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Articles: Gig Reviews

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Fight Like Apes (live in Whelans, Dublin) Review Snapshot: I still haven't decided whether I enjoyed this gig or not. Fight Like Apes themselves were undeniably excellent as ever, but an over-excited crowd made the whole thing a manic affair. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: I think I preferred Fight Like Apes when they were just starting out. While I always admired their ability to get an often-bemused crowd moving, they seemed to have honed this into an ability to induce spontaneous loss of limb control and often senses. Last night’s album launch gig in Whelans, was one of the most terrifying gig experiences of my life: after a heavy hour of being squashed, I left nursing an aching head from the impact with a metal dustbin and aching neck from the impact with someone’s elbow as I was crushed between two people reaching for a crowd-surfer, bruised arms and a dress that stank of spilled drink. And I narrowly missed being egged while walking... [Read on]
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15
So Cow, New Amusement and more at HWCH (night 3)
So Cow, New Amusement and more at HWCH (night 3) Review Snapshot: A rained soaked Dublin played host to the final night of this year’s HWCH. The night’s lineup was, to look at, the weakest of the 3 but as it turned out two of the weekend’s best sets took place on the final night. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: Day 3 of 2008’s HWCH took place on a miserable wet Sunday evening which could have seriously put a damper on proceedings but things were rescued a little when it was decided to pull most of the bands from Meeting House Square and move them to indoors venues. This call wasn’t made in time for New Amusement who from their vantage point must have thought they were playing to a sparse but enthusiastic crowd of umbrellas. Their debut EP from a few months back was a fine collection of indie tunes and their set was based around that. But also dropped into the mix was some fresh material earmarked for their debut album due... [Read on]
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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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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
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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14
Frightened Rabbit, The Vinny Club and Bats at HWCH (night 2)
Frightened Rabbit, The Vinny Club and Bats at HWCH (night 2) Review Snapshot: Night 2 of 2008's HWCH saw the cream of the festival's lineup all crowbarred into a single night. A nice complaint to have I guess as there was pretty much always something worth seeing. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: Night 2 of 2008’s HWCH festival threw up its own set of problems that were far more pleasing to deal with than those on Friday night. That being that most of the best bands on the festival had been given Saturday slots so there were all sorts of unfortunate clashes between bands that were worth seeing. What makes it worse is that tonight’s lineup is a little thin on the ground when it comes to quality and could have done with some bolstering. The lineup in particular in Andrew’s Lane was so good you could have stayed there for the whole evening and had top night’s entertainment. And that’s where the night began for me with... [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
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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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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13
Super Extra Bonus Party, Groom and The Dublin Duck Dispensery live at HWCH
Super Extra Bonus Party, Groom and The Dublin Duck Dispensery live at HWCH Review Snapshot: The opening night of 2008’s HWCH festival saw bands faced with joke shop organistional problems and disgraceful sound in the festival’s main venue. Despite that there was plenty to enjoy. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: After a brief flirtation with the POD complex last year The Hard Working Class Heroes Festival returned to its traditional home of Temple Bar and its environs last night to, at least on an organisational level, mixed results at best.  The first bands I saw were over the river in the Academy. Having spoken to a few people in the run up to the festival it seems that a lot of people are somewhat unenthusiastic about the prospect of making the trek over to Abbey Street. In all seriousness, it takes less than 5 minutes to walk there from The Button Factory/Meeting House Square. Upon my arrival I discovered that due to a miscommunicat... [Read on]
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