Thursday, December 13, 2007

Squeeze at the Olympia

Last Tuesday (December 11th) I was lucky enough to see Squeeze for the first time. Having been brought up on the other side of the world, I was not very familiar with theit music, so I had to do some homework prior to the concert.

I was well impressed with what I saw, specially by the guitar playing ability of Mr Glenn Tilbrook and Stephen Large (previously from Tilbrook's touring band) on keyboards.

They played some of the expected favourites, including Pulling Mussels, Up the Junction, Goodby Girl and Tempted.

I have attached a picture from flickr of the setlist from a concert in Newcastle earlier in the year... it looks to be the same from the Dublin concert.

They still have amazing energy, and a back catalogue to rival any band's. I can see, had I lived here when I was growing up, that I would have been a big fan. All in all a great concert. If you are a fan of that type of music from the late 70's, early 80's, this is a must see show.

Here is the link to the flickr page:

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Duran Duran Live in Dublin - Phoenix Park

After about 25 years or so, I saw Duran Duran yesterday. While they are not one of my all time favourite bands, I have always liked their music. It was a good show, although a bit short.

First the venue. It was surprisingly good for what is effectively a circus tent! For those of you not from Dublin, let me explain. These type of concerts are usually held at The Point, which is famous because sometime in the 90's, the first performance of Riverdance happen there as part of the Eurovision song contest, and more recently, as the venue where the first official R.E.M. live album was recorded. But I digress, you can read all about it in the Wikipedia.

The Point is undergoing a massive renovation, so they have this temporary site in the Phoenix Park. It is only a few minutes away from my house, there is plenty of parking in the park itself, and it was generally very comfortable. Despite the fact that yesterday was a cold damp night, and the concert was effectively in a Park, my shoes were not mucky at the end of the show... that says it all.

Now the negatives. The show was scheduled for 8:00 PM, Duran Duran did not come out until 9:00, and there was no support act!!! And it was a short set. Only 90 minutes, including 1 encore.

For the last few shows, including the one in London last week, they had been playing Red Carpet Massacre in full, followed by a few of the oldies. Yesterday they only played 6 out of the 12 new songs, and they only added two of their back catalogue, admittedly two good ones. But they didn't play my favourite song of the new album (She's too much). Here is the setlist:
  • The Valley
  • Red Carpet Massacre
  • Nite Runner
  • Hungry Like the Wolf
  • Notorious
  • Falling Down
  • Skin Divers
  • Tempted
  • Rio
  • Reflex
  • Ordinary World
  • Shame
  • Planet Earth
  • A View to a Kill
  • Sunrise
  • Wild Boys

  • Girls on Film

The band came out at 9:00 PM all dressed in black. They looked funny uniformed, almost like a school band. They immediately started with The Valley, and played the first 3 songs of the new album. After a little pause, they launched into Hungry Like the Wolf, and that's when the crowd went nuts! They sounded really good. I was particularly impressed with John Taylor's bass work as it seemed effortless. Simon LeBon can still hit the high notes, but he missed quite a few! I think they did the right thing by mixing old and new songs. The crowd would have lost interest had they played the album in full.

Having said that , people reacted well to the new material, and was really into it for the old ones. My favourite one yesterday was Rio. All in all, it was a good show. I could have done with a few more songs. I really missed Serious, which I know they played earlier in the year.

A good show for a Wednesday evening!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Basscast is back!

Basscast "...the podcast for bass players and lovers of the bottom end" is back!!

For those of you that are not familiar with Basscast, it is a podcast produced in Australia by David Burges that focuses on bass related music. It is hosted by David himself and a guest bass player local to the australian scene and is typically divided in 3 segments:
  • News
    • Bass related nes, music and book releases and new gear
  • Featured album
  • Step back in time - where they take a look at influential albums or bass players
The show has had some interesting features on a number of great players from Jaco Pastorius to flea. One of my favourite episodes though, is the one dedicated to the Chapman Stick.

Well worth a listen to the whole series!

I'm always on the look for new music podcasts... let me know!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

In Rainbows

OK, so it has been more than a week now since Radiohead released their new album In Rainbows. I have been listening since I downloaded it, and I think it's brilliant.
For an established band, they have taken a huge risk in the way they are distributing the music, as you can download it directly from their website, and you set the price... yes... you can download it for free if you want it.` Just for the record, when I went to download it, I ended up paying £40 for the Discbox version which should be delivered some time before December 3rd.

There are a number of reviews around the place, so I will not rehash them. .. suffice to say that this is a must for any music fans and specially for Radiohead fans.

My favourite track is Faust Arp!

Go and buy it!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My new iPod Touch

Ok,so I have had my new iPod Touch for a week now... and no, I didn't need it as I have an "old" 5.5 gen iPod, which is in perfect state, not full, and I'm still using it. Bu I had to get it.

The first thing I have to say is that the pictures on the web, don't do it justice. It is a beautiful piece of engineering.

Once you get over the shock of how it looks, and you turn it on, you get a chance to experience something unique. Out of the box, as soon as I turned it on, it tried to connect to my wireless network. I only had to provide the password, and it was connected. Safari works like a charm, it is unbelievably fast, and for such a small device, it works very well. There are 2 ways you can zoom into a web page, you either double tap with your finger in the centre of the area you want to expand, or you can touch it with 2 fingers and drag the fingers apart to expand the image. And if you tilt the iPod, you can change the orientation from portrait to lanscape, and back again.

The next thing you can do is go to the YouTube applet, and stream the videos... just like that!

The last WiFi applet is the iTunes music store, where you can buy music on line, which can be transferred back to your computer the next time you sync. The interface is pretty clever and works very well with the device.

OK, now I connect it to my Mac, and copy some music, videos and podcasts... because I can't wait to see how coverflow works on it... It is great!!! It is difficult to explain all of the interface, just drop by the apple website to have a look at the video they have of it. Here is a link to it while they keep it there.

iPodTouch Guided Tour Video

In essence, this is like the iPhone without the phone features.

Is it all good? Well, no, I have a couple of gripes.

  • Battery life is not great when using WiFi

  • It doesn't have a notes applet, or a Google Maps applet

  • You don't have an option to display the lyrics for a song, or the comments for a podcast.

Apple promised an SDK in February, and hopefully a few more apllets will come out then that will make this an even more interesting gadget.

I can't wait for the Newton to make its comeback!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Police - Croke Park

Wow... I do not have words to describe my experience yesterday. The Police Live! A dream come true. Many years ago I saw a TV broadcast from the Synchronicity tour and how I longed to have been there.

I only had to wait 23 years, but yesterday it finally happened. It was a great night, even the weather was with us. After the dismal summer, yesterday was the best night for a rock concert. The crowd played a big part, you could actually see the guys enjoying themselves when the crowd sang the songs with them. According to some of the reports there were 82,000 people there yesterday.

After the opening act, Fictionplane, and a few minutes after 8 o'clock, Stewart Copeland came out to the excitement of everybody there, followed by Andy Summers who immediately started playing Message in a Bottle, only to be joined by Sting a second or two later.

The selection of songs was pretty good, and covered all the 5 albums. Pretty much all songs have been rearranged, but all sounded great. Some of the highlights for me yesterday where:

  • Truth hits everybody
  • Every little thing she does is magic (Sting said that he had written the song in Galway!)
  • So Lonely
  • King of pain
  • Synchronicity II
From the shows in the US, the only song I would have liked to have heard is Murder by numbers.

Overall, it was a great show, with the 3 musicians playing at the top of their game.

See them if you have the chance!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

An old post to start with - The Midlands Festival

Some time ago (july 18th, 2007) I went to the Midlands Festival near Mullingar, Co Westmeath.  The main attraction on the bill was Christy Moore, although my main reason for going, was the chance to see Aimee Mann, I have been a fan for a long time.  She was brilliant, my favourite song of the set was Momentum.

I have to say that Country / western is not my scene, but there were a few other acts worth mentioning.  I was pretty impressed with Steve Earle and his wife.  Mundy played a pretty solid set, and there was this guy that I had never heard of before who is worth checking, His name is Raul Midon.  His guitar playing was amazing

However, in my mind the best set of the show yesterday were the Waterboys.  I was blown away.  Songs like Medicin Bow, The Whole of the Moon, The Glastonbury Song, really rocked the crowd.  It made me come back and dust off my old CD's to add them to my ipod.  If you get a chance to see them play live, get there!!!!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Some new music

I have been buying a lot of music recently, among other things: Aimee Mann's I'm with stupid, new releases from REO Speedwagon, Modest Mouse, Ash , Marillion & Suzanne Vega.

  I have been a very big fan of Suzanne Vega, and here new album is fantastic (Beauty & Crime), It is a shame that she will not be playing in Ireland during her current tour... but hey Aimee Mann is, so hopefully I will catch her!!!!

  I really like prog rock (I know, sad), Marillion's new album (Somewhere Else )is pretty good as well, a bit more mellow thatn some of their earlier stuff, but very good... they even managed to get an article in Q

  Finally, Modest Mouse latest release is fantastic (We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank ), Johnny Marr (yes, the same Johnny Marr from trhe Smiths!!!) joinned them, you can definitely hear his infulence.  Well worth a check

  By the way, Basscast is back... check them out!