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Roger Waters (live in Dublin)
Roger Waters, The Wall (live in the O2, Dublin, 23 May 2011) Review snapshot: Waters is currently touring with ‘The Wall Live 2011’, an ambitious and spellbinding performance of the 1979 Pink Floyd epic double-album and film, on a massive visual scale. Flawless sound, a light show that would make the most seasoned stoner wet themselves, and a multimedia extravaganza charged with biting social commentary. If rock is your bag, then this is one show you do not want to miss.   The CLUAS Verdict? 8.5 out of 10 Full review: On Monday night Dublin’s O2 Arena played host to one of England’s finest, Roger Waters, ex-bass player / lead singer of rock gods Pink Floyd. Waters is currently touring with ‘The Wall Live 2011’,an ambitious and spellbinding performance of the 1979 Pink Floyd epic double-album and film, on a massive visual scale. The success lies in the mix of flawless sound, a light show that would make the mo... [Read on]
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23
Dan Sartain 'Legacy of Hospitality'
A Review of the album 'Legacy of Hospitality' by Dan Sartain Review Snapshot: The perfect starter kit for Sartain virgins, this long album may be a lot to digest but it is the perfect showcase for the singer/songwriter's diversity. The Cluas Verdict? 7/10 Full Review: Dan Sartain is anAmerican rock singer/songwriter from Birmingham, Alabama and while he has not achieved the heights of fame that he may have been originally been aiming for, he has proven to be a talented and lucky man in the music world. Since 2001 he has released six studio albums, the most recent being Legacy of Hospitality.   The album is being presented by camp Sartain as a companion to previous album Dan Sartain Lives and even something of a document of the musician’s career: it containing tracks that succeed even his early self-produced titles as well as alternative versions of songs from his previous offerings.  On listening to the current LP... [Read on]
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19
Foo Fighters 'Wasting Light'
A review of the album 'Wasting Light' by Foo Fighters Review Snapshot: Let me start with something that may be controversial for many  fans of the Foo Fighters: this might just be their best album since 'The Colour and The Shape'. I’m just saying.    The Cluas Verdict: 9 out of /10   Full Review: What you see is what you get with the Foo Fighters, one of America's last standing (real) rock bands that haven’t changed their form since Dave Grohl kicked off with his post-Nirvana days with the Foo's debut.   This, their seventh album, drops twenty years after Grohl worked on ‘Nevermind’ with Kurt Cobain, but this is only noteworthy because Grohl has recruited both Butch Vig and Krist Novoselic to play a part in the album's production. Pat Smear, who hasn’t stepped in on a Foo’s album since 1997’s 'The Colour and The Shape', has also been re-... [Read on]
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09
Duke Special (live in Portlaoise)
A review of Duke Special (live in Kavanagh’s, Portlaoise) Review Snapshot: While there’s no room in tonight's small venue for his piano, Duke Special still  managed to put all his energy, enjoyment, and drama into a gig which enthralled us for over two hours. The Duke managed to silence us with his fascinating stories and history lessons, bringing a different perspective to what can be achieved when you mix music and art. The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10   Full review: Having witnessed a few Duke Special gigs over the years, I thought I’d seen all this man has to offer, but I have to admit his May Day Bank Holiday performance in Portlaoise recently was the best I’ve seen him deliver. There’s standing room only as the venue cramped with 100 lucky people has an intimate feel to it, like he’s performing in your sitting room.  With at least six studio albums to his credit now, there’s no... [Read on]
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09
Esben & the Witch (Live in Dublin)
Esben & the Witch (Live at the Crawdaddy) Review Snapshot: The critically acclaimed Esben and the Witch make their Dublin debut in The Crawdaddy, and give a performance appropriate for the fairy tale from which they’re named. A memorable night for those in attendance. The CLUAS Verdict: 7.5 out of 10  Full review: A small crowd of about forty gather for the night's support act, The Ambience Affair. The unsigned Leinster band have to date released two EPs, but with a full length LP in the works expectations are high. Pounding drums and jangling guitar sail the band from track to track, from upbeat to soothing and from start to finish. The band, masters of creating a wall of sound, seamlessly mount guitar and vocals on replayed loops, building a sound far more tangible and expansive than could be expected from a three member group. Once the applause after each song has died down there is a dead silence with frenzied guitar change... [Read on]
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01
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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25
White Lies 'Ritual'
A review of the album 'Ritual' by White Lies  Review Snapshot: Has the second album curse taken its next victim? White Lies' new release promises big with some of the biggest names in indie lending a hand along the way. But can the champions of nu-shoe gaze really deliver on the follow up to ‘To Lose My Life’?. The Cluas Verdict? 3 out of 10 Full Review: White Lies' new release ‘Rituals’ appear to be just that, a ritual. It's as if they took their previous effort ‘To Lose My Life’ - songs about love, songs about death - changed the wording around a bit, a dash more synths and, voila, album number two is born. Songs about love and death mean nothing if no feelings are involved. It could be said that their style of expressionless vocals explains the lack of emotion in these songs and those in previous recordings. That is until you compare them with lead vocalists of bands in a similar vein, such a... [Read on]
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27
Tubelord 'Our First American Friends'
A review of the album 'Our First American Friends' by Tubelord Review Snapshot: The debut album by Cockney math rockers Tubelord and is somewhat of a gem amongst a genre in which bands often find it difficult to stand out from the crowd. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: Tubelord are already well known on the Irish alternative scene having gigged in a number of Irish cities. It's good to see they manage to capture the same energy on 'Our First American Friends, their debut album, as they do live. In the UK the band has also been gaining quite a reputation where their first single 'Feed Me A Box of Words' was very well received by critics. 'Our First American Friends'  was also well recieved in Rock Sound magazine, amongst others. Mixing a blend of cracking harmonies, upbeat melodies and seemingly endless time changes, the album keeps forever you on your toes. Often single songs include... [Read on]
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27
The Cast of Cheers 'Chariot'
A review of the album 'Chariot' by The Cast of Cheers Review Snapshot: A band that’s made many Top of 2010 lists (including my own) and now has been shortlisted for the Choice Music Prize. It’s a wonder The Cast of Cheers have come so far with little or no promotion. After all many people are still wondering where this Irish four-piece came from? And where can they get a hold of the album? The Cluas Verdict? 10 out of 10 Full Review: You’ll be hard pushed to find a negative review of this album or of these guys live, they just steal your music players and the stage leaving you crave more of their addictive math rock tinged with indie-pop influences. It is a cross-over few would dare to try and even fewer would succeed in achieving. The Cast of Cheers have proven time and again that they are set for big things with their catchy choruses and irresistible guitar melodies. Host to such a dynamic range of sound, you’re... [Read on]
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27
Imelda May (live in Dublin)
Imelda May (live in The Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland) Review Snapshot: For such a small woman, Imelda May has a huge presence, controlling not only the stage but the crowds sense of control as well, with everyone losing control alongside her. The queen of Rockabilly has returned to her home town and no sense of grandeur following her rise to the top  is going to pull this girl from her roots. The Cluas Verdict? 8.5 out of 10 Full Review: Coming back to Dublin after a year of commercial success with critical praise and international stardom, one could fear that Imelda May could have lost sight of where it all began. She hasn’t. Catching the first of four end of the year shows in the Olympia Theatre, a venue I have called once before a place of faded grandeur, where better to let your hair down and revel in your success.   May comes out on the stage showing off what she’s known best for, her style, charisma, an insurmountab... [Read on]
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