Monthly Archives: November 2013

Barry McCormack – Cut Throat Lane

Barry McCormack
Cut Throat Lane

hags head records

Barry McCormack is a modern day story teller. His tales are from the streets of Dublin. The words are stories from the darker side of these streets. Not the gloss and shine of the newly built areas but the reality of the grim world that people are living in. He does this through traditional instruments and with the help of many of his friends. The fact that a lot of these people have roots in Dublins punk and indie scene is telling for me but not given away in the music.

Imagine, if you will, that you have walked into a bar on one of Dublins side streets. Ths bar would not have a bouncer on the door, there is very little plastic and neon lights are at a minimum. You may have an extra light in the toilet to prevent addicts from shooting up. It will stink but ehre will be something in this stench that keeps you there. In the corner of this strange but alluring abode there is a band playing. Each brought their own instruments and have no need for amplification. Banjos, accordian, acoustic guitar all appear. In the middle is a fresh faced young man quietly leading the way. You may miss him but he is the articulate one. His songs are the aformentioned stories. When he breaks into “When THe Windows Shake” you will sing along to a tuneful take of shootings in the city. You may then hear how “Life it burns a path, then it leaves a trace” during the Night Before The Horse Fair. That man is Barry McCormack.

Unbelievably this is his fifth solo album and the man isn’t sharing a stage with someone like Damien Dempsey. It’s probably that background that is holding him back. It’s a self released album and is a reflection of Dublin and ireland today. This is the country facing austerity measures, shootings on street corners, people living on our cold streets. All the while Barry tries to lift spirits by not ignoring these events but at least trying to get us to sing along to them

“A moment of Silence
While we hang our heads in shame
While we try to figure out exactly who is to blame”

Hags head records

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Hope Show 42 – the lowdown

Hope Show 42 the lowdown

1 Desmond Dekker – 007 Shanty Town
2 Stay Clean Jolene – Green
3 The Great St Louis – Redeye
4 New Model Army – March IN September
5 Steve Ignorant + Paranoid Visions – United Left Annoyance
6 Barry McCormack – Never Leave The House
7 The Shorts – Bring me the skinned and mutilated corpse of Bear Gryllis
8 Shorebirds – Gonna Get The Gist
9 Latterman – 84% Off Your Self Esteem
10 NomeansNo – Mr In Between
11 Hidden Highways – The World Began with a waltz
12 De kift – Vrienden
13 Crimes – Something_MSTR
14 The Enablers – Break Your Heart
15 Lantern – Rock’n’roll rorschach
16 Steve Ignorant + Paranoid Visions – Rock’n’Roll’n’Revolution
17 NOFX – Ronnie & Mags
18 Pelican – Vestiges

After last weeks mainly acoustic offering I am offering some uplifting tunes tonight – Some. What better way to start thatn skanking with Desmond Dekker

I have heard 2 amazing 7″s this year. Fawn Spots and Stay Clean Jolene. I don’t think either were released in 2013 but it was when they were introduced to my ears. Stay Clean Jolene gt a special mention on my blog it is so good

John Dagger is singer in Stay Clean Jolene. He also fronted the Great St Louis whose album In your Own Time is just waiting to be listened to. Have you not heard it yet?

I played a couple of tracks off New Model Armys new lp last week, I’ve been listening to it and Barry McCormack on rotation for a lot of the week. I also hear NMA are playing in Dublin on December 6 so you’ve no excuse but to go. Paranoid Visions are doing an acoustic set on the night too.

I went to see Paranoid Visions last night launching their new labum with Steve Ignorant. The sound let them down a bit but the energy and anger was as evident as ever. Thankfully I was able to get a download as I bought the beautiful blue vinyl. Steve Ignorant is getting fairly proficient these days Slice of Life are doing some gigs, interesting stuff too

As I mentioned I got the new Barry McCormack album. Barry has been around the Dublin scene a fair few years since Jubilee were bashing out their stuff. A modern day story teller you an just imagine walking into your local bar and Barry and his mates will be banging out a few traditional tunes in the corner. Then you can over to them and talk punk rock

Just in case you think it’s all a bit soft I’ve thrown in the shorts – Bring me the Skinned and Mutilated Corpse of bear Grylis

Shorebirds are always good for a bop. Their It’s Gonna Get Ugly album is out a while on No Idea, plent of screaming and singing along. Just like Latterman

I don’t think I’ve ever listened to Nomeansno and thought there is something better to do at this moment. Every song, every record is just too good. Live to, amazing. All roads lead to Ausfahrt is a much ignore record. Of course when you have to sompete with wrong you will always struggle

We can’t stick with such a tempo or you will never settle down. Hidden highways have a new album out on the excellent Out On A Limb label from Limerick. This is from that record

De Kift are an interesting bunch from the netherlands. They have been around for nearly as long as the ex and are now less eclectic. Where the ex find solace in angular guitars de kift challenge with myriad of styles from the fairground. Their Vrienden 7″ is all in Dutch so I can’t offer any information I’m afraid

Crimes are new to me. They were on a compilation for the Fest 2012 which is an annual gathering of many good musical things in florida.

I see theat the Enablers are playing next week in the grand Social. I tried to get some stuff digitally but all i have is from a different band of the same name. Their Sweet Fuck All album is pretty cool though

Lantern are another new one for me. Psych rock that I’m not so sure about. Look upon it as my dedication to Lou Reed if you will

Opposite to Lantern are paranoid Visions – Another song fromt he new album in an attempt to get you to check it out

NOFX end the show (bar pelican) with their tune to Ronnie + Mags. Wonder what it’s about??


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New Model Army – Between Dog And Wolf


New Model Army played a huge part in my life. There I’ve said it. When Conflict had their only stupid Bastards sign to EMI t-shirt I was devastated. Here was my band, new Model Army, a band I had almost befriended. a band I had bought every record by, believed in and now they jumped ship to the other side. I was 18, the miners had lost their strike, our victories were in songs and little else. We were the independents fighting against the sharks of the major labels. NMA went with the sharks, appeared on Top Of The Pops and then Conflict had the t-shirt…..

Of course it is never that easy. The midst of time has helped me realise that. I left school and found myself a job. i was working for the man railing against those who wanted to be the man. But we travelled different roads and i wished them well on their journey. The way I see it we are travelling
through this life on a journey. What we do with our time and how we reach the end is the direction we take. In the 1980’s when a band signed to a major record label they decided to go on the motorway, me? I’ve always preferred the bypassed villages, the secondary roads are more interesting.

I’ve seen New Model Army quite a few times live. I was a regular in the early days with arms flapping as the clog travellers who attended their gigs were the family that I was an outsider to. I have great memories of gigs in Liverpool, Bradford, London and Dublin that reached a crescendo when the band hit the stage. I interviewed them for my zine in 1984 and they have never been anything but nice. I questioned their wisdom of finding an employer for their music.

I guess after this time I bear no grudges but for a while I questioned. It is no harm to question, Justin Sullivan has been doing so since he was speaking as Slade The Leveller and has always been nothing but emotional in his words and music. I can’t believe it is Thirty years since their first record. it is that midst of time we can’t prevent from moving. What we do with it is important though.

I’ve written tons of reviews since my first attempt at getting someone to listen to a Crass record. i have spoken of the virtues of many many bands but New Model Army have always been up there for me. There’s no other way of saying this but I LOVE NEW MODEL ARMY. Their songs are laden down with emotion, sang with such feeling. I can never imagine them being in a studio and someone having to say “One more take, this time with feeling”. There is an intensity to everything they do and the latest record is no different. The opening track of Horsemen must have Justin exhausted every time he sings with such feeling.

The other 13 tracks are no less intense. There is a haunting eeriness to their sound. The modern day Sherlock Holmes, chasing down the Hound Of the Baskervilles on the moors would have to listen to NMA. When the haunting rhythmic percussion kicks in during Ghosts or Did You Make It Safe you can almost feel the fog on those moors. Tracks like Lean Back and Fall and I Need more Time have such a haunting sound the season of Halloween seems the perfect time for them. Of course it’s not all mean and moody and Seven Times will give you a chance to get those arms moving in through NMA style when you are singing along to “I tried to tell you that you had everything you need, but you wouldn’t believe it”



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