Ballincollig Winter Music Festival 2018 brings rising stars Kaia Kater & Lavinia Mancusi to Cork in January
Jan09

Ballincollig Winter Music Festival 2018 brings rising stars Kaia Kater & Lavinia Mancusi to Cork in January

Now in its ninth year and well established as one of Ireland’s best Winter Festivals, The Ballincollig Winter Music Festival returns in January 2018, with another fantastic and eclectic mix of artists and events centered around the festival hub at The White Horse.   Rising star of the Canadian folk scene, Kaia Kater, supports Wallis Bird on Thursday January 25. Based in Tornoto but spending a lot of time in West Virginia Kaia Kater’s old-time banjo-picking skills, deft arrangements, and songwriting abilities have landed her in the spotlight in North America and the UK, garnering critical acclaim from outlets such as Rolling Stone, CBC Music and The Roots Music Report. Often praised for her capacity to sound new and old at once, Kaia anchors her music the space where tradition and innovation intersect.   Sunday January 28 will see an afternoon show, featuring trad maestros Frankie Gavin, Alec Finn and Derek Hickey with special guest, Italian folk and world music star, Lavinia Mancusi. At the age of seven she began studying the violin at the Popular School of Music of Testaccio with Maestro Massimo Pastorello. In 1997 she won the Special Jury Prize for the violin of the “Arturo Toscanini” Competition. Over the years she studied the violin with masters such as: Carlo Cossu, Tiziana Mangione (first violin of the Rome Symphony Orchestra), Marco Fiorentini, and Antonio Fraioli. Since 2006 Mancusi has incorporated popular music into her repertoire and worked with Nando Citarella as part of Tamburi del Vesuvio. She is currently the voice and violin of Medfree Orkestra, with whom she recorded the album “Pensiero Mediterraneo” (2012) and “Background” (2014), and of the Takadum Orchestra by Simone Pulvano, with whom he recorded the album “Takadum .. .suoni at the border “(2013) and” Addije “(2015). Returning to the Ballincollig Winter Music Festival is Irish Times’ journalist, Tony Clayton-Lea, as he brings a mix of lively debate, interesting interviews and live performances to The White Horse on Saturday January 27, with Culture Vultures, while that night, Cork legends Rubyhorse are set to bring brand new material to the venue that night. The band are set to release new tracks in 2018, with shows in Ireland and the US, where they had a billboard top 20 hit with ‘Sparkle’ and appeared on the David Letterman Show, Conan O’Brien and Good Morning America.   Meanwhile, the festival takes a step away from Ballincollig for a show at Cork Opera House, where The White Horse Guitar Club bring Kentucky and Tennessee roots music to a new level with an ensemble of guitarists drawn from widely varying backgrounds.   Bringing the festival to close on Sunday night, The Niall McCabe Band will launch a new...

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Forbidden Fruit reveal 8 more acts for June 2018
Dec18

Forbidden Fruit reveal 8 more acts for June 2018

Bulmers Forbidden Fruit signals the start of the summer festival season.  Forbidden Fruit have already announced some great acts for a very special Bank Holiday Monday line up – The War on Drugs, Grizzly Bear, Thundercat, Warpaint, Spoon and Superorganism. Now they’re ready to reveal some of the incredible acts coming to play across the weekend for the 8th year of Dublin city centre multi-stage music and arts festival in the beautiful grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art for June 2-4. First up, get ready when the unbelievable Justice take to the stage. This French duo are master deconstructors of techno, pop, R&B, electro, funk, metal – and whatever else takes their fancy. Their first record in 2007 established them as one of France’s most vital musical exports – or ‘French electro juggernauts’ (Billboard). Their second LP, 2011’s Audio, Video, Disco gave fans a bombastic aural wallop with classic 70’s rock flourishes that owed as much to Queen and Yes as it did Frankie Knuckles or Prince. They released their 3rd record Woman this time last year- featuring slap bass workouts, glistening synths, gut shuddering electro and shiny slices of disco pop magic. It’s been over ten years since Justice have hit these shores. Don’t miss one of the best live specticles electronic music has to offer. Bonobo and his band will be joining us, for his biggest Irish show to date. Bonobo’s rise has been stealthy but unstoppable, and Si Green, the man behind it all, is now one of the biggest electronic artists of our time. As a DJ and with the Bonobo live band, he’s now played to millions of people across the world in shows and festivals, and each album has been bigger than the last with 2017’s Migration hitting the top ten in the UK, Netherlands and Belgium and getting untold press coverage everywhere. During this rise, he also achieved the rare feat for a British dance artist of breaking America – and not with the kind of high-octane shock-tactic rave beats and audiovisual spectaculars that characterised the EDM explosion, but with subtle, emotional, ambiguous and musicianly work that demands long and deep immersion. He creates ‘chilled-out but emotively beat-driven sounds that call on funk, hip-hop and plenty in-between. Organic and woozy, captivating and atmospheric, never does his music make more sense than in the live arena.’ (DJ MAG) We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Southern Californian MC Vince Staples defies categorisation. His critically acclaimed debut LP Summertime ‘06 hit the best of the ‘best of’ lists in 2015. He followed up with the forward thinking Big Fish Theory, which was described as...

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Legendary Grammy Award Winning Artist  Judy Collins for Triskel Christchurch, Cork
Dec18

Legendary Grammy Award Winning Artist Judy Collins for Triskel Christchurch, Cork

Judy Collins has inspired audiences with sublime vocals, boldly vulnerable personal life triumphs, and a firm commitment to social activism. In the 1960s, she evoked both the idealism and steely determination of a generation united against social and environmental injustices. Five decades later, her luminescent presence shines brightly as new generations bask in the glow of her iconic 50-album body of work, and heed inspiration from her spiritual discipline to thrive in the music industry for half a century. The Grammy award winning artist is set to appear in Triskel Christchurch Wednesday 24th January.   The award-winning singer-songwriter is esteemed for her imaginative interpretations of traditional and contemporary folk standards and her own poetically poignant original compositions. Her stunning rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” from her landmark 1967 album, Wildflowers, has been entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Judy’s dreamy and sweetly intimate version of “Send in the Clowns”, a ballad written by Stephen Sondheim for the Broadway musical A Little Night Music, won “Song of the Year” at the 1975 Grammy Awards. She’s garnered several top-ten hits gold- and platinum-selling albums.   Recently, contemporary and classic artists such as Rufus Wainwright, Shawn Colvin, Dolly Parton, Joan Baez, and Leonard Cohen honored her legacy with the albumBorn to the Breed: A Tribute to Judy Collins. Judy began her impressive music career at 13 as a piano prodigy dazzling audiences performing Mozart’s “Concerto for Two Pianos”, but the hardluck tales and rugged sensitivity of folk revival music by artists such as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger seduced her away from a life as a concert pianist. Her path pointed to a lifelong love affair with the guitar and pursuit of emotional truth in lyrics. The focus and regimented practice of classical music, however, would be a source of strength to her inner core as she navigated the highs and lows of the music business.   In 1961, she released her masterful debut, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, which featured interpretative works of social poets of the time such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Tom Paxton. This began a wonderfully fertile thirty-five year creative relationship with Jac Holzman and Elektra Records. Around this time Judy became a tastemaker within the thriving Greenwich Village folk community, and brought other singer-songwriters to a wider audience, including poet/musician Leonard Cohen and musicians Joni Mitchell and Randy Newman. Throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and up to the present, she has remained a vital artist, enriching her catalog with critically acclaimed albums while balancing a robust touring schedule.   On September 18, 2015, Judy will release her first studio album in four years, Strangers...

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Bobby Green rounds up his 2017
Dec18

Bobby Green rounds up his 2017

Review by Bobby Green Looking back on 2017 I’ve noticed a large amount of ‘alternative’ or ‘indie’ bands really coming to the forefront of the Irish music scene.  The Strypes as always impressed but we saw bands like Touts and Otherkin really make some noise with storming live displays along with their impressive releases. It truly is the mark of a band to see if they can play live and these bands certainly smashed up so many stages this year and their reputations are now firmly cemented going forward into 2018. Also on the alternative scene going into 2018 The Grey Merchant will be ones to look out for with a superb debut album to promote and I’ve heard through the grapevine that More Than Machines will have an album ready for 2018 also. But my biggest joy on the alternative scene had to be the return of Stoat I’ve had a sneaky listen to their album due to be released in 2018 and I’ve already made it my album of next year, there’s going to have to be something truly amazing released for that not to be everyone’s favourite album of next year. Away from the alternative we heard some truly beautiful music coming from NC Grey, My Fellow Sponges, Nile St James and SÍOMHA. I don’t mind admitting to falling in love with so much of this music in 2018, the raw emotion flowing from these artists is infectious in its delivery. But we can’t talk about emotion without mentioning Hally who has released a single and video every week during 2017. Every release is an unadulterated outpouring of honesty. As far as artistic authenticity goes I don’t think anyone could hold a candle to him this year, it’s certainly been a year to remember for him. There has been so much to get excited about this year, and I’m doing so many great artists and superb music an injustice by not mentioning them in my end of year round up.  Bands like Fontaines, The Henry Girls and Felonies impressed me along with so many others, it’s why I hate doing these end of year round ups because there has been so much, again, to get excited about on the music scene in Ireland in 2017 that I’m just going to write what I felt were my favourites in 2017, not the best, but my favourites, music is all about taste and interpretation and these are the ones I fell in love with the most. Favourite Single- Stoat – ‘Trampolina’. It was a joy seeing these lads back and ‘Trampolina’ is an Indie classic. Otherkin and Touts both...

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The Grunts release new single ‘Heal Your Heart’
Dec13

The Grunts release new single ‘Heal Your Heart’

  “When life turns on you and you are squashed into the ground by slow, endless, formless, unrelenting blackness, you fight back”   In response to the relentless destruction and cruelty of mankind in recent events across the world and closer to home, The Grunts released their new single ‘Heal Your Heart’ on December 8th 2017.   Together for over 10 years, core members of the band, Liam O Shea (songwriter & guitarist) and James Spillane (drummer) maintained their influences from early 80s and 90s bands such as Echo and the Bunnymen and the Pixies, creating their own brand of raw energy fuelled indie rock. Bringing in new blood more recently with the addition of Eugene D’Arcy (vocals) and Jay Fowley (bass) to the lineup, has given the The Grunts a new impetus adding a more subtle melodic flavour, The result is a fusion of alt rock, new wave and punk.   “Love is only a kiss away” sings Eugene D’Arcy on the raw choral rallying cry of the single, ​Heal Your Heart. Driven by the uptempo rhythm section, ​accented with shimmering guitars ‘​Heal Your Heart’ ​is The Grunts most mainstream single yet and with sharp production from Kevin Power and mastered by Fergal Davis, it’s sure to drag anyone from their stupor. Magic Hour Video have also filmed a fantastic music video for the up and coming single Heal your Heart. B-side track ‘Shake Babylon’ was forged in the dark heart of the city of London, on the anvil and fires of corruption and parasitic capitalism. Melding Asian infused music with a Velvet Underground style disconnect, ‘Shake Babylon’ unfolds an eerie​ soundscape beyond the flesh and bones of reality. To date The Grunts have released 7 Ep’s and 2 albums including the acclaimed Reflections in my Mirror Shade and Cult Before Country with the track ‘Cult Before Country’ featuring on the global release of Orion / Maurice Carroll’s production ‘Dead along the Way’. Their track ‘Party Weirdo (dance with me) ‘ has also appeared on the Tae Talk, a black comedy about roles of the sex’s. (Mary McEvoy, Sinéad O’Riordan, Jenn McGuirk & Conor Clear).  The Grunts have also appeared on Dead TV playing a live show at the Boogaloo, London. Live Dates Sun – Dec 17    Fibber Magees , Dublin (IRE)   www.thegruntsband.com   Buy the single...

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