Archive for March, 2010

Aaaaahhhhshark’s Blog gets over 100, 000 views just after it’s first birthday!!

March 29, 2010

Thanks for Support

Thanks for Reading

Thanks for clicking on the Links and Pretending to Read

And I will Promise to upload more often in future

I Promise

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Deirfiúrí Are Doing It For Themselves…

March 28, 2010

God I’m such an awful, awful blogger…this has been in the works for ages so it’s a bit convoluted, but sure here it is…

Remember B*Witched awww

I started the last post with the intention of writing something about Irish female singers. Some overviews, predictions and personal analysis summed up in a tasty blog snack, but it evolved into a broader beast, and ended up giving Amy Winehouse credit for all the astounding aerial audio we have in the charts at present.  I possibly went overboard but that’s the nature of writing, tangents stem out like undercurrents, which become rivers of their own, until you realise you’re writing something completely different to what you started with.  I don’t think I even mentioned one Celtic dame in that post.

So here I’m trying for a second time, now that I’ve covered some of the international songbyrds of the day, I can freely rabbit on about some home-grown talent with room for comparison.

Irish woman actually had significant success internationally for years, with our very own Enya wowing crowds across the globe since her solo outing in 1987. Her popularity continued well into the naughties when, after the 911 attacks her “soothing” and safe-as-a-bandaged-life-ring tunes became a shelter from harsh reality for many Americans.  She’s also massive in Japan, which as everyone knows, is a true testament to talent, sure they even love Celtic Women (the band not the race, not that they don’t love the race, I’m sure they love the race as well). You could almost be proud of her if her music was not so cotton wool and delicate.

So in the right corner, we had Enya humming vowel sounds, while in the left corner we had Dolorous O’Riordan hollering consonants. I’ll admit I do quite like Zombie, but ugh, that voice originated from beyond the grave. She still releases the odd bit of solo material today, but it doesn’t sell well, review well or listen well. So it’s almost as if she does not exist. Almost.

Mary Coughlan has had considerable coverage in this blog so I won’t blather on about how her potential global success was never to be, partly due to bad management, partly due to her alcoholism. Maybe it has still yet to peak? Her 1985 debut Tired and Emotional is 25 years old this year and is to be re-released followed by a string of performances across the country. Perhaps 2010 will be her year to shine…though it’s doubtful.

Then in the early nineties we were introduced to naughty Sinead O’Connor and “Butter wouldn’t melt” the Corrs. Polar sides of the same Irish coin, Sinead’s biggest problem (musically I mean, she had countless personal problems) was that she was an excellent singer, but only a mediocre songwriter. Nothing Compared To You will always be her song, and deservedly so. It’s Fantastic. The Prince version is almost unlistenable now.   But the ego in her strived for credibility and her self-penned songs never really packed a punch. I suspect Sinead O’Connor fans were really fans of Sinead. I don’t think they ever truly were fans of her music.

The Corrs on the other hand, well they were much more packagable. Three Beautiful sisters, one slightly loony brother (on a side note, you should check out Jim Corr’s Website if your in need of a laugh sometime www.jimcorr.com) their songs were disgustingly radio friendly, and their faces ridiculously television friendly. I’m not a fan, they bore me but I won’t deny they appealed to a significant niche, Bill Clinton’s favourite band apparently. I’m already bored just writing about them, Next.

Remember Samantha Mumba?

She had a lot going for her, hailed the Irish Britney Spears. Clocked up a few number ones, and not just in Ireland. I actually quite like what she did with David Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes. Or at least what her producer did. Allegedly she didn’t even know who Bowie was at the time…..

Yeah well Ms Mumba seemingly spat in the golden chalice she was handed, did absolutely nothing with her success and now is a mere mortal once again. Every two or three years she pops up claiming to have a new album in the works but…I’ll believe it when I see it. Silly girl.

And soooo we fast-forward to more recent times, and the current tides in Irish feminine album launches.

In my last post I covered how high the standard of international female artists have been recently and Ireland has not been left behind. Although it has been a while since a cailín really took the world by storm, there is more then one just waiting to pounce at any given opportunity.

Imelda May certainly is the gal with the most potential. Easily winning best female in 2009’s Irish Meteor awards, she has snowballed into a huge star the last twelve months even performing at the Grammys. She certainly looks the part, a vampish sex kitten in pencil skirt and ice-cream scoop quiff, she’s straight out of an Eddie Rockets poster. Claiming responsibility for a semi rockabilly renaissance, I’d be called a lazy writer if I called her Ireland’s answer to Amy Winehouse. But I’d also be pointing out a fair deal, she’s not exactly one hundred miles away and she certainly fit the fashion and niche of her arrival. Still, her voice is impeccable and her gig at last years Electric Picnic and follow up Christmas show in the O2 prove she is no flavour of the month. Love Tattoo was no Back To Black, but it still held up on its own and I’m curious to see if she’ll still be here in a decade.

If Imelda May is Ireland’s answer to the “Amy Winehouse” inspired artists of 2008, than perhaps Julie Feeney is our answer to the “Kate Bush” inspired artists of 2009. Her latest album pages is a strange affair, consisting of poems she fabricated locked away Emily Dickinson style, which were then in turn “married” to orchestrated pieces of music she wrote/conducted/produced all on her owny own. Even before you hear one note from the album you have to admire the sheer effort. And how is the music?

Well it’s not bad… It’s nowhere near as epic as the sum of its parts however, and reeks of admiration rather than pure musical lust. Single Impossibly Beautiful is a perfect example of the album. Pure, wholesome, and certainly containing that aural aura that Bush encapsulated so well in song, but too often, the songs don’t grab you as they should, and leave you with no desire to return to the record.

Still, Stay and Life’s Nudge are fantastic songs, and should be required listening for all.

Julie Feeney and her papercut armpits

Feeney recently lost out to Wallis Bird in the Meteor awards, and I was surprised, not really knowing much of Birds stuff. I’ve since had a gaw, and am still a bit on the fence. She seems spunky which I like, maybe a little bit Tegan and Sara?

What do you think??

Roisin Murphy=Irish Goldfrapp?

And of course Roisín Murphy, possibly Ireland’s only female “star” of the moment, who has a new record out soon I hear. Should be interesting. Personally I don’t really get her. I won her last album Overpowered in a competition and expected to fall in love with her but it never happened. Oh how I wanted to embrace such a fresh and original Irish act, with her silly hats and heavy synchs, but I’ve resigned myself to just not seeing what others do. I wish her all the best though, seems like a nice lass.

Roisín’s year to shine seemed to be 2008 as Overpowered did really well both here and abroad, however she wasn’t the number one Irish female that year. That accolade landed directly into the lap of Ms Cathy Davey, my personal favourite of today’s ladies and hopeful heir to future success. I confess I actually have yet to accumulate her first CD Something Ilk, but her follow up, 2007’s Tales Of Silversleeve has a special place right next to my CD player-where it is easy to find when I need it. What a CD. What utterly fantastic 40 minutes of pop. I’m not going to babble on about each song and how perfect they all are, because there are plenty of reviews of it out there, all good, and I’ve already covered why I love Cathy here, but needless to say Hotpress gave her the highest female position on the 250 best albums list last December. It was still only 19 (deserved higher me thinks) but that’s still an achievement if you believe my last blog post.

The exciting news is that Cathy has a new album coming out in May. I don’t know if there is a name for it yet, or even if the track list for it has been announced, but the lead single Little Red was put up on her myspace account recently and its fantastic.  She has a tour coming up, so maybe I’ll even get a wee interview with her for the blog.

So that’s my tally, my little summary of all the Irish females that I feel worthy of noting. I’ve left out loads of course, Gemma Hayes, Lisa Hannigan and Laura Izibor, to name but a few, but none of them really light up my world, or even make me want to want them to light up my world.

My predictions are that Imelda will deservedly carve a dent internationally, but I’d love to see Cathy do the same. Her upcoming album is being released independently, so whatever she does, at least she will be doing it in her own terms. In six months time the album will be well and truly out there and who knows, perhaps she’ll have taken the industry by storm, won a Grammy and preformed a duet with Lady Gaga at Perez Hilton’s next Birthday Party.