BarryGruff Presents #16: Biggles Flys Again, Sive & Knoxville Morning :: Saturday, June 29th :: Flanagan’s Bar, Newbridge

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So, we took a little break, but we’re back again with ‘BarryGruff Presents’ #16 in Flanagan’s, Newbridge on Saturday, June 29th. We’ve got the superb Biggles Flys Again and the wonderful Sive performing, and the ever brilliant Knoxville Morning playing a special solo show (expect to hear some new tracks he’s been working on).

This is a really exciting lineup and one that promises to be a great night, so come along and enjoy the music. It’s FREE in as usual & kicks off at 9 pm. [RSVP]

:: Biggles Flys Again

Biggles Flys Again is the moniker of Dubliner Conor Deasy, who’s got a real talent for crafting 3 minute pop gems. Biggles’ debut album Remember Saturday is brimming with enchanting and whimsical good old fashioned pop songs, filled with sinuous melodies and organic arrangement. This is pop in the old fashioned sense, played by a band, and with an assured sense of style. Remember Saturday is one of the finest albums of 2013 and there’s plenty of others smitten with it too. The Sunday Times made it ‘album of the week’, The Sunday Business Post coined it as “a wistful, enchantingly gentle brand of day-glo alt-pop” and The Irish Times quite rightly said “Deasy has a canny knack for creating tunes the right side of familiar”. Extremely excited to bring these guys down to Newbridge, should be quality.

[Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter] – [Stream Remember Me Saturday on Spotify]

:: Sive

It’s been far too long since we’ve had Sive play one of these shows, they’re performance is always impeccable. Sive is the brainchild of Naas musician Sadhbh O’Sullivan, who along with her band, draw from a wide variety of alternative rock, jazz and folk influences. Sive’s gorgeous sound comes from a combination of these influences being fused with excellent musicianship and charm; not to mention her voice, which is simply exquisite. Sive’s debut album We Are Moving is well worth checking out, if you haven’t already of course.

[Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter] – [Stream We Are Moving on Deezer & Spotify]

:: Knoxville Morning

It’s always a pleasure to have Knoxville Morning play one of these shows, they always go down an absolute storm. On this occasion we’ve got a special solo show from chief songwriter and frontman Ciaran Dwyer, who’s got some new jams and what’s to test them out. This will be the first new material since last years great self-titled debut which enlisted the help of  fellow BOAI members, Stefan Murphy, Gavin Elsted, Brian Gallagher, Claire Prendergast, Stephen Fahey and Laura Caffrey. The result? A record of sweet folk, country and Americana, and while it wears it’s US influences on it’s sleeve, Ciaran’s intuitive storytelling remained a cornerstone.

[Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter] [Stream Knoxville Morning on Deezer & Spotify]

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(Video) Throwing Up – ‘Medicine’

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We’ve dropped in on London punk/grunge band, Throwing Up a few times over the past 18 months or so. On each occasion their scuzzy blasts of distortion have impressed and left a feeling of wanting more.

So, here’s the good news. Throwing Up are going to release their debut album Over You, through Tim Burgess’ O Genesis label on July 8th. Recorded and self produced in London last year, it was mixed by Burgess and Jim Spencer and features eleven tracks including ‘Medicine’. The loud, brash and scuzzy ‘Medicine’ has been around for a while but not in it’s newly more polished form. The production may be sharper but it does little to take away from the snarling nature of the song, thankfully. 

Looking forward to finally getting to hear an album from these noise makers, hopefully it lives up to the early promise. 

The Sunshine Underground – ‘It Is Only You’

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Remember when ‘nu-rave’ was apparently set to take on the world? Well, that whole ‘scene’ came and went but it left us with a couple of decent acts including The Sunshine Underground.

Pigeonholed into that whole ‘nu-rave scene’, The Sunshine Underground always had something about them. Their debut album Raise The Alarm was great and the long-awaited follow up wasn’t too bad either. They been relatively quiet since then, until now that is. The Leeds lads are back with a brand new single, ‘It Is Only You’. It’s a cracking track which sees a slight shift, the guitars are met with more blinding synths, serving to illuminate their knack for a sing-a-long chorus. An utterly cool track with plenty of oomph, and a pretty sweet video to boot. It’s certainly nice to have them back, even if there’s no word on future releases.

‘It Is Only You’ has already been released as a 12″ limited-edition vinyl but will get it’s digital release next Monday. You can pick it up here.

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Introducing: Diatribe & The Crimson Underground

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Homegrown hip hop might just be the most criminally underrated and under-appreciated genre in Ireland. No matter what the detractors say, the reality is, there are plenty of great rappers and hip hop acts in this country. Diatribe & The Crimson Underground is one to be added to that list. 

A refreshing and thought-provoking new voice, Diatribe & The Crimson Underground, are a hip hop/electronica duo from Derry City, currently based in Manchester. A potent wave of righteous fury crashes throughout the duo’s debut LP, Information Age. The problems of the world may be varied and plentiful, but the duo manage to tackle a good many of them head on throughout the ten tracks. Backed by a varied, mixed and excellent sets of beats (from trip-hop to jungle, to electronica and back again), Diatribe remains passionate, focused and sharp as he berates attacks on civil liberties, imperialism, the global pharmaceutical industry and plenty more. Nuance is sometimes sacrificed to allow the passion and righteous anger to flow unabated, but Diatribe’s distinct and intricate flow means it rarely matters. This is finely distilled, sharp tongued soci0-political rage of the highest order.

There’s a few choice cuts below to get you started and Information Age is out now through Padded Chamber Recordings. 

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(Video) The Last Monroes – ‘Underneath the Streetlight’

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We heard from The Last Monroes a while back with the release of Live From The Barn, a great introduction to what they’re all about.

The Wicklow duo (of Simon Quinn and Konrad Sheane) are back with a new video for ‘Underneath the Streetlight’, directed by Shane Doyle. ‘Underneath the Streetlight’ is a supercharged blast of heavy blues riffage, a serious jam designed to be played loud and veritably burst out of the speakers and it’s the pick of the bunch from the aforementioned release. It is always a pleasure to discover bands who, with just two bodies, somehow manage to make such an almighty racket. All in all an exhilarating listen and hopefully there’s plenty more where that came from in the future.

You can download Live From The Barn gratis from bandcamp now.

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Cal Folger Day – ‘She Really Means It’

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Cal Folger Day is a singer-songwriter from Brooklyn who was in Ireland last month for a brief tour. Although her presence on our shores escaped me, this tune, ‘She Really Means It’, found its way to my ears and has left a lasting impression.

Cal Folger Day has stumbled upon a timeless and enchanting rootsy folk sound. ‘She Really Means It’ is simply a beautiful song. It is both sophisticated and suitably restrained, and filled with a rich, reminiscent tone. Her vocals too are impeccable, both aesthetically and in terms of range. A whole day could be spent adding superlatives to describe how good this song is but who’s got that kind of time? It is simply beautiful.

‘She Really Means It’ is below for your listening pleasure and there’s even more on offer on Cal Folger Day’Soundcloud.

Citizen Partridge – ‘Soul Power – Volume 1: Dancing in the Street’

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After putting together a couple of mixtapes of Jamaican Sounds I decided to ask Citizen Partridge to put together a Soul one along the same lines. Not only is Citizen Partridge’s knowledge of soul far superior than mine, he’s my older cousin(t), for whom I owe a severe debt of gratitude for my own love of music, when I was younger especially he was an endless supply of great music. I’m absolutely delighted he accepted and a massive thanks to Citizen Partridge for putting this together. Take it away Citizen. 

I’m thrilled that BarryGruff, definitely my favourite cousin(t), has asked me to make a mixtape for his excellent blog, and so I present ‘Soul Power – Volume 1: Dancing in the Street‘.

Soul music has been part of my life for nearly twenty years now, and while this collection isn’t necessarily my ‘Top 21 Soul Songs In The World… Ever’, each one is a stone cold classic. I came to soul mainly via hip hop samples and mod, and you’ll probably hear the evidence of the former in some of the selection when you say ‘oh, that’s from the Wu Tang’ or whatever.

Anyway, here’s the mix, I hope you’ll enjoy it. And if you don’t, then clearly you ain’t got no soul.

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Our Krypton Son – ‘Gargantuan’

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You probably know the score already, Our Krypton Son have been one of my favourite acts on this Island for some time now; impressing with the stunning ‘Catalonian Love Song’, the wonderful ‘Plutonium’ and of course their eponymous debut album.

Anyway, the Derry outfit are set to release their brand new single ‘Gargantuan’, the third from taken from their eponymous debut LP, which is great by the way. It is piano led stomper with plenty of punch for sure, but anyone familiar with their LP will know that already. McConaghy’s vocals are impeccable as usual, as they are on the two brand new accompanying tracks; the autumnal acoustic led ‘Bring The Flood’ and somber, meandering ‘How Long Must I Dream’. Chris McConaghy & company are in flying form once more, which certainly bodes well for the second LP and if rumours are to be believed, it maybe with us later this year. Here’s hoping.

Watch the excellent video for ‘Gargantuan’ directed by Tristan Crowe below and cop a load of the two accompanying tracks too. ‘Gargantuan’ is out on June 28th through Smalltown America.

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Spectrals – ‘A Heartbeat Behind’

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Spectrals popped up on the radar back  in 2010 with A Spectrals Extended Play, an extremely enjoyable blend of 1960s-inspired lo-fi guitar pop flirting with the punkier end of the British indie. 

Where as the former was an exemplary example of velvety smooth pristine pop, the album that followed, Bad Penny, was a bit of a let down. It was loungey and felt a bit lifeless, and left a lingering feeling that it could have been so much more. That is all purely subjective of course, and pretty redundant, especially considering Louis Jones and company are back with a smashing new single ‘A Heartbeat Behind’, suggesting the good times are set to roll on. Jones’ voice is superb, his mellow Yorkshire croon takes centre stage, no longer are the vocals in the background. ‘A Heartbeat Behind’ jangles and it sways, over a rollicking guitar riffs, snapping drums and a little rockabilly flavor. It’s a really great single, and on first impressions the new LP Sob Story, sounds rather promising too. All’s good.

You can give ‘A Heartbeat Behind’ the once over below & Spectrals’ new Sob Story LP is out now.

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Trojan Warriors 2 Mixtape (Ska, Reggae, Dancehall & Rocksteady)

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Last summer I put together the ‘Trojan Warriors‘ mixtape, which was basically a selection of Jamaican sounds ala Ska, Reggae, Dancehall, Rocksteady etc. It was a whole lot of fun putting it together and as it proved far more popular than I had expected, I decided to do a sort of follow up. 

So yeah, I can’t guarantee that all these featured on Trojan Records (I’m pretty sure quite a few didn’t) but ‘Trojan Warriors’ just has a great ring to it, that and in the interests of continuity, I’m sticking with the Trojan handle. Between that and bouts of boredom over the weekend ‘Trojan Warriors 2′ was born.  The premise is the same once again, I listen to all this stuff quite a lot and regularly add to my collection yet it rarely features on the blog. The mix is compiled from favourites off the various albums, compilations and box sets I have acquired throughout the years. Some are fairly well known, others less so.

I got a real kick out of putting this together and hopefully people enjoy ‘Trojan Warriors’ mark two as much as the first incarnation. Well, that’s enough waffling from me, give it a spin below and the tracklisting is after the jump. Also, credit for the image goes to my very talented cousin(t), Kevin Squires.

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