Category Archives: music

I’ve been mostly listening to

Fionn Regan’s “The End of History”. This singer-songwriter from Wicklow constantly reminds me of Nick Drake. I’d like to think history will bestow him a similar status but none of the tragedy. I remember reading an article by Bob Dylan a few years ago where he described accomplished singer songwriters who don’t get the recognition their talent deserves as “secret heroes”
The album is lyrically sophisticated, elegiac and uplifting in equal measure. Humorous, poignant and musically nuanced. It’s also “catchy” 🙂 Perfect thing for a lazy Saturday straining under the weight of all those damn adjectives!

Worst Irish Song of 2008.

Goes to “The ballad of Ronnie Drew”. I can’t quite believe this amusical dirge has been released. As I’m not from Dubin I don’t have to worship Ronnie Drew like he’s some kind of saint. It’s certainly sad that the man is unwell but I don’t understand how a collection of such allegedly talented artists managed to record such a dire song with its incoherent mutterings from Shane McGowan, more shouting from my namesake Damien Dempsey and Bono’s new orleans gospel chorus. Those whoops have never seemed so out of place.
As for the Late Late Show performance. Pat the plank hosted a dub musical love-in without rhyme or reason. When I heard Bonio suggest that Ronnie was up there with Pavorotti in his singing ability I reached for the remote. He’s a very average singer with a distinctive voice. No Luke Kelly either.
I know I’ve somehow “missed the point” but if Daniel O’ Donnel had put out this rubbish Bonio and chums (Sinead O’ Connor for F&(K’s SAKE!) would be rightly slagging him but it seems the capital’s musical elite think they’re immune from criticism.

Today I have mostly been listening to

Veneer by Jose Gonzalez. Yes, the lower-than-lo-fi album with the track from the sony bravia advert. He’s very much in the same vein as Damien Rice except with a more restrained delivery and tastier guitar work. Not that Damien Rice is bad but Jose’s guitar playing is very special indeed. Think of Robert Johnson playing flamenco and you’ll have a feel for it. His pure and relaxed delivery of thoughtful lyrics is soothing and peaceful while edgier numbers recall David Kitt’s excellent “The Big Romance” album. The whole effect is like a gentle stroll down your favourite street on a soft autumn day nuzzled by a light breeze and a warm feeling of contentment. Alternatively, just go and buy the album and listen for yourself.