It’s festival bank holiday weekend and that means there are 3 major music festivals happening in Dublin, Cork and the Midlands (four if you count the smaller Arcadian Field in Bellurgan). Here are 10 recommendations for acts and performances I would see if I was at all of Beatyard, Castlepalooza & Indiependence.

1.

Air

The Beatyard, Sunday

The soundtrack to the end of the chillout phenomenon when Moon Safari, the band’s debut of French electronic pop was released in 1998, this French duo went on to create a body of work that incorporated ’80s synth experimentalism and a very particular retro French style of studious songwriting. They’ve not played here in a long time (last reference I can find is from 2001) so this will be a rare sight. To a lesser extend, see Morcheeba who play before them.


2.

Shit Robot

Sunday @ Castlepalooza


Marcus Lambkin is known as the Irishman who disco infiltrated DFA Records and there’s a good reason for that. The man has talent in creating propulsive electronic music that crosses the boundaries between disco, house and techno and still has a pop edge.


3.

Le Boom

Saturday @ Castlepalooza, Sunday @ Indiependence

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Christy Leech & Aimie Mallon are a party band who make music that moves between house, pop and electro and they’ve been building a great live reputation in the past year. They are one of the hottest tickets on Irish festivals so it’s no surprise with only one single out, they’re playing at the late end of the festival bills this weekend.


4.

Wild Beasts

Friday @ Castlepalooza, Sunday @ Indiependence

One of the best live bands to come out of the UK in the last 10 years. Their albums may vary but they are a singular proposition, creating intricate imaginative indie-rock. Live, their drummer is one to watch as he’s a subtle master.


5.

Larry Heard

Saturday @ Beatyard

Larry Heard aka Mr Fingers is an electronic music pioneer and this is his first ever live show in Ireland so that counts for something. Most recently, he was sample by Kanye West on ‘Fade’.


6.

BARQ

Saturday @ Beatyard, Sunday @ Indiependence

BARQ are seasoned musicians having played with Hozier, Kodaline, Monster Monster, Damien Dempsey, Loah, Lethal Dialect, Ryan Sheridan and Zaska in the past and are establishing their own rap-tinged soulful R&B jazz sound under a genre they’ve coined as “agrosoul.”

7.

Romare (Live)

Saturday @ Beatyard

A full live band set from a producer who has mined American folk music for sampling purposes but has worked them in a more textured way than Moby. His two recent Love Songs albums were excellent releases and the prospect of a full live band has the potential for a Bonobo-style live show.


8.

Sing Along Social

Saturday @ Beatyard

Full disclosure. The ringmaster of Sing Along Social is my wife Aoife but I’m not the only one who agrees that Aoife has hit upon a great concept that as you can see below works very well at a festival. Sing Along Social like karaoke en masse but there are no stars showing off, it’s a guilt-free choir where everyone sings together, it’s a singing party where you could be singing Mariah’s ‘All I Want For Christmas’ in June, TLC, ABBA, Enya, Beach Boys or Journey. At Beatyard, the theme is Seaside vs. the City. And watch out for the craic attack of Bingo Loco before hand.


9.

Cinema

Sunday @ Castlepalooza

Cinems

A rising talent from my hometown of Newbridge, CO. Kildare, Peter Fleming’s electronic project left a mark with a full album of instrumental cosmic electronica but he’s since been embracing a sound draws from more upbeat tempos, retro electronic pop styles and vocals.


10.

LYRA

Saturday @ Indiependence

This young Cork lass based in the UK makes pop music in the vein of Florence and keeps her accent intact. Combining Scandinavian pop dynamic productions with her Emerald hear made for some suave pop. I put her on the TV show Striking Out earlier this year in my other job as music supervisor and that got her a lot of traction if I do so so myself. Live, she’s a charmer too.

Posted on August 3rd, 2017

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If you’re flying Aer Lingus in July look out for my profiles piece in the Cara in-flight magazine on six new Irish music acts doing the business and likely to continue doing so on planes all month.

Featured are profiles of Loah, Rusangano Family, David Keenan, Áine Cahill, Le Boom and Saint Sister.

The photos are by Tristan Hutchinson. Special thanks to Lucy White in Cara.

Read it on Issuu from page 46.



Posted on July 4th, 2017

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Latitude Festival has grown to become one of the biggest in the UK with 15 stages and 750 acts on the schedule for the festival from 13th – 16th July in Henham Park, Suffolk.

The final acts were just added to the list including the BBC Music Introducing Stage and notable acts include Pumarosa, Skott and Beth Orton.

The Solas stage will host some familar Irish names to visitors of this site including Talos, TooFools, Rosie Carney, Ships, Le Boom, Ailbhe Reddy, Seamus Fogarty, David Keenan and Brian Deady.

Also playing that area are Dutch indie-pop Klangstof, the intense 4AD performer Aldous Harding, Swedish rising duo Geowulf, Danish band Lowly and singer-osngwriter John Smith.

Posted on June 19th, 2017

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This Thursday May 11th at the Music Cork conference and showcase, I’m hosting a showcase of emerging and personally-recommended Irish artists at Cyprus Avenue.

We have rising upcoming Dublin singer-songwriter Ailbhe Reddy (8.15pm), Cork pop artist Lyra (10.15pm), electro-pop partystarters Le Boom (11.15pm).

Just announced: Cork singer-songwriter Jack O’Rourke (9.15pm) and a Kormac AV set (12.30am).

The showcase gigs are free but limited so if you want a wristband for Cypress Avenue for guaranteed entry, drop me a line.

Other showcases:

Wednesday May 10th @ Cork Opera House – The Coronas, Callum Stewart, Talos, Columbia Mills
Thursday May 11th @ Triskel – Jafaris, Cry Harridan, Super Silly, Little Hours
Thursday May 11th @ Crane Lane – Rob Burch, Alex & Echoes, Barq, Fangclub
Thursday May 11th @ Old Oak – Bad Bones, Ryan McMullan, Heroes In Hiding, Gypsies On the Autobahn, Audible Joes.

Music Cork is a new conference and showcase event taking place in Cork city from this Wednesday 10th to Friday 12th May. Here’s an interview with Shane Dunne about it.

Featuring talks from industry professionals at The Clayton Hotel throughout the daytime, announced speakers include: Darcus Beese, President of Island Records, booking agents Geoff Meall (UTA / Muse), Steve Zapp (ITB / Biffy Clyro) and Josh Javor (X-Ray / Coldplay), publishing like Martin Toher (B-Unique) and Tommas Arnby (Locomotion).

Tickets are available from €110 for the conference.

See schedule and other showcases.

Posted on May 9th, 2017

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I’m a big fan of 12″ extended remixes – the kind that were prevalent in the eighties and that most of the great pop songs of the era have. Think of extended versions made for the dancefloor of Madonna’s ‘Into The Groove’, Inner City’s ‘Good Life’ or Womack & Womack ‘Teardrops’.

Kildare duo Mix & Fairbanks know the value of a good club edit (and a great debut single) and so too, it seems, do Le Boom. The electro-pop pairing of Christy Leech and Aimee Mallon turned heads with their brilliant debut single ‘What We Do’ and now with summer 2017 approaching M&F have given that tune the extended 10-minute remix treatment before more new material arrives later this year. Catch Le Boom at the Nialler9 Music Cork show on Thursday (comment below for a guaranteed entry wristband) and on May 25th at Bello Bar in Dublin for Nialler9 and Hoembeat’s Future Proof with Ailbhe Reddy and Soulé.

Mix & Fairbanks meanwhile play Vinyl Love for Repeal this Sunday as well as BARE in the Woods and Life Festival.

There’s also a radio edit of the remix too:

Catch Le Boom live festivals this summer including: Forbidden Fruit Festival, Body & Soul, Sea Sessions, Townlands Carnival, Truck Festival (UK), Sunflower Fest, Castlepalooza and Indiependence

Digital release: Wednesday 17th May.

Posted on May 9th, 2017

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HomeBeat & Nialler9 in association with O’Hara’s Irish Craft Beers proudly continue Future Proof – a series of events showcasing essential emerging and established acts who are weaving themselves into the present and future fabric of the Irish music scene.

Future Proof #3 returns to the warm surroundings of Bello bar, and features three of the most vibrant acts performing on these shores at this moment.

Buy early bird tickets

Thursday May 27th @ Bello Bar with:

Ailbhe Reddy

Indie folk songstress who is seriously on the rise. Check out her new EP.

LE BOOM

Catchy and energetic electro pop duo who know how to rock a party.

SOULÉ

Fast emerging nu-soul talent with three great pop singles under her belt.

Tickets : €8 (early) €10 (reg) €13 (late)
Doors 8pm

Facebook event

Complimentary tasty O’Hara’s for the first in!

Poster: Ruan Van Vliet.

Posted on May 4th, 2017

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Castlepalooza already announced the first bands and comedy acts for this year’s festival in Charleville Castle, Tullamore from August 4th to 6th this year and here are the latest acts added.

  • Thumper
  • Le Boom
  • Frankenstein Bolts
  • Wolff
  • Aik J
  • HVMMINGBYRD
  • Oh Boland
  • Apella
  • Farah Elle
  • Participant
  • Rosa Nutty
  • Cinema
  • Beach
  • Damola
  • Phare
  • Nimino
  • Spud Gun
  • Video Blue
  • Show Fur
  • Tu-Ki
  • Lumigraph
  • Barry Redsetta
  • Apres Ski
  • Boca 45
  • Pete Isaac
  • Baz Hickey
  • Let’s Sail
  • Phare
  • Robocobra Quartet
  • Beauty Sleep

Tier 2 camping tickets are currently now €119 (€109 without) and price goes up on Monday 17th April.

First announcement.

Posted on March 28th, 2017

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Kildare producer Peter Fleming aka Cinema released an under the radar electronic album A Night Train To Budapest last year that was bright, Balearic and luminescent.

The album was instrumental with some vocal samples. Since then, he’s delivered some killer live shows that have featured a reworked version of Stardust’s ‘Music Sounds Better With You’.

‘Floating’ is his first new song since all that activity and it’s a natural departure from the LP. Featuring vocals from Le Boom’s Christy Leech and production by Ruairi Bantum, ‘Floating’ has a focused electronic sound that sounds more contemporary but hasn’t lost that spacious disco chug that makes the music under the Cinema moniker swing.

Get the song on iTunesSpotify and Amazon

Catch Cinema at an upcoming Nialler9 gig to be announced. Join the newsletter for more.

Posted on March 27th, 2017

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Nialler9 & PRS for Music are team up to cohost four of Ireland’s brightest new bands at the evening showcase at Output Belfast Conference & Showcase with Generator NI on February 16th in Belfast’s The Dirty Onion. The show is free in and a part of the evening showcases of gigs featuring lots of new bands around the city.

Our night at The Dirty Onion features:

LE BOOM

Rising electro party-starters. 8.45pm


New Portals

Belfast Electronic pop duo. 9.45pm

Photo: Leah Carroll


Beauty Sleep

Dreamy indie pop trio. 10:45pm

Photo: Olga Kuzmenko


Jealous of the Birds

Indie-rock and folk-pop music from Naomi Hamilton and band. 11.45pm


Facebook event

Bands lined up to play the free showcase around the Cathedral Quarter in Belfast also include Silences, Chanele McGuinness, Hot Cops, Brash Isaac, Callum Stewart, Ryan Vail, Gross Net, Junk Drawer, Malojian, Robyn G Shiels, Autumns, The Wood Burning Savages, David C Clements, Carriages, Robocobra Quartet, Sullivan & GOld, Making Monsters, Touts, Larks, Susie Blue and more.

Hosts include Nialler9, Smalltown America Studios, The Thin Air, Chordblossom, The Greedy Pig, Homebeat, State, Voodoo, Help Musicians, Quiet Arch, PRS, IMRO, Sentric, The Nerve Centre, The Oh Yeah Centre, Primitive Sound and many more.

More info on the daytime and schedules.

Posted on February 6th, 2017

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Now we’ve kicked 2016 to the curb, it’s time to look forward.

January is all about freshness, so here are 20 acts from around the globe who I reckon you’ll be hearing much more of this year. Some will be familiar to you but I expect to make an even bigger splash and some, I bet are likely to be appreciated by a lot more people by the year’s end. That was the criteria. I avoided any of the obvious ones you’ve seen elsewhere especially the BBC Sound of 2017 poll.

There are also extended playlists featuring the pick of those acts and more (JFDR, Jorja Smith, Declan McKenna, Louis Berry, ABRA, Jamilia Woods, Maggie Rogers, Pumarosa among them) on Soundcloud and Spotify.

Last year’s list.


1.

Hare Squead

Dublin R&B pop trio to hit it big this year.

A regular feature on Nialler9, Hare Squead spent the year building their fanbase in the UK by supporting Dua Lipa and dropping a series of singles and an EP on Columbia Records that suggested that Tony Konstone, E-Knock and singer Jessy Rose’s blend of soul, R&B, rap and pop could cross the Atlantic this year if all goes well.


2.

Skott

Scandinavian bright light of pop.


Four songs deep and Scandinavian artist Skott (who apparently “grew up in a remote small town forest commune run by ‘outcast’ folk musicians”) has already received some worthy plaudits – Annie Mac’s Hottest Record In The World, approval from Lorde, plays on Zane Lowe’s Beats show and topping the Hype Machine’s most blogged chart (and featured in their end of year list)

Her songs so far are bright pop nuggets from the sweet melody of ‘Porcelain’ to orchestral finger-clicking ballad ‘Wolf’ and the whistle-assisted electronic pop of ‘Lack Of Emotion’.

https://soundcloud.com/skottpeace/sets/skott


3.

Jens Kuross

Brittle piano balladry with emotive results.

Idaho-born musician Jens Kuross studied Jazz at Berklee college in Boston but last year begun releasing music under his own name on the London-based Aesop label. Now based in LA, Kuross’ six tracks last year were songs of emotion, depth, minimalism and confident songwriting, taking on a singing style that gets more affecting as it opens up, with touches of Radiohead and minimalist songwriters.


4.

Ardyn

UK siblings reaching out with new pop tones.

Cotswold brother and sister Rob and Katy Pearson AKA Ardyn appeared with the smart indie pop song ‘Over The River’, a song close to London Grammar in mood. An EP followed, The Valley, which featured production by James Ford (Simian Mobile Disco, Arctic Monkeys). More of the EP’s arched celestial pop overtones would be welcome in 2017. If you’re in London next week, they play The Line Of Best Fit’s Five Day Forecast.


5.

Ailbhe Reddy

Dublin singer-songwriter has reached far in a short time.


For a new artist, having your second EP racking up over 1 million streams in your first year is quite an achievement. But Ailbhe Reddy has found fans wherever she has gone – whether its at festivals like Electric Picnic, Other Voices and Body & Soul among them. As she has grown in consciousness, so too has her craft and her live set finds her flanked by a full-band adding depth to already substantial songs. You may have heard her song ‘Seasonal’ in the RTÉ show Striking Out – courtesy of myself and Avant Music Port too.

2017 sees Ailbhe step it up into the wider world, starting with a new single ‘Relent’ and two gigs – The Servant Jazz Quarters in London on 15th February and The Sugar Club in Dublin on 22nd February.

Hear her new song below which Ailbhe says:

‘Relent’ is about looking back on a soured relationship & realising how it could have been, seeing the lessons and my own shortcomings as part of the story. It’s about the guilt that forms part of the natural retrospection on a once loving relationship. Too often these songs can be purely accusatory, whereas I’ve tried to explore the reality that there are two sides to every story and each party has their own narrative as they see it. The inspiration was these feelings and the song was written as an attempt to express this and move forward from it. To sweeten what has soured and move on without guilt”


6.

Her

French R&B duo.

Two French men make up the duo Her, making sensually suggestive R&B pop songs with electronic undertones – reminscent of Rhye with more body (ahem). They’ve had a few memorable songs already in the form of ‘Quite Like’, ‘Five Minutes’ and their most recent single ‘Queens’ featuring Zefire. They’re now signed to Island Records and kick off their year at Eurosonic next week. A debut album is forthcoming.


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Posted on January 5th, 2017

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I’ve spent 11 years writing about and documenting Irish music, with an emphasis on Dublin, my hometown and capital city.

The music scene has changed a lot in those times, not only from the industry side: with the revenue in flux, streaming music changing the landscape and a greater emphasis on the experience that can’t be downloaded – the live music and club scene.

An increase in bands and artists buoyed by the possibilities that digital access affords has lead to a varied music scene no longer anchored by a monotone stream of singer-songwriters. Dublin’s music scene and the acts playing it represents an embrace of sound, a widening of the net, an exploration of the possibilities.

Nialler9 in association with Absolut came together to talk to the people who work in music and the people who promote, play and make it, about how they feel the music made here. There’s a sense of energy brewing once more. Dublin’s small size makes it a perfect place to play. You get to know other musicians and promoters. Artists cross-pollinate and collaborate. No one genre exists in their own bubble as in a city this size, especially at a festival like Metropolis; the possibility two bubbles can intersect and form a more interesting place, is never far away. A sense of collaboration and size means the prism of Dublin’s music can be discovered with ease.

In this video by Allen Kiely, we talked to the likes of Loah, Bitch Falcon, Le Boom, Homebeat, Ruth Medjber, DJ Deece, Hidden Agenda, DJ Sally Cinnamon, Kelly-Anne Byrne and Bantum.

We got a sense of how a city collaborates, influences, intersects, builds community, energises, grows, makes spaces and places for magic to happen.

The leading city lights mentioned by the assembled include Cinema, Yamamori Tengu, Metropolis, Saint Sister, Girl Band, Wastefellow, Damola and Akora.

Music is by Le Boom – ‘What We Do’

Posted on December 12th, 2016

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Loose Joints is new podcast hosted by Nialler9 and Sally Cinnamon talking to people about the music they love: old and new.

In our second episode (see episode one), we are joined by booze enthusiast Oisin Davis of Great Irish Beverages (incorporating Irish Cocktail Fest, Irish Whiskey Fest and Irish Gin & Tonic Fest) and the creator of Poacher’s Tonic.

We talk about Oisin’s New Jersey upbringing, grown men crying over beautiful songs stuck in traffic, what it’s like to support Grandmaster Flash, the beauty of a basso profundo voice – the lowest you can get, a Hard Working Class Heroes highlight, the tune Oisin would like his kids to associate with him and a couple of Belfast bangers.

Subscribe in iTunes.

Also available in Stitcher, Pocket Casts and TuneIn.

Download: Loose Joints Podcast #2: Oisin Davis (103MB, 1hr 46mins)

Tracklisting

  1. Yves Tumor – Role in Creation (Sally)
  2. James Vincent McMorrow – Rising Water (Oisin)
  3. Solange – Junie (Niall)
  4. What tune or band takes you back to your youth the most?
    Grandmaster Flash – The Message (Oisin)
  5. A tune that inspires you most?
    St Petersburg Male Choir – A prayer For The Dead (Oisin)
  6. Paul Robeson – Danny Boy (Oisin)
  7. Pional feat Empress Of – The Way That You Like (Sally)
  8. Favourite Irish song:
    Breda Mayock – If Your Heart Belonged To Me by (Oisin)
  9. Favourite Irish album:
    Headgear – Singing In The Drain, Headgear (Oisin)
  10. Le Boom – What They Do (Niall)
  11. Tune you’d like your kids to associate with you:
    The Ink Spots and Ella Fitzgerald – Making Believe (Oisin)
  12. 808 State – In Your Face (Bicep remix) (Niall)
  13. LOR – Moon (Sally)
  14. Bat for Lashes – Joe’s Dream (Oisin)

Special thanks to Sean Corcoran for facilitating recording.

Posted on October 12th, 2016

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