Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Festival Preview: CastlePalooza 2011

The Irish festival season is in full flow and this weekend sees the return of the Castlepalooza Music and Arts Festival. Now in its sixth year the action again takes place in Charleville Castle in Tullamore, County Offaly and having not made it down since 2009 I'm looking forward to another slice of the action. Special credit must go to the organisers this year for plucking the finest home-grown talent and giving them great slots. There's quality across the whole line-up but here's a selection of acts I'm particularly excited about. 

For tickets etc see the official site // for the full stage times see this link.

Ghost Estates :: Friday :: Main Stage @ 8.30pm 


The Casanova Wave :: Saturday :: Main Stage @ 3.30pm 

  The Casanova Wave by The Casanova Wave

Moths :: Saturday :: Big Top Stage @ 5.15pm 

Jaysus, it's hard to believe this is Moths' first gig. The brainchild of 18 year old Jack Colleran, Moths has enjoyed a phenomenal year in which every track he uploaded was devoured and salivated over by what seemed to be the entire internet.  He also managed to sneak in an official Interpol remix too...all while doing his Leaving Cert. Impressed? Well, you should be. The craft and ingenuity shown at such an early age means such acclaim is deserved and this performance, from a guy who was unknown last year, is easily my most anticipated of the weekend.

  <3 by MOTHS 

  blisters by MOTHS

The Minutes :: Saturday :: Main Stage @ 8.30pm 

This year's Temple House festival convinced me of The Minutes worth. There, with a tent barely half full, they performed with a level of blistering intensity worthy of a career-defining headline slot at Wembley Arena. Forever playing out of their skins, this is ferocious rock and roll imbued with a level of enthusiasm that is simply impossible to ignore. 

Clock Opera :: Saturday :: Main Stage @ 11.30pm 

Without any shadow of a doubt 'Belongings' is one of my favourite tracks of the year. A beautiful, stirring piece of music, it has infected my pores and left me dumbstruck in its simplicity and romanticism. In truth, I know little else of these Londoners but a track this sublime warrants further inspection all on its own.

  Clock Opera - Belongings by moshi moshi music 

Jape :: Saturday :: Main Stage @ 12.30am 

At Forbidden Fruit Mr Egan was given an unenviable slot. As he took to the stage early in the day, people were either just arriving, wiping sleep from their eyes from the previous nights antics or still queuing at the bar. All of this culminated in a nice but ultimately restrained atmosphere bur this time around things will be different. Classics like 'Floating' and 'I Was A Man' were made for headlining festivals, and when you factor in exciting new creations such as 'Hands Of Fire' and 'Please Don't Turn That Record On' and well, every other track Richie has debuted in recent months, you know it's going to be a little bit special. 

  Hands Of Fire / Lying on a Deathbed by Jape

Kid Karate :: Sunday :: The Big Top @ 12pm 

A ferocious live force - the Dublin duo have consistently managed to transfer the energy and swagger of their debut Heart EP onto the stage. Such a feat is particularly commendable when you consider the insatiable energy required to create the pulsating splendour of tracks like 'Black and Beige' and 'Feel For You'. A later slot would suit a bit better but this will kick Sunday's hangover into touch that's for sure.

  Feel For You by Kid Karate

Dogs :: Sunday :: Big Top Stage @ 3pm 

Underbeats by dogs - the band

The Young Folk :: Sunday :: Main Stage @ 4.45pm 

They made it into my KnockanStockan Ones To Watch last week and having caught that enthralling live show my adoration for this folk-infused Dubliners has only heightened. Rousing, accomplished and earnest - think Mumford and Sons with a touch of class.

  The Young Folk - Way Down South by RisingStars 

Sacred Animals :: Sunday :: Main Stage @ 6.30pm 

Last year's debut EP was a sublime creation that I waxed lyrical about at the time. Flickering between light and dark, Sacred Animals deals with delicate yet expansive landscapes, jumping from pin-pricks to lush tones repeatedly to create a moving, compelling experience. 

  Sacred Animals by RootMusic 

Squarehead :: Sunday :: Main Stage @ 8.30pm 

  Squarehead - Fake Blood by lizpelly

These Charming Men :: Sunday :: Main Stage @ 10.30pm 

Lets face facts: I'm an avid Morrissey fan, so a tribute act like this was always going to be on my list. I caught TCM at The Village earlier in the year and I was blown away by their authenticity and their faithful restoration of both the Smiths' hits and the lesser-known tracks from Moz's solo catalogue. See you up front with the gladioli...

Onra :: Sunday :: Courtyard Stage @ 1.30am

  Onra - L.O.V.E by Onra

Toby Kaar :: Sunday :: Courtyard Stage @

  Crank by TobyKaar

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Video: Bombay Bicycle Club - 'Shuffle'

Sometimes I really wish I was in a band and the video for Bombay Bicycle Club's new single - which follows the Londoners on the road - only cements such feelings. 'Shuffle' is a mightily impressive return regardless, with that unorthodox opening keyboard riff and lush vocals making it one of my favourite singles of the year so far.

'Shuffle’ can be found on new LP A Different Kind Of Fix which is out at the end of August.

Via The Point Of Everything.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

KnockanStockan 2011 Preview: Full Timetable and Ones To Watch

Now in its fifth year the KnockanStockan festival returns to its picturesque site overlooking the Blessington lakes this weekend - primed with another batch of the country's finest underground bands. As you can see from the final timetable below there's a mammoth amount on offer so to help ease the 'who-to-see' conundrum here's a selection of artists that come with the STL seal of approval. Naturally, this kind of festival is all about being blown away by someone you've never heard of before but these acts are a good place to start and as ever, recommendations are welcome...


Enemies - Friday @ 11pm :: Moon Stage

Superb post-rock workings from a ferocious live force. As supremely tight a band as you're likely to see all weekend.  

  Coco et Moi by Richter Collective  

The Hot Sprockets - Saturday @ 12.30am :: Sun Stage 

Accomplished blues-rockers with the songs to match their gusto and swagger.

Ross Breen - Saturday @ 7.30pm :: Sun Stage 

A burgeoning singer-songwriter from Kildare who I caught in a random pub in town a while back. Expect lashings of clever melodies and a strong, distinctive voice.

  When I Met The Devil (sample) by Ross Breen 

The Gorgeous Colours - Saturday @ 3.30pm :: Sun Stage 

Recent single ’It’s OK To Be Normal’ is the finest work yet from an outfit who specialise in expansive creations decorated with beautiful stirring melodies.

  It's Ok To Be Normal by The Gorgeous Colours 

Sounds of System Breakdown - Saturday @ 12am :: Moon Stage 

Strident electro-funk with a catchy underbelly. The perfect soundtrack to the beginning of the late night adventure.

  Colour by SOSB

Come On Live Long - Saturday @ 7.30pm :: Circus Tent 

Introduced on STL a short while back, I fell for this 'folk-tronic' outfit from the off. A brilliant mix of misty synths and guitars, which reward repeated listens.

  Animal by ComeOnLiveLong 

Bipolar Empire - Sunday @ 9pm :: Sun Stage

These lads are festival veterans at this stage and always deliver an anthemic, rousing set filled with the finest cuts from their recent debut album.

  Feel That You Own It by Bipolar Empire 

I Draw Slow - Sunday @ 8pm :: Sun Stage 

When I interviewed G-Star from the festival recently he chose I Draw Slow as the act he was most looking forward to seeing this year -  and when you consider the beautiful single ‘Goldmine’ it’s easy to see why. Mature country roots propelled by a delectable voice.

We Cut Corners - Sunday @ 5pm :: Moon Stage 

Promising two piece with a knack for a pop hook and bundles of clever harmonies. 

  dumb blonde by we cut corners  

Leaders Of Men - Sunday @1pm :: Moon Stage 

Interesting new Dublin creation whose debut tracks hinted at something special. Intelligent indie with a keen eye for building things up nicely.

  Up Against The Wall by damaged_audio 

The Stoney Brokes - Sunday @ 10pm :: Circus Tent 

Emerging Tallght five piece whose lovely debut track ‘You Don’t See Me' bodes well for their debut EP which is out next month.

Stoney Brokes - You Don't See Me by RisingStars 

The Young Folk - Sunday @ 8pm :: Circus Tent 

Acclaimed Dublin band whose thoughtful, layered Americana vibes have seen them gain much praise recently.

  The Young Folk - Way Down South by RisingStars 

The Altered Hours - Sunday @ 6pm :: Circus Tent  

Their bio says they aim for an ‘altered world’ and these Cork natives are true to their word, dipping a toe into a mish-mash of haunting styles. There’s a lot to take in here but the overriding theme is a psychedelic fusion that augurs well for a compelling live experience. 

  Daydream Parade by The Altered Hours by alteredhours 

Attention Bebé - Sunday @ 12pm :: Sun Stage

A sprawling collective bound by a love for reworking 90s cult hits and bringing a smile to the faces of those lucky enough to catch ‘em live. The perfect way sounds to kick off the final day.

  Ice Ice Bébé by Attention Bébé

Full Timetable: 

Sun Stage:
00:30 – 01:30 – King Modo
23:30 - 00:30 - New Secret Weapon
22:30 - 23:30 - Hassle Merchants
21:30 – 22:30 - More Tiny Giants
20:30 – 21:30 - Kasper Rosa
19:30 – 20:30 – The Forbidden Itch

18:30 – 19:30 – The Deadly Mechanism

Moon Stage:
00:00 – 01:00 – The Whipround
23:00 – 00:00 – Enemies
22:00 – 23:00 – Saiga
21:00 – 22:00 – Noise Machine
20:00 – 21:00 – Glyder
19:00 – 20:00 – Shoctopus
18:00 – 19:00 – The Cold 100

Circus Tent:
00:30 – 01:30 – Scarecrow Disco
23:30 – 00:30 – 9 Bars
22:30 – 23:30 – Mutefish
21:30 – 22:30 – Gypsy Rebel Rabble
20:30 – 21:30 – John Fairhurst
19:30 – 20:30 – Nico Fitz & The Smelly Beggars
18:30 – 19:30 – Stefan Galt

Faerie Field:
00:00 – 01:00 – Miles Iwes (chillout dj)
23:00 – 00:00 – Adi (live electronic)
22:00 – 23:00 – Pixie Trix V Dark Mockery (UV acid hulo hoop)
21:00 – 22:00 – Alien Angel
20:00 – 21:00 – Barry Krishna (digital religion)
19:00 – 20:00 – Marka (trip hop acid jazz)
12:00 – 18:00 – Qpop Welcome Mix

Sun Stage:
00:30 – 01:30 – The Hot Sprockets
23:30 – 00:30 – The Cujo Family
22:30 – 23:30 – Blind Yackety
21:30 – 22:30 – Spook of the 13th Lock
20:30 – 21:30 – Veroa
19:30 – 20:30 – Ross Breen

18:30 – 19:30 – Wyvern Lingo
17:30 – 18:30 – The Gandhis
16:30 – 17:30 – Saint John The Gambler
15:30 – 16:30 – The Gorgeous Colours
14:30 – 15:30 – The Rambleers

13:30 – 12:30 – The North Sea
12:30 – 13:30 – Love Notes & Ashes
Moon Stage:
00:00 – 01:00 – Sounds of System Breakdown
23:00 – 00:00 – Indecent Cigar Emporium
22:00 – 23:00 – The Amazing Few
21:00 – 22:00 – The Barley Mob
20:00 – 21:00 – Fitzafrenic
19:00 – 20:00 – CFIT
18:00 – 19:00 – Zealots
17:00 – 18:00 – Siv
16:00 – 17:00 – Rebecca Collins
15:00 – 16:00 – James Guilmartin
14:00 – 15:00 – Sons of Gingerbread
13:00 – 14:00 – S.O.S
12:00 – 13:00 – The Ghostbusters
Circus Tent:
00:30 – 01:30 – Absolutely Curtains
23:30 – 00:30 – Jifubuki
22:30 – 23:30 – The Hundred Flower Campaign
21:30 – 22:30 – Mescalito
20:30 – 21:00 – Son of a Beast
19:30 – 20:30 – Come On, Live Long
18:30 – 19:30 – Cold Comfort
17:30 – 18:30 – Markas Carcas
16:30 – 17:30 – Rhiannon & The Face Collectors
15:30 – 16:30 – Adela & The Meanits
14:30 – 15:30 – Pete & The Purehearts
13:30 – 14:30 – Jack & The Band
12:30 – 13:30 – Bob Glynn
Faerie Field:
01:00 – 02:00 – Psy Am (dubstep dj)
00:00 – 01:00 – Ghost Timez (spoken word hip hop)
23:00 – 00:00 – Sophis D Kate
22:00 – 23:00 – Saucy Jack & The Dimewhores (burlesque)
21:00 – 22:00 – The Side Up
20:40 – 21:00 – White Noise (beatbox)
20:00 – 20:40 – Razor Ball
19:30 – 20:00 – Dene Downes
18:30 – 19:30 – Oltremara
17:00 – 18:30 – Anunita w/special guests
16:00 – 17:00 – Arrow In The Sky
15:20 – 16:00 – Hypergiants
14:40 – 15:20 – Andy Earley
14:00 – 14:40 – Fear Of Folk
13:00 – 14:00 – Auto Psy

12:00 – 13:00 – Mixile (ambient electronic)
10:00 – 12:00 – Morning Chill

Sun Stage
22:00 - 23:00 – The Candidates
21:00 – 22:00 – Bipolar Empire
20:00 – 21:00 – I Draw Slow
19:00 – 20:00 – Raglans
18:00 – 19:00 – Enda Reilly

17:00 – 18:00 – The Gentlemens Club
16:00 – 17:00 – Nursery Crimes
15:00 – 16:00 – Spirit Riders
14:00 – 15:00 – Chayka
13:00 – 14:00 – Groove
12:00 – 13:00 – Attention Bebe

Moon Stage:
23:00 – 00:00 – Spellbound
22:00 – 23:00 – Lotus Eater
21:00 – 22:00 – Rocket Surgery
20:00 – 21:00 – Tongue Bundle
19:00 – 20:00 – Liz Is Evil
18:00 – 19:00 – Kill Goliath
17:00 – 18:00 – We Cut Corners
16:00 – 17:00 – Fox Jaw Bounty Hunters
15:00 – 16:00 – The Salad Circus
14:00 – 15:00 – El Hombre Jokes
13:00 – 14:00 – Leaders Of Men
12:00 – 13:00 – Mr Sands

Circus Tent:
23:00 – 00:00 – Fox. E + The Good Hands
22:00 – 23:00 – The Stoney Brokes
21:00 – 22:00 – Difference Engine
20:00 – 21:00 – The Young Folk
19:00 – 20:00 – Louis Barabbas
18:00 – 19:00 – The Altered Hours
17:00 – 18:00 – The P Affection
16:00 – 17:00 – Surfing Champions Of Mexico
15:00 – 16:00 – Fiach
14:00 – 15:00 – Lisa McLaughlin
13:00 – 14:00 – Tom Cooney
12:00 – 13:00 – Eric McGrath

Faerie Field:
23:00 – 00:00 – Elekrodouche
22:00 – 23:00 – gKb
21:00 – 22:00 – D3x (chillout Vibes)
20:00 – 21:00 – Zyme (retro futuristic data jockey)
19:00 – 20:00 – Wassa Wassa (african tribal drum + dance)
18:00 – 19:00 – Matt Creedon & The Bad Men

17:00 – 18:00 – Aisling Quinn
16:00 – 17:00 – Wicker Bones
15:20 – 16:00 – Pattanga
14:40 – 15:20 – Dave Clarke
14:00 – 14:40 – Pater Space Invasion
13:00 – 14:00 – Psytori
12:00 – 13:00 – Fortune Lynched
0:00 – 12:00 – Morning Chill out pop

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Video: REID - 'Genesis'

Young Cork producer REID has been attracting quite a bit of attention since emerging recently, with his stellar Genesis EP deservedly earning him a healthy number of followers. For his debut music video he moulds (...) an interesting stop motion animation from Czech artist Jan Švankmajer into the backdrop to what is a blissful chillwavey track.

Download Genesis for free now via Soundcloud or Mediafire.

Hidden Irish Indie Hits: The Aftermath - 'All I Want Is For You To Be Happy'

Definite sense of nostalgia of this one. Summer 2007 and I'm spending  my days locked in a sweltering office, taking regular trips to the warehouse so I could listen to the radio and escape another dreaded bout of filing. The relatively new Phantom FM had a consistent fondness for this particular track and with a gushing, effortlessly catchy chorus it's easy to see why. Some four years on this banging anthem about wanting the best for someone close is still firmly lodged in my brain - a perfect indie hit.

The Aftermath are still going strong and are working on a new album. Check out their MySpace or Facebook for more details.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tieranniesaur - 'Here Be Monsters' [Official Video] and Album Launch

Having worked their magic on Big Monster Love's 'Free Gaff Forever', the wondrous minds at Bowsie Workshop have done the same with Tieranniesaur's slick track 'Here Be Monsters'. Whereas 'Free Gaff...' employed the creative use of stop motion, here we're treated to a forest-led duel between a child assassin and a weird face monster thing, resulting in a brilliant B-movie-esque rampage. The track itself is an understatedly sexy little creation, with a cool 70s swagger evident at times and I just can't seem to stop hitting that repeat button.

It's taken from Tieranniesaur's debut album Play Buttons which gets an official release on July 28th at Future Bright in Crawdaddy. Also on the bill that night are fellow Popical Island heads No Monster Club and Patrick Kelleher, while the event will also see Ireland’s first Playbutton release: a custom Tieranniesaur pin badge which doubles as an mp3 player which only plays the Tieranniesaur album. Pretty Nifty. Tickets are just €5 and here's the event page.

Tieranniesaur - Here be Monsters from Bowsie Workshop on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Music: Grand Pocket Orchestra - 'Ooo La Te Woo'

I wasn't wholly enamoured with their debut but this new track from Dubliners Grand Pocket Orchestra is definitely a more promising affair. More focused than previous efforts, and without a mish-mash of different bits and bobs vying for your attention, 'Ooo La Te Woo' is a nice slab of lo-fi pop goodness. Taken from their second album, which they're currently putting the finishing touches to, it's also available as a free download - just click the little downward arrow there like a good chap and it's all yours.

GPOs upcoming tour dates:

July17th//  DUBLIN, WHELANS (Popical Redux) w/Ginnels and Land Lovers
July 19th// LONDON, OLD QUEENS HEAD w/Jape and The Racket
August 3rd// DUBLIN, WHELANS (Headline Show)
August 4th// GALWAY (Popicalia #11) w/Retarded Cop, Lad Lovers, Tieranniesaur and Groom

The return of The Drums. Listen to new single - 'Money'

Hot on the heels of last year's debut, The Drums are back with the follow up LP - Portamento. With their influences firmly etched on their sleeves the Brooklyn outfit left many cold but I have to admit - I loved them from the off. In fact, I liked them so much so that they made a healthy dent in my Top Songs of 2010. 'Money' doesn't stray too far from their original formula - it's a fast-paced bundle of riffs, laced around a self-pitying, love-lorn tale of poverty and want, with a typically romantic 80s vibe evident throughout. A nice little warm up for the new material so - consider my interest piqued. One thing though - how weird is that cover image?! 

Portamento is out on September 12th and the band play this year's Electric Picnic.


'Book Of Revelation'
'What You Were'
'Hard To Love'
'I Don’t Know How To Love'
'Searching For Heaven'
'Please Don’t Leave'
'If He Likes It Let Him Do It'
'I Need A Doctor'
'In The Cold'
'How It Ended'

The Drums - Money by WorkItMedia

Monday, July 11, 2011

Introducing: Robot Science

Robot Science is the solo project of San Jose native Charlie Yin, a semi-prolific beat-maker who has so far managed to produce an album a year since 2009. From the chilled, spacey vibes of Square to the chirpier beats of the most recent Good Luck LP -  each release harbours a varying shade of electronic splendour. Equally adept at the forefront of your mind or in the background as you drift along, this is lush electronica worth noting.

Each Robot Science album is available for download via Bandcamp on a 'name your price' basis.

Find Robot Science on Facebook //


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Introducing: REID

With Toby Kaar tearing up the electronic scene in Ireland this year, here's a fellow Corkonian vying for his throne. REID is 22 year old producer Eoghan Reid who has just released his Genesis EP - a five track creation packed with an array of cleverly structured, smashing beats. It's a consistently good piece of work but the thumping 'Diptera' is an undoubted highlight, along with the Moths-esque title track and the mesmeric peaks and troughs of 'Forrest'. Definitely one to watch.

Grab the EP for free now via Bandcamp.

Find REID on Facebook// Twitter // Soundcloud //  Bandcamp // Breaking Tunes

  Genesis EP by REID

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hidden Irish Indie Hits #8: Offshore - 'Balcony Waves'

Has anything inspired quite as many tunes as a good, old-fashioned heartbreak? Here's a personal favourite of the sort from a now deceased Dublin ensemble who received decent press and made it to Oxegen 2008 in their peak. Unwavering in its sincerity, this is an earnest piano led track which picks at the bones of a recent demise and results in a solemn little vow of regret. 

'Balcony Waves' featured in the nifty Dublin Unsigned: The Best Of compilation from last year.
More tracks from Offshore are available over at their MySpace.

  Offshore - Balcony Waves by StopTheLights

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Watch The Horrors 'Still Life' video and stream their new album

Image by renachristsuperstar 
My, my, how The Horrors have grown. From their hodge-podge indie-rock beginnings the group are now an altogether far more interesting and mature prospect - harnessing the power of the 80s and early 90s to full effect on new album Skying. Here's the official video for the Simple Minds-esque 'Still Life' - an essential, anthemic number with clever synths and a near definite for many end of year lists.   

Skying is out now and you stream it in full below. 

"The moment that you want is coming if you give it time"



Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New Music: We Are Losers' debut single - 'Sunset Song'

Having been steadily impressed by their output to date, the debut single from Dublin/Kildare outfit We Are Losers doesn't disappoint. Taking residence somewhere close to the jangly vibes of Squarehead,  'Sunset Song' is a fine slice of slack, sunshine-infused fuzz-pop. Both it and the equally fun 'Cheerleader' are laced with incredibly hummable bouts of 'oh oh ohs' and a positive disposition that makes you pine for lingering summer nights spent knocking a ball about with mates. Easily their most impressive work to date.

Listen below and get yo vinyl fix from here.