Key Notes - an Irish music blog by Steven O'Rourke

Key Notes blog

HWCH Festival Diary (Day 1)

Sep 13

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Saturday, September 13, 2008  RssIcon

Key Notes takes a look at the first day of Ireland's only music festival dedicated to Irish bands.

As you'll see over the next few days, CLUAS is well represented at this year's Hard Working Class Heroes and our team of writers; Niamh Madden, Anna Murray and Ian Wright, will bring you extensive coverage of Ireland's only music festival dedicated to Irish bands. As such, Key Notes will aim to give you a slightly alternative view of HWCH.

Yesterday evening began with a quick writers meet up to talk football, travelling but more importantly HWCH and who we were going to see. Colour printers and highlighters were well represented and decisions such as going to see Dublin Duck Dispensary or Chequerboard were mulled over. Eventually, we went our separate ways and the hard work of enjoying the music began.

The first thing to note about HWCH 2008 is how surprisingly empty the majority of venues were. In previous years venues such as the Music Centre (Button Factory) have been so packed that a trip to the bar could result in missing an entire set. Last night, however, there seemed to be more bands and gentlemen (and women) of the press than paying punters. Is this recession 2.0 with HWCH's target market (college students and twenty-somethings like most CLUAS readers) baulking at the increased cost of attending the festival?

Musically, Niamh, Anna & Ian will provide you with greater details but, with a couple of exceptions, Key Notes found last night boring. Not bad, just a lot of bands who sounded like a lot of other bands. Chequerboard was excellent, as were Lines Drawing Circles (despite the atrocious weather for their set). However, it was the Fighting With Wire set that left Key Notes most disappointed. The sound in Meeting House Square was so bad that it was very difficult to distinguish one instrument from another and impossible to understand Chair O'Doherty's fearsome lyrics.

All that being said; HWCH is very much about catching up with old friends and making new ones and last night was no exception. Hopefully tonight, featuring performances from the likes of Pilotlight, Ollie Cole, A Lazarus Soul (artists Key Notes is a big fan of) and Fight Like Apes (a band Key Notes is willing to give another chance to after their explosive Oxegen performance), will see more paying punters around Temple Bar. There's also the first of numerous seminars this afternoon, focusing on changes in the record industry and growing your fan base outside of Ireland.

Here's Fighting With Wire as they can sound:

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