Band on an Island Live @ Ryston 23/04/10

Amidst the furore of Kildare’s annual frenzy over the races at Punchestown and suit invasion to boot, Band on an Island where launching new single ‘Back Disco’ in Newbridge. The alternative to the race day decadence and trendiness was taking place only a few miles down the road in the secluded surroundings of Ryston, in the bands hometown of Newbridge.

It would have just been rude not to take a wander down to check out the buzz and it turned out to be really good night with support from Appo and the Dead Orphans, The Yochill Band and The Last Tycoons who were particularly impressive (I even bought me an album). There’s nothing like good live music and a few jars to sort you out for the night anyway there’s some clips but apologies for the sound quality, it isn’t perfect.

(Slight) health warning BOAI are mates of mine, none the less still a great band!

Playlist #4

The worst named feature returns for your listening pleasure!

Some cheery sunshine indie/folk for you all via Mystery Jets and Johnny Flynn,  I’ve been banging on about both lately and they’ve  dropped some appetizers from their forthcoming albums. From the mellow to the manic as digital hardcore anti-fascist’s Atari Teenage Riot return following a ten-year hiatus with ‘Activate’ a furious industrial, rave-rock massacre! A wee bit less intense but equally great is the driving beats and bass of South Central’s remix of ‘Flush’ and chilling things the fuck out is Falty DL giving Mount Kimbie a liquid ambient rejiggle.

Mp3: Losers – Flush (South Central Remix)

Mp3: Johnny Flynn – Kentucky Pill

Mp3: Mystery Jets – Flash a Hungry Smile

Mp3: Atari Teenage Riot – Activate

Mp3: Mount Kimbie – Serged (FaltyDL Remix)

Double Dagger – Masks (EP)

The most notable feature of Baltimore trio Double Dagger apart from the slightly freaky cover that is; they don’t do things by halves, it’s all or nothing judging by their latest EP Masks. Double Dagger have been compared to a plethora of great bands but whether this is true or not they certainly kick out jams conjuring up memories of post-punk and alternative legends.

Okay we aren’t witnessing the reinvention of the wheel here, but, Double Dagger feel fresh, urgent and they pack their own weighty punch. There is no messing around as they explode out of the blocks with ‘Imitation is the Most Boring Form of Flattery’  and ‘Pillow Talk’ exemplifying their simple yet super effective no-nonsense attitude to music, with crunching guitars, crashing cymbals and shout out loud lyrics, not to mention the perfectly worked Keyboard Cat riff of the latter.

Things take a slightly somnolent twist in name only however, with ‘Sleeping In Wolf’s Clothing’ and ‘Sleeping with the TV On’ which have a noticeably rough and ready garage rock sound with a likeness to Pavement or Sluts of Trust, screeching vocals and riffs to boot. There is just time for ‘Song for S’ a brief instrumental to conclude matters.

There is something beautifully appealing about their DIY style that manages to capture so much of the raucous volume and energy which so often goes missing. Importantly there earnest and intelligent lyric are both impressive and pivotal, not just gibberish as is often the case with bad garage punk, for which they are not.

For the full effect turn this up loud!

Mp3: Double Dagger – Pillow Talk

‘New’ Duncan Lloyd – Wall of Desire

Better known as the lead guitarist and backing vocalist from Maxïmo Park, Duncan Lloyd has just released a new track ‘Wall of Desire’ via MySpace. This is his first solo material since the great 2008 album Seeing Double and the great news is he’s stuck with the tried and tested winning formula;  fuzzy, rough and raw melodic indie. Not to sure what this signals, a new Album or EP? there was no update accompanying the release but beggars can’t be chooser’s now can they?

Mp3: Duncan Lloyd – Wall of Desire

Guru R.I.P

Numerous reports from reputable sources flying about this morning that one half of the legendary Gang Starr, Guru has unfortunately passed away after a long battle with cancer. No need for long-winded shit here but Gang Starr, one of the great Hip Hop voices is the reason I ever listened to Hip-Hop in the first place, he will be sorely missed by not only me but the whole hip-hop world for sure. Peace.

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Villagers ‘Becoming A Jackal’

Okay time to draw a veil over the weekends antics.

It was Record Store Day on Saturday and while I didn’t see any of the in store gigs, I did manage to get my hands on a lovely limited edition Villagers ‘Becoming A Jackal’ 7″ Vinyl. To be frank, my da put me on to Connor O’ Brien and Villagers a long while back but I wasn’t really feeling the  Hollow Kind EP. I’m a big enough man to admit when I’m wrong and how wrong I was.

Becoming A Jackal’ is simply amazing and the b-side ‘Twenty-Seven Strangers’ is great too. You have most likely heard about this guy somewhere else so I won’t waste your time, just check out his stirring performance on Later Live…with Jools Holland last week.

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Mystery Jets Live @ The Academy 17/04/10

It’s been a while, 6 years in fact since I had the pleasure to witness the Mystery Jets in the flesh and a lot has changed since then, not only my circumstances but in music too. The band now reduced to a quartet still possess that eccentric charm that enables them to live up to their hype with ease and hopefully there would be some new treats on offer from their forthcoming album.

After unfortunately missing support band ‘Funeral Suits’ we made our way in to the Academy for the main attraction, where there was a sizable crowd awaiting, a couple of sips of a pint and the rapturous applause singled the band were taking to the stage. It was to be a rather strange gig with the band playing a lot of new material which can go either way depending on the crowd. Luckily this lot were obviously fans and seemed quite content to forego the full sing-a-long extravaganza for the chance to hear some treats from the forthcoming album. The set list was littered with new material, intertwining well-known favourites but unknowingly did slightly subdue the crowd. The new treats included  ‘Flash’, ‘Miracle, ‘Girl is Gone’, ‘Alice Spring’ and the hugely impressive  and memorable ‘Lady Grey’, on this evidence the new album can’t come quick enough.

The night may have had a bit of a warm-up or listening party vibe to it but there was plenty of attention given to some old favourites too. Their rendition of ‘Young Love’, albeit without Laura Marling sparked punters into sing-a-long overdrive and the superlative ‘Flakes’ was delivered with so much punch and emotion even the walls could have had tears. The crowd now in full voice lapped up ‘Veiled in Grey’ and 80’s esque fans favourite ‘Two Doors Down’ before a brief break.

The crowd had found their voice and were loving it,  now thoroughly thawed out calling for the customary encore and hey presto the band re-emerged on stage.  In the midst of sirens the crowd knew what was coming and the band didn’t waste anytime launching headfirst into ‘Hideaway’ before signing off with a beautiful and frantic performance of ‘Behind the Bunhouse’, leaving the crowd baying for more, but alas, that was not to be.

Through the bemusement, the ecstasy and the elation, it was a tight squeeze but there is most certainly still a large place in my heart for the Mystery Jets, as was the feeling amongst the crowd as they shuffled down the stairs and on to the streets of Dublin.

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New Blur Song ‘Fool’s Day’ Free Download

Don’t panic if like me you failed to get your hands on the über limited edition 7 inch vinyl of ‘Fool’s Day’ yesterday, because the band have kindly decided to give it away free from their website. The song was released across the UK at independent music retailers as part of  Record Store Day. Blur’s manager Chris Morrison has said it is important that the song was made available to fans legally.

“To avoid fans having to illegally obtain an inferior copy of this track from pirate sites – we have made it freely available through the band’s website”.

It’s the first song all 4 members of the band have recorded together since Think Tank’s ‘Battery In Your Leg’ way back in 2003 and I’m diggin’ the tune, particularly the trade mark Graham Coxon riffs and solo (which the mp3 misses,or is it just me?).

Is this the start of things to come? I bloody hope so.

Download it here

Steinski ChoiceCuts.Com Relaunch Mix

This mix was pushed into my shamefully ignorant lap yesterday, following a brief but thorough ‘education’ I began acquainting myself with the mix. It quickly come to the realisation of its brilliance, cut-and-paste magic from one of most influential individuals in the world of hiphop and dance music production, Steinski (Cheers Karl).

The exclusive mix by the legendary cut and paste wizard and remixer coincides with the relaunch of  www.choicecuts.com which sees Steinski added to an already busy Dublin schedule for Saturday 17th April with Band on an Island in Crawdaddy, Mystery Jets in The Academy and all the Record Store Day events taking place. I’m gonna try pop in at some stage, it’s all going down between 8 and 10 in ‘Anseo’ and it’s free in!