The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


From 2007 to 2010 CLUAS hosted blogs written by 8 of its writers. Over 900 blog entries were published in that time, all of which you can browse here. Here are links to the 8 individual blogs:


Your blogger has just become the CLUAS War Correspondent (Paris).

With sickening inevitability, Ireland have been drawn to play France in the World Cup qualifying play-off, which leaves us deep in enemy territory. Our local baker insists to us that he has no croissants left, despite the smell of freshly-baked bread. The metro won't stop for us, just speeding by the platform as the driver cackles madly. And waiters are even more obnoxious than usual, taking our order with a sneery 'Fais chier, putain d'irlandais!'

Mindful of our prestigious position as your representative in France, your War Corr. (P.) will not descend to their level, though we're no longer tipping the waiters.

This blog has featured French football on many occasions. Just last week we told you about a song of love for irritating French coach Raymond Domenech - 'Je Kiffe Raymond' by Catherine Ringer (that's "ran-jay" to you), singer with Les Rita Mitsouko. The title is a slang way of saying "J'aime Raymond" ("I Love Raymond"), not a phrase ever used by a good 99% of French people.

Still, we can learn from this so start practising: "zhe keef Trap"; "zhe keef le Duffer" and (if you're feeling controversial) "zhe keef Andy Reid avec la grande derriere. Où est Andy Reid?"

What can you expect French fans to be singing in Croke Park on 14 November? Fortunately, there won't be any of the PSG ultras with their bizarre mix of stiff-arm salutes and the drum roll from 'Bolero'. Your ordinary Jacques le Frenchman will be singing 'La Marseillaise' before, during and after the match so you'll need a bit more than a half-hearted "shinnafeenafall" to match that. As we explained here, in remembrance of France's 1998 World Cup win you'll hear a chorus of the trumpet break from the Hermes House Band's cover of 'I Will Survive'. (In the same style, the riff from 'Seven Nation Army' also gets sung.)

As for chants, a favourite is "Qui ne saute pas n'est pas Français! Hey!" ("Whoever doesn't jump isn't French! Hey!", sung while bouncing up and down.) Should the worst happen and we ship three goals at Croker, our visitors will celebrate with "Et un, et deux, et trois-zéro!" Win, lose or draw there'll be plenty of "Domenech, démissione!" ("Domenech, resign!")

As we said, we won't lower ourselves to snide and uncharitable attacks on France and its football community. On a completely unrelated note, here are former Marseille duo Chris Waddle and Basile Boli with their single 'We've Got A Feeling'. Incredibly, the video is even more cringeworthy than the song: 


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The major French music news these days is the return of Charlotte Gainsbourg. The Palme d'Or-winning actress is currently working on an album called 'IRM' in Los Angeles with Beck, and this week the title track has been made available on her website and by promo copy.

Charlotte GainsbourgYou may recall that Gainsbourg's previous album, the excellent '5:55' that came out in 2006, was made in collaboration with Air, Jarvis Cocker, Neil Hannon and Nigel Godrich. And the strings on that record, evoking those on the classic singles by Charlotte's old fella, were arranged by David Campbell, who is the father of Beck Hansen. (The Frenchwoman surely wins any 'my da's more famous than yours' debates that spring up in the studio.)

With a new collaborator comes a new direction. Where the lush and melodic '5:55' sounded like a Serge tribute album, with all parties repaying their debt to the great man, 'IRM' seems to tip its hat to The Beatles and their more experimental moments. Like 'Tomorrow Never Knows' or George's Indian-influenced songs, it's mainly in one chord and features a mantra-style vocal delivery and pounding basic rhythm. The lyrics are Lennon-esque in their visual quality and even drop in a reference to 'Glass Onion': as Charlotte explains in this short preview video the song was inspired when she was having MRI scans (in French, IRM) during treatment to remove a brain tumour in 2007.

Unfortunately, the track is boring, self-indulgent stuff. At times Charlotte lapses into a nagging whine that sounds like Dolores O'Riordan, which is a low point in any singer's career. And God rest poor George but everyone always skips over his Indian songs and with good reason. (Has anyone ever listened in full more than once to 'Within You Without You' on 'Sgt Pepper'?)

The first single, 'Heaven Can Wait', will be released on 19 October, and the album is down for release before the end of this year. We still think Charlotte is ultra-cool so let's hope the rest of the record is better than its title song. She's a neighbour of your correspondent: it'd be embarrassing to not like her album and then run into her in the queue at the bakery. (It's a better class of problem than having badly-dressed Rathmines bedsit singer-songers corner you in Whelans.)

You can listen to the track 'IRM' on Charlotte Gainsbourg's MySpace. Should you wish to buy it, head over to her website. Here's a homemade video for 'IRM':


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And so Dublin's most hectic, fun-filled, music weekend is finally upon us!  The full schedule for Hard Working Class Heroes 2009, details of which you can find below or on the HWCH website, has been announced.  

There are obviously a lot of great bands that one could see over the weekend but Key Notes will more than likely be found at the following:

Midatlantic - The Button Factory - 7.15-7.45
Theme Tune Boy - 4 Dame Lane - 8.15-8.45
Subplots - Andrew's Lane - 8.50-9.20
Here Come The Landed Gentry - Academy 2 - 9.30-10.00
The Ambience Affair - Andrew's Lane - 10.10-10.40
Villagers - Andrew's Lane - 11.00-12.00

Oliver Cole - The Button Factory - 7.10-7.40
Escape Act - 4 Dame Lane - 8.00-8.30
Cities - Twisted Pepper - 8.55-9.25
Holy Roman Army - Twisted Pepper - 9.35-10.05
Fionn Regan - Button Factory - 10.00-11.00

Pearse McLoughlin - The Button Factory - 7.30-8.00
Biggles Flies Again - Academy 2 - 8.10-8.40
Robotnik - Andrew's Lane - 9.00-9.30
Tidal District - Academy 2 - 9.30-10.00
The Angel Pier - Button Factory - 10.15-11.00
202's - Andrew's Lane - 11.05-11.35
Super Extra Bonus Party - Andrew's Lane - 11.50 - 12.30

Full Hard Working Class Heroes 2009 Line-up:


7.30 - 8.00 - MIRACLE BELL
8.10 - 8.40 - WE CUT CORNERS
8.50 - 9.20 - SUBPLOTS
9.30 - 10.00 - THE DEAD FLAGS
10.10 - 10.40 - THE AMBIENCE AFFAIR
11.00 - 12.00 - VILLAGERS

(12:00 - 2.00AM HWCH CLUB)

7.15 - 7.45 - MIDATLANTIC
8.00 - 8.30 - ALRIGHT CHIEF
9.20 - 9.50 - A PLASTIC ROSE
10.00 - 10.35 - DARK ROOM NOTES

7.30 - 8.00 - I ♥ THE MONSTER HERO
8.10 - 8.40 - NO LADY
9.30 - 10.
10.10 - 10.40 - NOT SQUARES
10.55 - 11.30 - HERITAGE CENTRE

7.45 - 8.15 - ALBERT PENGUIN
8.30 - 9.00 - CITY OF ANGELS
10-00 - 10.30 - SERGEANT MEGAPHONE
10.45 - 11.15 - TALULAH DOES THE HULA
11.30 - 12.00 - NEOSUPERVITAL

7.30 - 8.00 - LADYDOLL
8.15 - 8.45 - THEME TUNE BOY
9.00 - 9.30 - BLACK ROBOTS
9.45 - 10.15 - ZEALOTS
10.30 - 11.00 - IDENTITY PARADE

7.30 - 8.00 - GIRAFFES
900 - 9.30 - HEATHERS
9.45 - 10.15 - THE STAR DEPARTMENT
10.25 - 11.00 - MORE TINY GIANTS



7.45-8.15 – HIRED HANDS
8.30 - 9.00 - O EMPEROR
9.10 - 9.40 - ALI & THE DTS
9.50 - 10.20 - GRAN CASINO
10.30 - 11.00 - SWEET JANE
11.15 - 12.00 - ADEBISI SHANK

(12:00 - 2.00AM HWCH CLUB)

7.10 - 7.40 - OLLIE COLE
7.50 - 8.20 - LAND LOVERS
8.30 - 9.00 - BRIANA CORRIGAN
9.10 - 9.40 - DEAF JOE
10.00 - 11.00 - FIONN REGAN

7.30 - 8.00 - FINGERSMITH
8.15 - 8.45 - KILL KRINKLE CLUB
9.00 - 9.30 - CUTAWAYS
9.45 - 10.15 - DISTRACTORS
10.30 - 11.00 - CHEAP FREAKS

7.30 - 8.00 - KYON
8.15 - 8.45 - YES CADETS
8.55 - 9.25 - C!TIES
9.35 - 10.05 - THE HOLY ROMAN ARMY
10.15 - 10.45 - VALERIE FRANCIS
10.45 - 12.15 - DJ SETS FROM:
12.30 - 01.00 - THE SPOOK OF THE 13TH LOCK
01.15 - 01.45 - THE DYING SECONDS
02.00 - 02.45 - HUNTER GATHERER

8.00 - 8.30 - ESCAPE ACT
8.45 - 9.15 - P.DOG
9.30 - 10.00 - BLOOD BOTTLER
10.15 - 10.45 - COLLIE

7.30 - 8.00 - RORY GRUBB
9.00 - 9.30 - GOATBOY
9.45 - 10.15 - THE POORMOUTH
10.30 - 11.00 - LIZ IS EVIL 



8.15 - 8.45 - DISCONNECT 4
9.00 - 9.30 - ROBOTNIK
9.45 - 10.15 - ONLY FUMES & CORPSES
10.25 - 10.55 - FUNERAL SUITS 
11.05 - 11.35 - 202S
11.50 - 12.30 - SUPER EXTRA BONUS PARTY 

8.10 - 8.40 - ULTAN CONLON
8.50 - 9.20 - FIONA MELADY
10.15 - 11.00 - THE ANGEL PIER

7.30 - 8.00 - ARMOURED BEAR
8.10 - 8.40 - BIGGLES FLYS AGAIN
8.50 - 9.20 - AUTUMN OWLS
9.30 - 10.00 - TIDAL DISTRICT
10.10 - 10.40 - VERONA RIOTS

7.30 - 8.00 - GO PANDA GO
8.10 - 8.40 - HASSLE MERCHANTS
8.50 - 9.20 - JOGGING
9.30 - 10.00 - TINY MAGNETIC PETS
10.55 - 11.30 - HAM SANDWICH

7.30 - 8.00 - PRIMO
8.15 - 8.45 - VOX POPULI
9.45 - 10.15 - REMMA
10.30 - 11.00 - AIRSTRIP ONE
11.15 - 11.45 - KILLER CHLOE

8.10 - 8.40 - THE VALS
8.50 - 9.20 - PLANET PARADE
9.30 - 10.00 - EXIT THE STREET
10.10 - 10.40 - POCKET PROMISE


So who will you being going to see? 

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Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of lads if you ask Key Notes.  Long time favourites of this particular blog, Dark Room Notes, announced on their MySpace this morning that they had just inked a deal with Berlin/London based BBE.

According to the band:
We Love You Dark Matter will (now) receive a worldwise release in 2010.

It seems an initial single release in January 2010 will feature remixes from other artists on the BBE roster such as Dimitri from Paris and John Morales.  Next year will also see the band tour the UK, Europe, the US and Japan in support of the record.

Dark Room Notes will be playing The Button Factory on Friday, October 16 at 10pm as part of the 2009 Hard Working Class Heroes Festival.  More details on the rest of the line up for HWCH 2009 later this week.

Dark Room NotesLet's Light Fires

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We're down to the final World Cup qualifiers and you in Ireland are wondering if we can pip Italy for the automatic place in South Africa. Italy blowing their run-in isn't too fanciful - France had a famous last-furlong collapse in their final two games to reach USA '94. Needing only one point from two home matches, Gerard Houllier's side conceded dramatic late winners to both Israel and Bulgaria, thus missing the finals.

If the Irish end up in the play-offs, we could be drawn to play France, who are also likely to finish group runners-up. Serbia seem to have the top spot secure, and a win for les bleus against Brian Kerr's much-improved Faroe Islands tonight in the Breton town of Guingamp would secure a play-off with top seeding.

Your correspondent was at the Stade de France for the home team's recent game against Romania, which finished 1-1. France couldn't muster up any spirit or fire to seriously test their lightweight visitors, and most French fans were appalled at their side's insipid performance. The wisdom of the crowd held one man to blame: coach Raymond Domenech. The chant 'Domenech, démissione!' ('Domenech, resign!') could be heard by the TV audience.

Watch your back, monsieur DomenechIn an extraordinary achievement, Domenech (right) has managed to make himself more hated than Nicolas Sarkozy. Such is his unpopularity that his image is no longer shown on the big screen at the Stade de France during games, to avoid provoking a cacophony of boos and jeers. By turns arrogant and ingratiating in press conferences, the former Bordeaux and PSG midfielder combines personal unlikeability with professional incompetence. His belief in astrology resulted in Robert Pires and David Trezeguet being frozen out of the national squad for the heinous crime of having the wrong star signs. On being interviewed live post-match after France were easily knocked out of Euro 2008, his first reaction was to propose marriage to the show's presenter back in studio - his partner, journalist Estelle Denis. And France's march to the 2006 World Cup Final is credited to Zinedine Zidane, who is believed to have staged an internal coup to take over team affairs following a poor start.

But now, in this crucial last week of qualifiers, Domenech has found a rather improbable ally.

Step forward Catherine Ringer, pronounced 'ran-jey', singer with colourful '80s pop duo Les Rita Mitsouko. (Her creative and romantic partner in the group, Fred Chichin, died two years ago.) Ringer has written and recorded a song of support for the much-abused Domenech. It's called 'Je Kiffe Raymond', a slang way of saying 'I love Raymond', and apparently it's sincere on her part.

There's nothing special about the tune, a whimsical little ditty that would attract no attention were it not for the subject. The lyrics are fairly tame too: "I love Raymond/Not bad, this guy!/He has the effect on me of a really handsome guy, this Domenech/A great look/he doesn't give a damn what people say about him..." And so forth.

The song is available on Ringer's website to download, though goodness knows why. You can listen to it below while staring at a photo of this unlikely pairing. It's been a long way down since 'Marcia Baila':

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One of Hard Working Class Heroes' unique selling points (along with not having to buy a tent!) is the involvement of the industry in the event.  This year, Culture Ireland and IMRO have teamed up with HWCH to facilitate the presence of key speakers over the course of the weekend.

Mentor Speed Sessions
Mentor Speed Sessions, where Irish and International industry and media professionals will be available for one-on-one questioning to help you navigate the potential pitfalls in the music industry, will take place between 10.30 and 13.00 in The Button Factory on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18.  These sessions must be signed up for in advance on the HWCH website and are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Industry Panels
A number of discussions will take place over the course of the HWCH weekend, chaired by Jim Carroll and featuring the following topics:

Media: Why The First, Last & Middle Words are Online
The Button Factory, 14.00, Saturday October 17.
What will it mean to bands to have more and more music journalism move online?

Music Placement: TV on the Radio
The Button Factory, 15.30, Saturday October 17.
A look at what music placement means to bands and how to go about it.

Labels: Meet Your new Best Friend
The Button Factory, 14.00, Sunday October 18.
A number of label types argue why they are still relevant as we approach the end of the Noughties.

Touring: The Music Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Button Factory, 15.30, Sunday October 18.
A chance to learn how to move from playing your home town, to somebody else's home town.

These industry panels are free to those in possession of a valid weekend or one day ticket.  Tickets are still available for HWCH 2009 from usual outlets.  Keep an eye on Key Notes next week as he will bring you the full line-up for the event, as well as listing which bands he thinks you should be checking out.

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If there has been one technological development that has changed forever the way that surfers hunt for waves, it is the internet. Of the many web based applications that have assisted in the search for stoke, a few have achieved eminence, namely Google Earth, Wind Guru and Magic Seaweed. Indeed, Google Earth even begat the now famous Surfing Magazine Google Earth Challenge.

Many a surfer has become bleary eyed staring at the screen of a laptop or PC, gazing at these websites in an attempt to answer the eternal question, "Where do I head to in order to find waves?". The only problem being that once on the road it was hard to update your information on changing conditions, without ringing a pal with immediate access to an internet connected computer.

That all changed with the release of the i-phone, which not only allows you to browse your favourite wave prediction websites on the go but also allows you to download i-phone tailored versions of same. So important has this little technological wonder become to the surfing community that it has become indispensible in a way that wetsuits and surf boards [which can be hired locally] are not; you can even buy the damn thing it's own hoodie. Go figure.

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Posted in: Blogs, Sound Waves
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Firstly, apologies for the quietness on the Blog front of late - partly general busyness but also partly due to Short Cuts' wedding plans in the New Year!

But... I've been listening to a record that I just have to share. Soulsaver's latest, called Broken. It features the talents of Will Oldham, Mike Patton and Jason Pierce but, crucially, the record absolutely belongs to Mark Lanegan who reigns over 10 of the tracks on the album. Even though Soulsavers have produced some down-tempo electronica in the past, this record is soulful with some Neil Youngish guitar breaks.

And it includes a brilliant cover of Some Misunderstanding from Gene Clark's classic No Other, one of the greatest albums of all time.

Listen, wallow and enjoy.


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Key Notes Returns To College
Key Notes has had an interesting couple of weeks.  For a start, I'm now a full time student again.  I started my Masters in Journalism last week and, so far, it's pretty much everything I was hoping it would be.  Shorthand is tough, especially for someone who doesn't write in a cursive script to start with, but aside from that, Key Notes is sure he's made the right decision career/life wise.

Marathon Preparations
Those of you who follow this blog will know that I am currently training for the Adidas Dublin City Marathon on October 26.  In preparation for this I recently ran the Adidas Dublin Half Marathon with my mother (aw bless).  While my time was nothing to write home about, she managed to finish 111 out of over 1,000 in her category and raise lots of funds for charity at the same time so kudos where it is due.  I will be blogging about my marathon exploits closer to the date, and looking for sponsorship, so watch out.

Hot Press Music Show
Key Notes attended this weekend's Hot Press Music Show in the RDS (thanks Greeny!) and was pleased to see the amount of young people there.  When I was growing up in Kildare, music shops were at a premium and access to musical instruments and teachers usually came through school.  With an event like the Music Show, kids of all ages can fall in love with real instruments (as opposed to Guitar Hero, which, while having some entertainment value, has the potential to kill music).  The Music Show also exposes kids of all ages to some of the topics currently being debated in the world of music.  Illegal downloading was, once again, the hot potato, but there was also a particularly interesting debate on songwriting as a business, a subject that gets Key Notes wound up in all sorts of ways.  In my world, music should be considered art, not a business.  Why is that such a lofty ideal?

Two Bands Key Notes Would Recommend
At the Music Show, Key Notes heard two bands whose music he hadn't really paid much attention to before.  The first band, OnOff, won a competition to open the gig section of the event.  I saw this band once before and, quite frankly, didn't think very much.  However, they are now one member lighter and sound a great deal better for it.  There is an edge to this band that a lot of established bands would kill for.  Their music (balls out rock) might not be to everyone's taste but, if they could tone down on the swagger just a little, they is a great deal of potential.

The second band, and one that Key Notes is now very excited by, is Bipolar Empire.  One reason why this band caught my attention is that it would be difficult to pin a specific sound or genre on this band.  It was at times melodic, rock, soul and even blues and all played around songs of a very high standard.  Even more impressive was their vocalist, whose range was amazing considering it was only lunchtime.  Well worth checking out.

Villagers Sign To Domino
Congratulations to Villagers who have recently signed to Domino (Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys, The Kills).  Couldn't happen to a better band.  Make sure you check them out at Hard Working Class Heroes 2009 (more on this later in the week).  For now though, any excuse to play this:

Villagers: The Meaning of the Ritual

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The current CLUAS Gig of the Fortnight is the show on 6 October at The Joinery Gallery in Dublin by Thinguma*jigsaw, the Norwegian pair who came to Ireland for a while and ended up making a fairly dark and idiosyncratic kind of alt-folk. (Because that's what coming to live in Ireland does to some people.) They should be good in concert.

ArltAnd what has this to do with your Paris correspondent?

So Thinguma*jigsaw haven't any French links. But there are a few support acts on the night. First up is Limerick's hugely impressive Peter Delaney, followed by American troubadour Sport Murphy. Okay, no Frenchness so far.

But then you have a duo called Arlt (right). And Arlt are French. Her name is Eloise Decazes. But he calls himself Sing Sing and that's the kind of thing that usually has us edging towards the door.

Fortunately, their songs are better than his nom de rock. Arlt's brand of folk has a distinctive French feel to it - not just because they sing in their native language, but because Decazes croons and trills like she's in some smoky pre-war Parisian music hall. And their songs are a lot more melodic than the monotonous bobo-busking that passes for contemporary chanson française.

If you're one of these people who never bother seeing support acts and stay rooted in some nearby pub until five minutes before the main act, then you're almost as much an eejit as someone who calls themselves Sing Sing. Arlt are grand in their way, but Peter Delaney is really good and may very well steal the show. Go and hear.

Anyway, Arlt. They'll have an album out soon, but in the meantime you can check out their MySpace page for tunes and the like.

And if you want to see what you'll be giving up your pre-gig pint for, here they are in concert singing 'De Haut En Bas', which means 'from top to bottom':

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Nuggets from our archive

1999 - 'The eMusic Market', written by Gordon McConnell it focuses on how the internet could change the music industry. Boy was he on the money, years before any of us had heard of an iPod or of Napster.