Idlewild live @the Button Factory 4th August 2022...

Idlewild were a band that could and should have been massive. They emerged in the mid-nineties at a time when guitar-heavy, alternative rock music was enjoying considerable success, with a slew of bands of that ilk breaking into the mainstream charts. Debut album ‘Captain’ and follow up ‘Hope is Important’ marked them out as ones to watch but it was their stunning third album ‘100 Broken Windows’, released in 2000 that really announced them as contenders. They had all the ingredients – it was all there, but somehow, major success eluded them.  Their fourth album, ‘The Remote Part’ was the one; the record that should have been their big breakthrough album but despite glowing reviews, it didn’t move them to the next level. Tonight at the Button Factory, we are here for the 20th Anniversary of ‘The Remote Part’. It is close to a capacity crowd; this is the first time Idlewild have visited Dublin since 2003, when they played the Ambassador Theatre. I was fortunate enough to have seen them that night and have been eagerly looking forward to this one for ages. They take the stage and launch straight into ‘You Held the World In Your Hands’, the first track on the album, and a near perfect opener in a live context. Immediately you know it is going to be a special night. The sound is loud, powerful, driven, with Roddy Woomble’s voice occasionally struggling to be heard over the furious maelstrom of guitars, bass, drums and keyboards, but that doesn’t really matter – the overall impact is immense. They play the album in sequence; Woomble is a self-effacing, humble presence on stage – he introduces the songs, throwing in the occasional humorous comment, and seems to be enjoying the obvious warmth...

Pixies live @ the Iveagh Gardens, Dublin 16th July 2022...

The vibes are good on a balmy evening at Dublin’s best outdoor concert venue. It’s a predominantly middle-aged audience that have gathered to witness the return of 90s indie rock kingpins Pixies. That said, the younger generation are also well represented; there are even some families with young children dotted amongst the audience. Every show I have attended at the Iveagh Gardens has been top class – as a city centre venue, it is easy to get to, onsite facilities are good, there are no lengthy queues for the bar & the sound is usually excellent. Pixies take the stage with little or no fanfare at close to 8.30pm; there is no build-up, no pomp & ceremony – they amble on, strap on their instruments, and away we go. What follows is a breathless, rollercoaster ride of 39 songs spanning their complete back catalogue in just over two hours; there is no between-song banter, no patronising platitudes – it is all about the music. ‘Cactus’ is a somewhat unusual opener but by the time we get to song three,  the crowd pleaser that is ‘Here Comes Your Man’, Black Francis & his gang have the crowd eating out of their hands. It is difficult to pick out highlights – they give the crowd exactly what they want and then some; signature tunes like ‘Debaser’, ‘Gigantic’ & ‘Wave of Mutilation’ blend seamlessly with new material (Human Crime, There’s A Moon On) cover versions, (Winterlong, Head On) and some of their earliest recorded works (Caribou, Nimrod’s Son). I know a lot of early Pixies fans fell out of love with the band when Kim Deal left. It has to be said, Paz Lenchantin is a very able replacement, handling vocal and bass duties with aplomb. Joey...

Live Review: Join Me In The Pines @ Cleere’s Bar Kilkenny, 3rd November 2018...

Dave Geraghty of Bell X1 & Join Me In The Pines brings some joy to the intimate confines of Cleere’s Bar in Kilkenny.

Talos live @ Cork Opera House, 28th October 2018...

Anthony Kelly reports on Cork native Eoin French (aka Talos) as he brings his haunting sound to the Cork Opera House.

The Minutes live @ Fred Zeppelins, Cork 23 June 2018...

Explosive trio The Minutes return to Cork & the intimate confines of Fred Zeppelins.