Gavin Glass @ Whelan’s, Dublin

Last Sunday night, I went to a gig.

A belter of a gig.

A hot, sticky, love-infused belter of a gig.

Gavin Glass brought his New Shakers (not a euphemism, it’s his band’s name… actually maybe it *is* a euphemism??) and his Sunday Songs along to Whelan’s on Wexford St for a good auld airing.

I missed NC Lawlor, the first warm up, and arrived just as the Sleep Thieves were finishing up.

Without much ado, or any introduction, Gavin burst onstage and straight into a couple of numbers before declaring “Happy Sunday Songs everyone!!”

While not packed, the room was a who’s-who of Dublin music – I spotted a couple of Hot Sprockets, Ross Turner (drummer with Lisa Hannigan, also drums on some of Sunday Songs), Tomo (drummer with Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan), Shane Fitzsimons (bassist) and I was standing… next… to… Paul… Noonan… from… Bell… X… 1…

I was madly starstruck, mainly because Rocky Took a Lover is one of my favourite tunes, and we’re planning on playing it at our wedding. Gush.

Anyway, I digress… Gavin grooved through his new Sunday Songs, along with some of his oldies, such as Just Like Rome and Myna Birds.

A gig filled with love, there were lots of “Happy Birthday Gav!”, thrown up from the crowd and, in a moment of love supreme, Gav announced that his mot is expecting their first child.

A few misty eyes in the house after that.

A highlight of the night was his rendition of Witchita Lineman, where he was joined on stage by Conor O’Brien of Villagers (who knew he was so short?).

Rarely have I come away from a gig with so much joy in my heart, it was really special.

❀ you Gav.

Hazel

Sunday Songs is available on iTunes and in Tower Records….

Here is the title track πŸ™‚

Flix

Sooo, we “got” Netflix a few weeks ago (Series 3 of House of Cards made us do it!) and I’m kinda hooked.

I very much like the variety of series vs films, documentaries vs fiction etc. It seems like there’s a lot of shite to sift through, but some gems in there too.

Here are some of my highlights so far:

House of Cards, series 3 (obviously):

Where my Netflix journey began. I wanted to love this, but it just didn’t live up to the cunning, drama and suspense of season 1.

I liked the Pussy Riot cameo and I’m holding out hopes for a massive season 4. (Claire’s stylist for President!)

QI:

This is my happy place, I absolutely adore Stephen Fry and I love this show. I always learn something “quite interesting” in each episode, but then it gets pushed out by something else in the next show!!

PS, Sandi Toksvig is my spirit animal. As is Jo Brand. ❀ you ladies.

Dreams of a Life:

This is a documentary that I stupidly watched while ill. It’s a film based on the real-life story of a lady named Joyce Carol Vincent, who was found dead in her bedsit, having been dead for more than two years.

The tagline is “Would anyone miss you?” GUYS, I WAS SICK IN BED AND VERY VUNERABLE!!

It wasn’t great timing, but it was a really compelling story. Je recommend.

Official website here: http://dreamsofalife.com/

So, I’m mad into the ‘Flix at the moment. I’m not sure what’s next on the viewing agenda, but sure, it saves having to talk to your fella all evening, amirite??

πŸ˜‰ I jest.

H x

All Apologies – Montage of Heck

“I’m not like them
But I can pretend
The sun is gone
But I have a light
My day is done
But I’m having fun
I think I’m dumb
Maybe just happy”

As a teenager, I was a major Nirvana fan. The first album I bought was Nevermind and I remember feeling devestated when he died, by his own hand, at the age of 27.

Over the years I’ve avidly read interviews about him, read books about him and really bought in to his story, always frustrated that the true “him” remained hidden. He didn’t give frank or serious interviews, his Nirvana bandmates seemed to reel with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after losing him and Courtney Love? Well, she had her own well-documented issues to deal with.

So, after reading lots of gushing reviews online, my boyfriend and I took ourselves to the IFI to see Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck on Friday night.

As I say, I had read a lot of great reviews about it and I was/am such a fan of Nirvana’s music, I wanted to see what the hype was, if anything “new” was revealed of him. Basically, to see if I could get to know him better.

I won’t lie: I didn’t love it. Although some of the home movie footage was poignant (clips of a 2/3 year old Kurt playing and goo-gooing with his parents are a bit tear-jerking, the gig footage is raw and LOUD and *some* of the family moments with Courtney and Frances are touching), it felt kind of exploitative at times.

A reluctant interviewee who famously and passionately spoke against wanting to be a spokesman for a generation, its hard to imagine that Kurt would have embraced the idea of someone poking through the deepest, darkest corners of a storage unit of his private recordings, demos, journals, art etc to find snippets worthy of displaying to the world.

Also, there is a recurring theme in these interviews and journal extracts that “Kurt hated to be humiliated”, however we’re treated to scenes of him totally off his head on heroin and tales of him trying to seduce a girl described as “slow”.

Possibly this is an attempt to de-mystify him, to show him as human, not the grunge idol/hero who died for our sins…

Apart from the home movie footage there is nothing much new on offer here…although we’re given splices of his voice recordings, gig footage, photos and home movie footage and old MTV interviews, they really are just splices – its hard to capture his personality. We don’t get to “know” him beyond what we already did.

There is limited input from others in his life – a little from Krist Novoselic and Courtney Love (who looks amazing, by the way) and his immediate family.

Pat Smear, Dave Grohl and Butch Vig are notable by their absence, as are Billy Corgan, Michael Stipe or any other friends you’d imagine knew him well and who could speak to his personality, humour and life apart from his well-documented torment.

I think the fact that his daughter helped to co-produce it has given it creedance and elevated it beyond eye-rolling “here’s another guy trying to make money out of Kurt’s life story” territory.

Not to be all doom and gloom: It’s definitely a nicely put together “montage”, and if it brings Nirvana’s music to a new, younger audience, what’s the harm?? I know that I’ve been “introducing” it to my neighbours all weekend! πŸ™‚

(By the way, I found it REALLY hard not to sing along with the live music scenes!! )

Great Friday 2

So many people I know seem to be in a slump lately, me included, so I’m making an effort today to be a bit kinder to myself.

Inspired by a flick through Facebook, I visited my local leisure centre to use their pool. It’s years since I last swam and I was half-scared that I’d forgotten how and drown! But no, I had a bit of a swim, jacuzzi and sauna (jaysis, it’d roast ya in there!!) and then brunch in Sister Sadie’s on Harrington St.

Now, I’m listening to my favourite album (Gracelands), drinking peppermint tea from my favourite mug and just being delighted with myself πŸ˜‰

Have a great Friday, chaps x

Hello Chaps

Hello,

After a bit of a hiatus, here’s a round-up of what’s been going on…

Recording:

Barry and I went in to Gavin Glass’s Orphan Recording Studio at the start of March to record our 2nd EP, She Shook Me.

My sister came in to help out on piano and we had a very productive 2 days of recording and have 5 songs that we can’t wait to share with you.

Recording was a blast, we felt more confident this time round and had a better idea of what we were at. Gavin was wonderful too, his input was invaluable and he had a great attitude… and patience!

We’re hoping to release the EP in June and we’re lining up gigs and other fun stuff.

St. Patrick’s Day:

Also, Barry and I were volunteers at this year’s St Patrick’s Festival, on Sunday we were assistants at the Big Day Out on Merrion Square. The highlight of my day was the Imaginary Menagerie, captained by Dr Longitude, it was great fun and so creative.

On Monday we took part in the parade!! We carried Discover Ireland banners in front of the Macnas pageant. It was so much fun and great to be involved in, I’d recommend it and will definitely sign up next year. πŸ™‚

Pictures, or it didn’t happen:

Image

Barry and I at Orphan Studios, March 2014

Recording At Orphan Studios

Barry and I recorded our 2nd EP last weekend! πŸ™‚

Barry Finnimore

Hello!

Just wanted to share some exciting news…
This weekend Hazel and I went to Orphan Recording Studio in Dublin to record our 2nd EP with the mighty Gavin Glass.

You might recognise Gav from his work with Lisa Hannigan or as a singer/songwriter in his own right.
Gavin was great to work with and we feel he really got the best out of us. He also added some of his awsomeness to the tracks, playing the additional guitar and bass parts (I’ll let you in on a secret – he may have added a little harmonium too πŸ˜‰ ).

Hazel’s sister Emer joined us for a tune on piano too.

We recorded and mixed five songs in total over two days and it’s an understatement to say we’re delighted with the results.

We’re hoping to release the EP in June independently on CD and on itunes and bandcamp

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