Entries for 'Niamh Madden'

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07
Grammatics 'Grammatics'
A review of the album Grammatics by Grammatics Review Snapshot: Grammatics’ mishmash debut album can sometimes be embarrassing in its attempt to cover a lot of ground, leaving you thinking that too much of an influence is a bad thing. Anyone got a Solpadeine?  The Cluas Verdict? 5.5 out of 10 Full Review: ‘Bona fide genius.’ So said the NME of Grammatics’ debut album, entitled, er, Grammatics. Far from genius, this album is a muddle of sounds that never seemed to have been introduced to each other before the recording process. As a fan of experimentation, I thought this blend of violins, deep and dirty distortion, Foals-like harmonics and falsetto would leave me feeling full. Instead, the album gave a sense of never understanding its purpose, or truly feeling its sound. Lead singer Owen Brinley describes his participation in the band on MySpace as a ‘squeal,’ which I take to be an appropriate and not wholly ironic description of ho... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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23
Hooray for Humans
Hooray for Humans have been on the Irish scene for over two years and have just come back from playing a gig in Canada. Niamh Madden catches up with the four-piece and asks them about albums, Cork bands and New York. How did Hooray for Humans get together, and where did the name come from?   H4H started out about two and a half years ago. I was playing in a few other bands and wanted to do something different to what I'd been playing up until that point, so I just threw up a notice on a couple of forums like Thumped, MySpace and the like. It took a while but two friends of mine got in contact so we started jamming. Straight away we felt pretty good about what we were doing so we gave it a bit more time. They've since left the band (we're still friends though!) and there are now 4 people in H4H - myself, Jen, Lewis and Matt. The name comes from a song by a band called Q And Not U, who were one of my favourite bands and a huge influence on me and what I was l... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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15
A quick Q&A session with Dublin based band New Amusement Who or what has been the biggest influence on New Amusement's sound? Well when we started Brian and I were obsessed with At the Drive-in so there was a lot of shouting & noisy amelodic guitars but it was a bit ridiculous to be honest. I think that taught us not to let any one band have such a big influence on us & just let 'the sound' come naturally. Even though we still love those heavier bands (like ATDI, Les Savy Fav, Drive Like Jehu, Fugazi) we also love more melodic poppy stuff like The Killers, The Cardigans, and New Order - so it all comes together in a big messy melting pot I suppose. What has been your favourite venue to play in? The Spirit Store in Dundalk is a nice place - nice location, good atmosphere, a shack out the back to drink cans in. We played there with Fight Like Apes earlier in the year & when we arrived there was a cat sitting at the bar drinking a saucer of mi... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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09
Rodrigo y Gabriela 'Live in Japan'
A review of the album 'Live in Japan'  by Rodrigo y Gabriela Review Snapshot: The live CD may come across as canned, but watching the DVD really brings back some beautiful recollections of watching Rodrigo and Gabriela perform live. This is really worth buying if you're a budding Spanish-guitarist or want to look at just how passionate and measured Rod 'n' Gab still are about their music. Not groundbreaking as an album, but enjoyable as a memory.  The Cluas Verdict? 6.5 out of 10 Full Review: The smell of Nag Champa will forever remind me of my first Rod 'n' Gab gig in NUI Maynooth, in, as far as I can remember, 2002. It cost a mere €2 to get in, yet there were only about twenty-five unsuspecting students surrounding the make-shift stage in the centre of the Student's Union venue. Gabriela was gorgeous, Rodrigo's hair intrigued me, and every member of the audience who'd ever picked up a guitar felt intimidated by... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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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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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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13
Chequerboard, Alphamono and Fiach live at HWCH Review Snapshot: The Becks Vier flowed, hairy check-shirted types floated around the side-streets of Temple Bar and the type of music was as varied as a pick'n'mix bag. Though an enjoyable evening, there was something a little disjointed about HWCH 2008. The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10 Full Review: This year's Hard Working Class Heroes was my first. With no previous experiences to compare it to (the disenchanted "last-year's-Picnic-was-so-much-better" syndrome), my untainted, innocent eyes were ready to be initiated into the world of the Irish up-and-coming. The first act on my list was Alphamono, who played in the cosy wooden attic of 4 Dame Lane. Alphamono's biog reveals that he hails 'from a small mining village on Neptune' and is currently embarking on an intergalactic journey through the universe. If a biog could ever perfectly encapsulate a sound, Alphamono's would be i... [Read on]
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17
Metronomy (live in Andrew's Lane Theatre, Dublin) Review Snapshot: As it turns out, Sunday evening in town was dead. Due to a ghostly combination of rain, bleak wintery weather and possibly it just being Sunday, Metronomy attracted a small crowd. The result was disappointing. The Cluas Verdict? 5 out of 10 Full Review: Sunday evening in town was spookily quiet. When we arrived at Andrew's Lane Theatre punctually at 11pm, the lights were on and nobody was home. There were a couple of organisers standing around and when I mentioned I was on the guest-list they didn't even need to consult a list: 'Sure, yep, grand... but come back later, sound check is on now.' Eek. Funny vibes from the beginning. When we finally arrived back after 12pm, David Kitt's new project 'Spilly Walker' was bopping about onstage, playing to an almost empty venue. There were about twenty people sitting around. The act was somewhat akin to the new singer-songwr... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews, Dublin
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17
Dan Deacon and Jape (live in Vicar Street, Dublin) Review Snapshot: Anyone in Vicar Street for last Saturday's Future Days Festival was in for a treat: Deerhunter, Dan Deacon, White Williams and Jape were all outstanding. Jape was somewhat of an anti-climax after Dan Deacon (who should have headlined), but the love at the venue was massive and the buzz after Dan was sweaty, electric, otherworldly.  The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Review: It was strange being at Vicar Street so early. The venue was close to empty when Brooklyn duo High Places came onstage. The gig warmed up slowly with a couple of curious onlookers nodding their heads to the beats. Though High Places knocked out a couple of wickedly intense tribal percussion pieces, the pair just didn't have enough charisma to warrant looking at. Ping-pong ball noises, shaky and scratchy erratic beats led into a more ambient Buddhist lounge style; Mary Pearson's vocals however sounded flat and she held... [Read on]
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09
Plaid (live in Crawdaddy, Dublin) Review Snapshot: More dubstep than Double Figure, Plaid knocked out a short and surprising set. There were two schools of thought: the Disappointed (discussing the performance in the smoking area) and the Dancers (who made up the electric crowd in the venue). As a disappointed dancer, the gig lay somewhere in between for me... The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10 Full Review: Support act Sunken Foal opened the night of electronica. Featuring one half of Ambulance (Duncan Murphy), the duo soaked the venue with eerie church bells and sustained apocalyptic sounds. Imagine the haunting, sweeping discords of the Radiohead's Morning Bell/Amnesiac infused with deep synths that sound like bullfrogs - and you've almost got Sunken Foal. They drifted from darkness to more euphoric moments of harmony, and brought the crowd on an emotional journey with them. As my companion said to me of their sound, 'Oh my God. It's like Kermit on crack.... [Read on]
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