Tuesday, December 30, 2008

5-1

Ah, and now it's time for the top 5. Hold on to your pants...

#5 Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop/ Bella Union)
I suppose the big success story of the year. A bunch of long haired hippies really with harmonies a go-go, the prolific so-and-sos even managed to get a pretty deadly EP out this year, in the shape of Sun Giant.



#4 Department Of Eagles: In Ear Park (4AD)
A couple of years ago, Grizzly Bear wowed us. This time around, Team GB (Olympics flashback) give us Daniel Rossen's "other project" with college mate Fred Nicolaus. Onto the same lineage as Grizzly Bear, but perhaps less experimental, "In Ear Park" is still an artefact of beauty.


#3 Throw Me The Statue: Moonbeams (Secretly Canadian)
This one came out of nowhere for me, and bypassed a heck of a lot of people. In fact, if it were not for my friend Ronan recommending it, it probably would have bypassed me. Some of the reviews weren't so great, but to use that old adage, it really is a grower. Over the course of the past year, this was a record that I repeatedly dug out, with something new popping out each time allowing it to sparkle in a wave of lo-fi indie records.


#2 Why?: Alopecia (Anticon)
Yoni Wolf and co do it again. Some people find the whole Anticon-thing a bit grating but not me, and this sounds far removed from the early days of Anticon. What can I say about this record? Every track is a winner, it's probably their best yet, it feels more like a band record, the lyrics go from cheesey to humorous or both simultaneously, you are worried that the lad isn't completely right, and you take a vested interest in the album, replaying it to discover various trinkets each time. Superb.


#1 Deerhunter: Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. (4AD/Kranky)
If I had done this list last year, there was a very good chance that Deerhunter would have been very near the top, but these days, to pull that off two years running (and also fit in an EP and the Atlas Sound album - #16) is some accomplishment. I fell in love with Cryptograms last year, and didn't expect them to top it. I was actually sort of worried. Microcastle (and it's companion CD Weird Era Cont.) are surprisingly a little less complex than previous Deerhunter records, but that's no bad thing. Actually, it's a fucking great thing.

Albums Of The Year: 14-6

#14 Adebisi Shank: This Is The Album Of A Band... (The Richter Collective)
Sadly, the sole Irish representative out of the 25. This Wexford/Dublin hybrid glued together a frenzied 23 minutes that took the tediousness out of instrumental guitar music. Half sounding like it was slapped together in studio, the dexterity of the threesome is awesome. Cheeky bastards.

#13 The Dodos: Visiter (Wichita)
Another surprise this year. Two piece based on acoustic guitar and drums make a series of catchy folk-pop tunes. A couple of filler tracks stopped this one making the top 10.

# 12 No Kids: Come Into My House (Tomlab)
Three-quarters of Canadian band P:ano return as No Kids, and ditch the ukuleles and discover R&B. No seriously...come back. 'For Halloween' was one of my favourite tracks this year, and as a whole, Come Into My House is a fairly refreshing affair.

#11 Subtle: Exiting Arm (Lex)
Crazy anticon-offshoot featuring the twisted genius that is Doseone returned with their follow up to 2006's blinding 'For Hero: For Fool'. This one way not have had all the same pop charms as that one, but again it blended the kitchen sink with indie hop.

#10 Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (4AD)
Tip #1,723 in how to make a good album: Dylan used this one years ago, but split up with your missus, and pretty much write the album about it. Justin Vernon decamped to the woods and did just that, and even the Emma in question seems to be ok with it, and he has probably made it up for her departure with a bevy of top groupies while touring this album to the max. Word.

# 9 Portishead: Third (Island)
Band releases first album in eleven years and it's not shit shocker. Actually, it's really fucking good, and is not a re-hash of their old guff. In fact, it's the best thing since their debut 14 years ago. Back of the net.

#8 TV On The Radio: Dear, Science (4AD)
The boys can do no wrong. Dave Sitek is gradually maturing into one of the finest producers out there, and TVOTR's third long-player seems more cohesive than 'Return To Cookie Mountain'. Even one or two silly rap moments and a ballad can't dent that.

#7 Beach House: Devotion (Bella Union)
Truly beautiful lovelorn rock awash with the slightest influences of Mazzy Star, Spiritualized, etc and then topped off with Victoria Legrand's delicate yet eerie vocal. Smashing stuff

#6 M83: Saturdays = Youth (EMI)
Anthony Gonzalez has always known his way around a tune, yet after three albums, he had yet to really nail the art of making an album that was totally consistent. This time around, he has got it right. Whereas before, you were waiting for the "filler" to wind down so the "hits" could kick in, with 'Saturdays = Youth' everything from the dreamy ballads to the uptempo 80s-tinged rockers, everything works a treat.

TOP 5 TOMORROW. TOO LAZY TO FINISH TODAY.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Circa Now Albums Of '08: 25-15

Alriiiiiight. Here we go.

First up, I've whittled this down to 25. A few acts that got close but not close enough included Juana Molina, Gang Gang Dance, Cadence Weapon, The Notwist, Thank You, High Places, Dosh, These Arms Are Snakes, and I'm currently listening to the Women record which is fantastic (I'm not 100% sure if it is actually released this year or not though so maybe the '09 poll instead) Bands like No Age have passed me by a little bit, and there are other things I'm looking forward to hearing, such as the new Marnie Stern record which would have made the list probably if it arrived on time.

Anyway, here's the list.

#25 Fuck Buttons: Street Horrsing (ATP)
To be honest, I didn't think I was going to like this record. I really, really thought it was just gonna be a bunch of noisey chancers. You know what? It sort of sounds like that, but when "Bright Tomorrow" kicks in, all is forgiven for this dumbly monikered Bristol duo.

#24 Neon Neon: Stainless Style (Lex)
Boom Bip and yer man from Super Furry Animals making an electro-pop concept album about John Delorean? Yer having a laugh? Er no? And it's not shit? Actually, it's quite, quite decent.

#23 Flying Lotus: Los Angeles (Warp)

Undoubtedly, The hipster's record of choice from '08. A crazy and heady blend of skewered hip hop beats wrapped in electronic cotton, Steven Ellison was also responsible for the year's most disturbing music video for the ace 'Parisian Goldfish'

#22 Sigur Rós: Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (EMI)
At this stage with Sigur Rós, people can either take 'em or leave them. In fact, I know a heck of a lot of people who find them to be the most incredibly boring band on the planet. On the other hand, I've always liked them. This record sprung up quickly and while it trails of in to familiar SR-territory, there are a couple of nice surprises, especially chirpy lead single Gobbledigook.

#21 My Morning Jacket: Evil Urges (ATO Records)
Not quite business as usual as Jim James and co slip further away from the straight-up rockers of their early days. Southern rock with a massive dash of funk is not supposed to sound this good.

#20 El Guincho: Alegranza (Young Turks)
This was a very late entry into the top 25. Deadly stuff from the Barca-based Pablo Díaz-Reixa. Like the Animal Collective mixing up tropicalia, Afrobeat, and weird indie. Completely bonkers, but nevertheless a total winner.

#19 Stereolab: Chemical Chords (4AD)
Two decades of consistency remains intact with their ninth studio album. It's typical fare from the 'lab with more than a nod in the direction of Motown this time out.

#18 Jay Reatard: Matador Singles '08 (Matador)
More a collection of singles than an actual straight up album, there is still a very palpable feeling that 2009 could very well be Jay Reatard's year: simple ideas - sticking The Stones, Ramones and Dino Jr in a blender, with super conviction made this one of my real surprise likes of the year (I saw him live a couple of years ago and was pretty unimpressed)

#17 Peter Broderick: Home (Bella Union)
Here's the story - Portland young lad sends a myspace message or two to Efterklang. All goes swimmingly well. They invite him over to Denmark. He plays the fiddle (or violin if you wanna be posh) for them. Then he makes a solo album. Efterklang folks help out. It's a really lovely folk album. That's it.

#16 Atlas Sound: Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel (Kranky)
The solo project for Deerhunter head honcho Bradford Cox is small bit of a departure from his dayjob. Sure, the breathy vocals and loops are there, but Atlas Sound veers more towards the ambient side of things. It's also simultaneously sad and claustrophobic as the subject matter more often than not tends to be Cox's hospital stay as a teen due to his suffering with marfan syndrome.

#15 Cass McCombs: Dropping The Writ (Domino)
This one sneaks in as it got a Europe release in early January. Really gorgeous songwriting from Cass, and this one seems to have stepped up in production values from earlier releases, with some wonderful guitar lines and harmonies splattered throughout.

14-1 to follow in the days to come...ooooh, the suspense!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

WSBD/BPLO/RBs

Alright,

Stephen's Night sees two of Limerick's finest acronyms play in Dolan's, but in seperate rooms. WSBD - or We Should Be Dead to their Mams, play the Warehouse in what is surely their biggest hometown headliner to date. It will also be their last for some time sadly, as the four-piece have got their visas and are hitting the USA (LA to be exact) in the New Year, where they'll be for the next year (or perhaps even longer if all goes to plan?) Doors are 8pm, and admission is €10

Also at the same time and the same price, BPLO - Brad Pitt Light Orchestra will perform in the surroundings of the Upstairs rooms at the Alphonsus St/Dock Road venue. BPLO have just recently done a session on the Paul McLoone show on Today Fm. That 'December' tune is pretty damn catchy - they could yet be the Limerick Camera Obscura (that folks is a very good thing in my book)

Finally, RBs - actually nobody has ever called them that; I was just going for consistency. Anyway, Limerick's premier hiphop/comedy crossover act Rubberbandits play only their second ever gig in Trinity Rooms on December 28. Taking the piss outta a load of shams is pretty easy work, and can sound pretty tired and lame, but I gotta say I've enjoyed the 'bandits tunes. Also, add in that the production is fairly nifty too. High fives. Check out this review over at Cheebah from their last gig. Beware: set may only contain one tune.

Here's a vid for Bag Of Glue, a sure-fire hit already. Have a good festive season and I'll drop back next week with albums of the year (think the list is gonna be about 30)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

End of year stuff...Need your help

To paraphrase a former Limerick band, everyone else is doing it so why can't I? Before the end of the year, I'll lash up my favourite albums of '08, more for my own merriment, and also, so that I can look back in anguish when reviewing said list 12 months later, as so usually happens.

In the meantime, it's over to you. Favourite albums, Limerick gigs, outside Limerick gigs, Limerick bands, moments, plays, comedians, blah blah blah.

It may also help me to remember more of the year. Pop 'em in the comments below if you'd like.

Cheers, Ciarán

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nu Killa Xmas Shenanigans


Limerick's premier drum n'bass crew - ok, Limerick's only drum & bass crew Nu Killa Beats have their Christmas bash this Friday night, Underground at Baker Place.

The night will be tinged with a wee bit of sadness, as it sees the departure of one of the crew's djs Cain, who is absconding to Spain in the New Year....lucky so-and-so. Cain (pictured, in case you wanna give him a going away drink) has been with them for eight years, so I'm sure the combination of Christmas partying and this departure will make for hardly a dry eye in the house. Yup, them drum & bass heads are really a big bunch of softies.

Also on the line up is Code (Subtle Audio/Spin South West), and doors are 11pm, with the always reasonable door-tax set at a festive friendly five bucks before 11.30 (seven after that)

On a complete sidenote, Conor (Code) from NKB/Subtle Audio has always come across as a bit of a top bloke on the phone/mails, and after a few years of such correspondence, I recently had a fleeting face-to-face encounter with the chap, who was just as pleasant in real-life. So props to Conor, particularly for the fact that he has been at the helm of this for NINE years now. Happy Birthday in January guys.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tis The Season For Tribute Bands & Panto...or is it?

Alright, back from the edge... Have soaked up a number of episodes of The Wire, read a number of football biographies, and am almost ready to head back to the work. No better time to take a look at the Christmas listings then, eh?

First up, I've always thought this time of year is synonymous with absolute rubbish when it came to the live front, even more crap than the xmas telly schedules.

Nevertheless, there are a nice few bits n' pieces happening over the festive season. First up, at Dolan's, a number of juicy shows are on the horizon. I've never been totally convinced by Cathy Davey. Her debut album Tales Of Silversleeve was much-fawned over by scribes and the public alike, but bar a few very nifty numbers, I found it a little underwhelming. I've yet to see her live, but have heard she has packs a bigger live punch than expected. You can find out Wednesday night at Dolan's.

The following night, at the same venue, Live 95fm's Alan Jacques will be bringing his Green & Live Sessions to the Warehouse for a Christmas hoedown. Black Daisy, Walter Mitty & The Realists and Supermodel Twins are amongst those involved, with giveamanakick djing afterwards, and it is all for free. Nice one Alan.

Speaking of giveamanakick, since 2004, they have made it a Christmas tradition to play a hometown gig, starting in the High Stool, then a few years Upstairs in Dolan's, and now for the second year in a row at Baker Place. All kinds of mayhem is promised, including raffles, cover versions (anyone remember giveamanakaraoke from a few years back) and some solid slabs of rock like this:



That takes us up to this weekend. Over next week there is a nice seasonal emphasis on some of Limerick's finest, with shows from Sea Dog (Bakers, December 22nd), Mark O'Connor (Baker's, December 23rd), We Should Be Dead's farewell show (Warehouse, Stephen's night), Brad Pitt Light Orchestra (Upstairs, same night), and the much-anticipated second appearance of The Rubberbandits (Trinity Rooms, December 28th)

More on all of them to come, but plenty of options on the horizon to shake off any icicles... Oh, and Franz Ferdinand sold out in double-quick time. Nice coup for Dolan's to get 'em, even if I think they sound like a pair of dried up old socks.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

no updates this week

hey, regular readers and internet voyeurs...

no updates this week; I had a trip to the hospital in the wee hours of Monday morning, and my doc said "no blogging allowed while you recover"


peace out, Ciarán

Friday, December 5, 2008

Weekend Round Up

Quite a few things happening 'round Limerick this weekend...

First up, the paltry sum of €6 (hey, aren't these the times not to be spending huge amounts of dosh) will get you a long dip in the Irish hip-hop pool tonight, with The Hideous Penguin doing a live turntablist scratch set, and getting some help from Alphabet Set's T-Woc and Kerrynini djs. Disappointed I'll be missing this, but am looking for reports back on how they work out with Pery's Hotel as a venue...It could be start of something very promising...

Jimmy The Hideous Penguin is part of Vince Mack Mahon...here's that quartet in action


[Crude] mag (declaration of some interest here), launches tomorrow night at Baker Place. Should be an interesting night, and in this times when print media seems to be in trouble, let's hope it survives and prospers. Anyway, the launch gig (also, a nice €6 in) will feature Sea Dog, The Handless Organists and Two DJS Vs One Drummer (that one does what it says on the tin). Look out for the excellent album reviews section...cough...cough...

Finally, Sunday sees the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble in town. Cheebah have the skinny on that over here, and here's some blurb on them:
Some facts about: Hypnotic Brass Ensemble


1. They are Mos Def's Live band.
2. Sampled by Jay Z and he is a huge fan, they toured with him in 2008 so is Kanye
3. Worked this year with Erykah Badu & Maxwell
4. Are the new Gorrilaz live band and are featured throughout this
forthcoming release with Damon Alburn, scheduled for a 2009 release!
5. Their last 5 Irish shows have been sell outs and this first Limerick show will be the same !
6. They will be appearing on the streets of Limerick for an exclusive free show on Sunday Afternoon!


One of the hottest soul acts in the world has just announced an exclusive date for Limerick, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble play the Soul Xmas party at Trinity Rooms on Sunday December 7th, fresh off a world wide tour with Jay Z and being talked up by everyone from Al Green to the New York Times, this is a very special show and early booking is advised.


Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is a eight man brass ensemble from Chicago, of which 7 are the sons of Sun Ra Arkestra trumpeter Kelan Phil Cohran, the 8th member of the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble might not be connected by blood but is definitely part of the family. The creation of Hypnotic in 1999 represented the sons return to their instruments after a time of quitting music in their teenage rebellion years.


The ensemble is four trumpeters, two trombonists, a drummer and a sousaphone player:
This is the real deal folks - music the way it was ment to be. From the heart, from the lungs. These guys don't need to plug in to be heard. As they say themeselves, they could play on a boat in the dark - they're powered from within.




Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ireland On Screen

Starting this Friday, Irish filmmakers of varying experience will showcase their work at the Belltable as part of Ireland On Screen.

The first film to be shown will be Lettuce And Peppers which will possibly be of most interest to Limerick viewers. Directed by Christina Gangos, the 25 minute film sees Gangos integrating herself with a group of adults with special needs in Limerick over a three-month period. While it was shown last month, this is billed as the World Premiere. The will also be a Q&A Session with Christina.

Other films on the bill include Home, Garage, Fresh Film Festival Showcase, Jigs On Reels, Kings, and Vox Humana. Tickets from the Belltable on O'Connell St, and on the door from their temporary home at Red Cross Hall.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Round Up - Jazz, Hip-Hop, Mags, Various Bits...

As I'm moving job/house, I'm condensing a lot into one blog to make up for lack of other blogs in the forthcoming days/weeks.

First up, tonight is the final show for 2008 from Limerick Jazz Society. Tonight's show has an international flavour to it with Ameiresco or should that be Am/Eire/Sco (geddit?), as it comprises of American, Irish and Scottish folks. American pianist David Berkman has brought them all together. Doors are at 8.30pm, concert starts at 9pm, and admission is €15 (€10 concession). As always, the venue is Dolan's Upstairs.

Tomorrow night (Thursday), it's nylon strings-meet Don Cab as Galway's Jung Turks come to Baker Place. I caught these guys a couple of times a few years back and was always impressed but haven't seen or heard much from them recently so wonder how things are sounding with them...

The busy boyos at Cheebah have two nights this week: their end of month sessions at the Wicked Chicken features Pete The Beat on Thursday, while Friday night, they welcome DJ Eggz to Mickey Martin's. Imagine if it was this DJ Eggz that was playing....uh oh.

Dundalk's premier ranting folkster Jinx Lennon play's Upstairs in Dolan's on Friday night. Jinx is always entertaining live.

Next weekend sees a couple of well-decent events also, which I'll probably hype up closer to the time. The Kerrynini lads have another show lined up, in the intriguing location of Pery's Hotel...I remember the Termights club briefly relocating to a room there before, that was way too much like a hotel lobby, but this is in a different room, in the hotel's basement. Anyway The Hideous Penguin and T-Woc are on the bill for that one...That's Friday December 5th. The following night sees the official launch of the [Crude] mag, with a gig featuring Sea Dog & others....Hup Hup.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A blatant plug

This Friday night. €10 in. Doors 8pm...Some tickets left @ www.dolans.ie ahem....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

2nd last jazz show of the year

Just a quick one while I'm here...

In just under three hours time, the doors will be opening upstairs in Dolan's for Limerick Jazz Society's second last gig of 2008. Doors open at 8.30 pm for trumpeter Guy Barker, and the show starts no later than 9pm. Local-based trio John Daly (drums), Peter Hanagan on bass and Joe O'Callaghan on guitar will be joining Barker.

Barker features in this Bandzilla performance...obviously, stylists were not called in that day...

Printmakers Winter Exhibition


The busy folks at Limerick Printmakers have announced a jam-packed Members Winter Exhibition that will run for almost a month, starting next week.

The ninth year of such going on sees a plethora of locally-based artists and printmakers exhibit some of their work. I almost got dizzy trying to read through the list of 40+ contributors, but the artists include Margaret Becker, Mike Byrne, Laura Carey, Deirdre Gallagher, Vincent Casey, Wendy Dison, Clare Gilmour, Charles Harper, Kieran Herlihy, Elaine Hurley, Mary Meskell, Gavin Hogg, David Lilburn, Breda Lynch, Marian Mc Grath, Meg Kenny, Dan Kenny, Jane Murtagh, Michael O'Connor, Ya Nan Wang, Des Mac Mahon, Mary O'Dea, Suzannah O'Reilly, Derek O'Sullivan, Eithne Deloughry O'Byrne, Fiona Quill, Paul Tarpey, and Gillian Kenny among others.

The exhibition will be opened by Sinéad Dinneen, from the Visual Arts Education module at Mary Immaculate College, and all that happens on Thursday, November 27 at 8pm.

It will run until December 23, so you don't have much excuse to not visit it. While there, it may be worth checking out becoming a friend of the printmakers (a sponsorship schemes), and kids can enrol in new courses kicking off in the New Year in printmaking.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Library Tapes

Referencing Max Richter, Philip Glass, Rachel's (oooh, nice) and A Silver Mt Zion amongst their influences, Swedish outfit Library Tapes bring their Irish tour to Limerick on Monday night. Actually correct that: Library Tapes is primarily the work of one young buck - David Wenngren, who drafts in some pals to play, including Peter Broderick, who has recently kick-started his own solo career after some alliances with Efterklang.

There seems to be some really gorgeous tunes here, bits of minimal composition with ambient and classical nuances...Hey, even the hipster's read of choice Pitchfork gave it a high five with their review. In terms of live performance, I think it may be just Wenngren on his own, so it will be interesting to see how he pulls it off...maybe, he'll just plug in a laptop?

It happens this Monday night at Baker Place, and is the third (I think) show put on by the Pure Sound Collective.

In the meantime, here's a vid:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gaslamp Killer Saturday

I'm particularly looking forward to seeing The Gaslamp Killer in town on Saturday night at Baker Place. This one is brought to us courtesy of the two Johns at Kerrynini, who after putting on a rake of ace shows in Kerry and Cork, are now starting to become more prominent in the Treaty city.

With typical lazy journalistic fervour, I'm gonna copy and paste the press release (don't judge me: other hacks get paid to do that)...before that let's just say it's gonna be a cracking night etc, Cork/Kerry boyos Heliopause are apparently really well worth checking out, and King Dumb will be lashing in some visuals to make it an aural/oral/visual musical odyssey that could get as sweaty as Jack L's hair grease...


Here's the blurb:

People of Limerick. We here at Kerrynini have been resting on our laurels lately, spending too much time waxing our backs and manicuring our moustaches instead running events and gigs. But this is set to change. The finger is officially pulled out, and we've been lucky enough to convince one of the most musically and visually erratic DJs in the world to swing by for a night of psychedelic wonderment.

Gaslamp Killer is all hair, beards, beats and cuts. Regarded by many as the mixtape king du jour, his 'I'll Spit on Your Grave' and 'Protons' mixes are unpredictable journeys where the likes of Can and Nirvana are spliced together with Flying Lotus and Sixtoo. Dude is infamous for taking the psychedelic slant towards rocking a dancefloor, recently touring Japan and regularly playing at Andy Votel's B-Music night in England.

He's a busy chap, being one of the permanent record spinners at Los Angeles' Low End Theory night, an employee of Turntablelab and a contributor to the Dublab collective along with Daedelus and Flying Lotus. We cannot recommend this guy enough for fans of obscure abstract beats, razor sharp cuts, debonair flair and a slab of humour. You've been warned. This guy is gonna be HUGE!

Support on the night comes from Killarney 4 piece Heliopause. These instrumental prog-psych soldiers were one of the first bands we hosted at Kerrynini many moons ago, back when they were younger, less hairy and a had a glint of danger in their eyes. They still have that same glint, but nowadays they smack of confidence, musicianship and an unwillingness to be pigeon-holed. Their self-titled debut EP was released earlier this year and the lads have toured the country extensively in the last few years, rampaging through various towns and cities.

Records will be spun on the night by Kerrynini male models, TheManWithNoName, Johnny Doobs and King Dumb. Expect lots of electronica, psych, funk, hiphop, afro-beat and dubstep.

All in attendance are urged to dance wildly. Starts at 10, ends after 2 - what more could you want? SEATS ARE NOT FOR FEET!!!


Check out this video of Gaslamp (there are plenty more on youtube) to get an indication of his abilities, as the guy in the crowd about 30 seconds in says, "God damn, that was seamless"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Laura Sheeran Cancelled/MJEX/Other bits

Apologies for complete lack of/shoddy updates. A number of things have happened in the past week, leading me to wipe my whole laptop and start again. Anyway, less of these ramblings.

Galway lass Laura Sheeran will not be making the trip down to Baker Place on Friday night; however, the folks at the Pure Sound Collective assure us that all is still go for their Library Tapes gig next Monday (more on that later in the week). However, all is not lost, as the awesome Gaslamp Killer is in town on Saturday night (more on that tomorrow), and Ireland's most renowned hip hop group (they must be sick of being called Ireland's only hip-hop group of note by numerous folks in the media) Messiah J & The Expert play Trinity Rooms on Friday. Their third longplayer 'From The Word Go' seems to be picking up rave reviews at the mo'.

From said album, here's 'Megaphone Man'

Friday, November 7, 2008

A quiet enough weekend

Over the bank holiday weekend a few weeks ago, there was so much going on, but things are after slowing down ever so slightly.

This weekend, entertainment/arts options in Limerick are somewhat limited but certainly not non-existent.

Mickey Martins (where I ended up for the first time in a long time on Monday night) have our old mucker Johnny Doobs messing about tonight, and the Cheebah lads are in charge tomorrow.

Fans of trash metal will have a good time as Castletroy young lads Soloway are in action in Bakers on Saturday night. Doors are 9pm, and admission is just five bucks.

The ongoing Belltable Sessions return on Sunday night, with Driftwood Manor, Audrey Ryan, Emma Small and Rathkeale's Brendan Markham on the bill. It's a neat enough, if tried and trusted, idea - basically unplugged sessions from bands in intimate surroundings. While it may not be the warmest room in the world temperature wise, the Belltable's current digs at the Red Cross Hall could make it a cosy evening. I checked out a wee bit of Driftwood Manor, which is some interested trad/folk/rock hybrid thing, and I half-expected that on the basis of her name that Audrey Ryan may have once lined out at right corner-forward for the blue & gold camogie side, but she is in fact an American songstress who sounded a wee bit like Aimee Mann, until my computer gave up.

Oh yeah, my computer is giving lots of problems this week, so updates may be slow.

Have a good weekend; I'm off to Liverpool to watch some football. Huzzah.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Soundings Tonight

The monthly Soundings gigs return to Daghdha tonight, with clarinetist Jonathan Sage. There is quite a bit of info about this here.

Admission is €10 or free if you have a UL identification card.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Some Things Just Are

An interesting installation in the Belltable this month from Karen Power - Karen currently works in Mary I as a Music Technician and is working on a Phd at the Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queens University in Belfast.

Karen has moved away from her earlier instrumental compositions, and like many in Ireland and beyond (something which could be witnessed in various Soundings events & the recent Tweak Fest) has began to dabble more in electro-acoustic composition, experimentation and sound art.

The installation kicked off last night with a performance and there will be two more performances, one on November 14th and the other November 21st (both at 6pm). More info on exactly what she is trying to do is available here, so check it out if you can. Also check her myspace page where quirky titles like "Fried Rice, Curried Chip And A Can Of Diet Coke" will meet you.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Manu Katché

Expect drummer types to be all excited tomorrow night when Manu Katché comes to town. Widely considered as one of the finest jazz sticksmen out there, its not just percussive perverts that will be wowed by Katché's prowess. The guys at Limerick Jazz have him in Dolan's for what should be a very special show...Here's the official blurb:

Manu Katche (drums), Trygve Seim (tenor and soprano saxophones), Mathias Eick (trumpet), Frank Avitabile (piano), Jerome Regard (double bass).
Manu Katche's reputation as drummer of choice for Peter Gabriel, Sting and ECM stable mate Jan Garbarek has been overtaken by his accomplishments as bandleader, following two hit ECM recordings, Neighbourhood and Playground. He makes his Irish debut with a stunning group featuring two new names in ECM's pantheon of Nordic talent, saxophonist Trygve Seim and trumpeter Mathias Eick. One of the strongest line-ups to appear in Ireland this year, The Manu Katche Group offer a view of the future of European jazz and the next generation of ECM greats.
One of the best-known drummers in the world today, Manu Katche is a famed for his work with Peter Gabriel, Sting, Joni Mitchell and Robbie Robertson. Yet he is first of
all a jazz musician. Having been introduced to Jan Garbarek by ECM owner Manfred Eicher he has gone on to tour and record with the great saxophonist. His debut for the label, Neighbourhood, featured both Garbarek and Thomasz Stanko and is regarded by many as one of the great European jazz records of recent decades.
Now Katche has covened the most exciting young European players for his Playgroup album and tour. Norway's Trygve Seim is an exceptional saxophonist. Award-winning trumpeter Matthias Eick has recently released his leader debut, The Door (ECM).
Here he is doing his thing....Tickets priced €25 available from Dolan's and on the door I'd imagine



Friday, October 31, 2008

A proper film for tonight

Regular readers (hahaha...), apologies for lack of update yesterday..Am feeling a little under the weather.

However, here's a recommendation for tonight.

Proving they did it better in the old days, German expressionist film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari still has the ability to be dark and creepy 80 years later. Can someone tell the idiots behind the Saw franchise that this is how you make a film? It's on at 9pm tonight at the Belltable (Red Cross Hall)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Poetry Tonight

Yep, a first and overdue mention on this blog for the fine folks involved in the Whitehouse Poets, who have their weekly poetry night tonight, in the nice boozer of the same name.

Kicking off at 9pm, this week's guests for the Whitehouse Poetry Revival are Keith Armstrong & Guy Hudson.

Here's some copy and paste guff:
Keith Armstrong was born in Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, where he has worked as a community development worker, poet, librarian and publisher. He now resides in the seaside town of Whitley Bay, is coordinator of the Northern Voices creative writing and community publishing project which specialises in recording the experiences of people in the North East of England.

Guy Hudson was born in Mansfield and grew up in a Lincolnshire village.He is interested in poetry as a spoken word medium and seeks to promote the oral tradition of poetry. This year he graduated from Lincoln University with a BA in English and hopes to teach Literacy in Prisons. He is married with two children.

Here's a vid of Keith Armstrong, but the quality is fairly crap.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Erin McKeown

Erin McKeown returns to Limerick for another live gig that I again will miss. I remember Ms McKeown making a couple of visits during the heady days of the AMC, and I always thought she had a banjo (or maybe that was just the press photos?)

Anyway, by all accounts, she has moved away from her folk days, even doing an album of jazz standards from the 1920's in the interim. She plays Dolan's Upstairs tonight, along with Jess Klein. Doors are at 8pm, and admission is €15

Here's a video for 'Slung Lo'; I can't honestly say if it is a very good video or not, as my computer has constant problems with youtube stalling these days....

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bank Holiday Rundown

Right, it's a Bank Holiday Weekend, so there are bound to be plenty of things happening locally, right?

Here's a rundown of some of the options, and there are quite a few, but beware, there is a strong possibility of a blatant plug at the end.

Tonight - see below posts on Nu Killa Kru & 'Tom Crean - Antartic Explorer'. Local pop-rockers We Should Be Dead play The Trinity Rooms, as part of their Electro Pop weekender thing.

Saturday - Well damn it. The last time he was in town, I was going to Cork for a gig. That was six months ago, and as I'm hitting Cork again tomorrow night for Trans Am, guess who decides to come back to town? Daedelus. Apparently, he was great last time out in the Cornmarket. He'll be in Trinity Rooms this time around. Check out this interview from April.

Sunday - There are a heap of options on Sunday. My advice would be to avoid Calvin Harris (Trinity Rooms also) in favour of either Strutt @ Dolan's, Steinski at Mickey Martins (should be deadly), or Cork rockers Hope Is Noise at Baker Place. Check out an excellent interview with Steinski at Cheebah.

Monday - Canadian indietronica dude Milosh playes the Red Cross Hall (Belltable's current gaff). And earlier in the day, ahem, a new documentary, The Hitchhikers Guide To The Southwest (produced by Mark Keane and myself) will air on Spin South West at 12.45pm. You may, or may not, wanna tune in.

That's it; have a good weekend folks. Will update this page on Tuesday.

In the meantime, here is Steinski speaking about the seminal Lessons, which he put together with Double Dee. This was recorded at the great Plugd Records in Cork.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Nu Killa Friday

The busiest drum n'bass lads in town, Nu Killa Beats have their monthly dollop of tuneage for local dn'b afficionados tomorrow night, Underground at Baker Place.

Dublin boyo Fraher from the 174 Crew will be making his way down, and also on bill is Nu Killa's own Code (Subtle Audio). Code is attracting a wee bit more attention these days, with even a forthcoming Polish show on the agenda - nice one, Conor!

The great thing about this one is that a new sound system has been installed Underground; up to now, the Nu Killa boys used to have to bring their own, and let's face, the biggest problem with the Underground since it emerged a few years ago has been consistently troublesome sound. This will be a good chance to check out if they have rectified that.

To make the deal even sweeter, admission is just €6. In fact, if you bother your arse and make it in before 11.30 (doors are 11), it'll be just four quid. Up yours "R" word!

Not much more to say except here is a picture of Fraher, which he looks like he took himself.



Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Crean - The Unsung Hero

This week, I'm particularly looking forward to seeing 'Tom Crean - Antartic Explorer' at the Belltable's temporary home on Cecil Street. The one man show, performed by Aidan Dooley, has received plaudits worldwide for its take on the great Kerryman's Antartic adventures.

Swanky papers had this to say:

“a remarkable and uplifting piece of theatre, gives everything and asks nothing.”
Emer O’Kelly, Sunday Independent Dublin
“This magnificent revelation of a fascinating character simply compels a standing ovation”
Sunday Tribune
“You will go to then end of the earth to find theatre this rewarding”
Murray Bramwell, The Australian


I've had a little fascination with Crean since seeing a documentary on TG4 some years ago I think, which a few years after that (around 2004 I think) led me to pick up Michael Smith's excellent book 'An Unsung Hero'. During the production of a documentary this year, I even managed to grab a pint in the South Pole Inn. For various reasons, I've always missed performances of this play, but I'm definitely going this Friday. Has anyone else seen it? Reports please.

Tickets are available at €20 (€18 Concession) from The Belltable, and the play runs until Saturday night.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jazz Workshops

They've had one or two shows cancelled recently due to a variety of external factors, but you just can't keep the good folks at Limerick Jazz society quiet. Their next big show is Manu Katche, of which I'll talk about closer to the time.

Their ongoing Jazz Workshop Performances continue tonight. Participants meet on a weekly basis at LITMT to learn their way through a number of jazz standards, with teachers like John Daly, one heck of a jazz drummer himself.

Anyway, people can pop down to the Millenium Theatre tonight at 8pm to check it out.

If you can't make it down, do check out the rather spiffing new site at www.limerickjazz.com

Monday, October 20, 2008

Alasdair Roberts Tonight

Scottish songwriter Alasdair Roberts is in town: playing Upstairs in Dolan's to be exact. Roberts has been writing quality folk-tinged songs for the best part of fifteen years ago, and his only previous Limerick visit that I can recall was Upstairs in Costello's back around April 2002. At that time, Alasdair was performing as Appendix Out. The show tonight should be lovely, and expect songs about fair maidens rolling about the hills and whatnot. His most recent album 'The Amberer Gatherers', released last year, was his sixth for Drag City.

Doors are down for 8pm, and admission is €8.

In the meantime, here's a video for the song 'River Rhine'

Friday, October 17, 2008

Express Yourself #1: Kieran Herlihy




Welcome to a new feature of the blog – ‘Express Yourself’. I will sporadically get various artists, music makers, etc to explain a little bit about themselves, their work, their plans and hopes, and all that jazz.

First up to the chopping block is Kieran Herlihy, who kindly obliged to tell me a little bit more about his work. I blogged about Kieran’s work quite recently here, looking at his new exhibition ‘A Full Stop’, which runs at Limerick Printmakers until Thursday, October 23. Kieran received the 2007/08 Bursary Award from the Printmakers. Do check out this show.


WHERE IT ALL STARTED


“I have a younger brother and when we were trapped indoors on a wet Saturday (and had no real interest in Sports Saturday), very young and unsupervised in the sitting room, I took a crayon to the wall and took on the curtains. My cousin Tim introduced me to comics and in my early teens I was given the freedom to draw and paint on my bedroom walls; from there it went to walls outside. At school, I leaned towards the creative rather than academic subjects and if I didn’t like a class, I’d draw on the tables or t-squares for friends. So art was a habit by that stage.”


ON ART COLLEGE


“Art College happened because I had no interest in anything else when I finished school. I think when I was in school and all I did was draw, I thought if I get the opportunity to go to college, I'll go do what I love. L.S.A.D. was the best decision of my life so far. In that college I had my mind opened; I felt engaged in all subjects. It was there that I made my best friends and had so much support from the Tutors and Lecturers. L.S.A.D. was hard work and great fun. I will look back on my time there with fond memories.”



ON GETTING THE BURSARY


“Every year the Limerick Printmakers offers a one year bursary to one graduate from the print department in L.S.A.D. Also that artist is given a show at the end of their year. I was very fortunate that the Printmakers selected me, I learned a lot more this year, and they are so encouraging. Also Joe Buckley has been an amazing source of support, so I’d like to give him a mention. The Bursary award was the best way to make that transition from Art student to Artist. The fact that when I left the college I had such amazing facilities and resources at hand has made a difficult transition period a great deal easier.”



‘A FULL STOP’


"A Full Stop" is a contradictory title for my show. Most exhibitions are placed in situe, the show has an opening and then for the duration of the exhibition viewers can come view the work; the artist is seldom there and the layout of the work never changes.


With "A.F.S." the opening night was the first night of an ongoing installation. Everyday I add work, move work around, talk to the viewer making them a participant in the art, and interact with the space, the people and the materials.


I try to encourage an open dialogue between other viewers and myself. I also play with imagery, cryptic phrasing and the gallery space itself. I want the work to be accessible, engaging and playful. It’s a very organic show, always changing, and viewers come back every few days and find new things, and we always end up in different discussions on various subjects.


The work in this show was created within the last twelve months; a lot is being made in situe. I constantly make work and collect materials.”



REACTIONS


“The reactions are as varied as the people who are coming to see the installation. Some people need a little coaxing to talk, and some don’t want to talk, while some just go straight ahead. The thing I have learned from this show is to recognise who is who, how to approach them and how to get the most from people. It’s tricky but its a learning curve.”




Thursday, October 16, 2008

Poetic Germans

The lads at Strutt have organised a major hoedown for the bank holiday weekend, which if you are interested in soul, funk, house, techno or afrobeat, you should be covered.

They take over Dolan's on Sunday, October 26. In the Warehouse, they have Scottish duo Slam, who while never really my preferred choice of hot beverage, have left an undeniable mark on dance music over the past two decades, through their own releases, their djing worldwide, but also through their own label Soma.

What is on upstairs that night is intriguing me a little bit more. The Poets Of Rhythm are a funk/soul kinda job from Germany of all places. They've played Limerick before (summer 2007) when I was off travelling, but I've heard that they were the business. The recorded tracks on myspace have been getting numerous plays 'round here, and further investigation is definitely required (I reckon PC and Cheebah would be able to make some recommendations as to where to take this.)

Tickets are now available from Dolan's for €20, which covers both venues, and it all kicks off at 9pm, with guest djs upstairs A2DF, Paul Tarpey and Broken Funk DJs.

In the meantime, let The Poets mesmerise you with this clip from their last visit to Limerick

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Double Free Diane Action

That title sounds like some dodgy porn site, but in fact it is just to alert folks that Sicilian four-piece instrumental rockers Diane And The Shell are kicking off an Irish tour, with two free shows tomorrow, Thursday, October 16.

Joining them will be Cork prog-punk crossover types Jezery, no strangers to Limerick.

The first show is at 12.30pm at the Limerick Art College, and then at Baker's later on that night at 9pm. DATS are on Texan label Australian Cattlegod Records (also the Stateside home for Redneck Manifesto).

Here's what Australian Cattlegod have to say about the boyos:
"These four musicians from Catania, Italy are in love with the loudest volume of their amps and have a passion for angular and geometric, yet organic, song structures.The music brings to mind images of a lilting and sensuous dance thousands of feet above terra firma, caressing the outer limits of our atmosphere and roaring back down to earth like a jet airplane. 30,000 Feet Tarantella is a work full of moody irony, joy, and passion. Diane and the Shell illuminates a direct, powerful, and clear sound rich with allegorical metaphors, given life in haunting orchestral arrangements.The grace and sensitivity of their playing belies a maturity and wisdom far beyond their young ages.Their debut, The Red EP, churned forth progressive structures and mutant-disco provocations foreshadowing the fully realized work expressed with this release. 30,000 Feet Tarantella was recorded and mixed by Sacha Tilotta with the artistic production of Agostino Tilotta (Bellini, Uzeda) in one week of amusing and exhilarating delirium."



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Jape

When he first came to town playing Upstairs in Costello's many years ago (was it supporting The Microphones? I can't quite remember), he was just known as Richie from The Rednecks. Now, after releasing his third album 'Ritual' this summer, Richie Egan's Jape has become more popular than his days out with The Redneck Manifesto.

The record has been lauded with critical high-fives all-round and will surely be a nominee for next year's Choice Music Prize (although with the typical judging oddballness for the Choice, the winner will probably be The Saw Doctors new Aran sweater-infused spoken word meets grime opus)

Anyway, Jape continues to plug 'Ritual' with another trip to Limerick tomorrow night (Tuesday, 15th), bringing his gadgetry and Matt from TRM with his flowing locks amongst others along for the ride. The show happens at Upstairs at Dolan's , and will be perfect entertainment fare after Ireland stuff the Cypriots....hopefully.

To get you all kinds of worked up for this, here is the video for 'I Was A Man', directed by ace design duo M&E (Matt TRM and his good lady)

Monday, October 13, 2008

A trip to the pictures

In recent times, trips to the cinema have become less and less enjoyable. People slurping mega-sized cokes, and crunching popcorn, alongside frequent chatter, and the fact that a fair percentage of the fodder dished out by Hollywood that make it to the multiplex cinemas aren't worth the admission price, all adds up to a lot of people just opting to stay at home.

However, one shining light in Limerick over the years has been the Belltable Film Club.

Kicking off tomorrow night (Tuesday, October 14), with highly acclaimed The Kite Runner (haven't seen it yet, but have only heard good things), there is a fantastic range of films on over the coming months at the Belltable's temporary home at the Red Cross Hall on Cecil Street.

All films kick off at 8pm (sharp I have noticed - real time, not Irish time); and tickets are €6. Also, there'll be no popcorn, but you can grab a drink before it starts there (although I dunno what the bar story is in Red Cross Hall - if anybody can fill me in here, that'd be much appreciated.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Lite

Lite are in town Sunday...They are from Japan. They play instrumental music, post-rock I suppose. They are rather good.

They've been here twice before - I caught the first time, but was off travelling the second: the first time was a really fantastic day/night. Around September 2006 I'd guess, the new Mastadon record 'Blood Mountain' came out that day, and we met with the Lite lads prior to the show up at a friend's flat on O'Curry Street. We spoke to them, drank beers, while they replied in the very limited English they had, and didn't drink beers. It turns out that the ultra-technical four-piece don't drink before shows - they are true pros. They played a packed Boatclub, a gig so good it became a CDr (seriously - Lite: Live in Limerick). Afterwards, the band did indeed indulge in a few scoops, as some shenanigans went on 'til the wee hours.

Also on the bill are 54-71 (as with Lite, they are also from Tokyo, and on the deadly Transduction Records) and Adebisi Shank, this Sunday night at Baker's. Props to the good lads over at Organised Chaos for another quality line-up.

First up, here is a Lite Video of them playing live:



And, shag it, it's Friday, so here is this week's second dip into the "archives" for another shoddy Ryan article from a few years ago. Enjoy the weekend!

LITE, Limerick Boatclub, Friday September 8th
By Ciarán Ryan

While Chicago and Louisville will probably be always considered the areas that spawned the math rock and post rock genres, music of a primarily instrumental rock nature has spread its wings a lot further. Look here in Ireland where The Redneck Manifesto continue to be one of the biggest "underground" acts in the country. Even look around this city and you'll see a number of bourgeoning acts trading in these circles.

However, when a new sound was been formed in the late eighties, it has hard to imagine that the instigators would have believed how far-reaching their influence would be. Take LITE for instance, a four -piece hailing from Tokyo consisting of Nobuyuki Takeda and Kozo Kusumoto on guitars, Jun Izawa on bass, and Akinori Yamamoto on drums.

Three of them were in the same band (Kusumoto being the odd one out), and as Takeda explains, there are a number of other bands on the same wavelength in Japan. "It is not as if instrumental music is mainstream in the Japanese
music scene but we seem to have quite a lot of those bands, a lot of
whom are really good. We don't have any particular band that influenced us but we
certainly got influenced by bands we played with at gigs".

After releasing two sold out self-released EPs in their native country, the band came in contact with fledgling UK label, Transduction Records, when they saw a LITE show in Tokyo. While a full-length debut ("Filmlets) is pencilled in for a release in the near future, the band have just released a self-titled mini album in the UK.

Sure, "LITE" contains many of the same facets of other instrumental releases, but the band seemed to have enough tricks up their sleeves than to be signalled out as mere copyists. Opener "Oct" crashes in with a Bob Weston-esque bassline and is met by an almost jazz-like nimbleness and stop-start staccato. More impressive still is the dual-guitar playfulness of "I Miss Seeing All", which later hints of elements of prog while bringing to mind the likes of Don Caballero. By the time the final of the five tracks, "Past Three Days", grows on you, the more pensive side of LITE emerges and they create a soundscape equal to that of some of Unwed Sailor's finest moments.

Takeda does not have any problem with comparisons to other bands, and knows the perceived notions of instrumental music. However, he is keen to rightly point out that LITE do offer something essentially different. "By using fewer instruments we can take a lots of different approaches to making our music. Yes, we could have a singer but we are into instrumental music and don't yet feel any kind of limitations".

While the band are only edging onto the radar on this side of the world, they have built up a significant fanbase in their home country. Their most recent single, "Human Gift" even managed to top the college radio charts there this June. College Radio has probably been most successful in the United States in breaking many bands, and it seems that it is playing an extremely important role in Japan, according to Takeda. "College radio in Japan represents the subculture at the moment. For people turning up at our gigs and buying our stuff, we are just so happy that our music is heard and seen by real people".

Now, LITE get to bring their music to more "real people" when they embark on their first UK and Irish tour.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Katie Kim/ Creeping Nobodies

First up, anybody who made it down to Bakers last night for Creeping Nobodies got themselves a wee treat - part SY, part Sleater-Kinney (and various riot grrl acts), and totally art-rock (ah, that genre of vagueness that you can use anytime you want).

Picked up a record from them afterwards called 'Augurs & Auspices' - the name alone is promising...I can report back later on the quality if anybody is interested.

Couple of quick observations:
1) a small enough turn-out, which wasn't that surprising considering it was a) Limerick, and b)a Wednesday night.
2) Why do people leave Bakers, and just spend their time in the smoking room? There was a mass exodus from the Underground after support band Laminate Reno, and the majority of people didn't seem to resurface for the Creeping Nobodies
3) Shut up!!! I've never expressed Nazi-esque tactics over years of going to gigs when people start talking, or have never gone "ssssssh", but last night I got close. As it turned out, about 7 or 8 people stayed to actually "watch" the band. It was very visible who we were, as we were on the dancefloor part. However, some twits behind me had the loudest conversation, full of giggling and whatnot, completely in view of the band. It was a conversation that should have happened out in the smoking zone.

Anyway, rant over...


Tonight, at the same venue down Tait Square, Katie Kim plays with Waterford outfit Deaf Animal Orchestra. Can't admit to knowing much about DAO, but the mighty Donal Dineen played a couple of tracks from Katie Kim, and she sounds good.

There isn't much else on in town, unless Mary Black is your thing (playing the Warehouse).

The youtube clips were a bit crap, so don't bother; listen to the tunes on myspace instead.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mamuska Back This Friday


Hey you....fancy a bit of culture?

Well, the quite popular Mamuska nights return to Limerick on Friday night at their home in the Daghdha Space (John's Square).

In honour of this event, I've dipped into the archives, and found a badly written article I did back a few years ago on Mamuska. Read it and weep.
_________________________________________________

Mamuska Night, Daghdha Space, St John's Square, Friday 2nd June
By Ciarán Ryan


In the cultural haven that is the Daghdha Space, a group of performers
and curious spectators alike have been gathering every second month for a night where dance, installations and music are thrown into the melting pot.

This Friday will see the final
Mamuska night of its second season at its St. John's Square home.

"
Mamuska" initially developed in a studio in UL, but according to Daghdha Dance Company's Head of Programming Davide Terlingo, they saw the move to the city venue as providing more access to the wider community. "It is an open performers night, where the aim is to blur the barriers between the audience and the performers. We see it as a shared environment", Davide explains.

To this end, audiences are invited to
take a more active role in the performances, where the theme of "experimentation" runs throughout. Key to the night's success has been that the company does not tend to regurgitate previous materials and performances, keeping each night fresh for audience and performers alike. The format of the night also has an inherent advantage, Davide believes. "All performances last between five and ten minutes, and there are plenty of other things going on. People can go look at the visuals, or have a drink and chat with their friends. It's not for a specialist audience".

Audience numbers at the Mamuska Night have ranged from 150 to 300, proving that the night does not contain any form of an elitist remit. "We find that most of the people who come to Mamuska don't usually go to dance performances. I think a lot of people feel safe and comfortable when they are here", says Davide. It would appear that comfort is easily provided in the form of bean-bags, which are left out for audience members who really want to relax.

This will be
Mamuska's last performance of its current season, but it will be reappearing after the summer. With a night that manages to balance the artistic and the accessible, it perhaps should not be that surprising that the name of the night comes from a film. However, the film in question may be of surprise, as it sees Daghdha keeping away from any high-brow connotations, as Davide explains.

"I was watching
The Addams Family, and there is a part where Uncle Fester goes missing. They organise this ball where the extended family is all invited, and they do his traditional Addams dance, which is called "Mamuska"!"

Who are we to complain, as it provides a more than apt name for what
Mamuska is about.

____________________________________________________


In the meantime, here is some copy and paste guff from their site:

Mamuska Limerick is back revealing a taste of the vibrant arts scene in Limerick. Mamuska Limerick, in partnership with Mamuska Nights, is a performance event in which local, national and international artists present their work. The format remains the same, for this legendary event which continues to inspire both artists and audience with its unique flavour and format built around informality and a true sense of artistic experimentation. The performed works are selected on a first come, first served basis which makes each Mamuska Limerick one of risk taking, inspiration, artistry and fun.

Daghdha invites you to the Daghdha Space to chat, listen and gorge on new ideas, playful imaginings and curious experiments. Mamuska Limerick – ‘Harvest’ offers a feast of ripe ideas so indulge yourself on the latest crop of dance, performance, film, sound art and music.