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Book review: 'The Definitive History of Fleetwood Mac' by Mike Evans
Review Snapshot: Complicated relationships, disappearing band members and some of the best music of the 1970s - a thrilling tale well told in one of the most entertaining rock biographies of recent years. The CLUAS Verdict? 9.5 out of 10 Full Review: When Lindsey Buckingham stood on stage at Dublin's O2 in 2009 and proclaimed that Fleetwood Mac has had a complicated history, he wasn’t lying. Now, in 'The Definitive History of Fleetwood Mac', author Mike Evans covers it all superbly in every detail, including their many tangled love affairs and romances that even Hollywood wouldn’t dare to make a movie about. So let’s get this straight. Buckingham and Nicks were lovers and Christine married John. Mick married Jenny (Patti Boyd’s sister) and Christine had an affair with band member Bob Weston (who passed away in 2012). Mick divorced and remarried Jenny within four months, and Christine dated their lighting director. Jenny slept ... [Read on]
Posted in: News
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26
Kate Bush '50 Words For Snow'
Review Snapshot: The release of new music from Kate Bush is always a monumental event. Seldom is wonderful, but '50 Words For Snow' is her second release this year, and her first studio album of new material in seven years - and as always with Kate, it’s quality not quantity that matters. The CLUAS Verdict: 9 out of 10 Full Review: The album title says it all. This isn’t a Christmas cash-in, but a seasonal album and the topic is definitely snow. The opening number ‘Snowflake’ sets the tone for the album with Kate playing piano while duetting with her son Albert (Bertie) who takes on the soprano role of Aled Jones singing “we’re over a forest / there’s millions of snowflakes” while Kate’s beautiful voice only adds to the mystique and beauty, with a sense of motherly love throughout. On ‘Misty’ Kate falls in love with the Snowman. While some might suggest double entendres to some of the lyrics &ldqu... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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Book review: Nile Rodgers - 'Le Freak'
Nile Rodgers is a lucky man. Not in terms of his successful musical career as a songwriter and producer, or the long list of people he’s worked with, but lucky in fact that he’s lived to tell the tale, and what a story it is. The man that we all know invented disco with Chic, and who went on to work with Bowie, Madonna, and Diana Ross (to name but three) has lived an extraordinary life, which is well documented in his autobiography, ‘Le Freak’. From the age of seven this New York native witnessed his parents injecting themselves on a daily basis, had constant asthma attacks, plus the fact that his mother was always leaving him with another relative, as he said himself “I felt I wasn’t good enough to keep”. Add to this the fact that his grandmother was raped and became pregnant as a result, while the school caretaker was abusing the children around him. To be a survivor he would have to look after himself, so he skipped school and be... [Read on]
Posted in: News
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05
George Michael (live in Dublin)
Review Snapshot:  Having returned from a performing exile in 2006 to promote his back catalogue of hits, this time George Michael brings his Symphonica Orchestra to Dublin, and while it may not have been the first time he’s had a horn section behind him, he proved he can songs from a wide range or artists ranging from Tim Buckley to Rihanna. The Cluas Verdict: 8 out of 10 Full Review: Dressed immaculately  in a dark suit and tie (like he does for his court appearances), tonight George Michael alternated between standing front of stage for up-tempo numbers like 'My Baby Just Cares For Me', to sitting on a stool for ballads 'Cowboys And Angels', 'True Faith' and 'You have Been Loved'. What becomes evident in the first half of the show is boredom setting in amongst the audience, with the increase in chatting volume while George does his best to keep their attention with unknown covers from the likes of Rufus Wainwri... [Read on]
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Album Review - Why? 'Alopecia'
Review Snapshot: A mix-up of genres and emotions, where bright melodies sit beside bleak lyrics- and why not? The third album from this Cincinatti band is difficult but ultimately worthwhile listening. Diverse, ambitious and brilliant. The CLUAS Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full review: Why? are a band devoid of a genre. Call it alternative, rap or even hip-pop, but either way Jonathan “Yoni” Wolf and his band of not-so-merry men have created an infusion that’s as engaging as it is difficult to listen to. 'Alopecia' is the band’s third venture (the second as a four-piece) and although the basic formula doesn’t vary much from their previous albums (‘Oaklandzulasylum’ and ‘Elephant Eyelash’) there’s a very tangible change in tone.  The album really plays in two parts, which have been mixed up at random. On one side you have the melodic, free-flowing pieces that are bright and optimistic; while on ... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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10
Brian Wilson (live in Dublin)
Brian Wilson (Grand Canal Theatre, 7 September 2011) Snapshot Review: The legendary Beach Boy performs the music of two of the world’s greatest composers - Gershwin and Wilson - and a draw is a fair result. The Cluas Verdict: 8 out of 10 Full Review:  “About two years ago, I was approached by the Gershwin family to work on some of his music and the result was Wilson does Gershwin, and we’d like to sing those 14 songs for you now” was how Brian Wilson greeted the audience on his return to Dublin. Over the next 45 minutes he sat almost motionless behind the keyboard while his 10-piece band, (and a five-piece orchestra of Irish artists) playing a lounge selection of beautiful composed and arranged Gershwin pieces including ‘Summertime’, ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So’, ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ and ‘Someone To Watch Over You’. The band were faultless throughout, with a mix of brass instruments, keyb... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews, Dublin
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27
Mister Heavenly 'Out of Love'
Mister Heavenly 'Out of Love' The CLUAS verdict: 8 out of 10 Full Review: Artists tread a fine line when they dabble with the idea of a super group. The end product will invariably be judged by their former glories and, in many cases, will not survive such a comparison. Thankfully, Nick Thorburn (The Islands), Ryan Kattner (Man Man) & Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse) surpass expectations with their incendiary incarnation Mister Heavenly. Inspired by their shared love of doo wop and avant garde indie, Mister Heavenly exist within a genre of their own creation: doom-wop. Their debut release Out of Love is a modern revision of the 50s pop era, full of macabre tales of heartache and disaffection. Their playfully ironic love songs are written for a generation more accustomed to text message breakups than Dear John letters.  The two-stepping “Charlyne” is a satire of the sweetheart ballad with a surf rock vibe in the style of The Beach Boys. A ... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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27
Easy Star All Stars
When Easy Star records set out to release a reggae adaptation of Dark side of the moon in 2003, they were faced with the perilous task of staying true to the original while taking the music in a whole new direction. With musical director Michael Goldwasser at the helm, the label went in search of a supporting cast strong enough to undertake such an ambitious project. Drafting some of the finest musicians the New York scene had to offer, they created a dream team of modern reggae; the Easy Star All Stars. The album has remained on the Billboard reggae charts ever since. In the eight years that followed, the band have released seminal versions of Radiohead’s Ok Computer and The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; garnering praise from fans and critics alike. And now with the release of First Light, their first full-length original album, the band are ready to show the world that there’s more to the Easy Star All Stars than trips down n... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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18
Kristin Hersh, An Unquiet Mind
Kristin Hersh is reminiscing about her early tours with the Throwing Muses, the influential art-rock band she formed as a teenager in the early eighties with her stepsister Tanya Donnelly. The Pixies were their opening act. ‘Yeah, they were always our support act when we went out on tour’ she tells me, down the line from her home in Laguna Beach, California. ‘We brought them with us because we didn’t want to be alone. We brought them to 4AD too because we didn’t want to alone on the label there either with all those English bands that were so pretty, gauzy and ethereal and we knew we were nothing like that!’ she remembers, laughing ‘The Pixies just kept us from being lonely’. Throwing Muses, along with Sonic Youth and the aforementioned Pixies, were key figures in the alternative rock scene in the US in the eighties and nineties, and paved the way for Nirvana and the alt-rock explosion that followed. Yet, Hersh is not one for lo... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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31
Prince - Malahide Castle, Dublin, 30 July 2011
Review Snapshot: His Royal Purpleness fulfils his appointment in Dublin, at the second time of asking, and makes it up to those disappointed fans first time round, with a show packed with classic hit after hit. The Cluas Verdict:9 out of 10 Full Review: Easily the most eagerly awaited gig in Ireland this year, Prince was determined to make it up to the Irish fans on Saturday night, and he did so, in front of almost 30,000 fans at Malahide castle. Wearing a creamed coloured poncho he walked on stage and started taking photographs of the crowd before opening with ‘Gold’. “I’m sorry it took so long to come to you” he said as an apology before immediately kicking in a storming collection of ‘80s classics. ‘Let’s Go Crazy’, ‘Delirious’, ‘1999’, ‘Little Red Corvette’ and ‘Take Me With U’ followed in quick succession and there was no doubt that he was determined to mak... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews, Dublin
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