LIVE REVIEW: The Drums & Cloud Control, Green Spheres.

“The Drumsare increasingly looking like a band defined by Jonathan Pierce. The enigmatic frontman has his indie dance down pat, and while he struts and sways at stage front, the rest of his band – live-only drummer Danny Allen aside – are a disappointingly statuesque bunch.”

OPINION: Top Ten Albums Of 2011, 1 – 5.

My views on the very best 2011 has to offer, featuring two Irish acts, a bit of punk, a Swede, some Aussies and absolutely no Brits (am I abandoning my homeland? Who knows…)

Other Voices 10 – A Dingle Diary (

“In Dingle itself, pubs might double up as clothes shops or bike hire outlets, ice cream shops feature weird and wonderful flavours like sea salt and brown bread, and a dolphin lives in the harbour. No wonder it was deemed the perfect spot for a festival so otherworldly.”

LIVE REVIEW: Foster The People (Olympia, Dublin).

“The sound is slick and almost blasé, a blend of modernised happy-go-lucky pop that has an intense likeability factor when delivered with such energetic enthusiasm”

OPINION: Top Ten Albums of 2011, 6-10.

“I tend to be quite dismissive of straight up pop music in general, largely because it just seems so contrived, soulless and throwaway most of the time. You can’t throw any one of those accusations at this”

FEATURE: The Rubberbandits (AU Magazine)

“We love Limerick, but needed a bit of a holiday, so we got an eight-man tent on the roof of RTE. There were all these lads on the roof of RTE, so they just put us on TV for the laugh. We were living off pigeons, and they gave us canteen vouchers.”

LIVE REVIEW: Scroobius Pip, Whelan’s, Dublin (The Fly Magazine)

“Pip’s is a harsh yet strangely optimistic assessment of society, one delivered in barbed prose and broken up by stage antics that seem no less opinionated.”

OPINION: Should Paranoid Visions Be The Voice Of The Recession?

“Get ready for the new dark ages, the credit crunch and the banking crisis, all around is breaking down, capitalism is on the ground. Who’s winning? Well it’s plain to see, not the people like you and me, we’re the victims of the rich man’s greed, the scapegoats of society”

LIVE REVIEW: The Naked And Famous, Olympia Theatre, Dublin (AU Magazine)

“Theirs is a set that’s surprisingly heavy on vibe: crammed with soaring crescendos and bass/drum fuelled rock-out moments, it’s tracks like ‘The Sun’ and ‘A Wolf In Geek’s Clothing’ that send things pummelling forward.”

INTERVIEW: Ash – Ricky McMurray (AU Magazine)

“There’s not really any chance of getting back to where we were without the Britpop thing. What you have to remember, though, is that we had to pay to record ‘Shining Light’ as the record company didn’t think it was a comeback single.”

The Northern Ireland Music Awards (The Fly Magazine)

“we’re regaled with stories of The Clash’s late cancellation here in 1977 – an event struck off due to Strummer & co. missing a flight – that led to a near riot. If being a punk in London in the late 70s was difficult, being a punk in Belfast was a full on ballsy nightmare”

INTERVIEW: General Fiasco (

“Maybe people try to lump us in with American pop-punk and things like that. Fair enough, if that’s what you hear, but it was never our intention to be one of those bands with hoodies on and all that.”

The Northern Ireland Music Awards 2011

“The rumours that Cashier No.9 ‘stormed off stage’ are certainly untrue, they kind of wondered off confused and stood at the side for a moment wondering what to do. I interviewed lead singer Danny on Saturday and he told me they were even thinking of going back on.”

LIVE REVIEW: Another Honest Jon’s Chop Up (AU Magazine)

“Malian actor turned singer Fatoumata Diawara is another stunner, with a serene, soulful and subtly toned down acoustic style that captivates from the off. Offering up the calmest corners of this raucous display, Diawara lets her voice do the talking”

DOCUMENTARY: The Minutes – From Rooftop to Sweatbox

“The entire event featured buzzing helicopters overhead and a weirdly tense atmosphere, the perfect vibe for some good old sweaty rock and roll.”

ALBUM REVIEW: The Drums – Portamento (

“It seems Pierce is still sat on that beach, the same faintly repetitive rhythms and melodies informing his style, but the motivation to turn them into anything but a darkly nostalgic glance at “what could have been”  has long-since been dashed somewhere in the surf.”

INTERVIEW: Ash (AU Magazine)

“We absolutely love Russell, he’s a great guitarist.  He’s a great guy to have on the road. We’d have him back in a heartbeat, and I think he had a lot of fun as well. He knows there’s always a place for him in Ash if he wants it.”

INTERVIEW: Grouplove (AU Magazine)

“Yes, it’s incredibly upbeat, but it also has a bit of a twisted underbelly. It’s difficult to be happy about everything, and we like our songs to have a bit of critical realism”

ALBUM REVIEW: Ben Howard – Every Kingdom (AU Magazine)

“Affecting acoustic pop melodies sweep through Every Kingdom, an effort steeped in slow-building crescendos and heart-in-mouth splendor”

We Cut Corners – A Pirate’s Life

Quips about treating relationships like a pirate, and a first listen to an album that, with any luck, should be one of the top new records of the year. What a band. Now to persuade them to release half the album as singles…

Goldenplec at the Irish Music Awards 2011 and winning!

A night of celebration, face-caking and star-gazing raves for team Goldenplec at the Irish Web Awards, where we picked up a highly unexpected win, and the culmination of ten years of hard work for the inspiring Aidan Cuffe.

IN PRINT: AU Magazine Issue 77 (October 2011)

Zombies, the launch of the Northern Ireland music awards (NIMA), Grouplove, Jape, Gary Numan and Patrick Wolf. Hollywood’s endless remakes, stand up comedy, Tony Wright on leaving ASIWYFA to take on VerseChorusVerse full time and the end of R.E.M.

LIVE REVIEW: The Minutes – Whelan’s, Dublin (

“Ten seconds after arriving on the Whelan’s stage tonight, Mark’s launched his guitar up over the front rows, balanced himself on his wedge and started knocking out a series of heavy, driving rhythms that pulse through the venue’s very foundations.”


“They seem to fall nicely between accessible pop rock and having a real vicious edge… I can imagine the whole loud/ quiet thing causing quite a buzz live”

LIVE REVIEW: Rubberbandits – Olympia Theatre, Dublin (AU Magazine)

“To see Rubberbandits live is to realise how talented they actually are musically, too. Behind all the silly satire, it takes considerable talent to perform in character and produce tracks with credible enough beats and twisting, rhyming lyrics.”

INTERVIEW: The Joy Formidable (AU Magazine)

“The lyrics aren’t just about telling a story, they’re also about painting a picture along with the music, and what the lyrics evoke. You know, like surrealist writing. It’s very daunting to write.”

LIVE REVIEW: Hard Working Class Heroes 2011 (AU Magazine)

(on Le Galaxie) – “Tonight’s show is a sweaty riot of glow sticks and pogoing, a scattered plethora of electro-crescendos and work-out intensity”

Hard Working Class Heroes 2011 – Overview, & My Top 5 Acts

“The sense of camaraderie is fantastic – I was dragged backstage to listen to an entire album of unmastered tracks they recorded only a few days before”

Rubberbandits – Spastic Hawk

“They’ve been known to make journos ask questions whilst made to look at a wall by security, or to distract people from actually asking any questions by heading off on a very sarcastic tour of their ‘home town’”

LIVE REVIEW: The Danger Is & We Cut Corners – The Grand Social, Dublin (AU Magazine)

“Tonight’s set is abruptly beautiful, with the duo demonstrating that their stripped-down guitar/drum combo is far  from a limitation”

INTERVIEW: Ciaran Gribben – from Joe Echo to INXS (

“I kind of knew it was happening a couple of months ago, but at the same time if it had got out, you never know, the band could have turned around and gone ‘you know what Ciaran, thanks very much, but no thanks’”

ALBUM REVIEW: Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost (

“Like their previous efforts, the songwriting unravels with time to become unexpectedly deep. Unlike the core duo’s previous outings, this one’s delivery is jarringly haphazard and increasingly multi-faceted.”

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