Friday, May 29, 2015

New Album From Richard Thompson.

I'm really looking forward to the new album by the ever brilliant Richard Thompson, set for release June 23rd next. This will be no less his 42nd release in as many years and will coincide with a tour including a Dublin date (Vicar Street on September 1st.).
Jeff Tweedy is the producer on this album entitled 'Still' which if this single 'Beatnik Walking' is anything to go by will be one of the most anticipated collections of the year,

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Freestyle Dancing To The Smiths.

This is one of the best things I have seen on YouTube for a long time and I think very worthy of a mention. Mylia Noir a student from Berlin has recently posted some freestyle dancing videos to songs of The Smiths and Morrissey. Hopefully there will be more to come if the demand increases. A new generation of Smiths and Morrissey fans are certainly out there and I think this will help carry the torch.
This is her video for 'What Difference Does It Make' also check out her YouTube channel to see her dance routine to 'Still Ill' and 'November Spawned A Monster' all equally brilliant.


Monday, October 27, 2014

The Frank And Walters 25th Anniversary Concert At Cork's Opera House. October 25th 2014.

Paul Linehan lead vocals and bass.
One of Ireland's truly greatest bands The Frank And Walters were celebrating in style last Saturday night at home in their native Cork city. It was the band's 25th anniversary and the venue was a packed, sold out show in The Opera House located in the heart of town.
Preceding their performance tonight all four band members along with several hundred fans assembled at Grand Parade and marched to the concert venue to the sound of  The Barrack Street Band. Support onstage came from The Minutes and Rubyhorse but it was clear that everyone there just wanted to see their heroes The Franks.
Twenty five years is a long time in one's life and for many including myself there are a lot of great memories of The Frank And Walters music. I was lucky enough back in the 1990's to get promo cassette tapes of bands from record labels such as Setanta Records. I remember one time in particular receiving a floppy vinyl promo of the band back in the very early days. I also remember seeing them play support to The Wedding Present in Limerick's Savoy Theater over 20 years ago. 
Tonight was more of a reassurance of their brilliance than a trip through nostalgia as they kicked off their set with 'Tony Corcoran' and delighted the crowd again and again by playing almost everything important from their back catalogue. 'After All', 'Fashion Crisis Hit's New York', 'Colours', 'Michael', 'How Can I Exist' were just some of the highlights.  Between each song the chanting from the crowd 'we are, we are the frank and walters......' could be heard throughout the venue.
It was evident tonight that there is a huge loyal following to The Frank And Walters and probably most people assembled there have been fans from the beginning. Their music has an honesty and as much relevance to me and many others of our generation as The Smiths or The Cure or Joy Division ever had. This is a band who has survived and that's what is the most important, they never sold out to become obnoxiously overpaid rockstars but they have provided many of us with the soundtrack of our lives. May they continue to do so and we will look forward to their next album which will be a welcome release in 2015. It was a delight to see them being appreciated and celebrated in such a fine way last weekend and I will stand by my opinion that they are Ireland's greatest band.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Neil Young And Crazy Horse Live At The Marquee Cork 10/07/2014.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse

It has been a very busy few months indeed on the concert scene, so much so I have attended more shows than I have had time to blog about. One of the stand out gigs of the summer was seeing Neil Young and Crazy Horse last July, this time at the Marquee in Cork. Bass player Billy Talbot and founding member of Crazy Horse unfortunately could not attend this current European tour due to health issues. Rick Rosas however, who many times toured with Neil Young on previous outings  was a well chosen replacement and Dorene Carter and YaDonna Wes were another addition on backing vocals. Ralph Molina  (drums) and Frank "Poncho" Sampredo (lead guitar) completed tonight's line up.

Drawing from an incredibly long career, the set kicked off with a rousing version of 'Love And Only Love' from the album 'Ragged Glory' released back in 1990. I often consider that album as one of their greatest moments for it's rawness and originality and one that has certainly stood the test of time. 'Days That Used To Be' another stand out song from 'Ragged Glory' was also on the set list tonight, I had not checked up previous set lists from this tour because I wanted it all to be a surprise.

Despite some negative reviews of last year's performance at the RDS in Dublin, due to sound difficulties and set list choices, Neil Young and Crazy Horse could not have disappointed  even the harshest of critics this night in Cork. A pin could be heard drop during Young's solo rendition of 'Heart Of Gold' or 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart', the sound quality impeccable.
Also a new song called 'Who's Gonna Stand Up And Save The Earth' was debuted on this tour hinting at yet more new recorded material on it's way very soon, 
During a killer version of 'Rockin' In The Free World', many people in the crowd showing solidarity for Palestine held up banners with 'Please Don't Play Apartheid Israel' written clearly for the band to see.  Neil Young and Crazy Horse were due to play Tel Aviv on July 17th ( just a week after this Irish date) however it was thankfully cancelled very shortly beforehand. One would like to think that Neil Young spotted these banners in Cork that night and rightfully changed his mind.
That beautiful balmy summers night last July will stay in my mind forever, Neil Young, long may you run.....