Dublin 200717
Photo: Derval Mc Cloat

Greetings peoples and apologies for ‘le silence’. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Thing is, I’ve been transitioning into a ‘career’ as a full-time writer and as with any big upheaval, it’s been more than a little life-changing to say the least. Anyway, hey ho, we’re there now! Que sera sera!

Okay, so in a WAY busier than average early Summer season, there’s a shed load of music n’ news for ‘you/me/us’ to get acquainted with; so no dilly dallying, let’s get straight to it and kick off Vol 3 (in case you missed it, here’s a link to Vol 2)

First up y’all, a dash of fan-girling. Long time ‘admiree’ of the blog, Dorset gal Gris-de-Lin, has been hi-bindering around the Antipodes and Europodes with one Gemma Ray. Within a hair’s breadth of their return from a gander around Oz/New Z, the pair along with Andy Zammit high-tailed it off to swan around Switzerland and Germany finishing up at Berlin’s Baustelle Neues Schloss (if anyone cares to tell me what that means, I’m all ears) and to prove it, we have a photo!

If you still don’t know how damned-fine a singer/musician Gemma is, then feast your senses on this short live film taken during a recent gig in Rome.

As per, our newsletter is accessorised by a bejewelled Spotify playlist, in which you’ll find sonic samples from both the G’s.

Now unless you’ve been living in a dark cave on the Outer Hebrides or were turned into a frog by the the local branch of your witches coven, you’ll be aware of the biggest tour in town passing through an arena near you. Derv was lucky enough to get to see Radiohead play a packed out 3Arena, Dublin the week of #OKNOTOK and the 20th anniv of OK Computer.

It was, a boiling cauldron in which the frenergetic roars of the crowd reverberated thricefold off the gigantic dome-like ceilings.  Radiohead (11, 886, 308 likes on FB and counting) were magnificent in voice, instrumentation, performance and form.

They were, as we would say, in fine fettle, with frontman Thom Yorke gyrating like a buck hare with St. Vitus’ dance with all of the verve and flexibility of a man half his age.  Stage right, (Here’s) Jonny was enacting his very own version of The Bends (over the keyboards), while stage left gave us the ever statuesque Ed vocalising stunning renditions of falsetto harmonies to Yorke’s lead.

It was without doubt the best live performance by any music act/artist I have ever witnessed. The only downsides were:-

  1. Being physically assaulted by the Corkonian nutjob standing to the left of me – if you’re reading this, I don’t bruise that easily!
  2. Being physically assaulted by the oversized fully stuffed totebag on the right hand shoulder of the guy with the jigging legs in front of me, Cheers
  3. Being physically assaulted by the 40+degrees indoor temperatures – it was like a sweaty hellish furnace. White top, bad move 😦
  4. The very noticeable absence of a certain Creep from the setlist

So, for those of us who didn’t get to see their first ever smash performed live ‘in person’, here’s Radiohead performing the Pablo Honey anthem live at Glastonbury (where they were rockin’ but not as rollin’ as they were in Dublin!!).


There are so many new releases zipping around the stratosphere right now that in order for us to catch up, the easiest thing to do is to emulate them and accelerate at high speed.

Harry Styles Harry Styles (Album) – “And tonight Matthew, I’m gonna be David Bowie/Beck/Prince”. On your bike mate. A poor man’s Robbie Williams without the songwriting talent of Guy Chambers. DerVerdict – Dreadful tosh that borders on identity theft. Run. Very Fast.

Alison Moyet Other (Album) – Alison Moyet has created an album of sheer beauty, an undiluted joy that navigates rivers of lyrical poesy and soars, like the Essex singer’s voice, through an abundance of musical melodrama.

Eloquent, elegant and eschewing the jazz-pop style which became her post-’80s signature, Other is a masterpiece. An adventure through a lyrical wonderland set against a backdrop of well-matured, modern day electronica. DerVerdict – If you only buy one record …  PS See the 5min vid below of Alison discussing the album.

The Strypes Spitting Image (Album) – The Strypes, who made their ‘world debut’ on the Studio 4 stage of Ireland’s grand-dame of talk shows, the Late Late, are a band steeped in the youthful yore of The Beatles, Elvis Costello and some other band that’s hanging onto the tip of my tongue for dear life (when I shake them off I’ll let you know). Or is it the shades of James Honeyman Scott’s helter skelter guitar style?

Either way, Spitting Image ups the ante, a bold yet natural move for a young band previously known for their Bo Diddley R&B meets proto-punk vibes.  If you’re familiar with the works of Tilbrook/Difford/Holland aka Squeeze, (I Need A Break From) Holidays will resonate. DerVerdict – A Must buy, for sure.

Broken Social Scene – Stay Happy (Single). There are similarities here with Norwegian band Broen (when they’re not lurch-rappin’). Toronto natives Broken Social Scene have a new album in the post – Hug of Thunder – which should arrive on your doormat 7th July (via City Slang). Ahead of its release, the multi-faceted Canadian outfit have dropped lush single Stay Happy.

Opening with a vocal lifted straight out of Barbarella and a melody floating through a tropical night sky, the track rapidly transitions into a melodramatic fanfare of funky beats, swaggering bass and glorious choral harmonies, all with a twist of lush shiny brass.  More to follow! DerVerdict – Yeah baby!

Broen – You (Detective) (Single). Speaking of Broen, BBC radio and most recently Lauren Laverne, appear to have fallen in love with this track. It’s a serious ramp up from their previous outings, a maturing of what was previously a sound somewhat in slight disarray or a style reaching out for its place in an ever changing musical landscape.  With You, Broen have nailed a sound that does justice to their redoubtable talent.  DerVerdict – Dive In!

Nick HaywardMountaintop/Baby Blue Sky (Double A). No your eyes are not deceiving you.  Yes, this is Nick ‘Haircut 100 – Fantastic Day’ Hayward and he has returned to the fold with new music, a new signature style and new specs. Mountaintop is Everley Bros gone yeehaw Bluegrass, while Baby Blue Sky casts a few backwards glances to the 80s whilst nestling in a predominantly easy listening Tom Petty-esque pop-rock landscape.

Nick Hayward’s new album Woodland Echoes is due out later this Summer. DerVerdict – No set stylistic pattern makes it difficult to gauge which audience Hayward is aiming for! TBC


August RosenbaumNebula (Single). An absolute heavyweight of an instrumental set on classical-Spanish pillars, performed with emotive aplomb. Curious, dark and exceptionally imaginative. DerVerdict – Worth exploring. 

Depeche ModeGoing Backwards (Single). Oooh, just for a minute there, I thought the mighty Mode had crossed back to days of yore and greatness. That said, there are shades of old in here. Stylistically, Going Backwards somewhat does just that, sitting somewhere around Ultra/Exciter territory. DerVerdict – Hardcore fans will love it, Wilder diehards will pour scorn. Plus ca change.

OtherkinReact (Single). While still brimful of clangour, sass and swagger, and with a white-hot guitar solo in the mix, React sees flame-throwing Irish rockers Otherkin actually take it down a few notches into Strokes-like territory.

With the announcement of a debut album, OK, and a seemingly endless list of European tour dates (starts Newcastle 30th September – ends Dublin’s Button Factory 15th December), Otherkin’s flame is set to continue to burn througout the rest of 2017. DerVerdict – #musicyouneedtohear

MO Nights with You (Single). The Danish singer has flatlined with this hapless, hookless shank of vacant pop. DerVerdict – Nope.

Spring BreakersShaking Hands (Single). Yet another new Norwegian musical spin-off sees Ludvig Moon frontman Anders Killerud (to whom I believe congratulations are in order!!) pair up with Panda Panda co-lead Hakon Kjenstad. Their dreamy debut single Shaking Hands is released under the Spring Breakers moniker. Think sitting inside a slowly spinning top made of marshmallow and cloud. DerVerdit – Yup!

MotionsSay Goodbye/Coincide (Double A). Released on 29th June, this Double A marks the third release from Dublin duo, Dave Nulty and Tom Daly.  It also marks a seismic shift in the quality of both their songwriting and arranging, with Coincide a serious contender for alt-rock anthem of the Summer. Fans of the Gahan Condemnation vocal will be transfixed. DerVerdict – Ones to Watch. Closely.


Festival season is once again upon us and with Body & Soul and Glastonbury now relegated to the blurry mists of hazy memories, we look forward to more upcoming carnivalesque soujourns in muddy/grassy/lumpy fields eating falafel/burgers/<<insert rude word>> whilst quaffing endless gallons of caffeinated drinks/alcoholic drinks/<<insert rude word>>.  Festis to look out for in the coming weeks are, (you couldn’t make this up!) …

Latitude – UK – 13th – 16th July – Headline acts incl The 1975, Fleet Foxes and Mumford & Sons, along with other stalwarts such as Goldfrapp, Placebo and our own Imelda May.

Longitude – IRL – 14th – 16th July – Headline acts incl Stormzy, The Weekend, and ditto Mumford, as well as homies Picture This, Aine Cahill & Bitch Falcon.

Other festivals hitting a field near you this July are :- Noisily (Leicester) 6th – 9th July, BST Hyde Park (London) 1st to 9th July, Citadel (London) 16th July, Tramlines (Sheffield) 21st – 23rd July, and the one I’d go to if I had my way – Afropunk Fest (London) 22nd – 23rd July which features the wonderful Lianne le Havas along with NAO and Thundercat. For ticket info, click on the festival name.


Last week was one of the best weeks for new music that we’ve had on #FOTN in yonks.  Much to my delight silken voiced Aislinn Logan ran away with the public vote.  Alongside her you’ll find gems from Hydromag, The Hangmen, Perks and so much, much more. If you’re an emerging artist, up and coming musician, do please check out our site and give serious thoughts to uploading your music to our Dropbox. Tune into the latest faves here –


And finally, finishing up with some GOOD NEWS VIBES!

So, aside from Ed Sheeran announcing myriad Irish dates (4th – 16th May) on his upcoming 2018 live tour – tickets go on sale July 8th peeps edsheeran.com for details, the super good news is that the Other Voices Irish music festival has announced it will be departing its native Dingle shores this Summer for the riverbanks of Berlin no less.

As part of an initiative supported by the Irish Dept of Foreign Affairs & Trade in conjunction with Creative Ireland, Other Voices will host a live event at the Riverside Studios on 13th July; a satellite-event of Tech Open Air Berlin 2017.

The first in a series, this new OV project aims to both increase awareness of contemporary Irish music and artists within the German market, and strengthen what is already a solid bond with our Deutsche counterparts.

Featured artists will include New Jackson (David Kitt), Berlin-based Tom Adams, Talos, Soulé, Them There and Caoimhín Ó’Raghallaigh of The Gloaming fame.  For further details and ticket info, check here


As usual, we give you a parting gift of a specially curated Spotify playlist, below, to complement our latest rambling, shambling newsletter.  You might indulge me with a spot of straw polling below … Hope you enjoyed, and as Dave Gahan would say – “See You Next Time!”

DervSwerve x



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