Guest Lists: Pat Barrett’s (Hedge Schools) 10 best albums of 2015 Dec16

Guest Lists: Pat Barrett’s (Hedge Schools) 10 best albums of 2015...

Singer Pat Barrett (Hedge Schools) is a man of consummate music taste, so it seems apt that he brings down the curtain on this year’s Guest List series, having also been involved in making an album that featured in many of our end of year favourites.

Ye Vagabonds live @ Grand Social, Dublin, December 2nd 2015...

Pat Barrett witnesses magic – his review of Ye Vagabonds at the Grand Social, Dublin.

Damien Rice Live @ The Marquee, Cork 13 July 2015...

Another top Irish performer live at the Marquee, Cork – Damien Rice in concert. Words by Anthony Kelly.

Jape Live @ The Secret Garden, Cork 21st May 2015...

Anthony Kelly reviews the ever popular Jape.

Colm Mac Con Iomaire – Agus Anois An Aimsir...

Guest contributor Pat Barrett of the Hedge Schools is smitten by the new Colm Mac Con Iomaire album ‘Agus Anois an Aimsir ‘.

Le Galaxie live @ Cyprus Avenue, Cork 3rd May 2015...

Cyprus Avenue was the venue for the second time this bank holiday weekend for one of Ireland’s best and most energetic live acts Le Galaxie. I first saw Le Galaxie on the Sunday afternoon at a festival many years ago. Truth be told I had no idea who they were at the time and my main reasons for going to see them were shelter from the rain and an opening on the railing which at the time was too enticing to pass up.  Within minutes they had blown the cobwebs off and by the end of their set they had also blown my socks off too. Cork band Kashkao were on warm up duties this evening and within minutes they had the place bopping along to their own brand of Funk. Often sounding like they may only be a second from launching into a Chic cover and looking as far removed from your typical funk band as the Average White Band once used to. None of this ever stops Kashkao from keeping the crowd thoroughly entertained. The highlight of their set was a funky cover of ‘There Must Be an Angel’ by Annie Lennox. Le Galaxie arrive on stage and begin proceedings with the ceremonial lighting of the ‘Le Club’ neon sign before starting their set with ‘Humanize’. Disaster strikes as early as the beginning of the 3rd song ‘Love System’ when technical difficulty with a keyboard causes the show to come to a halt temporarily. To pass the time, Dave of the band tries to introduce himself to every member of the audience individually and to his credit, gets through a fair amount of the sizeable crowd in attendance. After a short break and a change of keyboard the show is back underway...

Delorentos Live @The Savoy, Cork 18th April 2015...

Anthony Kelly witnesses one of Ireland’s most consistently brilliant live acts, Dublin’s Delerentos.

Elastic Sleep – Leave You (EP)...

Cork-based shoegazers Elastic Sleep are a welcome addition to an increasingly diverse and interesting Irish music scene. Their debut EP Leave You displays enough promise to suggest that they are a band worth keeping a close eye on in the future.Although their brand of ethereal Dream-pop owes a considerable debt to bands like Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine, there are signs scattered across these six tracks that they could yet find their own unique path given enough time to develop. Opening track ‘Leave You’ is classic shoegaze – the dreamy vocals of Muireann Levis and the heavily effected guitars combine well on the records most melodic and instantly memorable track. Chris Somers takes on the vocal duties on ‘I Found Love’, an altogether darker affair; the gloomy Post -punk guitars and strident chorus violently pulling us down to earth after such a dreamy opener. ‘Deep and Blue’ is where things get really interesting, offering a glimpse of a side of Elastic Sleep that sounds a whole lot less generic. Levis takes us floating through the ether as the band keep things nicely restrained, providing a more ambient sonic backdrop. With ‘Tzar Bomba (No More Tears)’ we are back in more abrasive territory; the EP closes out on the light and airy ‘Splish’ and the dark fairytale that is ‘Stay’. Leave You is an impressive opening statement from a band that have already shown that they can comfortably match the best that the new wave of shoegaze bands have to offer.  Given time, they will gain the confidence to take a few more risks with their sound and that’s when their real potential will be realised. (3 /...

Hidden Highways – Old Hearts Reborn...

Irish duo Hidden Highways release one of the most assured debut albums of the year with the beautiful Old Hearts Reborn.