Gig reviews

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Reviews of Gigs by the writing team
By CLUAS Gig Reviewer on Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A review of Duke Special (live in Kavanagh’s, Portlaoise)

Duke SpecialReview Snapshot: While there’s no room in tonight's small venue for his piano, Duke Special still  managed to put all his energy, enjoyment, and drama into a gig which enthralled us for over two hours. The Duke managed to silence us with his fascinating stories and history lessons, bringing a different perspective to what can be achieved when you mix music and art.

The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10

By CLUAS Gig Reviewer on Wednesday, March 02, 2011
The Hold Steady (live in The Academy, Dublin) Review Snapshot: Playing to audience of 30 something men, The Hold Steady deliver a set much appreciated by the many converted in the audeience. A band however lacking the urgency and depth to ever become a major force in rock music.

The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10

Full Review: The first thing that is noticeable upon entering The Academy tonight is the clientele. Without exaggeration, the crowd is made up of 90% men. The Hold Steady’s combination of classic and geek rock appealing, based on those in attendance tonight, more to the male 30 something demographic than any other, The band, who have forged a career by releasing consistently decent albums, struck up a genuine bond between band and audience from the off in The Academy.

Even so, front man Craig Finn looked somewhat out of place. Reminiscent of a young Elvis Costello, his on-stage dancing borders on embarrassing-uncle-at-a-60th territory whilst sipping his can of Diet Coke....
By CLUAS Gig Reviewer on Friday, January 28, 2011
Imelda May (live in The Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland) Imelda May live in DubinReview Snapshot: For such a small woman, Imelda May has a huge presence, controlling not only the stage but the crowds sense of control as well, with everyone losing control alongside her. The queen of Rockabilly has returned to her home town and no sense of grandeur following her rise to the top  is going to pull this girl from her roots.

The Cluas Verdict? 8.5 out of 10

Full Review: Coming back to Dublin after a year of commercial success with critical praise and international stardom, one...
By CLUAS Gig Reviewer on Friday, January 28, 2011
The Pogues (live in The O2 Academy, Sheffield) The Pogues Shane McGowan live SheffieldReview Snapshot:  'They sang us songs from times long-gone / though we knew that we’d be seeing them again' – a fiddled lyrical quote from The Pogues romping rendition of Sally MacLennane. One that highlights the cloud of uncertainty over the authenticity of this year’s fantastic farewell performance by Shane MacGowan and his merry men.

The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10

Full Review: Fabled festive farewell or not, this was a grand performance from The Pogues in a season which...
By CLUAS Gig Reviewer on Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Two Door Cinema Club (live in The Tripod, Dublin) Two Door Cinema Club liveReview Snapshot: Having finally gained access to The Tripod after being refused entrance at 17 with a fake ID you could forgive Alex Trimble for looking a little nervous on stage, this time facing a sold out headline show with a 1400 strong crowd. With just one album under their belt one wondered whether this band could live up to standard everyone else seems to have set them. 

The Cluas Verdict? 7.5 out of 10

Full Review: As it turns out, you don’t need more than one strong album's worth of material to pull off a headline show. Not when you have two equally strong opening acts and the right kind of music playing in between to keep the crowds energy pumping.

By CLUAS Gig Reviewer on Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Caribou (live in The Button Factory, Dublin) CaribouReview Snapshot: Studio whizzkid with a strong live reputation brings his album of the year - Swim contender to the slushy streets of Dublin.

The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10

Full Review: Dublin is getting back on its feet (literally) after as severe a bout of cold weather as this gig-goer can ever remember enduring, Grafton Street is a slushy muddy hive of after work Christmas drinkers and shoppers. We beat a path down through the shopping thoroughfare, across Temple Bar and over a beggar strewn Halfpenny Bridge before settling...
By CLUAS Gig Reviewer on Tuesday, December 14, 2010
The Frames (live in The Olympia, Dublin) Glen Hansard of the FramesReview Snapshot: The Frames haven’t played a small venue in Ireland in a while but Glen Hansard has proven that no matter how long he’ll stay away from his roots he’ll always return with a bang. From ‘Santa Maria’ and ‘Revelate’ to his minute covers in the middle of songs (tonight it was the turn of ‘Kashmir’ and ‘Lilac Wine’). He showed it wasn’t all serious as he delivered over-served fans with his wit the now expected quips and anecdotes between songs.

The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10

Full Review:  “I want my life to make more...
By CLUAS Gig Reviewer on Friday, December 10, 2010
Local Natives (live in, The Village, Dublin) The Local Natives live in DublinReview Snapshot: LA Hipsters Local Natives roll into town to play a work unfriendly Monday night at The Village in Dublin, the reviewer can't help but be reminded of sunnier times the previous July.

The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10

Full Review: Ado decided to drive in so I sat in the house watching Australian...
By CLUAS Gig Reviewer on Friday, November 05, 2010
Lady Gaga (live in The O2, Dublin) Lady Gaga live in DublinReview Snapshot: The Madonna comparisons are obvious. They both write and sing, the choreography is similar in parts, Alejandro is the new La Isla Bonita but I’ve never seen Madonna play the piano the way Gaga can. She’s here for the long haul and I’ve no doubt, on tonight’s performance we’re watching the artist of this decade.

The Cluas Verdict? 9.5 out of 10

Full Review: The world’s current most famous pop star returned to Dublin for the first of 3 nights at the o2 for a two-hour show split into...
By CLUAS Gig Reviewer on Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Paul McCartney (live in the RDS, Dublin) Paul McCartneyReview Snapshot: 165 minutes, of 36 songs ranging from The Beatles, Wings, The Fireman and McCartney's solo material, throw in a fireworks display to rival Sydney Bridge on New Years Day and you’ve only a taster of Paul’s RDS gig in the summer sunshine. 

The Cluas Verdict? 10 out of 10

Full Review: sung That seven year itch for a McCartney gig at Dublin’s RDS came back around last night, and in the summer sunshine he put on a stomping rocking show for nearly 3 hours, that would leave fellow musicians half his age speechless.

The fact that his beloved England had a World Cup match at the same time meant that the gig was delayed in starting until half-time in the game. Was it worth the wait?


At 8:30pm the band walked on stage...