Playlist: Mark Kenny
Booker and posterman Mark Kenny picks his fave Irish tunes.
Rather than dig up some esoteric psychobilly or industrial stuff I’ve listened to for 20 years, I thought I’d share some of my current favorite live bands and tracks from my playlist of the last 12 months. In the last couple of years since I moved to Cork, I’ve been very privileged to get to know some great bands. I joke that I only ever book people that are sound, but Cork has to have one of the soundest musical communities ever.
I do like to mix it up a little so, perhaps predictably, I’d like to include two bands from the Cork of The North, Belfast. Both these towns have such rich musical heritage and a fantastically positive music scene right now, not that there aren’t great bands springing up all over the country or even in That Dublin.
In my head, a live gig is the truest measure of a band. These guys are all brilliant live, but also great in studio.
Without (much) further waffle…
Hope is Noise – Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
Oh these guys! From their album This Used to be a Laugh, the single Sleeping Dogs. I love the production of this track, it throws me back to Joy Division. The video with Dan’s stint as an on-TV Elvis, Mick Lynch‘s beleaguered main character, ladies and rock ‘n roll hotel room antics as directed by Zombie.ie just rounds off the whole experience. Incidentally, this is quite NSFW.
Time is a Thief – Our Game
Like a really clean piece of shrapnel, this track from We’re Not Strangers, may not be the particular metal you were expecting to have stuck in your head, but it’s a thoroughly enjoyable one best listened to through headphones… loudly.
Former Monarchs – Judd Light
I really wanted to show you the video of Former Monarchs performing their single Judd Nelson in Auntie Annie’s in Belfast, but the sound on the recording just didn’t do them justice. Instead, here’s the B-Side which is an altogether different affair but it does have some bitchin’ xylophone action.
LaFaro – Tuppenny Nudger
Very much part of the healthy exchange of bands between Cork and Belfast is LaFaro, a great bunch of guys fronted by the talented Jonny Black. I had the pleasure of booking them a couple of times and look forward to their return to Cork one of these days soon. This track, Tuppenny Nudger, is my favourite. It’s shown here from the BBC Introducing stage at Reading in 2010.
And So I Watch You From Afar & The Ulster Orchestra – 7 Billion People All Alive At Once
Lastly, a heavy-touring band that’s getting a lot of well-deserved attention, And So I Watch You From Afar. Currently they’re touring the US after a long tour of Russia and about to embark on a tour of China. Say what you like, Hipsters, they work hard and what they do they do well. A guilty pleasure in a small venue, I know that playing the Mandela Hall in Belfast with The Ulster Orchestra for The Great Northern Songbook meant a lot to them individually and as a band. They joked that next time they play with an orchestra they’ll practice their Metallica stances. There are a couple of glitches in the video as BBC haven’t made it available here, but hopefully we can all live with that.
Mark does lots of stuff, including stints booking rock ‘n roll bands, burlesque shows and other things for getting bodies into venues. At weekends he occasionally likes to make nice posters for www.bobsposters.com