Entries for 'Ken Fallon'

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18
Kristin Hersh, An Unquiet Mind
Kristin Hersh is reminiscing about her early tours with the Throwing Muses, the influential art-rock band she formed as a teenager in the early eighties with her stepsister Tanya Donnelly. The Pixies were their opening act. ‘Yeah, they were always our support act when we went out on tour’ she tells me, down the line from her home in Laguna Beach, California. ‘We brought them with us because we didn’t want to be alone. We brought them to 4AD too because we didn’t want to alone on the label there either with all those English bands that were so pretty, gauzy and ethereal and we knew we were nothing like that!’ she remembers, laughing ‘The Pixies just kept us from being lonely’. Throwing Muses, along with Sonic Youth and the aforementioned Pixies, were key figures in the alternative rock scene in the US in the eighties and nineties, and paved the way for Nirvana and the alt-rock explosion that followed. Yet, Hersh is not one for lo... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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01
Sister Cities
Hailing from Tempe, Arizona, Sister Cities have just released their excellent debut single ‘White Dress’ on this side of the Atlantic with UK label 100% Music. Consisting of Brett (guitar and vocals), Courtney (drums and vocals), Spike (bass and vocals) and Ana (keys, guitar and vocals), they took some time out recently to tell Ken Fallon about how it all came together… Tell us a little about how you got together as a band? Were you friends beforehand? We all went to high school together and always had music as a common interest, we played as a two piece (drums/guitar/vocals) before adding bass and keys. We met Ana while on vacation in Mexico and somehow convinced her to move to Arizona and join the band!    How has your music evolved since you first got together as a band? The evolution of our sound has been sort of a natural progression. We started out in Courtney's garage just trying to play anything that ... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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03
Ann Scott 'Flo'
A review of the album 'Flo' by Ann Scott Review Snapshot: Ann Scott returns with her remarkable new album 'Flo', a collection of songs that will enthrall and disquiet in equal measure. The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Review: It’s been quite a while since Ann Scott’s impressive second album 'We’re Smiling' was released, an accomplished album that stood up to repeated listens while her debut 'Poor Horse' was equally as arresting. Despite this, the Dublin-born singer has always remained under the radar as an artist in this country, never quite achieving the kudos she deserves. With third album 'Flo' it is surely time for Scott to step out from the shadows, as it is her most complete work to date and heralds her as a major talent. This significant creative progression is evident from the ominous opening bars of first track 'Love is in him'. Built around a simple, minimal acoustic guitar figure a... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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27
We Are Scientists
Keith Murray and Chris Cain of US indie-rockers We Are Scientists often don’t take interviews all that seriously. It may have something to do with their way-out sense of humour (check out their website www.wearescientists.com – it’s insane) or it could simply be a way of entertaining themselves as they respond to questions they have heard countless times before. So it is with some trepidation that I phone Chris (above right), the band’s bassist and prankster-in-chief, at his home in New York for an interview about the new album and their upcoming plans for the year. As it turns out, he is relatively serious for once and is friendly and unfailingly polite throughout as we chat about his band’s excellent, return – to - form new album Barbara, how his ending up in a successful rock band is somewhat accidental and why Cardiff’s nightlife terrifies him…   So, are you happy with the new album Barbara? Does it differ in any way to the... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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12
Craig Walker 'Siamese'
A review of the album 'Siamese' by Craig Walker Review Snapshot: Fifteen years after the demise of his former band - the brilliant Power Of Dreams - frontman Craig Walker returns with his debut solo-album. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: Earlier this year, legendary Irish indie-rockers Power Of Dreams reformed for a series of ecstatically-received gigs in the UK and Ireland. It was to celebrate the 20th - anniversary of their magnificent debut album ‘Immigrants, Emigrants and Me’ which still sounds as vibrant and emotionally-engaging now as it did in the early Nineties, testament to the quality of the songs on it (written when the band’s songwriter and frontman Craig Walker was just 17 years-old). The fact that it’s taken almost fifteen years since the band split amicably in 1995 for his solo debut album to appear can’t be blamed on any sort of creative stagnation on his part. Instead of going on the obligatory so... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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06
Power of Dreams
Twenty years ago an alarmingly young band from Dublin released a debut album full of near-flawless indie-pop tunes. It had a confidence and ambition that was at odds with their youth and it is still talked about to this day as one of the great Irish debuts of all time. The album was called ‘Immigrants, Emigrants And Me’ and the band were Power of Dreams. Formed by songwriter Craig Walker (above, right) in 1989 while he was still at school, along with his brother Keith on drums and their friend Mick Lennox on bass, the success of the album brought a certain level of fame and critical plaudits on the youngsters, both here and abroad. Flash forward two decades and I am sitting at Craig Walker’s kitchen-table listening to his recollections of the highs and lows of the last twenty years. Walker, now a youthful 38, looks back with pride on that debut album and the subsequent success his band enjoyed in the early Nineties. I tell him that his band was the first Irish band I ... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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05
  Formerly the guitarist with the brilliant and much-missed Irish rockers Ten Speed Racer, Pat Barrett - working under the moniker of The Hedge Schools - quietly re-emerged last year with the release of his rather excellent and quite underrated debut solo album ‘Never Leave Anywhere’. Ken Fallon recently caught up with the Dublin-born musician to see what the current state-of-play is… ‘Never Leave Anywhere’ is one of the more quietly impressive Irish albums I’ve heard in the last few years. Could you tell us a little about how it came to fruition? Well, to be honest, even during the Ten Speed Racer days we were all writing and I’ve been writing for maybe ten years now, so the time seemed just right. Waiting for a free window in Joe’s (Chester, producer and former TSR bandmate) diary was also a key factor but I was really in the head-space on a personal level to sit down and start recording, so we did. What made ... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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18
Slint (live in The Tripod, Dublin) Review Snapshot: While The Rolling Stones roll out the hits yet again in Slane, down the road in Dublin’s wonderful Tripod venue, Slint, also trading on past glories (but in a good way), take to the stage to play one of most important and influential alternative-rock albums of all time. Welcome to Spiderland. The CLUAS Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full review: Back in 1991, while Madchester reigned in the UK and Kurt Cobain was changing the course of rock history in the US, four young men from Louisville, Kentucky were quietly putting together a suite of six songs that would become the seminal ‘Spiderland’. With this album they inadvertently laid down the blueprint for what would become ‘post-rock’ with bands like Sigur Ros and especially Mogwai using this album as a creative touchstone for their own output.It is a collection of dark yet highly cerebral songs that didn’t fit in with the plaid-shirted brigade ... [Read on]
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09
The Aftermath live in the Stables, Mullingar Review Snapshot: Walking away relatively unscathed from a serious road accident the previous week, Mullingar’s finest The Aftermath return for a triumphant hometown gig in The Stables. The CLUAS Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full review: Before tonight’s main act The Aftermath, Pete Courtney seems like the calm before the storm. There is a delicate touch to his music, a subtle sophistication that is most evident in his upcoming new single ‘Instinct’, which gets an airing tonight. It is a beautiful piece of gentle melancholy, so good it even quietens the more talkative elements of the audience. No mean feat. In a country brimming over with soporific acoustic troubadours, Courtney stands out. The Aftermath know how to put on a show. On limited resources, they endeavour to make this gig both visually and aurally appealing. With their equipment festooned with glowing fairy-lights and a back projection showing... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews
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23
Review Snapshot: Three years since ‘Infinity Land’ the curiously named Scots trio Biffy Clyro return with ‘Puzzle’. Less complex and slightly more accessible than their three previous albums to date, ‘Puzzle’ is still one of the most inventive and ambitious guitar albums you will hear all year. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10. Full Review: Is the simple pop melody, superimposed on a swathe of hard-rock guitars and thumping drums, the perfect rock equation?The myriad genres and sub-genres that clog the crowded world of alternative music will always confuse and enthral in equal measure. It’s easy to get lost within the surfeit of styles and attitudes, of empty poses and rock-careers built on a strict drug regimen. Ever since Bob Mould’s Husker Du started gluing pop melodies to hard guitar signatures, tuneful yet emotional hard rock will always grab the listener with an immediacy that other styles never will. Husker Du were the ... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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