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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… A Bit of Tradfest January 28, 2023

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Tradfest is on in Dublin this weekend. Last night saw the last of the gigs I had that was initially cancelled due to Covid restrictions in seeing Kate Rusby in St Patricks Cathedral. Anyone got any Covid Gigs left or are you through them all?

Tonight I’m in the Peppercannister church to watch Iarla O’Lionard. There’s so much else on tonight and I’m sorry to be missing Sí Fiddlers and The Women in Trad gig and there were others such as Kíla that clashed with last night. Luckily enough they are early enough gigs but getting to Town last night for 6.30 was a bit of a push.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Dessie O’Halloran January 14, 2023

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Living on an Island in the 40’s and 50’s was very different to what it was now. Cut off by storms, no tourism, little technology and a community that had to be self sufficient for it’s own entertainment. Hence music played such a part in Island life. Songs and styles handed down generation to generation. Of course Emigration was a massive part of the community too, so when people did come back, they brought musical influences too.

There was a wonderful documentary on Dessie O’Halloran on TG4 over The Christmas. A native of Inishbofin , Dessie O’Halloran emigrated to England in the 50’s but settled back later on in his native Island in 1982. In 1975 along with his brother Vincent, he recorded the album “The Men of The Island”. Dessie played the fiddle and was a noted Sean-nós singer (although he sang in English). Settling back in Inishbofin, he once again became part of the music community there being a mainstay of the Inisbofin Ceili Band. The Island also attracted a host of regular visiting musicians, which is where Sharon Shannon came across Dessie. “Say You Love Me” had been a mainstay of his for many years and He recorded it with Sharon Shannon on her “Diamond Mountain Sessions” album. He toured with her all over the world and then recorded his own album “the pound road” .

I saw him perform with Sharon Shannon around that period and he was fantastic. A voice unique and also full of joy. He passed away in 2019.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Manuel and The Music of The Mountains December 31, 2022

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The most familiar of these is Tico’s Tune, the B side of an obscure 1965 single from “Manuel and The Music of The Mountains” which was the name used by prolific British arranger and composer Geoff Love.. It’s amazing what memories the one tune can bring. Indeed in this case a few bars of it. Days off from school sick and having a radio by the bedside listening to Gay Byrne in the morning. During his time , Love released 42 Albums as “Manuel and The Music of The Mountains” and his music featured on many well known Movies and TV Series.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Lankum December 17, 2022

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Had the pleasure of seeing Lankum for the first time last weekend in Vicar Street. They were stunning. I wasn’t that familiar with them but was totally blown away by their sound. Their original tunes, their reinterpretation of Traditional songs, the array of melodic drones, noise all based on Traditional music. Really fantastic stuff.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Saint Sister December 3, 2022

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An wonderful Irish duo that have been around since 2014 and have produced two excellent albums and a number of singles. Their sound has been refered to as “atmosfolk”

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Built To Spill November 19, 2022

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From Idaho, Built To Spill are a band that have been around for 30 years with guitarist/vocalist Doug Martsch the mainstay of the band for that period. I remember hearing of them 20 years ago, intending to buy a CD but bought something else instead. Hadn’t thought of them since until they popped up on youtube for me.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to…. Fontaines D.C. October 22, 2022

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Is there ever a band you hear about and for some illogical reason you don’t want to like them? These were a band I didn’t want to like. All the fuss about them, had a quick listen, didn’t like them bar “Dublin City Sky”. Hailed by all sorts and then my petty dislike for them was cemented when a certain Phibsboro based football club produced a jersey with the bands logo on it. I turned down tickets to see them a number of times, turned my nose up when “A Heros Death” and “Skinty Fia” entered the house ……

Then at Electric Picnic they were playing after the Pixies and it was a choice between them, Dermot Kennedy, Mall Grab or Gang of Youths. I stayed for Fontaines D.C. They were absolutely amazing and well I was wrong about them!

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Girl in Red September 24, 2022

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From Norway, Girl in Red was fantastic live when I saw her. She originally released her material on Soundcloud, it got popular and she’s released a number of albums since. She’s also a member of the LBGTQ community. Hadn’t heard any of her material before but with an enthusiastic crowd and some decent songs the show was great. She also did the splitting the crowd bit and going into the crowd too as shown in the first video.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Khruangbin September 10, 2022

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I literally stumbled into these playing at Electric Picnic and they were amazing. The funky disco sound, The great guitar backed by a stunning bass and drum driven rhythm. I couldn’t help myself but dance! The medley’s they play are wonderful too.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Mutefish August 27, 2022

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I was preparing to do an exhibit and talk at last weekends Social Democrats Left Bank Summer School when I came across this poster. It’s from a 2011 gig taking place after the May Day March. (there’s a bit on it here). I had never heard of Mutefish before so decided to see what I could find from them. They were (are…not sure if they are still on the go) a band with members from Dublin, Poland, Lithuania and the Ukraine. So you can hear the various influences in the music. I quite like them.

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