Archive for September, 2010


I DON’T use the ‘shuffle’ feature on my iPod too often, as it’s rare I’m in the mood to listen to something completely random. Sometimes, though, it throws up some nice surprises. It’s probably been about two years since I last thought of The Dears. Continue reading


There’s a really good piece over on The Quietus today about JJ72‘s first album, as well as an interview with frontman Mark Greaney that’s worth reading.

I can’t believe that this album is ten years old. It’s one of the first times in my life that I’ve felt like I’m getting old. Continue reading


I could write all day and all night and still not manage to fully convey my hatred of Ocean Colour Scene. Continue reading


An all-time favourite. Myself and a friend even set up a short-lived (i.e. one-off and terribly unsuccessful) club night of the same name once. ‘You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever’ is the only OJ album I know well, so I can’t wait for this boxset.


IF YOU’VE been a semi-regular reader of this blog for the past few weeks, you’ll be aware of the fact that I love an ‘oul list now and again. Well, myself and Jim Carroll have devised one of the 50 Best British Acts Right Now for today’s Ticket. G’wan, fume away after reading this. Enjoy! I certainly did.


MY RECENT tirade against C*****g C****s (I can’t even bring myself to say it anymore) got me thinking about band names in general. I know this topic has been done to death before, but indulge me. There are some great bands with some godawful names out there. Then again, there are a lot of average bands with great names. Of course, this is an entirely subjective exercise, and I’m sure many of the bands I’m scoffing at have some deep literary-related in-joke related to their monikers – but I had a quick scroll through my iPod and came up with the following lists. Am I missing any obvious ones here? Alternatively, feel free to tell me how ill-informed I am.

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*God, this one was hard work. I interviewed Lykke Li in the bar of a Leeson Street hotel. She’d just arrived in from London, was hungover, monosyllabic, complaining about how some bloke had kept trying to touch her hair the night before, and was generally monstrously grumpy.  Just as well that her album (and live show) was brilliant. Her second record is due “soon”, apparently.

Originally published in Hot Press, July 2008

LI LYKKE Zachrisson – that’s Lykke Li to you and I, if you please – wearily removes her oversized sunglasses, shakes my hand with a thin smile and politely orders a cappuccino from the waitress. If I didn’t know any better, I’d wonder if I’d somehow manage to somehow inadvertently offend the 22-year-old Swedish popstrel – but it soon becomes clear that Ms. Zachrisson, fresh off a delayed flight from a flurry of UK dates, is just tired. Very tired.

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Originally published in The Irish Times, December 21st 2009

THEY’VE GOT strange haircuts, even stranger nicknames (the Blonde Fox, the Auburn Spinner and Rooster), and are dedicated to the pursuit of the occult, the odd and the abstract. Twinkranes are. . . well, a little weird. Continue reading


*By far the most famous person I’ve met/interviewed,  I was a little star-struck by Robbie Williams – not least because I’ve been a Take That fangirl since I was 9. He was very likeable, though; witty, surprisingly self-effacing, but a little bit (understandably) guarded. I think he genuinely believed that nobody gave a damn about him anymore.

Originally published in The Irish Times, October 16th 2009

ROBBIE WILLIAMS was driving down the M6 with his girlfriend last November when he realised that he wanted to be a pop star again. Continue reading


*When I spoke to John Convertino about two years ago, I wasn’t expecting too much; I liked Calexico, but was by no means a die-hard  fan, and in any case, it was just a simple Q&A for the website I worked for at the time. Just five minutes into the (phone) conversation, though, and the drummer was already ranking (and still does rank) as one of my favourite interviewees –  an utterly charming, friendly and intelligent bloke that talked for almost 30 minutes longer than our allotted time together.

Originally published on on September 3rd, 2008

‘Carried to Dust’ is a bit of a return to your ‘old’ sound after the rockier ‘Garden Ruin‘… Continue reading