Ian Brown’s got some balls. Name his new album after one of the most iconic songs of all time? Why not?
Ian Brown’s got some balls. Name his new album after one of the most iconic songs of all time? Why not? Reform the Stone Roses ‘cause everyone from Pixies to Pulp are giving it another go these days? Fuck that. Cover Jacko and the Beatles? Conform to the Madchester rocker stereotype by routinely throwing shapes with the law? You get the idea. Clearly, Ian Brown doesn’t give a fuck. About you, me or anyone else in the Olympia tonight.
Shuffling on stage in no hurry whatsoever, the 46-year old is as unique and defiant a figure as ever, cracking into the decade-old ‘Love Like A Fountain’ with a menacing punch to the air and happily knocking out some sarcastic banter along the way (later he will even tease the crowd with a “Let’s hear it for Noel Gallagher...”)
For the bulk of the show, everything sludges along at a painfully slow pace. While on record King Monkey’s voice is moulded into a charming honk, in the live show, he drones on and on – songs from different eras of Brown gum together into an indecipherable 40-minute dirge. A brief harmonica solo and some rousing mariachi trumpet on the liberating ‘Stellify’ briefly break the monotony – but the relief is only temporary.
Brown tonight is a one trick pony – the trick being a blinder of an encore, encompassing something old (the rather sublime ‘Fool’s Gold’) something new (the battlesome ‘Just Like You’) and something very, very blue (there was no controlling my shoulder movements for the rapturously chorused ‘F.E.A.R’). When the songs have this much attitude, suddenly all the swagger and the shadow boxing and the lifeless tambourine thrashing start to make sense. When it comes to not giving a fuck, it seems, nobody does it better.
Oh Jesus. This reminds me of the time I got my Dad to rap. Granted, we couldn’t afford an expensive-sounding backbeat – unlike Brown, who puts a brilliant marriage of chugging strings and delicate harp arpeggi utterly to waste. The tooth-grinding rhymes and turgid flow are truly horrendous, and the best part of the song arrives in its closing seconds, when Brown lets guest star Sinéad O’Connor sing without his tuneless groan sprawling all over it.Read More
Ian Brown has confirmed details of his upcoming Phoenix Park gig.Read More
Ian Brown has made an announcement on MySpace, stating that he will play at Dublin’s Phoenix Park.Read More
The third headliner for 2006's Heineken Green Energy Festival has been confirmed, and it's Ian Brown.Read More
Ian Brown, aka King Monkey, has been letting his simian minions down ever since leaving the Stones Roses. Embarrassing posing with Noel Gallagher and shambolic live performances have seen him become a ‘Madchester’ caricature. The annoying thing is that his solo stuff can still be quite decent at times, as ‘All Ablaze’ ably proves. Delivering his lyrics in an understated manner over mellow eastern-inspired rhythms, this single won’t set your stereo on fire, but it won’t make you want to hurl it out the bedroom window either.Read More
It was always going to be a bit messy. Students being students you couldn’t but have expected the odd scuffle, girls vomiting on their expensive ball gowns, lads pissing wherever there was a wall and thousands of well dressed revellers drunkenly stumbling around the courtyards of Trinity College. What was unexpected though, certainly for a first timer, was just how good a night the Trinity Ball is. This was an event streets ahead of most outdoor events. Everything was well organised, queues for loos and bars were minimal, and security didn’t make themselves felt. It meant that all were allowed to just get on with the night at hand and enjoy Europe’s largest private party.Read More
Trinity College makes its annual transformation into festival playground this year with Ian Brown and Pete Doherty among the guests of honourRead More
‘Time Is My Everything’ is another fine track, replete with a subtle brass section that sound like something out of a spaghetti western.Read More
Ian Brown MusicianRead More
Ian Brown has been confirmed to play a Heineken Green Room Session in CarlowRead More
Ian Brown celebrates the release of his Solarized album with several live dates around IrelandRead More
Where previous solo outings were patchy at best, Solarized remains consistently catchy, unwaveringly interesting and refreshingly good.Read More
Now here’s a turn up for the books. First Ian Brown does a gig full of Stone Roses material and then he pitches up with quite possibly his finest solo record to date.Read More
‘F.E.A.R.’ is the best thing Ian Brown has released in ages, and the string-laden melody even verges on jauntyRead More
I get the feeling he’s cleverly surrounded himself with a bunch of musicians who can take a lot of the credit – the right people to do justice to his own particular writing style.Read More
This string-laden opus sounds much like everything else Brown has done in his solo career to date.Read More