The latest TPOE podcast is now live. It’s a 56-minute interview with Dublin-based artist Owensie, who has just released his third solo album Dramamine, via Out on a Limb. You can listen to and buy the album on Bandcamp. You can listen to the podcast with the Soundcloud player embedded below or subscribe on iTunes here and never miss a show. We’ve had lots of interesting chats and topics discussed so far, and interviews with people involved in the Irish music scene, like Patrick Freeman, Louise Bruton and Steve Ryan. After the jump are some (extensive) highlights from a thoroughly enjoyable and interesting talk with Michael Owens in a Dublin bar.

Owensie’s upcoming gigs:
November 27: Kinsale (House show, w/ Big Monster Love and At Last An Atlas)
November 28: Plugd Records (in-store acoustic), Cork (1.15pm)
December 19: Popical Island All-Dayer, Whelans (all day)
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Louise Bruton runs the brilliant website Legless in Dublin, which discusses accessibility issues in venues, at gigs and festivals etc. I met Louise in Dublin to discuss such issues and the condescension she faces on a regular basis – and which she wrote about last week. We also discussed the idea of guilty pleasures and live streaming over the actual gig experience. That latter idea was something that was brought up at Web Summit, which was held in the RDS last week, November 2-5, and which I attended. After the interview with Louise, I talk about my experience of the overblown tech event. You can read what I think about the whole affair – which includes praise for Swedish House Mafia (well, kind of) after the jump. You can subscribe to the TPOE podcast on iTunes here.

TPOE 18: Louise Bruton and the Web Summit by The Point Of Everything on Mixcloud

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cuttin heads collective

On the latest episode of The Point Of Everything podcast, I sat down with three members of the newly formed Cuttin’ Heads Collective – Justin O’Donnel, Caimin Walsh, and Ross Herlihy – to talk about the music scene in Cork, the clubbing scene in Ireland and abroad and just how good mynameisj0hn and Naive Ted are (very). That pair are doing a collaborative DJ set to officially launch the Cuttin’ Heads Collective this Saturday, October 31. It all takes place in the also relatively new Urban Jungle (part of the Mardyke complex on Sheares Street). Tickets are a mere €5 and the Facebook events page is here. It’s hard not to feel inspired by Justin, Ross and Caimin (the latter of whom also bigs up the Limerick scene which is currently in collaborative rude health) and it sounds like Cuttin’ Heads – who are also putting on rap gigs every Friday through November in Bru Bar up on MacCurtain Street – are going to do great things. Have a listen and feel the love.

TPOE 16: Cuttin’ Heads Collective by The Point Of Everything on Mixcloud


On the latest The Point of Everything podcast, I chat with Cork-based filmmaker, playwright, creative person and We Play Here collaborator Emmet O’Brien about the creative process, having read this interesting article over the weekend. We also touch on Smashing Pumpkins, Bob Dylan, in relation to bands with burgeoning back catalogues, and Emmet tells us about Rejected Unknown and 101 albums you should die before you hear.

You can listen to/subscribe to the TPOE podcast on iTunes, Soundcloud and Mixcloud.

TPOE 15: Creativity, Smashing Pumpkins And Bob Dylan by The Point Of Everything on Mixcloud

altered hours album

To say I’m excited about Altered Hours‘ debut album would be an understatement. I’m ecstatic about the news, delirious about the idea of around ten tracks from the five piece all in one place. But let’s try and get through this post first, and the fact that they’ve given us the first taster of In Heat, Not Sorry. Recorded at Funkhaus Studios in Berlin, where Altered Hours have recorded the likes of ‘Sweet Jelly Roll’, the album is coming out on Art For Blind Records and Penske Recordings in January 2016. ‘Way of Sorrow’, meanwhile, will be relatively familiar to people who have seen Altered Hours live, though I don’t remember acknowledging the Joy Division-ness of it before. It’s a crunching 145 seconds that sees Cathal Mac Gabhann’s vocals emanating from the distance, through a haze, crossing with Elaine Howley’s cries of “let me go”. “Tell me what to feel tell me what you see in the dark of night,” they urge, before the track fades. What a taster of things to come. Altered Hours play Hanger, Dublin, as part of Hard Working Class Heroes next week, on October 1, and support Girl Band in the Pav, Cork, two days later on Saturday, October 3. You can buy ‘Way of Sorrow’ on iTunes.


It’s a big weekend in Cork as Culture Night tonight combines with Sounds From A Safe Harbour for a stellar lineup. There are too many highlights on both programmes, but for our latest The Point of Everything show we managed to pick out a few things that should make for a great weekend. Everything on Culture Night is free, so at the very worst, just wander around the place and you’ll find something of interest – the College of Commerce being lit up in colour by artist Simon McKeown from about 8.30pm should be a particular highlight. You can find out everything that’s happening (well, try to anyway) on the Culture Night Cork website. As for Sounds From A Safe Harbour, pick up the programme around town or head for the website – Nialler9’s music trail is FREE and has a stellar lineup (picture below). The Fractured Air exhibition in Filter is brilliant too, so make sure you head to that over the weekend too – the Wild Beasts picture is wonderful. Have a listen of our podcast over the weekend, which features Niall talking to Aisling about the music trail, if you need more advice on what to catch – or to tell us what we shouldn’t miss. You can subscribe to the show on iTunes too.


Sam Balloons balloons

Sam Clague has been playing music for a long time – I remember walking down the main street in Clonakilty years ago and seeing Sam, barely in his teens busking. He’s only gotten better since, with plenty of shows, solo and with various bands, under his belt. And Clague is now ready to reveal his debut EP, Balloons. The EP is a gorgeous slice of harmonious pop music that touches on the big themes of getting older, love, home, death and friendship, and played out and ruminated on over a delicately struck acoustic guitar. Opening track ‘Waves Make Foam’ is the first single to be taken from the collection, and you can listen to it below. It’s almost like a nursery rhyme, built around the softly spoken, reassuring line, “We crash back home, like the waves make foam, to disappear again”. Like the surf, the song swells to the point where “I’m sinking at some predetermined pace”. Clague sings: “I’m struggling my friend to see an end, juggling all these things as we bend, up and down we stretch from side to side, just something to do as we wait for the tide.” And back to that friendly greeting as we crash back home, knowing we can always return and find our safe place, and disappear again.

Sam Clague launches debut EP Balloons , with the help of Ambiguous Fiddle at the Emmet Hotel, Clonakilty, at 9pm on Saturday, September 19. Entry is free.

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clonakilty guitar festival

In the latest episode of The Point of Everything, I went to Clonakilty to chat to Ray Blackwell of De Barra’s and Kevin McNally of various guises, including the music department at UCC, West Cork Ukelele Orchestra and Cork Gamelan Ensemble – the pair are also members of the organising committee for Clonakilty International Guitar Festival, entering its 11th year this weekend, September 17-20. We had a long-ranging chat, taking in everything from Straight Outta Compton, bipics vs music documentaries, the importance of community in music, special discounts for the unwaged, encouraging young people to pick up an instrument and, of course, who they’re excited to see in the various venues around the West Cork town. You can listen to the show below, via Soundcloud and Mixcloud, and you can subscribe to the Point of Everything on iTunes. More on the Clonakilty International Guitar Festival after the jump and we’ll be back later in the week with a preview of Sounds from a Safe Harbour.

TPOE #9: Clonakilty International Guitar Festival by The Point Of Everything on Mixcloud

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While it’s been relatively quiet on the blog over the last little while, if you’ve been paying attention you’ll have notices the podcast that we’ve started up. We started at the height of summer (when it was raining) and we’re now eight episodes in by the start of September (when it’s still raining). For the latest episode, we talk to people who were at Electric Picnic over the weekend, either playing the festival or just attending as a punter. So in just over an hour we talk to

Paul Savage of O Emperor, who played the Jerry Fish stage at 9pm on Sunday. Rubberbandits were one of the best things he saw all weekend, surprisingly
Senita of Shookrah, who played the Body & Soul stage early on Sunday, and Chris Somers of Elastic Sleep, though he was there as a punter
Luke O’Neill of Damsel, who made their debut by opening the b&s stage on Friday afternoon (Damsel are supporting August Wells in Coughlan’s, Cork city, tonight)
– Cork DJ Stevie G, who talks about how the festival has changed over its lifetime

Finally Aisling and Caoilian chat about their respective experiences of the weekend – Aisling was at End of the Road in England while Caoilian was at Electric Picnic. Here’s the Humans of Electric Picnic link I was talking about in the intro

You can listen on Soundcloud/Mixcloud below (and can subscribe to either) and you can subscribe on iTunes and never miss an episode.

The Point Of Everything #8: Electric Picnic Review by The Point Of Everything on Mixcloud

great balloon race

Cork band Great Balloon Race released debut album Cardboard almost three years ago and in the interim have set about becoming one of the most intense and exciting live bands around – their set supporting Jennifer Evans in Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh earlier this summer was stunning. The four piece – Marcus Gordon (guitar/vocals), Jonathan McNicholas (guitar/vocals), Declan O’Shea (bass) and Dan Walsh (drums) – have been busy recording the followup to Cardboard this year; we heard ‘Why Meddle?’ back in February and now we get a live favourite, ‘Daryl & John’, which ring-a-ring-a-rosies around a Real Estate-style bassline. It’s a delicious song that woos and cajoles, leaving you weak at the knees before it brings you to a higher plain – and just wait til you see them play it live. You can download ‘Daryl & John’ via Bandcamp and stream it from Soundcloud below. The video was shot by Blair Alexander Massie at Mother Jones Flea Market on McCurtain St, Cork city.