Articles: Whelan's

R.S.A.G. (live in Dublin)
R.S.A.G. (live in Whelans, Dublin) Review Snapshot: Big fan of drum solos? Nah, me neither. Fortunately Jeremy Hickey, spotted above ground on a drum stool last weekend, kept the solos to a minimum. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: Sure, there were lots of great fills and extravagant percussion but almost always with the backing of his very own phantom band. This is where the visuals come in. On a projected screen behind the drums was the reverse silhouette of Hickey accompanying himself on bass, acoustic guitar, handclaps and whatever else was called for. Not a brand new concept -- of all people Paul McCartney did a similar thing on TFI Friday about 15 years ago, but completely lacking Hickey's style or visual impact. Hickey's visuals were creepy and expressionless figures, one of them hooded, looking like a funky drop-out Ewok. A more interesting sight than most bands could muster. His voice is a sort of cross between John Mart... [Read on]
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Groom (live, Upstairs in Whelan's, Dublin) Review Snapshot: Those who were downstairs waiting for Mundy to play one of his two songs, could have done far worse than make their way upstairs to see two examples of how one man and a guitar doesn't have to sound boring or formulaic. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: Being a vegetarian means that sometimes, when you want more than just 'Pasta in a non-descript white sauce', you find yourself having to look around for somewhere to eat.  It was because of this that I only arrived in Whelan's half way through Neosupervital's support slot. This was my first time upstairs in Whelan's and it has a very peculiar shape for a venue and appears to be more suited from its previous purpose (as a smoking room) than as a gig venue.  That being said, its design forces people towards the stage and lends an intimacy that many venues lack.  ... [Read on]
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A Place To Bury Strangers (live in Dublin)
A Place To Bury Strangers (live in Whelan's, Dublin) Review Snapshot: The loudest band in New York brings their Jesus and Mary Chain meets My Bloody Valentine to Whelan’s of Wexford St. It’s an experience, but is definitely not for everyone.  The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: You wouldn’t find Hitler playing music this loud…  Whelan’s seems to have abandoned its previous and strict curfew of 10.30 pm, as APTBS only took to the stage a few minutes after 11. Three support bands and a headline might seem like good value for €15, but that might not always be the case. The support bands here were Dublin’s own Sweet Jane, and two American outfits, Darker My Love and Dead Confederate. For the most part they were all quite mediocre and repetitive, with the exception of, in parts, Dead Confederate. And then A Place To Bury Strangers took the stage. After the first few notes I squeezed my ear plugs in. P... [Read on]
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Noah and the Whale (live in Whelan's, Dublin) Review Snapshot: An enjoyable night of folk-pop, that included the song we all came for: “Five Years Time”. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: It was a large and excitable crowed packed into Whelan’s to see Charlie Fink and his troop of pop-folk instrumentalists. The age-range went from just old enough to be there, all the way up to – as I could see it - fifty. Noah and the Whale clearly have a wide following, owing much of it to the extensive radio- and music channel play of their first single “Five Years Time” and also, the Laura Marling connection. No longer playing with the band, female vocal duty has been taken over by a red haired girl, whose name I did not catch. Also present on stage, a small brass section, violin and some keyboards. After building some suspense, and showing a strange short film, they took the stage. Although well-translated to live as a whole, the st... [Read on]
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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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Concerto For Constantine (live in Whelan's, Dublin) Review Snapshot: Concerto For Constantine rocked out a packed Whelan's. Their live show was brilliant, both musically and visually. The Cluas Verdict? 8.5 out of 10 Full Review: Concerto For Constantine consists of JJ72’s Mark Greaney, Idlewild’s Gavin Fox and Binzer of The Frames and Bell X1 fame. JJ72 remain one of my favourite Irish bands of all time and regard ‘I To Sky’ as one of the finest Irish records this decade. Their protracted demise frustrated and disappointed me, but I was full of excitement when I heard about Greaney’s latest project. They have been gigging since November but tonight, Binzer’s birthday, was my first experience of them. The stage is set. Dressed in a uniform of black overcoats, jeans and boots, Gavin Fox and Mark Greaney take to the stage illuminated by flashing strobe lights. They burst straight into an electrifying set. They pla... [Read on]
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British Sea Power (live in Whelan's, Dublin) Review Snapshot:  I should have known not to listen when a friend told me that I'd 'never see a better band live' than British Sea Power.  In my head I was expecting magic not seen since Maradona picked up the ball in his own half and thought to himself 'You know what?  I think I've the beating of that Peter Reid bloke.'  No matter what British Sea Power did on or off stage, I found myself thinking throughout 'Is this best live band I've ever seen?'  The answer, sadly, was no. The Cluas Verdict? 5 out of 10 Full Review: Having heard only snatches of British Sea Power's first two albums - The Decline of British Sea Power and Open Season - I got my hands on a copy of their latest album - Do you like Rock Music - only because the answer is yes, yes I do.  Unfortunately, I didn't like the album quite so much. However, given the almost revere... [Read on]
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