Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Remy's Live Music Photo Diary of 2016, Part 2

Rocstrong Hard Working Class Heroes Remy Connolly 1

Info: In Part 2 of our 2016 live review (Part 1 is here!) we recommence where the year began, at Whelan's Ones To Watch, in some ways the second half of the year became more obtuse in terms of gigs I attended, in a very good way, these ones are often the most memorable events. Yet the highlights were many, Ash in Abner Brown's Barbershop, and The Olympia, Canalaphonic, two back to back Gigonometry sessions in The Workman's Club, David Keenan at The Grand Social and Hard Working Class Heroes all spring to mind, it was jam-packed and hectic, in all the right ways.


Whelan's Ones To Watch, Summer Watch @ Whelan's

 Never go full 'Dutch Gold'

 Young Earth


 Brass Phantoms

 One of my favourite live photos of 2016, Kevyn's drummer, Jack Callan


 Hot Cops

 Hot Cops

 The Clockworks

Oh Joy

Ash @ Abner Brown's Barbershop

No year of live music is complete without as many visits to Abner Brown's Barbershop as possible, and whilst the highlights are always of up and coming acts, main man David Judge pulls in the big names too during the year. None were so big as Downpatrick's iconic indie-rock trio Ash who arrived with tour bus and a monstrous amount of gear, which even made our consumate host slightly nervous! I was a massive, massive fan of Ash as a teenager and 1977 was the first album I ever bought on CD. To see them live in such an intimate setting was incredibly exciting, I was on secondary camera duties on the night, which pretty much meant making sure the recording light was still on. 

Arriving early, I had a surreal and awkward moment, expecting to see both Ray and Dave in the barbershop, I casually strolled in the door, only for neither of them to be seen anywhere, three heads looked up from their phones and there was Tim Wheeler, Rick McMurray and Mark Hamilton, Tim said 'How's it goin'?', I replied; 'Grand yeah thanks!', and walked straight back out onto the street to get a coffee, cool as a cucumber?

On my return about 20 minutes later familiar faces were there and we got ready for what was to be a very, very special night, they played a great set with all the hits and a superb time was had by all! Another major highlight of 2016.


ROCSTRONG @ The Grand Social, SOWYG EP Launch


David Keenan @ The Grand Social

Myself and Ray arrived at The Grand Social to interview 90's star, Finley Quaye, whose debut album, Maverick A Strike, sold over 1 million copies, but the star of the night for me was Dundalk singer-songwriter David Keenan, a young gentleman bursting at the seams with talent. David blew me away, and I was forewarned pre-show that this would happen, and it did, he was immense. For me he's up there with Ireland's best song-writers of the last 50 years, so remember that name, that's not a statement I take lightly whatsoever.

"David has it all, voice, guitar playing, lyrics, hes a master of all three, growing like a wildflower, sublime" - Damien Dempsey

David Keenan Remy Connolly

Photo: Ray Kennerney

The Sound Feed get ready to move into JaJa Studios, 10th September

The Sound Feed JaJa Studios

After a long stretch of being homeless and having to do our interviews off-site, The Sound Feed are finally ready to recommence interviews and performances at our new studio in Stoneybatter, at JaJa Studios. My endlessly patient better half Anna comes out to help me and Ray put the finishing touches to the place as we do a bit of painting and general DIY. It would be remiss of me to not acknowledge Anna's support in everything I've done on the blog, including multiple nights at gigs, show and tell sessions, and calling on her encyclopedic knowledge of music from the 60's to the modern day when required! Thank you dear!

Canalaphonic, 2016

Next up we had our second live show of 2016 as The Sound Feed as part of the Canalaphonic Festival in Portobello and Rathmines at The Barge Pub, but before that, we had one of the acts from our roster in for the very first interview and performance in our new studio, Dublin funk-pop maestro TADGH. It was a dream start, and not only did TADGH get us going with a bang, he also completely stole the show on our stage at Canalaphonic, a must see live act.

TADGH The Sound Feed

Photo: Ray Kennerney

Sydney's All Our Exes Live In Texas come to the Thirty Four Café, Dublin 8

My good mate Mick Radojkovic, radio DJ, musician and music blogger from Sydney, sent me a Facebook invite to a gig down the road from me all the way from the Southern Hemisphere. Knowing Mick's great taste in music, and yes, it was a 20 minute walk from my home, but that was irrelevant! I went down to the 34 to check out indie-folk band All Our Exes Live In Texas, who are hugely popular in their home country, in a wee café in Dublin 8. Nights like this are what makes live music magical and special, and when the four-piece played a cover of Tame Impala's 'Eventually', I was in extra heaven.

Gigonometry @ The Workman's Club - Rosa Nutty & Drown


Ríona Sally Hartman @ Arthur's Pub, Thomas Street

This was a long overdue trip to one of my local music venues, and a first time visit at that, Arthur's has been slowly building it's reputation as one of the south inner cities go to places for quality live music, and I will be visiting more in 2017. Here I caught the multi-faceted and genre-spanning Ríona Sally-Hartman, in jazz chanteuse mode!

Hard Working Class Heroes @ Dublin city centre environs

HWCH was special, run like clockwork and with an overall roster that was pretty mind-blowing, I really, really enjoyed all three nights I attended, criss-crossing over Liffey bridges and checking timetables frantically in order to maximise the good times, I was overall happy with my endeavours by festival end. 

Petty Youth

 Handsome Eric

  Video Blue


Ella Naseeb 



Bitch Falcon

Pranks & Chinese Newspaper @ Whelan's

Info: Well holy moly, thrash can, beat the band, hit it hard rock music, both support act Chinese Newspaper and Pranks produced a rock lovers dream come true. After scooting my way up from the very end of HWCH's on the Saturday night, pretty exhausted after three nights on the bounce, I really wanted to see Dublin duo Pranks. I was pretty much dead on my feet to be honest, and fit for bed, but both support and main act reinvigorated me instantly, they were both superb, and I'm dying to see them both again in 2017.

Chinese Newspaper

Chinese Newspaper

Chinese Newspaper





Gigonometry @ The Workman's Club - Maria Kelly, Flecks, Dreaming of Jupiter & Buffalo Sunn

That Flecks cover of Talking Heads' 'This Must Be The Place' though....

Flecks - This Must Be The Place

Kevin Nolan @ The Sound Feed

Myself and Kevin have developed quite the bond through music over the past few years, we had done a variety of very different interviews by email on the blog, and I had long wanted to interview Kevin in person, but this was held up for quite sometime in between moving studios. At long last in mid-October we got to have that chat in person and as always, his views and ideas fascinated me, his performance for us was also one of the highlights in the studio of 2016 personally. The below photo was taken by Ray and I think he captured the moment perfectly well!

Kevin Nolan Musician The Sound Feed


Orchid Collective @ The Sound Feed

And another memorable moment in The Sound Feed studio! Dublin and Derry four-piece Orchid Collective dropped into us, having just released their stunning debut EP, Courage, one of the best independent Irish releases of 2016. I had a great chat with the lads and a lot of fun, they also provided one of the exceptional studio performances of the year as well (below).

Ash @ The Olympia

One of my best mates from when I was a wee lad Kevin Healy texted me to ask did I want to head along and see Ash at The Olympia in November back in September and I was like, hell yeah! Kev and I had been massive fans of 1977 when we were in secondary school, got quite the slagging over it too from all the moody Manics and Smiths fans, but we didn't give a fiddlers. Having seen them in Abner's only a few months previously, the prospect of the full 1977 shebang at The Olympia was an exciting one, and on top of the album, they played all of the hits on the encore, 'A Life Less Ordinary', 'Burn Baby Burn', 'Jack Names The Planets', 'Uncle Pat', and of course a cover of John Williams' Star Wars classic, 'The Cantina Band', the lot, fanboy heaven. Strangely, this was the only big venue live show I went to in 2016.

Scoops @ The Grand Social

After major league bantz in the studio, a few nights later I went to see Scoops at The Grand Social, and it was a helluva night. One of the finest purveyors of live music right now, they did not disappoint in the slightest. Goal for 2017, interview Scoops in a pub and call it 'Scoops with Scoops', I'll get my coat.

This Side Up @ The Grand Social

Irish hip-hop music is on the rise, rise, rise, and an integral act in this movement are Sligo trio This Side Up, as well as their support on the night, 5th Element, who will be up to exciting stuff in early 2017, watch this space. I was very grateful to attend TSU's preview album launch at the Tivoli Backstge on Francis Street in Dublin 8 a few months earlier, and the big party at The Grand Social was just as special, it was time to #getrowdy.

Photo: Gavin FitzGerald


Montauk Hotel, Hvmminbyrd & Noel O'Brien @ The Tivoli Backstage

October and November felt like the most hectic months of the year for me, so many highlights to bring the curtain down on 2016, but there were still two great nights of live music left in my tank. The first of those two nights saw me take in 5 bands in one night, the three above at the Tivoli Backstage, followed by the Midnight Hour in Whelan's, if you can learn how to move fast between two venues, you're going to squeeze a lot of good music in! 

....and then to Whelan's for Junk Drawer and Galants. I had a great time hanging out with my good friend Dave Conway who runs the monthly Gigonometry sessions in The Workman's Club whilst enjoying some of the finest music Belfast and Dublin has to offer!

Heroes in Hiding, Third Smoke & Flecks @ Opium

My second time seeing Heroes in Hiding and Third Smoke on the same stage, in the venue, in a short enough space of time. HIH have been a mainstay feature on the blog over the years, and a mutually supportive act in terms of what I'm at, all in all, like the Chinese, a great bunch of lads. Third Smoke are also rapidly becoming my 'most seen live act' by default, fate and or / chance, and every single time they blow me away, a wickedly good live proposition. 

On a personal note, I'd like to give a huge thank you to all of the bands that made 2016 such a special year. No matter what happens in their pursuit of honourably endeavouring to make a career out of their craft, they can rest assured that they have participated in the golden era of Irish music. Without sounding mushy, their music and live performances will now stand the test of time, a permanent imprint has been made. You can't buy immortality, but like it or loathe it, the digital age provides that. Someone will archive and unleash their special moments in the future, and even if they don't get to make a career out of their passion, their spirit will be recorded permanently. In the here and the now, I salute them and I'm very excited about 2017, thank you all.

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