Thinking back and looking forward

Posted on: 16th January, 2014

Category: Music

Contributor: Kate Brennan Harding

That was a long space filled with baubles and tinsel and wind!

It was a full year of writing about musical things for you lovely West Corkonians. I can feel it in my bones that 2014 is going to be a whopper of a year for Irish musicians. There is an almost overwhelming folder of music for me to listen to!

My highlights over the past twelve months have been Damien Dempsey in De Barras way back in February. I interviewed him and discovered a generous and humble talent.  I loved the disco revival, where Daft Punk took us back in time to a place where the anticipation of an album release, reminded me of teenage days, when I would queue for hours with excitement. The great Disco Ball returned to the sky and gave us all a summer filled with proper dancing tunes — Get Lucky stole the show.

I also interviewed the Hatchetts on their project ‘My House’ in Body and Soul. This was the best party area of an already epic festival.  West Cork DNA filled the place and personally being able to drop Pulps Common People late on Saturday Night was mental. I look forward to ‘My House’ part two this June.

Another wonderful surprise was the Glengarrif Uileann Pipe Festival — such a treat and organised with a sincere love of music. I will be making a return to educate myself more in the ways of the Uileann. Keep an eye here for information about this wonderful weekend in 2014.

The moment when I popped my Musical Cherry was undoubtedly at Electric Picnic. Electrical currents passed through the tent where my partner and I bounced with excitement. All the while a white haired legend re-wrote the rules for performance. David Byrne and St Vincent were epic. I know this word is over used to describe un-epic things but I am not exaggerating. We sang a long to ‘Road to Nowhere’, and in that moment we were completely in love with every other person there…magical.

There is already great hope in chart music for 2014. Pharrell’s Happy is setting the bar with a number one that just makes you want to dance in the street.

Irish music is simply bursting. Watch out this year for Corks own Foxglove, who will be releasing a brand new EP in February. Others that are on the rise, Daithi, Young Wonder, I am the Cosmos, Mano Le Tough, Leanne Harte and my random recommendation, The Landing, a  New York based space pop band.

Cork already has unveiled some wonderful surprises. Live at the Marquee is particularly good this year, Robert Plant, Elbow, The National, The Prodigy and Dolly Parton all will be amazing nights. Closer to home, here are two gigs I think need mentioning in De Barras. Olllam are a unique threesome playing on January 22 and if you like dream pop check out Elastic Sleep on January 31.  I will be back with a review of the new One Horse Pony album, as well as my take on the portrayal of women in the music industry.  If you have any gig listings, or music for review please email me –

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Dúchas Clonakilty's first lecture for the Autumn promises to be of huge interest to all: Emerging from the Shadow of Tom Crean – The Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Thursday September 28th 8.30pm.

Lecture by Aileen Crean O’Brien & Bill Sheppard

In May 2016, Kerry man Tom Crean, along with Ernest Shackleton and four other crew members, landed the James Caird lifeboat on the rocky isle of South Georgia. The navigation of that small boat, across 1500 km through icy winds and towering seas, is regarded as the greatest ever feat of navigation. They then trekked across the forbidding and inhospitable mountains and glaciers of South Georgia to seek help for the rest of their crew, who were left behind on Elephant Island after their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the Antarctic ice.

One hundred years later, Crean’s grandaughter, Aileen Crean O’Brien, set off with her sons and partner to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. Join Aileen and Bill to hear of their adventures (and misadventures) on the Southern Ocean and the island of South Georgia.
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