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 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!