Tag Archives: barry mccormack

Barry McCormack – Cut Throat Lane

Barry McCormack
Cut Throat Lane

hags head records
cutthroat_cover

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 34 – the lowdown

Hope Show 34 – for absent friends

1. Rocket Juice and the moon – Hey Shooter
2. Grant Hart – The Argument
3. Mike Watt – Against The 70’s
4. Goldblade – Riot Riot
5, Panthro U.K. United 13 – Sound of a gun
6. The Evens – Wonder Why
7. Matana Roberts – Secret Covens
8. Barry McCormack – The Road to Tyrellspass
9. Glimmermen – Peace at Last
10. David Grubbs – A Dream to help me sleep
11. Midday Veil – Sun Stone
12. Hunx and His Punx – Mud In Your Eyes
13. Blast – Winding Down
14. Funeral Oration – Still IN A Punk Band
15. The Pukes – GLC
16. Zounds – Deportee
17. The Lives Of Millionaires – Act One Scene One
18. Southport – Fade Away

My daughter is getting into the Red Hot Chili Peppers and she switched me on to Rocket Juice and the moon. It is a collabaration between Damon Albarn, Flea and Tony Allen. It’s an interestng album shooting off in all quandrants with a very funky background (funky bassline, who’d have imagined that?)

I played Grant Hart a coule of weeks ago but want to get back to this album. I’m feeling pretty nostalgic today. I’m thinking of Seamus Heaneys family and how the death of one man has received pretty much universal approval in expressing sadness and empathy. His 2 sons have been to a few Hope gigs and one of them played drums in the Lawnmowers. Mike Watt featured heavily in their musical education so I’ve played Grant and Mike for them.

I’m also nostalgic because my son lost his Semi-Final today. He loves uplifting music and what is more uplifting than Goldblade . We played this song as a battle cry last night. Didn’t work though!!

Panthro UK United 13 is some mouthful. This band changed their name to Black Cougar SHock Unit but along the way released a criminally underated album, this is from that

The Evens released their third album this year, the odds. I’m just throwing this in so You don’t forget it.

Matana Roberts is a really interesting person, full of free jazz and rhythms that will have you all over the place. I played Secret Covens as it’s 1min53secs – didn’t want to get you too worried

I’ve been thinking of Dublins history a lot of late. I visted the excellent Dublin Tenement Experience and would have been at the lockout commemoration today if it hadn’t of been for the aforementioned semi-final. Rather than delving into our history I’ve taken the recent album by Barry McCormack (well 5 years is recent) and the new album by Glimmermen to celebrate Dublin today. And I won’t mention the All-Ireland Semi Final v Kerry as that could well be over by the time you read this.

David Grubbs voice is one I could listen to forever. I first came across him in Squirrel Bait and then Bastro. This rickets and scurvyy album is a beauty. No other word for it don’t ya think

Midday veil have a new album called Current (how long this that title stay relevant for?) coming out next month on Translinguistic Other. This is from that, I’m looking forward to the album.

I’m enjoying the Hunx and His Punx album, more than I should I suppose. It’s raw punk rock us style. Not too disimilar to Black Flag (who I played last week) and Blast who are next. Actually totally not similar at all but coming from the same place if that can be possible

I love Funeral Oration – tuneful punk rock from the Netherlands that dabbles in a US hardcore sound. They didn’t play rebellion this year but would have been a welcome addition.

The Pukes and Zounds both played Rebellion and gave me the opportunity to get both these records and share them with you. I played Deportee as it is a poignant memory of times when people left Ireland to travel unfriendly land, much like what this country has become. 100 years after the lockout what has changed? Maybe we drink coffee and wine and have nicer clothes?

The lives of millionaires remind me of the world we are chasing, the world of bankers and big bucks, the world we hope isn’t too alluring for others, but we just can’t seem to change it can we?

In memory of Big Jim Larkin, James Connolly and Seamus heaney I play Fade Away by Southport who have just announced their decision to stop playing as a band (damn shame).

niallhope

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