DJing at the National Gallery Reopening

On 14th June I did a gig that will be one of the highlights of my career; the re-opening of the National Gallery after over six years of refurbishment. It’s always been one of my favourite places in Dublin, and DJing in the Miltown Wing between a Rubens and a Rembrandt is an experience I’ll never forget.

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When I was booked for the gig, the musical references I was given included Max Richter and Mica Levi; a world away from the usual party playlist requests. And so over the course of two-and-a-half hours I played music that I never usually get the chance to play – Steve Reich and Bernard Hermann and Agnes Obel and Mahler among many others – and it was a lot of fun and a great privilege.

‘Sound & Color’ couldn’t have been a more perfect title for the night in question. The song is soulful and layered, sonically blurry and vivid at the same time.

This haunting mash-up of Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’ with Philip Glass’ Violin Concerto II was on my playlist from the get-go.

‘Angelica’ from Lamb’s Between Darkness and Wonder with the unmistakable sample from Debussy’s ‘Clair de Lune’ is stealthily beautiful.

There’s a great documentary available on the RTE Player about the refurbishment of the gallery.

Whether you spend fifteen minutes in the new portrait gallery, or an hour in the gorgeous cafe, or all day marvelling at the paintings and the craftsmanship, just go! It’s one of the most beautiful places in the country.

Totally Irish and Jafaris

Last Sunday the lovely John Barker asked me to be a guest on his show Totally Irish on 98FM. As the name suggests, the show is focussed on Irish music, from up and coming and established artists. Ham Sandwich did a live acoustic set followed by a set from Rocstrong. After that I joined John, together with Martin Byrne from Other Voices, to talk about three tracks from three Irish artists: James Vincent McMorrow, Jafaris, and The Fontaines.

I already knew and loved James Vincent McMorrow, I wasn’t such a huge fan of The Fontaines, and Jafaris was by far my favourite track of the evening. You might recognise Jafaris from his role in the award winning Irish movie Sing Street. As well as being an actor, he’s an accomplished rapper and has just released a four track EP called Velvet Cake available on iTunes. My favourite track from the EP is ‘Keep Your Head High’.

Jafaris is working with Diffusion Lab (who are doing some amazing work with Irish hip hop artists) and they have created a couple of videos for this EP, including this gorgeously shot one for ‘Love Dies’.

If you want to check out the whole podcast of the show, here’s the link.  I’m on in the last half an hour. Hope you enjoy!

Vinyl Love for Repeal

I’m very proud to be DJing this Sunday May 14th at Vinyl Love for Repeal, a charity gig with all proceeds going towards the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment.

The Vinyl Love collective has brought together DJs and music lovers to play eight of their favourite vinyl records in eight different cities on Sunday May 14th. The cities and venues are South William/Wah Wah Club in Dublin, 40ft Brewery in London, Gulp’d Cafe in Cork, Mojo Lounge in Waterford, Ormston House in Limerick, Roisin Dubh in Galway, Tricky’s McGarrigles in Sligo and Common Edge Street in Manchester.

There’s a suggested donation in each venue but you can donate whatever you can afford. It starts at 2pm and continues on until late. Hopefully the weather will be gorgeous and we can all enjoy a drink and great tunes in aid of a great cause.

Here’s Nialler9 explaining a bit more about the event.

 

Club Thing (RAC Remix) – Yoav

Pic by Lili Forberg

A couple of weekends ago I had the pleasure of DJing at the Dundrum Town Centre Spring/Summer 2015 fashion shows. I’ve been working with the team there for five seasons and it’s always a lot of fun. Plus Colm Corrigan’s impeccable styling generally makes me want to spend my fee there and then!

I love researching tunes for shows, trying to find the perfect songs for the brief and the perfect tempo for the models. Dundrum shows happen on the mall and the audience ranges from two to eighty-two, so the music was fun with a summery vibe.

I usually end up with a shortlist of twenty songs and have to narrow it down to six. This tune was one of the ones that didn’t make it as it gets a bit heavy towards the end but I really like this RAC remix. It’s got an 80s electro feel, plus the ‘beautiful girl’ lyric would have really worked with models stomping the runway!

Alexander Wang x H&M

Once again I get the pleasure of working with H&M at the launch of one of their designer collaborations. Last year I DJed at the launch of Isabel Marant pour H&M, and on Thursday morning I’m taking to the decks instore at King Street for the launch of the Alexander Wang collaboration.

The video below shows a preview of what we can expect, and it’s heavily sportswear influenced; leggings, hoodies, crop tops, and technical fabrics. I can’t wait to see the clothes in person!

If you’re in town, come in and say Hi. I’ll be playing from 9am to 12pm.

Not Back Down – Acrobat

A few weeks ago I was asked by my friend Allen Doyle to be a part of a music video he was directing. I love collaborating with Al and was a guest on his radio show The Magic Number back in April. The video is for an Irish band called Acrobat and the single is called ‘Not Back Down’. Never having been in a music video before, I of course said yes. A week later I spent the day in Barberstown Castle with Acrobat, their mates and some great actors, having the absolute craic.

The video shows a gothic dinner party at a castle, where the host pours some suspicious looking liquid into people’s drinks, eventually turning his guests into reptiles. It was a fun shoot; we were dressed in amazing costumes, some people got to play with snakes, we drank wine and danced, and a fountain was set on fire! You can spot me towards the end of the video, dancing my ass off, and drinking some funny-tasting vino.

(Al also directed Acrobat’s first video for a single called ‘Follow You Down’. Check it out here – great performances from Jack Olohan and Sinead Watters.)

Acrobat’s next gig is on Saturday 4th October in Meeting House Square as part of Hard Working Class Heroes 2014, and you can buy ‘Not Back Down’ on iTunes.

“The Magic Number” on Radiomade.ie

Last night I had the pleasure of being a guest on “The Magic Number”, a weekly show on Radiomade. Radiomade is a website which focusses on promoting the work of budding producers, DJs, directors and bloggers based in Dublin city. Along with live streams which broadcast twenty four hours a day, Radiomade also features a podcast section, a blogs section and event info.

“The Magic Number” is hosted by Al and Jon Jon, two total chatterboxes who are both obsessed with music, film, and the arts in general. I had stacks of fun chatting to them so hopefully I’ll get invited back.

The show ran from 8pm until just after 10pm and the topics we covered, in no particular order, were as follows: the merits of ketchup, stag parties, Don’t Tell The Bride, guitars made from fireplaces, loud miming, Irish men being the ugliest in the world, Jediism, women proposing to men and the dating world in general, nightlife in Athlone, driving theory test, single parents, anger management, and flavoured condoms.

Tunes played include Black Grape, QOTSA, Jurassic 5, Supergrass, Gangstarr and Method Man.

You can have a listen to the show on the Radiomade website here or on Mixcloud here.

Boys messing
Boys messing
Al at work...
Al at work…
Jon Jon and me
Jon Jon and me