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Dublin trio No Spill Blood do an excellent job in mixing up various cool influences to produce a visceral sound that fans of progressive metal will thoroughly enjoy. Consisting of Matt Hedigan (bass/vocals), Ruadhan O’Meara (keyboards/vocals) and Ror Conaty (drums), the band have concocted a debut full length that fans of Black Sabbath, Killing Joke, Trans Am & The Melvins will not want to miss. O’Meara’s keyboards is the distinguishing factor and the absence of a guitar does not diminish the immediacy or heaviness one bit. Tracks like the driving “Back to the Earth” & “Now II”, the dark electronic title track, the manic “Thinner”, the punk-ish “El Duurto” and the riff-tastic opener “White Out” bear testimony to the trio’s eclecticism in the midst of its consistent. sonic agenda.

Keyboardist/singer Ruad O’Meara kindly agreed to answer our probing queries via email.

Does the band name have anything to do with Island of Dr Moreau?

It does indeed, or more specifically the film version “The Island of Lost Souls”. Its also the title of an Oingo Boingo song, and its also where DEVO got “Are we not men” from jocko homo etc. It seemed fitting to get a bunch of references in at once!



RAGLANS – “White Lightning”

This Irish band has released a fabulous music video for its “White Lightning” single (off new eponymous album). Directed by Finn Keenan, the video contains a couple of inventive visual gags and the song itself is great guitar rock in its own right. At almost 3 minutes, it’s a dose of classic pop-rock that certainly deserves your attention. Check it out!

Raglans available from iTunes.


Pic by Ger O'Donnell
Pic by Ger O’Donnell

If like me you are besotted with classic pop and love the music of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, ELO and XTC, then my question to you is – why aren’t you listening to Pugwash? And if this is the first time you have heard of this awesome Irish band, then your timing is impeccable.

A Rose in a Garden of Weeds: A Preamble Through the History of Pugwash (to be released on 23rd September) collects songs from the band’s 1999 origins through the present day and when placed together in one place like this, is probably the closest a classic pop fan will get to heaven in 2014.

Pugwash A Rose In A Garden Digi

It is impossible not to fall in love with perfect pop songs like “Be My Friend Awhile,” “Apples,” “Answers on a Postcard,” “Fall Down”, “It’s Nice to be Nice” and so on and on and on. These 17 tracks constitute some of the finest pop music made since the new millennium and deserves as much attention as possible, if there’s any justice left in this cruel world.

I was lucky enough to catch the band live last year in London and believe me, it’s a wonder to behold. That Rickenbacker sound, those harmonies and infectious tunes will have you singing along in no time, unfamiliarity be damned! So check out the US tour dates below to make sure you don’t miss out on the fun, PoPies!

Check out the video for “It’s Nice to be Nice” below…


Photo by Emma Hopkins

It’s a small world, after all!

When I saw Dublin sextet Buffalo Sunn play at Beer Market for Music Matters Live ’14, I was entranced by their wondrous approximation of country-folk-rock and post-punk styles into a pleasing whole. Having four brothers in the lineup – the musical Paxton men (Daniel the songwriter, guitarist and lead vocalist, Neil on keys, guitar and backing vocals, Conor on keys and guitar and Ruairi on bass) – sure helps in producing those heavenly harmonies. Together with Donagh O’Brien on drums and Patrick McHugh on vocals and guitar, the Paxton brothers as Buffalo Sunn made for a formidable band, as many in the audience at Music Matters Live found out.

On a personal note, I had the chance to talk to the band’s management team (Elvera and James Butler) and discovered that the band are mates with members of Pugwash, whom I had met last year in London! In that light, I felt it appropriate to make available the recording of my conversations with the band last week in the Green Room at Music Matters Live.

First off, we talked about Sweet Jane and similarities with The Beach Boys…

Next, the band discussed why it was important for them to play in Asia…

Is it a good time to be a musician? The band weigh in with their thoughts on how technological developments have impacted their music…

We wrapped up with a discussion on the Buffalo Sunn music videos on YouTube and the master plan for world domination…

Well, that’s it!

Look out for Buffalo Sunn’s debut album coming soon. In the meantime, check out the music video of the latest single, “By Your Side” below.

Buy on iTunes


ADEBISI SHANK This Is The Second Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank (Sargent House)

This album is well, er, the second album from Adebisi Shank, an electronic band hailing from Ireland. The band is to say the least, ambitious. They aim to “create a global new form of music” which captures “the anthemic optimism of your era (which) will eventually enrich the entire world”. And do they match up to their aim? Well, whether it will reach the entire world is one matter, but it does create a type of futuristic-progressive-electronic-robots-talking-to-each-other music I’ve never heard before. d.v.d, recently in town for the Mosaic Music Festival, produces the closest type of music found in this album.

Continue reading “ADEBISI SHANK”


Here’s an interesting story behind the interview I had with Conor O’Brien/Villagers which formed the basis for my TODAY piece. I had originally sent a list of email questions for Conor via Greenhorn Productions. But then I was given to understand that Conor would prefer a phoner instead and so I called him and we had a good 20 minute chat. Subsequently, I received from Greenhorn Productions, Conor’s duly completed answers to my original list of questions!  I had TWO interviews! Therefore, I took the written answers and fashioned the article that you can read in TODAY and now I set out below the full text of the phone interview with Conor – it’s long but well worth reading. Conor is serious about his songwriting craft and he is a shining example of what a modern day songwriter-musician should be – literate, passionate and yet down to earth and humble. If you haven’t got your tickets for Conor’s performance on Monday, I strongly urge that you do so quickly before they are sold out. Get them from SISTIC.

Your debut album was short-listed for a Mercury Prize. How does that make you feel?

I was embarrassed. I don’t enjoy attention that much unless I’m singing. Then I don’t enjoy getting no attention when I’m singing (laughs). I felt somewhat honored I guess – it was a nice thing to hear but my overall feeling was one of embarrassment.



Irish singer-songwriter Conor O’Brien is the brains behind Villagers, whose debut album – Becoming A Jackal – has been favorably compared to Bright Eyes, Sparklehorse, The Frames and Leonard Cohen and also nominated for a Mercury Prize! Not bad for a band that made their first live appearance only 2 years ago. Well, music fans are in for a treat as O’Brien makes his way to the intimate surroundings of the Esplanade Recital Studios on 31st January 2011 for a live performance that promises to be truly memorable (remember the Lloyd Cole and Patrick Watson gigs? Awesome!).