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Articles: Gig Reviews

That Petrol Emotion (live in Spirit Store, Dundalk) Review Snapshot:  After a fourteen year break, the temporarily reformed That Petrol Emotion, in front of a capacity audience of one hundred and ten, show that they can still suck diesel. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: I've been feeling old and I don't really like it. First off, about a month ago, the nice man on Phantom FM played The Smiths' "William It Was Really Nothing" and then, in a cheery voice that lacked even the merest hint of the necessary gravitas, announced that it first saw the light of day twenty four years ago that very week. I nearly crashed the blummin' car into the wife's planters. Twenty four years!? Are you sure it wasn't only yesterday? And Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now. Then came the news that, after a fourteen year break, the marvellous That Petrol Emotion were to reform. I remember them first time round too. Those sweaty nights... [Read on]
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Cois Fharraige, Day 3 (Kilkee, Co. Clare) Review Snapshot: The third and final day remained without highlight until Travis gave us what we wanted to hear - the hits! The Cluas Verdict? 5 out of 10 Full Review:   After a promising opening night, and a slightly less solid second, I feared the final night would continue the downward trend. This was not helped by the admittedly poor line-up. But, it was the unlikely Scots, Travis, who saved the night from mediocrity. Oscar and Simon from the dad-friendly Ocean Colour Scene performed their acoustic-driven set to an early crowd. Like a hotel-lobby band, they pleased the punters with their familiar sing-a-long anthems. Oscar and Simon, however, seemed surprised to be playing to such a small crowd, but I was surprised there was even a crowd at all. I’ll admit I was highly skeptical of the reggae addition, Natty, to the line-up, not least because of all the typical Bob Marley comparisons. But, after opening... [Read on]
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Cois Fharraige, Day 2 (Kilkee, Co. Clare) Review Snapshot: Improved weather but fewer highlights. The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10 Full Review: Having waited two hours from the original gate time yesterday before seeing a band, today we decided to soak up the sun and atmosphere prior to the gig. However, on arriving 50 minutes after gates opening, we found that the second act had just begun their set. The inconsistent start times meant we had missed an anticipated gig by UK band 28 Costumes. So, the first act of our day became The Broken Family Band. Playing to a handful of people in a near-empty marquee, their lively set may have gone down better in front of a larger audience later in the night. They managed to win over the minor crowd, not with their music, but with chocolates they cast from the stage, claiming they belonged to Travis. The trad-jam session that was Kila drew the crowds in from the sunshine and treated them to a string of indistinguishable songs.... [Read on]
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Artist (live in Venue Name, City) Review Snapshot: An excellent start to the Kilkee festival, with an outstanding performance by the Futureheads. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: “Who gives a f**k about the rain? It's a deadly festival!” So remarked Danny O'Reilly, lead singer of The Coronas on this, the first (and hopefully wettest) day of the Cois Fharraige music festival in Kilkee. First up were Galway band The Kanyu Tree, performing their first live show as a four-piece. Their unoffensive pop rock was well-received by the gathering crowds, but their music and manner fails to establish them as anything more than a support band. Next up were The Coronas, hailing from Dublin, but equally at home on the soundtrack of an American teen drama series. Their sound was rockier and their presence more charming than The Kanyu Tree, and it's not surprising that they've built up such a loyal fanbase in Ireland. Radio-friendly so... [Read on]
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Electric Picnic Day Three (live in Stradbally, Co. Laois) Review Snapshot: In terms of giving Electric Picnic Sunday a mark out of ten overall, I went with a 9….but the festival itself was more than the sum of its parts and as tents got packed away until next year and showers of a near transcendental nature were taken it’s fair to say that Electric Picnic 2008 ranks among the best.  The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Review:Day three of Electric Picnic began with a rude awakening of sorts, namely 130dBs or so of My Bloody Valentine’s sound check causing much of the Charlie Chaplin campsite (located directly behind the Electric Arena) to shoot bolt upright, from sleep to wake in a time Usain Bolt would be proud of! Still, it was a handy reminder not to forget the earplugs for later in the day. Feeling every so slightly delicate following the previous evening’s excesses, a seat in the sun with some soul was just wha... [Read on]
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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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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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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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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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A review of the 2008 Open'er festival (Gdansk) Snapshot: What? Open'er Music Festival, Babie Doly Airfield, Gdynia, Poland. Who? Chemical Brothers, Jay Z, Goldfrapp, Sex Pistols, Massive Attack, and some cool Polish bands! Why? the cost was cheap but the lineup wasn’t. Full Review: In recent years foreign music festivals have become an alternative for the Irish music-lover unable to cough up €200+ for a ticket to EP or Oxegen. Roskilde, Benicassim, and Rock Werchter are always guaranteed to attract the big names en-route to Ireland, and then some. Aside from these majors, there is an underbelly of emerging festivals on the continent, one of which is Poland`s Heineken-endorsed Open'er festival, sprawled on a disused air-field outside the city of Gdansk on Poland's Baltic coastline - easy to get to via Ryanair & shuttle buses. Although the 5-year old festival has expanded at rapid speed by all accounts - boasting diverse rece... [Read on]
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