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Tanya Sweeney

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Latest Articles by Tanya Sweeney

Interview: Featured writer: Tanya Sweeney

2005-11-14 00:00:00

She's the queen of sharp writing, but what's the story behind her wondorous prose?

Album: The Avalanche

2006-07-21 00:00:00

It's nothing less than a joyous coincidence that Sufjan Stevens’ infinite ambition and incredible work ethic are easily matched by his talent. It now transpires that his 2005 masterpiece Illinoise - finally clocking in at a hefty 75 minutes - started life as a double set and was eventually whittled down to a 22-song album.

Album: Left

2006-07-18 00:00:00

It has to be up there with the greatest of 2004’s travesties: Chichester’s brightest, Hope Of The States, received a relatively muted response to their incendiary debut album. Additionally, the tragic suicide of guitarist Jimmi Lawrence in 2004 – perhaps more publicised than the record itself - merely served to infuse The Lost Riots with an overwhelming sense of poignancy, thus eclipsing its true beauty and essence.

Fashion: Sweet Caroline

2006-07-11 00:00:00

As both the vocal and focal point of The Radio, Caroline Lee Baker dresses tomboy by day, black clad bohemian by night. But for the HP fashion extravaganza she goes for an all-out homage to 60s style icon Twiggy. Later for those heels though.

Album: Black Holes & Revelations

2006-07-04 00:00:00

On the whole, Black Holes & Revelations is an album that delights, beguiles and satiates. At once familiar and new, this is Muse at their most crystallised, focused and ambitious.

Interview: Thom here to eternity

2006-06-20 00:00:00

Sick of playing to tiny, empty venues Sandi Thom used her MySpace site to sell herself to the world. Before she knew it, thousands were tuning in.

Interview: Songs in the B of life

2006-06-20 00:00:00

The Bacardi B-live experience hopes to take corporate branding to a different dimension

Live: Guns N'Roses live at the Download Festival, RDS, Dublin

2006-06-16 00:00:00

With the opening strains of ‘Welcome To The Jungle’, it does seem that, aside from Guns N'Roses frontman Axl Rose’s growing-old-disgracefully complexion, precious little has changed.

Live: Metallica live at the Download Festival, RDS, Dublin

2006-06-15 00:00:00

Metallica provided a crisp evening packed with a vicious, visceral energy and more anthems than you could shake a stick at. But there was also a nagging sense of déjà vu...

Fashion: The individualist

2006-06-15 00:00:00

From the start, Julie Feeney has looked the part. Here, she talks about her favourite clothes.

Interview: Small but perfectly formed

2006-05-09 00:00:00

A day-trip to Milan to experience the ‘Starbucks’ of cars, the new Mini Cooper.

Interview: The sex toys top ten

2006-03-24 00:00:00

Ireland has gone mad for sex toys. Blokes, women, married, single, gay, straight and any and every combination of the above – they’re all indulging as though there were no tomorrow. But what are the hottest tickets in the country’s most successful sex emporia? We sent Tanya Sweeney to find out.

Interview: Oh brother!

2006-01-27 00:00:00

George Galloway impersonating a cat, Michael Barrymore suffering an on-air breakdown – has Celebrity Big Brother finally gone too far?

Live: Whipping Boy @ The Olympia, Dublin

2006-01-12 00:00:00

A frisson of pure excitement waves through the capital upon hearing news of the band’s reunion, which does little to explain the somewhat muted reception the band receives tonight.

Live: Sigur Ros live at The Olympia, Dublin

2005-12-02 00:00:00

Silencing a 1200-strong audience with little more than a glockenspiel is certainly no mean feat, but that’s the sort of band that Sigur Rós are.

Interview: New girls on the block

2005-11-25 00:00:00

They are young, smart and full of self-belief. Their ambitions are boundless, their talents rich and varied. For a generation of young Irish women, the world is awash with possibilities. From actors to musicians, models to politicians, women are redefining what it means to be female and Irish. Their role-models are women who have achieved greatness, who have made us sit up and pay attention. Not content to bask in someone else’s glories, they believe every woman should aspire to be the best at what they do. These are the women for whom second best is an anathema. They are the future. To introduce the Hot Press-selected crew: Tanya Sweeney and Louise Hodgson.

Live: Humanzi live at Temple Bar Music Centre

2005-11-21 00:00:00

Out of the ashes of a fairly unassuming Dublin outfit called Listo, Humanzi have arisen, phoenix-style, to become our new Great White Hope and the frontrunner of a new music scene.

Interview: At home with Jason O'Callaghan

2005-10-12 00:00:00

'I'm a commercial whore' proclaims gossip columnist turned singer Jason O’Callaghan, a self-proclaimed ‘skanger’.

Interview: Blood - Sugar - Hex - Magick

2005-10-10 00:00:00

After cutting her teeth (ouch!) in Bachelor’s Walk and Shimmy Marcus’s Headrush, Derry actress Laura Pyper has squeezed herself into thigh-high boots and corset for Hex, Sky One’s teenage witch riposte to Buffy.

Frontlines: The Irish question

2005-10-06 00:00:00

Radio play can be crucial for an upcoming act. But are stations giving domestic artists a fair chance?

Live: SFA at The Olympia, Dublin

2005-10-06 00:00:00

The Super Furry Animals' playful attitude to showmanship serves to highlight their sense of adventure and experimentation.

Album: Leaders of the Free World

2005-09-14 00:00:00

In a parallel universe, Elbow would command as much adulation and hyperbole as Coldplay and Snow Patrol. But, like their fellow Mancunians I Am A Kloot, they release albums and anthems into the world with nary a fanfare.

Interview: Malcolm in the Middleton

2005-09-13 00:00:00

Kelly Osbourne reckons he’s the new Bright Eyes. But downbeat Scottish songwriter – and sometime Arab Strap guitarist – Malcolm Middleton is more concerned with impressing his mum.

Interview: The Sound and the Furry

2005-08-31 00:00:00

Welsh pop extroverts Super Furry Animals have delivered their most cohesive and rewarding record yet. Frontman Gruf Rhys explains why Wu Tang Clan as the band's new role model.

Interview: Fine and dandy

2005-08-22 00:00:00

Marriage and babies have given The Dandy Warhols a fresh perspective on life. But they aren't ready to turn their back on sleazed-up rock'n roll just yet

Album: Love Kraft

2005-08-22 00:00:00

Splassssshhhh! As befits the Super Furry Animals, their seventh studio album begins, in Gruff Rhys’ words, with “the sound of us jumping into a pool”.

Interview: At Home With Marisa Mackle

2005-08-05 00:00:00

Writer Marisa Mackle's apartment is a temple to chilled-out minimalism. So what's with the Def Leppard records?

Album: Peepshow Stars

2005-08-03 00:00:00

For some reason, the name that Galwegian Declan Burke has chosen for his altar ego, Larry Beau, is almost exquisitely intriguing; conjuring up greatly rich notions of theatrical showmanship and fanciful decadence. Fortunately, his debut album doesn’t disappoint in this respect.

Interview: Awkward customer

2005-07-26 00:00:00

Despite selling millions of records Tracy Chapman still considers herself an outsider and isn’t afraid to embrace controversy.

Interview: Winter wonderland

2005-07-22 00:00:00

The dense indie-rock of The Decemberists feels as revolutionary as the Russian dissidents after which they are named.

Interview: Bend Me, Shake Me

2005-06-28 00:00:00

The warped indie-rock of PlaytOh has put them at the forefront of the Cork music scene. Now they're poised to take on the world. Interview by Tanya Sweeney.

Album: Rebel, Sweetheart

2005-06-22 00:00:00

When considering the Wallflowers, it's almost too easy to refer to the bizarre genetic accident that has befallen Jakob Dylan, son of Bob. Fortunately for him, he appears not to have inherited his father’s crumpled, imperfect looks. Instead, he sports the symmetric, excruciatingly photogenic looks of a latter-day Adonis. On the other hand, it also seems that Jakob has also not inherited his father’s flair for crafting a heart-stopping hit.

Album: The Magic Numbers

2005-06-15 00:00:00

The Magic Numbers, hailing from New York (via Trinidad), trade in classic West Coast vibes, and it’s precisely this springy, spirited outlook that will probably see them denounced by misery gut purists as low-calorie, happy-clappy fluff. For those in the know however, The Magic Numbers bears all the hallmarks of a soon-to-be-classic.

Single: Boy Boy Boy

2005-06-10 00:00:00

Who ever thought that understated simplicity could be so damn beguiling? The ever-unassuming Archer came up trumps with this hookish single last year, and now that it’s been afforded the Steve Osbourne sheen, ‘Boy Boy Boy’ positively shimmers with summery, uplifting jollity.

Single: Home

2005-06-10 00:00:00

It may be grim Oop North, but this single suggests otherwise. As the latest in Manchester’s line of highly ambitious hopefuls, Engineers have already mastered the art of sky-scraping, celestial wonderment. As well as doffing their collective caps to fellow Mancs Elbow and Doves, this single owes much to the expansive, melancholic leanings of Spiritualized and Mercury Rev.

Single: In My Head

2005-06-10 00:00:00

As we’ve come to expect, a Queens Of The Stone Age album means a slightly foreboding, twisted journey to the heart of darkness. ‘In My Head’ isn’t quite the sharp-toothed monster that their previous single ‘Little Sister’ is, but it still bears the hallmarks of a brutal yet brilliant track – manly guitars, primal drums and a slightly ominous bassline.

Single: In My Head

2005-06-10 00:00:00

As we’ve come to expect, a Queens Of The Stone Age album means a slightly foreboding, twisted journey to the heart of darkness. ‘In My Head’ isn’t quite the sharp-toothed monster that their previous single ‘Little Sister’ is, but it still bears the hallmarks of a brutal yet brilliant track – manly guitars, primal drums and a slightly ominous bassline.

Single: Fearless

2005-06-10 00:00:00

Say what you will about these over-styled upstarts – they can certainly deliver the tunes. Greased with a generous slick of sexed-up ‘80s vigour and keyboard-electronica, it’s fairly easy to see where those Killers comparisons stemmed from. Like their indie brethren, The Bravery excel in ambitious, forceful, intricately textured anthems.

Single: Prayer For The Broken Hearted/Liars

2005-06-10 00:00:00

They don’t call him the Mighty Stef for nothing – brimming with showmanship and out-on-a-limb theatrics, this double A-side is the perfect marriage of knowing, indie melody and uplifting, crowd-pleasing pop. ‘Liars’ gives the Nolan Sisters a wry nod (as you do), while on first impression ‘Prayer For The Broken Hearted’ sounds as though Nick Cave found the happy pills (and cabaret).

Single: Follow Me Home

2005-06-10 00:00:00

This debut single from Dublin three-piece Crumb is a nicely zippy, hearty song that should set them apart from Ireland’s wave of indie contenders. While the bands around them lose their heads attempting to be big and clever, this band of merry men get down to the semi-serious business of writing three minute pop-rock gems.

Single: It's Nice To Be Nice

2005-06-10 00:00:00

Tales of Thomas Walsh’s exquisite, Beatles-esque songwriting bent have already been well-documented on these pages, and this latest single comes up trumps. Walsh is about two degrees of separation (literally) from the likes of Air, Beck, Paul McCartney and Aimee Mann, and boy does it show. Laden with summery strings and plodding with an endearing strain of psychedelia, this single brings to mind the cheerful, sanguine likes of the Beach Boys. It’s nice to be nice alright, but it’s even better to be brilliant.

Single: Tough As Old Boots

2005-06-10 00:00:00

Boasting a prowess and confidence that belies their young age, The Marshal Stars certainly live up to expectation following their high-profile recording/publishing deals. Michael John’s rock-blues vocals offset the weighty force of the song’s grunge-rock leanings, and while the tune bounces with ambition and virility, the overall effect is nicely grounding and uncomplicated.

Single: Crazy Chick

2005-06-10 00:00:00

Er…ya wha’? You’d be forgiven for thinking that Ms Church had become a professional holidaymaker/clubber/tabloid botherer of late, so actual evidence of musical output here might surprise a few. If you’re hoping to hear the voice of an angel, you’d be sorely mistaken (if not a little bit tragic), as Char has well and truly put those ‘Pie Jesu’ years behind her.

Single: You're So Good

2005-06-10 00:00:00

They might still be loved up, but on record at least, Tabitha and Vinny seem to have lost that lovin’ feeling. Where once their music was ambient, awash with atmospherics and dreamy laziness, ‘You’re So Good’ is pacey and strangely upbeat; a nicely measured brew of peppy pop and taut, gruff rock riffs.

Album: Other Voices 3

2005-06-10 00:00:00

It has been said that, the more opulent and distinctive the surroundings, the more memorable the gig. Correspondingly, the various performances from Other Voices: Songs From A Room are among the most delightful and remarkable committed to RTE’s archives.

Interview: At Home With... Tara Flynn

2005-06-08 00:00:00

What with her choice Donnybrook location, regular Withnail & I themed evenings and marauding three year old cocker spaniel, comedian Tara Flynn could scarcely have a more ideal home. "I'm almost a little jealous of myself" she tells Tanya Sweeney. Photography by Cathal Dawson.

Interview: Magic Hour

2005-06-07 00:00:00

Magician to the stars Keith Barry reveals all about succeeding in Hollywood, performing for Justin Timberlake, Paris Hilton and Jack Osbourne, being given his own MTV show, and the perils of his orthodontically hazardous work with bullets. Interview by Tanya Sweeney. Photos by Graham Keogh.

Interview: Hive And Dangerous

2005-05-31 00:00:00

The Hives’ irrepressible Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist talks to Tanya Sweeney about the band’s uproarious live shows, their most Spinal Tap moment to date, and how they keep their white suits in pristine shape throughout the rigours of the festival season

Album: Mono Band

2005-05-30 00:00:00

Aside from the obvious, one of the benefits of being in an outfit that sells 38 million albums, I should imagine, would be the chance to work with a reassuringly pricey roll-call of producers. For his first solo project, ex-Cranberries guitarist and writer Noel Hogan has recruited an impressive line-up of sonic doctors, among them Marius De Vries, Stephen Street and Matt Vaughan.

Album: X & Y

2005-05-23 00:00:00

Do you want the good or the bad news first? Here’s the bad news: Christmas came and went, the goose got fat and the bean counters at EMI got plain tetchy. Paralysed by self-doubt and pressure, Coldplay set in motion the album that was to make or break them. How impressive and honorable, then, that this is their most hearty, ambitious and effortlessly striking work to date. But as we all know, nothing good ever comes easy.

Interview: Stephen's Day

2005-04-28 00:00:00

Having grown up in Scunthorpe, Stephen Fretwell found his muse – and mates like Elbow and Doves – in Manchester. And the record company haven't even asked him to get his hair cut.

Album: Yes!

2005-04-22 00:00:00

In all, YES! is an unexpected joy, a heady, discombobulating cocktail of rock opera, obstinate punk and feel-good dance vibes. Ignore, if you will, the fact that Do Me Bad Things were ‘discovered’ by the same people that ‘discovered’ The Darkness. For all its calorific riffing and Rocky Horror-esque psychedelia, the true beauty of this record is its newness (as opposed to the novelty) factor. ‘Liv Ullman On Drums’ (featuring, bizarrely, Tom Shotton on drums) is an incredible ragout of ‘70s cop show theme music with hair metal, while ‘Time For Deliverance’ is a spine-tingling AC/DC inspired-Broadway musical number.

Album: Nova Scotia

2005-04-27 00:00:00

Nova Scotia, then, is a somewhat curious offering, and opens with the upbeat, pounding ‘Sadness’, a disorienting number given the band’s penchant for sombre, dewy atmospherics. It’s also a surprise to find that ‘She’s Not Coming Back’ was actually written not about the rotting of an amorous relationship, but the media circus surrounding the death of Paula Yates. Still, if the band’s remaining members felt tentative about writing the album, they sure have a funny way of not showing it.

Reports: Coming Down On The Loaders

2005-04-22 00:00:00

The dramatic announcement last week that the Irish Record Music Assocation was planning to sue 17 individuals the association has identified as "serial file-sharers" sent shock waves through the industry. IRMA chief executive Dick Doyle explains the background to to the move. Report by Tanya Sweeney.

Live: Tom Baxter live at The Olympia, Dublin

2005-04-20 00:00:00

For all the romanticism and swoonsome sentiment, Baxter’s sound is frightfully muscular. Aided tonight by a string quartet, his set is bracing and uplifting in spades. Predictably, ‘Half A Man’ builds to a swooping crescendo, ‘The Moon & Me’ is brimming with vitality and substance, while his heartfelt rendition of ‘Almost There’ is almost unbearably perfect. As it was always meant to be, ‘My Declaration’ is an inspiration, intensely stirring the senses with little more than a perfect falsetto and a string quartet.

Live: Tom Baxter live at The Olympia, Dublin

2005-04-20 00:00:00

For all the romanticism and swoonsome sentiment, Baxter’s sound is frightfully muscular. Aided tonight by a string quartet, his set is bracing and uplifting in spades. Predictably, ‘Half A Man’ builds to a swooping crescendo, ‘The Moon & Me’ is brimming with vitality and substance, while his heartfelt rendition of ‘Almost There’ is almost unbearably perfect. As it was always meant to be, ‘My Declaration’ is an inspiration, intensely stirring the senses with little more than a perfect falsetto and a string quartet.

Live: Tom Baxter live at The Olympia, Dublin

2005-04-20 00:00:00

For all the romanticism and swoonsome sentiment, Baxter’s sound is frightfully muscular. Aided tonight by a string quartet, his set is bracing and uplifting in spades. Predictably, ‘Half A Man’ builds to a swooping crescendo, ‘The Moon & Me’ is brimming with vitality and substance, while his heartfelt rendition of ‘Almost There’ is almost unbearably perfect. As it was always meant to be, ‘My Declaration’ is an inspiration, intensely stirring the senses with little more than a perfect falsetto and a string quartet.

Live: Tom Baxter live at The Olympia, Dublin

2005-04-20 00:00:00

For all the romanticism and swoonsome sentiment, Baxter’s sound is frightfully muscular. Aided tonight by a string quartet, his set is bracing and uplifting in spades. Predictably, ‘Half A Man’ builds to a swooping crescendo, ‘The Moon & Me’ is brimming with vitality and substance, while his heartfelt rendition of ‘Almost There’ is almost unbearably perfect. As it was always meant to be, ‘My Declaration’ is an inspiration, intensely stirring the senses with little more than a perfect falsetto and a string quartet.

Interview: The Fathers Of Invention

2005-04-15 00:00:00

As Joy Division, and then New Order, Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris have been responsible for some of the most spellbinding, groundbreaking and downright brilliant music of the past twenty-five years. With their new album Waiting For The Sirens' Call in the top 10, the legendary trio here sound-off about the legions of bands they’ve influenced, Madchester, Ian Curtis, 24 Hour Party People, Bez, Gwen Stefani, and why they intend to continue their quest for sonic innovation for some time yet.

Album: Hal

2005-04-11 00:00:00

In a world largely punctuated with angular, upturned-collar punk riffery, Hal are a glittering exception. For an audience weaned largely on scruffy garage angst, Hal stands alone as an affable, nicely hazy sort of record. This is the kind of gloriously textured album that confounds expectation and subtly surprises with every track.

Interview: At home with... Hazel Kaneswaren

2005-04-06 00:00:00

Tanya Sweeney meets You’re A Star judge, DIY practitioner and Thai food enthusiast Hazel Kaneswaren in her laidback Co. Cavan abode. Photography by Cathal Dawson.

Interview: Detroit Rock City

2005-04-05 00:00:00

After being dropped by a major label, Detroit rocker Brendan Benson is overjoyed with his current status as the Motor City's hippest performer – just don't mention that Jack White connection.

Interview: Number 1 With A Bullet

2005-04-01 00:00:00

A former drug dealer, he’s been shot at nine times and lived to tell the tale, emerging as one of the most controversial and uncompromising figures in rap. But there's more to 50 Cent than the popular legend suggests. For a start, there’s a new commercial edge to the music, as his US and Irish number one album The Massacre demonstrates. Plus, as one of the new faces of Reebok’s ‘I Am What I Am’ campaign, he’s taken to the role of cultural icon with considerable zest. Oh, and besides, he’s a bit of a wow with the ladies.

Album: Engineers

2005-03-30 00:00:00

Engineers’ debut mini-album, Folly, indicated a love of all things arcane and prog, and their self-titled LP honours this tradition nicely. Coming across for all the world like a post-apocalyptic Mercury Rev, or a Zen-like Air, Engineers have mastered a wondrous union of adventuresome, obtuse sound-scapes and autumnal calm.

Live: Live At The Sugar Club, Dublin

2005-03-21 00:00:00

By all accounts, Willy Mason lives out of a van, which is currently stationed in California while he embarks on his European tour. Listening to his minimalist set packed with worldly, well-travelled gems, it certainly shows. It being his first Irish show, Mason is predictably a little tipsy (“Hell, I even drink like an American,” he drawls). Although he has become something of a media darling of late, he seems slightly disoriented by tonight’s rapturous reception.

Interview: The Boy From Donaghmede Takes On The World

2005-03-18 00:00:00

Damien Dempsey has battled his way centre stage, winning the support of luminaries as diverse as Morrissey, Robert Plant, Sinéad O'Connor, Larry Mullen and Brian Eno along the way. Now with the release of his third album Shots, he is poised to make a major breakthrough. Interview by Tanya Sweeney. Photos by Cathal Dawson.

Interview: The Sweet Smell of Success

2005-03-07 00:00:00

TV presenter, stand-up and all-round gifted wit and raconteur Dara O'Briain has quietly become one of the major Irish success stories in Britain over the past few years. In a rare in-depth interview, The Panel presenter here discusses stardom in the UK, The Killers, Colin Farrell, Michael Parkinson, RTE, Sinn Féin and that ringing endorsement from a certain Samuel L. Jackson. interview Tanya Sweeney photos Liam Sweeney

Live: Live at Whelan's, Dublin

2005-03-02 00:00:00

Who was it that said that beauty is a double-edged sword? True, it could be all too easy to denounce Mainline as six pretty boys, looking for all the world like a band of spruced-up Fonzies. Luckily their sound tells a different and much more substantial story.

Album: Making Music So You Don't Have To

2005-02-28 00:00:00

On first impression Making Music So You Don’t Have To is a ticklish, impulsive body of work, but its happy, functional marriage of strings, piano and guitars hints that the band have played nice, taken their hyperactivity medication and developed the album into a gratifyingly mature, ambitious and reflective work.

Album: Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight

2005-02-23 00:00:00

Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight is by all accounts an album that has been in the making for several months, and boy does it sound it. Left to marinade in its own splendid creative juices, the 66e sound has morphed from something cutesy and introspective into a glorious sonic sprawl, with vertiginous climaxes and windswept hooks.

Album: No Wow

2005-02-21 00:00:00

Lest you think that The Kills are a one-hit wonder, this sophomore album signals a further move into malevolent, dark territory, and their sound is all the better for it. Dabbling in dense, nihilistic atmospherics as championed by Joy Division, No Wow is gloriously twisted and angular.

Interview: Made Marian

2005-02-18 00:00:00

Scratch the skin of any Irish chick-lit queen and you’ll find a history of depression, alcoholism, low self-esteem and late blooming – especially if that novelist’s name is Marian Keyes. One of this country’s biggest selling fiction writers, Keyes talks about how she freed herself from poverty-stricken theocratic 1980s Ireland, took a leap of faith and found her voice in print. Not to mention M&M withdrawal, Cecelia Ahern, neo feminism and Anthony Kiedis. Interview: Tanya Sweeney. Photography: Cathal Dawson.

Interview: What KT Did

2005-02-17 00:00:00

Her dad’s got the keys to St. Andrew’s Observatory, her mum’s texting to say she’s just seen Prince William playing hockey, and her new album Eyes To The Telescope is currently bewitching audiences throughout Britain. Things could hardly be better for Scots singer-songwriter KT Tunstall.

Album: Some Cities

2005-02-16 00:00:00

Some Cities rages with a certain urgency, the sounds of a stolen car ride, charging from the outset with ‘Some Cities’, a thumping, forceful track that impressively kicks off proceedings. However, after this, the album is ripe with lush, pastoral texture, and is Doves’ most uplifting and thoroughly confident work to date.

Live: Live at the Temple Bar Music Centre, Dublin

2005-02-11 00:00:00

Carlsberg don’t do comebacks, but if they did, it would probably go a little something like this one. Some bands just deserve to be resurrected, and Kerbdog are very much one of them.

Interview: You’re So Vein

2005-02-10 00:00:00

With a little help from peers like Johnny Moy and Primal Scream, Mainline look like animating the Irish scene with some long overdue black-shades-and-scuzz-rock sleaze.

Single: Baby Let’s Dance

2005-02-08 00:00:00

Badly Drawn Boy would be proud – Q, aka Colm Quearney has decided to flout convention by drumming up an altogether more sunny, colourful strain of acoustica. With its lilting trumpets and upbeat vibe, ‘Baby Lets Dance’ is a hugely endearing, flavoursome number, and proves that Quearney has come a long way since his days in Lir.

Single: George’s Street Arcade

2005-02-08 00:00:00

Fans of Bell X1, Damien Rice and Mundy may well be familiar with Cooke’s unique brand of shimmering rock. Like his one-time gigging buddies, Cooke does a neat line in understated emotive acoustic rock, and this EP is gilded with intimacy and introspection.

Single: Who Is It

2005-02-08 00:00:00

Medulla left people lost for words - in the best possible way - and this single honours Bjork’s tradition of marrying complexity with atmospheric esoterica. As one of the album’s more accessible tracks, ‘Who Is It’ is the perfect gateway into Bjork’s wonderful, if a little warped, world.

Single: Plan 9

2005-02-08 00:00:00

Although it sounds as though it was conceived in a Tarantino-esque netherworld, this EP was in fact recorded largely in the deepest darkest wilds of Donnybrook.

Single: Thru The Glass

2005-02-08 00:00:00

Forget those Keane comparisons; Thirteen Senses are sounding more like Starsailor as each day passes. Despite this affliction, this single is startlingly accomplished, and boasts the type of production that suggests their label is grooming them for success of Coldplay proportions.

Single: Shipwreckers

2005-02-08 00:00:00

Buoyed by a blast of fresh air, James Yorkston’s new single is a rousing track that evokes the alpine freshness of Nick Drake and his folky ilk. As with the album, Just Beyond The River, ‘Shipwreckers’ packs little sonic punch, yet its comforting, organic strains make for enchantingly emotional stuff. As far as soul-soothing sounds go, Yorkston is on to a true winner here.

Single: Take It Away

2005-02-08 00:00:00

Previously, The Used were more notable for harbouring a frontman that, like, y’know, used to date Kelly Osbourne. Laughable tabloid celebrity aside, this is a splendid, chaotic sound which marries the forceful energy of Incubus to the kind of aggravated assault familiar to fans of At The Drive In.

Single: Silent Alarm

2005-02-08 00:00:00

‘The band most likely to do a Franz Ferdinand in 2005!’ proclaims a UK music weekly. This single tells a different story. Bloc Party go one further than the usual flotsam of Joy Division-inspired noiseniks and combine their angular guitar-based funk/punk with a certain amount of heartfelt sentiment.

Single: Galvanise

2005-02-08 00:00:00

How nice, if a little surprising, to find the Chemical Brothers still flourishing creatively after a decade of electro releases. This year sees the duo move into hip-hop territory.

Interview: The Secret History

2005-02-07 00:00:00

Having successfully avoided submersion into Tim DeLaughter’s Polyphonic Spree, New York-based psych-rockers Secret Machines are now touring with The Chemical Brothers and being widely cited as one of the hottest bands on the US underground.

Album: Last Of The Dead Empires

2005-02-03 00:00:00

Armed with the sonic verve and drive of a battalion of horsemen, this debut album is a staggering wake-up call that not only delivers on its early promise, but also suggests that greater things are yet to come.

Interview: Route 66

2005-02-02 00:00:00

They got knocked down, but they got up again – Dublin rockers 66E have weathered their setbacks and are now attracting serious attention for their epic soundscapes, which critics have likened to the work of Mercury Rev, Doves and Radiohead.

Live: Live At The Sugar Club, Dublin

2005-01-31 00:00:00

Though few performers can carry off the Casio/solo-guitar/funny-banter combo (just ask Kittser), Rhys has mastered it with startling ease. He mumbles his random anecdotes, punctuated by odd cricket or ocean sound from his trusty Casio… the whole effect sounds not unlike Neosupervital rousing the comedic spirit of Andy Kaufman.

Album: The Great Destroyer

2005-01-31 00:00:00

While The Great Destroyer is a much more straightforward rock record, there is certainly still much to be admired in Parker and Sparhawk’s muted chemistry. Their cuddly intimacy has given way to a much more charged sound.

Live: Live At The Point Depot, Dublin

2005-01-28 00:00:00

If you ever wondered how Slash’s legendary guitar solos would go down without the requisite fog of cigarette smoke in these post-ban environs, the short answer tonight is; they don’t. Shrugging off the rules with enviable elan, the ex-Guns’n’Roses guitarist is tonight doing what he does best – flouting convention and delivering the type of riffs for which big hair and a smattering of menacing looking tattoos are almost required.

Album: The Secret Migration

2005-01-26 00:00:00

With its orchestral overtones, The Secret Migration is certainly ambitious in scope, yet its planners are never cocky about their obvious mastery.

Interview: Love Is Here To Stay

2005-01-21 00:00:00

After a decade of bitter recriminations, iconic indie rockers House Of Love are back in business with a brand new record, Days Run Away.

Live: Oxfam Tsunami relief show in the TBMC, Dublin

2005-01-12 00:00:00

Though a charity gig hardly makes for the perfect barometer, it is still perpetually astounding to note the evolution (or devolution?) of Damien Rice’s live audiences.

Live: Live in Dublin's RDS

2005-01-12 00:00:00

What better antidote to the dusty horror of a family Christmas than the company of New York’s finest boogie-funk innovators?

Album: B-Sides (Bonus CD on living)

2004-12-13 00:00:00

If you are a fan of Casey’s particular brand of neatly-crafted acoustica, it will certainly keep your hunger locked-up until his next album arrives.

Interview: At home with Paula Cullen

2004-12-09 00:00:00

It used to be a dentist’s surgery and the interior décor might generously be described as “quixotic”, but The Chalets’ Paula Cullen wouldn’t dream of departing her well-populated Walkinstown residence.

Single: breathless/there she goes, my beautiful world

2004-12-07 00:00:00

Lifted from what is arguably his most aesthetically pleasing album to date, The Lyre Of Orpheus, Breathless is ripe with poetic finery and endless elegance. Although some prefer Caves tortured, writhing energy, this single proves that he can also turn his hand to a splendidly tender and touching acoustic love song. By contrast, There She Goes, My Beautiful World is a more upbeat though no less affecting affair, marrying Caves sombre baritone with the joyful sound of the London Community Gospel Choir. Predictably, its a near-perfect moment of life-affirming splendour.

Interview: Triumph Of The Will

2004-12-08 00:00:00

They may not fit neatly alongside the sensations currently pouring out of London, but fresh-faced English rockers Thirteen Senses are nonetheless still brewing up a storm on the UK indie scene.

Live: The Ens live at The Village, Dublin

2004-12-07 00:00:00

Given certain external factors (killer football game on the box, torrential rain), the Village boasts quite a respectable crowd on this midweek night. Granted, the room is populated largely by a chattering mass of posturing students, but they make an appreciative crowd for Tipperary four-piece The Ens nonetheless.

Album: Irish Son

2004-12-07 00:00:00

Robbie Williams has a hell of a lot to answer for. Nowadays, every trained chump in the charts feels that they too can have a stab at credible solo stardom (and bagging an unspeakable amount of money from a major label).

Interview: Andy You're A Star

2004-12-06 00:00:00

Northern rockers Therapy? are back in the saddle with their tenth studio album Never Apologise, Never Explain – and as Andy Cairns tells Tanya Sweeney, their rabble rousing punk ethic remains as sharply ingrained as ever.

Single: You raise me up (with the Celtic Tenors)

2004-12-03 00:00:00

In theory, Ireland’s best loved pop strumpet is in a perfect position to breathe some youthful life into the stuffy sound of the tenors, but unfortunately, Samantha misses the mark by a country mile.

Single: You raise me up

2004-12-03 00:00:00

In theory, Ireland’s best loved pop strumpet is in a perfect position to breathe some youthful life into the stuffy sound of the tenors, but unfortunately, Samantha misses the mark by a country mile.

Single: Just lose it

2004-12-03 00:00:00

Just when you thought we’d lost Marshall Mathers to the dark side following his Oscar win (for ‘Lose Yourself’), he confounds all expectations by pulling a playful, wonderfully infantile track out of the air.

Single: Could well be in

2004-12-03 00:00:00

Okay, so the anodyne tune itself might not sound out of place on a PJ & Duncan album, but as ever, it’s Mike Skinner’s wry observation of the complicated mating rituals of middle England that gives the single its impetus.

Single: Killamangiro

2004-12-03 00:00:00

A certain music magazine has, amusingly, dubbed Pete Doherty the coolest person in rock. Apparently, countless court dates and a debilitating junk habit are back in vogue again.

Single: This is the Last Time

2004-12-03 00:00:00

Twinkly piano? Check. Choir-boy falsetto vocals? Check. Windswept sentimentality? Check. Keane are turning out to be something of a one trick pony, but when the trick is this good, no-one really seems to mind.

Single: Radio Ga Ga

2004-12-03 00:00:00

From credible Detroit rock outfit to tedious novelty act in a matter of months – it’s an impressive about-turn.

Single: White Christmas

2004-12-03 00:00:00

A rocked-up cover of the Bing Crosby classic is enough to instil fear into the heart of even the most dewy-eyed of Yuletime fans, but fortunately Juno Falls pull it off with surprising gusto.

Single: My Perogative

2004-12-03 00:00:00

You know a pop career is very much on the wind-down when you’ve to turn to Bobby Brown for creative support.

Single: Lose my Breath

2004-12-03 00:00:00

Lo and behold, the much-mooted Destiny’s Child reunion has finally materialised...

Single: Numb/ Encore (with Linkin Park)

2004-12-03 00:00:00

It’s an unlikely enough combination, yet somehow this improbable mash-up seems to work.

Single: Breathless/ There She Goes, my Beautiful World

2004-12-03 00:00:00

Lifted from what is arguably his most aesthetically pleasing album to date, The Lyre Of Orpheus, ‘Breathless’ is ripe with poetic finery and endless elegance.

Interview: Bohemian Rhapsody

2004-11-25 00:00:00

Having lived a peripatetic existence for several years, Katell Keineg has now settled in Dublin and is earning deserved kudos for her moody brand of arty acoustica.

Album: Tales Told By Ian Broudie

2004-11-25 00:00:00

Don’t let that tastefully designed album sleeve fool you, for Ian Broudie’s first solo album makes for dispiritingly artless listening.

Album: Second First Impression

2004-11-23 00:00:00

True love waits and all, but for the third album, I’d suggest a return to the bedroom studio…and maybe he should bring a couple of birds in tow to really loosen things up.

Album: Live At The Spiegeltent

2004-11-23 00:00:00

Overall, this live album, recorded during Dublin’s Fringe Festival, is a wondrous, heady clash of strings, horns calypso jazz-pop and sexed up cabaret.

Interview: Mr Agreeable

2004-11-12 00:00:00

Far from the misanthropic character of lore, Tommy Tiernan is in fact a remarkably upbeat performer with a spring in his step and a whole host of new material to debut on his upcoming Loose tour. “Life is good, God is great and tay is hot!” he tells Tanya Sweeney.

Interview: The Sweet Hereafter

2004-11-09 00:00:00

Having departed the major label fold, Halite’s Graham Hopkins is back on song with the band’s independently made sophomore effort, Courses

Live: Live At Vicar St, Dublin

2004-11-08 00:00:00

Wainwright reels the audience in with his vulnerable, tragic songwriting, then makes his moist-eyed audience howl when he exclaims that he never much fancied the bloke for whom his songs were written anyway (“he wasn’t much into boys…but he did like singers,” he muses slyly).

Interview: O’Rourke On The Wild Side

2004-11-08 00:00:00

Paul Brady and Eddi Reader are raving about his work, and his album is surging up the charts – but Ireland’s latest singer-songwriter sensation Declan O’Rourke is still making his own breakfast.

Album: Gold Medal

2004-11-05 00:00:00

Long gone are the days when the Donnas were perfect teen-movie soundtrack fodder. As the fair maidens of new hair-metal, they’re a little like the missing link between Angus Young and Courtney Love.

Single: If They Don’t Care, Why Should I?

2004-11-05 00:00:00

The Berries’ second EP heralds the arrival of another new band to keep peepers peeled for.

Single: 66E Are Home

2004-11-05 00:00:00

‘66e Are Home’ is a dewy-eyed lullaby, enhanced with an impressive falsetto vocal (and further in, some ickle girly vocals that work a treat).

Single: The End Has No End

2004-11-05 00:00:00

There’s something inherently grating about The Strokes’ dedication to being studiously cool, yet all is forgiven when they can bang out such accomplished tunes.

Single: Porcelain

2004-11-05 00:00:00

Taken from their wondrous sophomore album of the same name, ‘Porcelain’ is a seething, ornate and riotous work, though it’s also strangely poppy and palatable.

Single: Rise Of The Eagles

2004-11-05 00:00:00

This single proves that The 80s Matchbox B-Line Distaster are more than just a haircut band.

Single: I Believe In You

2004-11-05 00:00:00

Hardly the finest four minutes in Kylie’s back catalogue, but sure it’ll do for a quick drunken dance on a Saturday night…

Single: Rosemary

2004-11-05 00:00:00

Adopting the maxim that simplicity is the key, ‘Rosemary’ is a nicely earnest acoustic song, buoyed with an undeniable feel-good factor.

Single: The Man Don’t Give A Fuck

2004-11-05 00:00:00

Currently soundtracking various anti-Bush TV soundbites (of course), this version of the single takes almost a full three minutes to kick in, but once it does, it makes for pretty anthemic listening.

Single: Mary

2004-11-05 00:00:00

As always, the Scissor Sisters are ever so generous with their B-sides…a funky Junkie XL remix of ‘Mary’, and a rather Elton-ified version of Franz Ferdinand’s ‘Take Me Out’.

Single: Two-Timing Touch & Broken Bones

2004-11-05 00:00:00

I’m still trying to figure out what the title means, but aside from that, this single is regular Hives fare – 2 minutes of E numbers-fuelled mayhem, welded to a distinctly infectious killer hook.

Single: Y Control

2004-11-05 00:00:00

It’s certainly one of the sexiest singles you’ll hear all year, though beware…for effect, it needs to be played really fucking loud.

Album: This Island

2004-11-04 00:00:00

Although This Island sounds like it was a hell of a lot of fun to make, the whole album has a slightly disposable feel.

Album: Frank Black Francis

2004-11-15 00:00:00

For the true-blue Pixie aficionado, this album is nothing short of a godsend, something to keep hunger at bay while The Pixies regroup in the studio.

Interview: Swede dreams

2004-10-29 00:00:00

Scandinavian alterna queen Stina Nordenstam is determined to keep the hype to a minimum and let her music do the talking – and so far the plan is paying off in spades.

Album: Folker

2004-10-28 00:00:00

Westerberg’s fifth full-length album is curiously anodyne, an uninspired throwback to a time when those hopelessly bland, three-chord wonders were all the rage.

Album: Never Apologise, Never Explain

2004-11-01 00:00:00

Andy Cairns and co. are back to being uncompromisingly, relentlessly and unapologetically loud…and the album is certainly all the better for it.

Album: From A Basement On The Hill

2004-10-13 00:00:00

Like most of Smith’s music, the album sounds on occasion like the work of a man carrying out a war in his own mind, yet is also tinged with calm and life-affirming joy. Many songs reflect his usual mix of hope, frustration and weary resignation to life’s injustices.

Album: American Idiot

2004-10-11 00:00:00

American Idiot is a triumph of noise over resonance, and it’s almost as though the last 10 years have barely happened. These punks are unlikely to make your day.

Album: Courses

2004-09-29 00:00:00

When Graham Hopkins found himself on the other side of Warner Music Ireland’s door, by rights it should have signalled a downturn in the drummer-turned-singer’s fortunes. Not so. Since the release of their debut album Head On, Halite have also morphed, Foo Fighters stylee, from the singular vision of one multi-instrumentalist to a more ensemble effort.


2004-09-28 00:00:00

It’s little wonder that Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith is being treated like some kind of prodigal son tonight. After all, he is more than qualified to join the ranks of Ireland’s acoustic army. Having spent much of last year on these shores, Sexsmith has learned what makes Irish audiences tick.

Album: The Monkeys In The Zoo Have More Fun Than Me

2004-09-28 00:00:00

Where the Redneck Manifesto appear brimming with intent and fury, the music of The Redneck’s Richie Egan’s other vehicle, Jape, is beautifully lilting and celebratory.

Interview: Ups and downes

2004-09-27 00:00:00

An image-savvy frontman with a parapsychology obsession – Chuzzle lead-singer Darragh Downes is injecting some much-needed colour into the local independent scene.

Interview: The domino effect

2004-09-27 00:00:00

With Franz Ferdinand sweeping all before them, Tanya Sweeney talks to Domino Records’ latest star in waiting – and favourite son of Ireland’s singer-songwriter community.

Album: Slick Corporate Music

2004-09-20 00:00:00

Otherwise known as the foursome from Athlone who ruffled Hugh Hefner’s marabou feathers (when they adopted his famous Playboy logo as their own), Bunny’s debut single ‘Fearless’, released last year, gave listeners an interesting taste of things to come. The good news? Slick Corporate Music delivers on this promise.

Album: Lets Bottle Bohemia

2004-09-20 00:00:00

“They’re this year’s Toploader,” argued a colleague upon the release of The Thrills’ debut album last year. He was wrong, but he was typical, The Thrills have had more than their fair share of detractors.

Interview: Return Of The Prodigy Son

2004-09-10 00:00:00

Having lost his way for a bit, Liam Howlett is back with a new enthusiasm and a new sound for The Prodigy. “No one has filled our shoes – now we’ve come back to tread on everyone else’s feet,” he tells Tanya Sweeney.

Live: Electric Picnic

2004-09-09 00:00:00

It was dubbed a “boutique” festival. but how did The Electric Picnic measure up as an event?

Interview: The new waves

2004-09-06 00:00:00

The Dublin band who left home to make their name in America are back – and determined, belatedly, to put faces to their names in Ireland.

Interview: Major's Tom

2004-08-25 00:00:00

Sony love him, so do the music mags and so will you. Good looks, soulful music, a major label act with an indie heart – how can Tom Baxter go wrong?

Album: Ghosts

2004-08-19 00:00:00

Having spent much of last year touring the world, Ghosts paints pictures of scenic journeys, newly visited cities, and as such is gilded with a freshness and lust for life that can only be evoked by someone seeing much of the world for the first time.

Interview: Major's Tom

2004-08-18 00:00:00

Sony love him, so do the music mags and so will you. Good looks, soulful music, a major label act with an indie heart – how can Tom Baxter go wrong?

Album: Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned

2004-08-16 00:00:00

Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned makes for wonderfully vital listening.

Interview: The year of the Cathy

2004-08-13 00:00:00

After all the hype and a certain number of raised eyebrows, Cathy Davey is finally ready to go on record. Just don’t ask her about ‘paying her dues’.

Album: The Handler

2004-08-12 00:00:00

Interview: The Wainright Stuff

2004-08-11 00:00:00

Famous dad, famous mum, at one time wanted to be Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz – but Rufus Wainwright has grown up to be very much his own man.

Interview: The Wainright Stuff

2004-08-11 00:00:00

Single: When I get there

2004-08-11 00:00:00

As the evening’s house band, the young bucks from Wicklow made a splash at Dublin’s recent Johnny Cash tribute gig for all the right reasons.

Single: All bets are off

2004-08-11 00:00:00

Mixtwitch may be from Dublin, but they have their ska/sk8er-boi personae down to a fine art.

Single: Gravitas

2004-08-11 00:00:00

After their startlingly accomplished debut, Belfast band Desert Hearts up the ante with this incredibly gut-wrenching EP.

Single: In time

2004-08-11 00:00:00

Forget Groove Armada - if ever a band was adept at capturing the hedonistic abandon of summer, it’s Zero 7

Single: Clean & Neat

2004-08-11 00:00:00

As the object of the most hotly contested A&R battle for quite a while, it’s now time for Dubliner Cathy Davey to put her sizeable label advance where her mouth is.

Single: The first of the gang to die

2004-08-11 00:00:00

When you sound like a version of a band that sound like a weak version of you, what exactly does that mean?

Single: Everything is everything

2004-08-11 00:00:00

The much-underrated Phoenix are, in every sense, something to behold.

Single: I touch myself

2004-08-11 00:00:00

After the modest success of ‘Don’t Wanna Know Your Name’, Saucy Monky return with a thoroughly modern cover of the Divinyl’s cheeky classic

Single: Walk idiot

2004-08-11 00:00:00

Don’t let appearances fool you…The Hives may be tuxedoed and primed to kill, but their music can hardly be considered black tie.

Interview: Keane as Mustard

2004-08-05 00:00:00

You might say they’re like Coldplay or Travis. But there’s more to Keane than meets the eye.

Interview: Turn @ Oxegen [video interview]

2004-08-05 00:00:00

Live: The Charlatans live in Dublin

2004-08-04 00:00:00

It always appeared as though The Charlatans were very much of their time, a paean to the wayward Britpop hedonism of the early nineties, but their live show demonstrates that the songs are as culturally relevant now as they ever were.

Album: Something Ilk

2004-08-03 00:00:00

Something Ilk display the tender shoots of what promises to be a hugely illustrious career. Hype can often be akin to the kiss of death for a new artist, but Davey has the sheer talent and the lust for life to kiss right back.

Album: The Libertines

2004-07-29 00:00:00

The Libertines dish up more of the same, imbuing louche, exuberant garage-punk with an unhinged romantic acumen.

Interview: Elbow @ Oxegen [video interview]

2004-07-27 00:00:00

Interview: Republic Of Luas

2004-07-26 00:00:00

They’re different, they’re fun, they have their critics but more and more people seem to love them. But enough about the trams; it’s all aboard for an interview with another Dublin sensation Republic of Loose.

Interview: Future Kings Of Spain @ Oxegen [video interview]

2004-07-26 00:00:00

Live: live in Dubin

2004-07-21 00:00:00

Though his set is punctuated with flashes of brilliance, Styles and his band have their work cut out for them winning over this particular audience...

Interview: Bell X1 @ Oxegen [video interview]

2004-07-20 00:00:00

Live: Heavenly Creatures

2004-07-16 00:00:00

It’s certainly plain to see how their teaming of sentimental, wide-eyed AOR and neo-trad power choruses is a hit with the audience, and they are indisputably talented, yet there is still something about the Corrs that strikes me as somewhat bloodless. Perhaps it’s me, for I haven’t seen an audience in the Point so animated and enthusiastic in ages.

Album: A Northern Country

2004-07-13 00:00:00

Veering on occasion between sugary lo-fi goodness and sleepy-eyed acoustica, Crowley is Ireland’s real overlord of broody, mournful melancholia.

Album: A BNort

2004-07-13 00:00:00

Album: Contraband

2004-07-13 00:00:00

Displaying more balls than Old Trafford on a Saturday afternoon, Velvet Revolver’s music is much more than the sum of its parts – and that’s saying something.

Album: Hurt No More

2004-07-13 00:00:00

What looks like a rather finely crafted album on paper ultimately fails to materialise once heard. In today’s oversubscribed R&B circles it takes more than a six-pack and an A-list mentor to make the magic happen.

News: Tanya Sweeney files early report!

2004-07-10 00:00:00

Either we’re intoning for the good weather of last year - we’ve been thoroughly spoiled with great outdoor shows this summer - but there’s no chance whatsoever of picking up the much coveted farmer’s sunburn at this year’s Oxegen. If you thought to bring an umbrella to this year’s festival, you’re certainly ahead of the game…

Interview: At home with Alison Curtis

2004-07-08 00:00:00

Welcome to the abode of consummate music collector and highly sociable gal-about town, Alison Curtis.

Interview: Drawn to the Irish Stage

2004-07-07 00:00:00

One of the star attractions of Bud Rising, Badly Drawn Boy – AKA Damon Gough – explains his special connection with audiences in this country and his grudging regard for pop talent shows on the box words Tanya Sweeney


2004-07-05 00:00:00

The Datsuns have been riding high in the band-it’s-cool-to-love stakes. Despite the overblown hype that has propelled the band to tabloid rock greatness, the Datsuns appear ungoverned by fad. Quite the opposite: their decidedly non-trendy brand of taut 70’s primordial rock wins tonight’s audience over.


2004-07-01 00:00:00

As Metallica take to the stage amid a cacophony of fireworks, it seems that, despite their sonic brutality, their slick show is beginning to feel a little…well, inauthentic. In fact, it feels a little like Imax…but with a much better soundtrack.

Album: You’re going home in a floating ambience

2004-07-01 00:00:00

This may be their first foray onto a major label, but Babatikidido is still a typically unconventional project.. As the soundtrack to avant-garde choreographer Merce Cunningham’s 50th Gala Performance, this three-track instrumental wonder is appropriately fluid and dramatic.

Interview: Tossing the Orb

2004-06-30 00:00:00

After 15 years and seven albums of premium electronica and blissful live shows, Orbital are shutting down all systems.

Album: Stone Love

2004-06-29 00:00:00

‘Stone Love’ could have gone either way, yet for some bizarre reason, Stone’s low-light, richly moody music works perfectly, proving that you can never get too much of a good thing. Credit for Stone may be long overdue; with any luck, ‘Stone Love’ will be remembered for showing the R&B set how it’s really done.

Album: It's About Time

2004-06-28 00:00:00

It’s a shame, really, given her overwhelming potential, that Milian has chosen to emulate Beyoncé so pointedly, not only in appearance, but in musical bent. Ultimately, It’s About Time suffers from uncreative, cheap-sounding production; a paradox, given its almost slavish dedication to the teachings of Pharrell Williams. A scantily-clad teen popstrel is a many splendoured thing; why they insist on putting out so many stunningly mediocre records remains a mystery.

Interview: Everything’s coming up Roesy

2004-06-24 00:00:00

Taking the DIY ethic a step further than many, Alan Roe, aka Roesy, devised a rather creatively impressive way to raise money to record his album Only Love Is Real.

Interview: Blame it on the bogey

2004-06-16 00:00:00

Mutya Buena is the Sugababe the tabloids love to hate, an uncomfortable phenomenon the half-Irish half-Filipino star seems to take in her stride.

Single: Sonic Nurse

2004-06-14 00:00:00

They may be pushing 50 by now, but there’s no budging Kim Gordon or Thurston Moore from their position as seminal overlords of the US garage set.

Single: Laura

2004-06-14 00:00:00

Where Scissor Sisters had previously been the sorcerers of the instant dance-floor classic, ‘Laura’ is disappointingly lightweight.

Single: Bliss

2004-06-14 00:00:00

‘Bliss’ is terminally elegant, a lush paean to faded glamour and sophisticated smoky nightlife.

Single: Absent Friends

2004-06-14 00:00:00

Despite the song’s pastoral bent, it’s a fresh and enchanting offering; the perfect follow-up to the equally masterly ‘Come Home Billy Bird’.

Single: What Am I To You?

2004-06-14 00:00:00

As ever, it’s Jones’ utterly delectable vocal that draws the listener in, and ultimately provides the real power in the package.

Single: Headlites

2004-06-14 00:00:00

At once exuberant, uplifting and highly charged, ‘Headlites’ is blessed with a truly kick-arse chorus, while the fiery B-side ‘The Beautiful Mission’ is worthy of a release of its own.

Single: The Letter

2004-06-14 00:00:00

Polly’s lusty falsetto shriek, compounded with a snarling guitar riff, results in a three-minute visceral thrill, and a wonderful return to form for one of rock’s true deities.

Single: Roses

2004-06-14 00:00:00

Not quite possessed of the immediacy or anthemic clout of ‘Hey Ya’, Roses is a cannily ‘come-hither’ record all the same.

Single: Wutheirng Heights

2004-06-14 00:00:00

Taking ‘Wuthering Heights’ and giving it a flamenco spin may appear an ill-advised move at first, yet the Galway native’s stab at reworking the Kate Bush classic works out surprisingly well.

Single: Magic

2004-06-14 00:00:00

‘Magic’ is the perfect snapshot of an illustrious career cut tragically short, and a reminder of how delicately rousing Drake was.

Album: Outta Sight/ Outta Mind

2004-06-09 00:00:00

The new Datsuns LP is under scrutiny from Tanya Sweeney...

Live: Tribute gig in Dublin

2004-06-08 00:00:00

Sometimes at tribute gigs, the air is heavy with the sound of befuddled musicians hammering out half-learned covers, in an effort to be heard over the cacophony of fans trying to outdo each other with tales about ‘back in the day’...

Album: Play to Win

2004-06-01 00:00:00

Once upon a time, it was almost too easy to denounce Gabrielle as an anodyne chanteuse who simply got lucky with her radio-friendly hit ‘Dreams’ 11 years ago...

Interview: At home with... Ollie Cole

2004-05-26 00:00:00

Home-recording buff, culinary wizard and fully paid-up member of the local indie cognoscenti – welcome to the cultured residence of turn singer Ollie Cole.

Interview: Room at the Top

2004-05-19 00:00:00

...or, at least, very much on their way up. Fresh from their victory in a Today FM listeners’ poll, Cork’s The Waiting Room are on the move.

Interview: At home with...Maria Tecce

2004-05-18 00:00:00

Johnny Cash & Tom Waits, oodles of books, Sex and the City and bathsalts... welcome to Maria Tecce’s bohemian rhapsody.

Album: Who Killed the Zutons?

2004-05-18 00:00:00

Reasons to be cheerful…the often-fickle world of indie appears to be facing an about turn; hey, things are even undergoing a facelift round Merseyside way. Liverpool’s newest young things The Zutons are striking out on their own, easily evading notions of scouse copyism with a collision of taut, wild-eyed rock and oddly belligerent soul.

Interview: We built this rock 'n' roll on the city

2004-05-11 00:00:00

A road crash, a shooting and wild tales of Axl Rose – The Bronx send greetings from LA.

Album: I don't want you back

2004-05-11 00:00:00

The elements for an Enrique-lite pop act are all in place: a cutesy, denim-clad, doe-eyed young buck sings faux-touching, unassuming power ballads laced with pop, R&B and doo-wop.

Interview: The Zuton Clan

2004-05-10 00:00:00

From supporting The Thrills to making waves of their own, Scallydelics The Zutons are the new sound of England's West Coast

Album: A Grand Don't Come For Free

2004-05-06 00:00:00

Armed with a hood-load of forceful character and a (Ben Sherman) pocket full of poesies, Mike Skinner has single-handedly altered the British urban/garage landscape

Album: Cemetery Shoes

2004-05-05 00:00:00

By his own admission, Oklahoma-born Johnny Dowd lived the textbook American childhood, “driving in Daddy’s car, falling in love and listening to the radio”

Album: Cemetery Shoes

2004-05-05 00:00:00

By his own admission, Oklahoma-born Johnny Dowd lived the textbook American childhood, “driving in Daddy’s car, falling in love and listening to the radio”

Interview: Guerillas in our Midst

2004-04-30 00:00:00

They’re the unsigned bands who are currently storming the Irish charts with little aid from the mainstream music industry – meet Morello, Transmitter and Ginseng.

Album: Songs from the Gasstation

2004-05-04 00:00:00

The singer-songwriter backlash may be painfully overdue, but hold off a while – long enough at least, to give the affable Stewart Agnew a go

Single: Strange Boy/ How Many Times

2004-04-29 00:00:00

Highly engaging and promising stuff from the Lakota camp

Single: Everybody's Changing

2004-04-29 00:00:00

As a follow-up to the highly tedious ‘Somewhere Only We Know’, this single is an equally insipid and underwhelming offering

Single: In My Bed/ You Sent Me Flying

2004-04-29 00:00:00

A sexy, sassy post-millennial slice of pop perfection

Single: Flutters for Cuts

2004-04-29 00:00:00

The criminally underrated Cane 141 are wholly deserving of a place as exalted in Ireland’s musical ecosystem

Single: Sing for Absolution

2004-04-29 00:00:00

The single arrives in – zoiks – a ‘static shield bag’ and handling instructions, as though it were some kind of weapon of mass destruction

Single: Jellyman

2004-04-29 00:00:00

Already a favourite at Autamata live shows, ‘Jellyman’ further showcases the collaborative talents of maverick producer Ken McHugh and the gonna-be-huge Cathy Davey.

Single: Summer in the Ctiy

2004-04-29 00:00:00

If SS800 lived in London, they could probably give the industry quite a shot in the arm…instead, they still reside in Cork where they remain one of the cornerstones of an increasingly diverse and vibrant scene.

Single: You Will You Won't

2004-04-29 00:00:00

Often compared to stablemates The Coral and currently attracting a lot of attention in industry circles in the UK

Single: The Indecision of Arthur Molloy

2004-04-29 00:00:00

Dunno who this Arthur Molloy is, but he has evidently inspired a record of such sheer beauty, sincerity and substance, he must be a fine and glorious fellow indeed.

Single: Take Your Mama

2004-04-29 00:00:00

Sounding for all the world like Elton John in his halcyon days, or even Primal Scream on some new-fangled designer drug

Single: Baby You Should Know

2004-04-29 00:00:00

Generally speaking, when people in love with each other make records, the results are utterly inspiring and arrestingly beautiful.

Album: Honeymoon Junkies

2004-04-29 00:00:00

Dunno about you, but I’m less than thrilled when I go to a gig and I can hear the clinking of ice in my glass over the actual music.

Interview: Sex and The Single Girl

2004-04-29 00:00:00

One more time with feeling, Tanya Sweeney pays her respects to sex and the city, a television show which had a profound impact on sex, fashion and female singledom. and we haven’t entirely seen the last of Carrie and co. either…

Live: Too Homely By Far

2004-04-27 00:00:00

Having provided background music for a gazillion middle-aged dinner parties the world over, it was always going to be interesting to see how Norah Jones’ particular brand of intimate, sittin’-on-the-dock-of-the-Starbucks music would fare in the vast expanse of the Point.

Interview: Everything That Rises Must Converge

2004-04-27 00:00:00

A visit from Larry Harvey, creator of Nevada’s legendary Burning Man festival, looks set to be one of the highlights of Dublin’s forthcoming convergence weekend.

Album: 90 Mile Beach

2004-04-22 00:00:00

Holt are certainly not the first band in the Irish canon to head for sunnier, less mercurial climes in search of musical awakening

Interview: The Passion of JC

2004-04-21 00:00:00

Another one out of N'Sync, JC Chasez on his solo career, Justin and Britney.

Album: The Wounds of Christ Cast a Long Shadow

2004-04-20 00:00:00

Unsettling, perplexing and not remotely entertaining

Album: Made From Sand

2004-03-30 00:00:00

While nobody was looking, a silent revolution happened in the Irish music scene. Out of the singer-songwriter pact and shoegazing electro posse, a cross-breed sprang up..

Interview: Bringing it on again

2004-03-25 00:00:00

Having survived tour burnout and record-industry hassle, Mercury prizewinners Gomez re-emerge fitter and, possibly, a little happier.

Album: Summer Make Good

2004-03-25 00:00:00

They may be one twin sister down, otherwise things remain stubbornly unchanged in camp Múm. Recorded largely in a deserted lightkeeper’s house, Summer Make Good boasts appropriate titles such as ‘Hu Hviss – A Ship’, ‘Abandoned Ship Bells’and ‘Oh How The Boat Drifts’, and the overall effect is a tender, intimate exploration of heavenly, frosted soundscapes.

Album: I'll Sing 'til the Sun Turns Cold

2004-03-25 00:00:00

You could say that Goodtime John has his ducks all in a row at the moment. Having released the well-received Brought Four Ways Out Of Town, John Cowhie found himself comfortably nestled within the city’s sometimes cliquish lo-fi community..

Live: Ross' point

2004-03-25 00:00:00

“The time has come for me/To break out of the shell/I have to shout/That I’m coming out/I want the world to know/Got to let it show”…having passionately waxed lyrical in these very pages about The Vines, Snow Patrol and Kings Of Leon over the last few months, I was slightly surprised to find myself heading towards The Point for a Diana Ross gig.

Album: 46664

2004-03-25 00:00:00

Named after Nelson Mandela’s infamous prison number, this 3-CD collection was recorded at last years’ Cape Town charity event for HIV/AIDS awareness.

Interview: At home with..Jenny Huston

2004-03-23 00:00:00

From 2fm’s The Waiting Room to her own porch, Jenny Huston takes us on a tour of her music, and most treasured possessions.

Album: All for a Reason

2004-03-23 00:00:00

After an intense A&R scrum, the much-lauded Haven released their emotional, hand-wringing debut Between The Senses amid clouds of ‘promising indie hopefuls’ plaudits.

Single: Come Home Billy Bird

2004-03-23 00:00:00

The boy Hannon can always be relied on to cobble together a cracking radio-friendly tune, and this is gladly no exception.


2004-03-23 00:00:00

Scribble and Rulers of the Planet's singles reviewed.

Single: Another Day

2004-03-23 00:00:00

Scribble and Rulers of the Planet's singles reviewed.


2004-03-23 00:00:00

They have on occasion been described as economy-class Air, but don’t let that mislead you.


2004-03-23 00:00:00

They’re on the same label as Liberty X, Grandaddy and Stereophonics, but the Icarus Line are – thankfully – a different breed of band.

Single: The Way you Move

2004-03-23 00:00:00

It may have been nigh-on impossible to top the genius that was ‘Hey Ya', yet Outkast have risen majestically to the challenge.

Single: The Meaning of Love

2004-03-23 00:00:00

In all honesty, is there any real point in validating, contextualising, or reviewing this music? Surely this has about as much to do with music as the launch of a new kid’s toy?

Single: Come Home Billy Bird

2004-03-23 00:00:00

The boy Hannon can always be relied on to cobble together a cracking radio-friendly tune, and this is gladly no exception. As ever, Hannon’s honeyed vocals, ambitious production and expressive, masterful song-writing combine to stunning effect, and the result is an enchanting, catchy number that should serve only to consolidate Neil’s national treasure status.

Single: Ride

2004-03-23 00:00:00

Franz who??? Craig Nicholls and his similarly sassy cohorts have come up trumps yet again with a two-and-a-half minute blinder.

Single: Say Something Anyway

2004-03-23 00:00:00

Oooh, the single might come with all sorts of cute and interesting packaging, and the press release describes the band as being ‘stunning in the flesh’, but I suspect it’s all a diversion ploy.

Single: Four to the Floor

2004-03-23 00:00:00

After the oddly pallid ‘Silence Is Easy’, Warrington’s finest return to the fray with a supremely confident yet slow-burning single.

Live: live in Dublin

2004-03-15 00:00:00

It’s time we saw a miracle/it’s time for something biblical’ – he might look like a Sid Vicious upstart, but when Matt Bellamy said he was hell-bent on creating the ultimate live spectacle, he wasn’t fucking joking.

Interview: The pauline conversation

2004-03-15 00:00:00

Pauline Scanlon, formerly a backing singer for Sharon Shannon, takes centrestage. words Tanya Sweeney.

Album: First Collection

2004-03-15 00:00:00

It would appear that The Long Stay’s Brendan Donnelly, Sean McAuley and Brendan McCullough are pretty much intent on keeping it country…kind of. First Collection is a set of sweet, slightly inoffensive new-country/acoustic offerings.

Album: Winning Days

2004-03-15 00:00:00

For The Vines, being heralded as ‘the next Nirvana’ could go either way. It could be argued that describing Craig Nicholls as ‘the voice of a generation’ is perhaps a bridge too far – yet, with ‘Winning Days’, they certainly seem able to take such improbable expectation in their stride.

Album: Winning Days

2004-03-11 00:00:00

For The Vines, being heralded as ‘the next Nirvana’ could go either way.

Album: They Died for Beauty

2004-03-09 00:00:00

Bristolian trip-hop may be somewhat far off the Zeitgeist but new Virgin signings Ilya manage to fuse the sound of their coven with both a timeless London cool and classic arthouse charm.

Album: Beautiful Sky

2004-03-05 00:00:00

While Busted fans may marvel at the ‘innovative’ rock sounds on the album, the more discerning listener may well see through the production gimmicks and feel slightly shortchanged after the experience.

Interview: I'm in with the in-crowd

2004-03-03 00:00:00

With Oscar hysteria in the air, Tanya Sweeney recalls the night she “gate-crashed” hollywood a-list party – and survived to tell this tale of beauty and the beasts.

Interview: Buffalo Soldier

2004-03-03 00:00:00

For his second solo album, Grant Lee Phillips has gotten a little help from his friends.

Interview: The Player

2004-03-03 00:00:00

An album released on an mp3 player? Dublin electro innovator explains how he plans to get ahead of the technological posse.

Live: headline the Other Voices- Songs from a Room launch, with other guests

2004-02-26 00:00:00

It may not be an ornate and highly charming church in Dingle, but something about the truly titanic line-up of the Other Voices launch, reduces the expansive Vicar St. venue to a kind of wonderfully intimate backbar.

Album: Shadows Collide with People

2004-02-17 00:00:00

Largely credited as the irreplaceable creative force behind the Red Hot Chili Peppers, expectations are somewhat raised for this offering.

Album: The Deeper you Go

2004-02-16 00:00:00

With a name like that, you’d be forgiven for thinking that The West Seventies were an NYW haircut/leather jacket/ garage concoction. In fact, the band hail from the distinctly un-NYC environs of Dublin and Down.

Live: The Rice is right

2004-02-16 00:00:00

The fact that he has a bizarre Swedish dance outfit as support is largely a testament to the clout of Damien Rice’s newfound celebrity.

Album: America's Sweetheart

2004-02-13 00:00:00

What Courtney doesn’t know about life in the Hollywood fast lane (rehab, drugs charges, child custody battles) simply isn’t worth knowing. In her own words, her somewhat ironically-titled opus America’s Sweetheart contains ‘a lot of God and a lot of sex’.

Album: Octane OST

2004-02-09 00:00:00

Given the Hartnoll brother’s capacity for emotion and narrative within the often-restrictive confines of electro music, this is a somewhat insufficient and underwhelming collection.

Album: Will O' The Wisp

2004-02-04 00:00:00

As soon as the strains of Ian Whitty’s 7-track album Will O’ The Wisp begin, the listener gets a palpable and rather unwelcome feeling of deja-vu.

Album: Cold Mountain OST

2004-01-23 00:00:00

Tanya Sweeny finds a confederation of dunces as she checks out the Cold Mountain soundtrack.

Album: Stronger Together

2004-01-20 00:00:00

It’s pretty safe to conclude that the world needs Stronger Together like a fish needs a frickin’ dildo.

Album: Nightfreak And The Sons Of Becker

2004-01-20 00:00:00

Nightfreak is intended to keep hunger locked up until their ‘proper’ third album arrives .

Interview: Elliott- ness

2004-01-06 00:00:00

Personally speaking, the death of the wonderful Elliott Smith was a major blow his year. I found out about his suicide through Ollie Cole, who had e-mailed me with a very succinct, “Elliott Smith is dead. He was my king”, on the day of his death.

Interview: Spiteri on me Sharleen

2003-12-16 00:00:00

Texas’ Sharleen Spiteri on Chanel, fandom and the Christmas rush.

Album: Live in Texas

2003-12-12 00:00:00

If the band’s electrifying RDS performance was anything to go by, Linkin Park are consummate masters in rocking the kids ™. What is perhaps less obvious is that their particular brand of rock sometimes rings of a certain sterility and, in some places artlessness – nowhere more so than on this live album/DVD.

News: The Sugar Club releases Wind Down compilation

2003-12-08 00:00:00

This festive season The Sugar Club will help you wind down on CD

Live: Holly Golightly & The Chalets

2003-12-05 00:00:00

The inescapable fact remains…while The Chalets are very much at home within the bosom of the Dublin music scene, had they been residing in London, New York or Detroit, they would be bleedin’ huge by now.

Album: Addicted to Emma

2003-12-05 00:00:00

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…never before has the Irish scene been so accessible, familial, fertile and diverse. While this is definitely an encouraging situation, unfortunately, it is also a double-edged sword, and pretty soon, the question arises as to quality control.

Live: Radiohead

2003-12-04 00:00:00

Dunno if there were too many Red Bulls in the backstage rider this evening, but something has given Thom Yorke wiiings. In fact, along with Thom’s frantic making-shapes-in-the-air dancing, there are many factors to indicate this is not a garden-variety Radiohead experience...

Interview: Killer on the loose

2003-12-03 00:00:00

Radio has studiously ignored it but that doesn’t mean that Republic Of Loose’s ‘Girl i’m gonna fuck you up’ isn’t the best Irish single of the year. Tanya Sweeney meets the Dublin boys who just want to have fun.

Interview: Killer on the loose

2003-12-03 00:00:00

Radio has studiously ignored it but that doesn’t mean that Republic Of Loose’s ‘Girl i’m gonna fuck you up’ isn’t the best Irish single of the year. Tanya Sweeney meets the Dublin boys who just want to have fun.

Interview: Killer on the loose

2003-12-03 00:00:00

Radio has studiously ignored it but that doesn’t mean that Republic Of Loose’s ‘girl i’m gonna fuck you up’ isn’t the best Irish single of the year. Tanya Sweeney meets the Dublin boys who just want to have fun.

Album: In The Zone

2003-12-01 00:00:00

No matter which divide of the Poor Ole Britters debate you are on, this album is a highly anticipated offering, and no matter which way the wind blows, is on a fast track to the firing line.

Album: Love Is Hell

2003-11-26 00:00:00

There is more than the occasional flash of inspired emotional outpouring.

Album: Ladies Night

2003-11-26 00:00:00

A Chronic Kitten are exclusively, and always will be, the preserve of school children who simply don’t know any better.


2003-11-25 00:00:00

According to Greek Mythology, Sirens were alluring and arresting songstrels who lured unsuspecting sailors to their deaths with overpowering music.

Album: Turn It On

2003-11-24 00:00:00

It’s hard however to get really excited about an album that’s so undeniably by numbers.

Interview: Easy Rider

2003-11-19 00:00:00

The slow but steady progress of Ann Scott – now releasing her debut album, 'Poor Horse'.

Album: Phair To Middling

2003-11-19 00:00:00

A highly mediocre collection of easy listening and inoffensive grooves.

Album: Bodysong OST

2003-11-18 00:00:00

Highly satisfying and engaging stuff.

Single: 2+2=5

2003-11-18 00:00:00

With Radiohead, it’s all very simple…they rarely get it wrong.

Single: As Serious As Your Life

2003-11-18 00:00:00

‘As Serious As Your Life’ is brimming with personality.

Single: Fortune Faded

2003-11-18 00:00:00

It’s a shame that a band of such influence and potential won’t partake in a new adventures and experiments.

Single: Don't Steal Our Sun

2003-11-18 00:00:00

Still turning out some highly impressive and original singles.

Single: Follow Through

2003-11-18 00:00:00

It won’t be too long before stardom beckons.

Single: My Oblivion

2003-11-18 00:00:00

Arrestingly sweet, sinister, depraved and emancipatory all at once.

Single: Never Before Our Time

2003-11-18 00:00:00

Anyone sorely missing Elliott Smith will welcome the arrival of Gus Black into the wry-coffeehouse-songwriter frame.

Single: You Only Want Me When I'm Drunk

2003-11-18 00:00:00

A band to keep an eye out for in the future.

Single: Girl I'm Gonna Fuck You Up

2003-11-18 00:00:00

They are giving the scene round these parts a major kick in the proverbials.

Interview: Snow On The Pitch

2003-11-07 00:00:00

Tanya Sweeney catches up with Ireland’s hardest partying rockers Snow Patrol to discuss on-the-road hi-jinks, the band’s hallowed status in the Scottish and Irish music scenes, and also bears witness to that long-awaited footie showdown with Thomastown under 15s.

Album: Want One

2003-11-03 00:00:00

You have to hand it to anyone who has the audacity to dedicate a record solely to themselves, as Wainwright does here.

Interview: People In Meath

2003-10-30 00:00:00

Well, Westmeath to be more precise. Mat Bellamy of Muse explains how the pursuit of baroque goth-opera took them to rural Ireland.

Interview: Hal Get The Business Buzzing

2003-10-30 00:00:00

They’re the hottest new act in Ireland – and the record companies think so too.

Live: British Sea Power

2003-10-24 00:00:00

As for the music – unmistakeably reminiscent of Joy Division – it’s as taut as the dead stuffed animals littered about the stage.

Interview: A Popstar Is Born

2003-10-22 00:00:00

Unperturbed by being dropped from Girls Aloud, Hazel Kaneswaren is taking a rockier road to success.


2003-10-22 00:00:00

Live: Asian Dub Foundation

2003-10-16 00:00:00

It’s heart warming to note that some acts are thinking outside the box with regards to the usual gig experience, and bringing a little piece of (ghetto) heaven to the city.

Single: Running In Dreams

2003-10-15 00:00:00

Stardom surely beckons… or at least, it should do.

Single: Hanging Around

2003-10-15 00:00:00

The catchy chorus will resound in your head all day.

Single: Going Under

2003-10-15 00:00:00

Amy Lee’s voice being more than able for the overtly grand scope of the song.

Single: Can't Explain

2003-10-15 00:00:00

The insurmountable fact remains that, while Longview probably have serious designs on Elbow’s crown, they come across as a slightly low-calorie version of Gene.

Single: She Drove Me To Daytime Television

2003-10-15 00:00:00

The production on this single sounds deceptively grand and resplendent with beefy guitar and chunky power chords.

Single: These Are The Days

2003-10-15 00:00:00

Officially one of the best car-sing-along tracks of late.

Single: Good Song

2003-10-15 00:00:00

Turns out to be the perfect soundtrack to the last few good days of the year.

Single: We're All In Love

2003-10-15 00:00:00

It’s definitely worth a punt, and likely to become a firm favourite among the air guitar fraternity.

Single: Innocent Eyes

2003-10-15 00:00:00

If ever there was a case to be made for the slaying of ‘Neighbours’ casting directors, this would probably be Exhibit A.

Single: Ghetto Musick

2003-10-15 00:00:00

The Georgia hip-hop mavericks take a Prodigy-style, jumped-up electro song and splice a cheesy Pop-Idol type soul ballad.

Interview: Miss Congeniality

2003-10-14 00:00:00

A brief encounter with Dido – author of multi-million-selling debut album No Angel and brand-newie Life For Rent – not to mention one of the nicest popstars you’re ever likely to meet.

Interview: Full Speed Ahead

2003-10-07 00:00:00

How Ten Speed Racer broke free of the Dublin peleton.

Album: IV

2003-10-07 00:00:00

There has always been something a little too…digestible about Seal’s music.

Album: The Love Below/Speakerboxxx

2003-10-03 00:00:00

This double album is comprised of no less than 39 tracks, each one diverse, engaging and innovative in its own right.

Interview: Morning Has Broken

2003-10-02 00:00:00

They’re hairy dudes from America’s south but My Morning Jacket believe comparisons are odious.

Album: Never, Never Land

2003-10-02 00:00:00

Coming out the other side of the millennium may have been worth it for our boys after all.


2003-09-26 00:00:00

Long may he continue to endear Irish audiences with his tales and songs lovingly crafted in the key of life.

Album: Sacred Love

2003-09-26 00:00:00

I have no doubt that this album will sell by the bucketloads, yet it is strictly for cardie-wearing fans of musical wallpaper.

Album: Absolution

2003-09-24 00:00:00

Absolution is pure yet corrupt, baroque yet carnivorous, controlled yet distorted.

Interview: The Story of O

2003-09-22 00:00:00

With a self-recorded and self-released album – called simply O – Damien Rice has emerged as a major force in Irish music. But that’s just the start of it: the record is now in the charts in both the U.S. and the U.K., and with the kind of momentum he has generated, the feeling is that it might just go all the way.

Album: Love & Life

2003-09-22 00:00:00

As far as self-aggrandising and self-promotion goes, Love & Life is truly an exercise in excellence. Just don’t expect the tunes to be quite as inspirational.

Interview: Because I Wanna

2003-09-04 00:00:00

The Wannadies’ Christina Bergmark on the fame, bricklaying and staying true to form.

Interview: Cast Aways

2003-09-02 00:00:00

Elbow's Mark Potter reflects on the making of the band's second album, Cast Of Thousands.

Album: Do You Imagine Things?

2003-09-02 00:00:00

Interview: Criminal intent

2003-09-01 00:00:00

Fun Lovin' Criminal Huey Morgan talks pizza, high heels and getting shot. Words Tanya Sweeney. Photo: Liam Sweeney.

Album: Before And After

2003-08-15 00:00:00

For now, the sun is shining, and this album is begging to be played really, really loud.

Album: A Guide In Time Of Great Danger

2003-08-11 00:00:00

Along with the likes of Jimmy Behan, Joan Of Arse and Daemien Frost, Estel are the much undervalued and underexposed anti-christs to the Frames, Mundy and Damien Rice’s hand-wringing preachings.

Live: Blowing Their Top

2003-08-11 00:00:00

Blotooth’s pretty-boy vocalist Myles O’Reilly certainly casts a presence onstage tonight, all six foot five of him, and it seems as though the band are undergoing a transformation of sorts.

Album: Cast Of Thousands

2003-08-08 00:00:00

Like Asleep In The Back, Cast Of Thousands is a package wrapped lovingly in exquisite emotion, electronic unease and happy experiments.

Live: Think

2003-08-05 00:00:00

McGuinness has established himself as something of a retro antidote to Dublin’s modern-day, introspective singer songwriters – the emphasis, it would appear, is on making fun, psychedelic records, and looking damn fine while doing it.

Album: Do Rabbits Wonder?

2003-07-29 00:00:00

David Swanson’s vocals and synthesiser are the glue that pull each song together, but the lack of the screech of a guitar is sorely needed to give these songs bite, or even a hint of personality.

Album: On Your Side

2003-07-24 00:00:00

Magnet are right up there with Jeff Buckley and Radiohead, not least because of Johansen’s ethereal, heart-swelling vocals and its perfect coupling with orchestral strings and digitised heartbeats.

Album: Promise Of Love

2003-07-18 00:00:00

Here is an album that is effortlessly beautiful, devoid of emotional grandeur (or delusions thereof), yet is understated, simple and cool for all the right reasons.

Live: Irish Unsigned launch

2003-07-18 00:00:00

Again, it is showcase nights like these that remind us of Irish music’s capacity to evolve and remain self-sufficient, without the clout of the industry which claims to wholeheartedly endorse the scene.

Live: Eels

2003-07-17 00:00:00

Events take a downturn as, instead of the playful Beck/Weezer quirkiness we are expecting, the set seems formulaic, packed with three-chord, straight-up-and-down tracks, delivered as though the band are on autopilot.

Interview: Left of centre

2003-07-16 00:00:00

Gearoid Kelleher explains the ethos behind Off Centre, the monthly club night held in the Belvedere Bar, Dublin.

Live: Soul music

2003-07-14 00:00:00

"Talk about calamine lotion for the soul...": Autamata, reviewed by Tanya Sweeney

Live: Up the Walls

2003-07-14 00:00:00

Tanya Sweeney catches The Walls' Main Stage jaunt

Live: Caning it

2003-07-14 00:00:00

Tanya Sweeney catches up with Cane 141

Live: Keep Fishin'

2003-07-14 00:00:00

Tanya Sweeney takes in Jerry Fish's set

Live: Kid A

2003-07-14 00:00:00

Simple Kid: "More uplifting than a truckload of Alka Seltzer", says Tanya Sweeney

Live: Hynes times

2003-07-14 00:00:00

Tanya Sweeney gears up for the day with a dose of Nina Hynes

News: Witnnessing 'em all (well nearly)

2003-07-13 00:00:00

Tanya Sweeney gets up early to bring you the best of the Sunday afternoon artists, including Nina Hynes, Kings of Leon, Jerry Fish, Cane 141, The Walls and Automata.

Interview: Every turn on the road

2003-07-10 00:00:00

Dublin favourites Turn recently took to the highway for an Irish tour. Tanya Sweeney joined them for a trip to Limerick and an insight into what makes Ollie Cole and company tick.

Live: IMRO Showcase

2003-07-09 00:00:00

It’s refreshingly pleasant to watch sets by bands that seem so thrilled and honoured to be playing on a decent stage in front of a healthy-sized audience.

Interview: Festival queen

2003-07-09 00:00:00

She’s been a regular festival goer since she first attended Féile at the age of 14. Gemma Hayes waxes lyrical on the joys of those sprawling, big days out

Album: How To Hang Off A Rope

2003-06-24 00:00:00

It’s early days for the band, and although right now, it seems unlikely that they’re going to topple any Premier League outfits, the world is still very much their oyster and I’d venture that they’ll swallow it whole at some point.

Single: Red

2003-06-19 00:00:00

Single: Sheltered Life

2003-06-19 00:00:00

Single: A Miracle

2003-06-19 00:00:00

Single: Lights Out

2003-06-19 00:00:00

Single: Brittle Pale Blue EP

2003-06-19 00:00:00

Single: What's Your Name

2003-06-19 00:00:00

Single: Elevator Love Letter

2003-06-19 00:00:00

Album: So Much For The City

2003-06-19 00:00:00

Fortunately for The Thrills, the good news is that they have lived up to the hype and managed to bear the weight of expectation to deliver one of the finest, most delightfully crafted albums I’ve heard in a long time.

Album: Ruby Sessions

2003-06-10 00:00:00

You might think that Dublin needs another acoustic-flavoured album on the market like it needs a SARS epidemic, yet this is a joyous mixed bag of intimate-sounding folk, upbeat indie and ’80s fused electronica.

Single: Wimmin'

2003-06-05 00:00:00

Single: Slain In The Truth

2003-06-05 00:00:00

Single: El Salvador

2003-06-05 00:00:00

Single: Low

2003-06-05 00:00:00

Single: Are You Happy Now

2003-06-05 00:00:00

Single: Losing Grip

2003-06-05 00:00:00

Single: Who Invited You

2003-06-05 00:00:00

Single: What I Saw EP

2003-06-05 00:00:00

Single: Foot In Mouth

2003-06-06 00:00:00

Album: 39 Minutes of Bliss in an Otherwise Meaningless World

2003-06-02 00:00:00

It’s impossible to conclude that they’re really breaking any new ground with this album.

Live: Electric 6 at Heineken Green Energy Fesival

2003-05-30 00:00:00

The music itself is delightfully full-bodied – Electric 6 are a red meat band for a crowd brought up on E-number rock.

Album: Cosmosphere

2003-05-29 00:00:00

To those in the know, The Redneck Manifesto are an omnipresent powerhouse within the DIY Irish music scene.

Album: Forward

2003-05-28 00:00:00

A very seasoned and accomplished sound.

Live: Sterophonics

2003-05-23 00:00:00

The sound is mercifully loud and ‘geetar-y’, and amply fills the courtyard.

Interview: Kelly (Bellefire)

2003-05-19 00:00:00

Interview: Dandelion (DJ)

2003-05-19 00:00:00

Interview: Arveene (DJ)

2003-05-19 00:00:00

Interview: Under the influence

2003-05-19 00:00:00

Why do we look the way we do? Well, between me and you… we can blame it on the music! Eight movers and shapers on the Irish club, music and fashion scenes let us in on their secrets

Album: Painting By Numbers

2003-05-19 00:00:00

Punk-core powerhouse Sir Killalot

Live: Jaga Jazzist

2003-05-14 00:00:00

aga Jazzist are undertaking the task of creating ultra modern, digitised music fused with jazz and, in smaller increments, latin, upbeat lounge and drum’n’bass.

Album: Rounds

2003-05-14 00:00:00

Rounds is a cross-fertilisation of innovation and pop sensibility, and has a warmth and understated charm that many other obtuse, more indulgent knob-merchants would gladly sell their Powerbook for.

Commentary: The day of the independents

2003-04-15 00:00:00

The success of The Frames, Juliet Turner and Damien Rice – amongst others has inspired a new do it yourself attitude among Irish musicians and bands, who are no longer prepared to wait for the imprimatur of a major label to get their records made. Here Hot Press presents a step by step guide to becoming a DIY record magnate. Words: Tanya Sweeney. Additional reporting: Jackie Hayden

Commentary: The day of the independents

2003-04-15 00:00:00

The success of The Frames, Juliet Turner and Damien Rice – amongst others has inspired a new do it yourself attitude among Irish musicians and bands, who are no longer prepared to wait for the imprimatur of a major label to get their records made. Here Hot Press presents a step by step guide to becoming a DIY record magnate. Words: Tanya Sweeney. Additional reporting: Jackie Hayden

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