Jape’s new album “This Chemical Sea” is a master class in musical & lyrical cohesion

This Chemical Sea

Jape aka Richie Egan has just released his fifth album to much well merited applause.  “This Chemical Sea” is electro-pop at its best.

Layers of synth have been built up giving it a deeply textured feel which has been bolstered by electric bassline bridges and strong percussive lines.

Egan has been quoted as saying he wanted this album to be coherent – and it is.  Following a definite electronic concept, with a consistent theme of “pollution” of mind, body, the Earth, he has produced an album of sonic and lyrical substance.

Collaborators include Glenn Keating, Conor J O’Brien, and, producer David “Caribou” Wrench, who mixed the album.

Kicking off with the very 80s uber poppy “Séance of Life”, the album is mainly upbeat in sound.  However, it can be somewhat melancholic in nature, which is of no great surprise given that Egan suffered a close personal bereavement during the recording.  This sense of sadness and loss is at its most apparent on “Breath of Life” (which ends with the most lovely piano melody) of which Egan said,

*“This is probably my most personal track on the album. I wrote it just after my Mother fell ill and it makes me feel more connected to her – it’s a musical love poem to her. The piano line at the end is one of my favourite pieces I’ve played. I remember I just sat at the keyboard and let the melody come. Now, whenever I hear it, I think of her.”

https://soundcloud.com/richiejape/06-breath-of-life?in=richiejape/sets/this-chemical-se

There isn’t any track on this album that is weak, or a let-down. From the meditation inspired  sonically rich “The Heart’s Desire” with its little drummer boy rat a tat beat and swaying electronics melding with a medley of vocals, through the thrashing “Absolutely Animals” ending with the evocative title track Riche Egan is telling us a musical story about “the place we all live, somewhere between shallowness and depth.”

“This Chemical Sea” was released on iTunes on 23rd January 2015.

Find the album on iTunes http://smarturl.it/ThisChemicalSea Or physical copies on Bandcamp http://jape.bandcamp.com

*Quote courtesy of QMagazine

Advertisements

Milanese Madness, Mayhem and Merriment, Part II

And so to continue with our Milanese escapades………….

For the next morning , we’d ordered breakfast to be brought to the room….and by this stage the bell hop cum waiter chap just came and went as he pleased.  

In he walks tray in hand, opens the curtains, and pours the coffee and we’re like – WTF – “get out”, well, “get out please”,

hangover type thing!

So we went back to sleep, awaking much later – but that was ok cos we were “doing” Milan again.

Anon, off we went to get a coffee etc.

We decide on this lovely really pleasant looking little place on a side street – lots of Italians there, so that’s good then, hey.

cappuccino

“Two cappuccinos please.”

And they all start laughing at us!  (a familiar sound that, laughter!)

Much to everyone’s amusement Mr Barista is shouting about cappuccino and whatever… (no comprendo).

We paid,

were served,

we sat,

we drank.

We hadn’t a clue what was so funny.

So I grabbed this hottie beside me (as you do, any excuse)

and asked him what be the story.

He said,

“One never orders cappuccino after breakfast” (well he didn’t say it like that, but, if he could have he would have, the intent was there!)

As it was close to lunchtime,

this is why people were laughing,

at our #ignorance!

I was like well how ignorant are they (humpf).

Anyway, as usual we got over it – WE got over a lot really didn’t we!

Off we went to the Cathedral #Duomo

I was in a strappy tee and my “It aint’ half hot mum” shorts.

They wouldn’t let me in, and me a holy Catholic!

But Oh I was used to it by now….

I had to put on a plastic coat

to cover my shoulders and my knees (what’s wrong with my knees?)

and wear a Mantilla, I looked a right state.

But. 

It WAS a lovely Cathedral,

massive,

really beautiful.

Duomo

And we got Mass,

and then smartarse here said – “I think I’ll go to confession, cos he won’t be able to understand me” #smirks #wink

YOU THINK

I got roared at,

and,

threatened with ex-communication or something close to it (WTF), scratches head.

I was like Usain Bolt getting out of the place.

God was pissing himself, as per.

I had to say a full Rosary as penance.

So I made him say it with me, making him take his share of the blame.  (What’s mine is yours…)

Next up came the really super duper good bit! Months before the trip, I’d asked the hotel concierge

to book us a slot at the chapel which houses Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”,

the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie.

Tickets must be book in advance for a specific time and date as only so many people can go in at a time, I think it’s 8, and only for about 15 minutes or so.

last-supper

It is divine, it is  more than beautiful, goose-bumps.

I’ll never forget it as long as I live.

It was just stunning.

The detail, my God, the man was a genius.

That was one of the highlights, truly magical!

After that we went to the go to hotel in Milan for all the Supermodels and Fashionistas,

the Bulgari.

Bulgari

We ordered two cocktails,

waiter leaves down bill,

excluding service,

60 euro!

I was sucking mine up through a straw,

And God says “Enjoy that cos you’ll be chewing ice for the rest of the evening”.

We only had the one, but it was nice!

And then, dun, dun, DUN.  We went shopping.

Armani.

God went to the men’s section, me to the ladies, and no word of a lie,

Every b1tch in the place turned her back on me. #PrettyWoman, yeah Julia, I hear ya!

God followed me over to where I stood, and asap,

they were like bees to honey. Double humpf!

Armani

Then this “auld wan” came over, eyeing me sympathetically.

I told her I was looking for black trousers,

and a top,

and she picked out some nice looking stuff and off we went, to the changing rooms.

I tried them on a pair of trousers and suddenly resembled Coco the clown.

They were an Italian 48 – which is a UK 16.  I am a UK size 10!

I finally cracked and started crying.

God called the manager, and all hell broke loose!

The manager took over and things calmed down,

purchases were made, and a serotonin rush was had.

But when we went out to dinner that night

I wouldn’t eat, because “I was too fat”(it gets to you after a while).

The waiter was concerned that madam was not eating, God briefly explained why.

Waiter arrives out with a big ice cream thingy

with sparklers in it,

and two glasses of champagne

and said “Milan says sorry”.  Chubby Monster thoughts were banished with a lick of dairy indulgence.   Milan had saved itself and I went to bed satiated and contented.

Next day,

we went to Lake Como,

in particular to the Villa d’Este.

Villa dEste

It was heavenly.

We drank PIMMS

out on the lawn,

had lunch in the sun,

but more importantly, we laughed.  A LOT.

After a leisurely afternoon, we got the boat back across the lake, to the town (memory fails me),

And got pistachio ice cream (yes more Ice cream),

wandered around the markets, and had a really nice meandering stroll before returning back to base camp.

That evening we went to the Opera.

The “wans” in the loo, were pointing at me again, presumably because my nose now matched my hair, red-dot-com.

So when I was walking out

I stood on this wans foot

by accident

NOT

and that shut her up!

The revenge of the “only in Milan are you fat” redheaded midday-cappuccino drinking Irish gal.

Ta-Dah!!!

The opera was lovely,

Puccini.  Afterwards,

we walked back to the hotel,

very rosemantic, and had a nightcap before slipping off to bed.  By all accounts, this had been one of our better days!

Next up for shaving, Turin.

This time we were ready for the taxi and his money munching meter.

We were at the door when the it arrived, but even then he had already clocked Euro 8!

Anyway, off  to Turin, home to this big mad yoke of a building 

called The Mole.

The Mole

Up we went, the view from the top was fab!

Turin

has these crazy hills at it’s perimeter,

and off we went, hiking up and away,

and the view over the city was just lovely!

Turin

Having worked up a healthy appetite  we headed off to this uber posh restaurant,

all white linen and stuffy waiter,

where we had booked in for early supper.

I, in my stupidity ordered Barolo Risotto!

Barolo Risotto

I couldn’t eat it, it was blood red. Basically it was rice cooked in red wine.  Disgusting, eugh.

I just sat there, stared at it and then tried not to look at it again, whilst, yet again, God was in the giggles.

Afterwards, we went to a nearby chocolate shop which only sold indigenous Turinese choccies.

Yum.

Turin Chocs

I had half of the box eaten by the time the train got back to Milan,

nom nom.  Smiley Face.

The next day we were going shopping again, so I decided I’d better,

you know,

dolly myself up a bit.

So I did.

And, in the first three shops we went into,

they ignored me!

And in the fourth shop

The guy was giving me sneering looks, which God copped before I did. 

He walked up to him,

he was nearly twice his height (6ft 4″)

and twice the build (big boy like his Dah-dy!).

Says he,

in his deep Welsh voice,

“Is it …

the Hair colour?

hair texture?

clothes?

size?

skin pigmentation?

or just all round Irishness that you find so amusing?”

Dude, as camp as Christmas,

started screaming that God was being homophobic, and picking on him, whilst frantically waving his arms everywhere. 

High melodrama indeed.

So I went up to what appeared to be the boss,

And said, “Since I came into your shop, this chap has done nothing but sneer at me etc.  Is this how your staff normally behave towards their customers?”

And then,

we were asked to leave.

That’s G***I for you (Thom Yorke had a point).

So we very deliberately went into the Prada shop across from them,

where God made some purchases, and then onto some more shops, but the sneering trend continued.

So we went for coffee,

And had cappuccino, they could laugh all they wanted,

we didn’t care anymore.

Then we went to Ferragamo

ferragamo

by which time my feet we all red and blistered,

from wearing the posh not-made-for-mobility pointy shoes.

Do you know the girl was so nice,

she gave me a dish of cold water to put my feet into. 

I imagine the fact that I was a Ferragamo bag swung it for me.

It was lovely, she was lovely.

She made tea.

Put us sitting down.

And when my feet had deflated a little, I tried on some shoes and sandals,

and got two nice pairs,

still have them:

the shoes are fecked but the sandals are still fine.  RESULT.

And then, we walked back down past G***i,

slowly,

with all our bags (we had collected my Armani alterations in the meantime, which bulked out the load),

and we stood outside, us and our everyone- but-G***i shopping, and stared in.

Very childish,

but it made us feel good.

When we arrived back in the hotel, with more tales of the Milanese,

they gave us a glass of wine courtesy of the house; well, it was also our last night with them.

Later on, we went out to dinner, and whilst we were eating,

out came this crowd with Violins,

and started playing,

and so on.  Tries to hide head under plate #blushingcentral. 

God had only gone and organised this “romantic last supper”,

flowers,

music,

and half way through this uber romantic dinner a deux,

the guy beside us started to choke, and one of the violinists had to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre,

kind of ruined the moment, but hey, it could have been worse!

At least we didn’t up adding a corpse to our list of Milanese tragi-comic-experiences.

On the way back to the hotel, we went via a circuitous route to a gelateria

and bought ice creams (yes, again – lickety, lick), and then did the walking in the moonlight thing, which was a really sweet way to bring the evening, and this tale, to a close.

X

 

 

 

Susanne Sundfor, #FadeAway from #TheSiliconeVeil

Fade Away

I first came across Norwegian Electro pop artiste Susanne Sundfor by accident, albeit a happy one.  Whilst googling a Depeche Mode b-side #Ice Machine, I found a cover the songstress had performed with fellow countrymen Royksopp back in late 2012, live on Lydverket.  To-date, this same cover, has scored just under 900k hits on Youtube.  Not bad for a one-off live performance.

Curiosity roused, I ordered a copy of Susanne Sundfor’s last album, #TheSiliconeVeil, released in early 2012, and was more than pleasantly surprised with its brilliantly novel and diverse content.

Not exactly mainstream, it is nonetheless electronic pop with a clarity that is very easy on the ear.  It weighs in more on the vocal than musical side, and Sundfor has a pure far-reaching vocal range, which flies in a high register, and which has become her trademark. One suspects the production was muted to tailor this effect.  That is not to say that the music is second rate, far from it.

The album opens with a strong sounding #Diamonds, with its Eastern influences.  Next up the heavyweight love song #WhiteFoxes, a song about “wanting to be peaceful…in the middle of nowhere…to cleanse oneself”.  Opening with a sombre piano melody it moves into weighty electronics culminating in a single pulse percussive beat behind Sundfors tense, almost operatic pitch. Also in here are the instrumental, #MeditationsInAnEmergency and #AmongUs all soft hushed synth and strings.

There is little by way of a “standard” to the direction each song takes, as Sundfor invariably changes tack, tone, orientation and sound mid-way through, adding surprise elements, going up and down gear, turning our expectations on their head.

#TheSiliconVeil is a beautifully and carefully balanced production, unique, haunting, powerful, imaginative.  Whilst not without its faults, it is a creative success and surely an album which has clearly set our Sundfors’ stall.

Cue 2015, and the imminent release of Sundfor’s latest opus #TenLoveSongs due out on 15th February.  Two tracks have already been streamed on Soundcloud – #FadeAway and #Delirious – both to ecstatic reviews from media and fans alike.

Speaking recently about the forthcoming album, Sundfor said:

“To me, love isn’t always what it seems. When I first started to work on the album, I wanted to make an album about violence, and then, as I was writing the songs, there were violent aspects, but they were usually about love or relationships, how you connect with other people. And in the end, that turned out to be 10 love songs….”

 #FadeAway, the first release, is a track about falling in and out of love.  It is indicative of a shift in Sundfor’s approach to this production, having a heavier electronic feel, and a weightier sound.  The production is technical with a lot of layering and texturing, and the overall sound is one of a creditable electronic pop-song.

With the release of the more cinematic, dark themed #Delirious, it is obvious that we are in for another sonic treat from the Norse songstress.  Only time, sales and reviews will tell if this is will the album to push her to stardom.

You’ll find Susanne Sundfor on Soundcloud here.  See her Facebook page for details of her forthcoming tour.

https://www.facebook.com/susannesundfor

Review of Manic Street Preachers #THB20, Dublin Olympia December 2014.

Manic Street Preachers, Dublin Olympia, 13th December 2014.

 

Manics Dublin 2

The Manic Street Preachers last played Dublin’s Olympia on 24th September, 2013, selling out the full 1600 capacity.  Forward 15 months to 9th December, 2014 and they have again sold out the same venue, this time tickets selling in a record ten minutes.

Having enjoyed huge critical acclaim for what was undoubtedly their best album in years, #Futurology, the Manic Street Preachers decided to end 2014 on a high and marking the 20th anniversary of The Holy Bible by performing the album in its entirety for the first time.

As part of #THB20 anniversary tour, they scheduled a small series of dates in the UK&I, kicking off with Glasgow, wrapping up with a three night stint in London’s Roundhouse, with gigs in both Manchester and Dublin in between.  Further dates for 2015 have since been announced, culminating in the now sold out Cardiff Castle gig, which will see the Manics take the helm here for the first time.  Like the other #THB20 gigs before it, Cardiff sold out within minutes, a testament to the love and respect their long standing fan-base have for the now seasoned agit-rockers.

The Holy Bible is the defining album of the Manics discography; the last album on which Richey Edwards performed before he disappeared, and the one to which he contributed the bulk of the lyrics.  For hard-core Manics’ fans, #THB is the apex, the never to be repeated iconic album, harrowing in its starkness, vociferous in its defiant youthful rage. They talked about their nervousness during rehearsals, their fear of not doing #THB justice, of keeping up the pace, but whatever nerves were there beforehand, quickly dissipated on the night.

The Manics had outlined the set before the gig and boy were they on cue:

8.50pm – The Holy Bible

10 minute break

9.50pm – Hits, Curios and Futurology

To ear-splitting roars, they tore the gig open with #Yes: of all of the Manics’ gigs I’ve been to, (nine), never have I seen as ebullient a crowd, or heard as deafening a roar.  James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire and Sean Moore, took to the stage in army/navy surplus gear, similar to the uniform they’d played in back in 1994, melding with the “camouflage” stage backdrop.   After a few technical glitches and a near trip by the main man (“don’t even think about it”), the band swept through the opening tracks of The Holy Bible in efficient, brutal fashion.

The crowd ramped it up a notch for the anthemic #OfWalkingAbortion, and then exhaled a little during the quieter, simplistic #SheisSuffering.  However, the stand out tracks of the night, were the raging #Faster, #DieintheSummertime – which had it’d Dublin premiere, and, naturally, the roof raising #P.C.P.  It wasn’t perfect, but for a group of guys now 20 years older than the first time around, it was a well-honed and amazingly athletic performance.  In fact, if music could leave skid marks, these would be scorching!

The band left the stage for a well-deserved break but not before Nicky acknowledged the missing member, Richey Edwards, “…the greatest lyricist of all time”.

James returned to the stage alone, and as an entrée into the more genial and upbeat second half, played solo acoustic #ThisSullenWelshHeart.  Playing with their full touring line up, including Galwayman Wayne Murray, a cocky polished rendition of #MotorcycleEmptiness cranked it up a gear and then some, finally rendering Bradfield powerless to do little else but leave the audience to command the vocals.  Some choice picks from the Euro-influenced Hansa production, #Futurology, were interspersed with a selection of their biggest hits.

It was testament to their musical maturity and their ability to take their fans with them on the  journey of curios, greatest hits and untried miscellanies, that they felt confident enough to include the guttural instrumental #DreamingACity.  Whilst the chart hits brought out the biggest fan vocal interaction, it was the #RosesintheHospital b-side #Donkeys which was one of the most well received songs of the night.

 

Manics Dublin

The Manics finished off the set with the biggest crowd pleasers #YouLoveUs and #ADesignForLife and amidst raucous applause, and in an emotionally charged Olympia, took just a little longer than usual to leave the stage, especially, the clearly touched Bradfield.  #Youloveus, #weloveyou.

Critics said it couldn’t be done, the Manics proved them wrong.  The #THB20 tour was a resounding success, but the final trumpet blast will come on 5th June this summer, when the Manics take the helm in Cardiff Castle for one last wonderful full rendition of what was undoubtedly their and Richey Edwards’, finest hour.

http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/manic-street-preachers/2014/olympia-theatre-dublin-ireland-63cd22af.html

 

 

Milanese Madness, Mayhem and Merriment, Part I

Image of Milan 1

A few years back, myself and God went on holiday to Italy this time deciding to base ourselves in Milan being a central hub in Northern Italy from which to journey in different directions each day.  We didn’t want to limit ourselves to one city, but likewise didn’t want to be hauling ourselves from hotel to hotel, so it seemed a good idea to have a base in the mid-point from which to plan some day trips with reasonable journey times.  So Milan it was.

Milan is quite a small city.

Very business like in many aspects – pretty modern

but

BUT

It is sooooo full of luvvies

and dahlings

and those overtly camp guys with tight jeans and swinging wiggles.

All the women are like size 6,

small, tiny, and all perfectly groomed.

A lot of them walk little doggies the size of your hand on leads

which is kind of hilarious.

woman with dog

It was late April  when we travelled, Easter actually, and the weather was lovely – Italy is so much warmer than Ireland at that time of year.  So let me take you through Milan a la Derval.

Day one,  kick off.

It’s bright and sunny so, Derval, who had brought her Khaki Gap shorts with her decided oh yeah, sun on legs, good plan! Hah, yeah, mistake.

Walks out with hair in ponytail, no make up, white tee shirt and afore-mentioned shorts – not your hot pant type, you know, the to-the knee types a la “It Aint Half Hot Mum”.

Milky legs,

milky everything!

I thought nothing of it until a group of lads walking past us started laughing and pointing to the shorts….I was like oh dear,

but I got over it.

The Italians ARE really rude!

They keep staring and pointing – they have no manners whatsoever.

It got worse though….

We were walking along the next day and I was in jeans and tee, with my hair loose down my back, and they were pointing again

I was getting really freaked out coz this continued all morning.

We went shopping in the pm and it still continued.

I got really upset.

When we got back to the hotel, God had a word with the concierge and asked what the blazes did he think was going on?

The concierge said it was my HAIR!  (HUH??)

Girl with Curly Red hair

It was auburn,

with copper highlights,

and CURLY.  (ITALIAN SOUNDING SCREAMS).

The Italians straighten their hair – they don’t do curly,

AND none of them have RED hair.  So I was like a bloody space oddity walking around.

Right.

Sulks.

Next day we went to beautiful Bergamo, which is situated 40km n/east of Milan at the foot of the Alps! Pretty special. 

Off we went,

On the train.

The concierge had organised everything.  Happy out.

It was a lovely place – a city on two levels – really, really nice.  We had a super day, did the Capello, Piazza Vecchia, & co. Really nice lunch al fresco, just plain simple Italian fare, (with Polenta cakes, natch) followed by a relaxed mosey around doing more of the tourist thing.

bergamo_wall

it was boiling hot, we just wanted to kick back with a chilled bottled of wine,

but we had a dinner reservation for 7pm (really?),

so we had to leave at 4pm to get back etc.

We got on the train and after 15mins it just stopped

DEAD

and didn’t move

no Guard

no announcement (not that we could understand but we would have asked).

Nothing

for an hour.

The doors were shut

wouldn’t open

and no windows that opened.

Roast Derval.

So I phoned the hotel

and got them to phone the train people.

There was a power cut and they were working on the line…..

There was no announcement nothing until the train started moving again

after 2 HOURS.

We had to get the hotel to phone the restaurant to move the dinner reservation.

By the time we got to the hotel there was a row over the shower – I won!

Anon, 

off we went to dinner …

nom nom.

All was well

until I ordered pasta for my main.

The waiter looked at me like I was medusa.

Shaking his he head he went off, tut tutting in Italian #tutti tuttatti & co.

Seems in Italy pasta is not the main course

it’s like somewhere between the starter and the main

Pasta

I asked for spaghetti with tomato sauce

and out comes this plate with a very watery sauce (sauce = exaggeration)

It wasn’t anything like I was used to but it was probably the proper real deal.  It was okay, I was tired, I was hungry, it was edible.

Anyway, we got langered on the wine and all was well until we asked for the bill (Queue dramatic music).

They didn’t take visa,

they didn’t take debit card.

We didn’t have enough cash between us!

So God said he’d go the ATM  ……… dum de dum de dum, smoke smoke ( Probably the one advantage of smoking )

He came back after 10 mins,

All the ATMS were down, so,

no bloody cash,

He had to go back to the hotel

Ask them for money

And come back and pay the bill,

whilst I was held hostage, albeit in a very polite way.  Humpf!  Anyhoo, we got sorted.  Exhausted, we walked back to the hotel for a sound night’s sleep.

Then,

the next day

we slept it out (probably due to trauma caused by the previous night’s hostage situation).

But,

we had booked a taxi for 9am,

and the bloody bell hop came charging into the room screaming at us to get up as the taxi was outside,

{and this was a 5 star hotel}

I had the phone off the hook by accident (you think?) so they hadn’t been able to get through from reception.

I is in my best pink gingham jamas,

sexy or what.

We ran around trippin over each other to get out the door.  We were getting a train and the tickets had been booked.

By the time we go to the taxi the bill was already Euro 30!

He had put the bloody meter on when he left the rank (seemingly standard #fare, every pun intended).

Euro 55 it cost us to go to train station,

but, we got the train,

only to find it was full, and we had to stand,

despite the fact that we had tickets!!

Cos when we queried people sitting in our so called seats, they all pretended they couldn’t speak English, grrrr.

So there we were – in this big tin train,

like sardines,

all the way to Venice.

3 freakin hours (artistic licence).  We were meant to be on the express, yeah right.  By the time we go there we were like cripples.

So anyway, we went to the very lovely Cipriani for lunch – see George Clooney for reference

Cipriani

It was fab,

spoilt rotten,

and me in my lovely posh white linen trousers,

accordianised with a 1000 wrinkles,

from being on the tin train,

make up around my ankles,

but hey ho,

I survived (amazing what wonders a glass of champagne can perform!).

Lunch was sublime and was followed by a laze around the terrace until the hotel speed boat was ready to take us back to “dry land”!

ST Marks Square

So off we went in this super speed boat a la 50s movie stars, all glam and sophisticated cool, over to St. Mark’s Square,

where a pigeon shat on my head! SPLAT.

God said that was for good luck, whilst trying not to laugh. HUH. Folds arms.

Venice, elegance personified.  Me, with crap on head.

And God says to me … “Pigeon!!”  (yeh, hahaha, you’re so funny!)

Then he asked, would I go in the gondola by myself?  He’s not really up for it, he said.  Very Madonna Derv, just #likeavirgin? Yeah, more like just one cornetto.

Madonna in gondola

So off I go to Mr Gondola – innocent abroad – “How much?” says I, “Euro 100″ says he.

So I ask the next chap and he says the same.

So gobshite here thinks oh well they must all be that cost then,

And paid up like a fool.

Off we went,

like in the cornetto ad, ‘cept without the cornetto,

Cornetto ad

me and Romeo the gondolier.

Half way around the route, I notice people are back laughing at me again,

but I ignore.  “It’s the hair” I tell myself. “Forget it”

But then this very loud crowd of Americans are going by and I hear one girly shouting,

oh that’s so sad, look at her, on her own, in the gondola …” … wow, how embarrassing for her, I thought.

Er?

It was only then that it dawned on me, that everyone was laughing at me cos I was alone in a gondola!

So Romeo, feeling for me, started singing to me,

which made things worse (a hell of a lot worse),

I was trying to hide under my armpit,

didn’t work.

Anyway we got back and says God to me

“how did you get on?”

says I to him “not speaking to you, you bastard”.

We found out later on that the gondola should only have been 50 euro !!  The git had double charged the so called #saddospinster! DOUBLE SULK

Anyway, I said “Right, we are going up this spire thingy so we can get the view of the city from the top”,

super-duper,

cept I didn’t see the sign that says you have to wait for the guide to take you up,

one way traffic only,

at a time.

So I was half way up this little winding turret thing

Turret Stairs

when we met the crowd coming down,

and had to do a 180 and descend all the way back down,

and wait,

and God says to me ,

cough, quote:

“You can feck off if you think I’m going back up there again” .. pregnant pause.

(I liked the way he used the word Feck, seeing as he’s Welsh!)

So went to the Cathedral instead,

and,

sulked. 

Reminds me of that song,  … whole lotta sulkin’ goin’ on .. (sic)

When we’d calmed the mood a bit, we went for a drink, people watched, chillaxed,

and then,

we got on that tin can again,

to go home,

and it took 4 and a half hours.

And the loo was broken.

And we had to share a seat.

When we got back to the hotel,

the restaurant was closed,

so we went into the bar,

and got pissed,

and started a sing song,

except I can’t sing,

but I do,

when I’m pissed,

anything by Roger Miller and I’m off.

So I did “Ever gentle on my mind”

and got a standing ovation (whoops).

I think they felt sorry for me,

cos I was filthy,

tired,

wrinkled and,

still had shit in my hair, which had now taken a bit of a “There’s something about Mary” turn at the front.

Anyway, God says I do all the gestures spot on,

like twirling the invisible lasso!

I was probably just trying to balance myself by waving my arms 🙂 

Bed

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Tune in for more madness, mayhem and merriment later in the week when I publish Part 2.

 

 

New music to keep an ear open for in 2015….

Hozier

2014 was a glorious year for new Irish music and it looks like 2015 will be even more triumphant with offerings from established artists like Kodaline together with a flurry of first releases from another new wave of talent.

However, kick starting the year, will be the announcement of the 2014/15 Shortlist for Double Choice Music Prize on Wednesday. Likely contenders this time around are Sinead O’Connor, Hozier (natch) and The Riptide Movement. Watch this space.

First significant release of the year will be from Jape. “This Chemical Sea” has a release date of Jan 23rd and word on the street is that it’s a Caribouesque piece of guitar free electronic excellence.
Here is a sample in the form of “Heart’s Desire” a swaggering synth groove hugging dance toon, psychedelic underwater video included!

Kodaline are next out of the blocks with the Jacknife Lee produced “Coming up for Air” due for release on February 6th.

Kodaline

We’ve already had a taster, in the form of the single “Honest” which had its UK debut on the Fearne Cotton BBC radio show. “Honest” is a track heavy on the guitar and lashings of vocal harmonic layers. If the rest of the album follows suit, it will be another sure fire chart hit for the boys from Dublin.
https://soundcloud.com/kodaline/kodaline-honest

Walking on Cars and Rainy Boy Sleep are due to release their first offerings later in ’15.

Walkin on Cars

Will this be the year to see WoC make the transition Hozier made in the year gone by? The Dingle band definitely deserve to move up to the next level having already established a large core following in Ireland on the back of such strong tracks as “Two Stones” and “Don’t mind me” from the “Hand in Hand” EP released to critical acclaim. It hasn’t all gone to plan but with an Irish tour kicking off in March, and an album due on its heels, one gets the feelings this could be their year!

Now signed to Universal, Rainy Boy Sleep has been busily promoting his “Ambulance” EP.
What can I say – what needs to be said.

Rainy Boy Sleep The Reuben Keen remix of “Ambulance” gives the track a new, bouncier toe tapping vibe, but if you want to know what Stevie Martin is all about, take 4 minutes to listen to the biting “Manchester Post”. Decide for yourself but the boy from Derry is destined for greatness.

Also in the mix for 2015 are Wyvern Lingo. Not only did they support Hozier on his end of ’14 live tour but member Karen Crowley performed vocals on his debut album. The Hozier link has raised their profile in time for their tour which kicks off tomorrow, see http://www.wyvernlingo.com

Two Rough Trade signings are due to make releases this year in the form of the wonderful Soak, whose album should hit the decks in Summer and Girl Band, a late 2014 signing but with an already established fan base across Europe. 2015 should see them enter higher ground in the UK and Irish markets.

Ryan Sheridan will also have a new offering this year, a track from which the poignant “2 Back to 1”, has already been warmly received by both music press and fans alike. This should be the year to see him progress from pub gigs to decent sized venues!

And then there’s The Strypes! What next from the super gifted teen band from Cavan so beloved by the likes of Elton John and Dave Grohl. Supporting the Arctic Monkeys last year lifted their profile in Europe, so now is the time to make good – their last album was released in 2013, which was followed by a 4-track EP in February 2014.
the strypes

The time as they say, is ripe.

And what’s the new from the UK for 2015. Two words. James Bay.

James Bay

No-one else will come close!

If you enjoy music as much as I do, 2015 is going to be a cracker.