Dublin singer/songwriter Robert O’Connor has released a new music video in time for the holidays, dedicated to, “the less fortunate at Christmas.”
Shot to accompany his version of the 1971 Joni Mitchell classic, the video depicts a somber Robert aimlessly wandering the streets of Dublin, with out-of-focus shoppers navigating their way around Robert, who appears at times frozen on the spot on a crowded Grafton Street.
His stripped back take on the track, produced by frequent collaborator Stuart Gray, hit number one on the Radio Indie Alliance chart, and has already received acclaim from press and bloggers.
MyFizzyPop called it “A daring take on the classic song and one that pays off,” while Essentially Pop said, “If this song doesn’t bring a year to your eye, I’m not sure what will.“
Speaking about the video, directed by David Duggan, Robert said: “It felt misguided to make a typical lip sync video for a song like this. I wanted it to show me feeling out of sync with the environment I was in. For a lot or people, Christmas is the hardest time of year for so many reasons — and most of the media messages we see are hyper-positive — so this is a little nod to those who are struggling to feel festive.”
The Lost Brothers, Oisin Leech and Mark McCausland, have recorded a Christmas mini-album which includes the single S’even Days Before Christmas’. The recordings we’re produced by Steve Shannon feature special guests including Paul Brainard (M Ward, Decembrists, The Eels) Steve Wickham (The Waterboys), members of O Emperor and many more.
The Irish duo put this Christmas release together in memory of the late Pogues manager Frank Murray who passed away in December 2016. Frank managed The Lost Brothers, The Pogues, Thin Lizzy amongst many others and was a legendary figure in the music industry.
“Frank was always telling us to record a Christmas Album and we finally did,” says Oisin. “It was fun recording in Crumlin around the corner from where Phil Lynott was actually born,” says Oisin. “Frank and Phil grew up together just off the street where the studio is and they toured side by side with Thin Lizzy for years. All this was in the back of our minds as we recorded.”
The Christmas recording session took place in November. “We called up a few pals,” adds Mark, “and it all came together!”
The video for ‘Keep Christmas In The Heart’ was created by Gavin Wood. “It’s an attempt to try capture the beautiful weirdness of Christmas and the fun but ridiculous side of the season,” says video maker Gavin.”Frank Murray, for whom the song is a tribute, loved humour and classic comedy so we tried to go down that road in his honour.”
Lost Brothers will release their sixth full studio album ‘After The Fire After The Rain’ on February 7th and will be doing a theatre tour including a show at The Southbank Purcell Rooms London and Dublin’s Vicar St. Saturday March 21st.
They will also be doing two winter concerts at The Solstice Arts Centre Navan Co Meath Friday December 13th and Saturday December 14th.
December 13th – Navan -Solstice Arts Theatre
December 14th – Navan -Solstice Arts Theatre SOLD OUT
March 3rd- London – The Southbank- The Purcell room
March 19th – Omagh – Strule Arts Theatre
March 20th – Belfast – The Ulster Sports Club
March 21st – Dublin – Vicar Street
March 25th – Galway – Town Hall Theatre
March 26th – Castlebar -The Royal Theatre
March 28 – Letterkenny – An Grianan Theatre
April. 3rd – Waterford – St. Patrick’s Gateway
April 4th – Cork – Live At St. Luke’s
April 5th – Limerick – Dolans
For more info visit www.thelostbrothersband.com
Fresh off the back of reaching the final of this years IMRO Christie Hennessy Song contest ‘The Vibes’ return to play Whelan’s Upstairs on Wednesday 18th December 2019.
Known for writing infectious Indie-pop songs it was no surprise their latest single ‘Where I Wanna Be’ was playlisted on radio stations across the country including RTÉ 2FM and RTÉ Radio 1. It was the band’s fifth single release with their previous 4 singles, ‘Head Over Heels’, ‘Just Another Love Song’, ‘You’ll See My Heart’ and ‘Different Way Out’ reaching Top 20 Chart status and critical acclaim.
With their debut album due to be released in 2020 and an American tour in the pipeline, this is a gig not to be missed.
Tickets are selling fast and can be purchased from http://www.whelanslive.com/index.php/the-vibes/
This year five music acts performed at Paul Geaney’s Yard, as part of the IMRO Other Room at Other Voices. Tony Clayton-Lea reports and reviews.
Over the past two years, Ronan Kealy, aka Junior Brother, has created a justifiable stir in the Irish music scene by virtue of a genuine sense of expression, humour, humility and an individuality that is second to none. If you’re familiar with his songs, then you’ll know he doesn’t choose the path well-trodden but rather a deeply singular one that isn’t the easiest to put your finger on. If you’re not familiar with the songs, then you might think (initially, anyway) that there’s something amiss. You would be wrong to think this, however, as Kealy fashions songs – in essence, folk tunes – in a way that makes perfect sense, especially when it comes to touchstones of the form.
He mixes tracks (including The Back Of Her) from his debut album, Pull The Right Rope, old favourites (Hungover At Mass), with new songs (such as No Country For Young Men, a potent socio-political protest tune) in a measured way. Everything meshes perfectly for a songwriter that needs to be heard with, perhaps, a recalibrated set of ears. Once you lock into his music, however, there’s no going back.
A Wicklow-born folk singer-songwriter with a background in pharmacology and physiology (and with a degree in Ethnomusicology, no less, Anne Mieke isn’t your usual sort of performer. Accompanied by musicians (including a drummer/percussionist and a guitarist/backing vocalist), Mieke cuts an impressive if subtle figure, performing songs from Idle Mind (her debut album of this year) that are of the durable kind, the ones that catch up on you, and the ones you’ll be humming along to when you least expect it. Unlike, say, Junior Brother, Mieke chooses to stick with form and tradition – be it contemporary folk or Old Time Appalachian – but it’s important to emphasise that she adds individuality, a steeliness, to the results.
And so it comes to pass that some people write real, actual songs. You know the kind: a beginning, a middle, an end, with lyrics that make sense, and a chorus that makes regular deposits to the memory bank. A .Smyth has been tipping away at the edges for some time now; he has been in a band or two, been around the houses, mown the lawn, painted the front door, and so on – the usual odd-job journey for a musician who wants to make a mark. Playing a batch of mostly new songs that will form the basis for a debut album (to be released next year), what is very noticeable about this guy is not just how he constructs songs but how he delivers them. There are neat Springsteen hints here and there – the wide-open spaces and the wise insights, the rock-Americana stylings – and there’s an accompanying understatement to the performing of them. The end result is a gig that brings much needed warmth to a bitterly cold afternoon. Good on him.
It isn’t very often that drummers are also vocalists. Backing singers, maybe, but not singing out front as they keep and make the beats that drive the songs. Welcome, then, to Waterford’s Alex Gough, a much-acclaimed producer/hip-hop musician who is claiming 2020 as the year wherein he breaks loose and fast. Judging by his show here, there is more than a reasonable chance of this happening: the man effortlessly blends quick fire, insightful hip-hop with adroitly executed samples and music that wouldn’t be out of place if your record collection included albums by Steely Dan, Weather Report, Miles Davis, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and of course contemporary hip-hop acts that have freely adapted music from these (and more) acts. Add to such influences is a lyrical talent for highlighting, among other things, the downsides of various social media platforms. Yep, we’ll be seeing and hearing much more from this guy next year, alright.
We have seen Thumper before and have no regrets. We have sweated our way through their songs and have experienced no long-term side effects. We have lived vicariously through their maelstrom of noise and still lead a fulfilling life in a suburban town with a wife, two kids, and a cat called Penny. This being said, Thumper are surely Ireland’s most vicious and dirty band. Audacious, too: a pair of drummers and a bona fide phalanx of guitarist/vocalist warriors. There is a marked degree of courage in the songs and performance, a willingness to throw caution to the four corners of the tent and not care where (or on whom) it lands and hurts. And there is also fun here, as evidenced by as neat a slice of audience manipulation as I’ve ever seen. In other words, we love the little tykes. Given half a chance, we reckon you will, too.
Is it really 18 years? As each year passes, we ask ourselves the same question, but seriously, where does the time go and why does it go so quickly? We’ll leave the answers to those existential questions to the thinkers and philosophers. We, as mere mortals, will just have to slap our foreheads, scratch our heads, and carry on as if the passing of time is the most natural thing in the world not to be concerned about.
But, yes, Other Voices is back for its 18th run, and while we dare not think about its 20th birthday just yet (that will make us feel way too old, of course) let’s doff the cap to the little festival that has not only lasted the course and looks set to continue into its dotage, but also to have grown from an exclusively Irish-based event into an internationally acclaimed piece of collaborative work. And all of this without losing its innate sense of purpose. A long-lasting festival, however, doesn’t stand still, and as each year has passed, so has Other Voices (“this little thing”, said head honcho, Philip King, on Friday night, in his introduction to the event at St James Church) subtly altered, shifted, added and enhanced. “It holds onto its heart and soul,” King continued, getting to the core of what makes Other Voices so different and so good.
This year is no different. Alongside the usual blessings of the acts performing in St James Church, the Music Trail (sponsored this year by Dingle Gin), Banter, Ireland’s Edge, and Music Trail West are very welcome additions. These are in non-music areas, and cover visual art, installations, animation, light shows, exhibitions, and writing. All of these events are Irish language-based and are funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, and point in various directions the way in which Other Voices can create a cultural awareness outside its usual frames of reference. Another excellent initiative is Our Coasts Our Voices, which celebrates Dingle Peninsula’s much acclaimed marine environment. With a mix of spoken word, hip-hop, workshops, and discussions, it also is a valuable strand to the innate cultural aesthetic of the festival. One can only guess at what other tricks Other Voices has up its voluminous sleeves for future events, both at home and outside Ireland.
As Philip King also noted in his intro, however, Other Voices would not exist if it wasn’t for the music, and so for the umpteenth time we are yet again in Dingle. And let’s be honest, if it wasn’t for the music, we probably wouldn’t be here, either, so it’s a mutually satisfactory situation. It is also an opportunity to just kick off our boots (metaphorically, that is – it’s freezing down here) and say hello to people we haven’t seen since the last time we were here. Music, relax. Relax, music. Repeat.
Today (Saturday) is when IMRO stakes its claim. Just in case you have been living in a monastery that has no access to broadband, IMRO has been a proud supporter of Other Voices for many years, with IMRO’s Other Room playing a pivotal role in the recognition of the worth of rising Irish songwriters and musicians. In a further blog post, which will be available to read on the IMRO website from tomorrow, I’ll be reviewing all of the IMRO Other Room acts that are performing at Paul Geaney’s Yard from 1pm: Junior Brother, Anna Mieke, A. Smyth, Alex Gough, and Thumper.
That’s a fine line-up and no mistake – from alt.folk and hip-hop to crafted songs and earplug rock, as well as quite a few points in-between. As they say in all the best blog posts – watch this space.
Presented at The Ivors on 21 May next year, the Award will honour young British or Irish songwriting and composing talent who demonstrate exceptional potential and ambition. The Award is open to music creators across all genres aged between 18-24. In addition to receiving an Ivor Novello Award at the ceremony, the winner will also receive ongoing support and mentorship from the Apple Music team.
The Rising Star Award with Apple Music is free to enter, and entrants must be an Under 25 member of The Ivors Academy. Entries are open now and will close on Monday 16 December 2019.
The introduction of the new Award comes after last month’s announcement detailing a three year collaboration between The Ivors Academy and Apple Music, which looks to bring wider exposure and development opportunities for members of the Academy and the community of music creators.
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