Bouts are one of a number of Irish bands who played this year’s CMJ showcase in New York. The Dublin four-piece kept a diary for the Point of Everything. Here’s the fourth and final entry, a wrap of their final few days in NYC.

Bouts in Central Park

CMJ is a tantalising mistress. Based as it is in one of the world’s most vibrant metropolises, even a festival teeming with almost a thousand bands over five nights can seem a little fractured. Our five gigs in eight days is a mere drop in the ocean. By Wednesday with two shows down it was still the calm before the storm. With the night free we decided to walk. And then some. The Brooklyn Bridge and The High Line taken in on an epic cross-borough bipedal binge. The Brooklyn Brodge is simply stunning – a beautiful crisp autumn day helped, while The High Line was a revelation. Dotted with refurbished architecture and dainty stalls along it’s perfectly manicured mile long route, it’s the very epitome of urban garden. It’s also a great example old parts of a city blending seamlessly with new. The day ended with a trip back out to Brooklyn and a venue the most unlike its name we’ve ever seen – The Big Snow Buffalo Lounge. Sounding not unlike a Rocky Mountain ski resort but actually an uber DIY venue with an uber friendly Queens-native doorman. So Cow and Squarehead rocked its teeny confines and large blackboarded monthly listings on the wall by the toilet.

Bouts. High Line, Low Rent

Thursday. 8am. Up. Shower (in our free-standing bath). Out the door. NYU. Set-up for our recording session Pop out to a seminar. Then quick jaunt to a Q&A with Music Business freshmen. We were being Q’d. Got some laughs. Result! Back to the studio. Probably the most amazing we’ve ever been in. Record a brand new song. Shoot video of the live recording. Mix. Dash across town to Fat Baby’s for our first CMJ/MFI gig. Play. Stay out till getting-up time…

ARGH! Getting Up!! A Friday afternoon show in Spike Hill, Brooklyn. Spike Hill was perhaps the nicest venue we played. An absolute peach of a space. Red brick walls, a high stage and great sound. Also on the bill were Royal Canoe who were particularly excellent. On Friday night we actually managed to catch some other CMJ shows. Starting with Stepkids and Kimbra at Webster Hall. The former with a nice line in projecting psychedelia onto matching white clothes and backdrop, while Kimbra did her thing to an ecstatic house. Out to the Brooklyn Bowl then for Born Ruffians. It’s a full-on live music venue AND bowling alley. No room to breathe between either. From that we walked up the road to Public Assembly and took in the contrasting sonic styling of Violent Bullshit (?!) and Twerps. Happy we’d actually dipped our toes into the festival experience, we retired.

Saturday we walked from the bottom to top of Central Park. Ouch! Dined in the diner used in the Seinfeld exteriors. And that night played our final show in the Irish American Arts Centre on Manhattan’s mid-west side. Reminding you of a small, early 70s rural Irish cinema, it turned out to be a fantastic show with everyone on top form. The gig ended in total chaos with the crowd and acts invading the stage at the end of Squarehead’s set before we all retired to the Irish bar across the road for a night of quantitative drinking.

What a great trip. Some thanks – Angela Dorgan & Seán, Caleb at Paper Garden Records and all the wonderful artists we played with! And before we go, your friendly Bouts Celebrity Heat update. At different times we spotted and chatted to Helena Christensen, Paul Banks, the bassist from Real Estate and ate pizza beside Jared Leto and Jerry Stiller!

To New York, a big X from the Bouts Lads

Bouts Diary Entry Day 1
Bouts Diary Entry Day 2
Bouts Diary Entry Day 3