The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

Sound Waves


The most significant aspect of the list as far as Sound Waves is concerned is how little hip hop appears to have influenced the Irish music scene compared to other European countries such as England and France and that is strange when you consider how influential punk was on previous generations of Irish bands such as the embryonic U2 who have cited a concert by the Clash in Belfast as a formative influence. It is not as if Irish musicians have been starved of opportunities for hearing the music, given the predominance of it on television and radio and the opportunities to see leading practitioners such as Kanye West, Snoop Dogg and Eminem play live dates in Ireland.

Instead, the dominant direction of Irish music during a period of unprecedented affluence in Ireland's history has been the kind of soft rock, singer/songwriter fare that previously emanated from 'Post Golden' California in the 1970s. It might be stretching things to say this but Damien Rice, Lisa Hannigan and Glen Hansard may just be the Jackson Browne, James Taylor and Joni Mitchell of Celtic Tiger Ireland; the Laurel Canyon sound replaced by the Killiney Bay wail, The Troubadour at Santa Monica Boulevard replaced by Whelans on Wexford Street.

Stay stoked
The Reverend Jules Earl Jackson
Damien Rice, live at The Troubadour
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No line on the horizon
No gas in the tank
No sign of stocks rising
No cash in the bank
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Title: Black Ice

Artist: AC/DC

Essential Track: Rock 'n' Roll Train


Title: The Seldom Seen Kid

Artist: Elbow

Essential Track: Grounds for Divorce


Title: Viva la Vida

Artist: Coldplay

Essential Track: Strawberry Swing


Title: Pacific Ocean Blue

Artist: Dennis Wilson

Essential Track: River Song


Title: Oracular Spectacular

Artist: MGMT

Essential Track: Kids


Title: Everything that Happens will Happen Today

Artist: David Byrne / Brian Eno

Essential Track: One Fine Day


In other business...

Music Highlight of 2008: Glen Hansard's Oscar Win for 'Falling Slowly'

Music Lowlight of 2008 (tie): X Factor releasing 'Hallelujah' / Sigur Ros' latest album

Music TV Highlight of 2008 #1: FUR TV

Music TV Highlight of 2008 #2: Jay - Z at Glastonbury

Music TV Lowlight of 2008 #1: Zhang Yimou's choice and use of music in the opening & closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics.

Music Surprise of 2008 #1: 'Chinese Democracy' wasn't the dog everyone predicted it would be

Music Surprise of 2008 #2: Fleet Foxes are not as good as everybody claims

The Sound Waves 'Rumour of the Year': That surfers either want to buy or have the cash to buy holiday homes, as if !

The Sound Waves 'Culture Trend of the Year': i-Pod Envy 3.0, if you don't have an i-Phone, you are nobody, apparently.

The Sound Waves 'Mystery of 2008'; How did McDonalds know we were going back to 1981 in their adverts?






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'Real L**e' by Lucinda Williams

'Pride (In the name of L**e' by U2

'Don't call this L**e' by Leon Jackson

'L**e you anyway' by Boyzone

'L**e is noise' by The Verve

'L**e song' by Sara Bareilles

'L**e Lockdown' by Kayne West

to name but a few.

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Friday 19th
Bridge Bar: The Unwanted (Cathy Jordan & Seamie O'Dowd) 7.00pm

Jumping Jacks:  Donal Dineen 12.00pm

Belle & Sebastian (DJ Set) 11.30pm / David Kitt (DJ Set)  1.30am

Saturday 20th
Marquee:    Onya 12.00pm
                Stewart Agnew 1.15pm
                Ultan 2.30pm
                Juno Falls 3.45pm
                David Kitt 5.30pm
                Republic of Loose 9.15pm
                Asian Dub Foundation 10.45pm

Bar Tent
:    Indoor Growers League, Mark Black,
                Modal Citizen Quartet etc.. All Day

Sunday 21st
Bridge Bar:   Sofa SundayAll Ireland Final 1.00pm
                 Model Citizen Quartet
                 D.J. Kid Cam Till late

Festival kicks off Friday in the Bridge Bar at 7.00pm with Cathy Jordan aka Dervish with her new band The Unwanted. Exclusive gig and were delighted to have her and her new band followed by Sligo man Samie O'dowd and his four piece rock outfit that is sure to blow you away.

Today FM's top indie D.J. Donal Dineen is kicking of in Jumping Jacks from 11pm.

Also in Paris Rich from Belle & Sebastian kicks off his D.J. set at 11.30pm followed by the illustrious David Kitt rocking into the night.

On Saturday the action moves to the Marquee. Bundoran local surf rock chick Onya kicks off the festival at 12.00.

Stewart Agnew hails from the spirit store in Dundalk with his Six piece folk and blues. He will ease us into the day followed closely by this years main stage electric picnic opener Ultan Conlon.

Fresh off his 2fFM Tour Juno Falls will shock and awe with his one man orchestra of sounds.

Kicking off his tour with this gig we are delighted to present David Kitt and then from 7.00pm till late we have four hours of dancing with Kila, Republic of Loose and Asian Dub Foundations only Irish gig.

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1) Metallica are a nostalgia band. Their career peak was 1991 with the release of 'Metallica' aka the Black album. After that they got into orchestral arrangements of their work, hunting bears in Russia and suing their fans. Not cool.

2) There appears to be an implied but pronounced influence on their career from the movie, and touring band of the same name, Spinal Tap, notably in the tragic Cliff Burton Twister Tour Bus incident.

3) As a result, having released an album with a black cover in homage of Spinal Tap's 14th studio release 'Smell The Glove',  Metallica have now ventured into the realm of free jazz championed by Spinal Tap in 'Jazz Odyssey' with the impeding release of 'Death Magnetic', a track from which was showcased at Marley Park with the title, 'Cyanide'.

4) Metallica have also worked 'pyros', so beloved of 80's bands such as Poison, into their stage show.

5) The band managed to be boring and exciting at the same time during their live set.

6) At one stage in proceedings, James Hetfield entertained the crowd with a display of shadow puppetry.

7) Some fans were disappointed at the band's failure to follow up a scorching live rendition of 'Whiskey In The Jar' with a cover of 'Seven Drunken Nights' in honour of the late Ronnie Drew.

8) You can't beat a good song (see above).

The Sound Waves Verdict? Bring on the minature version of Stonehenge lads.

Photo Credit: The band depicted may or may not be Metallica.






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I don't like Radiohead. Their music brings to mind thin, pale, pretentious young men living in damp digs in a rain soaked back street somewhere in Galway that are too fond of the works of Samuel Beckett and woodbines. I am however a fan of Brad Meldhu, the brilliant American jazz musician who, it turns out, has a penchant for interpreting the songs of Radiohead on his albums in much the same way that one of his influences, the great Oscar Peterson frequently interpreted the songs of Cole Porter. Although there is no sign of a 'Brad Meldhu Plays the Radiohead Song Book' CD issuing anytime soon from his label Nonesuch Records, Sound Waves humbly suggests a tentative partial tracking listing for any such release and asks readers of Cluas to suggest any other songs by Radiohead that might suit Meldhu's interpretative gifts.


Track: "Exit Music (For a Film)"

Album: Art of the Trio: Vol. 3


Track: "Paranoid Android"

Album: Live In Tokyo


Track: "Everything In Its Right Place"

Album: Anything Goes


Brad Meldhu Official Website


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David Lyttle is, at 23, already a force to be reckoned with in New Irish Jazz. The list of musicians that this gifted pecussionist , composer and band leader has played with reads like a whos who of the music; Louis Stewart, Michael Buckley, Ronan Guilfoyle and Myles Drennan. Lyttle was accompanied for this live date by the wonderful bassist Michael Janisch and Soweto Kinch who is the recipient of two MOBOs, three BBC jazz awards and a Mercury nomination.

I remember once listening to an interview with the late Benny Green who was asked to define jazz in one word. His answer escapes me now but if I was to be asked the same question, my answer would be, 'feeling'. All of the jazz artists I love and admire, such as Charlie Mingus, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, Louis Stewart, Brad Meldhu and Chet Baker play with a tremendous depth of feeling and, last Sunday, Lyttle and his group played with that same feeling, notably on Lyttle's composition in memory of his late father titled simply, 'Father'.

It is tempting to write about these three musicians separately but that would imply that they did not gel as a group when, in fact, they appeared at all times both as one and distinct, three in one and one in three, to paraphrase George Bernard Shaw. The setting also played a role in the evening. JJ Smyths is to Dublin what Ronnie Scotts is to London and the Village Vangard is to New York and, as noted by Soweto Kinch during the second set, it has a wonderful, warm acoustic that suited the fluid, masterly, mellow, hot, spiritual playing of Lyttle and his cohorts.

The group displayed a wry sense of humour, particularly when they did an freestyle on the name Dublin, asking the audience for words which began with the letters contained therein to which the audience responded; Drew (after the late Ronnie Drew), Urban, Bollocks, Lovely, Inspector (?) and Naughty, following it up with a lovely version of John Coltrane's 'Giant Steps', played with a magician's flourish before departing the stage.

I spent a Sunday evening in the company of David Lyttle and his group due to a spur of the moment decision and ended up lost in music.

Photo Credit: David Lyttle © John Soffe.

David Lyttle - Official Website

David Lyttle @

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Surfer Phil Edwards once famously termed all those who did not surf as, "the legions of the unjazzed". More recently Alex Wade, in his book 'Surf Nation', spent a chapter contemplating the possible links between the jazz music and surfing, specifically long boarding. They are views that Sound Waves empathises with, having been a lifelong, if not especially committed or knowledgeable, fan of jazz.

Notwithstanding that, advances in music playback technology have resulted in yours truly not having a stereo at home for something in the order of 5 years. I resisted the lure of i-Pod. I clung dearly to my CD buying habits, using my laptop to create mix CDs from my collection to play in the car. The car therefore became my listening room but set its own boundaries. Fast driving rock and roll by the likes of Teddy Thompson found favour but the complex patterns of Steve Reich proved overpowering and claustrophobic. My first MP3 player was a free gift thanks to a judiciously placed order for office products, it held about 40 songs, but due to my dislike of listening to music on headphones, and the constant roar of ambient noise of modern urban life it was rarely played. Moreover, the acts that were being promoted seemed little more than expensively produced tribute bands. Their music sounded familiar, like a movie actor you swear you have seen in a previous film but just cannot place. In a nutshell, I had become utterly sick of listening to music. In all this time, my modest collection of jazz albums by a shortlist of greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Brad Meldhu, Cannonball Adderly and Charlie Mingus lay in a box under the bed, still much loved but absolutely unplayed.

About six months ago, after much soul searching, I finally plumped down the cash to buy an 80G i-Pod classic. I wish I could say that I had some damascene conversion but I didn’t. To be honest, it’s just a well designed, if overpriced gadget and it has mostly spent its time sitting unused on my desk at home.

So what has changed? Well, earlier this week I headed into TX Maxx to buy some socks and there on offer was a set of speakers for MP3 players that contain lights that change in time to the music they are playing. The tag said € 25.00 and considering that any shop that sells I-pod compatible speakers tends to stock equipment with prices north of € 200.00, I figured I couldn’t lose. What I didn’t expect when I got them home was the high sound quality that could emit from a pair of speakers that, basically, double as Christmas lights. And so, I spent my first night with these speakers, first downloading my jazz collection onto my i-Pod via my laptop and then listening to the magical sounds of an elite group of artists drifting gently through the air of my living room, as my speakers pulsed in time with a soft blue light. Kind of blue? Not anymore.

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Nuggets from our archive

2000 - 'Rock Criticism: Getting it Right', written by Mark Godfrey. A thought provoking reflection on the art of rock criticism.