boys live – the first being at their EP launch a few months back also in the Music Centre – and I’ve really enjoyed both gigs. The highlight track for me is Beneath a Field of Steel, although the real crowd pleaser seems to be Accelerate Brake, also an excellent tune and rather danceable too. The Music Centre really suits the band, and they create a unique atmosphere with lights and smoke machine that makes the very best of a stage which can sometimes seem a bit…empty. If that makes sense. The gig was followed by DJ sets by Steve Bennett, and Mike and Nialler from Super Extra Bonus Party. It’s true, the SEBP are everywhere.
Saturday night was spent at The Dinner’s Ready Festival. It really should have been Saturday day and night, but, after a late start to the day, we were delayed even further by an excursion to a new burger place in my local Rathmines called Jo’ Burger to enjoy possibly the most scrumptious burgers I’ve ever had. You get to choose your own burger style – I went for the Sweet Potato veggie burger, while The Blonde went for a lamb burger, and you get to pick your own toppings and they have delicious home-made tomato sauce, and the menu comes in old 1970s boys’ annuals. It was really yummy.
Sorry. I went all AA Gill there, only without the writing skill.
Anyway, we finally got down to the East Point Business Park by about 8pm, after an hour or two recovering from the feed at Jo’s. To be perfectly honest, even though I’d spoken to Jim from the Festival on the show a few weeks ago, and knew there were some quality acts lined up for the evening, I really didn’t know what to expect. I have to say it was kind of bizarre to be heading out to a festival at the East Point Business Park on a particularly miserable Saturday evening.
So we arrived at the edge of the Business Park, with our soggy umbrellas and wet feet due to inappropriate footwear, to be greeted by a rather friendly security man who told us that a shuttle bus would be leaving shortly to take us to the front door of the venue, as they couldn’t have people walking through the Business Park. It was pissing rain at this point, so we were delighted. The shuttle bus arrived and we got the venue in a few minutes. We walked in to a covered area, I’d call it a big gazebo really, where there was Stella and Becks on tap and a healthy crowd gathered around under deliciously warm heaters sheltering themselves from the rain.
The gazebo thingy was attached to an indoor bar (full of neon lights) where we had just missed Boxcutter’s live set. At the other end of the outdoor-indoor area, it faced on to a garden area, with a really cool stage with a marquee type shelter for the bands. When we arrived Dry County were waiting for the rain to let up so they could set up.
Dry County took to the stage later than scheduled, and about ten of us braved the weather with our brollies to go out and watch the show. The lads from Dry County put on a great show, I think they figured they just had to go for it despite the rain. During their tracks Attention! and Stop Proceed the band go for it on the drums, I think each of them play a tom or something, while lead singer Kev goes for it on a little symbal and snare set up. Anyway, they’d left one of the drums at the outer edge of the stage where it was being rained on, so there was a spectacular splash of rain water when Phil from the band – who also does the brilliant visuals – hit the drum which made for a great effect.
Next up was Rarely Seen Above Ground who is basically one dude with a drum kit playing to backing tracks, which the drummer himself laid down on his 8-track before hand. He was blinding – he looks a bit like Pete Townsend and plays like the demented spawn of Keith Moon and Tony Allen. RSAG is the drummer from Blue Ghost, and he was really bloody excellent. The rain had dried up a bit when he took to the stage, and there were a few more dancers out at the front of the stage really getting into the one man show. RASG will be playing at Your Festival on the 23rd of June, don’t miss him.
Fight Like Apes took to the stage next, and after a shaky start with some technical difficulties – most probably due to the rain – they put on a show made up of buckets of attitude and carefully crafted pop-tastic tunes. It was my first time seeing the group, and it was great to hear their excellent EP How Am I Supposed to Kill You When You Have All The Guns in a live setting. Very much looking forward to having them on the show on Thursday the 28th of June.
Max Tundra finished up the night with a set starting at about quarter to 2 in the morning, complete with Instrumental Beetle Hat. Unfortunately I only managed to hear the first track, as by this stage too much Buckfast had been consumed and it was time to grab a bus back to the edge of the business park and head back into town. But I heard reports that it was a great set as always from the pint-sized electro wizard. Looking forward to his next visit to Dublin.
All in all, the Dinner’s Ready Festival was a really, really fun night out. The sound was excellent, the set-up was really intimate, and the acts were all quality. It was just a shame that there wasn’t more of a crowd to enjoy it all. The weather probably has a lot to do with that, but I think the rain kind of added to the whole thing in a strange kind of way. The same goes for the location, which is only a two minute bus ride from the city centre but seems much further away. It was a really interesting place for the festival because it’s a Business Park, and there in the middle of this massive complex of commerce you’re having a great time dancing to some really good bands! I hope that it won’t be the last of the Dinner’s Ready Festival, and hope that next time round more people will be able to make it out to join in on the fun.
Big thanks to She Likes Sparkles for the excellent pics of Dinner’s Ready Festival!
Dry County were back again, and it was great to be able see Phil’s visuals without a veil of rain! They played another great set, followed by Dark Room Notes, proceeded by an Eyebrowy cartoon featuring Cunt List winner Brendan O’Connor and Louis Walsh talking about the bands. Kopek were also playing in the smoking garden, which was novel, but made for a cramped cigarette break! All the bands played well, but I think everyone may have been similarly hungover, as the buzz in the room left a lot to be desired. As I said earlier, it’s kind of the nature of The Sugar Club really. It’s the layout of the room, I think, which doesn’t make it easy to either dance or chat. Still, it was a good night, and the free bottle of Corona with the ten euro admission was a welcome hangover cure. I slinked out of the door after DRN, missing The North Strand Klezmer Band, due to fatigue after a memorable Bank Holiday weekend. Not even enough energy left for a video shoot, imagine that.
Well. That was a longer blog than I intended. And my first social diary-esque one too. Due to the amount of gigs this weekend, I haven’t gotten around to getting the mp3 file of last Thursday’s indie hour with the lovely lads from Noise Control ready for download. That will be up and ready for download in the next couple of days, promise! Be sure to head down to Crawdaddy this Thursday the 7th of June for the FREE launch party of Noise Control’s single Steel.
And now I am off to detox. Till the next blog – adieu.