The annual IMRO awards celebrate the dedication and passion of those who work in Ireland’s live music venues, providing the public with an exceptional live music experience on a weekly basis.
More than 12,000 IMRO members considered hundreds of venues across the country for the shortlist. Venues were judged on their commitment to providing the core elements that make for a great live music venue – atmosphere, sound and lighting, staging, diversity of programming and importantly, the staff and management of each venue, and from the shortlist, the public voted for their top live venues.
At the much-anticipated tenth IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Awards at the Irish Music Rights Organisation Headquarters in Dublin this week, Connolly’s of Leap scooped up the 2017 Munster Live Venue of the Year award.
Commenting on the win, owner of the venue Sam McNicholl said “I’m absolutely over the moon. A huge thanks to all those who have made this possible: the artists, the punters, my immediate family and my extended musical family. The last two years have been a whirlwind. I’m very excited for what lies next.”
Live music venues and festivals play a vital role in the music industry in Ireland, giving international and homegrown artists a platform to engage with fans and build new audiences. They also play a central role in urban and rural communities across the country, providing a social gathering space for varied audiences, and contributing hugely to the domestic economy. Connolly’s, an intimate third-generation music venue steeped in history has seen many musical lovers flocking from far and wide to enjoy some of the very best in local, national, and international acts perform ‘Under the Hammers’. Since it’s re-opening in December 2015, Sam McNicholl has built on the strong values his late father, Paddy McNicholl, instilled in the venue. Together with his mum, Eileen McNicholl, and a small, dedicated team of close friends, Sam brings a special energy and magic to this tiny west Cork town, week after week.
We can expect more great things to come from this charming bar nestled in Leap. Coming up over the next few weeks, the line-up includes Dave Geraghty of Bell X1, Wyvern Lingo, Liam O’Maonlai, Marlene Enright, Stephen James Smith, Willy Mason, Brian Deady, Wiggle and John Blek, to name a few. Head west and raise a glass to Connolly’s www.connollyofleap.com
Upcoming events: http://connollysofleap.com/events/
Drogheda-based indie dance artist Donal Quinn has just released his brand new track ‘Precious’.
Mentioned by Hot Press as saying it “sounds quite unlike anything else we’ve come across”.
Described by Indie Buddie as “‘Precious’ is that wiggle and shimmy track that could coax the most stubborn person onto the dance floor. Get your sunglasses out, cocktails at the ready Mr. Quinn has brought the summer early”.
Played by the BBC Introducing it as – “the definition of a feel good track”.
Donal Quinn is gearing up for more releases. You can catch him:
Feb 26; Circle Sessions, The International Bar, Dublin
Mar 2; Dundalk Fm Live Session, The First Cut, Dundalk Fm
Mar 18; Mods, Skins and Soulies for Repeal; The Underground, Dame St.
Apr 5: Near Fm Live Session; Near Fm
Lisa Canny, a Mayo native living in the UK, has amassed over two million streams online, sold out shows across the UK and US and co-written with a host of artists including Kaiser Chiefs, Melissa Etheridge and Akon.
Lisa Canny has travelled the world and worked with a plethora of highly regarded names in the industry and was dubbed “Ireland’s next big female artist” by Miles Copeland of The Police. Heavily involved in traditional Irish music, Canny is the seven-time All Ireland Champion on harp and banjo. She was also named UK Future Music Songwriting Winner 2016, placed in the top ten of “Irish acts you don’t want to miss” by BBC America, has appeared on two PBS Specials, the Late Late Show, shared the stage with the likes of Gavin James, Lisa Hannigan and The Coronas.
Born and raised in County Mayo, Ireland, Lisa Canny is a notably talented musician who creates expertly crafted modern traditional Irish music that’s distinctive, upbeat and effortlessly entertaining. Best known for her incredible covers sold out live performances and her reputation for driving, propulsive and heartfelt delivery, Lisa’s mastering of technique and tradition is nothing short of astounding. Gifted with empowering confidence and a charming sense of honesty, the most exciting and consummate stage of Canny’s career is now pouring vehemently over the horizon.
Ireland’s Slow Riot are releasing their new double A-side single, ‘Voyeur/Burn in the City’, via Straight Lines Are Fine on February 2nd. The tracks are the first new material from the band since last year’s ‘Pink December’. Much has happened in the interim; the band expanding to a four-piece after the addition of second guitarist Liam O’Connor (formerly of Fonda), an intense period of songwriting, honing their live craft via numerous festival appearances (notably Electric Picnic, Other Voices), and the recording of a debut album which will be released later in 2018. ‘Voyeur and Burn in the City’ showcase their new approach and provide a tantalizing glimpse of what is to come with their debut full length release.
“Liam came to us with the chord progressions and guitar melody of ‘Voyeur’. I liked the contrast between the spectral, somewhat eerie verse parts and the melodic, hopeful chorus”, says vocalist/bassist Niall Clancy. “Lyrically I wanted to convey this disparity between hope and desperation and found a similarity in, what can be, the voyeuristic nature of romance today.”
‘Burn In The City’ employs dreamy guitars, sweeping synths and a reverberant, spacious mix. The track is hard hitting yet sentimental, animated yet brooding, recalling acts such as Eagulls, Preoccupations and Merchandise in its new-wave dance beats with dark, soaring undertones.
Fresh out of the studio, the ‘Voyeur/Burn in the City’ single was recorded with longtime collaborator Kevin Vanbergen (The Pixies, The Maccabees, Dinosaur Pile-Up, The La’s and Biffy Clyro) at Savage Sound Studios, Hastings at the beginning of 2018. Vanbergen has been a catalyst for the band’s creativity since hooking up with them for the recording of their debut Cathedral EP. Their working relationship continues to thrive, with production of the new material pushing the band into richer sonic territory.
The band have collaborated with up and coming Irish artist Darragh Dempsey for the artwork and videos for ‘Voyeur/Burn In The City’. Recognised by the art world world as a rising talent, Dempsey’s ‘Flesh’ painting was inspired by Francis Bacon’s ‘Study after Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X’; the anguish and surrealism of the image echoing the themes of the band’s new music.
Slow Riot emerge from their hometown of Limerick backed with support from the likes of The Irish Times, Nialler9, Other Voices, Electric Picnic, Today FM and Whelan’s One’s to Watch; their plaudits building at an impressive rate. They’re flying the flag for a new breed of Irish acts ready for the global stage.
They have also amassed a rich profile of support this side of the Irish Sea, with the likes of Drowned In Sound, Q Magazine, The Line Of Best Fit, Clash and Gigwise amongst many others citing them for big things. Previous single ‘Trophy Wife’ earned the band plaudits from Shaun Keaveny on the 6Music Breakfast Show, Radio X, Absolute and was a mainstay on the band’s native Today FM with DJ Paul McLoone declaring Slow Riot to be “my new favourite Irish band”.
Slow Riot returns to the UK in April to headline Communion’s club night in London plus regional dates, but not before they play their first headline Dublin show at Whelan’s on March 22nd. Summer festival dates will be announced very soon.
‘Voyeur/Burn in the City’ Double A-side Single
Out on February 2nd via Straight Lines Are Fine
“A heady mix of layered atmospherics and fuzzy pop that bodes well for the future” – Drowned in Sound
“With this latest release, Slow Riot join the ranks of Eagulls and Savages at the forefront of a new breed of bands fusing danceable beats with dark-pop sentiments.” – The Line Of Best Fit
Cork’s most exciting new music festival It Takes a Village, is happening at Trabolgan Holiday Village in Cork, April 13th – 15th.. Their second line up has been announced adding to the, already, stellar list of names like Young Fathers, Talos, Fujiya & Miyagi, Le Boom and Brian Deady.
Topping the bill for Sunday 15th April is The Gloaming front man Martin Hayes, who teams up with guitar virtuoso Steve Cooney for a rare performance in the idyllic and pastoral surroundings of Trabolgan Holiday Village. The Sunday will also feature Blindboy Boatclub, as he hosts his chart topping podcast live, along with a few surprises. LCD Soundsystem label mate Shit Robot brings his acid house & disco sound, and award winning folk miscreants, Lankum, will make an appearance, along with the big, bold, New Orleans influenced party troupe Booka Brass.
Cork’s finest purveyors of house, Fish Go Deep continue their 30th-anniversary celebrations at the festival, while Roger Doyle, the pioneer of Irish electronic music, will join with writer Kevin Barry for a very special one off performance. Prepare for spaced out, post-apocalyptic prog rock from The Jimmy Cake, and ethereal soundscapes from the ever endearing Saint Sister.
Further new additions to the bill include: Stevie G, Marc O’Reilly, Bantum, Ye Vagabonds, Slow Moving Clouds, David Keenan, Fixity, Bad Bones, Céilí Allstars, Super Silly, Jus’ Me, Spekulativ Fiktion, Rowan, Crevice, Shookrah, Bon Voyage, DJ Scope, John Blek, Bellyman, Landless, A Cow In The Water, Disco E Cultura, Ghostking Is Dead, Prof Ruff Chuff + Fyahred + Benji Revelation.
THE LINE UP SO FAR: Young Fathers – Andrew Weatherall – Martin Hayes & Steve Cooney – Talos – Fujiya & Miyagi – Fish Go Deep – Brian Deady – The Altered Hours – Lankum – The Blindboy Podcast – Booka Brass – Shit Robot – Roger Doyle – The Jimmy Cake – Le Boom – Oh Pep! – Donal Dineen – John Daly – Bitch Falcon – Nialler9 – Seamus Fogarty – Cian Finn – Sunday Times – Kevin Barry – Sim Simma – Saint Sister – Stevie G – Marc O’Reilly – Ye Vagabonds – Bantum – John Blek – Slow Moving Clouds – Bon Voyage – My Name Is John – David Keenan – Fixity – Céilí Allstars – Bad Bones – Shookrah – Anna Mieke – Ryan Vail – Strength NIA – Lilla Vargen – Super Silly – Jus Me – Spekulativ Fiktion – Rowan – Crevice – Ghostking Is Dead – DJ Scope –Disco E Cultura – Bellyman – Bocs Social – A Cow In The Water – Prof Ruff Chuff + Fyahred + Benji Revelation
It Takes A Village is unique in that they offer 150 self-catering houses and apartments, plus 35 fully-serviced campervan sites, contained in Trabolgan Holiday Village. There is no camping in muddy fields here, your booking includes accommodation and unlimited access to the huge variety of entertainment. It’s a residents only affair for the festival weekend, with a limited amount of day tickets on Sunday. All Tier 1 tickets are now sold out, and many of the Tier 2 options have gone too. Tier 3 tickets go on sale on February 7th from www.ittakesavillage.fm. There are also Payment Plan options currently on offer, whereby folks can avail of a 25% deposit on houses only, this option jumps to 50% deposit on the 1st of February so best get moving!
We at Indie Arena hope you have had a jolly Christmas full of overindulgence, drunken nights and a touch of vom for added measure. Here to sort out your woes or keep your spirits up are our 2017 selection of our favourite tunes. Enjoy.
In no particular order:
Beauty Sleep – Until We See the Sun
Beauty Sleep is an indie band creating synthy dream-pop bursting with guitar-riffs and pop-hooks
Bad Bones – You
BAD BONES is an electronic music producer based in Dublin, Ireland.
Jealous Of The Birds And Ryan Vail – Love Is A Crow
Jealous of the Birds is the solo project of hotly tipped Irish songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Naomi Hamilton. Beautifully crafted songs have been given contrasting arrangements.
Krystal Klear – Keith Haring/Dancateria (Bronx Mix)
Sounds and inspirations from 1980-1994.
Cinema – Floating
Electronic artist ‘Cinema’, is the brain child of Ireland based Peter Fleming.
Le Boom – What we do
LE BOOM’s late-night shows are a frenzy of glass-bottle beats, layered loops.
Le Galaxy – Pleasure
Close your eyes. It’s 2am. The ground is shaking underfoot and your fingers are pulled upwards by some invisible but very audible force. The force of a TUNE.
Since their debut album, Le Galaxie have replicated this scene across clubs and venues, bars and fields, tents and countries, cities and towns, parties and raves.
Columbia Mills – Battles
Columbia Mills are an Indietronica band based in Dublin, Ireland.
Liza Flume – Sheets
Raw, quirky and a little off-kilter Liza Flume’s unique presence draws you in.
Kate Grom – Heroin
Kate’s artistic trajectory grew organically from a series of almost random epiphanies.
Fontaines – Hurricane Laughter
Hurricane Laughter which is an insistent and repetitive song built on a Mark E Smith style spoken vocal and a band who are locked into a rock n roll groove.
Chasing Abbey – That Good Thing
Chasing Abbey bring a unique pop and hip-hop style to the fore.
Darling – Sail Away
“The goal was always to put together a body of work that represents who we are”.
Frankenstein Bolts – Anatomic Major
Live their sound is breezy and melodic with Cullens vocals sitting nicely amongst Comerfords guitar soundscapes.
Talos – Voices