Walk With Us in aid of the Irish Hospice Foundation

I’m DJing tomorrow night, Thursday 17th August, in Nolita for a brilliant charity event in aid of the Irish Hospice Foundation. The gig is organised by the wonderful Thalia Heffernan and her boyfriend Ryan McShane and they’re fundraising tomorrow night and also in September by walking the Camino de Santiago.

There are a lot of live musical guests tomorrow night, as well as myself and January Winters DJing, plus there’s a plethora of incredible raffle prizes, details of which can be found on the event’s facebook page.

The event starts at 6.30pm and tickets are €10, available on the door, but if you can’t make it to the gig you can donate online here.

Really hope to see some of you there tomorrow night. I plan on playing this uplifting little number as one of my first tunes! (From Arcade Fire’s new album Everything Now, released last month.)

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.

Good Life – Soulé

The unbelievably good weather calls for a feel good tune. Even though ‘Good Life’ by Irish artist Soulé was released back in February it has summer written all over it! I love the positive energy of this song and her vibe in general.

Pronounced Soul-A, she was born in the UK and raised in Balbriggan where she’s now based. She cites her influences as Erykah Badu, Macy Grey, ASA, Chrisette Michele, and Nneka. She says she only got serious about singing a year ago but it looks like she’s already set for huge success with her latest single ‘Troublemaker’ racking up 500,000 plays on Spotify in two months, and a Choice Music Prize nomination for ‘Song of the Year’ in 2016.

Diffusion Lab are behind this video, as they were with the Jafaris video I posted recently.

Here she is chatting to Stuart Clark from Hot Press after her set at Forbidden Fruit. You can catch her live at Sea Sessions this weekend and on the Other Voices stage at Electric Picnic.

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.

 

March Random Round Up

March was Women’s History Month, a concept I find kind of reductive because women are a part of and make history twelve months a year but moving on from that…here’s a list of groundbreaking female authors you should bookmark for your next book shop visit.

Zadie Smith’s beautiful story about Billie Holiday in the New Yorker is seriously worth reading.

This month I watched Season 2 of Love on Netflix and had mixed feelings about it. Gillian Jacobs’ performance is one of the highlights. One of the not-so-great things about the series is this.

Royal Blood are releasing their second album later this year and they’re teasing us with this studio clip. Bring. It. On.

The upcoming documentary Kiki looks amazing, a new take drag ball culture which first reached mainstream popularity in Paris Is Burning.

Speaking of drag, Netflix has struck a deal whereby new episodes of Rupaul’s Drag Race are streamable the day after they’re broadcast in the US. Season 9 is two episodes in and Valentina’s my early favourite.

Drunk – Thundercat

He’s back! Thundercat (AKA Stephen Bruner), bass player, singer, producer, funkmeister extraordinaire, drops his fourth studio album Drunk this Friday. I’ve already pre-ordered it and you can be guaranteed I’ll be caning it in my gaff this weekend. The album includes two previously released tracks, ‘Them Changes’ (which I have played to death and still adore) and ‘Bus In These Streets‘.

Drunk promises collaborations with Pharrell, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa as well as 80s favourites Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins who guest on ‘Show You The Way’ which was the first single. ‘Friend Zone’ is the most recent single, the one which is responsible for me walking around singing, ‘Because I’d rather play Mortal Kombat anyway-ay…’ for the last week!

Thundercat plays Vicar Street on March 27th. See you there!