Post Spiritualized (early May) live outings.
- Button Factory, Dublin: Gig of the year for me so far. Punk/Garage/Prog/Jazz/ through a Psych prism. Totally under their spell for 90-odd minutes. High energy maximum rock n roll. Not one moment of boredom or mind wandering. John Dwyer now sporting an impressive moustache (made him look like Nick Offerman) and a fine line in banter.
- Whelans, Dublin: Nice slice of psych-pop but nothing to get excited about. An extremely old looking crowd at it. Made me realise i'm actually in pretty good nick!
- Grand Social, Dublin: Anarcho-punk legends doing what they do; hard and fast punk. Band were tight but Colin Jerwood struggled to keep up with the lyrics at times, which is understandable all these years later i guess. Would've liked it louder though.
- Spirit Store, Dundalk: Hometown gig in an intimate venue for one of my fave Irish bands. Moody, noisey and loud. I could feel the bass coming up through my feet
Surprising amount of dancing at it as they're mostly quite slow paced.
- The Helix, Dublin: Odd venue for them as it's a bit out of town and part of DCU. Maybe there were no other venues available on that date? Good performance to a large turnout but suffered soundwise. I don't think the venue is really geared towards rock n roll.
- Soundhouse, Dublin: Poorly attended (i reckon about 25-30) but i'll put that down to PIL and the Descendants also having gigs on in town that night. I'm certain there would have been many more otherwise. Musically, they still gave it their all but there was a lot less of the garage / noise type material that they played last time i saw them and more of an electronic feel. I'm not even sure 'electronic' is the correct word at all. It was different to what i was expecting anyway.
- Fairview Park, Dublin: A Screamadelica gig in a tent. Had seen them do two of these already in Belfast and Dublin a decade or so ago and was underwhelmed with the former while the latter was better (but still nothing amazing). And now? I hate to say it but i think the lads should call it a day. They are so far removed from the lean-mean-rock-n-roll-machine they once were that it's getting a little embarassing. Even when the refreshments kicked in halfway through i still knew it wasn't great and it was just my enhanced mood that made it all sound better. It still had it's moments but they can no longer conjure the energy and excitement of yore. And i'm blue in the face from saying it but they desperately need a second guitarist. The backing tape with all the brass parts wasn't loud enough and nor were the 5 or 6 gospel singers they had with them.
In saying that Higher Than The Sun was on point and the intro of Loaded was pretty special, as they opened up the greatest hits set with it by sending out a lone piper onto the empty stage playing the Loaded riff
Also, plus points for the Andrew Weatherall tribute for Shine Like Stars (a song they hadn't played at the previous two gigs mentioned above), where they had a series of photos of him on the video screen and a dedication from Bobby.
Oh yeah, it was Bobby's birthday too! Naturally there was a rendition from the audience.
Overall though, myself and my mates found it to be a weak affair.