Music Reviews

The Dandy Warhols

Usually showcase gigs, stuffed with fans of the full-on variety and journos eager to show off their connections, are a reminder of what made the band special and why it was plucked from obscurity to play sell out sets at Wembley.

Idlewild + Nine Black Alps

Though the emphasis of the gig was on rock with a capital ‘R’, there were plenty of muted moments, such as American English. On El Capitan, the new single, Woomble’s vocals sounded positively Morrissey-like, against a Celt rock backdrop.

Johnathan Rice

Rice has been given the Hollywood OK: soundtracked on Six Feet Under as well as the OC, he is to star (as Roy Orbison) in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line with Joaquin Phoenix. His first album, Trouble is Real, has led to comparisons with Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan, Nick Drake and Gram Parsons. He obviously enjoys the comparisons


Bono is living proof that millionaire pop, sorry Rock, stars should leave the politics alone, unless they have something less simplistic and more intelligent to say than “text this number to tell Tony Blair and Gordon Brown what you think about poverty”.

The Czars

The music is better suited for small clubs than auditoriums, and the intimacy needed for it to seep into the listener’s soul was lacking in the grand Victorian theatre.

The National

The Brooklyn-based five-piece delivered a heartrending set that managed to combine raw rock with mellodious soul thanks to lead singer Matt Berninger’s deep dark voice leavened by Bryce Dessner’s melodic pop guitar and the blood-pumping basses of Aaron Dessner and Scott Devendorf.

My Chemical Romance

Well, what other explanation can there be for this preacher man to instruct us ladies to “spit in the fucking faces” of any bouncer who asks us to flash our tits for a backstage pass? MCR: the new Germaine Greer? I think not. Whatever. The audible increase in the pitch of the screaming at the Astoria implied he had hit the spot with the girls anyway.

Damien Dempsey

His songs speak of suffering and struggle, the stock in trade for Irish singers and authors from Christy Moore to Frank McCourt, and that is where it got a bit much for this reviewer.

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