I’ve moved!


Hello lovely people!

Just to let you all know that I’m stepping tentatively out of blogging retirement and have moved to Squarespace. My new site is, once again, www.roqueandrolle.com, and it’s very pretty.

I’ll be talking about more than just music but music will (probably) remain it’s backbone. Please come and say hello.

Thanks for reading and following over the years,

Amelia x

SINGLE: Rhob Cunningham – The Head Collector.

rhob cunningham - The Head Collector - HCfront-2 So I’ll admit that my return to blogging didn’t quite go as planned, but yesterday I heard something that was a little too special not to write about. Singer-songwriter Rhob Cunningham—whom I first laid ears on way back in 2011—has just released an eleven-minute meandering masterpiece called The Head Collector.

Opening with a soothing crackling sound, the song transforms in more ways than you could possibly imagine; a beautifully visual evolution in terms of both music and lyrics. An appearance from the exquisite Cathy Davey around halfway through lends a wonderful, bewitching dimension which perfectly compliments Conor O’Brien’s vividly haunting work on the production side of things.

Having recently sojourned to Berlin, it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing anything in the way of live performances from Rhob over here any time soon. Regardless, having heard a few of his new songs at a gig last month in Anseo, I’m sincerely hopeful that enough people will buy this song and help raise enough funds to get this new album finished.

Go show Rhob some love on Facebook & Twitter.

It might be soon, it might be a while, but hopefully I’ll talk to you again soon.

rhob cunningham - The Head Collector - The Head Collector - rhobcathyconor

An explanation and another apology.

I’m going to start this off with a small caveat; this isn’t the first time I’ve had to apologise for a lack of activity on here and it probably won’t be the last. One thing I’ll tell you about myself, in case you hadn’t already noticed, is that time management really isn’t my forté. It’s something I’m working on, and slowly but surely I’ve noticed a slight improvement in my ability to effectively plan and manage my day. That being said, I still have the concentration levels of a goldfish, so it’s definitely an uphill battle for the time being.

There have been a good few things going on in my life over the last year, and these include the three things that have made it really fucking difficult to write. To begin with, I started an HND in Music Management in Ballyfermot College of Further Education, which is great and interesting most of the time, but seeing as the course is pretty much 90% continuous assessment, there’s almost always something waiting to be started, completed or handed in. My favourite aspect of the course was running a gig with some friends in The Grand Social under the moniker Donut Promotions. We had a great night and were lucky enough to have three amazing bands playing: Carriages, Other Creatures and The Notas. It would have been nice to give it an aul plug or two on here to let you guys know about it, but to be honest it was just hard to get into the mindset of sitting down and writing anything at all.

As well as this I started a new real life job back in February. Yes, almost all of us need one, and I was fortunate to get a job that I really enjoyso long as you disregard the late nightsbar-tending in the newest Galway Bay Brewery bar on Earlsfort Terrace, Alfie Byrne’s. If you follow me on either Twitter or Instagram you’ll probably know that I’m a massive craft beer geek, so the chance to work with one of Ireland’s most exciting microbreweries has been a lot of fun, especially helping to get the bar off the ground from day one. One thing about bar-tending which I’m sure some of you will know, is that it’s an incredibly physical job, and after eight or so hours of pulling pints and carrying trays of glasses, it’s far more tempting to head straight to bed than trawl through your unread e-mails.

The final thing that’s been making writing near impossible is not having my own laptop. My own little machine died about a year and a half ago, and in the meantime I’ve been begging and borrowing from my mother in order to do college work and the like, but it simply wasn’t feasible to spend hours checking e-mails and hunting for new bands. Luckily, about two weeks ago, after months of saving (thanks new job!) I was able to buy myself a lovely new laptop with an exceptional soundsystem and since it arrived I’ve been catching up on college work and readying myself for writing this: another apology.

I realise that I’ve probably rambled more than I should, but either way, my college term has now finished and I’m starting to deal a lot better with all these three a.m. pub closes. I’ve honestly missed having this funny little space to rant and rave about sounds I’ve come across, for my own sake as much as anyone else’s, so here I am, apologising once again, but promising, at least for the next while, that I’m back in this world and can’t wait to share the next few months with you all.

All my love and thanks as always,

Amelia x

VIDEO: Villagers – Occupy Your Mind.


If you’re in the mood for something a little more trippy this evening, please let me point you in the direction of Villagers‘ new video for Occupy Your Mind directed by Alden Volney. The track itself débuted last night with Zane Lowe on BBC1, and having seen it performed live twice now I can definitely confirm that it’s one of the more chilling releases we’ve heard from Villagers with it’s utterly hedonistic sound and politically-charged lyrics.

I don’t know if Conor O’Brien and co. were aware of how interesting a time it was for this video to drop in Ireland; not only is their original message about the horrific homophobia which is rampant throughout Putin’s Russia incredibly poignant, but here in Ireland we are also in the midst of a high-profile LGBT equality debate known fondly as Pantigate. Conor’s message to his listeners is:

In the advent of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, please find attached a song written for you, your mother, your father and your gay brothers and sisters in Russia. 

Here our problems are a little different, and if you’re not aware of what’s been going on, I suggest you read this piece written by my friend Donal about how a few right-wing loonies have taken the word homophobia away from homosexuals. For even more context, make sure to watch Panti Bliss’ beautiful Noble Call at the Abbey Theatre here.

Occupy Your Mind is available to download from iTunes now and you can watch the video below.

VIDEO: The Mighty Stef – The Nightwatchman Of The Iveagh Flats.

The Mighty Stef have been causing quite a stir since the release of their Iveagh Flats EP, what with a well-received first single in Vampire, Hold Me Tightfollowed by a successful three-night residency Upstairs At Whelan’s at the end of last year. Never ones to rest on their laurels, TMS are back with a second single from the EP and another video by Lindsey Byrne, this time for The Nightwatchman Of The Iveagh Flats.

The band describe the video as “the tale of of a local rock band who incur the wrath of an irate neighbour who later falls foul to the calmly psychotic, local vigilante known as the nightwatchman. [sic]” Continuing very much in the fractious, gritty vein that makes them who they are, it is clear that with producer Alain Johannes now at the helm, The Mighty Stef are dead-set on releasing their finest material yet.

The single is available to pre-order from iTunes now! Don’t forget that you can also buy the EP on vinyl (plus free digital download) from their website for just €7 plus shipping.

The Mighty Stef are celebrating the release of The Nightwatchman Of The Iveagh Flats this Friday 31st January at Whelan’s with special guests SOnance HOtel and The Statics. Tickets €12.50 (incl. booking fee)

SINGLE: Meltybrains? – Green, Yellow & Purple.


Until now, I hadn’t had the time to watch the video for Meltybrains? new single, Green, Yellow & Purple, because in case you weren’t aware, the song is ten minutes long. Never the sort to do things by the book, this track from Meltybrains? is as eclectic as anything they’ve ever released, with flourishes of electronica, post-rock, alt-rock and everything else in between.

The video was created by Louise Gaffney using “ink, water and a fish tank” and incorporates the most fantastic psychedelic visuals which include some live footage of the band shot at Block B Studios in Smithfield.

Meltybrains? are currently touring the US after a successful Fund:it campaign which had some rather fabulous rewards, so until the lads have their feet back on Irish soil, make sure to check out the incredible video below. (Make yourself a nice cup of tea first!)

You can also buy the song from either their Soundcloud or Bandcamp and stream it below.

VIDEO: Girl Band – Lawman.


About a week and a half ago, one of Dublin’s more-noisy offerings, Girl Band, dropped their new single, Lawman, with b-side Heckle The Frames available for free digital download from their Bandcamp, or for €5 on a gorgeous limited-edition 7″ with Any Other City Records.

It spans over a good six minutes and is a real assault on the eardrums (In a good way.) It’s loud and it’s thrilling; guitars are fuzzed-up to the max and the aggressive vocals hammer home the band’s post-punk tendencies.

Now though, Girl Band have premièred the video for Law Man which was directed by the excellent Second/Frame Films, who’ve shot some great live videos for Raglans, as well as Gypsy Rebel Rabble’s Blue Water Consistency.

If you want one of the limited edition 7″ singles though, you’re going to have to act fast as they’re selling quick. Presented in a hand-stitched, duck cotton fabric sleeve, each record is unique and hand numbered. Well worth the €5 if you ask me!

Girl Band play Whelan’s on February 8th. Tickets €10 from WaV Tickets and support on the night comes from Jetsetter and Simon Bird.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/84627969″>Girl Band – “Lawman”</a>

VIDEO: Fox Jaw – Kerosene.

fox jaw

The band formerly known as Fox Jaw Bounty Hunters have now returned with the rather more succinct name of Fox Jaw. Instead of just a simple re-brand, these Limerick lads have had a line-up reshuffle and are now set to release their sophomore album, Ghost’s Parade, later this year.

Our first glimpse of new material is upcoming single Kerosene along with its accompanying video which was released on the 19th January to an impressively positive reception. Describing themselves as a throwback to ’50s blues with a modern edge, Fox Jaw have taken a step back and cleverly refined their sound, becoming far more modern and much less bluesy. Beginning slowly, the dark track soon builds to a brilliant crescendo of drums and wailing guitars, all complimented by the sound of Ronan Mitchell’s timbrous growl.

The concept of the video comes from the band’s own Shane Serrano and Blindboyboatclub of the Rubberbandits. It stars two Limerick natives, Kevin Kiely Jnr. and Richard Lynch in a rather dark and twisted tale that will keep you watching all the way to the end, regardless of whether you particularly want to or not. Have a gander, if you dare…

Fox Jaw release Kerosene on the 28th February in conjunction with a celebratory performance at Whelan’s and it’ll be available for digital download or on a limited-edition, transparent blue 7″.

Make sure to follow Fox Jaw on Twitter.

ALBUM: Paddy Hanna – Leafy Stiletto.

Artwork by Jill Redmond

Man of many bands, Paddy Hanna, will be releasing his début solo album on Popical Island this coming Saturday 25th. Entitled Leafy Stiletto, it signals a mature progression from projects such as the wacky Grand Pocket Orchestra, but is certainly not a fraction less compelling.

Opening with Rosslare Tapes, the development in Hanna’s vocals is instantly noticeable. Instead of relying on his distinctive falsetto—though not discarding it completely—he manages to explore far more of his voice, something which lends itself to the overall warmth of the album.

The songs themselves are quirky and brisk, with few making it past the three-minute mark. Unusual lyricisms and deft musicianship create the impression of an old pop record; the addition of harmonica on tracks such as Join The Army and The Flesh Of Julie Andrews filling out the sound skilfully, yet most unassumingly.

The whole album is a very relaxed and intimate affair, which I feel has quite a lot to do with its personnel. Here we find Hanna accompanied by his long-time No Monster Club and GPO bandmates: Bobby Aherne, Enda Cavanagh and Mark Chester. The sense of four musicians who clearly know one another inside out forging the most enjoyable, familial atmosphere.

It’s hard to pick out certain songs that stand out more than others because to be honest this is a real ‘album’ album. Each track can hold its own, but together as a cohesive body of work they are so much more. Simple, lo-fi arrangements that compliment Hanna’s newfound voice work well on songs that, at times, are quite stylistically at odds—be it the country twang of Mind’s Wearing Make Up or the more sombre register of album closer, Mud. 

All in all, Leafy Stiletto makes for a wonderful, albeit brief, thirty-three minutes of listening which somehow manages to better itself with each listen. Can I guarantee that this will remain one of my favourite releases of 2014? You bet.
Paddy Hanna launches Leafy Stiletto on Saturday 25th January at Popicalia #21 in The Grand Social with support from Mumblin’ Deaf Ro and Knoxville Morning.

You can pre-order the vinyl from his Bandcamp (€15) and the album is also available to stream in full below. Don’t forget that you can also follow Paddy Hanna on Twitter and Instagram.

Download: The whole fucking album of course.

Musicians With Cameras also posted this lovely little promo video for the album featuring some songs and banter with the man himself.

SINGLE: The Boxing Plot – Heidecker.

boxing plot

The Boxing Plot caused quite a stir when they released their video for Geist back in September. Appearing to many out of almost thin air and armed with only a handful of recordings online, they managed to secure a slot at HWCH and since then have been popping up all over the place: getting into the winning ten artists of the Budweiser Future Sounds competition, scoring a top-five place in the AMA Talent Search as well as playing the Whelan’s Ones To Watch festival last week.

When the video first premièred, I was honestly baffled because this was a band that I had seen supporting The Riptide Movement in the woeful Academy 2 way back in 2010, but they simply seemed like a different outfit altogether. This is an incredibly positive observation, however, as I do recall being rather underwhelmed at the time. That said, The Boxing Plot seem to have found their feet, honing their sound and have come on in leaps and bounds.

Now they’re back with another video, this time for a song entitled Heidecker, a name inspired by American comedian Tim Heidecker, although I have been assured that the song is not actually about the man himself. Instead it is the video which pays homage to him, in that it’s really rather gross. The song itself was recorded in Sun Studios with Mick Heffernan and mastered by Fergal Davis and is a solid indie-pop offering with a strong bassline and unique vocals that at times remind me a little of Hamilton Leithauser (The Walkmen.)

It’s available from iTunes now, and you can stream it below along with the video.

[Disclaimer: if you are, like me, abhorred by the sight of baked beans, please, for the love of God, do not watch this video unprepared.]