Archive for Murphys Live 2008


Posted in Gig Review, IRISH NOISE!, Music with tags , , , , , , on April 5, 2008 by Tickets There

Whelan’s was packed to the rafters as it hosted the ’Murphy’s Live 2008’ semi finals. Even after the doors had been opened there was still a queue of people stretching back to the front of the pub. The heat inside the venue was so heavy you could barely move without breaking sweat. The tickets hadn’t lied about having to be inside early.

Two bands were on hand to compete against each other for a place in the final round of the competition. ’Stagger Lee’ an incredibly talented and professional quartet with a sound that fuses ’PJ Harvey, Garbage and Sonic Youth’ and ’Bravado’ a fresh young band who are proving themselves with every performance they give. On first sight it’s easy to be pessimistic due to their age but once they play you can hear great potential in their future. Also on the bill, as special guest headliner, is the Award winning and extremely talented and energetic ’Cathy Davey’ who won the award for ’Best Irish Female’ and was nominated in the ’Best Irish Album’ category for her second studio output Tales of Silversleeve at last years Meteor’s.

First up was ’Stagger Lee’ who did everything in their power to get the crowd energetic from the word go. They had already upped their promotion by providing free badges at the door for all in attendance and were also selling promotional T-shirts. Everything about Stagger’s performance was tight, despite a couple of instances involving high heels and microphone cables; they had their set down to a T, delivering a nice mixture of punk esque rock songs and slower relaxed material. Donna McCabe (vocals) voice gave the songs a ’PJ Harvey, Siouxsie Sioux, Shirley Mason’ feel and the music had an overall 90’s grunge sound about it with some crunchy Bass lines. Tracks such as ’Between Control Confusion, Misery River and their debut single ’Bad shoes’ serve as a taste of thing’s to come when they release their next EP.

’Bravado’ came on second and so did their fans. One thing about being in one of these competitions, ensure your friends, family and fans are there on the night to cheer you on. The lads were a little slower to relax into their set, which I’m sure was on account of the massive crowd in front of them and their inexperience with shows this size, however lead singer Brian Whittington didn’t seem phased in the slightest as he belted into tracks from their first EP including Running, Artificial AngelsOne Day and more recent material like ’Any Other Way, Take your Pick and Too Tired to Sleep and

This was the second time I have seen Bravado and they have grown enormously since the quarter finals. On first sight of Stager Lee the thought passed my mind that Bravado were now out of their depth, however they once again surprised me and I’m sure many others. The judges have a very tough decision in front of them and no matter who gets through to the finals; both bands have proven they’ve got what it takes.

As the judges reconvened on the balcony to discuss Bravado and Stager Lee’s performances, Cathy Davey came on stage to a rapturous cheer. Cathy’s recent residency shows around the country, awards and recent singles are really paying off and this could be one of the last chances to see her, not only for free, but in a venue as intimate as Whelan’s. She is set to play the Olympia in June and hopefully, she will follow in the footsteps of Damien Rice, Bell X1, Glen Hansard and Paddy Casey to international acclaim and stardom.

Although this wasn’t Cathy’s night, she preformed with the same grace, power and energy she always does. Opening with ’Mr Kill’ from her new album, she played a fantastic set which included old favorites such as Swing It, Yak Yak’ and new material from ’Tales of Silversleeve’ such as ’Reuben, Sing for your Supper, Collector’ and ’Moving’ which blended perfectly with her debut album material.

Mouth pressed firmly into the microphone, covered in sweat (like every one else in the venue), Cathy closed the night with a single encore and proceeded straight to the fresh cold air awaiting us all outside. Another hugely enjoyable Murphy’s Live evening of music and certainly a reason to start applying for tickets to the final as your guaranteed at least one incredible talent to go through from tonight.

Cathy Davey

Stagger Lee



MURPHY’S LIVE 2008 – The Future Kings of Spain – Superjimenez – Bravado

Posted in Gig Review, IRISH NOISE!, Music with tags , , , , , on March 14, 2008 by Tickets There

Whelan’s was the setting for the Murphy’s Live 2008, Dublin Quarter Finals. Two Dublin groups were there to battle it out for a chance of winning the grand prize, €10,000 towards studio time, an EP launch, a record deal, a six month management contract and record distribution.

Before saying anything about either group, I have to point out that I was really only there for the FKOS, who are, without a doubt, the greatest rock band to emerge out of Ireland in many a year. Their second album ‘Nervousystem’ is a testament to their song writing skills and their live show is always something to bask in. Therefore I thought of the first two acts of the show as a nuisance I had to sit through in order to see the kings.…how very wrong I was.

Bravado were first to try their luck with the crowd and judges. A very young group from North Dublin who, despite their inexperience and youth, put on one of the best shows I have seen from an unknown group in awhile. Describing their sound would be a challenge in itself. Each song was unique while still maintaining an overall formula. Although you could hear The Clash, Artic Monkeys, The Who and the Stone Roses all dying to break out.

Unfortunately, I don’t think Superjimenez managed to pull of the same show as Bravado. Although they looked the part, were all very experienced musicians and they were much tighter than Bravado, there was something missing. They commanded the stage well, especially for a newer group and managed to really get the crowd going. Their only downfall was their songs. Although the bass lines were something special and the guitars had some shredding moments, the overall package seemed ‘done before’. The U2 and Killers influence was much too obvious. The singer was no Bono, but the Edge was casting a shadow on this group.
The Future Kings of Spain closed the night with their usual energetic performance. Joey, Karl, Bryan and Anton breezed through a great set (taken mainly from ‘Nervousystem’) with such ease and performance it served as a great example to Bravado and Superjimenez how it’s all done. ‘Guess Again’, ‘One More Mistake’, Kick in the Teeth’ and ‘Syndicate’ are all delivered with such passion, they have managed to blend in perfectly with old favourites like ‘Venetian Blinds’, ‘Meanest Sound’ and ‘Hanging Around’. Although it isn’t their show, the Kings manage to steal the night and show a few new faces why they were chosen as head liners.

Set List:
Guess Again
One More Mistake
This is the End
Venetian Blinds
Upside Down
Kick in the Teeth
Face I Know
Meanest Sound
Hanging Around