Entries for 'Anna Murray'

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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
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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13
Nakatomi Plaza, Half Cousin, Lines Drawing Circles (live at HWCH Day 1) Review Snapshot: The first night of Hard Working Class Heroes 2008 seemed a little quiet, whether because of the poor timing of the festival the increased price of tickets, or just because of the intermittent rain. Reports so far have been mixed, but this reviewer found Day 1 to be a brilliant night. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: Most of the talk surrounding this year’s HWCH event has centred on the change of venues after last year’s concentration around the POD complex. While this brought its fair share of difficulties for the festival, I did not encounter quite so many organisational problems as another Cluas reviewer; in fact, Day 1 proved to be a great night out, where running from venue to venue added to a (probably misplaced) sense of adventure and discovery and where Meeting House Square hosted one of the most entertaining, if not necessarily best, acts of the... [Read on]
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06
A review of the album Do It! by Clinic Review Snapshot: Do It! sounds like an indie band who have gone on a bad trip and taken some vintage instruments with them, with the result that Clinic sound like a four-piece power rock group who have been placed behind a sheet of glass in the dungeon of some warped fairground (just listen to the Coda, with its vaudevillian nightmare intro). It works. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: Although my first encounter with Clinic left a decidedly unfavourable impression on me, with 'Do It!', their fifth album, I finally get it. It’s a new sound creation, floating some way above accepted style and genre, and this is a well-made demonstration of that. It is clear from opening track Memories, that Clinic’s strength do not necessarily lie with their songwriting, but their ability to create and work with sounds. Whichever side of the natural/raw vs. production debate you might stand, you ju... [Read on]
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02
CLUAS Verdict: 8 out of 10 Review Snapshot: As ever running that fine line between rock, pop, electronica, alternative, and general unclassifiable, Dublin’s Ciarán Smith has produced an album of tracks that are well-written, well produced, well orchestrated and well performed. What more could you want? Review: Out On A Limb is close to becoming my favourite record label, indie or otherwise, and OOAL0011 - in real words Crayonsmith’s White Wonder - is even more quickly becoming one of my favourite albums. Crayonsmith’s early and possibly more familiar lo-fi sound has expanded and developed into something totally original and new to the Irish market. Subtle snatches of melody, classic if sometimes unexpected harmonic twists, droning percussive synths and charming vocals so beautifully layered and produced that you can almost imagine them standing in rows in front of you: percussion, guitars and synths in rows up each side and Ciarán stand... [Read on]
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02
The Duke Spirit (live in The Village, Dublin) Review Snapshot: Undaunted by less than perfect sound, the headliners delivered up to their reputation and a set that left the crowd panting, even if the supports failed to make an impression. The Cluas Verdict?  7 out of 10 Full Review: Each time I go to the Village, I find another reason to dislike it as a venue. Sometimes it’s the crowd; sometimes the painfully cool and smooth veneer, its attempts at looking like an underground venue while having fake-marbled, mirror-lined bathrooms. On Sunday it was the sound. While the Village has one of the better sound systems in the Dublin area venue circuit, the effect of this is too often ruined by having the volume turned up to 11: four or five instruments become smushed into one mashed-up whole with occasional words, high registers become toneless squeals and low registers become painful thumps. So while the crowd was big and enthusiastic enough to absorb the volume &nda... [Read on]
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12
Review Snapshot: At its heart this is a happy album, full of innocence and charm, with some excellent songs and catchy hooks. Everything you want in a disposable summer album, but little more. The CLUAS Verdict: 7 out of 10 Full Review:  Cute is not a word I’d often associate with albums, but it’s one that just keeps recurring when I think about My Brother Woody’s 'It’s A Long Way from That Sort of Thing You Were Raised'. I don’t know if it is how they were raised or something they picked up along the way, but this album is all honest charm and good nature. Even the long-winded title is apt… in a totally unusual and inimitable way. It’s all in the inescapable Irishness of this album: although gladly lacking in fiddles and faux-celtic-air melodies and although much has been made of it’s good vibrations, Californian overtones and ‘bops, oohs and aahs‘, lyrically and sentimentally, My Brother Woody&rsq... [Read on]
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23
A review of the album U.F.O.s at the Zoo by The Flaming Lips Review Snapshot: Although guilty speculations of animal cruelty creep sidelong into the back of your mind with this gig in an Oklahoma Zoo, it’s far too easy to ignore them. This is as good a recording of a gig as you’re likely to find, especially when energy and surprise are that gigs main assets; if nothing else, with this DVD The Flaming Lips again prove themselves masters of gimmickry and sheer entertainment. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review:  A zoo, a UFO light-rig, giant orange balloons, confetti launchers, armies of dancers in fancy dress, little laser lights and Wayne Coyne’s now infamous plastic bubble antics are the stuff that great gigs are made of, apparently: they appear at each Flaming Lips gig – including last November in Dublin – and every Flaming Lips gig is, without a doubt, a great gig. But their effect is somewhat lost when the energy and im... [Read on]
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03
A review of the album Yesterday Is No Tomorrow by Stalkers Review Snapshot:It is almost a prerequisite in listening to this album that you not have a problem with uncomplicated music. Stalkers are a straightforward hard rocking band who write fantastically singable rock songs: this album may not change the face of music as we know it, but it’s a lot of fun. The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10 Full Review: The most remarkable thing about this album is its sheer relentlessness. Stalkers don’t concern themselves too much with the finer points of harmony, melody or subtlety, but they do hammer out rough rhythms and roars of vocals, tripping over their own squealing guitar solos, chunky riffs and remarkably hooky choruses in an effort to push it through the speakers with as much power as possible. Wasting no time, the band launch into opening track Yesterday Is No Tomorrow as if there’s a giant hand pushing forward from behind, and they si... [Read on]
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26
Not a perfect album, but not a bad one within the strict quality confines of uneventful teenage punk. CLUAS Verdict: 6 out of 10 A band of the new generation, N. Irish pop-punks Steer Clear have topped Bebo music streams with thousands of online fans. But so have a lot of bands: is that a genuine reflection of a good album? Yes in some ways, no in others. A triumph of marketing and good production over musical content, No…You Hang Up is filled with angsty pop-punk of a breed common across the generational band of age 12-15. For all that, there’s some undeniably catchy choruses, clever guitar work, erudite references to classical and classic rock, punk, metal and even pop. Despite the difficulties inherent in telling any songs apart, each of them are some good tunes with decent, if not ground-breaking or even naff-free, lyrical content.  Anna Murray [Read on]
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