Make A Move Fest starting this Thursday

580x232xmake_a_move_3_580x232.jpg,qitok=upCPmQxE.pagespeed.ic.3kF1PyLyWtOne of the most unique festivals in the country will take place in Limerick from Thursday this week as the The Make A Move Festival comes to city streets and venues from July 3 to 6.

Now in its third year, the festival of hip-hop and urban culture has a packed programme encompassing music, dance, street art, theatre and more.

smug-mural-limerick-03From street dance to MCing/rapping and graffiti to discussion, Make A Move will showcase work from all around Ireland and abroad but “with a special focus on the work of the emerging talent and skill from Limerick”. The city was left with some spectacular graffiti from visiting artists last year (see example on the right) so here’s hoping we’ll see more of that this year.

There are many highlights on the programme (see here) like gigs and the paint parade. Another one of these is Raymond Scannell’s play, DEEP, an award winning play set in Ireland in the late 80s and 90s. The blurb is: “House Music, Club Culture, Vinyl Obsession. Larry Lehane knows all about them.” The play is part fiction and part documentary with interviews and footage from Sir Henry’s in Cork. The Irish Times describes Larry as “a character who is full of frantic energy and madcap dreaming”. DEEP won an award for Best Male Performer at the Dublin Fringe Festival Awards 2013 and was also nominated for the Spirit of the Fringe award.

The play runs for one night only this Thursday (July 3) at 8 pm at 69 O Connell Street (formerly the Belltable). Tickets from €12 (available here).

See a preview here:

Irish Times journo, Jim Carroll, will host an event called Banter on Friday July 4 at 7.30 pm in Shannon Rowing Club. The topic for discussion will be Limerick City of Culture and its aftermath.

“The big question, though, is what comes next. When the circus leaves town at midnight on December 31, will Limerick cease to be a city of culture? Does a city like Limerick need a city of culture designation to show off its wares? Isn’t culture supposed to be more about bed nights? What will Limerick remember most from and take from 2014′s cultural parade? Will we remember this year in a year solely for reports, spats, costs and inventive use of an old dairy”

Panelists include: City of Culture Director, Mike Fitzpatrick; Arts Council member, theatre practitioner and facilitator with the new Creative Communities Limerick Network, Monica Spencer; senior youth worker and board member of the Make a Move, Catherine O’Halloran and head of the Dept. of Arts Education & Physical Education at Mary Immaculate College, Mike Finneran.

For more information, see

Songwriters & Open-Mic Music Session on May 8

downloadLimerick Writers’ Centre presents a Songwriters & Open-Mic Music Session at 9pm at JP’s Bar (formerly Riddlers) on Sarsfield Street tomorrow (Thursday May 8).

The session, hosted by Sean MacLeod, takes place every second Thursday at 9pm and welcomes musicians and singers to perform either their own original material or their favourite songs.

Special guest this week is Paula Ryan. The singer-songwriter was born and bred in Tipperary and whose insightful songs “are inspired by the lyricism and musical passion of her Irish Gaelic roots & driven by the funky rhythmic influences and ‘wacky’ instruments of music from other cultures”.

To accompany her songs, Paula plays marimba/tongue drum, guitar and a variety of percussion instruments including bodhrán, djembe and darabuka.

The event welcome a wide variety of musical styles, from folk to alternative to spoken word. So if you want to take part, you can come along early and sign up for the open-mic. If you wish to play contact Dominic Taylor at to book a spot or simply turn up on the night.

All are welcome, to perform or just listen. Admission is free.

Indie Week Ireland kicks off this Wednesday

Siobhán O'Brien Indie Week2Indie Week Ireland will kick off in Limerick from this Wednesday (April 23) and at least 45 bands will perform in four different venues—Dolan’s, Cobblestone Joe’s, The Blind Pig and The Crafty Fox.

The four-day music festival—a celebration of independent music—will run until Saturday April 26.

Door prices for each gig range from free to €10 BUT you can buy festival passes for just €10 from This will get you a festival wristband (access to all gigs every night).

The opening night and launch party of the festival takes places at Dolan’s Warehouse on Wednesday (doors at 7pm) and will include performances by Limerick bands, Going 90 and Raging Sons and Indie Week Canada 2013 winner, Sumo Cyco.

Thursday night is the first competition night of the festival, with each venue hosting a headline act and 4-5 competing acts. Headlining at The Blind Pig is Kai Exos; at The Crafty Fox is Silent Noise Parade; at Cobblestone Joe’s is Protobaby and at Dolan’s is dREA.

Going_90_2Friday night is another night promising a huge selection of music for festival-goers to choose from with 22 bands performing across the four venues. The headline acts are: Limerick’s own Siobhan O’Brien at The Blind Pig; Fox Jaw in Cobblestone Joe’s; Dead Red Light in The Crafty Fox and The Hot Sprockets in Dolan’s Warehouse.

Saturday night is all in Dolan’s Warehouse and will comprise of the festival competition finals and performances from Vesta Varro, Leading Armies and Sumo Cyco. Seven bands will be selected from Thursday and Friday nights to play in front of the judges. One band from these will win the grand prize of flights, accommodation and a gig at Indie Week Canada in October.

Doors open for each venue at 7.30pm and the full schedule of listings is available at

Indie Week Ireland is now in it’s sixth year and is organised by Darryl Hurs, who also co-ordinates Indie Week Canada. Indie Week Ireland 2014 has moved to Limerick city with support from Limerick City of Culture 2014.

Indie Week Ireland for Limerick in April

ANIMAL FOR INDIE WEEK IRELAND from Piquant on Vimeo. Loving the promo!

There was some good news for music fans last week when it was announced that Indie Week Ireland 2014, a celebration of independent bands and musicians, will take place in Limerick from April 23-26.

After three years in Dublin, the Irish leg of the top Canadian music festival will feature up to 30 bands spread across four of Limerick’s most popular music venues: Dolans, Bourke’s Bar, Cobblestone Joes and The Blind Pig. The strong local music scene, combined with support from Limerick City of Culture 2014, swung it for the Treaty City.

Indie Week Ireland is inviting independent bands from all around the country to throw their hats into the ring. One band will be selected by a panel of judges to win the top prize of flights and accommodation for Indie Week Canada in October 2014, where they will support the festival’s headline act and have the chance to connect with industry professionals from North America.

Leading Armies, who won the Indie Week Ireland competition in 2012, and launched the 2014 event last week.

Leading Armies, who won the Indie Week Ireland competition in 2012, and launched the 2014 event last week.

Bands have until March 15 to apply online via or and the line-up will be selected by music executives at Indie Week Canada. A panel of judges, drawn from the Irish music industry, will select the winning band.

It should be a cracking few days of music and fingers crossed, some local talent will win the competition again.

Limerick Independent Music Committee, a local voluntary group, will run the event. Committee member, Monica Spencer, said: “Locating Indie Week Ireland in Limerick, during Ireland’s inaugural National City of Culture, gives Irish and international bands opportunities for synergy and offers music fans from Limerick and beyond a chance to celebrate this significant, international festival in a city that is hungry for a distinctive music festival.”

For further information on how to apply for the Indie Week Ireland 2014 programme see, or

Music Review: John Smith at Bourke’s/Other cool music

john-smith-music-imageI went to see John Smith in Bourke’s a fortnight ago and yes, it’s a belated review. As I mentioned here before, the regular gigs of Thursday Nights @ Bourke’s now have a new guise— Seoda Shows—and a small cover charge but the vibe is much the same.

John Smith is a self professed “guitar man from Devon”. Although an established solo artist, he plays with Lisa Hannigan’s band and I first saw him on Other Voices dueting with her on a beautiful version of ‘Tonight you belong to me’.

After a stern warning to be quiet and a nice warm-up set by Emma Langford, Smith and a double-bassist took to the compact stage in Bourke’s. The music was a gorgeous blend of folk, country and bluegrass complemented by Smith’s husky voice. He reminds a lot of another favourite of mine, Ray LaMontagne, both in tone and musical style.

The highlights were ‘A Long Way for a Woman’, ‘Town to Town’, ‘Freezing Winds of Change’, ‘Winter’ and the heartfelt, lullaby-like ‘Great Lakes’ as well as the catchy ‘Salty and Sweet’, the current single off his album (Great Lakes), which Hannigan contributes vocals to…not that night, although Smith did a good impression.

There was a pretty diverse mix, from blistering murder song, ‘Axe Mountain’ to ‘There is a Stone’, which combined excellent fingerpicking and rich bass. He threw in a few interesting covers of songs by Tom Waits, John Martyn and others.

To jack up the entertainment value, there was plenty of banter, a ‘Happy Birthday’ interlude and a verbal tussle with a snap-happy photographer who broke the no noise rule.

John Smith’s low-key acoustic gig suited the venue perfectly. The crowd was so impressed, he ran out of albums to sell so I had to acquire Great Lakes (and some back catalogue stuff) on iTunes and have been listening since. Seoda Shows has a packed programme with all sorts on it including Candice Gordon tonight (May 2). Check out the Facebook page.

On an aside: Other great music!

I’ve been to several gigs in the past few months that were brilliant and particularly, show the depth of talent in Ireland right now. Surprisingly, I didn’t review them here at the time. D’oh! I’ve included videos for your entertainment.

First was Galwegian guitar virtuoso, Albert Niland, in Glór. I went to see him on the strength of one cover he did a few years back—a haunting version of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights—but was blown away by his own material, which has a lot of beautiful classical and Spanish-style guitar. He has an excellent double CD compilation out at the mo.

At another show in Glór, I saw a double-bill of We Banjo 3 and I Draw Slow. We Banjo 3 are made up of two sets of ultra-talented brothers. All are multi-instrumentalists but mostly combine three banjos with a guitar for a heady mix of traditional Irish, bluegrass, ragtime and country tunes. Spectacular musicianship and a fascinating lesson in banjo history…sher what more could you want?

I Draw Slow was more firmly set in bluegrass and country territory with beautiful guitar, double bass, fiddle and banjo as well as class vocals and harmonies. Their music weaves some great stories (a lot of them dark but interesting). The audience was treated to a large portion of their new album, which sounded great and songs from their last two. It was right up my street anyway, very impressive. They’re even getting some attention from the US too, which as the home of Americana, is a good sign. I’ve given the album Redhills a good old spin and will definitely be getting the new one too.

I’ve seen The Riptide Movement a few times in the past year at various gigs and festivals. This four-piece outfit have retro swagger with overtones of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Lynyrd Skynrd and even Kings of Leon in flashes. Either way, their performances display great skill and energy, the tunes are catchy and lead singer, Mal Tuohy, has a throaty voice made for rock.