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Articles: Gig Reviews

Josh Ritter (live in Dublin)
Josh Ritter (live in Grand Canal Theatre, Dublin) Review Snapshot: Josh Ritter played to a packed Grand Canal Theatre last night. A night of funny, yet entirely irrelevant stories, a suspected bouncing disorder, a whole lot of tweed, and great music. One to remember. The Cluas Verdict? 7.5 out of 10 Full Review: Having known very little about Ritter and his music before the gig, his first impression on me was positive: he was bouncy, enthusiastic, and not at all bored by performing to yet another packed venue. His smile was one that said he couldn’t be happier, or more amazed, that he was making a living out of this. Joined onstage by his Royal City Band, Ritter launched himself into 'Southern Pacifica' from the new album “So Runs the World Away”, bouncing around like a toddler on ecstasy. His energy made him instantly likeable. He was however let down by the intensity of the amplification at th... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews, Dublin
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Pilotlight (live in Dublin)
Pilotlight (Live in the Button Factory, Dublin) Review Snapshot: Pilotlight have a unique sound. Understated and expressive on the record, they are powerful and overstated live. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: Pilotlight, a band from Dublin, launched their debut album entitled “The Post-War Musical” in The Button Factory on Feb 13th last. The four piece band has been based in London since 2008. They were in a jovial and excited mood. Not surprising as they’ve worked on this record for nine years, finally managing to put it together in a studio in France, under the guidance of producer Karl Odlum. The band began their set at nine-ish, belting out opener “All Purpose Underneath” and first single “Pulling on Doors that say Push”, which was the most radio friendly song I heard all night, containing some wonderful vocal harmonies and lead guitar work. This gig represented a first chance to showcase t... [Read on]
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Mumford and Sons (Live in Dublin)
Mumford and Sons (Live in The Academy, Dublin) Review Snapshot: From an excessive three warm up acts and technical problems to egotistical roadies, my trip to see Mumford and Sons was not the folksy, joyful event the band’s image suggests. I was already indifferent to these fake folksy wannabe’s and the gig moved it from indifference to dislike.  The Cluas Verdict? 4/10 Full Review: I arrived at The Academy on Middle Abbey Street at about 7:50. When I reached the top floor where the band would play I heard the sounds of a sleepy American boy whining into his microphone and moaning on guitar. It might sound harsh but really, you’d agree. The following warm up act was so dull I have actually forgotten them. The warm up show didn’t really kick off until Oh Emperor, a folk/rock band hailing from Waterford. Though it was hard to find originality in their Muse/Jeff Buckley influenced work, they were charming and could really handle thei... [Read on]
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C O D E S (live in the Academy, Dublin)
C O D E S (live in the Academy, Dublin) Review Snapshot:  C O D E S show once again why they are one of Ireland's best, if not best, live acts. The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Review:  Hearing that one of your favourite bands have split is a lot like being told by the vet that your dog has to be put down.  You realise that there must be a very good reason behind it, but you still don't want to accept it.  On hearing late last year that the Future Kings of Spain had abdicated their right to ascend the throne, I was devastated.  Never again would I be able to shout 'Play Meanest Sound!' during a set.  However, the blow was softened somewhat with the emergence of The Black Triangle, a band consisting of ex-members of the Future Kings of Spain (Karl Hussey and Bryan McMahon) and Bambi (Dan Barry). Now, while I'm still not sure whether their name refers to a particularly vehement branch of lesbian ... [Read on]
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Midlake (live in Dublin)
Midlake (live in Vicar Street, Dublin) Review Snapshot: Everything from the way the instruments sounded to the almost perfect set list, it was a night to remember.  Vicar Street was the perfect venue for this walking anachronism. Bigger than their previous Dublin venue (the Village) but not so big that it made us feel like strangers to them. Midlake: another act for concert lovers to add to the list of bands who are great live. The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Review: The opening act, Texan woman Sarah Jaffe, was the perfect warm-up for the main act. Her tones smooth and inviting, the drums a harsh and exciting contrast. The crowd of mainly students in grungy jumpers was only just beginning to form.  Shortly after her set Midlake ambled on. Unassuming, shy, even awkward, there was a real sense that the crowd’s welcome was unexpected. Their previous Dublin gig drew a much smaller crowd (which guitarist and vocalist Eric Pulidio joke... [Read on]
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Cluster (live In Dublin)
Cluster (live in The Village, Dublin) Review Snapshot: So-called “pioneers of ambient music” fail to light fires at Dublin venue, The Village, but perform a convincing showcase for the latest “relaxing bathing tunes” CD collection. The Cluas Verdict? 4/10 Full Review: Cluster are a German electronic/experimental group which are often referred to as the “pioneers of ambient music”. When preparing to see them perform live, this tag is likely to raise your expectations. Which will be significantly lowered once the duo (Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius) begin playing their less than exhilarating set list. It would be unfair to strip the group of their “pioneer” status, as they have clearly influenced bands that have helped to shape music in the last 15+ years such as Air and Röyksopp. However their live performance left a lot to be desired when they played Dublin's The Village on Saturday, 6th of Feb... [Read on]
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Way to Blue - The Songs of Nick Drake (live in London)
Way to Blue - The Songs of Nick Drake (live in the Barbican Theatre, London) Review Snapshot: Curated by Joe Boyd, various musicians gather to pay tribute to Drakes unique songwriting. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: Way to Blue has just completed a three date tour of the UK, featuring a five-piece house band and seven-piece string section. The Barbican theatre was sold out on Saturday night with the show taking on the same format as the Leonard Cohen tribute a few years ago – everyone takes a turn, one or two songs each, and then collaborations at the end. The singers featured on the show were chosen to display the versatility in Drake’s material. Robyn Hitchcock performs “Parasite” with electric guitar, Vashti Bunyan turns “Which Will” into a jaunty baroque string led piece, Lisa Hannigan transforms “Black Eyed Dog” into an upbeat stomper and pianist Zoe Rahman gave “One of These Things... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews, UK
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Peter Doherty (live in Dublin)
Pete Doherty, live in The Academy, Dublin Review Snapshot: I didn’t expect him to show up. Nor indeed did I expect him to show up with two ballerinas in tow. But show up he did. He was on form too. The Cluas Verdict? 9/10 Full Review: Pete Doherty packed The Academy last night, along with fellow Babyshambles member Adam Ficek, otherwise known as Roses Kings Castles, who was supporting. After an enjoyable albeit low key warm-up courtesy of Mr. Ficek, the Reverend Doherty kicked off around nine-ish. The crowd religiously belted out the opening numbers, which included ‘The ha ha wall’, ‘Kilamangiro’ & ‘Don’t look back into the sun’. Next was ‘Arcadia’, a popular tune from Doherty’s latest solo effort ‘Grace/Wastelands’, released last March. Those bizarre ballerinas I mentioned drifted in and out of the entire set. But I don’t think anyone paid any attention to them. I did... [Read on]
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Somadrone and Twinkranes (live in Dublin)
Somadrone and Twinkranes (live in Mill Street Studios, Dublin) Review Snapshot: Twinkranes fused frenetic drumming and looped bass, while Somadrone saturated the studios with a luminosity of noise, discord and ambient musings. A night I won't be forgetting any time soon. The Cluas Verdict? 8.5 out of 10 Full Review: I like beards. When I walked around Mill Street Studios last night, I noticed it held a bearded-population of roughly 62.5%. This was going to be a good night. And what a venue. Stooping in through a small stable door, we were greeted by a candle-lit walkway leading into the two rooms of the studios. This clandestine venue made me feel special – while everyone else was dancing to The Prodigy, I was sipping a can of Preszky and sitting in front of a white petal net. There were couches and fairy lights and a lamp that looked like it was made out of coconut and mushrooms. This was the perfect setting for experimental rockers Twinkran... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews, Dublin
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The Antlers, Cymbals Eat Guitars (live in Paris)
The Antlers, Cymbals Eat Guitars (live at the Nouveau Casino, Paris) Review Snapshot: Two loud doses of U.S. alt-rock, which may be surprising for some fans of 'Hospice'. But at high volume and with lots of reverberating bass, The Antlers reveal even more of the emotions that inspired that fabulous album. Cymbals Eat Guitars, at war with your eardrums, are an uncomplicated pleasure. The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Review: Every band on tour will stop in Paris - but alternative rock and pop have a relatively small audience in the French capital. So tonight two great American bands, Cymbals Eat Guitars and The Antlers, are playing on the same bill in a small venue in the hip Oberkampf district at only 15 euro a ticket. And still the place isn't even two-thirds full. (It was a similar story for another cracking double bill, DM Stith and The Acorn, that we reviewed for you back in May.) Tonight's show is part of the Custom series organised by Fren... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews, France
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