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Archive for December, 2010

I just found out that I have been nominated in the category of Best Music Photography in the new Digital Socket Awards. These awards have been set up by a bunch of Irish music bloggers and the idea is that the public provide the nominations for the various categories and then a panel of bloggers act as judges (bludges?) to decide the winners.  Shortlists will be decided on in January sometime and there’s an awards ceremony in February where the winners will be announced. I think it’s a pretty good idea and I hope it will help to highlight all the interesting stuff that is going on in the music scene in Ireland that might otherwise get overlooked. I’m chuffed to get nominated. (more…)

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Commenting on this post recently, my buddy Dubh David Black said “You sir, have the eye!”. It’s always nice to get compliments like this but it got me thinking about what this actually means. The more I thought about it, the more I realised that it said something interesting about this series of photographs, though maybe not in the way Dubh intended. (more…)

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Therapy? playing in Vicar Street

This is Therapy? playing in Vicar Street recently. It’s a four minute exposure and about the only one from the night that wasn’t blasted into oblivion by the hyperactive stage lighting. This gig was enormously good fun – mosh pits, crowd surfing, sing-alongs, rabble-rousing rhetoric – the works. Therapy? are hardened road warriors at this stage and they don’t miss a trick in the rock star book. “This is like being at Judas Priest or something” – I was thinking during one of the many, many encores. No sooner had I thought it than the lads broke into a storming version of Breaking The Law. All in all, a quality night out.

I’m really happy with the way this picture captures the movement of the crowd as it’s something I have been trying to do for a while. For it to happen, I need a band whose crowd are not going to just stand their nodding their heads, and I need them to be playing somewhere that allows me to get the audience into the shot as well as the stage. I got both of those things at this gig so big thanks to Bren Berry at Vicar Street for organising access for me.

 

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This is the fantastic Dinah Brand playing in Whelans a few weeks ago. Dinah Brand is a vehicle for the song-writing talents of Dylan Philips and I have to admit a bias here, as Dylan is a good friend of mine. I think we are all inclined to appreciate the things that our friends do, and sometimes it can cloud the judgment a bit, but I don’t think that’s the case here, as there really is something unique and original about these songs. They tell compelling and unusual stories, and do this with the kind of carefully crafted words you might expect from a band that takes its name from a character in a Dashiell Hammett novel. They are full of ambiguity and loose ends, and shift in meaning as you listen to them. They also manage to be quite moving, without resorting in any way to the kind of ridiculous emotional grandstanding that is the common currency of many a critically-lauded Irish songwriter. And it’s all wrapped up in great melodies, brilliant arrangements and superb musicianship. (more…)

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