Articles: The Academy

The Hold Steady (live in Dublin)
The Hold Steady (live in The Academy, Dublin) Review Snapshot: Playing to audience of 30 something men, The Hold Steady deliver a set much appreciated by the many converted in the audeience. A band however lacking the urgency and depth to ever become a major force in rock music. The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10 Full Review: The first thing that is noticeable upon entering The Academy tonight is the clientele. Without exaggeration, the crowd is made up of 90% men. The Hold Steady’s combination of classic and geek rock appealing, based on those in attendance tonight, more to the male 30 something demographic than any other, The band, who have forged a career by releasing consistently decent albums, struck up a genuine bond between band and audience from the off in The Academy. Even so, front man Craig Finn looked somewhat out of place. Reminiscent of a young Elvis Costello, his on-stage dancing borders on embarrassing-uncle-at-a-60th territory whilst si... [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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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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Joshua Radin (live in The Academy, Dublin) Review Snapshot: It was always going to be interesting to see if Radin’s quiet yet absorbing melodies along with his whispery vocals could translate well to the stage. Unexpectedly but brilliantly, it transcended into an appreciated and intimate gig as you could hope to see, in a criminally underrated venue.  The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Review: Like many others, I discovered Joshua Radin’s music playing in the background of the more touching scenes in the TV show Scrubs. (Hey, good music can be found anywhere, right?) And good music is exactly what I found; some say the answer to Elliott Smith’s sad departure in 2003. But Radin is a breath of fresh air on his own with an addictive folk ethic on debut album “We Were Here” which is now improved by a pop-rock element on his more recent release “Simple Times”. It was quite a happy coincidence recently getting hooked on his music ... [Read on]
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MSTRKRFT (live in The Academy, Dublin) Review Snapshot: Toronto’s electro remixers blast out the tunes to an adoring, dancing, day-glo crowd. Subtext? Not for the over-25s.  The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10 Full Review: ‘Isn’t that just Mr. Scruff spelt wrong?’ I was asked when heading to see Toronto duo MSTRKRFT at the Academy. No, it’s Mastercraft (also spelt wrong). The moustachioed men have remixed all your favourites: Buck 65, Death From Above 1979, Bloc Party, Metric, Justice. Due to arrive on at 12.30, the masters were supported during the wait by LA Riots, a DJ who decidedly kept quite serious but popped out some tech-house tunes for the filling crowd to bop to. Somehow we garnered a spot in the VIP lounge, which was ironically equipped with opposites in excess - a large wooden Buddha and several bottles of Cristal. Looking down onto the crowd I noticed many neon T-shirts and indoor sunglasses and began to feel a bit removed f... [Read on]
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Maximo Park (live in Dublin)
Maximo Park (live in The Academy, Dublin) Review Snapshot: The Geordies return to Dublin to play new material and their old familiar songs to a packed Academy. As always they provide an energetic and enjoyable show, but sadly the new tracks don’t excite as much as I had hoped. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: I was glad to see New Amusement on the bill. I don’t want to name names, but so often I get stuck watching some awful band with ideas far more grand than their talent. New Amusement once again impressed me. The newer tracks seem to follow on from the good standard they already set on ‘Any Port In A Storm’, but ‘Gone To Sea’ is still their stand-out track. Any fans who had worries that Maximo Park would shirk away from playing their most popular tracks from their debut or their 2007 follow-up, ‘Our Earthly Pleasures’, preferring instead to debut songs from their upcoming new album had their fears allayed i... [Read on]
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Mogwai (live in The Academy, Dublin) Review Snapshot: A long overdue Dublin gig by the purveyors of post-rock brings The Academy to never-before reached sonic levels on the opening night of a 3-day residency at the Dublin venue. The Hawk is Howling might disappoint in its recorded format, but it was the focal point around which this gig rocked. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: The term "post-rock" has attached to it Celtic Tiger levels of stigma - who coined the phrase, who invented it, who pioneered it, who defines it? From Slint to Explosions In The Sky, there have been many life-altering post-rock moments but for me post-rock was born upon hearing Mogwai's 'Like Herod' at Witnness 2003. Its raucous and tense "bridge-chorus" section completely outshone the quiet-then-loud formula of bands I worshipped like The Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana. As much as Mogwai might dislike being pigeonholed by an umbrella term, their live show d... [Read on]
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The Gaslight Anthem (live in The Academy, Dublin) Review Snapshot: Pop instincts wrapped in a ragged cloak. The Gaslight Anthem played their first Irish Gig in the Academy, March 4th, supported by Frank Turner. High energy and enthusiasm was the essence of the night. Live renditions of tracks from the critically acclaimed The '59 Sound were certainly done justice. Expressing tales of family, love, life, loss and youth reeling in the audience all driven by this four piece's taut muscular rock n' roll rhythms. The Gaslight Anthem are as tight as any band I've seen this, or even last year. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: "The songs, the best of them, are adventures in the dark, incidents of wasted fury. Tales of kids born to run who lose anyway.…taut rock songs about people crushed by family, by lust, by living in this world every day…The promise and the threat of the night; the lure of the road; the quest for a chan... [Read on]
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Okkervil River (live in Dublin)
Okkervil River (live in The Academy, Dublin) Review Snapshot:  Their second visit to these shores in under twelve months sees Okkervil River battle with The Academy’s all too obvious limitations yet still produce a set which cements their reputation for a compelling live show. The Cluas Verdict?  9 out of 10  Full Review: Okkervil River are the band you haven‘t allowed yourself to love. Yet. Their continued existence – indeed, their present flourishing - is grounded upon their fan base’s affection for the band’s fascination with life in a band (particularly on their two most recent albums), nascent fame and all of its associated tawdriness. This co-existence is neatly played out tonight when the opening chords of ‘Pop Lie’ begin - the crowd shamelessly echoing Will Sheff as he sings: “He’s the liar who lied in his pop song, and you’re lying when you sing along.” The irony is, perhaps, lost o... [Read on]
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