Gig News: Benjamin Francis Leftwich to play Whelan’s in November

A bit of good news for those of you that love shimmery folk-pop that captures fleeting moments and spins ‘em up for posterity. English singer-songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich takes to the stage in Whelan’s this coming November 3rd. Tickets are €15 each and are on sale now from Ticketmaster. Benjamin, whose acoustic sound and delicate vocals have earned him comparisons with Jose Gonzalez and Iron and Wine, released his debut album Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm last summer. Lead single Pictures secured the coveted “Hottest Sound” nod from Zane Lowe, but Shine here is just as nice. Benjamin’s nice too. ”I’d prefer it if we could give everything away for free,” he said, in an interview last year. “I want people to hear my music.” Sensitive, talented and a bona-fide indie kid? We could just eat him up.

Music: The Sweetest Silence by Storyfold

Storyfold have unveiled their latest music video for their brand new single ‘The Sweetest Silence’. Directed by Billy Keane, the video mixes film shot on location at World’s End Studios, Dublin and self-shot videos from the recording of their debut album at Modern World Studios in Tetbury, UK. The Sweetest Silence is the 4th single to be taken from ‘Rocket Science’ but the first to feature pianist Lindsey Hogan on lead vocals. The song was included in music blogger 2UIBestow’s ‘Best 10 Songs of 2011’. He said: From the first few seconds of this track you know this is a special tune. Lindsey’s lead vocals are delightful and work so well with Paddy’s backing vocals. This is a fantastic uplifting song that deserves to be played loud! The band also embarks on a mini Irish tour that includes headlining Whelan’s, Wexford Street this Friday, March 23rd. It will see the … There’s more

Gig News: Rizzle Kicks to play The Olympia November 6th…

… because November is a drab, dark month and there’ll be no better fellas to chase away your post-summer blues. Rizzle Kicks are Jordan and Harley, they’re nineteen, and they once made a music video with Ed Sheeran in their back garden. Their debut album Stereo Typical, a collection of cheeky ditties wrapped in bouncy, hip-pop goodness, peaked at number 5 in the UK charts last winter, due in no small part to the immense likeability of this pair of groovy scoundrels. Oh, look at ‘em. Aren’t they funny? That’s Mama Do The Hump, which has Fatboy Slim written all over it, mostly because he produced it. Tickets are from €26.40 from Ticketmaster, and are on sale now.

Event: Paddy’s Weekend At The Workman’s Club

Hey there, paradoxically Dublin-based Culchies. Plans for this Paddy’s Weekend? The Workman’s Club have a right patriotic line-up for you for this Saint Patrick’s Day, right up to the bank hangover holiday dancing delightfully in its wake. Shenanigans abound from 4pm on St. Patrick’s Day, with the Somewhere indie crew churning it up in the First Floor Bar, free admission for a 9 hour marathon of daycent tunes. From 8pm The Venue will play host to trad seisiún masters The Bonny Men. Tickets are €10 on the door. Don’t wear heels, because the feet’ll be worn off yeh from the stomping. Festivities crank up again at 5pm on Sunday (that’s plenty of time for a lie-in, in fairness), with a battle between the Workman’s indie residents and Mass resident DJ Sister Lisa Marie. Music-based, mind. This ain’t no cock fight. The Folie a Deux DJs are on hand afterwards, promising … There’s more

Gig News: Emeli Sandé to play Dublin this August

Fans of soulful Scots rejoice! Lady of the moment Emeli Sandé will play the Olympia Theatre on Wednesday, the 15th of August, which, Culch promises you, will still be Emeli Sandé’s moment. Emeli’s self-penned debut album, Our Version of Events, and her single, Next To Me, are both currently at Number 2 in the Irish charts. She’s just won the Brits Critic’s Choice Award, and has recently supported Coldplay on their European tour. She also studied medicine for four years, which automatically makes her better than you (unless you studied medicine for more than four years, in which case we’re sorry we said anything, please carry on.) Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 9am through Ticketmaster outlets. Get ‘em coz they’re hot.

COMPETITION: Just Blaze at The Academy, Saturday 3rd.

Have you got glad rags? Fantastic. Get ‘em ironed, because you’re going out. Red Bull Music Academy is bringing hip-hop dynamo Just Blaze to the Academy (Green Room) this Saturday, 3rd March. Just Blaze has cut his gnashers producing hits for such luminaries as Jay-Z and Eminem, as well as having worked with Busta Rhymes, DMX, Snoop Dogg… yeah, basically everyone who’s anyone and back again. Support come from Krystal Klear and Olan All City, and tickets are priced at €10 and are available through Ticketmaster, unless, of course, you’re a lucky Culch reader. Oh yes. We’ve got five pairs of tickets to give away, should you street-urchinswise people fancy it. To chance your arm, all you have to do is leave a comment, saying “Gimme gimme!” or something to that effect. Just Blaze is in town as part of a Red Bull Music Academy Workshop, a special forum where … There’s more

Gigs: Storyfold @ Whelan’s March 23rd

Storyfold, who released their debut album ‘Rocket Science’ last year, are wetting the head of their 4th single release, ‘The Sweetest Silence’ with a headliner in Whelan’s on March 23rd. Frontman Paddy McKenna gives over lead vocals to pianist Lindsey Hogan for ‘…Silence’ and it’s well worth hearing: Support comes from Jet Set Radio and Laura Elizabeth Hughes (the first public gig of the YouTube sensation whose ‘Video Games’ cover is below and deserves a watch). Tickets €10 from the usual.

Whipping Boy: The Interview

Keep your Joshua Trees, throw your Fitzcarraldo away because as far as you should be concerned, Heartworm by Whipping Boy was arguably one of the greatest Irish albums ever released.  Receiving international critical acclaim in 1995, the band continued for another three years and another album before they disbanded in 1998.  The good news for fans is that they have reformed and will be playing The Academy on the 17th of September.  Culch were lucky enough to catch up with Fearghal McKee and Colm Hassett for a very hoarse chat following a long weekend…   Why reform the band? FM:  We’re in the second half of the ninth wave, the good energy of man starts to come out and we as a band think this is the time now. Why did you initially disband the band? FM:  We had grown too much, it didn’t work anymore… How do you feel … There’s more

Hard Working Class Heroes 2011

I am working-class. I am hard-working. I enjoy heroics. This is the festival for me. Hard Working Class Heroes, the “annual showcase festival and conference for new Irish music”, has just announced details of its 2011 line-up, one hundred Irish bands who will play in Dublin city centre from the 6th to the 8th October. The quality is bloody impressive, but I’m going to go mental and blindly recommend you catch Bitches With Wolves, Moths, Grand Pocket Orchestra, Overhead, The Albatross, Owensie, Toby Kaar, Sleep Thieves, The Holy Roman Army, Bats, We Are Losers, Cfit and Culch favourites EleventyFour and The Dying Seconds. Mmm, eclectic. *drools* The festival venues are The Button Factory, The Mercantile, The Grand Social, Shebeen Chic, Twisted Pepper and The Workman’s Club, none of whom I can be arsed to link to. Just Google Maps ‘em, will yis? Kids today with their sense of entitlement. This is … There’s more

Music Video: The Dying Seconds – Mora Minn

Jaysus, I love it when an Irish band comes up with something moving and intelligent and beautiful. It makes me want to sneer it from the steeples. See, world? This is what we’re capable of. This is what we’re about. This is what the island of saints and scholars has distilled to. You can take your Westlifes and your Scripts and sweep ‘em under a carpet of placid meh-ness where ould wans can enjoy them in the lobotomised peace and quiet they inspire. Erm… Yeah. Anyway, this is the brand new video for Mora Minn, by The Dying Seconds, who we’ve raved about before. Mora Minn (as a single) will be launched in Crawdaddy on August 12th. That means there’s a gig on. Go be moved and inspired and made more beautiful.

Madrigalia – Preview

Alongside Glyndebourne, Loughcrew and the proms, madrigals are an undeniably summery type of music. For the past 500 years, travelling from Italy and across Europe, madrigals set poetry to music in a beautifully light, harmonious manner. This summer over 3 nights (July 22-24), the National Chamber Choir of Ireland under the direction of Paul Hillier bring a programme of madrigals to three venues around the country.

Fionn Regan: 100 Acres Of Sycamore

Y’know the way now we have Google+? Fionn Regan is like Irish Singer/Songwriter+. As cute as Donovan crossed with a hobbit, the Mercury-nominated musician isn’t your average tousled dreamboat with a guitar; he has his own sound, but he can’t seem to stop messing with it. Which is great, because I bore easily. Pop over to Soundcloud for the title track from 100 Acres Of Sycamore, the album due in August. It’s gratifyingly bigger than it has any right to be. Bluesy, over folksy. Eerie, over twee. You can also download 100 Acres free from Fionn’s website, and the album is on preorder now from iTunes and that. Fionn is currently traipsing around the country showcasing his new stuff, and has still to get to the following gaffs. July 21st, Thursday – The Grand Social, Dublin July 22nd, Friday – The INEC, Kilarney July 23rd, Saturday – The Set Theatre, … There’s more

Made In Temple Bar Festival, July 15th to 24th.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Temple Bar’s regeneration as Dublin’s Cultural Quarter, over the next ten days, Temple Bar is the place to be for arts and culture in the capital, with its Cultural Trust having organised an impressive array of events covering music, theatre, comedy, visual arts, film and family. In fact, the whole thing is just so impressive that I’m going to liberally slice from their press release. There are dozens of really interesting, unique events planned and it’s difficult to predict highlights. Liberally sprinkled on the smörgåsbord are such delights as… Conversations about Culture, a unique outdoor photographic exhibition which will change every day featuring images of people as they pass through Temple Bar during the festival and their opinions on culture. Movies on the Street: Two movies also celebrating anniversaries this year will be screened on Cow’s Lane – Breakfast at Tiffany’s which is 50 … There’s more

Go Swoon at The Dying Seconds at The Workman’s Club. The National Commands It!

Waiting on the next big bang in your day-to-day? Ah, good news then! Purveyors of delicious soundscapes and all-round interesting people The Dying Seconds play The Workman’s Club this Thursday, so, you know, you’d want to get your arse ’round to that. From two fellas with laptops to a full line-up of musicians playing all kinds of everything (including lots of drums, we’re told), The Dying Seconds have hugely expanded on the sounds and styles of 2007′s eponymous debut and are bursting to get out there and churn up a storm. Having just finished work on their second album, Glimmerers, the gang have planned a blast of live dates to take them through the rest of 2011 … well worth catching, but don’t just take my word for it. The National found ‘em when in Dublin recently, where Aaron had this to say: “A bunch of us fell for the … There’s more

The Spikes

I first saw The Spikes at Phantom’s First Friday in the Academy and I was really impressed. They have an energetic, sexy sound reminiscent of The Cult or Franz Ferdinand and they aren’t half bad to look at. Saw them again at The Mercantile last week and again they really rocked the stage. The music is fresh and upbeat. Singer, Tom Dunne has great stage presence as well as a distinctive voice. First new live band to wow me in a long time. Check them out but catch them live if you can: Upcoming Gigs: Sat Jul 2nd – Slatterys, Rathmines, Dublin Thurs Jul 14th – Shebeen Chic, Georges St, Dublin Sat Aug 27th – Newmarket Festival, Nemarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare