Entries for August 2008

Articles

31
Electric Picnic, Day Two (Stradbally, Co. Laois) Review Snapshot: Good weather, good friends and good music all mix together to create almost the perfect festival Saturday. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: As 2007 drew to a close, Cathy Davey’s second album ‘Tales of Silversleeve’ was opening doors and cementing her reputation as one of Ireland’s most talented emerging songwriters. Given that her songs have been played off the radio, it wouldn’t have been unreasonable to expect a good crowd for her mid-afternoon slot in the Crawdaddy tent, but having to close it before she even took to the stage must surely have been beyond her wildest expectations – even Guy Garvey and the rest of Elbow couldn’t wangle their way in. ‘The Collector’ and ‘Reuben’ opened the set and got the crowd dancing straight away. On occasion Davey’s aspirate vocal can get lost in a live setting but not today, she w... [Read on]
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30
Electric Picnic, Day 1 (Stradbally, Co. Laois) Review Snapshot:  A long yet rewarding first day of Electric Picnic highlighted the huge differences between the Irish new and old guards and everything from pies, ticker tape and Icelandic orchestral manoeuvers in the dark in between. The Cluas Verdict? 7.5 out of 10 Full Review: After an early start, repeated to-ing and fro-ing from car to campsite and prolonged tent pitching – it seems the term ‘four man tent’ refers to how many people it takes to erect the tent as opposed to how many people fit in it – Electric Picnic, day one, kicked off with an invitation to a mass orgy at the main stage from Ronan Ó Snodaigh of Kíla, “We’ve got 50 minutes to make love to you” and with that we were off. Despite a relatively early slot at 4.30pm, Kíla pulled a large crowd and set about getting the party started. There were Brazilian carnival dan... [Read on]
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26
A review of the DownloadMusic.ie USB Compilation (Various artists) Review Snapshot:  Possibly the most difficult album I’ve ever had to review for CLUAS, Downloadmusic.ie’s first ever USB Compilation Album also turned out to be one of the most rewarding, proving, for the most part, that Irish music is in good shape. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: For me, great albums have always told a story; each song being delicately structured to fit snugly into the ebb and flow of the overall musical tapestry of the LP. My favourite albums generally come with memorable artwork, lyrics, out of focus photographs, scribbled drunken meanderings or multicoloured feathers. So to be presented with a compilation album on a USB key was always going to be a challenge. How should I approach this; should I take it on a song by song basis? That’s not really going to result in an album review though is it? Plus, with 15 songs most of... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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22
Okkervil River 'The Stand Ins'
A review of the album 'The Stand Ins' by Okkervil River Review Snapshot:With their name lifted from a short story by a Russian writer and their albums to date smothered by literary references, there's no doubting Okkervil River aren't your average Texan band. On this their sixth album (not including last year's free, online only 'Golden Opportunities') the band take a side-step rather than the much anticipated giant stride both lyrically and musically. The Cluas Verdict? 7.5 out of 10 Full Review: Okkervil River are one of those bands who've been in existence much longer than you've imagined, churning out some fine records before last year's critically acclaimed highpoint 'The Stage Names'. 2006 saw the release of 'Black Sheep Boy', a record which merged gothic menace with tantalising glimpses of melody ('A King And A Queen' for one), which was more fully explored on 'The Stage Names'. ... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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16
A review of the album 'At Mount Zoomer' by Wolf Parade Review Snapshot: Wolf Parade's follow-up to their glorious debut, ‘Apologies To The Queen Mary’, is a brave comeback by the Canadian indie five-piece, but it falls short of its predecessor by some distance. Unfortunately the high points of the record are undermined and outnumbered by the low ones, making for a bit of a mixed bag. First-time listeners to this band may find the album an exhilarating experience, but those who have been exposed to the quality that Wolf Parade can produce might just be a little disappointed. The Cluas Verdict? 6.5 out of 10 Full Review: In 2005, Wolf Parade released ‘Apologies To The Queen Mary’, their first album after two previous EPs, to a generally positive critical response. It was an album that used electronic music as an accompaniment to indie rock as opposed to attempting to merge the two. The songwriting duties were split between the two fo... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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14
MUSE (live in Marlay Park, Dublin) Review Snapshot:  Sometimes you find yourself so in awe of a band that there is nothing you can do except stand back, close your eyes and let a performance permeate every essence of your being. The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Review: It wasn't looking good for MUSE at Marlay Park.  Monsoon like conditions over the past week would surely render conditions unsuitable for anything other than pigs and ducks.  Not so.  The first surprise of the evening was that parking was a breeze, as was gaining access to the arena.  The biggest surprise of all though was the condition of the arena.  Where were the anticipated mud baths?  No where to be seen, in fact you'd have hardly known it had rained non-stop for the past two weeks. First up on stage were Glasvegas, the Glasgow four piece who count Michael Stipe amongst their celebrity fans.  If The Smiths were Scottish and liked dre... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews, Dublin
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07
Review of Glasgowbury 2008, Draperstown, Co. Derry Well, we came, we saw, we were conquered... and sunburnt (in a nice way). To the street with all these corporate shindigs like Oxegen et al. Glasgowbury is where it’s at and that ain’t no lie! A festival on top of the Sperrin Mountains in Co Derry, Eagles Rock to be precise, with some of the finest musical talent on the island, a festival where yet-to-be-friends help you across the camp site with your gear and help you set up whilst sharing a beer and announcing the bands they reckon are going to rock the ‘rock! Who'd have thought of such a hair-brained scheme? Well a music legend by the name of Paddy Glasgow, not sure if anyone else could have pulled this off... the man lives music, and the promotion of it, not for money, kudos, but for the betterment of its soul. In a nutshell...Glasgowbury 2008? It was 4 stages, 3 of which were indoor (the G-Session's, The Acoustic and The Spurs of Rock) an... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews, UK
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05
A review of the latest Sigur Ros album Review Snapshot: Sigur Ros do branch out somewhat but in my eyes it's not in a bad way. I've seen some indifferent reviews but I challenge anyone to listen to Ára bátur and not be moved. Get the album, on CD not mp3, stick it on in a darkened room and enjoy. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: Sigur Ros, a favourite band of mine for quite some time, captivated me with Ágætis byrjun, lost me somewhat on () and hooked me right back in with Takk... (despite Match Of The Day trying to hijack it!) Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust is their 5th studio album and, before it even get's played, it has a lot to live up to. Takk... was such a massive album for the band, any subsequent work will find it hard to live up to those expectations. So to hear that the band had enlisted the help of Flood, English producer so named for his tea making prowess, suggests that they might indeed be steering away from the the 8 minute opuses and more to... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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05
A review of Fleet Foxes debut album Review Snapshot: Fleet Foxes have emerged from the crowded ranks of Seattle’s indie music scene with an uncompromisingly indulgent debut of the same. Glorious vocal harmonies accompanied by rousing, anthemic instrumental pieces combine to result in one of the great records of 2008. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: Thus far, 2008 has been a year dominated by a horde of worryingly similar guitar groups, striving to become the next Strokes or Arctic Monkeys. And so, as this flood of mediocrity threatens to engulf us all (I actually listened to a Pigeon Detectives album a while back), the appearance of Fleet Foxes album came as nothing short of a lifesaver. The album opens with the delightfully simple track, Sun it Rises, a song that speaks of the impending rising sun. Not really Bob Dylan lyrics here, or at all in the album. In fact, the subjects of the songs are so simplistic and inconsequential that they appear to ac... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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