Entries for September 2008

Articles

27
Fight Like Apes (live in Whelans, Dublin) Review Snapshot: I still haven't decided whether I enjoyed this gig or not. Fight Like Apes themselves were undeniably excellent as ever, but an over-excited crowd made the whole thing a manic affair. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: I think I preferred Fight Like Apes when they were just starting out. While I always admired their ability to get an often-bemused crowd moving, they seemed to have honed this into an ability to induce spontaneous loss of limb control and often senses. Last night’s album launch gig in Whelans, was one of the most terrifying gig experiences of my life: after a heavy hour of being squashed, I left nursing an aching head from the impact with a metal dustbin and aching neck from the impact with someone’s elbow as I was crushed between two people reaching for a crowd-surfer, bruised arms and a dress that stank of spilled drink. And I narrowly missed being egged while walking... [Read on]
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19
Dennis Wilson 'Pacific Ocean Blue'
A review of the album 'Pacific Ocean Blue' by Dennis Wilson Review Snapshot: Dennis Wilson was the handsome Beach Boy - he had the musical smarts but they were sidelined till 1977 with the release of "Pacific Ocean Blue", his debut album. It's hit and miss but the hits really hit. The Cluas Verdict? 6.5 out of 10 Full Review: 1977 - the worst thing about being 17 back then was hearing Janis Ian’s “at 17”. I hated this little whinge of a song but I suffered it because every girl I met loved it. What a musical time though – mid May, it seemed John Peel was playing Barclay John Harvest and Hatfield and the North - by July of 1977 he was bona fide punk. One Friday night in August he played “Pretty Vacant”- a real grassy-knoll / where-were-you-when-you-it heard moment. It was around that time Dennis Wilson’s debut “Pacific Ocean Blue” was released. Up to that point Dennis was to the Beac... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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19
A review of the album 'Limbo, Panto' by Wild Beasts Review Snapshot: 'Limbo, Panto', the debut album from British band, Wild Beasts, a theatrically over the top record about sex, sin and struggling soccer teams. A genuinely strong and enjoyable debut. The Cluas Verdict? 7.5 out of 10 Full Review: At first listen, you would be forgiven for thinking that Wild Beasts were a satirical cover band of The Smiths spliced with 18th century opera. Lead singer Hayden Thorpe has a camper singing style than Morrissey. Just think about that for a moment. Camper then flower flinging, blouse wearing, falsetto singing Morrissey. At times Thorpe’s voice is comically operatic and on other occasions it is a guttural growl, wandering where it pleases, without consideration for the taut bass lines and energetic guitar strumming, hopelessly trying to keep up. There is a raw charm to his voice, but one that will not be to everyone’s liking. It is so incomparable ... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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15
So Cow, New Amusement and more at HWCH (night 3)
So Cow, New Amusement and more at HWCH (night 3) Review Snapshot: A rained soaked Dublin played host to the final night of this year’s HWCH. The night’s lineup was, to look at, the weakest of the 3 but as it turned out two of the weekend’s best sets took place on the final night. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: Day 3 of 2008’s HWCH took place on a miserable wet Sunday evening which could have seriously put a damper on proceedings but things were rescued a little when it was decided to pull most of the bands from Meeting House Square and move them to indoors venues. This call wasn’t made in time for New Amusement who from their vantage point must have thought they were playing to a sparse but enthusiastic crowd of umbrellas. Their debut EP from a few months back was a fine collection of indie tunes and their set was based around that. But also dropped into the mix was some fresh material earmarked for their debut album due... [Read on]
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15
One Day International, Mackerel the Cat and Others at HWCH (Sunday) Review Snapshot: Despite dreary drizzle, HWCH made it through the night with stunning, passionate performances by both established acts and newcomers to the scene.  The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: It was not an evening to leave the house. Horror movie rain beat down in all its forms - spitty rain, drizzly rain, monsoon rain, torrential rain, showery rain, Dublin-here-I-come rain. But I braved it. Left the house. Hopped on a 38. Having originally planned to see geek rockers 'We Are the Physics' at Meeting House Square, I instead opted for the warmth of The Button Factory and the sounds of Mackerel the Cat. Love of the name (which is taken from a Haruki Marukami novel) was enough to sway me towards their breed of indie ambience. They had so much potential, incorporating a multitude of fancy-schmancy instruments like the glockenspiel and the double bass, and even a guitarist using a ... [Read on]
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15
Autamata, Sounds Of System Breakdown and Robotnik live at HWCH Day 3 Review Snapshot: Despite the inclement weather, Sunday’s HWCH drew the best performances from the artists and the biggest crowds from their fans. The Cluas Verdict? 7.5 out of 10 Full Review: Going into the last night of the HWCH festival ’08, I calculated that out of the ten or so acts I had so far seen, there were only two that I would have no interest in checking out a second time. Thinking this a good statistic so far, I held a lot of hope for the final tally. Unfortunately, the first hour began pushing up the score of the uninteresting, and “technical difficulties” seemed to haunt the night. My Brother Woody, who released the pleasant and summery It’s A Long Way From That Sort of Thing You Were Raised earlier this year, opened the night in The Academy 2 to an scant audience and presented a set that matched the album perfectly: tight, warm, bouncy, just a l... [Read on]
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14
Daniel Lanois 'Here Is What Is'
A review of the album Here Is What Is by Daniel Lanois Review Snapshot:Here Is What Is is a weak record by acclaimed producer Daniel Lanois. Failed attempts at being 'artsy' and an overly long running time make this a wearisome listen. The Cluas Verdict?5 out of 10 Full Review: Daniel Lanois made his name producing for big name artists over the last few decades. He has worked with Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Emmylou Harris and U2 to name but a few. ‘Here Is What Is’ is the fifth studio album from the Canadian. The record opens with just the voice of Brian Eno describing a chest of drawers he once bought. It is one of a few tracks that are simply conversation. The only interesting one of these tracks is ‘Beauty’ where the origin of beauty and the marvel of how it originates from nothingness is discussed. This beauty he speaks of however, he fails to create himself. That said, the album does open well, with the first few tracks catchi... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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14
Foxface, Bats and Others at HWCH (Saturday) Review Snapshot: Saturday nights in Temple Bar? Difficult to navigate for small-shouldered girls. Last night’s tough weave through the drunken masses proved a task in getting to gigs on time, but the quality of the acts more than made up for logistical difficulties. The Cluas Verdict? 6.5 out of 10 Full Review: There’s nothing more enjoyable than watching grown men scream their heads off. That’s just one of the reasons why Bats were one of the most entertaining acts so far at HWCH. Meeting House Square wasn’t as packed as it ought to have been, but faithful Bats fans headbanging at the front more than made up for a relatively empty gig. Lead singer Rupert looks cuddly but sings like an angry grizzly, with every outburst last night echoed with epileptic lighting. Savage screeching, heavy distortion, post-rock guitar riffs and uber energy: Bats have all the elements of a modern, albeit unique, rock ban... [Read on]
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14
Frightened Rabbit, The Vinny Club and Bats at HWCH (night 2)
Frightened Rabbit, The Vinny Club and Bats at HWCH (night 2) Review Snapshot: Night 2 of 2008's HWCH saw the cream of the festival's lineup all crowbarred into a single night. A nice complaint to have I guess as there was pretty much always something worth seeing. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: Night 2 of 2008’s HWCH festival threw up its own set of problems that were far more pleasing to deal with than those on Friday night. That being that most of the best bands on the festival had been given Saturday slots so there were all sorts of unfortunate clashes between bands that were worth seeing. What makes it worse is that tonight’s lineup is a little thin on the ground when it comes to quality and could have done with some bolstering. The lineup in particular in Andrew’s Lane was so good you could have stayed there for the whole evening and had top night’s entertainment. And that’s where the night began for me with... [Read on]
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14
Crayonsmith, The Parks and A Lazarus Soul at HWCH Day 2 Review Snapshot: After a little timetable confusion, Day 2 of HWCH '08 proved a slight disappointment after yesterday, but with a few outstanding performances The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10 Full Review: Strange things have been happening at this festival: between some serious organisational miscommunications, poor sound and last night’s timetable mix-up. Having turned up at the supposed starting time of Hybrasil’s set in the Button Factory (7.45 according the HWCH schedule booklet) and waiting a twenty minutes before heading, a little let-down and confused, toward Andrew’s Lane and Grand Pocket Orchestra, I was more than a little annoyed this morning to double check the online schedule and discover that Hybrasil’s set was in fact timetabled to start at 8.15. Although I missed out catching one excellent band, I was lucky to catch another. Earlier this year, GPO released their debu... [Read on]
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