Entries for October 2008

Articles

30
Port O'Brien (live in Dublin)
Port O'Brien (live in Crawdaddy, Dublin) Review Snapshot: Port O’Brien come to Dublin on the back of their excellent ‘All We Could Do Was Sing’ album, but fail to recapture the energy displayed on the record for the most part of the gig. The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10 Full Review: ‘A damn cold night outside’, proclaims Van Pierszalowski. Considering he spent many months every year as a teenager as a fisherman on boat in Alaska, that’s saying something. Still though, despite the weather and some financial crisis I keep hearing about, the punters were not put off. About 100 people turned up to see Port O’Brien, the band that has been receiving favourable reviews from the Times and Pitchfork for their latest album, ‘All We Could Do Was Sing’. Maybe it is due to the fact that Ireland is the last stop on their European tour, but the performance seemed tired and lacking the exuberance I expected from this band. Both ... [Read on]
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29
Noah and the Whale (live in Whelan's, Dublin) Review Snapshot: An enjoyable night of folk-pop, that included the song we all came for: “Five Years Time”. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: It was a large and excitable crowed packed into Whelan’s to see Charlie Fink and his troop of pop-folk instrumentalists. The age-range went from just old enough to be there, all the way up to – as I could see it - fifty. Noah and the Whale clearly have a wide following, owing much of it to the extensive radio- and music channel play of their first single “Five Years Time” and also, the Laura Marling connection. No longer playing with the band, female vocal duty has been taken over by a red haired girl, whose name I did not catch. Also present on stage, a small brass section, violin and some keyboards. After building some suspense, and showing a strange short film, they took the stage. Although well-translated to live as a whole, the st... [Read on]
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24
Vampire Weekend (live in The Ambassador Theatre, Dublin) Review Snapshot:  Living up to and, indeed, surpassing their Oxegen appearance, Vampire Weekend are a fun band with multitude of good songs.  It's just a pity they're all so short. The Cluas Verdict? 8.5 out of 10 Full Review: Is it still cool to like Vampire Weekend or has the backlash started yet? That seemed to be the question on most people’s lips last night as a packed Ambassador Theatre waited in nervous anticipation for New York’s finest purveyors of ‘Upper West Side Soweto.’ The answer to that question would have to wait though, at least until after New Amusement finished their support set. I really wasn’t sure what to make of New Amusement last night. Undoubtedly they write some catchy songs and the majority of their set consisted of songs from their excellent mini-album Any Port in a Storm. However, singer Brian Molloy was plagued by tuning iss... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews, Dublin
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19
A review of 'Fight Like Apes & The Mystery of the Golden Medallion' Review Snapshot:  Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion is, to borrow a phrase from the funniest man on television, Jon Stewart, an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, nestled in a sesame seed bun of mystery. I hated it, I liked it, I loved it, I hated it again and then, when I thought I was falling in love one more time, something struck me and everything changed. Fight Like Apes have made a solid debut record. Indeed it will probably be one of the best records of the year and for that they should be commended.  It’s just that I was expecting more than solid.  I was expecting greatness. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: I’ve had Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion in my hands and on my stereo for quite some time now. There was, obviously, a temptation to rush to judgment on this record. After all, it was be... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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06
A review of the album 'Snowflake Midnight' by Mercury Rev Review Snapshot: One-time experimental mavericks from upstate New York return with a departure in sound, but find themselves stuck on repeat, peddling their same optimistic and wide-eyed view of the world. Dressed up in a shiny new electronic suit it may be, it’s merely ‘The Secret Migration’ with beats. Where has the magic gone? The Cluas Verdict? 2 out of 10 Full Review: This is not Mercury Rev. That much we know since the overwrought pomposity of a least half of 2001’s ‘All Is Dream’ gave way to the epic folly of 2005’s ‘The Secret Migration’ - the sound of a band convinced they were pushing sonic boundaries whilst, in reality, they were merely elbowing The Verve aside from their pedestal of overblown epic rock. It is impossible to reconcile the band who made ‘Snowflake Midnight’ with the band who unleashed ‘Yerself Is Steam’ to such a cathartic effect on an unsuspecting audience still knee deep in Madchester and shoegazi... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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