Month: October 2013

Bringing Coals To Newcastle

My music “career” is long behind me now. I started playing in bands in the early 90s. Back then, on the face of it, it was much more difficult to get your music distributed. However, there were a number of well appointed studios in my hometown of Cork, daily rates were quite affordable, and even CD duplication charges were reasonable. The local record shops would usually take some on sale or return, you could sell more at gigs. If you splashed out on a barcode you had a shot at getting into HMV and Virgin, and even at getting...

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Chic – Dolan’s Big Top (Limerick)

Every town’s a party town when Nile Rodgers is around, and Limerick city was no exception on Friday Oct 25th, when the Chic Train rolled in. This is the band that played what many believe to be the definitive gig of Glastonbury 2013, and they brought the very same lineup to entertain the 1400 or so people who could fit into the Big Top. The lineup consisted of two keyboard players, including Rich Hilton, Nile’s house engineer for years, a classically trained player and a top notch pro-audio guy. We had a top notch brass section (trumpet and sax), a...

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Those Nervous Animals – My Friend John

Ah, the 80’s. While we were exporting shed loads of trad and rock, and er… trad rock, there was no shortage of synth pop acts having moderate levels of success on the home circuit. Those Nervous Animals were an unusual example of the genre. Barry Brennan had an ususual vocal style, and the songs were not representative of the vacuous bubble gum emanting from the UK hit factories of the time. Their most successful single had a rather unlikely title – The Business Enterprise (My Friend John), had all the hallmarks of the 80s: DX7 factory presets and flanged fretless...

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New Single From Protobaby – Nov 1

 Protobaby’s new single ‘Keep Running’ hits the digital stores on November 1st. The single will be the first new release since the bands well received debut album ‘The Spark’. It will also be the first release to feature new front woman Aoife Mcloughlin (top ten finalist on RTE’s The Voice). Formally an all-male line up, the single will signal an exciting new era for Protobaby. The single was recorded and mixed by legendary producers Chris O Brien and Graham Murphy of The Production Suite, Dublin who very recently worked on 2 top 10 hits by The Stunning and Samantha Mumba and...

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Hidden Highways – Old Hearts Reborn

This is one of those sleeper albums that gets better with each listen.  My first thoughts were “ah, Fleet Foxes” Halfway through the opening track I realised this wasn’t true.  Having released their self-titled EP in 2012, “Old Hearts Reborn” is the debut album from songwriting duo Carol Anne Mc Gowan and Tim V. Smyth.  Given the authenticity of its folksy Americana sound I was a little surprised to discover that the pair are in fact Irish. There is no denying the songwriting ability of Mc Gowan and Smyth and the vocal talents of both lend a mournful, melancholic...

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