Thursday 21 December 2017

In Concert - Favourite Gigs of Ireland's Music Community - Part 4

In Concert - Favourite Gigs of Ireland's Music Community - Part 4
This post has been sitting in my 'drafts' folder for a while so I thought I'd let it go. It's more of my imperfectly remembered tales of gigs in the eighties.

Iggy Pop - National Stadium Monday, 12th December, 1988
I thought this gig was circa 1990 but have recently discovered that it, too, was in the 1980's. This was Iggy with Steve Jones on rhythm guitar and my memories are shot through with vivid moments like when Iggy shoved the microphone in my face during Wanna Be Your Dog and my head turned into some sort of mush; the faint tracery of scars all over Iggy's torso; the sheer excitement of being so close to such abandoned shamanism, his zipper open far enough to suggest exhibitionism; the sheer physical exertion - At the time I thought "He's 41 and he's still like this!" Now I think "He was only 41!"
This crowd picture seems to feature me in the top left. I remember the position and the shirt...

Wednesday 4 October 2017

In Concert - Favourite Gigs of Ireland's Music Community - Part 3

In Concert - Favourite Gigs of Ireland's Music Community - Part 3

These posts are becoming like a trip through my memory designed by Escher. Once again I finished with the eighties only to be tripped up by further memories as I tried to make my way into the nineties...

The Fall - Sadler's Wells Theatre, September 1988

This was my first time seeing The Fall and remains possibly the strangest 'rock gig' I ever attended. This is largely because it was NOT a rock gig but a ballet, with The Fall playing live while the Michael Clarke dancers performed a ballet.
A choreographed dance representing a football match between Rangers and Celtic; Brix being wheeled around on a giant hamburger and Mark E. walking forwards and backwards declaiming as if there were no distractions.
The scene where the dancers 'played' a football match was the visual highlight and New Big Prinz and Dead Beat Descendant the remembered aural ones.
I would see more Fall gigs, some better, some worse, but none quite as memorable as this one. Perhaps you can see why in these photos - http://thefall.org/news/pics/88oct08_photos.html

Thursday 21 September 2017

In Concert - Favourite Gigs of Ireland's Music Community - Part 2

In Concert - Favourite Gigs of Ireland's Music Community - Part 2

I woke up the next morning after writing the first part of this post and realised that there were at LEAST three or four gigs from the eighties that I had omitted that really couldn't be omitted. So my plan to do the next post from the 90's onwards is being parked while I do a further return to the eighties.

Saturday 16 September 2017

In Concert - Favourite Gigs of Ireland's Music Community

In Concert - Favourite Gigs of Ireland's Music Community

This book came out last year and I've been meaning to get it ever since. I finally got around to buying it this week and am enjoying dipping into it.

I remember when I was younger there were many conversations about who would win if Ali fought Dempsey, or if Superman fought Batman... The very fact that these were unanswerable questions was what made them interesting.

Best gig is one of those questions. I can't really answer it for myself let alone hope to come to a consensus with any group of people. The other question is what gig would I go to if I could travel through time? This book asks people to name their favourite gigs and provides ample material for me to consider when I think upon these things.

I know some of the contributors and was at some of the gigs. The book is probably mostly of interest to people who have some familiarity with the Irish rock scene of the seventies, eighties and nineties. It brings up feelings of envy, nostalgia and sometimes, bafflement. Rather than try to review it in any objective way I am going to spend some time reminiscing about some of my favourite gigs. A infamous pub bore like myself doesn't do one favourite, this will be many favourites.

Sunday 4 June 2017

From a Box of Cassettes

From a Box of Cassettes

I'm returning once more to the dusty corner of the world which is this blog to share something from the dusty corner of the accumulated mess of things that I have gathered over the past fifty years.

At our last rehearsal the band (The Knocking Shop) were trying to put together one of our old songs from twenty years ago with a poor live recording as the guide. When Dave, the guitar player, told me a couple of days later that he had a better recording on cassette, plus some other 'forgotten' songs I decided to go through my own pile of cassettes with a bit more rigour. And I was rewarded with a copy of what was a work in progress towards a third demo.

Saturday 8 April 2017

Top 102 Albums, No Minus 18 - No Such Place

Top 102 Albums, No. Minus 18 - No Such Place

No Such Place - Jim White

In the early 21st Century this was the album that dominated my listening more than anything else and while it has never left my playlist I haven't listened with quite such intensity until these last few days as I prepare to see Mr White play live for the first time.

I have previously written about White as a filmmaker - his documentary, Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus is a trawl through the south of Harry Crews, Flannery O'Connor, Raptures, Snakes and Mr White.

I've been searching for the right word to describe him and I keep coming back to fatalist. There is a richly humorous and life affirming fatalism that permeates these songs. Life may be bad, you may be at an all time low, but hell, it could always be worse, as in the opening song, Handcuffed to a Fence in Mississippi:

Sunday 26 March 2017

Top 102 Albums, No Minus 17 - Teens of Denial

Top 102 Albums, No. Minus 17
Teens of Denial - Car Seat Headrest

"I am freaking out in my mind / In a house that isn't mine
My end goal isn't clear / Should not have had that last beer"

Sometimes age feels like a fog. Everything becomes less distinct, and those things that are distinctive are often only so because they are aided and abetted by memory / nostalgia for eyes that were less cynical and more full of the pulsing expectations of youth.

Friday 20 January 2017

Live Tonight! The Re-Animation of The Knocking Shop continues.

Live Tonight! The Re-Animation of The Knocking Shop continues.

The Knocking Shop are supporting the rather wonderful Mik Artistik's Ego Trip tonight in The Grand Social in Dublin City Centre. There are worse ways of spending your Friday night and all for a measly €12!

We'll be dedicating this one to President Trump!

Books Read 2016 - Part One

Books Read 2016 - Part One

2016, despite being a bitch of a year for heroes and an ominous year for politics, has been a pretty good year for reading, even if my blogging muscles have largely withered away.  I started this post on December 31st in order to try and have one final post before the years end and to clear the decks somewhat for 2017, when I hope to get back to writing a little more regularly. However, it has since been sucked into the purgatory known as the 'draft' folder.

Rather than group my reading as many have done, or select my favourites I thought it might be interesting/easier just to list the books in the order I read them and add whatever few thoughts (if any) come to mind as I go through them.
 Perhaps when I get to the end I will highlight a few as my 'Best Books of 2017", but really I see all as part of the same book somehow, a larger sprawling multi-referential, oddly interlinked, post-modernist roman fleuve.