Sunday 31 December 2017

Remy's Live Music Diary 2017, Part 2

THUMPER @ The Sound House, July 2017

(All photos Remy Connolly unless otherwise specified)

Welcome to Part 2 of my year in review, in case you missed it, Part 1 is here

July, August and September were relatively quiet months in the grand scheme of things, which was probably just as well because October and November were (delightful) mayhem! First stop was also my first time in The Sound House above The Wiley Fox for the Little L Records artist showcase. LLR, run by Callum Browne, has been at the coal-face of alternative Irish music for the past 3 years and boasts a very fine roster of both local and international acts (check em out here On the night we had THUMPER, Joey Gavin, Auxiliary Phoenix and Aural Air on the roster, and it was a superb night of genre-bending music. 

One of my favourite things to do each year, and which I don't manage to make it to often enough, are the monthly Gigonometry shows run by the illustrious Dave Conway at The Workman's Club. If I had a penny for every time I bumped into Dave at a gig or festival I'd be half-way toward being able to buy the man a Capri-Sun. Like myself, he is a bit of a gig addict, and puts some serious groundwork into sourcing local talent for his gigs, thus ensuring the highest quality of performers on his roster. I've been introduced to so many bands by attending Gigonometry over the years and I'm always blown away. For the July Gigo there were some familiar faces in the form of Montauk Hotel, Galway's The Clockworks, and a new one on me, Silent Interlude.

Gigonometry's Dave Conway chats to Claudia Verdecchia of Montauk Hotel pre-gig

A great new discovery for me this year was Dublin-based Galway alternative pop act Emma O'Reilly who released her debut EP Fractures during the summer. For the launch night I found myself in The Grand Social and on the night another wonderful discovery occurred in the shape of alt-folk trio Shiftwork who were in support. The show was as lively as O'Reilly's music and personality and a real live highlight of the year for me, and again I'd capture one of my favourite photos of the last 12 months directly below.

As August came around The Sound Feed had our very first live show in collaboration with Sin É which had been in the pipeline since the start of the summer, we would go on to host another 3 live shows at the brilliant venue and all of them were very special moments so I'm going to share all 4 in this piece. It's also a moment to profusely thank the venue promoter Christina Quill for her amazing work in helping us put these gigs together and all of the staff at the venue who were only too willing to help us in any way, shape or form.

The first show was an exciting night of bolshy rock and punk courtesy of Sub Motion and Vulpynes, two acts I'd seen live previously, but that was still no preparation for how they both raised the roof off the place on the night, the venue was buzzing and so was I, a rock gig for rock fans in a rock venue, perfection. Over the following months both acts would deservedly get signed to labels which is such a happy occurrence to see and a reflection of how healthy the scene is right now.

My long-time friend and mischief-making collaborator Gavin FitzGerald launched the documentary he co-directed with Mark Hayes, The Truth About Irish Hip Hop, in The Sugar Club in August. It was a very interesting evening with a lengthy and insightful panel discussion featuring acts such as Mango & MathMan and 5th Element. Casting a light on the burgeoning hip-hop scene in Ireland, where it's come from and where it's going, the short documentary features Rusangano Family, This Side Up, Mango & MathMan, Fifth Element & Doublescreen, Jafaris, Ophelia MC, Nialler 9 and more. As an aside Gavin and I are currently working on something new which we hope to share with you early in the New Year....

Back to Sin É for September, and on a Monday night I ended up seeing what was possibly my live performance of the year courtesy of Nashville country-punk duo Birdcloud. This was also the first time myself and photographer Sarah Ryan would work together as a team (with me firmly as backup I might add!) and we would go on to do numerous gigs as well as Hard Working Class Heroes and Metropolis together which was such great fun albeit an energy-sapping exercise for both of us! But yeah, Birdcloud killed it, the foul-mouthed, drunken and anarchic show was amazing, and so, so much fun to shoot. In addition the best to and fro between audience and artist happened at this show when Jasmin Kaset announced in a beautiful Southern drawl; "Y'all are comin' with us after the show to a house party!", to which one dejected punter responded with a tremble; "But we have work in the morning....". Rock n' roll.

Sin É - Dublin 

Staying in Sin É for September we had our next Sound Feed show courtesy of Just Mustard and Junior Brother from Kerry, who has made Dublin his new home this year. You could have heard a pin drop during Junior Brother's set, I had seen Ronan Kealy perform a couple of times but was never as enthralled by his skilled guitar-playing as I was on this night, he was phenomenal and put on one hell of a show. As did Just Mustard, a well-honed unit at this stage, they gave us all of the distorted mania we could wish for and a hair-raising rendition of their latest single at that time 'Tainted'.

Wrapping up September with Hard Working Class Heroes was a lot of fun, and also an opportunity to catch some of the acts whose music I had only discovered this year through reviews, including Proper Micro NV, 1,000 Beasts and Ivan Nicolas. Also plenty of lovely familiar faces such as Maria Kelly, Rosa Nutty, Orchid Collective and Fontaines. I think one of the absolute show-stoppers for me though was the amazing Sleep Thieves in The Grand Social on the second night. It was also nice to be able to check out new venues The Underground, The Tara Buildings and Tramline, the latter of which was very impressive in terms of setup.

1000 Beasts

The Fontaines

Paddy Hanna

Proper Micro NV

Super Silly

Ivan Nicolas

Maria Kelly

Rosa Nutty


Sleep Thieves

Wait, wut? A quick pit-stop and beer with one half of Brass Phantoms

Orchid Collective

The first gig post-HWCH (I think?!) was back in The Bello Bar for MYTH's headliner with support from Girlfriend. It was a doozy of a show, Girlfriend, who, much to my chagrin, I had not seen live before, absolutely slayed it, shivers. The good folk of MYTH were also on fire with a gloriously experimental and expansive set, medleys and instrumentals that took you back to the days of psych-rock, compounded by a killer cover of the mighty Jefferson Airplane's 'White Rabbit' (below video).


Girl Band

Belfast and currently London-based blues-rock crooner Pat Dam Smyth came to Dublin as part of his tour to promote new EP Goodbye Berlin, part of the tour saw him supporting Alison Moyet in The Olympia and Little Hours in The Sugar Club. We were in contact over the previous months and as the date of his headline show in Whelan's grew closer Pat found himself in a bit of a conundrum, the band were perilously close to not having an auld drum kit for the gig. I put out the feelers on social meeja and the upright denizens of local band Young Earth stepped up to the mark and delivered, their only request? A crate of Dutch Gold, the favoured tipple of their drummer Ben 'Dutch Gold' Mulligan, a man who appreciates the finer things in life. Frontman Mark O'Keeffe did all of the leg work and ensured Pat's band were provided with the required instrument. 

Regarding the show itself, it was damn (yes!) good, and yet again, as always happens, I discovered a new act I was previously unaware of, Peppy, a Mayo artist (and another BIMM product) now in Dublin, he made a new fan that night, and PDS was on point, rockin' that growly blues with aplomb. 

Pat Dam Smyth

Young Earth's Mark, an over enthusiastic Remy, and the main man Pat Dam

The October Sound Feed gig was next up and we went for an electronic vibe, probably not something that Sin É would be normally accustomed to, but given the quality of Irish acts within the genre right now, the type of night we felt we had to do. One of the most innovative and artistically talented individuals Trick Mist opened, trademark baritone vocal and melding of traditional Irish instrumentation with sparse and atmospheric electronic notes the Dundalk man got the night off to a great start. 

When I look back on all of this music blogging jazz in years to come one band that will forever stand out for me are Donegal / Cork trio Tanjier who are currently based in Dublin. I first caught them live at CrowClub in Temple Bar back in August before they headed off to Electric Picnic, they were phenomenal that night, and they were even better in Sin É. Talk about making electro-pop song-writing seem easy, 'Yu', one of their singles from this year is beyond reproach, as is 'Hymn'. It also helps that they are a severely charming bunch, if you do one thing in 2018, see them live.

Here's a crap photo of Badly Drawn Boy in Whelan's in October.

The October Bank Holiday weekend took me to the RDS for Metropolis, summer festival vibes in an indoor microcosm, the general attire was the same as you'd see at Body & Soul or Forbidden Fruit despite the season! We were in fine company for the weekend with Stephen White from The Last Mixed Tape and (young!) festival veteran Kieran Frost of Getty Images. It was a slightly surreal and at times chaotic experience, with the Red Bull area in particular being a 'beaches of Normandy' challenge.

The big headliners Leftfield were pretty much out of this world, a full-blown performance that was highly entertaining. I was really, really happy to also catch my 'new favourite band' FJAAK from Spandau, Germany, and for the first time, seeing Mount Kimbie, I cannot love their discography enough with latest album Love What Survives easily one of the best releases of the year. Of the Irish acts Lakerama impressed, as well as LE BOOM and Mango & Mathman. Bonzai was supreme yet again and to end the weekend my Nordic electro-pop idol Todd Terje was fabulous, I really need him to release a new album though, 2013 was so long ago! 



Todd Terje

Metropolis Festival 2017

Into November we go and I'm back in Whelan's at the main stage to catch Mongoose and in particular, support act Molly Sterling who had just released one of my favourite singles of the year, the inspiring 'Plain Static'. Sterling is someone I am very excited about and I'm very much looking forward to further releases from her in 2018.


Molly Sterling

It was with very heavy hearts that The Sound Feed finished up at the end of November. After being involved with the platform for over two years, working with great people, meeting so many hugely talented musicians and having a lot of very unique experiences, 2017 was probably our most successful year. The thing I enjoyed most about my time with The Sound Feed was being able to move beyond the digital relationship with musicians and have a more personable face to face interaction. So much magic happened in the studio when the acts performed and I will always have great memories from those two years. The last hurrah was in Sin É and it was yet again an amazing gig thanks to the acts who performed, with SESSION MOTTS and Alien She both killing it on the night, two bands that increase your faith in an already healthy music scene. Running live shows is certainly something I really loved doing and also may step back into when the time is right.


Alien She

Finally! December, still time for some more live music. First up was Sub Motion's headline show in The Workman's Club with support from the mighty WOLFF and the outrageous Scally, this would be my third time seeing Sub Motion live this year and man alive was it my favourite. It's really great to see bone fide rock music thriving in the capital, especially over the last 12 months, and acts seriously kicking out the jams in their live performances, this was a night made for my tastes.

Sub Motion



I was very excited to be going to my first ever OTHERKIN show in The Button Factory a few weeks ago, it was disgraceful that I hadn't seen them live yet. Having seen many many photos of their live shows I knew I was in for a special treat, and they didn't disappoint, my only regret was the difficulty I had getting decent photos as they are a band I really wanted to have some good shots of for myself more than anything else, next time!



And my very last show of 2017 was the perfect swansong, a highly entertaining night of amazing music at CrowClub which is run by Laura McCabe and Co. It was my second trip to CrowClub this year, the previous one was to see Tanjier and Shiftwork, and the line-up was exquisite, 5 acts playing roughly 30 minute sets each including David Keenan, St. Bishop, Neev Kennedy, Tim Chadwick and Farah Elle. I loved every minute of all of their sets and left a very happy camper, it was a little reminder, not that I needed one, of why I love the live Irish music scene so very dearly. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has read the blog during the year, all of the bands who have shared their amazing music with me, if you didn't exist neither would these pages. Thanks also to the staff at all of the venues I've visited, they're keeping this whole show on the road. Finally a very special and heartfelt thank you to Stef and Jenny at WeAreRedhead.

See y'all in 2018!


David Keenan

St. Bishop

Neev Kennedy

Tim Chadwick

Farah Elle