Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Modest Mouse rolling into Limerick in December

A quick note:

A band I was once quite fond of, but didn't care all that much for their last record, even if it featured a certain J Marr, are coming to Limerick on December 5th at Dolan's Warehouse as part of an "intimate" Irish tour.

I heard they were doing some small Irish dates the other date but only realised that Limerick was one such place this afternoon.

Ticket details etc to be announced, with Frightened Rabbit as support.

Crazeeee frontman Isaac Brock tears through one of the "hits" here:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

From Cali To Here

Tonight (Wednesday June 10th) in Mickey Martin's, Cheebah present Tradition In Transition(A Postcard From Cali), a screening of the new film from Limerick native B+ (or Brian Cross on his birth-cert)

Cross rose to fame in the nineties for designing album covers for the likes of Blackalicious, Mos Def, J5, David Axelrod, and many more, as well as tonnes of music videos. While many of his covers had graced discs or records in my own house, it wasn't until DJ Shadow's Irish dates in 2002 that I realised this guy was actually from Limerick.

At the time, Shadow was opening his gigs with the film "Keepintime", pitching old school drummers alongside some of the top hip-hop djs of the last two decades. Cross followed that up with "Brasil In Time"

"Tradition In Transition" goes to Cali, Columbia, the new home of British DJ, producer, and record label owner Will "Quantic" Holland.

Here is more info from Cheebah:

Limerick homeboy B+ has been busy down in Cali Columbia (Will 'Quantic' Holland's new home town) documenting the city and the result is Tradition in Transition.

Based around the music of Quantic and his Combo Barbaro from their forthcoming Tradition in Transition album on Tru Thoughts Records featuring the talents of Will Quantic, Alfredito Linares, Nidia Gongora, Freddy Colorado, Arthur Verocai, Joao Comanche Gomes and Malcolm Catto this is a screening not to be missed. Dj set from B+ afterwards with some crazy cumbia funk and off centre tropical beats.

It all kicks off at 7.30pm, runs 'til late, and is free in.

Here's the trailer from Brasilintime to give you an indication of B+'s prowess as a director of music documentaries.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Noise Fest In A Gaff In Castletroy?

Possibly taking their cue from the likes of the Hideaway House in Dublin, a group by the name of Chain Reactions Promotions are hosting Guantanamo Noise-Fest II in Limerick next weekend, June 5th and 6th.

The shows take place in College Court (as you can see from poster above), an area of the suburbs that probably becomes quite deserted in the summer months when students move out en masse, so it may actually breathe some life into the estate. That is if the authorities don't stick their mitts in (On this point, if anybody running this gig would rather me remove this post for fear of where it will be read, please comment below and I'll delete).

One of the interesting discussions that came from the discussion I had with various promoters for [crude] mag back in March was about trying to find fresh perspectives on putting on gigs, and in particular looking at utilising non-traditional (i.e. pub, club, venue) locations for putting shows on.

Full line-up is on the poster, although I'm not clear if the €7 is a weekend price, or per night.

In the meantime, here's Toymonger in action:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nu Killa Beats tomorrow night

Nu Killa action tomorrow at Baker's Underground

Folks involved:
Deep Cut (Nu Killa Kru)
Marcopipko (Guest from Slovakia)
Code (Subtle Audio Recordings / Spin South West)

Doors 11pm till 2:30am. Admission is €5 before11:30, 7 thereafter.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's been a while I suppose...

Apologies, apologies, dear loyal readers (hi Mum!)

Most of you probably forgot this page existed; others probably delighted in the absense, expecting it to be the demise of this page. In all reality however, I am fooling myself. Nobody probably noticed. I've been marooned in the wilds of Clare with an ever-growing work schedule, so commitment to this blog has dropped somewhat. I've also thoroughly enjoyed myself at ATP Vs The Fans (Irish former boutique fests could learn a thing or two about picking a line-up).

Anyway, I will endeavour to make at least a weekly entry from now on. However, I would recommend folks click on the Cheebah and On The Beat blogs for more insightful and regular Limerick-related shenanigans.

So, what's happening ; actually, not a heck of a lot at the moment from what I can see. Is Limerick set to encounter its annual summer cultural slowdown. I suppose college exams are finishing up, which usually signals a complete lack of activity around the city. Could this be the year when that changes? Not likely unfortunately.

A few recent things:
  • The Speakeasy Jazz night kicked off in the Rowing Club last week, and will be back the second week of June by all accounts.
  • This is the last week of E+VA, finishing up on Sunday
  • The LSAD Degree show kicks off June 13th, as per Limerick Blogger.
Comment below on other bits n'pieces that have popped up for you recently, or are on the horizon.

Proper updates in next week or so. I promise.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Why Would Anyone Put On A Gig?

This is exactly the question put to eight Limerick and Cork folks by myself as part of a discussion recently held in Dolan's (Limerick). The eight folks, all involved in running various shows in their respective cities, will share their knowledge and experiences with the good burgers that are going to read Issue 3 of [crude] magazine which hits shelves in the coming week.

Indeed, so flowing was the debate that this is just part 1 of a two-parter, with the gripping conclusion unleashed in the June issue of crude.

For those who can't wait to pick up [crude] in stores, the spanking new issue is launched Saturday night at Baker Place, Limerick, with The Hot Sprockets, Dryad's Saddle, and Last Days of Death Country all strutting their stuff, and rather bizarrely, there'll also be live tattooing taking place. Surely a health and safety risk if ever. Remember kids, don't get a tat if you've drank a litre of whiskey....there'll be a load of blood.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Nice Gentle Electronica Rugby Comedown

After hopefully watching Ireland scoop their first Grand Slam in sixty-one years, you could probably do worse tomorrow (Saturday 21st in cause you have any doubts) than relax with the sounds of Japanese electronic artist Midori Hirano. Ms Hirano will be playing a Pure Sound gig upstairs in Baker Place. Galway based Laura Sheehan and Vertigo Smyth will also be making appearances on this bill, with doors around 9pm. Here's hoping that a show like this ain't ruined by drunken post-match revelry.

Hirano's second album klo:yuri came out late last year, and here's a nice number from it called Feathers:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Electronique Tonight!

Some may remember a few months back that a new electronic and dubstep night Electronique was abruptly called to a halt when some renvoation work started at Daffy's. A no-nonsense name that did exactly what it said on the tin etc, it was a night run by Code and Bee from Nu Killa.

Thankfully, the guys are back in action from tonight in their new home of Issac Taylor's (Bentley's Basement) smack bang in the middle of town on O'Connell Street. It's an interesting choice of venue and further proof that during these times of gloom and doom, several city boozers may become a little bit open-minded as to what they let happen in their rooms.

Admission tonight is a ridiculously cheap €3. Yes, that is probably less than the price of a lucozade folks. The much-respected Nu Killa sound system will cope with the luscious selection of tracks on offer.

Some info from the press release lashed on here:

ELECTRONIQUE – Thursday 19th March / Isaac Taylors (Bentlys Basement), O’Connell St.

Diverse Electronic Beats

This new night kicked off in Limerick last September with the intent of broadening the cities soundscape. Dj’s Code and Bee are on a mission to make the Treaty City more receptive to the sounds of Dubstep and Electronica and on the evidence of their first venture, it seems that they might have some success. Their task has been made somewhat easier by media acclaim for the burgeoning Dubstep scene worldwide. This coverage has stimulated interest in the alienated electronic music scene and young minds seem to be more enthusiastic about experimental beats again these days, as is evident in the popularity of new music technology courses in local colleges.

If you’re not familiar with Dubstep or Electronica in it’s wider context this night presents the perfect environment for absorbing the culture. The vibe will be chilled enough early in the night with the emphasis being on the social side, while the ‘tacky-shakin’ beats will get played towards the end of proceedings.

Expect to hear the likes of Aphex Twin, The Black Dog, Burial, Benga, Boxcutter, Carl Craig, Orbital, The Future Sound Of London and other electronic music luminaries in the mix on a specially installed sound system.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Two From The Archives - Messiah J & The Shank

Feeling pretty lazy, it being a Friday and all that, so instead of putting it some level of effort with this blog, I'm digging into the old files and pulling out two interviews from 2007. One with Messiah J (of MJ & The Expert) in May , and the other with Mick from Adebisi Shank in June of that year.

Lots of things have changed since. MJEX have released their third album "From The Word Go" to much aplomb, while Adebisi's debut album was perhaps the finest Irish release of last year to this wonky ears, while their dizzying live work-outs are seeing jaws drop and shirts sweat simultaneously.

Now both of them play together at Dolan's Upstairs tomorrow night (Saturday March 14th - MJEX are headliners). Tickets are ten bucks.

Here they are now:

Messiah J & The Expert - Megaphone Man

Adebisi Shank

And here's them way back when in a couple of stories from the past....

Adebisi Shank - June 2007
Aside from the renowned early twentieth century uileann piper Johnny Doran, and the annual Opera Festival, Wexford could hardly be considered a hotbed for musical talents over the year.

But here we are now, and a trio of goodtime math-noisemakers have emerged from the county more renowned for strawberries and potatoes. Adebisi Shank is Mick Roe (Drums), Lar Kaye on guitar and Vin McCreith on bass.

As Roe explains, there was never much inspiration at home to get them going, and as such most of their gigs have been in the capital. "I've only ever played one gig in Wexford when I was young. Wexford is pretty bad for gigs but there is one or two good ones here and there. Apparently, a good few years ago New Ross used to be really good for DIY gigs but I don't remember it".

While the band practise and record in Wexford, Roe is the only one based there full-time these days. Yet, they have overcome any logistical problems to record an EP. "It was recorded in our own studio in Wexford. We built the studio ourselves about three years ago, so it's really rewarding to finally have some stuff recorded there. The EP should be ready and on sale for the tour at the end of June. At the minute its in the plant and we're stressing out because there was a problem with the artwork, but it looks like it'll be ready in time", says Roe.

Adebisi Shank make a savage racket for a three-piece, and it is no surprise considering that Kaye and Roe are both involved in ace Dublin experimental rock outfit Terrordactyl. McCreith meanwhile does the 8-bit meets super-cheese thing with the wonderful Vinny Club.

Roe believes that it is a healthy thing for them all to have other musical outlets. "It's loads of fun being able to do different things on breaks away from Adebisi. Our schedules work out really well; we have days for doing other things where one of us may be working or busy with another band. We probably all dedicate the most amount of time to Adebisi though".

The EP will be released on Popular Records, who are also home to Anything But Alpha Males, The Vinny Club and Danish outfit Marvin's Revolt. It is all very much run on a DIY basis as a "non-profit, no contract label". Roe admits that is all hands on deck to make it a success.

"Lar set it up but has been too busy for the last while to get too involved so I've been doing most of the work at the minute. He's gonna help out when he's not so busy anymore. Vin helps out with design stuff as well whenever I'd need it. The bands on the label help out a good bit as well which is pretty cool. There's a good few releases coming out on it all around the same time so it's pretty hectic at the minute but all the bands are great to work with and pretty much do all the work themselves. It's a joy to be involved in it".
Messiah J & The Expert- May 2007

It was empty vessel -nil, good ol’ writer’s block -six

One more loss and it was curtains for a sophomore release

Messiah J and The Expert’s second album “Now This I Have To Hear” did not come so easily; MJ’s lyrics above from “Seven Cups of Coffee and A Slice of Apple Strudel” echo the common sentiments of the difficulty any writer can come up with.

Add to the mix the fact that their debut “What’s Confusing You?” (released on the now defunct Volta Sounds) had picked up plaudits, and that they had to wait three years between releases. Yet, Messiah J and The Expert used the interim period to craft a LP that raised the bar significantly.

Starting out as two-thirds of Creative Controle, the Dublin hip-hop young bucks released their debut single “Bloodrush” in 2001. It showcased producer The Expert’s penchant for orchestral samples (still very much evident), and a dash of the irrepressible Wu-Tang and a smidgen of sounds that wouldn’t have seem out of place of the Def Jux catalogue. In MC Messiah J, they had someone with a vocal tone and flow similar to Sage Francis, with occasional tinges of a Dublin accent. A calling card had been left.

For “Now This…”, they changed the script again with multiple collaborations and additional musicians, including ex-Connect 4 Orchestra guitarist Glenn Keating, chanteuses Leda Egri and Nina Hynes, and the biggest coup, the aforementioned Def Jux’s C-Rayz Walz.

“It wasn’t a conscious effort to put as many people on the record as possible”, explains Messiah J. “Glenn had been playing live with us; he is such a good guitarist, a really inspirational player. We chased C-Rayz and Nina alright. She basically came up one day, did her vocal in one take, and to quote The Expert ‘we were blown away’”

While the new additions added an extra layer, one couldn’t help but imagine The Expert orchestrating it all like some mad conductor type. For Messiah J, one of the standout tracks “VIP” also marked a significant breakthrough. Moving away from the more personal narrative, its tale of a widower whose news source is the obits recalls the storytelling nature of Buck 65.

“That’s one of my favourite tracks”, says MJ before recalling it’s background. “My Granny had died and the other one got Alzheimer’s around the same time. People are always writing music for young people, and I just want to flip that around. It’s about people feeling important, not just old people. And I suppose you can’t beat a good story.

“To be honest, if I had one complaint with the first album, it was that there wasn’t enough variation. With this, I just wanted to record it with my voice barely above a speaking tone”. Yet, does MJ find these tracks more difficult to write? “The kind of personal songs like “All The Other Girls” - they write themselves as they were true to life. At the same time, “Place Your Bets” took f**king ages even though it seems really straightforward”.

Speaking of “Place Your Bets”, a recent video in which the two partake in a competitive game of darts, is as Messiah J describes, “one of the most fun things I’ve done with this band”. Directed by Davey Sexton, the idea came about when they were watching the World Darts Championship.

“We shot it in the pub, and basically got a load of people and got them drunk. I knew nothing about the rules of the game though, so I was there on the day saying ‘how do you play this’ and the lads were all laughing their heads off at me!”.

2007 has started off extremely well for MJEX. A more than deserved Choice Music nomination, the release of the EP “…And Another Thing” (available exclusively on tour), their debut American performance at South By South West, and a forthcoming UK debut release all show that things are looking up for the duo.

And like so many other Irish artists, they are doing it on their own, setting up the Inaudible label with their manager. “Yeah, I’m in the HQ at the moment, my flat”, chuckles Messiah J. “We were tired of waiting around, and knew that we were good enough. We just couldn’t wait around for some magic man to turn up!”.

While MJ admits that much attention for the summer will be on getting off the ground in the UK (their debut gig is straight after the 2fm 2moro 2our), work has already started on writing for their third LP, and he is suitably excited.

“We’re really happy so far. There is a lot of energetic music there, but I don’t wanna give away too much as it’s still early days. When we have a good day in studio, that’s when we are at our happiest. The Expert has got lots of things he wants to try with this next record, and I’ve got loads I wanna say”.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rowing & Football Friday Night?

Well, sort of.

Friday night sees Limerick FC's first home game of the season in Division 1 of the League of Ireland, when they face Galway newboys Mervue United at Jackman Park. The still manager-less Super Blues went down last weekend at UCD, losing 2-1. Hopefully this Friday will see a better result and a large contingent of local supporters.

Elsewhere, the Rowing Club (the posh one across the road from where the Boatclub is/was) is the venue for Kerrynini's latest venture. The Kerrynini lads have tried out a few venues in Limerick, so hopefully this one will become a regular haunt for them, and with them they bring a man some see responsible for landing Badly Drawn Boy on us(courtesy of his role as co-founder of Twisted Nerve)
Andy Votel, who is a more than acclompished electronic musician in his own right.

A perfectly good press release has been prepared, so I'll quit yapping and press ctrl and v

Kerrynini Present:

Andy Votel (finders keepers/B-Music)

Friday 13th of March

@ The Rowing Club, Sarsfield Bridge Limerick.

Visual presentation courtesy of Cheebah's Paul Tarpey
Support from Jeremy Murphy and Kerrynini DJs
dOOrs are 9.30pm until late, admission is 10 euros.

Andy Votel is as close to a one-man music business as you could wish to get. A solo artist in his own right, he also produces, remixes, designs, DJs and runs a number of blissfully eclectic record labels.

Votel grew up in the north west of England and developed a broad taste for music, specializing in all things psychedelic, from Can to Serge Gainsbourg. He released some records on Grand Central and started the legendary Twisted Nerve label back in the late 90s along with Bad Drawn Boy. Things got mental busy from there on in.

But probably the reason most people will know Andy Votel is for his record collection. And damn, kid – Andy Votel got records for days. His Music To Make Girls Cry and Songs In The Key Of Death mixes are testament to that, spawning a generation of diggers to start looking in ever more obscure places and countries. He's scoured a world of second hand shops on his international record raid, a quest to unearth the forgotten foreign dancefloor gems from the days long past. And it's these lost musical documents that end up being discovered by a new generation of heads, thanks to the immense amount of folk, psych, and prog diamonds that have been reissued by Votel via his Finders Keepers and B-Music labels.

Andy Votel will be bringing his wild wonky DJ skills to the Rowing Club on Sarsfield Bridge, March 13th. Expect Japanese choreography records, space-age Turkish protest songs, Czechoslovakian vampire soundtracks, Welsh rare-beats and bubblegum folk all slapped up in a wigged-out wash of exquisite foreign breakbeat mayhem. Support comes from the Kerrynini men and Jeremy Murphy (every djs' favourite dj). Keeping with the sprit on the night of rediscovering and presenting nuggets from the past, Cheebah's heroic Paul Tarpey has sifted digitally through a stack of old video tapes to find psych-related visual confrontations that will be strung together for a projected loop edit channelling a 60s to 80s vibe where the sprit of the ufo club meets the style of early Human League projections'

Recent Reviews

To break from the norm, here's a few reviews I did that featured in some mags recently.

Sholi – Sholi (Quarterstick/ Touch & Go)

Californian trio Sholi keep their alt-rock credentials firmly in check by enlisting Deerhoof sticksman Greg Saunier as the producer of their eponymous debut album. While they may not be seeped in the chaotic spirit of Saunier’s mob, Sholi aren’t exactly straightforward.

Indeed, from the opening strains of “All That We Can See” they prove they have their own dabbling percussive power in Jonathan Bafus. Over the course of the following seven tracks, Sholi brew up dreamy textures, with time-changes that may be jagged but never harsh.

Another secret weapon that filters out as Sholi progresses is the power of frontman Payam Bavafa’s vocals; on the record’s most rambunctious number “Any Other God”, he heads for Jeff Buckley territory, without sounding jaded.

On the basis of this, Sholi will be grabbing plenty of attention, with or without the blessing of others in the alt-circle.


*Appears in this month's AU Magazine

Parts & Labor – Receivers (Jagjaguwar)

For an outfit who probably got their name after a disgruntled trip to their local car garage, it’s not startling that there is an almost mechanical sound to Parts & Labor’s fourth album Receivers.

From the bagpipe-esque opening keyboard strains of “Satellites”, manipulation of equipment and sound is the name of the game as this Brooklyn four-piece weld their succulent brand of experimental noise-rock with a chastening flood of pop flashes.

Since predecessor Mapmaker, there have been changes aplenty in the P&L camp; rambunctious sticksman Christopher Weingarten left the fold, with the more restrained Joe Wong coming in, while Sarah Lipstate is now officially on the teamsheet on guitar duties, joining founders Dan Friel and B.J. Warshaw, who tag-team vocal duties throughout.

The personnel switches have had an effect. Receivers is the sound of a band immersed in wildly focussed synchronicity. Nothing is getting left on the floor here; from the bubbling tension of early post-punk in the wailing of “Mount Misery” to the Dan Deacon-if-he-was-an-artrocker spurt that is “Nowhere’s Nigh”, all the bells and whistles are fully intact.

Equal parts catchy as it is experimental, Receivers is a twisty affair that keeps you gripped by its unpredictability. Heck, it even sounds anthemic at times, and in the likes of “Little Ones”, they may have just recorded the tracks that will not just earn them the critical clams of peers like TVOTR, but open up the wider public to them too.


*Appears in the current State online edition and website.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Glór Film Club

The Glór Film Club have a busy March, with not one, not two, but eight flicks on viewing in the lovely surrounds of the Ennis venue.

Popped in myself on Sunday night to see Man On Wire (seemingly this was over rights issues, something which hit the Belltable Film Club also), only to find out it had been switched. In its place was the charming Israeli film The Band's Visit.

The next seven on the agenda are a mixed bunch, hopping from archive footage on traditional Irish music to German comedy to a documentary on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A full listing can be viewed here.

And given the year that is in it (the centenary of his birth), no better time to haul out the much-acclaimed 2005 beeb-production Bacon's Arena on Sunday, March 22nd. Damage is seven euro, with tea/coffee and some tasty biscuits also on offer.

J5 Man Comes To Town

Yup, just spotted on The Chalkboard that ex Jurassic 5 MC Akil at the Belltable of all haunts for a solo show. You can read his take on the demise of said outfit at this rather lengthy myspace blog entry

Tickets for this one are seventeen fat ones, and it happens on Friday March 27th. You can get the full lowdown on Eightball's website here. They also have Halfset in the very same venue the previous week (March 21st).

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Nu Killa Birthday

Desptite this writer's obvious lack of drum n'bass terminology and nuances, he has always applauded the endeavours of the good burgers from Nu Killa Kru, so much so that he has decided to revert to the third person for this opening sentence.

Time to blow out the candles then, as they celebrate the ninth birthday of Nu Killa Beats with a shindig at the Underground in Baker Place. It's a full line-up, with every dn'b dj worth his salt in the region spinning discs on Friday night (February 27). That means Code, Bee, Roller T, Mecca, Deep Cut, Lymer and Leon, from 10.30pm 'til late.

Happy birthday to Conor and folks involved. Should be a cracking night.

To celebrate, here's one from "the ones I prepared earlier" file. This was an article done around the time of their seventh birthday two years ago...Enjoy


This time seven years ago we were just getting over Y2K fever, the Euro was still two years off, and George W. Bush was just the Governor of Texas. Obviously a lot has changed since then, but here in Limerick, a collective of drum and bass lovers have continued on in a steadfast manner.

The Nu Killa Kru was essentially born out of frustration. Pallasgreen native Conor O'Dwyer, djing under the handle of Code, teamed up with Kevin Beegan (Bee) and Tony Power (Roller T), with the aim of putting together a night playing the music they wanted to hear.

O' Dwyer takes up the story of the Kru's origins: "There was a club called 'Skint' that used to run up in Costello's, and they played bits of hip-hop and break-beat, as opposed to the constant 4/4 beats of techno. We went there, and they used to occasionally play drum n'bass, and we got to play a bit. Then that ended. After a while, we realised that if we weren't going to do it ourselves, then nobody else would".

With a pilot of sorts during Christmas 1999 at the Globe, they quickly organised their first night proper at the now defunct Dog House on Thomas Street for February 2000. "Any night I know that ran in Limerick had just gone on for a year or two, and we certainly hadn't looked beyond that year", says Conor. "We were encouraged by the first night in The Globe. The first night in the Dog House, we had a decent crowd. The second night was one of the best nights we've ever had; it was a basement of a pub, and the place was rammed at half-ten with people going crazy!"

However, it hasn't been all plain sailing, with the Kru experiencing the unfortunately usual problems inherent to running club nights. Nu Killa Beats has moved around numerous venues in the city, and O' Dwyer has had to deal with scheming managers and over- zealous bouncers. "There was one occasion when one of our own guys basically had to disguise himself to get in. He spent the entire night with a hat on, up behind the decks!".

Additional to those problems is the time and resources required to promote a monthly night. It is clear from talking to O'Dwyer that Nu Killa Kru do what they do for the love of it, and without any financial agenda behind it. However, nights like this will not run on fresh air, and Conor is well aware that if punters don't keep coming in the door, it will be the death-knell for the night.

"If we were doing it for the money, there's no way we'd still be going", he laughs. "It has got more difficult to promote. When I was in college, I could stick up posters around there and create a bit of buzz, but finished that a good while now. Also, I tend to spend a lot of time with the label (O'Dwyer runs his own label, Subtle Audio), so it leaves even less time".

Despite this, the night has continued to go from strength-to-strength, due in no small part to a strong local crew that, as well as the founding three, includes Deep Cut, Lymer, Cain and Leon. Conor notes that the audience has changed and grown older over the years, and the fact that they have moved from running their nights on Thursdays to Fridays certainly reflects this.

He is also the first to admit that it is not the easiest sell to the public. "There isn't a high concentration of Limerick people into Drum and Bass. Even the biggest Drum and Bass names are small in the global sense; you never hear of them in the same breathe as the likes of Sasha or Digweed. And then what we do is different again to what the big names are doing. It's a niche within a niche".

Seven years is a hell of a long time, and it seems the addiction of the night is key to its longevity. "It's been a bit out of stubbornness that it hasn't stopped. Every now and then, you think of packing it in - like every time one of my decks gets damaged, or a CD player blows up, or we have a low turnout. But frustration wears off after a day or two, and I start getting excited about the next night".

Nu Killa Beats continues to mix the best of local talent with international guests, with particular highlights for O'Dwyer being a live set from UK producer Paradox, and two appearances from Macc, who also releases on Subtle Audio: "he plays live with his drum kit. It's all these really complicated drum beats".

There's a birthday cake to be cut this weekend, and Conor is confident that there will be more occasions to blow out candles in the coming years for Nu Killa Beats. "As long as I'm living here, I will definitely try and keep it going. I'd hope that we'd make it to ten years anyway".

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Sly Foxes

So, has anybody out there given this a go yet?

For those of you too lazy, here's the copy and paste bit:
"Real Foxes Are Creeping Up is an audio-based detour, a piece of site specific performance art for one person. It goes in through your ears and out through your feet. Each tour lasts 30 minutes. At the starting point, you pick up an mp3 player, a set of headphones and a hand drawn map. A voice describes your surroundings and takes you on a journey through public and private spaces, using the architecture of the city as stage design and the real history of the city and its contemporary environment as the basis for a narrative exploration.

If you've done it what's it like? Arty claptrap or thought-provoking and insightful? Or a mixture of both? Seems worth a punt for the fiver charge, yeah?

Coming Soon To A Rowing Club Near You

More details closer to the time on what looks like a cracker-jack audio-visual orgy.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Frost Is Thawing

Hey, are the kids on mid-term this week? It appears so, and while not quite so in the manner of Spring Break-esque bedlam, the big freeze in terms of arts and entertainment activity is starting to thaw out, and the dawning of Spring is seeing a wee kick up the behind in such action.

While there may not be a flood of options, Limerick looks a bit more exciting this week. First up, the good folks at Limerick Jazz Society's Spring programme kicks off with the John Moriarty Group at Dolan's Upstairs room on Wednesday.

The same night also sees the weekly Whitehouse Poets night at the Whitehouse on O'Connell Street. Former Poetry Ireland editor Mark Roper is in the hotseat this weekend. More poetry out the county on Thursday night, when Cork poet Billy Ramsell leads an open mic night at the Library in Newcastle West.

Wednesday and Thursday also sees the performance of The Gentlemen's Tea-Drinking Society at the Belltable, brought to town by the folks at Ransom Productions in Belfast. None other than David Holmes is responsible for the score of this production, but don't expect him to be in attendance as he "doesn't do live shows", according to the organisers of the underwhelming Choice Music Prize. Alan has more info over here.

The Funkshun nights return to Underground at Baker Place on Friday night, with Ian Wright. Nope, this ain't the prolific ex-Arsenal striker/cheeky-chappy tv bloke, but a UK bastion of funk, soul, etc.

Upstairs that night at Bakers also sees Shannon boy Kyon launch their album with support from Alkali Flat and Cities. Three Clare acts in one night. Who woulda thunk it?

More on some of this things as the week progresses. Huzzah!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Round Up - mags, gigs, misc.

At the weekend, the second edition of [crude] magazine hit various stands, shop counters and the sweaty palms of punters at their launch hootenany at Baker Place on Saturday night. While declaring some personal interest in this venture (I'm responsible for co-ordinating the dashing reviews section), I must say the team involved have certainly upped the ante second time out - the content is a vast improvement from the first issue and the design is pretty ace. There is also a rapid new website up at www.crudemagazine.net

Speaking of Bakers, happy birthday to Nick, Shane and crew, who celebrate two years in their current guise, with a very long weekend of shenanigans, starting this Thursday night (February 12th) and running up until Sunday afternoon with a metal-fest going under the pretty smart banner of Siege of Limerick.

Also, there is word that 2Unlimited hit Limerick next week. Be afraid, be very afraid...Better news may be that Alias Empire (nee Dry County) should be back in the treaty city come April direction, new name and new tunes in hands. More on that later.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Limerick's Unfringed Festival for '09 kicked off last Friday night (January 30th) and runs until this Saturday night, February 7th. As always, it is curated by the folks at The Belltable.

A few bits n'pieces have already happened, and theatre, comedy and music are all catered for over the week.

Some things yet to happen include:
Choke Comedy Improv: You get the idea from the name obviously. Anyway, this is a ninety minute show including some local folks as Myles Breen and Ann Blake, and it puts the audience in control. It has potential to be great craic or a load of old pants. We're hoping more for the former. It's on this Wednesday at 10pm; the late kick-off allowing people to get some bit oiled up before heckling the performers...That's not a suggestion by the way.

Classical guitarist Redmond O'Toole takes to the stage on Thursday night. It could be an unusual sighting. According to the lad's own blurb: "
he plays an 8-string 'Brahms guitar' in the cello position connected to a special resonating box."

The ongoing Off The Wall performances at LCGA also look like they are worth checking out too.

Most of the happenings are at The Belltable's temp home at Cecil Street. Phone 061-319866 for tickets.

Here's Redmond O'Toole strutting his stuff:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's Spring Already!

Yeah, forget trying to get the ice off your cars in the morning or sliding on your walk to work or school, Spring is almost officially here.

And what better way to welcome it in with news of Limerick Jazz's Spring series of shows.
On the menu over the coming months are:
Also, a four week course on jazz theory and tune learning is starting on January 31st. For more info, contact Peter Hanagan at jazzprimer@gmail.com or 086 191 1608.

Check in here over coming weeks for more info on the above gigs. As always, they take place in Dolan's.

How do you like them eggs?

DJ Scotch Egg is in town tomorrow night. The Japanese chipcore, Gameboy-loving, merchant was supposed to play in Limerick sometime last year, but the tour was cancelled (I think it had something to do with a stolen van or something like that). On top of noisey distorted mayhem, expect Scotch Egg to throw himself into the showman role; by all accounts his live shows consist of a man on a rampage roaring all kinds of random shit and swear words your mother wouldn't like you to hear. Also, he has some weird fascination with KFC - yes, the chicken crowd.

It all takes place in Baker Place, and is brought to you by the Pure Sound Collective, this being their first gig of the year. Support comes from Endfindead and DJ Deadly Buzz. Doors are 9pm, and admission is a paltry €5.

Here's a Scotch Egg video:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Vox Populi Tonight & More Awards Guff

Local post proggers Vox Populi play their biggest headliner to date with a hoedown tonight at Dolan's Warehouse. Neatly coinciding with my recent Limerick/Clare crossover with this blog, two Limerick acts and two Clare acts appear on this bill; yet, this will be more cordial than a rumble at Cusack Park or the Gaelic Grounds.

Vox Pop member Kevin is hitting Ghana to do some charideeee work, so "some of the money" is going towards that; the rest undoubtedly towards entertaining groupies upstairs in the Dolan's bandroom with copious amounts of Linden Village and Refresher sweets.

Anyway, the line up in full is: Vox Populi, Mark O'Connor, Dryad's Saddle and Ennis boyos Cities. I recently got a copy of the Cities EP, which has a pretty nice 65daysofstatic feel about it, but they ruined all that with a silly Muse remix at the tend. Ah sure, they're young and all that, they'll learn. Damage is a recession-fuck off price of just €8, and for that, you get to save the world, and experience the Wembley Stadium Dolan's lighting, as well as four choice acts.

In other news, the MAMCA Awards take place tomorrow night in a swish Limerick hotel. The wha? I hear you ask, dear readers. The Mid West Arts Media Culture Awards folks...In further self-congratulation and ego-boasting (yes, the second time this week), yours truly will be throwing on some kind of suit, after receiving two award nominations. Just don't be expecting any wins or any Kate Winslet-esque speech if I actually do. Ok, enough already. My back is getting sore from patting it myself.

Adios folks, have a good weekend.

Vox Populi vid to get you in the mood:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

One From The Archives - David O'Doherty

One of Ireland's genuine funny guys David O'Doherty lands in Limerick tomorrow night (Thursday). It has been quite the twelve months or so for the boy, landing the if.comedy Award at Edinburgh in the summer (that's what used to be the Perrier, you know?)

In honour of that, here's a piece from an interview I did with David two years ago for the Limerick Independent newspaper. Enjoy!

"I can't possibly sell it; the only way to sell it is by telling you that you probably won't like it. Then you will have to go and watch it.".

I am sure that a psychoanalyst could probably read a lot more into it, but David O'Doherty is the paradoxical champ of self-promotion. The Dublin comedian sincerely tells Limerick Independent that he does not really "do" promotion, but we still manage to talk about his new TV show, new album, new shows and children's books. That is a lot of new stuff.

It is his first television series, "The Modest Adventures of David O'Doherty", that prompts the aforementioned response. The self-effacing, yet mightily cordial O'Doherty explains the series' premise: "It is a series of really stupid documentaries, where I set out to do something pointless, but do it to the extreme. One of them was to get to number 27 in the Irish singles chart, and we tried to record the worst possible Irish chart song ever. But it only got to number 30, so it was a failure!"

Said single "Orange" was lifted from O'Doherty's debut album "Giggle Me Timbers (Jokes Ahoy)", and focussed on the perils of applying too much fake tan in advance of a first date. Inspired couplets such as "Her tan had been applied by a three year old child", and "he wanted to sit with her and have a banter, but she looked like a huge bottle of Fanta", combined with a Johnny Logan-esque white-suited O'Doherty video, made sure this one was a winner.

While comedy pop is a dangerous genre (see Rolf Harris, and er, Mr Blobby), the appearance of his Casio keyboard has been integral to O'Doherty's offbeat stand up shows for a number of years now. The album, which won't be officially "launched", was released by top Dublin label, Trust Me I'm A Thief.

"It's my favourite Irish label", the chuffed O'Doherty says. "Brian who runs the label said that if I ever wanted to put something out to ask him. So I did!" The recording process was anything but conventional. "Yeah, we recorded it live in my flat one evening in front of thirty-five people. We had to borrow chairs and patio furniture from my neighbours, and we got loads of cheap beer in. We couldn't fit the mixing desk in my flat, so Brian was operating out of our neighbours!"

On top of this, O'Doherty didn't know any of the people hanging about his home. "I couldn't ask my friends, as they must be sick of my comedy. So we made these really ambiguous posters about a David O'Doherty show and stuck them up around town. We got a lot of responses, and went with the least loony! The people seemed very nice. Someone even wrote "thanks very much" on the tea bags!"

As with all top Irish comedians, the necessary trip to the Melbourne Comedy Festival is on the cards for O'Doherty this April. "I've done it before, and you got to do it. It's great really, just like Edinburgh but without the smell of vomit! At the moment, I'm just trying to write jokes for that".

Jokes are coming quick and fast for David, using everyday life as the pinpoint for new material. "My focus at the moment is on "Facts and Life Lessons Learned". For the past year, I write down any crappy bit of knowledge I get. For instance, I got into a taxi one day with this big rucksack that was full of stuff for recycling. The driver told me that taxi drivers always pick up people with big rucksacks because they think they are going to the airport. That's useful stuff to know"

Aside from the stand-up routine, O'Doherty has already had a children's book published and has recently been commissioned by the Project Arts Centre in Dublin to write a live Christmas show for kids. "It is a really, really stupid show about two people trying to go to sleep, but they can't because everyone is watching them", he explains.

David points to huge changes in the approaches of several comedians and wider perceptions of comedy, that can even be seen in the success of the "Orange" video that has scored close to 5,000 hits on YouTube. "Comedy is at a very interesting place at the moment. It's like where rock music was in the mid-sixties; before that there was just rock n'roll. People are starting to do things very differently, and that's where Team O'Doherty want to be".

Tickets for tomorrow night's gig are available from Dolan's priced €15, and kick off is 8pm. To get you in the mood, here's the music vid for "Orange", which wasn't quite a hit single

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sunken Foal On Friday, Glór Film Club, Road RIP

Howdy folks,

Bizarrely, as I type this up, me old buzzer Aoife B has informed that I got a few nominations in the Irish Blog Awards, an event I wasn't entirely aware of, but am nonetheless appreciative of. I suppose I better tidy this place and get down with some more regular content in case any of the judges are spying. I still reckon the only reason the clicks came into here was because I scooped thirty cds in a competition on Jim's blog. Good to see a nice Limerick representation in everything from food to music to news, in particular the guys at Cheebah, who everybody knows run the best blog in town, and were at before I jumped on the bandwagon.

Anyway, moving swiftly on, before the stink of my own self-pride knocks you all out. It just happens to be good timing that January is nearing its end, and plenty more entertainment options are coming our way.

First up, Sunken Foal is in town this weekend, playing Friday night in Bakers Place. Was half-expecting the Sunken Foal album to make the Choice shortlist last week on the wildcard front, but there was very little wildcard about those nominations as it turned out (Mick Flannery and The Script??Yikes...) Anyway, back to Sunken Foal; he (Dunk Murphy) is doing a live electronic set, as is Nevus, and the night is run by Brigadier JC. Doors are at 9pm, admission is €7, and the hope is for more regular electronic events to be run by the same fella. Good on him.

Here's some copy and paste bits on SF:
"Sunken Foal a.k.a. Dunk Murphy has just released his debut album 'Fallen Arches' on Planet-Mu Records along with an E.P. 'Fermented Condiments'. He has been making both electronic and acoustic music for over ten years as part of projects such as Ambulance and The Natural History Museum. His music consists of intensely evocative guitar-based electronics, with piano, strings and occasional vocals which build up and then collapse under the weight of digital rhythms that twist and turn at every juncture. His live shows incorporate gently processed guitars, manually triggered heavy distorted rhythms and dense melodic soundscapes with each show as unique as the next"

Vox Populi and a host of other Limerick acts are in the Warehouse on the same night, but I'll have more on that later in the week.

Also, I have recently upped sticks and moved to booming Ennis (yes, I should change the "About" section, so from now on, I'll also cover things happening out here, as well as in Limerick city, and surrounding areas. I'll start by heartily endorsing the Sunday night Film Club at the lovely Glór Theatre - went there just this week, and for €7, you get a quality flick along with tea and biscuits.

Finally, and incredibly sadly, the fantastic Dublin independent record store Road Records is set to close its doors. Limerick can relate to the complete lack of indie stores since the closedown of Black Spot some years back, and the gradual demise of Empire, and now it seems like folks in the capital are dealing with the same. This place was always a stop on any journey to Dublin - long live Road.

On a brighter note, here's a vid from Sunken Foal. Enjoy!

Monday, January 12, 2009

White House Wednesday

No, I'm not getting all political and having a chat about the forthcoming Obama inauguration. Just a quick note that while everything else seems to have died down culturally speaking in the mid-West (hopefully, this is just the annual lean January entertainment syndrome that has been doing the rounds for years), the White House Poets are soldiering on with their weekly dollop of poetry.

This Wednesday, they feature a Tipp-man, Patrick Moran, so you know it's gonna be good.

Here's the blurb
PATRICK MORAN was born in Templetuohy, County Tipperary, where he still
lives. He works as a post-primary teacher. His poems have been widely published
in the leading poetry outlets. He has won the Gerard Manley Hopkins poetry
prize; he has also been a prizewinner at Listowel Writers’ Week and the 2008
Eist Poetry Competition. In 1990, he was shortlisted for the Hennessy/ Sunday
Tribune poetry award. His work is featured in anthologies, including the
inaugural Forward anthology, The Stony Thursday Book and The Best of Irish
Poetry 2007. His first collection, THE STUBBLE FIELDS, was published by Dedalus
Press in 2001. He will read from his second collection, Green, which was
recently published.

Also, they have a podcast running now. Fancy that!