Bobby Green builds anticipation for The Black Atlantic tour
Oct04

Bobby Green builds anticipation for The Black Atlantic tour

Review by Bobby Green Now that the nights are drawing in and autumns gentle chill starts to slowly conquer late summers clemency we begin to desire more heart-warming pleasures to fire our souls for the long winter nights ahead. We need diotic beauty to complement the colourful autumnal surroundings and I can think of no better companions than Emma Lohan and Anna Mullarkey to accompany our senses during my favourite time of year. These two natives of Galway are about to embark on ‘The Black Atlantic Tour’ playing dates in Cork, Dublin, Galway and Roscommon. They are touring together to launch their distinctive sounds to new audiences across Ireland. Atlantic-folk meets electro-pop in this unusual but astoundingly complimentary pairing for a night of nostalgia and beautifully unique music. To mark the launch of ‘The Black Atlantic Tour’, Anna Mullarkey and Emma Lohan will both release a single from their forthcoming albums. Anna’s Baby Dragon is her first solo release and is a heartfelt track written on piano with a blend of electronics giving it an underwater disco feel. Emma’s Wander Free will be her second offering from Black Atlantic that takes you on a nostalgic dream, a laidback soundscape across the Irish Sea. Emma will be backed by a stellar 6-piece band comprised of horns, strings, synths, percussion and Gregory Sanders-Gallego on lead guitar; her natural, carefree approach to performance is infectious, putting people at ease to let go and enjoy the moment. To experience Black Atlantic live is to be taken on a whirlwind musical trip that embraces her audience from the first note. With upbeat guitar licks, rich harmonies, honest lyrics and beautiful arrangements Lohan invites her audience to forget everything and just dance… and they usually do! Anna Mullarkey brings her new electronic project to the stage. Her music is a fusion of multiple genres with roots in folk, jazz and minimalism. Anna has been touring and composing with My Fellow Sponges for the past five years whilst also composing soundtracks for multiple documentaries. Her current project explores dance music as a solo performance artist intertwining retro synthesizers with a modern house edge. But don’t worry Sponge fans, they are still going strong. The 2 singles released to support the tour are of exceptional beauty, Anna’s style and grace that shapes so much of My Fellow Sponges sound is still at the forefront of her solo project but with an electronic edge so subtle so as not to take over the sound allowing her voice to dictate the mood. Emma Lohan’s Wander Free is as sweet as candyfloss and equally as soft. Just close your eyes...

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In Tua Nua – Irish Tour
Sep26

In Tua Nua – Irish Tour

IRISH TOUR AUTUMN/WINTER 2017: It was 30 years ago this year that ‘In Tua Nua’ supported U2 on the European leg of The Joshua Tree Tour. They are now setting out on their first Irish Tour since 1988. The band toured extensively throughout Europe and the US during the 1980’s promoting their albums “Vaudeville” and “The Long Acre”. During the 80s In Tua Nua had 9 top 20 singles here in Ireland. One of Ireland’s premier live acts, they shared stages with Bob Dylan (Slane), Fleetwood Mac, and Eurythmics to name but a few while also opening on stadium tours for Simple Minds and of course U2. In Tua Nua reformed for some gigs in 2004 and then again in 2012 when they played The Electric Picnic. What have they been up to? Lead singer ‘Leslie Dowdall’ released two solo albums and had a smash hit with her song ‘Wonderful Thing’. Leslie tours Ireland constantly with wing man Mike Hanrahan and plays regularly in Spain also. Singer/drummer ‘Paul Byrne’ who wrote the majority of ITN songs released his critically acclaimed solo album ‘Cruel & Tender Ways’ in 2014.  Also is a member of The Drays and The Guilty Party. Bassist ‘Jack Dublin’ formed the studio project Audiokiss. Their album was successful in Italy while recent single ‘I Don’t Wanna Say’ featuring Megan Burke charted in the US digital charts. Paul and Jack first played together in Deaf Actor in 1980 before forming In Tua Nua in 1983. They have since been banging out beats for Rocky de Valera and The Gravediggers, The Guilty Party and Shane McGowan and The Shane Gang making them one of Ireland’s longest running rhythm sections. The new line up includes Rosie MacKenzie, a talented young fiddle player from Canada based in Dingle, Sarge O’Hara ex The Mod Ls on Keys, Dave McGinley ex Eugene/Precious Stones on Guitar, and Leo Rickard and Martin Nolan will share the uilleann pipe role (at different gigs). In 2012 Leslie, Paul and Jack went into the studio and re-recorded a version of ‘All I Wanted’. Their most successful single from the 80s, it had reached number 69 in the UK charts and became a college radio hit across the US. Other notable singles were ‘Seven Into The Sea’, ‘Heaven Can Wait’, ‘Somebody To Love’, ‘Coming Thru’ and ‘Don’t Fear Me Now’.  Also, in 2012 Virgin/EMI released the albums ‘Vaudaville’ and ‘The Long Acre’ on iTunes and Spotify. Tour Dates Whelan’s Dublin, Sat Sept 30th Spirit Store, Dundalk, Sun Oct 1st Cypress Avenue Cork, Fri Oct 6th Theatre Royal, Waterford, Tues Nov 21st Boyle of Slane, Thurs Nov 30th The Milford Room, Carlow, Sat Dec 2nd Mullingar Arts Centre, Sat Jan 5th     https://twitter.com/InTuaNuaBand/status/910787011899985921...

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Zoo 2 set for Cork Opera House
Sep21

Zoo 2 set for Cork Opera House

In the late 90s, Zoo 2 staged a tribute production to U2’s ZOO TV show, using multiple screens and recreated video footage, the large stadium experience was brought to the small stage successfully delivering the audio-visual experience with perfection.   This show ran for a number of years, visiting the then, Point Depot, Millstreet – Green Glens, Waterfront Belfast and nearly every county in Ireland.   In the early 2005 ZOO 2 moved to USA where they have spent the last decade wooing American audiences with their passionate recreation of the U2 concert experience.   Recently ZOO 2 returned to this side of the Atlantic and have been performing at festivals across Europe where International feedback has been fantastic with audiences revelling in the excitement of the new show.   ZOO 2 like U2 are proud to be Irish. 4 humble guys who strive for perfection.   ZOO 2 are back…they play The Cork Opera House September 30. Show starts 8pm and tickets are €25 + booking...

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Sons Of Sothern Ulster go walkabouts.
Aug02

Sons Of Sothern Ulster go walkabouts.

Review by Bobby Green One of the stand out albums of 2016 for me was Foundry Folk Songs by Sons of Southern Ulster, it was truly a remarkable album, timeless in its poetic delivery, perfectly crafting a world you were dragged through by the scruff of your neck and shown a side of life that may no longer exist. The true beauty of music in all its glory doesn’t just provide perfect emotional soundbites for fancy commercials, when done right it can also take you to places a lot more real than the exclusive club you’d never be invited to because you’ll look too much of a tosser using the product on display. Foundry Folk Songs was the perfect flip side to the gleam of product placement music, and was exactly what the alternative scene needed. Now in 2017 The Sons of Southern Ulster are finally getting off their arses and doing some live gigs in Ireland as part of a documentary about the debut album and the drive behind guys their age putting out new music. They have now also become a 4 piece to include Noel Larkin on drums and Paddy Glackin on bass. They are be playing 3 dates in August and the set for the gigs will include two sections – firstly David Meagher (Guitar) and Justin Kelly (Vox) doing a six song intro with just the pair of them and a beatbox, and then after a short break the 4 piece kick in for a more rockier set. The mini-tour will include three dates: (1) World Academy of Music at UL – Lunchtime Thursday 3rd August, (2) Bailieboro Arts and Culture Centre on Friday 4th August at 9PM, and (3) Washerwoman Bar in Ballina/Killaloe Co. Tipperary on Saturday 5th (followed by a late nite Punk and Indie Vinyl disco….) They are also currently working on EP “Paddy K’s Mescaline Diaries” to bridge the first and second album that should see the light of day soon (I Hope) but good things come to those who wait....

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The Joshua Tree brings Bobby Green back to the heart of the matter
Aug01

The Joshua Tree brings Bobby Green back to the heart of the matter

Review by Bobby Green I remember the first time I went to see U2 back in 1987 at Wembley Stadium. I was a teenage boy, son of an Irish immigrant parent who had left Ireland in the 6o’s and moved to London where she met my father whilst selling the catholic herald. They fell in love and are still very much in love to this day. Growing up in London there was always music playing in the house and my first experiences of being brought out to see music being played live were Foster and Allen, Johnny Cash and The Dubliners. A fine grounding I’m sure you’ll agree, and by the age of 16 (as I was in 1987) I had already started going to gigs. Stump being the first gig of an endless flow of live experiences I would indulge myself with over the years. Like any normal 16 year old, music was the most important thing in my life, well.. music and football, the musical landscape was so very different back in 1987 and it was just about to go into technicolour. Riding that wave were bands from America that always seemed to be bigger than bands from Europe and it always seemed like there was something magical about them, but cutting through all of this were a band closer to home, a band from Ireland, and they were on the cusp of taking over the world. For all of us children of Irish heritage going to Cardinal Wiseman Catholic High School in East London, U2 were such an important band. Some of us were cool enough to own copies of The Unforgettable Fire / War / October and Boy or have big brothers or cousins who had copies, and they’d let us put them on our TDK C90’s. But when The Joshua Tree came out…. Christ on a bike things changed. No longer were we thinking that U2 could make it big, with The Joshua Tree we now knew that we were part of something special, and for the people who weren’t necessarily U2 fans and were listening to them for the first time, they too were also experiencing something special. The Joshua Tree is undoubtedly a special album, and U2 were bringing the tour to Wembley Stadium, the home of football. Thirty years have now passed, I’m back home living in Ireland, and U2 have decided to tour The Joshua Tree in all its glory so the hundreds of thousands of people worldwide who have bought tickets can listen to these four lads from Dublin play those songs live again. We could re live our memories of this album,...

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Gillian McGee is wowed by Marlene Enright’s Coughlan’s show
Apr21

Gillian McGee is wowed by Marlene Enright’s Coughlan’s show

A month after the release of her debut album Placemats & Second Cuts and ahead of her last performance in St John’s Church, Listowel, Marlene Enright brought her live show to the home crowd in Coughlan’s, Cork on April 13th and Gillian McGee was there to witness it. Marlene Enright’s debut album Placemats and Second Cuts is a piece of pure magic and completely addictive listening.  I’m clearly not the only one who thinks this judging by the enthusiastic reception at her sold out gig in Coughlans Cork where Enright brought us her tunes at a whole other level.   Ailbhe Reddy opened the evening playing support.  A Dublin based singer-songwriter Ailbhe treats us to her pure voice and heartfelt lyrics accompanied by her lone electric guitar lending a sharpness to her sound.  Songs such as ‘Distrust’ and ‘Relentless’ are very special and draw the crowd in – she’s back in Coughlans in a few weeks and is definitely worth catching.   As soon as Marlene Enright and full band take to the stage,  the now nicely packed living room type venue really comes to life.  Opening with  ‘Alchemy’ we are all immediately hooked in and everything sounds so so wonderful. Gemma Sugrue on backing vocals blends perfectly with Enright’s voice and they create a perfect melodic counterpoint together. The combo of Davie Ryan on drums with Walshy on bass gives everything a big polished sound and Hugh Dillion’s lead guitar is just flawless. Throughout the gig though it’s Marlene’s beautiful floating vocals and rich sound from the keys that truly shine bringing a brilliant light to Enright’s perfect alt pop folk songwriting. The impressive production you can hear on Enright’s album is even stronger live and every single song sounds like a little masterpiece.   Stand out songs on the night are an incredible acapella version of ‘When the Water is Hot’ which sees the whole band singing harmonies clapping and foot stomping, and a spine chilling version of ‘Sadness’.  Enright also treats us to a cool cover of Taylor Swift/Ryan Adam’s ‘Shake it Off’  which leaves you in no doubt that she really has a truly original sound. A nod is also made to Enright’s previous musical life with band ‘The Hard Ground’  with the excellent ‘‘Pucker’ a song Fleetwood Mac would be proud to steal. For me though, ‘We were in Trouble’  is utterly stunning and even more perfect than the album.   Throughout the gig Marlene is so naturally charming and enjoying all the magic she is creating with lots of relaxed chats with the crowd making everyone feel part of this – a very...

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