Best of 2014: w/ Padraig McCauley of Disconcerting P


As has become tradition for this time year, I’ve asked bands and artists who’ve played a BarryGruff show during the year, to put their own list making skills to the test in picking their ‘favourite album of 2014′, ‘favourite song/remix of 2014′ & ‘favourite Irish song of the year’. I’ve really enjoyed these over the past few years so why break with tradition?

Right, that is enough waffling from me, it’s over to the Padraig McCauley of Disconcerting P to share his picks from 2014.

Favourite Album of 2014: Angel Olsen – ‘Burn Your Fire For No Witness’/ Mac DeMarco – ‘Salad Days’

Angel Olsen‘s album drew my attention for two reasons: Her flawless vocals (Her vibrato is scary perfect) and her unusual song forms. All the tracks on the album have this steady flow which only seems to break when the melody changes around them, making the overall experience hypnotic and effortless to listen to. The production only adds to this sense of haze with drowning reversed guitars and tremolo’d guitars that wash around each other in the middle ground whilst Angel vocal flourishes in the fore. Its subject matter is heavy – loss and loneliness – but the experience is so beautiful it can be easy to find the merit in these experiences when music so raw and passionate can come from them. The stand-out tracks for me are ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Enemy’. Whats truly refreshing about the album is that Angel feels genuine – everything about the album feels real and authentic.

Salad Days is on par with Angels album for its honesty and genuine nature. Its seems that he really is pouring his heart out, but under the guise of this cartoon character. The effect works and I find him to be quite loveable. Mac is a smart guy – you can hear it in his song harmony, his melodies and his effortless rhyming schemes and what makes him even more loveable is that he seems determined to not let you know it – coming off as a unbeknown genius rather than obnoxious. The subject matter of the album is relatable – the constant struggle between youth and maturity. I suppose what can be take from Mac DeMarco as a character is that both don’t be exclusive. There is enlightenment to be found in the album – even if it is being delivered by a gap toothed jester – making it all the more exciting.

Favourite track of 2014: TOPS – ‘Way to be Loved’

Oh man that groove. I love how easily this songs moves! The feel shifts so seamlessly, only adding to this shimmering glitteriness the track has. The lyrics are great too. The track is delivered with a coyness from Jane Penny that makes it so alluring. It has glimpses of other bands in it but feels unique within itself. Oh man… that groove.

Favourite Irish track of 2014: The Gloaming – ‘Allistrum’s March’

While this may be a traditional tune – The Gloaming’s version is breathtaking. The whole album is unbelievably. Go see these guys. This really is musicianship at its highest and most pure.

BarryGruff Presents #17: Padraig McCauley + Rory Hughes :: Friday, January 31st :: Flanagan’s, Newbridge


So, it’s been a while but were back in Flanagan’s to rip it up with ‘BarryGruff Presents’ #17 on Friday, January 31st. We’ve got the superbly talented duo of Padraig McCauley (The P Affection/Disconcerting P) and Rory Hughes performing on the night.

It’s sure to be another great night, so come along and enjoy the music. It’s FREE in as usual & kicks off at 9:30 pm. [RSVP]

:: Padraig McCauley ::

Padraig McCauley of The P Affection/Disconcerting P is no stranger to a BarryGruff show and should need little introduction. McCauley is a superb songwriter, singer and performer, if somewhat under-appreciated by many. This is in fact his fifth, yes fifth, BarryGruff appearance and while that might be some sort of record, it is a rare chance to see him play a solo set filled with tracks new and old, from a rather extensive body of work.  

:: Rory Hughes ::

Rory Hughes is a young musician from Dublin. He writes folk and blues tunes. Tunes that are good with a deep-rooted storytelling style. While some of the records, done himself with basic equipment, are rough and don’t do the songs full justice. However, if ‘Woe Is Me’ doesn’t stir something inside you, well, there might be something wrong with you.

You forgot a username for the YouTube shortcode

BarryGruff Unplugged: Anderson + The P Affection + Knoxville Morning :: Thursday, July 25 :: The Liffey Studio, Newbridge


It has been an incredible experience putting on all these BarryGruff shows over the past two years or so. On this occasion we have decided to do something a little different and do a set of six unplugged shows in the wonderful intimate surroundings of The Liffey Studio. It’s a great little venue in the heart of Newbridge and it’s a perfect setting for this kind of show.

The first of the series takes place on Thursday, July 25th and will see three superb performances from Anderson, The P Affection & Knoxville Morning. Tickets €5/€7 – doors at 8pm.

It’s €5 if you book in advance or €7 on the night. The cheap list is limited so if you would like to reserve a spot send an email to: barrygruff[at]gmail[dot]com – with your name, & ‘Cheap List’ in the subject title. More details & info below. [RSVP]

Continue reading

Disconcerting P – ‘Its Not Good Enough’

Retina Class Desktop Wallpaper

Padraig McCauley has impressed no end over the past few years. The Naas based multi-instrumentalist already has two quality albums under his belt with The P Affection. In saying all that, this latest departure, side-project Disconcerting P, is all kinds of wonderful.

McCauley has teamed up with fellow Naas dweller Emma Butler for the side-project.  The initial fruit from this union has come in the shape of ‘Its Not Good Enough’, a blissful slice of summery vibes. It’s such a bright, breezy and dreamy indie-pop ditty, oozing with such a super cool and carefree vibe, the prefect soundtrack for Bultler’s syrupy sweet vocals. Irresistibly infectious, this is a pick me up of a track, one to stick a smile on even the most sullen of faces. 

‘Its Not Good Enough’ is all we have from the duo, for the time being anyway. You can give it a spin & download it below, it should add a bit of pep to your step.

(Download) The P Affection – ‘Oh Celina’


2012 was a good year for The P Affection, impressing at every turn, releasing their excellent second album Cakes For Occasions and their live shows (the ones I saw) were impeccable.

The Naas based indie rockers have kicked off 2013 in style with ‘Oh Celina’, the second single from the aforementioned LP. It’s an irresistibly snappy mix of indie-rock and power-pop, just the kind of thing that makes the album so enjoyable, a truly excellent tune. 

You can download ‘Oh Celina’ for free below & if you like the cut of it’s jib, why not check out the album, Cakes For Occasions, over on bandcamp

BarryGruff’s Irish Albums of the Year 2012


Pretty self explanatory this one. There’s been a lot of great music released in Ireland over the past 12 months & here’s ten Irish albums I’ve enjoyed the most in 2012. You can also check out the ‘Albums of 2012‘ & ‘Irish Songs of 2012‘ if you want.

10. The Expert – ‘Neckbreakers’

Not strictly an album, more of a beat tape as it happens but who makes theses rules? Over seven glorious cuts of jazzy instrumentals The Expert takes us on a head nodding journey from start to finish. Having produced beats for over fifteen years, mainly with his band MJEX, it certainly shows. A worthy addition to any record collection.

09 Imploded View – ‘Picnics With Pylons’

Picnics With Pylons is the debut album from Longford based producer Imploded View (aka Jerome McCormick). Continuing with his forte for atmospheric downtempo electronic music, his debut rarely if ever, emerges from first gear. Preferring to meander through a vast and cloudy world of extremely chilled ambient sounds, an air of calmness permeates the entire record. McCormick is certainly comfortable in this skin, he seems at peace, a feeling transposed to the listener as the airy productions wash over you, allowing time for delicate detail, added emotional depth and mood and thought provoking atmospherics. An assured and composed debut.

08 The P Affection – ‘Cakes For Occasions’

The P Affection’s debut was a scatter-shot of indie-pop, rock, ska, and folk, a very good one it must be said. While staying true to the influences of that record, with Cakes For Occasions, The P Affection have grown as a band and refined their sound. It’s a pretty irresistible and varied selection of power-pop and harder edge indie-rock coated in a mix of humorous and heartfelt lyrics. The P Affection continue to improve in all that they do, it’s going to be exciting to see where to next.

07 House of Dolls – ‘House of Dolls’

Taking their cue from the likes of The Chameleons, The Verve, Jesus & Mary Chain and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club; there is no messing around with House of Dolls. Equally adept in the psych-rock/shoegaze department or rip-roaring  dirty rocking guitar riffs. It is here where the albums persona lies, flipping seamlessly between the two styles, on the one hand the fired up brutish rock sounds and on the other, the more measured and steady but no less captivating psych-rock sounds. A very good album, one deserving of much greater exposure.

06  Our Krypton Son – ‘Our Krypton Son’

Our Krypton Son is Derry man Chris McConaghy, who on gathered close musician friends together to create the band in early 2010, they have taken time to produce their self-titled debut. It is a warm collection of alt-rock/folk songs, imbued with an eerie sense of melancholy and an autumnal feel. McConaghy proves himself an excellent songwriter and his voice is possess a real richness and warmth. Our Krypton Son is a solid debut with so much to like but, having seen them live, there is even more to come.

05 Knoxville Morning – ‘Knoxville Morning’

A trip across the US left Ciaran Dwyer of Band On An Island with a collection of songs and stories, of a distinctly different variety to those of BOAI, and so Knoxville Morning was born. Under this new alias, with Dwyer at the helm, he is joined by fellow BOAI members and The Mighty Stef, Gavin Elsted (We Are Losers), Brian Gallagher (Humanzi), Stephen Fahey (Super Extra Bonus Party) and Claire Prendergast. The record is a sweet blend of folk, country and Americana, and while it wears it’s US influences on it’s sleeve, Ciaran’s intuitive storytelling remains a linchpin that holds everything together. It maybe shouldn’t work, but it does, and remarkably well too, which is a credit to Dwyer and all involved.

04 Lethal Dialect – LD 50 Part II

LD 50 Part II is the second record from Dublin rapper Lethal Dialect and it is extremely impressive. Composed, confident and intelligent, there is no bullshit bravado here, just great rap tunes. LD’s greatest asset is his voice, spitting salient bars above beats and samples, he utilises every breath to paint an all too realistic depiction of life in Dublin. Delving into a whole raft of topics and issues others tend to refrain from, he’s cool, calm, sometimes agitated and angry but always passionate. A refreshing and thought-provoking new voice, not only for Irish hip-hop but Irish music in general.

03 Ghost Estates – ‘Ghost Estates’

Prior to this release, Ghost Estates had already carved out quite a name for themselves, their debut album goes someways to realising their potential. With three songwriters in the band, stylistically it’s diverse, taking in a mix of new wavey sounds, reach for the sky guitar anthems and straight up indie rock. This amalgam has seen them arrive at their own distinct sound of hazy electronica edged indie which send a shiver down the spine. It is said two heads are better than one, well, judging by Ghost Estates’ debut, three are certainly better than two. Easily one of the best Irish indie album for some time.

02 Nathan Conway & The River Valley Band – ‘Nathan Conway & The River Valley Band’

Nathan Conway & The River Valley Band certainly borrow from the past to create a timeless soulful country sound, and have found their niche. The tone is soulful country, set to overarching themes of demise and redemption, draped in Conway’s intuitive storytelling which paints vivid pictures with his words. Mostly you feel they are working together, from the swinging uptempo tracks to the less blustery, slower numbers. They have a rapport with one another; brass, percussion strings and Conway’s deep bellowed croon, all work in perfect tandem. Sonny Boy requires a degree of patience, but it is worth it. A beautiful, timeless and assured album.

01 Conor Mason – ‘Standstill’

Standstill continues where 2009’s When It’s Over left off, flowing gently by, amid a sea of soft lilting vocals, whispering lyrical poeticisms and subtle instrumentation. It is permeated by an air of richness, comforting tranquillity and shrouded in melancholy. Standstill is a slow burner and requires patience, understanding and repeated listens to be fully appreciated. Standstill is a beautiful, simplistic and assured album and sometimes that is quite enough.

BarryGruff Presents #11: The P Affection, The Depravations & Appo :: Flanagan’s Bar, Newbridge :: Saturday :: Dec 15th


All aboard for 11th and final BarryGruff Presents show (of this year) in Newbridge!

‘BarryGruff Presents’ returns to Flanagan’s Bar, for a very special Christmas show on Saturday, December 15th. It’s going to be a fantastic night of live music, as usual, w/ The P Affection, The Depravations & special guest, Appo.

The P Affection is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Padraig McCauley. The Naas based band’s self-titled debut was released to rave reviews and followed by Cakes For Occasions earlier in the year, has exceeded even their lofty expectations. They have grown as a band, their sound even tighter; a wondrous blend of indie-pop, rock, ska, and folk is formed into a distinct and cohesive sound, all of their own. The Depravations are Galway four-piece indie-folk band who take their influences from a combination of ’50s and ’60s surf music, old country and blues. With a couple of excellent EP’s filled with music of rich sounds, stories and harmonies; they are one of the West of Ireland’s hidden treasures and certainly not to be missed on their first appearance in Newbridge.
Meanwhile support comes from special guest, Newbridge’s very own, Appo. Always a scintillating live performer, the gravelly voiced troubadour’s blend of folk and blues is powerful, captivating and delivered with some gusto.This will be the last ‘BarryGruff Presents’ of the year, so let’s send of 2012 with a bang!

Entry is FREE as always and the show starts at 9.00pm in Flanagan’s, Newbridge on Saturday, December 15th. [Facebook event]


Best of 2012: w/ Padraig, Colm & Dean from The P Affection


It’s that time of year when every music website, publication and blog (including this one) are busy compiling end of year lists. This time around, I thought I’d shift the focus to the bands and artist’s who’ve played a ‘BarryGruff Presents’ show this year and ask them for their ‘favourite album of 2012′, ‘favourite song of 2012′ & ‘favourite Irish song of the year’.

Enough chat from me, here’s the lads from The P Affection and their picks from the year that was 2012.

Favourite album of the 2012: Tennis – Young & Old

I have been crazy about Tennis since I heard Cape Dory (The fact that Alaina Moore is cute is a plus too!). Young & Old sees the gang groove a little more. Bit disappointed ‘Deep In The Woods’ wasn’t featured on the album but it really does hold its own as a collection of songs as is. Its exciting to see the band develop so much from the first album and I hope they keep things fresh for their followup. My favourite track is probably ‘Origins’. It’s the kind of track you could have as a wedding dance or play at a funeral, one of those tracks that captures the perfect melody/harmony balance too, and brings so much emotion out! (Padraig)

Favorite Song of 2012: The Cribs – ‘Chi-Town’

2008 saw the beginning of my love affair with The Cribs. I had swapped iPods with one of the lads and the rest is history!. Like most Cribs tracks, ‘Chi-Town’ is punchy, quick and full of hooks that just make it catchy as fuck! I was blown away the first time I heard it and every time since I can’t help but tap along. This track is full of that Jarman brother charm that give it serious re-listen-ability, Hook central. (Colm)

Favourite Irish album of 2012: Funeral Suits – Lily Of The Land

Mad about Funeral Suits. This is a deadly album! I had heard them first, back in the day, when they supported The Breeders in Vicar Street. The standout tracks are probably ‘Colour Fade’ and ‘All Those Friendly People’. Savage live show too! (Dean)

(Video) The P Affection – Made Of The Right Stuff

The P Affection absolutely knocked the socks off Flanagan’s at last month’s BarryGruff show. ‘Made Of The Right Stuff’ is the first single to be taken from the Kildare band’s second album Cakes For Occasions. It’s a scuzzy indie number coated with an element of delicacy, warmth and echoing vocals. A top tune and one that sets things up nicely for the new record.

Cakes For Occasions is released through NIPPI Records on July 20th 2012. Check ‘Made Of The Right Stuff’ and the Colm O Rourke directed video above.

Introducing: The P Affection

Naas based indie-rockers The P Affection are currently readying the release of their second album through NIPPI Records.

The P Affection were sublimely brilliant at the last ‘BarryGruff Presents’ and one of the standout acts from the series so far. It was then that it dawned on me, somehow I had neglected to mention the band thus far and this is an attempt to redress the balance.

Their debut album was a great blend of indie-pop, rock, ska, and folk. While staying true to the sound of their debut The P Affection have grown as a band. Their sound is far tighter and they have managed to meld it all into distinct and cohesive sound, that is all their own.

Going by their set in Flanagan’s (of predominantly new material) and new tracks ‘Gone Fishing’ and ‘Made of the Right Stuff’, their second album one to watch out for.