Columns - Features

Deep Down South: Few Gigs There, Lads


Irish metal has been having a few years of exponential growth, with the rise of all-dayers like The Siege of Limerick and bands like Primordial, Murdock and Coldwar representing the island’s riff community on the world stage, and quality stuff materialising from the woodwork everywhere, from Ilenkus and Kawtiks to veterans like For Ruin and Mael Mordha. But at the forefront of all this has been Limerick prog-metal monoliths Shardborne, coming to the Cork Community Print Shop this Saturday care of PYRE Promotions, with Ealadha and Mannequin Republic in tow. Launching upcoming LP ‘Living Bridges’, the instrumental quartet’s combination of innovative timings, armour-plated riffage and prog-worshipping lead fretwork has immediately put them head-and-shoulders above the rest off the evidence of 2011’s ‘Aeonian Sequence’ EP. What your writer has heard of the new record live has blown his tiny, little mind, and that was a while back. This ought to be an absolute killer, and that’s before we even get to instrumental trio Ealadha, whose first live excursions last year brought handsome amounts of praise and column inches in local media, and whose unfairly brief snippets of released demo material have been more than intriguing, and Mannequin Republic, another new band, whose debut demo ‘Christ Light’ is now streaming on Soundcloud and showcases a potent strain of reverby, yet straight-ahead alt-rock. Tenner in, BYOB, doors open at 8 and closed at 10, so get you and your prematurely-inebriated mates in early.

Just about missing last week’s deadline was the announcement for March 7th of Meltybrains? for the Triskel Arts Centre‘s TDC venue, with local funk/soul/pop duo Kashkao supporting. Few reading The Thin Air will need introduction to this boisterous five-piece, but those who do are in for a treat – an exciting clash of styles, from IDM, to hip-hop, to rock and back again, the lads are rearing up for a big 2015, with the release of upcoming double-A side ‘Donegal/IV’, as well as an impending SXSW appearance. Kashkao on the other hand, are making their live debut and possible finale in the support slot, the duo of Declan O’Shea and Cuán Walsh bonding over a shared love of old pop, funk, and R’n’B while studying music here in Cork. What resulted was good, honest jams, and an EP of the aforementioned that surfaced last year. Well worth the fiver in for the two bands, in fairness. More good shit from the Southern Hospitality Board, who are having a banger of a 2015 already between this and the Quarter Block Party.

This Friday sees some four-to-the-floor rock action in the shape of Clearfell, taking to Mr. Bradley‘s on Friday. A five-piece featuring members of now-defunct stoner lads Voxpossible, Clearfell takes its predecessors in a more melodic, even more bluesy direction, with support from more new bands in Drift and Portefeuille. Free in… On the alt-rock note, Cork grunge veterans Paradox continue the launch campaign for album ‘Chapters’, mentioned in last week’s column. This Friday, they’re out west in Clonakilty, at De Barra’s, a favourite haunt of theirs. Free in, with the new LP going for a fiver and more goodies TBA…

CIT Music Society‘s annual Battle of the Bands competition kicks off on Tuesday February 3rd at Cyprus Avenue, with round one featuring tech/groove-metallers Inciser, rockers Kasella, ska lads The Japans, and indie quartet The Casanauts. Three beans on the door, with kickoff at 9. CIT hasn’t traditionally been noted for its strong music community or societies, but the current incarnation put on an array of events last year, and have been very impressive in the process. Your writer will be among the judging panel, so do feel free to come up and say hello while you’re out… Meanwhile, the following day at the same venue, UCC’s music societies join forces for their annual BOTB. Line-up TBC, free for UCC student card holders… Mike McGrath-Bryan

A confession: in a busy week that took in the beginnings of a new job among other things, some new features hinted at last week have been put back to the next installment. Your writer will proffer thoughts on the venue formerly known as the Pav, and spotlight local podcasts and radio as promised next week, when Deep Down South returns. You can mail me with any concerns or complaints about these oversights while you’re throwing me news, posters/flyers, streaming music at mike (at) Or not. I’m not your mother.

Contributor, distributor & occasional Cork correspondent for The Thin Air, as well as, Cork's Evening Echo and others. Likes some things, dislikes other things. Tweets, Instagrams and Snapchats at @mike_mcgb.