I often think January feels like the longest month. I liken it to learning a new dance — by the end of January I am finally getting into the rhythm of 2014.
Speaking of rhythm, ‘One Horse Pony’ have saddled up and released their debut album ‘Blue when I Go’. The acoustic blues band should be familiar to a lot of you, as local guitar legend John Noonan makes up one fifth of the line up. Based in Cork, they have been playing the circuit with a residency in The Franciscan Well. Recently working like Trojans promoting the new album, An Brog has hosted them to a rip-roaring reception. They will play the Crane Lane on February 9. They are gathering a massive following with their live gigs, and I would recommend catching their juggernaut of blues.
I hadn’t been to De Barras in quite some time so it was wonderful to have the opportunity to catch ‘The Olllam’ on a Wednesday night. ‘The Olllam’ is old Irish for master musician — the band is made up of masters in every sense; John McSherry (founding member of Lunasa and one of the world’s best uilleann pipers) Tyler Duncan and Michael Shimmin are renowned in their own right.
I had been reading about this band for a few months now and what I found surprising was the crossover in publications writing about them. Well known indie blogs, hot press, traditional news and folk sites all heaping praise but all equally struggling to categorise ‘The Olllam’! Simply there is no category that neatly houses this trio and co.
Sitting on a high stool to the side of the stage, I was mesmerised at the beginning — not by the music, but instead with each individual’s musicianship. I couldn’t concentrate for some time on the total sound being created. I watched intensely as the keyboard player layered the tunes. Then the rhythm section of acoustic guitar, bass and drums created the foundation to which the Uileann Pipes and whistles took flight.
There is no doubt about it ‘The Olllam’ are unique, however for me there was confusion in parts. It felt as if there were two different bands on stage at the same time. Maybe I need to be guided in the way of ‘neo post-Celtic progressive rock’ — a self-description! Or perhaps I should be content with my own opinion! Either way I am pleased to have had the opportunity to witness them. I left feeling like I had been to an art exhibition instead of a gig. It is music that moves boundaries and certainly engages the brain.
The gigs scene is quiet at present, bar February 14, where you can catch Brian Deady in De Barras. He is special…I cannot understand how he is not ripping it up worldwide with his unique style. My pop recommendation is the new Paloma Faith tune – ‘Can’t rely on you’, which has been sprinkled with Pharrell magic dust.
I will be back in March with all the latest in Indie and Disco. If you have any albums for review send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.