Sunday, 31 March 2013

2Day's Tune: John Blek & The Rats - Crucify Me

One of Ireland's best folk bands 'John Blek & The Rats' have made 'Crucify Me' a streaming track on Soundcloud for today only .......

The track is taken from the band's debut album released on May 3rd:

Friday, 29 March 2013

Album Review: Way To Blue - The Songs of Nick Drake

Recorded at live shows in London, 2010 and in Melbourne in 2011, 'Way To Blue' captures the magical performances and reinterpretations of timeless Nick Drake tunes by an array of talented musicians such as Lisa Hannigan, Teddy Thompson and Vashti Bunyan. 

There's a lovely apt quote from the producer of 'Way To Blue' Joe Boyd stating: 
          “Every week, somewhere in the world, singers gather in clubs and halls to sing the songs of Nick Drake. It is sobering to think that more people now hear his songs in a month than ever heard them in his lifetime.” – Joe Boyd
In a sentence this sums up the objective of 'Way To Blue'  which is to reach out to new audiences and spread the word about Nick's amazing talent that left this world far too soon. 

In the introduction I used the word 'reinterpretation' when describing the tracks on 'Way To Blue'. In the main the new arrangements suit the guest singer but there are a few tracks which didn't work for me.

The tracks to impress include Scott Matthews take on 'Place To Be', the wonderful orchestral arrangement for Vashti Bunyan's take on one of my favourite Nick Drake songs; 'Which Will' and this version of 'River Man' by Teddy Thompson.

Other tracks worthy of praise include Lisa Hannigan's wild take on 'Black Eyed Dog' as well as the Lisa Hannigan, Luluc duet for Saturday Sun. I also really enjoyed the Instrumental take of the track 'One Of Those Things First' by Danny Thompson and Zoe Rahman which proves what a great composer NIck Drake was. 

The tracks from Australian singer-songwriter Shane Nicholson were a let down while Krystle Warren's voice didn't suit the tracks either and for me didn't work. I was also let down by the choice of Nick Drake songs chosen for the album. My favourite track from Nick Drake 'Northern Sky' didn't make the cut while the song from Nick Drake I've heard most in films and on TV; 'Cello Song' also didn't make the album.

'Way To Blue' is bound to be enjoyed by those already converted to the brilliance of Nick Drake. Will it entice new fans to check out Nick's three albums? I'm not so sure but 'Way to Blue' released officially in April keeps people like me writing about great songs like 'River Man', 'Which Will' and 'Pink Moon'.

Way To Blue - The Songs of Nick Drake [9 out of 12]

Buy the album:

Way to Blue tracklisting:

01. Luluc, “Things Behind the Sun”
02. Scott Matthews, “Place to Be”
03. Green Gartside, “Fruit Tree”
04. Shane Nicholson, “Poor Boy”
05. Krystle Warren, “Time Has Told Me”
06. Robyn Hitchcock, “Parasite”
07. Danny Thompson & Zoe Rahman, “One of These Things First”
08. Vashti Bunyan, “Which Will”
09. Lisa Hannigan, “Black-Eyed Dog”
10. Shane Nicholson, “Rider on the Wheel”
11. Teddy Thompson, “River Man”
12. Luluc & Lisa Hannigan, “Saturday Sun”
13. Scott Matthews, “When the Day Is Done”
14. Luluc, “Fly”
15. Teddy Thompson & Krystle Warren, “Pink Moon”

EP Review: Blackbird - Wishing Well

'Wishing Well' is the debut EP from New York based Irish act 'Blackbird' and it's a release of four songs that I adore. 

You know a song is special when It rotates around your head keeping you awake after just a few listens. I also judge songs in my home when I hear my boys singing along to the tune and in both cases the title track of the debut EP had that effect on us. 'Wishing Well' is catchy, sentimental, atmospheric and radio friendly and more importantly makes me excited about music produced from Irish artists. Check out the track here:

An EP with one great track is a decent EP but 'Wishing Well' has four great tunes on it. Next to the title track 'Always Running' really impresses with a nod to the influence of late 60's era Beatles pop.

Between the opening title track and 'Always Running', the track 'Falling Star' is another fine song showcasing the pleasant vocals of Paul Hourican while the EP concludes with a short no frills piano based track called 'Zebra Days'.

'Wishing Well' is the best EP I've reviewed this year while the title track is the best song from an Irish artist I've heard this year. This EP is whetting my appetite for the future album release from 'Blackbird'.

Blackbird - Wishing Well [11 out of 12]

2Day's Tune: The Avett Brothers - Paul Newman (Vs The Demons)

On this day of Demons here's a great tune from The Avett Brothers. I chose the demo version of Paul Newman (Vs The Demons) because of that scream at 3 mins and 17 seconds. I love the lyrics and the sentimentality of the song. For anyone going through The Demons these are perfect empathetic lyrics that'll point the way to a release of suffering! 

You may have to drag me away from my demons
Kicking and screaming
It's been so long now, I've been with them
Don't know where they stop and I begin

We draw a line in the sand
Will you cross it? Oh, will you die for this?
Got nothing to tell you that you don't
Through your sadness below, already know

Yeah, yeah, yeah
Live through the past again
How many times must I live through the past again?
No more

Truth beyond truth and by our design
It is very fine like Newman's wine
Oh, to be like him and walk a path
To lend a hand, do something worth a damn

Yeah, yeah, yeah
Live through the past again
How many times must I live through the past again?
No more, wait

You may have to drag me away from my demons
Kicking and screaming

Yeah, yeah, yeah

Live through the past again
How many times must I live through the past again?
No more, wait

Thursday, 28 March 2013

2Day's Tunes: Frantic Jack - Living Proof

The good news about Irish bands abroad keeps on getting better and better with Little Green Cars appearing on Jimmy Fallon's show last night, The Stypes appearing on the Jools Holland show in a few weeks and news that Frantic Jack signed a Publishing Deal with an LA based company for their first two albums.

Frantic Jack are releasing a new single 'Living Proof' and have this fine video to accompany it:

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Glastonbury Line-up Announced

Whoohoo ...... Pleased To Meet You

2Day's Tune: Low Sea - Remote Viewing

Waterford based electronic duo 'Low Sea' look set to be become massive with the release of their album 'Remote Viewing' on Piccadilly Records on April 8th. The band have come to the attention of Pitchfork, Q, The Quietus, Digital Spy, Nialler9, Hot Press and they are scheduled for the Camden Crawl in May. 

Listen to the album title track and lead single here:

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

2Day's Tune: The Chapters - Arcade of the Scribes

Before I write about news from The Chapters you need to have a listen to this wonderful tune 'Arcade of the Scribes' taken from the second album from the Dublin band:

To help with the funding of the album The Chapters have gone the Fund:It route:

Rewards for funding Blood Feels Warm:

€10 + Digital download of The Chapters album Blood Feels Warm.
€15 + CD version of The Chapters album Blood Feels Warm + Digital Download
€25 + CD version of The Chapters album Blood Feels Warm + Ticket to album launch gig/party on the 19th April 2013 in Dublin + Digital download
€35 + Vinyl LP version of The Chapters album Blood Feels Warm + Digital download.
€45 + Vinyl LP version of The Chapters album Blood Feels Warm + Digital download + a "i helped fund The Chapters album and all i got was this stupid mug" mug.
€60 + Exclusive intimate summer solstice (21st June) mystery show by The Chapters at an undisclosed location in Ireland. + food and drinks and transport to and from the show from Dublin city centre. +Digital download of album included
€400 + Record one of YOUR own songs with The Chapters at The Chapters private studio with The Chapters as your backing band. + Digital download of album
€1000 + Private intimate performance by The Chapters at a location of your choice within Ireland. + Digital download

Monday, 25 March 2013

Album Review: Biggles Flys Again - Remember Saturday

'Remember Saturday' is the blissful, charming indie-pop album from 'Biggles Flys Again' that's brightened my life over the last number of days. 

'Remember Saturday' flows from charming uplifting tunes such as 'Friends', 'A Simple Plan' and 'Library' to the gentle sweet tunes such as 'Last Song of the Night' and 'Local Legend'. On the uplifting tunes there's a nod towards influences such as Belle & Sebastian and Pavement but there's also a clear influence of Elliot Smith on many of the tracks. 'Remember Saturday' is a fine mix of great tracks which deserves your attention. 

Remember Saturday’ was recorded with the aid of instruments from a different musical age such as Casio and Yamaha keyboards, a Hammond organ and a BBC Neve recording console. This adds to the charm of the album and contribute to the wonderful indie pop songs written by Conor Deasy, the man behind the 'Biggles Flys Again' moniker. 

Tracks to impress include the atmospheric 'Chambers', the catchy Beach Boys-esque 'Roadkill' and the singalong 'Friends' which you can download for free below:

There's not a bad track on the album however some tracks loose their sparkle after a couple of listens which is the only negative aspect of 'Remember Saturday' I can find. 'Biggles Flys Again' have the pop songs, the right indie sound, the charm and the sentimentality with the lyrics to be a very successful band. 

Biggles Flys Again - Remember Saturday [11 out of 12]

Free Downloads of the songs 'Friends' and 'Chambers' are available here:

Tour Details: 

Tour poster

Dublin Album Launch poster:

2Day's Tune: Easy Tide - Moodle

Navan band 'Easy Tide' are a band that really excite me. The punk rock three piece are an incredibly tight young band with good tunes full of the spirit of bands like Nirvana and The Pixies and I think they have a bright future ahead of them.

Check out this video taken at The Purple Sessions in Boyles of Slane in February.

More info:

To play The Purple Sessions either get in touch here: or email last2leave[at]

Sunday, 24 March 2013

2Day's Tune: The Milk Carton Kids - California

Ever since I was notified of The Milk Carton Kids playing Whelans on April 11th I've dug deep into their back catalogue and discovered some wonderful tunes such as this one:

'California' is taken from one of their two free albums 'Retrospect' available from their website here:

The folk due are Joey Ryan, Kenneth Pattengale, A 1951 Gibson J45  and A 1954 Martin 0-15 and the sound isn't a million miles from the beautiful sounds of Ireland's The Lost Brothers.

Their new album is 'The Ash & Clay' is out this week on Anti Records. 

Tour Dates:

4/4 - Berlin, DE - Gruener Salon
4/5 - Amsterdam, NL - Amstelkerk
4/6 - Rotterdam, NL - Motel Mozaique Festival
4/7 - Cologne, DE - Theater Wohngemeinschaft
4/10 - London, GB - St. Pancras Old Church
4/11 - Dublin, IE - Whelan's
4/17 - Nashville, TN - The High Watt
4/18 - Atlanta, GA - Eddie's Attic
4/19 - Durham, NC - Casbah
4/20 - Richmond, VA - Capital Ale House
4/22 - Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe Live
4/23 - Alexandria, VA - The Birchmere
4/25 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
4/26 - Montreal, QB - Il Motore
4/27 - Toronto, ON - The Drake
4/29 - Ann Arbor, MI - The Ark
4/30 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
5/2 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater
5/6 - Salt Lake City, UT - The State Room
5/8 - Los Angeles, CA - Largo
5/9 - Los Angeles, CA - Largo
5/10 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom
5/12 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up
5/13 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
5/15 - Portland, OR - Aladdin Theater
5/16 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern
5/17 - Vancouver, BC - Media Club
5/19 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom

Saturday, 23 March 2013

2Day's Tune: The Skin We're In - Blood Runs Red

The Skin We're In is the brainchild of Chris "Cricky" Markey, a songwriter and musician from Newry, Co. Down. His music is contemporary rock infused with soul, jazz and funk licks drawing from diverse influences from Tom Waits to Prince. The debut self-titled EP is available now on

The best track is this little slice of pop magic 'Blood Runs Red':

More info:

Friday, 22 March 2013

2Day's Tune: ESB ft Perry Blake - Michael Caine

Irish singer/ songwriter Perry Blake has become somewhat of a cult artist since releasing his debut album back in 1998. Since then he has released five further albums, been featured in two French films and been given an award for contributions to culture in Portugal (previously won by PJ Harvey and Lenny Kravitz).

The forthcoming album 'Electro Sensitive Behaviour', due out this Summer, was written & recorded at Perry's studio in the Sligo over the past year with long-term collaborator Glenn Garrett and with Graham Murphy at the production suite in Dublin Mixing. It's very much a new departure for Perry into Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode electro pop territory.

The first single 'Michael Caine' is released on April 5th by Reekus Records in Ireland.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

2Day's Tune: Evora [ft Shannon] - Tell Me Your Name

Did you see Erova with Navan singer Shannon on The Late Late Show last Friday night? No? Ok here it is ..... just wait 30 seconds for the band to start!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

2Day's Tune: The River Cry - Raise The Red Lantern

'The River Cry''s debut self-titled album heightens my interest big time because it's the return of Hilary Claire Woods formally the bassist of JJ72 and it's a relatively unique musical project in these parts. No one else in Ireland is making beautiful, cinematic, minimal music like this track in Ireland.

Buy the album:

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Album Review: Josh Ritter - The Beast In Its Tracks

'The Beast In Its Tracks' is Josh Ritter's 7th studio album and I've really enjoyed listening to it over the last number of weeks as background music as well as enjoyed getting into the stories within the song lyrics.

I met Josh Ritter in Whelans one night shortly after one of his gigs just after he released 'Golden Age of Radio' when I asked him to sign the album I just bought. I still regard that album as one of my all time favourite albums and I think 'The Animal years' is another great album. 'Hello Starling' had some good moments on it but Josh's previous two albums failed to reach my radar at all. Which leads us to 'The Beast In Its Tracks' which was released initially in Ireland and then worldwide on the 5th March. Is the album as good as Ritter's back catalogue or as good as his contemporary's.

The album begins with three short tunes which are mediocre and unmemorable at best so it takes the forth track 'Hopeful' before you hear a classic 'Josh Ritter' tune. It fact 'Hopeful' sounds so familiar it sounds a lot like 'Thin Blue Flame'. Another highlight is the charming 'New Lover' with superb engaging lyrics that you can check out in this video.

There's a strong 'Simon & Garfunkel' influence throughout the album especially on tunes such as 'Nightmares' and 'Bonfires' while for me the best track by far is this wonderful tune 'In Your Arms Again'.

In general, 'The Beast in its Tracks' ticks many boxes for Josh Ritter. It adds around a half a dozen quality songs to a typical live set list. It satisfies eager Josh Ritter fans while also engaging new listeners and provides amply promotion opportunities regarding the three or four excellent radio friendly singles that'll be released from the album in the coming months.

Josh Ritter - The Beast in its Tracks [9 out of 12]

2Day's Tune: Just No - The More You Run

Just No support Cat Dowling in The Grand Social on Friday in what looks to be the gig of the weekend! Love this song from 'Just No', reminds me of early 90s alternative era of Justine Hatfield or The Breeders.

Monday, 18 March 2013

2Day's Tune: Kate O'Callaghan - She Cries

'She Cries' is the new song from Kate O'Callaghan and it's a gorgeous laid back jazzy tune. It very much suggests a wonderful debut album is on the way from the Donegal artist.

See Kate O'Callaghan in Boyles of Slane on Thursday 28th March:

Support to Birds of Chicago Ireland Tour

Kate has been invited to support J.T. Nero & Allison Russell aka Birds of Chicago on their Irish Tour, in association with Roadworks Tours.
April 27th – Róisín Dubh, Galway
April 28th – De Barra’s, Clonakilty
April 29th – The Loft@The Locke, Limerick
April 30th – Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey

Saturday, 16 March 2013

2Day's Tune: Dem Fools - Shape of my Life

If you're looking for new exciting Irish music there's few bands out there better than North Dublin band 'Dem Fools' who have this song 'Shape of my Life' released on Dem Fools Day, April 1st.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Live Review: Eoin Glackin - Workmans Club, Dublin March 14th

Eoin Glackin launched his second album 'Rain Finally Came' with a fantastic performance in the Workman's Club last night which proved to me he is one of Ireland's best singer-songwriters. 

Earlier today I wrote about Eoin's support act, Ian Prowse who performed a great little set from his solo career and songs from his previous bands Pele and Amsterdam. He was entertaining, funny, charming and relevant. He finished with 'Does This Train Stop in Merseyside' which has been covered by many artists including Christy Moore. Check out this version from Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral a few years back:

There was an atmosphere of celebration in the room for Eoin Glackin who was releasing his second album 'Rain Finally Came'. Naturally nearly the whole set was taken from the album along with a few from his debut album and a couple of nicely chosen covers of Fisherman Blues from The Waterboys and a rousing performance of Springsteen's Hungry Heart.

There was an intensity in Eoin's performance and a togetherness within the band similar to that of established acts like The Frames or Delorentos. Songs that impressed on the night include 'No One Had A Light', 'Ninja Turtle's and a somber intense performance of 'Mrs Campbell'. The highlight of the night was 'Carlisle Bridge' off the debut album. It was not only sung with emotion from the crowd but when the band were finished the song the crowd continued with the refraining line 'Everything Can Work Out Fine' until the band returned to finish the song for a second time. It was an organic emotional moment which is not only a highlight of this gig but certainly the best moment in any gig I've been to in a long time.

Hopefully Eoin will use this launch as a springboard for himself and the band to make a big push to get the album out there to the people. It's a really good album that deserves to be discovered by as many people as possible.

Photos Credit:

Listen to the album on

2Day's Tune: Ian Prowse - Here I Am

I had the great pleasure of seeing Ian Prowse who supported Eoin Glackin in The Workmans Club last night. Ian Prowse is a singer/songwriter from Merseyside, England who has formed two bands, Pele and Amsterdam and has a 'Best Of' album available here!

Photos from Ian's set last night courtesy of AK Photography

Listen to 'Here I Am' off the current 'Best of Ian Prowse'

Tour Dates:

Chester Commercial Inn
Friday 15th March (Outdoor Show for St.Patricks weekend)

Doncaster Leopard
Friday 3rd May

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral (Full Amsterdam show as special guests of Dexy’s)
Saturday 4th May

Stroud Prince Albert
Tuesday 14th May

London Half Moon
Thursday 16 May

Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Friday 17 May

Chester Commercial Inn
Friday 24 May

Otley Korks, Yorkshire
Friday 31 May

Perth Tulloch Institute
Friday 21st June
Ticket info:

Lake District Penrith, The Crown
Saturday 22 June (Free show)

Liverpool Philharmonic, Rodewald Suite
Friday 12th July

Liverpool Philharmonic, Rodewald Suite
Saturday 13 July SOLD OUT

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Album Review: Martin Harley - Mojo Fix

Martin Harley released his forth studio album 'Mojo Fix' this year and it's a super album full of blues influenced Americana with lots of Weissenborn and electric lap steel guitar. 

I've had 'Mojo Fix' in my house for about three weeks now and it's been listened to by myself numerous times as well as my wife and twin boys who all enjoy the rhythmic roots style of Americana rock on offer from Martin Harley. 'Mojo Fix' ticks all the right boxes in terms of fine lead vocals, catchy tunes, foot stomping rock n roll, awesome guitar riffs and well written songs such as this stomping track 'Ball & Chain'.

The title track and lead single as well as 'Working For The Man' are similar rocking tracks to 'Ball & Chain' above but the songs which really impress are the charming Country style tracks such as Cardboard King with it's clever lyrics to my favourite track 'Threading Water' about being there for someone special.

I tip my hat to Martin Harley and his band for making a really good accomplished album with some brilliant songs and excellent musicianship. 

Martin Harley - Mojo Fix [9 out of 12]

UK Tour Dates:

Mojo Fix Official Video:

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Gigs 2 Go 2: March 14th - 20th

Lots of great music as usual to head to, here's the gigs that jump out at me this week:

Thursday 14th March

Eoin Glackin - Workmans Club €8


Dimestore Recordings - Sweeneys Free

This has to be the best line-up of Irish bands ever! 


Friday 15th March

Another wonderful line-up of bands for 'Rock Against Racism' in Sweeneys on Dame Street!


Saturday 16th March

Power of Dreams & Sack: The Grand Social €15 More info:

Two of Ireland's best ever bands together for one night on Saturday! Sure what did the Christians Ever Do For Us?


Sunday 17th March - St Patricks Day

Starting in the Main Venue from 3pm to 11pm we then take the party upstairs after 11pm til 3am. 12 hours of amazing free music.

15:00-15:45 Penny Wentworth
16:00-16:45 The Scenes
17:00-17:45 Leaving Las Vegas
18:00-18:45 The Rusty Fixtures

19:00-19:45 Verona Riots
20:00-20:45 WOB
21:00-21:45 Corner Boy

22:00-22:45 Dem Fools
23:00-23:45 Empire Saints
00:00-00:45 PunchFace Champions
01:00-01:45 VANN


Monday 18th March

The Avett Brothers: The Button Factory €20 ..... SOLD OUT

Wish I was at this!


Weds March 20th

Beth Orton & support from Gavin James: The Olympia €23

Beth Orton in The Olympia? Yes please! Tickets here:

Album Review: Conor Linnie - Astray

Astray is the debut from Conor Linnie which showcases his immense finger-picking guitar style while at the same time composing a number of excellent tunes. 

I've noticed that if an artist has an amazing talent on guitar that there's an anomaly in regards of songwriting. The idea that the talented guitarist can't write a song! I'm glad to report that Conor Linnie is both a good songwriter and has a wonderful finger-picking style on guitar. When you add a decent vocal into the mix we have an artist who should have a long music career ahead of him. On the title track the vocals are that good they remind me of Chris Cornell's unique vocals.

Of the nine tracks on the album there's around four that step forward from the rest. The opening track 'Moths' is a chirpy folk tune that kicks off the album in fine style. 'The Fire I'm Kindling' is a gorgeous love song full of charm and warmth before blazing into a full band folk song. The single 'Crash Bandicoot Blues' does what is says in the song title while the best and most complete song on the album for me is the title track 'Astray'.

At 32 minutes long, 'Astray' is a short but sweet introduction to an artist who I predict will have a long career ahead of him. Catch him on Saturday in Whelans with fine support from Wyvern Lingo to launch the album.

Conor Linnie - Astray [10 out of 12]

2Day's Tune: Senakah - Ugly

There's nothing ugly about this fine single from one of my favourite Irish bands 'Senakah'. 

Senakah announce Nationwide tour dates as their new single “UGLY” is released this Friday

March 16th – 5th on teeling, Sligo
April 6th – Nealons upstairs, Dublin (acoustic set)
April 10th – The Cellar, Galway (accoustic set)
April 17th – The Globe (song room sessions), Dublin (accoustic set)
May 1st – Whelans main stage, Dublin (acoustic support to Kiernan McMullen)
May 2nd – Dolan upstairs, limerick
May 4th – Kennys, Lahinch, Clare
May 17th – The Workmans club, Dublin
June 14th – Monroes, Galway

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

St Patrick's Day Mix

A few weeks ago I was asked to submit my top 13 tracks from Irish singer-songwriters since 2000 which was submitted to IASCA to be included in a package of music for BBC Radio 6 to potentially be played during their St. Patrick's Day shows.

On 6 Music, presenters Cerys Matthews, (10-12noon), Huey Morgan (1-4pm) and Tom Robinson in Now Playing @ 6 Music (6-8pm) will each be selecting a few Irish artists to play during their shows. The station will also replay their Sinead O’Connor First Time special (12-1pm).

Hopefully some of the following tracks will be played on BBC Radio 6 on Sunday!

1. Dr. Millar - Feel Everything & Love Yourself

2. Michael Brunnock - Sensation (2012 from the album The Orchard)

3. Damien Rice - The Professor

4. Foy Vance - Indiscriminate Act of Kindness

5. Bill Coleman - The Pull of the Pint

6. Damien Dempsey - Apple of my Eye

7. Nina Hynes - Universal

8. David Hope - Daybreak Someplace (2013 album The Scarecrow)

9. Declan O'Rourke - Sarah (Last Night in a Dream)

10. Mic Christopher - Heyday

11. Gemma Hayes - Home

12. Iain Archer - Frozen Lake (from 2009 album To The Pine Roots)

13. Kiernan McMullan - That Afternoon (from 2008 album Perfect People are Boring)

2Day's Tune: Shadowplay - Drive

Shadowplay headline Golden Plec's 'Coast to Coast - Tea & Toast' live finale show in Whelans with fine support from Elaine Mai and The Dirty 9s.

Shadowplay have been away from the live scene for some time so if you've forgotten how good they are listen to this ....

More info:

Monday, 11 March 2013

2Day's Tune: A Band Called Wanda - Old Gold

It came with great personal pleasure and surprise that Galway's folk/pop act 'A Band Called Wanda' made it past 8000 other bands to be one of 8 bands through to the live final of Glastonbury's Emerging Talent Competition. The band were one of my three picks! Yay!

The live finals will take place at Pilton Working Men's Club on Saturday 6th April, 2013. As in previous years, they will stream live on the official Glastonbury website. The winning act will then get the chance to play a main stage set at this year's festival.

Well done to A Band Called Wanda for this achievement!

Hear all 8 finalists here:

Saturday, 9 March 2013

2Day's Tune: Cat Dowling - Come On

I've been a fan of Cat Dowling's voice going back over a decade to Bablefish which morphed into 'Alphastates' who released two superb albums. In the three or four years since 'Alphastates' broke up, singer Cat Dowling has been writing and performing the occasional gig leading up to the release of her debut album 'The Believer' which will be released in May with the single 'Come On' being released on March 22nd.

Check out the awesome video for 'Come On'e here:

Follow Cat Dowling on Twitter:
Like Cat Dowling on facebook:

Video Directed by Marc Corrigan

Friday, 8 March 2013

2Day's Tune: Fox. E. & The Good Hands - Caboose

On International Women's Day, I'm writing about the most entertaining women in the Irish music business whose band is on the verge of releasing their debut album 'Curvy'. Fox E & The Good Hands are a great band and have a brilliant funky, bluesy, lovable album for you to get hold of in April.

Listen to 'Caboose' here:

Thursday, 7 March 2013

2Day's Tune: Martin Harley - Cardboard King

Hailing from Guildford in the UK, Martin Harley and his band are a Blues/Rock band with an abundance of Slide Guitar who released a new album 'Mojo Fix' this year. One of the best tracks from 'Mojo Fix' is this song 'Cardboard King'.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Album Review: Eoin Glackin - Rain Finally Came

'Rain Finally Came' is the brilliant second album from Dubliner Eoin Glackin. It's a well thought out collection of songs with expressive lyrics, passionate vocals and plenty of catchy melodies. 

Eoin Glackin is a singer-songwriter from Dublin who has performed all over Ireland in the last five or six years and 'Rain Finally Came' is his second album available from March 15th. I've really enjoyed listening to the album this last week. It has passionate  and intense vocals that at times reminds me of Adam Duritz from Counting Crows but on other songs there's the powerful delivery associated with someone like Damien Dempsey. Most importantly for me 'Rain Finally Came' is full of well written songs with a number of them massively impressing me.

Songs that shine through include the title track, 'Last Night in this Town' and the brilliant 'Ninja Turtles (With The Wind). Mrs Campbell is a tune about the shooting of an innocent plumber around six years ago in Dublin. It's actually a well intentioned song that shines a light on a horrible event with lyrics that gets to the core of the issues. Another song that stands out is the Frank Turner-esque 'New World Blue':

'Rain Finally Came' has a good mix of folk/rock tracks, radio friendly catchy tunes as well as slower traditional singer-songwriter style tracks. The inclusion of violin played by Aisling Bridgeman on the majority of the songs raises the tracks above the ordinary and gives an extra dimension to the sound. In fact it's the slower paced singer-songwriter style tracks that lets the album down a little as Eoin's voice is better suited to delivering intense messages such as on 'Mrs Campbell' or on 'Dancing Anymore'.

Eoin Glackin - Rain Finally Came [10 out of 12]

2Day's Tune: Oddsocks - There#s Something Going On

Oddsocks have dropped the Revival and are releasing a new EP entitled 'There's Something Going On' on March 30th. The video is below and it's a cracking video in a Love/Hate kind of way for a great folk/rock tune:

Something Goin' On from Oddsocks on Vimeo.

See Oddsocks live:

16/03/13 Ramelton THE BRIDGE BAR Ireland 10:00pm. Address: Bridge Bar Bridgend Ramelton Co. Donegal.
20/03/13 Cork L.V. Ireland 10:00pm. Address: Mac Curtain st., Cork.
21/03/13 Cork UCC STUDENT CENTRE Ireland 5:00pm. Address: University College Cork, Cork.
21/03/13 Cork THE OLD OAK Ireland 10:00pm. Address: 113 Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork.
22/03/13 Dublin SWEENEY MONGREL Ireland 10:00pm. Address: 32, Dame Street, Dublin 2.
29/03/13 Derry SANDINOS United Kingdom 10:00pm. Address: Water Street Londonderry BT48 6BQ.
31/03/13 Galway TOWNHOUSE BAR Ireland Time: 10:00pm. Address: Townhouse Bar & Restaurant, Quay Lane, [Across from the Spanish Arch] Latin Quarter, Galway City..
05/04/13 Coleraine THE LISTENING POST United Kingdom Time: 10:00pm. Address: BT521SA Coleraine, Coleraine, United Kingdom.
13/04/13 Roscommon JJ HARLOWS Ireland Time: 10:00pm. Address: The Square, Roscommon, Ireland.
20/04/13 Letterkenny VOODOO GREEN ROOM Ireland Time: 10:00pm. Address: Lower Mainstreet, Letterkenny.
24/04/13 Cork CYPRUS AVENUE Ireland Time: 9:00pm. Address: Cyprus Avenue Caroline Street, Cork.
26/04/13 Ballina, Mayo BRENNANS LANE Ireland Time: 10:30pm. Address: Brennans Lane Bar, Ballina, Co. Mayo.
27/04/13 Dublin WHELAN’S Ireland Time: 10:00pm. Address: 25 Wexford street, Dublin 2. UPSTAIRS
03/05/13 Dundalk VANTASTIVAL Ireland Time: 10:00pm. Address: Bellurgan Park, Dundalk, Co. Louth.
05/05/13 Thomastown MURPHYS Ireland Time: 10:00pm. Address: Thomastown, Kilkenny, Ireland.
10/05/13 Castlebar THE ROYAL THEATRE Ireland Time: 10:00pm. Address: Old Westport Road, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. W / THE RIPTIDE MOVEMENT
11/05/13 Belfast THE EMPIRE BAR United KingdomTime: 10:00pm. Address: The Belfast Empire 42 Botanic Avenue,Belfast, BT7 1JQ.
24/05/13 Mulligar JOHN DALYS IrelandTime: 10:00pm. Address: No.2 Oliver Plunkett Street, Mullingar.
25/05/13 Tullamore JOE LEES IrelandTime: 10:00pm. Address: Tullamore, Co. Offaly.
26/05/13 Castleblayney THE COMET BAR Ireland Time: 10:00pm. Address: Main Street, Castleblayney, IE..
31/05/13 Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal RORY GALLAGHER FESTIVAL Ireland

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

2Day's Tune: Crafty Fuzz - Timebomb

Crafty Fuzz from Rush, Co. Dublin offer grungie psychedelic rock music which harks back to the days of Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. 'Timebomn' is taken from the band's self-titled debut EP.

 Get the EP here:

Monday, 4 March 2013

Live Review: Hermitage Green - The Academy, Dublin, Mar 2nd

Playing their biggest headline gig to date, Hermitage Green performed a sell out gig in the 850 capacity venue The Academy in Dublin which still astounds me as the Limerick band have yet to release a full debut album. So the big question of the night for me was are Hermitage green worth the fanfare?

I missed the first support and got there in time for three-fifths of The Young Folk doing an excellent short set of songs taken mainly from their debut album 'The Little Battle'. Standout tracks included 'Letters', 'Way Down South' and they had some brass to attempt and pull off a completely acoustic version of Olivia Leaves in front of a quiet listening Academy crowd.

Here's a video of Olivia Leaves from The Ruby Sessions:

The big surprise for me was the set up of Hermitage Green. The band have two percussionists and yet no drum kit to speak of with four vocalists, bass and acoustic and electric guitars. While the set up suggests a leaning to folk, the songs are very much catchy pop/rock songs with the Unique Selling Point being the two Murphy lads with their pitch perfect vocals. 

The tracks that stood out and got a good reception from the crowd included 'Aisling', 'Florida Blues' and their 'hit' Gibson. However the biggest cheer 'for a song' came for their version of Cosmic Love:

The gig was high on entertainment value and in many ways I could understand why they are beginning to make a name for themselves in Ireland and why they are in demand in the UK, Australia and the US. Comparisons will be made to 'Mumford & Sons' but with the Bodhan and Djembe drums in nearly every track they have a distinguishable sound that works for people who have bought into the new folk revival. 

There was also a charming side to the gig when Darragh the banjo playing Djembe drummer sung a song to his girlfriend in the crowd before proposing marriage to her in front of a shocked audience [Watch the video below]. That was a really nice, enjoyable moment and I wish the couple every happiness and Hermitage green every success into the future. 

To answer my question .... yes I do think that Hermitage Green are a really good entertaining band and deserve their current success. I'm looking forward to hearing the debut album when it appears into the future. 

Tour Dates:


Album Review: Heidi Talbot - Angels Without Wings

'Angels Without Wings' is folk album of quality tunes from Kildare singer Heidi Talbot and a supporting cast including Mark Knopfler, King Creosote, Tim O'Brien and more.

Scotland based Irish folk singer Heidi Talbot released 'Angels Without Wings' to wide acclaim in the folk circles and is in the middle of a mammoth UK tour in support of the album. Heidi Talbot has had a noteworthy career initially as a member of Irish-American super group 'Cherish the Ladies' as well has releasing five solo albums and appeared on albums by Eddi Reader, Idlewild and Boo Hewerdine. 'Angels Without Wings' finds Heidi at the pinnacle of her creative ability.

The album was recorded live in Glasgow’s new Gorbals Sound Studios with Ian Carr (guitars), Phil Cunningham (accordion), Michael McGoldrick (flutes/whistles), James Mackintosh (percussion), Boo Hewerdine (acoustic guitar) and Ewan Vernal (bass). It's very much a full band folk sound with some fabulous collaborations throughout. The most impressive is the Americana sounding 'When The Roses Come Again' featuring Mark Knopfler.

'Angels Without Wings' has been a difficult enough album to review for a number of reasons. While consistently charming on initial listens, the quality of the songs on offer take some time to filter through and to stand out. In total I'd say there are four excellent tunes on the album which shine on an otherwise ordinary set of songs. Also the Parisian sounding title track which opens the album is so delicious and yet so different to the rest of the album that I kept wanting the other songs to sound like 'Angels Without Wings'.

Other songs to impress me are 'Button Up' which is probably the most radio friendly track on the album with a great story and fine backing vocals. I also love the vocals and charm of the closing track 'Arcadia'. I've grown to enjoy the album more after numerous listens and would recommend you to check out 'Angels Without Wings'.

Heidi Talbot - Angels Without Wings [9 out of 12]

Tour Dates:

Mon 04 Mar Rodewald Suite, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, England. Box Office: 0151 7093789

Tue 05 Mar Pocklington Arts Centre, Pocklington, England. Box Office: 01759 301547

Thu 07 Mar Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline, Scotland. Box Office: 01383 602302

Fri 08 Mar Eden Court, Inverness, Scotland. Box Office: 01463 234234

Sat 09 Mar Eastgate Arts Centre, Peebles, Scotland. Box Office: 01721 725777

Sun 10 Mar The Woodend barn, Banchory, Scotland. Box Office: 01330 825431

2Day's Tune: Mojo Gogo - Dancing With Me On Your Mind

This is a fine indie pop song from Donegal/Derry's 'Mojo Gogo'.

See Mojo Gogo this Saturday night at the Vantastival launch gig:

Event page:

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Live Review: Ana Gog - Unitarian Church, Dublin Mar 1st

The best band in Ireland at this moment in time played a sell out album launch in Dublin's Unitarian Church and it was a spectacular gig consisting of amazing musicianship, friendly crowd banter and awesome visuals displayed high into the ceiling of the church.

Friday's gig officially launched Ana Gog's debut album 'Making Trails'. Traditionally bands roll out aunts, uncles, distant cousins and anyone they passed on the street to their album launch gig but there was a genuine feeling that the 'Sold Out' signs were very unexpected and massively appreciated.

I've written about Ana Gog numerous times and I always struggle to describe their sound. It really is the closest to undefinable I've heard. A comparison could be made to American band 'TV on the Radio' and I can always hear early Genesis in the songs but describing the quality of musicianship and the minute detail in their sound is tricky. Of the album tracks that got an airing I loved 'Mr Magpie' especially with the visuals in the background:

For me the most satisfying aspect of the evening were hearing around five new songs not on 'Making Trails'. Some of those songs were amazing were indistinguishable from the quality on 'Making Trails'. This means that 'Making Trails' looks likely to be chapter one of a long career for my favourite Irish band.

Photos courtesy of AK Photography:


2Day's Tune: Blackbird - Wishing Well

Goosebumps galore from this tasty tune 'Wishing Well' from Blackbird. Easily one of the best tracks I've heard in 2013. Check it out:

'Wishing Well' is the title track from NYC based band 'Blackbird'. Blackbird is a band created by Paul Hourican, a songwriter, singer and writer of sorts from Dublin Ireland currently living in New York City. The Wishing Well EP is the debut release from Blackbird and is available from March 4th 2013 at the Blackbird Store.