I’m a proper music obsessive. I think it’s impossible not to be when you write about music and let it squeeze its way into your life so freely: sometimes a dozen gigs a month, access to lots of new albums and lots of people around you pointing open-mouthed every time something new comes along that’s worth checking out is a great thing to have. I like to keep track of these things, so here’s the second part of my ‘gig/interview list’ for 2010, which I’m happy to say contains some whoppers, particularly on the interview front (Manic Street Preachers, Two Door Cinema Club, Duckworth Lewis Method and my childhood heroes Less Than Jake to name but a few). I’ve even roped in some nice stats, at the bottom, more for my own interest, really (spot the music geek). I’ve made a few notes under the best gigs of the year, too. Be warned, this is a proper music-lover’s list. I’ve even made up my own little highlights list at the end. If you’re not a fan, look away now:
02.07 – Flea Market Poets (Upstairs at Whelans, Dublin)
09.07 – Arcade Fire, Groove Armada, Stereophonics, Vampire Weekend, Republic Of Loose, Ou Est La Swimming Pool, Kassidy, Villagers, Shed Seven, Lissie. (Oxegen, Punchestown Racecourse, Naas)
10.07 – Muse, Kasabian, Florence And The Machine, The Stranglers, Biffy Clyro, Two Door Cinema Club, 3Oh!3, Wild Beasts, Dirty Projectors. (Oxegen, Puchestown Racecourse, Naas)
The strongest day of a poor festival, but I’m always delighted to see Muse live (stunning live band), and another look at the ever charming Florence plus a great ‘breakthrough’ show from Two Door Cinema Club livened us up through the rain.
11.07 – Eminem, Faithless, Echo And The Bunnymen, Earth Wind And Fire, The Temper Trap, Ocean Colour Scene, Jamie T, We Are Scientists, Kate Nash. (Oxegen, Puchestown, Racecourse, Naas)
15.07 – Paloma Faith and Candi Staton (Iveagh Garden, Dublin)
22.07 – Sounds Of System Breakdown (The Ivy House, Dublin)
23.07 – And So I Watch You From Afar, Friend?, Axis Of, The Cujo Family, The Amazing Few (Knockanstockan, Blessington Lakes)
Not so much for the bands, but for a truly stunning festival set up. It had the most wow factor on the first day; much like a miniature version of Glastonbury.
24.07 – Sounds Of System Breakdown, Hot Sprockets, Absolutely Curtains, Alright The Captain (Knockanstockan, Blessington Lakes)
25.07 – Attention Bebe, Nursery Crimes, Blind Yakerty (Knockanstockan, Blessington Lakes)
28.07 – Duckworth Lewis Method (Olympia, Dublin)
29.07 – The Cast Of Cheers, Holy Roman Army (The Bleeding Horse, Dublin)
01.08 – Mercury Rev, Fionn Regan, Adebisi Shank, The Cast Of Cheers, CODES, Colm Lynch, O Emperor, Funzo, Sounds Of System Breakdown, Attention Bebe, Readers Wives (Castlepalooza, Tullamore, County Offaly)
02.08 – The Lowly Knights, First Aid Kit, Alessis Ark, The Candidates, Daithi O Dronai, Heroes In Hiding, Band On An Island, The Bull Munro (Castlepalooza, Tullamore, County Offaly)
07.08 – Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, North Strand Kontra Band, Brian Deady (Meeting House Square, Dublin)
13.08 – John Shelly & The Creatures (Tower Records, Dublin)
13.08 – The Cast Of Cheers, Enemies (Whelan’s, Dublin)
Arguably the coming of age of Dublin’s newest stars, The Cast Of Cheers absolutely blew the roof of the place. One of the best Whelan’s shows in living memory, by all accounts.
19.08 – Feeder (The Academy, Dublin)
20.08 – Slumberjet (Tower Records, Dublin)
23.08 – Girls (The Academy 2, Dublin)
24.08 – Limp Bizkit (Olympia, Dublin)
26.08 – 2 Many DJs, Two Door Cinema Club, Major Lazer, Soulwax, Kids On Bridges (Belsonic Festival, Custom House Square, Belfast)
31.08 – Blink 182, Twin Atlantic (O2, Dublin)
01.09 – St John The Gambler (Shebeen Chic, Dublin)
03.09 – Foals, Modest Mouse, The Waterboys, Janelle Monae, Chew Lips, Hurts, Cloud Castle Lake (Electric Picnic, Stadbally)
04.09 – LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Crystal Castles, Channel One, And So I Watch You From Afar, Ryan Sheridan (Electric Picnic, Stradbally)
05.09 – Massive Attack, The National, Mumford and Sons, Friendly Fires, Two Door Cinema Club, Beardyman, Stornoway, O Emperor, Riptide Movement (Electric Picnic, Stradbally)
It rained, rained and rained. We were extremely hungover. Stornoway turned out one of the performances of the entire festival season, and then we spent the night under thin sheet of plastic eating jellies and impersonating Tom Jones. I still think Glastonbury’s a whole lot better, but this is the day I fell a little bit in love with ‘The Picnic’.
14.09 – Squarehead (The Workman’s Club, Dublin)
16.09 – MGMT, Spectrum (The Olympia, Dublin)
25.09 – Amiina (The Grand Social, Dublin)
Beautiful subtle Icelandic, near-instrumental music that sounds like it was designed to be played over a wildlife documentary, performed to one of the most appreciative audiences I’ve ever been a part of. Utterly stunning.
30.09 – The Divine Comedy (Olympia, Dublin)
06.10 – Paul Heaton (The Academy, Dublin)
07.10 – Hard Working Class Heroes Festival – Jogging, Halves, Sleep Thieves, Hal, The Dirty 9s, The Q. (Various, Dublin)
08.10 – Hard Working Class Heroes Festival – Yes Cadets, R.S.A.G, Friend?, Brad Pitt Light Orchestra, Conor Walsh (Various, Dublin)
09.10 – Hard Working Class Heroes Festival – The Cast Of Cheers, Trophy Boyfriend, Sounds Of System Breakdown, Grand Pocket Orchestra, Squarehead, We Are Losers, Axis Of. (Various, Dublin)
I heard a few whines about HWCH this year. For me, this final day epitomized everything that’s good about the Dublin music scene right now. And there’s a whole lot good about the Dublin music scene right now.
22.10 – Suzanne Vega (Vicar Street, Dublin)
23.10 – Visionair (The Button Factory, Dublin)
23.10 – Attention Bebe (Crawdaddy, Dublin)
27.10 – Marina & The Diamonds and Lisa O’Neill (Vicar Street, Dublin)
01.11 – The Temper Trap and Crowd Control (Tripod, Dublin)
03.11 – Is Tropical (The Academy, Dublin)
05.11 – Dan Le Sac Vs. Scroobius Pip and Kid A (The Workman’s Club, Dublin)
A gig that single-handedly changed me from a person who almost instinctively despises hip-hop to a massive fan of the non-cliched form of it. A few hundred kids going nuts to infectious music with a genuine message to it, delivered by a lyricist who’s nothing short of a poet. Loved it.
11.11 – Gorillaz, De La Soul, Little Dragon (O2, Dublin)
12.11 – Two Door Cinema Club (Three radio acoustic performance and the Late Late Slow)
Up close and personal with Two Door Cinema Club, who are even better acoustic than they are full on. Nice remixes, charming people, great day.
16.11 – Foals, Pulled Apart By Horses (Olympia, Dublin)
18.11 – Jimmy Eat World (Tripod, Dublin)
20.11 – FMC Tour – Jape, Fionn Regan, And So I Watch You From Afar, Cloud Castle Lake (Whelan’s, Dublin)
23.11 – Klaxons (Tripod, Dublin)
27.11 – Underworld, Japanese Popstars (RDS, Dublin)
29.11 – We Are Scientists (The Academy, Dublin)
01.12 – Interpol, Surfer Blood (Olympia, Dublin)
07.12 – Lissie (The Academy, Dublin)
08.12 – Two Door Cinema Club, The Cast Of Cheers, Not Squares (Tripod, Dublin)
12.12 – The Frames (Olympia, Dublin)
20.12 – Mark Greaney (JJ72), Spies (Workman’s Club, Dublin)
An old Dublin star comes back full force after several years out. He claimed to be nervous, but if anything the new material’s even better than the old JJ72 stuff. I doubt he’ll reach the same heights, but what a singer.
22.12 – State Midnight Mass: The Power Of Dreams, Ham Sandwich, James Vincent McMorrow, Sleep Thieves, We Cut Corners, We Are Losers (Mercantile, Dublin)
31.12 – Roisin Dubh Christmas Party: The Cast Of Cheers, Le Galaxie, Lost Chord, Enemies.
Manic Street Preachers
Less Than Jake
Two Door Cinema Club
Paul Heaton (formerly of The Beautiful South)
Duckworth Lewis Method (Neil Hannon and Thomas Walsh)
Amiina (former Sigur Ros string section)
LIVE STATS 2010:
Total Live Shows – 100
Total Individual Performances – 275
Top Live Performances/ Shows Of The Year –
Muse @ Oxegen Festival
The Cast Of Cheers @ Whelan’s, Dublin
Two Door Cinema Club @ Oxegen Festival
Hideaway House Final Night
Stornoway @ Electric Picnic Festival
Dan Le Sac Vs. Scroobius Pip @ Workman’s Club, Dublin
Worst Live Performance Of The Year –
Boyce Avenue @ The Academy, Dublin
Best Festival –
Knockanstockan (unknown bands but a great atmosphere and wonderful set up)
Worst Festival –
Oxegen (big name bands, wet, horrible atmosphere, sparkling moments but generally not worth the considerable hassle and sizable price tag).
INTERVIEW STATS 2010:
Total Interviews Done – 23
Total UK Number One Albums By Interviewees – 7
Total UK Number One Singles By Interviewees – 6
Most Interesting Interviewees –
Duckworth Lewis Method (extremely funny and some great off the wall tangents)
Paul Heaton (not quite so famous anymore, but every bit as feisty, fantastic stories)
Least Interesting Interviewees –
Kele Okereke (lots of one word answers, not really very interested, very hard work).
All in all a great year in music, but next year holds the holy grail: a return to Glastonbury after five years away. The second most important event of the entire year!
I’m guessing not many made it through all of that…