Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Midwinter Xmas Xtravaganza!

Thanks so much to everyone who came out for our Christmas show in Dolans. We had a ball at the Midwinter Xmas Xtravaganza on the 21st. Mulled wine and mince pies aplenty, there was indeed much merriment and singing had by all!

Thanks to Peter Delaney for playing a great set, Richie and Noel of Blackwater Salmon, Daire McCoy (Mullingar's finest) and of course the Blakes of the BPLO for pitching in more than their fair share of Christmas cheer. Stealing the show on the night were the extremely tasty mince pies and mulled wine (aplenty), of course made from a top secret age-old family recipe, and many thanks to Mum and Dad for providing this crucial ingredient!

Finally I need to proffer up much respect for Colin and Paul, one half of Walter Mitty and The Realists who provided the rhythm section for The Elective Orchestra, with more or less no rehearsal. Legends. And they don't mind playing cheesy Christmas songs, which always helps.
If you'd like to read the LEG write-up, and pretty much our first full feature, you can read the MySpace blog here, and by the by, the very fancy online edition is well worth checking out if you can't get your hands on the real thing.

On Stephen's night, we played a support set to The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra, our sister Limerick orchestra, and in true incestuous style swapped and shared members galore. It was another great night, also proceeded by more drinks into the wee hours. The only true piss-up this festive season, I have to admit. If bumping into the Brother's O'Suilleabhain on the Dock Road doesn't result in a party, well there's no justice in the world. Great laugh, if a little hazy!

Oh yes, and Happy New Year!! 2009, shit boys.

Monday, December 22, 2008

In ancient times . . .

I don't care if its blatently obvious what time I'm online posting blogs at. We played Stonehenge by Spinal Tap tonight. Oh so badly but we did it. Yes we did.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Being John Malkovich

Just watching it on FilmFour, I forgot what a fantastic flick it is. The real trick in all of it is that you completely forget that John Malkovich is acting in the movie, which is probably why it works so well. Of course ironically, he needed to put in a really good performance to pull it off. Irony indeed. I'm also a big fan of Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind (if only for this video and tune), though Adaptation kinda rubbed me up the wrong way. Still waiting for Charlie Kaufman to top Malkovich though.

According to IMdB; John Malkovich was approached about this film several times and loved the script, but he and his production crew felt that another actor would fit the role better. Malkovich offered to help produce the film, and aid Spike Jonze in any way, but refused to star in it. Eventually after a couple of years Malkovich's will was worn down and he agreed to star in the film.

I love that his best friend is Charlie Sheen too, and the line "Lesbian witches, fucking genius".

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I want . . .

to go to see Cathy Davey/Adrian Crowley/Vertigo Smyth in Dolans Warehouse. What a line-up.

But no, oh no, that'd be too much fun for Nick. I have to work instead. The goose is getting fat and all that.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Back to bassics with the BPLO

Threw a random Monday in Dublin into the mix this week, and made good use of it too!

Sat in on bass guitar with The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra for a Today FM live session . It'll go out tomorrow (Wed) evening on Paul McLoone's show, 7-10pm on Today FM.

The BPLO's very excellent and aptly-titled single December is available for download from I know its not exactly a wrap-able Christmas gift, but sure don't tell anyone, and just add it to the "I know I should be buying presents for other people, but I really want this for myself" Xmas shopping list.

Don't forget, Limerick folk will have two opportunites to catch the BPLO in action this holiday season. They'll be making an appearance at our Midwinter Xmas Xtravaganza this Sunday 21st Dec, Upstairs in Dolans. They also have their own show on the 26th in the same venue, at which I'll be featuring on piano. I recommend coming to both those gigs, and all the BPLO and Elective Orchestra gigs from now until the end of TIME!!

Yesterday evening I also recorded a song for Balcony TV which will be aired on January 3rd, so be sure to tune in for that! I mean log on, tune in, whatever.

A Monday well spent.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Gigs: Wed 10th Dec

Went to two gigs on Wednesday. Firstly, I was glad I dragged myself off the couch to go see Shane Barry and the Distractions in Baker Place. Though the set was somewhat short - due not least to the fact that there was something like six acts on the bill for the weekly ARTiculate Sessions - they were pretty fecking good. The tunes were great, 'Stop' being the highlight of the gig. They have a cool sound going on, and their album Radio Friction isn't half bad either. Nice stuff to lift ourselves out of the dreary winter/recession/midweek blues. They should be ones to watch come next summer.

The second gig consisted of the last 15min of The Dirty Epics set in Trinity Rooms, which played to a pretty packed raucous crowd in the main club. Shouty pop not really being my thing, fifteen minutes was just about enough. Some guy being oddly insulted at my refusal for him to try on my glasses and some chick planting all six inches of her high heels into my ankle, and that was enough of that. Long live the T Rooms!!

Limerick baby fined for littering

Meant to post this a while back, just cleaning up the newspapers lying around the house.
From the front page of the Limerick Leader: Limerick baby fined for littering.
I'm sorry if this sounds bigoted or snobby or whatever, but God bless poor Chanelle - a littering fine is the least of her worries, for God's sake the 8-month-old is wearing earrings. That's pretty close to child abuse if you ask me (I'm well aware of course that no-one has). Babies are little people, not little dolls.

Ruby Sessions

Blog neglect strikes again . . . oh no!
Anyhoo, last Tues we played the Ruby Sessions, upstairs in Doyles pub opposite Trinity College in Dublin's fair city. It was a great night, always a pleasure to play the Ruby Sessions, such a nice crowd, great room and sound folk running the show.
Thanks to all our 'fans' who turned up, and bought our new EP (only available at gigs so far). Happy listening!

Next stop Dolans Upstairs on the Winter Solstice (that's the 21st on the old Gregorian)!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Last Belltable Session of 2008

Last night was the last in this years Belltable Sessions. On the bill were Richie McCoy (kindly stepping in last minute to fill the line-up after Armoured Bear unfortunately had to cancel), David Hope - the big man from Shannon, brothers O'Suilleabhain - size2shoes and Windings. photo by Alan Owens
Thanks to all who played last night and over the first six months of Belltable Sessions. We look forward to keeping the sessions going into 2009.
Check out for more info.

All in a day's work . . .

What a weekend!

Friday night was a work night. We were playing a private party in Sandyford, a seriously swanky VIP bash with posh table dressings, very tasty wine and one of the fanciest 'marquees' I've ever seen. There was ballet as the first part of the after-dinner entertainment, and then us; The Controversial Allstars. After debating exactly which Christmas songs to do, how and when, we ploughed on with our usual set of soul, blues and rock and/or roll.

Halfway through the set, it emerged that among the VIP clientele at the party was one particular VVIP, noneother than Chris De Burgh, the haughtily eyebrowed man himself! He got up to sing with us, and before I knew it, I was in cheese-covered pop ballad bliss performing Lady In Red with the One And Only. Fucking hell it was hilarious. I can check that one off the list.

You may not understand the fascination if you're not privy to certain practises among a particularly sick and twisted gang of mates who take delight in singing Lady in Red at parties and various get-togethers. I think the joy is based around finding that line of complete cheesey crap where people are looking at you thinking you're completely weird losers and the point where you can't help but roar with gay abandon "I hardly know/this beauty by my side". I like to find that line between cheese and class, and then shit all over it, if I may be so crude.

I suppose at the root of it, there's no holding down a good melody. Even if you really really should.

Now don't get me wrong, the man himself is a hairy little hobbit, and about as uncool as mouldy cheddar, but I'd love to have seen my face for the first few verses of the tune. Happy as a pig in shit, playing Lady in Red with Chris De Burgh. Oh yes.

So, for posterity, in the name of all things cheesey, for every eyebrow that's gone unnoticed, and of course lest we forget, for fathers of hot daughters everywhere, I give you Lady in Red.

*in case you were wondering, yes he even whispered the 'I love you' bit at the end. What a pro.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thomond to house old has-beens

A new nursing home is to be built on the grounds of the Thomond Park development in Limerick City, the IRFU and Limerick City Council announced today.
The news comes amid speculation that the venue owners are seeking to aid the Limerick Regeneration Programme by populating the area with retiring, aging rockers. Concert promoters Aiken are working closely with the IRFU to procure as many old-aged has-beens from the music industry as possible, to launch the project on an international scale. Booking such luminaries as Elton John and Rod Stewart to play welcome concerts during the clients "orientation week" will put Thomond Woods, the proposed retirement home, on the global map.

"I mean the old todgers already love this country, with all the hills and glades for lovely walks and whatnot," says Aiken Promotions CEO Peter Aiken. "They all think they're turning into Yeats or something when they retire here, sure Ronnie Woods is known to wander the woods of Wicklow for days on end looking for fairies."

While both Elton John, who shot to fame after inventing the piano in 1934, and Rod Stewart, who claims to have coined the phrase 'E minor" with his classic hit "Maggie May", have confirmed residencies in the nursing home, due for completion in late 2009, fellow rocker Keith Richards has also expressed interest. The Rolling Stone is even rumoured to have pledged to donate a forest of coconut trees for the grounds of the "facility". Richards' passion for the plant is well documented after it was revealed he broke a collarbone falling from a palm tree while attempting to make love to the unripened coconut fruit, two years ago in Fiji.

The management executive for the new development are quick to quell concerns of any such outlandish behaviour.

"Thomond Woods will be no different from any other private nursing home," says Dr. Rupert Skifflehorn, who is due to head up the administration as Head Warden. "We simply won't be tolerating any activity that is deemed contrary to the best interests of the clients, or is indeed illegal. Of course, some lifestyle choices will be exempted as part of the inmates flambuoyant profession," the Top Screw said, making use of the inverted commas jesture for the words 'lifestyle' and 'inmates'.

Local Fine Gael councillor Gareth O'Hooloohoolahan, was among the first to come out in support of the proposed plan. "I think its exactly what Limerick needs, and if our party was in government, it's something we would have done a long time ago."

The completed facility will have state of the art facilities including tennis courts, bowling alley, full health spa including a swimming pool, and a chapel.

Among the other stars who expressed interest in Thomond are Bette Midler, Barry Manilow, TV action legend Chuck Norris and our very own Phil Coulter, who are all nearing the diaper-wearing 'where am I?' phase of their careers, and would look to avail of the nursing home's world class health care.

One celebrity who showed little enthusiasm for the project is human-cyborg comedienne Joan Rivers, who was in Ireland promoting her "I'm A Bitch Who's Been Married Lots - It's Funny" world tour. While details of the impressive resident cosmetic surgery team appealed to the star, she confessed a distaste for the other named clients.

"Ugh, Elton John and Rod Stewart? I'd rather schmutz my own kaboose than live with them, not to mention seeing them in concert. Yeesh."

Perhaps in the case, the bitch is right.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Belltable Sessions this Sunday

Howdy, been neglecting the blog a bit of late, I find I'm much better at it early in the week. I elect to do better!

Anyway, silly season has officially started, Christmas songs are officially on the setlist, and its go go go until the New Year. For starters, check out this month's Belltable Session. It's gonna be a good one!