(Video) Blood Red Shoes – Cold

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Blood Red Shoes have unveiled a video for their latest single ‘Blood’, which featured on the blog back in February. It’s an absolute beast of a tune, so, there is no harm in using any excuse to draw attention to it again.

‘Cold’ demonstrates why they are such a formidable force, exposing us to a torrential whirlwind of pummeling drumbeats, fuzzed up guitar and the vocal interplay between the duo is so, so good. 

‘Cold’ is out on Monday, March 19th and is followed by third album, In Time To Voices, on March 26th.

Conor Mason – Misunderstood

Conor Mason releases his third album, Standstill, on Monday via Armellodie Records.

Standstill navigates similar waters to 2009’s When It’s Over, a slow burner, requiring patience and repeated listens to fully appreciate its richness and splendor. ‘Misunderstood’ is a little taste of things to come. It exudes richness and warmth with soft, lilting vocals gently flowing between a comforting sea of tranquility and a driving rhythm.

Mason is one of this country’s finest artist and while his delectable talents remain relatively under the radar, hopefully Standstill will go some way to rectifying the situation.

Download: Conor Mason – Misunderstood

(Video) The Horrors – Changing The Rain

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The Horrors have released a brand new video for ‘Changing The Rain’. The single is taken from Skying, for me, the best album of last year 

The video is directed by Pete Fowler, longtime Super Furry Animals collaborator and it is no less impressive than his work with SFA. The video is a stunning is array of psychedelic, kaleidoscopic animations which 100% compliments the bands swirling psychedelic shoegaze sounds. Whoever muted the idea of pairing Pete Fowler and The Horrors together, take a bow. Wonderful stuff. 

The Horrors play The Academy, Dublin on Saturday May 12th.

BarryGruff’s Paddy’s Day Weekend Gig Guide

Normally I tend to give the nod to an odd few gigs throughout the year but with so much happening over the next few days I decided to do up a list of recommended events.

I’m not a big fan of Paddy’s Day so any musical distractions are most welcome. To be fair, I would love to be able to make most if not all on the list, but, that’s never going to happen. The Mighty Stef in Newbridge is a definite and the Lightbox Tour and all day ‘Reggae Bashment’ in The Black Horse could be winners too.

All venues in Dublin unless stated & some links ‘borrowed’ from Nialler 9‘s excellent weekly gig guide. Some music after the listings.

Thursday March 15th

Friday March 16th

Paddy’s Day March 17th

Sunday March 18th 

The 2 Bears – ‘Be Strong’

The 2 Bears are a London-based musical duo Joe Goddard (Hot Chip) and Raf Rundell (Raf Daddy).

At a first glance you could be forgiven for thinking them a mere novelty, donning bear costumes for live shows and videos. On closer inspection the duo’s debut LP, Be Strong is fantastic. It has quintessentially British sound, if that makes sense. It is a scatter shot across the entire scope of electronic music and really feels as though you are foraging through a fine record collection. As a result it feels a little loose and lacking cohesion at times, if there were one criticism this would be it.

Nonetheless their playful debut will get you moving and paste a smile across your face with it’s cheery, cheeky and joyous amalgam of sounds. From the funky opener ‘The Birds & The Bees’, soft after hours jams of ‘Time In Mind’ and ‘Warm & Easy’ to the club contrived ‘Work’ or ‘Take A Look Around’ and fun ‘Bear Hug’. The vocals or the juxtaposition between them must be credited too; Goddard sweet and cheerful and Rundell dry and gruff, and, of course the sleek transition between the two. 

There are real world musings beyond the world of the club too, most notably ‘Work’ acknowledges tough times are biting but just to keep working towards your goals. ‘Get Together’ advocates, well, getting together to defend what we value most.

Be Strong is a massive injection of positivity amidst a time of dreariness and uncertainty. It is a worthy ode to the past two decades of dance music, from the ’90s piano loops of ‘Work’ to ‘Time In Mind’ and ‘Get Together’s’ dancehall rhythm. It is a fine soundtrack to any weekend and most importantly, a bloody excellent dance record.

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The 2 Bears – Time In Mind

The 2 Bears – Get Together

No Monster Club | ‘Be My Bone’ + Album News

Longstanding BarryGruff favourites No Monster Club, are set to release a brand new album on March 23rd on 12″ vinyl through CF Records.

Simply titled Dublin, the 10 track album was recorded near Kildare’s Hill Of Allen (or what’s left of it) with Newbridge producer and all round good guy, Poggy Dillon. The first musical taster is ‘Be My Bones’, a quintessential No Monster Club tune, a short burst of utterly infectious sunshine filled fun, with a punky edge. The artwork by Stephen Maurice Graham (above) is ace too. I’m really looking forward to getting a copy of this record. Pre- order it from here.

Check out the video below which captures their antics on tour in Europe last summer and download the track too.

via Nialler9

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Download: No Monster Club – Be My Bone

Introducing: Death In The Sickroom | Jingle-jangle Dublin Indie

Death In The Sickroom are a four piece Indie band from Dublin. To be frank, they play happy-go-lucky jingle-jangle pop songs with underlying themes of sex, violence and desperation.

So far there are just a few demo’s and live recordings, nonetheless, ‘Tonight’ in particularly is worthy of praise. It recalls the sparkling indie brilliance of Echo & The Bunnymen at their very best, while The Smiths are another obvious influence on their work. There’s definitely talent here, hopefully they can get into a studio in the coming months and get some tracks down proper. Watch this space.

You can stream or download the lot below. This weekend they support Cheap Freaks in Little Green Street Gallery on Friday and Saturday with The North Sea in Whelan’s.

Download: Death In The Sickroom – Tonight

At The Captain’s Table | Interview With Captain Moonlight

The new issue of Lookleft has hit the shelves across Ireland this week. Here is an interview with Captain Moonlight from the previous issue. Lookleft is available in every Easons north / south & other selected retailers.

Obsessive about politics, philosophy, literature, music and hurling, Kilkenny rapper Captain Moonlight tackles serious political issues, creating intelligent, hard-hitting, often humorous hip-hop in the process. Barry Healy met the man behind the new album ‘Offenses Against The State’.

Coming from a county famed more for hurling only one first question for Captiain Moonlight: “It began with the break dancing scene back in ’84”. It was through this he discovered “the musical side with the likes of Mantronix, Public Enemy and Rakeem. ’86 to ’91 was the golden era of hip hop for me; this is what got me into it. I started writing raps in ’88 but it was a while before I found my own style. Hearing Scary Éire blew it open for me, it showed how it could be done. I was always into more political hip hop like Public Enemy or British hardcore like Gunshot, Black Radical and London Posse. They had a very aggressive rat-tat-tat-tat sound which had a really big influence on me.”

Captain Moonlight’s new album ‘Offenses Against The State’ is record number four and the first since his ‘Agroculture’ trilogy. “How different is it to the ‘Agroculture’ albums? I’m not sure. It’s still me. its closer to the sound I’ve always wanted. It’s more to do with the hip hop I grew up listening to. This one’s far rawer than before, more sample based and influenced by early ‘90s, hardcore and British hip hop.” Lyrically he feels it is “a belligerent response to the way things are right now. It is as much to do with people and their response as much as it is to do with the government, but, with plenty of humour too.”

For example ‘Financial Rape Crisis At High Noon’ is “a song about people who give out about how bad things are, yet vote the same candidates in. Locally we have John McGuiness (of Fianna Fail)  who criticised his party’s leadership and government when he was stripped of his Junior Minister’s job. The electorate voted him back in comfortably, seeing him as some sort of pseudo Irish rebel. Its bullshit, a nod and a hoodwink. People are voting the very same, they are not changing the system, just the heads of it”. Other songs like ‘Uniform State’ “deal with ideas of the alpha male Garda mentality” while ‘Fuck You Captain Moonlight’ is a “self-dissing take on the ‘Don’t Flop Ireland’ battle raps which I don’t do myself but there’s really sharp stuff happening there”. 

Moonlight is fully aware of differing opinons on Irish hip hop, saying “nostrils tend to get raised when people hear an Irish lad rapping in his own accent especially in this country. It’s a strange thing, it has a divisive effect, a lot of people are really into it while others just can’t get it”. He’s unperturbed, “personally I write music for myself and through a love of hip hop and not for anyone else. I see a lot of artists like this too who deserve to be heard by a far wider audience. I don’t take what people think too much to heart but yes people see a difference between ‘hip hop’ and ‘Irish hip hop. Hip Hop as a mainstream it is probably the biggest selling genre in Ireland but most is imported from America. UK grime is making some headway which isn’t a bad thing but it’s taken so long for British hip hop to gain respect in its own right.”

“There’s a lot of really great Irish rap artists now. In the last five years a whole generation of lads coming through like Collie, Redzer and Nugget who have their own identity. They are the predominant sound now. It’s very hard to know how or when but some of these artists will breakthrough at some stage and if one gets through three or four will follow. I’m not sure how it will turn out at all but I’m happy with the level I’m at.”

Captain Moonlight will be gigging in December and January to promote his new album before starting work on his next release, ‘Scenes From A Land War’.

Captain Moonlight – The Nod And The Hoodwink

 Download: Captain Moonlight – Banana Republican

Download: Captain Moonlight – OCD

Free Music | Kaleid – Clarence EP

Continuing, or concluding last weeks running theme of musical delicacies from Newbridge comes Kaleid.

Kaleid (Aka Peter Fleming) is a young Newbridge resident and musician who has previously featured on the blog last year. He has just dropped his debut EP, Clarence via Dublin’s First Second Label. Over three tracks we are treated to some slick electronic productions which radiate an overwhelming feel good and spacey vibe. This is a little different to what I had heard before but no less impressive, in fact, it is quite a statement of intent.

You can stream a few choice cuts below or pop over to bandcamp and download the entire EP for free.

Download: Kaleid – Clarence

 Download: Kaleid – Six Plus

BarryGruff at 2 | The Blogs Second Birthday + Mixtape

The blog is two years old today, how did that happen? It’s hard to believe BarryGruff is entering its 3rd year in business, but it’s been quite a lot of fun. First and foremost, a massive thank you to all the readers of the blog, without you this exercise would be quite pointless. Similarly thanks to everyone who played, helped out and came along to the ‘BarryGruff presents’ over the past while.

How to mark such an auspicious occasion? I thought about, then thought about it some more. This also marks the five year anniversary, give or take a week or so, of my returning to Newbridge from my self enforced exile. So, with that in mind I settled on a mixtape made solely of music from Newbridge, released since my return. It is about time someone did it and why not I?

This is only a quick snap shot of what I have lying about the place, there is a lot more than this going on, so any aggrieved parties please form an orderly Q. Tracklisting etc. after the jump.

 Download: Newbridge | The Place Where We Dwell.

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