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The Corrs Live at the Marquee, Cork, June 2016

Two days after the Corrs played the Marquee, Cork and I’m still reeling. I have never felt such profound happiness, love, devotion and respect in all my life. Absolutely every little thing that happened at the concert was nothing short of amazing.

Where do I start?!

A Corrs fan from the word go, as a teenager I dreamed about the life the Corrs lived. Their astounding beauty and style coupled with their amazing music had me spellbound. How exquisite were Sharon Corr’s violin melodies? How angelic were Andrea’s vocals? How utterly mind-blowing was Caroline’s drumming? And how much did Jim rock his black and white Fender Strat and every other instrument he put his hands on?! I was ever-so-mildly obsessed!

Lansdowne Road happened. My first concert and my first time seeing the Corrs in real-life. I was truly smitten.

Next time I saw them was 2004 in the Point, Dublin. A very polite concert- in complete contrast to the dancing and celebrating in Lansdowne Road, the audience sat and clapped. I just wanted to scream “I love you Jim!!!” Nevermind- my sister did that for me! Jim looked up into the seating area in our direction in bewildered amusement!

Fast forward to 2016. January saw their spirited return to the Point. I have already blogged about that amazing night: Bring on the Night- The Corrs Dazzling Homecoming Gig, Dublin 28-01-16 | Audio_Girl so no need to delay, let’s talk about Cork!

That evening something amazing happened and we found ourselves invited backstage to meet and greet! How incredibly LUCKY were we?!!! We jumped up and down in excitement, fixed our hair, lashed on perfume and wondered out loud what on Earth were we going to say to the Corrs?!!!

When we got backstage we were in awe of our surroundings. The Corrs crew were like a family and were so warm and friendly to us. My knees went weak when I caught a glimpse of Jim peeping his head out of the band-room. There was my greatest inspiration!!!

When he came out, he was beaming. His smile broke my heart there and then (in the nicest possible way!). He looked ultra-cool in his black and white kicks, black jeans and grey camo t-shirt. Sporting a sexy, scruffy stubble and his hair spiked up, he was the picture of youthful joy and well-being.

I watched Jim (open-mouthed!) talking to the other lucky fans and suddenly manager John Hughes was by my side, chatting to us. I recognised him immediately. A moment after he drifted off, Andrea literally bounced over to us, talking excitedly about our pizza party she seen online while she was on her way down! She talked to us like a giggling school-girl and busily signed our merchandise and posed for selfies. Caroline was with her, much quieter and reserved  but eager to say hello and graciously signed autographs and allowed photos. I was astounded by her natural beauty- herself and Andrea were total goddesses!

 

Breathless I turned around when I heard a very familiar voice “hiya Steffy!” there was Jim Corr himself smiling at me! I think I managed to squeak out a “hi” and threw my arms around him! He gave me the best hug of my life! We had our picture taken immediately and I introduced my boyfriend. Autograph signed during relaxed chitchat, I felt like we were talking to an old friend. I forgot it was the Jim Corr talking to us, it seemed like a garden party or a bbq and Jim was about to offer us a burger! He asked ME about my music and I managed to squeak something out! I gave him a soft teddy with a rose- a gesture of my humble love for him which he thanked me for 3 times!

 

Time to be moving out, the Corrs had to be on stage shortly! Sharon was talking fluent Spanish to a fan, I politely waited- enthralled by the sound of her voice. I loved her green sparkly eyeshadow- I told her so and she seemed genuinely pleased, having done it herself!  She signed my White Light album twice (it was raining- she apologised for it! Good gracious lady, no need to apologise for that!) and let me take a photo! This was my second time meeting her and she was every bit as lovely and beautiful as I remembered!

 

Hurrying out I heard a shout “Hey Steffy!!!” I turned and Anto Drennan himself hurried toward me! Anto Drennan the legend himself recognised me!!!! We got a quick photo and a quick “great to see you again!” before we had to part ways! The Corrs were late for the stage and it was my fault! 😛 I still can’t believe my guitar hero called ME- what a perfect gentleman!!!!

 

Back in the Marquee, the Corrs did not disappoint! The concert was every bit as magical as the Point earlier this year. The band were tight, flawless and nothing short of insanely talented. One thing different from the Point was that the Corrs smiled much, much more this time. They never stopped smiling all night!!! The crowd out-sang the band during Runaway moving Andrea to near tears- her voice cracking in emotion. We danced the night away, bopping to our favourite Talk on Corners songs, Anto shredding his guitar solos like the string god that he is famous for, Keith Duffy pounding the bass through our hearts and each Corr shining on their instruments. The vocal harmonies were stellar- especially during Kiss of Life (my favourite track from White Light), those chorus “oohs” gave me goosebumps which still haven’t worn off yet.

 

The icing on an already amazing day was when the lovely security man gave me Jim’s setlist! I’ve always wanted one! I pressed it to my chest in pure joy and the people around me smiled- a stranger walking up to me saying “You deserve that setlist! I’m glad you got it!” Corrs fans are truly the nicest people on the planet!

 

 

 

The Corrs are amazingly kind and generous to have gifted us with these memories.

The Corrs give the world so much with their thoughtful, mature and poignant music.

The Corrs make the world a better place and inspire their fans to do the same and to enjoy life.

This is why the Corrs are so successful.  White light surrounds them and they are earth angels.

Preview, buy and download songs from the album White Light, including ”I Do What I Like”, ”Bring On the Night”, ”White Light” and many more. Buy the album for €10.99. Songs start at €1.29: White Light by The Corrs on iTunes

 

 

 

Exquisite Performance Of Original Music by El Grey at the Spirit Store, 09-08-14

Last night I finally got to see El Grey live! I have been waiting for an ideal opportunity to hear the voice of El Grey herself live for a long time and last nights performance at the Lockup Big Day Out gig in the Spirit Store, Dundalk, did not disappoint.

It was one of those gigs where you felt like the singer was singing only to you. One of those gigs where the hairs on your arms stand on end. One of those gigs that literally takes your breath away. And such gigs are rare.

I was in awe of El Greys voice- her vocal is powerful, expressive, delicate, haunting and strong- all at the same time. Her range is astounding and her style is unique. A voice you will never forget once you’ve heard it.

I watched her performance in absolute delight, superbly skilled in acoustic guitar- flawlessly, effortlessly fingerpicking- a natural player. During her performance she seems to enter another state of consciousness- a higher state of mind- her voice expressing her deepest emotions through soaring notes, beautiful on-sets and releases- a very dreamy sound world. A talented musician, she also plays the ukulele with a grace I’ve never seen before- no tacky jokey jingle-jangle here- her unique guitar fingerpicking style translates beautifully onto her charming little instrument.

Accompanied by Chris Topher on percussion and live electronic MIDI sequencing, her music takes on another dimension. Chris programs percussive loops using a MIDI interface and laptop. He also plays a large djembe while playing basslines with his toes! He trades El Greys acoustic guitar and ukulele throughout the set.

A duet clearly in control of their sound and production, El Grey uses the Boss vocal processor for hands-on control of her reverb and delay effects. Her long reverb tails and massive echoes are her trademark and her vocal processor is used to great effect. She clearly understands what she’s doing and doesn’t cloud her sound in a foggy, confusing mist of unnecessary decay. The overall sound is minimal and focussed- and believe me, anything but boring. The 45-minute set included all original songs except one Nirvana cover which was played in absolute El Grey style- she really made it her own.

It’s very clear there’s a super talent here. No wonder she has being going from strength to strength in the last year- winning an EP recorded with United Records and mastered in the world-famous Abbey Road Studios in London in 2013. Her 3-track self-titled debut EP was released 2014. The EP has been given airplay on a number of radio shows in Ireland and beyond, including Dan Hegarty’s The Alternative (2FM), Near FM Sessions (Near FM), and CSM – leading alternative show by Aleksandra Kaczkowska on Polish National Radio ‘3’ (Trojka Polskie Radio). Also El Grey’s recently become the Finalist of the Big Break All Ireland Music Competition organised by Hot Press Magazine (Top Five 2014).

It was very exciting for me personally to get to meet the duet after the gig, I couldn’t help but feel a tiny bit starstruck- when you follow an artists music online for some time that you really admire, you just can’t help but feel in awe, especially after such an amazing gig! I have to say, both Chris and El Grey are absolutely stunning people- they have such a genuinely beautiful energy and spirit, I couldn’t help but feel as if I had met them before! El Grey is very giggly and light-hearted, taking my camera and posing for hilarious selfies, I genuinely laughed this morning looking back on my photos!

Before I share some of my photos of the gig, get yourself a copy of the beautifully recorded EP on their Bandcamp here: El Grey.

Watch her official music videos and special behind the scenes footage of her EP here: el grey – YouTube.

Like the official band page on Facebook for regular updates and further information: el grey.

I hope you enjoy her music as much as I do.

El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14
El Grey- Spirit Store- 9/8/14

Love and light.

Heavy Metal Fans Get Spoiled by Blaze Bayley With His New Release “Soundtracks of my Life”

I’m so excited! Yesterday I received my Platinum edition of Soundtracks of my Life, the latest release from legendary metal vocalist Blaze Bayley and I have just opened the package… like the 299 other (lucky) diehard Blaze fans, my reaction is “YES!!!!!!!!!!!!” \m/

The package includes the book Blaze himself wrote with the help of his wife Eline about his journey from the beginning of his Wolfsbane days, his Iron Maiden adventures, right up to his most recent solo release in 2013, the double disc album itself, a fridge magnet, a badge and a certificate.

The book is autographed by Blaze and includes my own name in gold ink as well as the album booklet and certificate. My own name is also printed on the first page of the Special Thanks section in the album booklet!

"Soundtracks of my Life" Platinum Edition \m/
“Soundtracks of my Life” Platinum Edition \m/

As a longtime fan of Blaze Bayley, this is just amazingly awesome!!!

My younger sister introduced me to Blaze’s solo music which is kind of ironic- I introduced her to Iron Maiden by happy accident when I loaned her my walkman (yes, walkman) with Brave New World on tape inside one day for the school bus journey home (she came home that day a die-hard Iron Maiden fan!).

So a couple of years later she was playing Blaze’s Tenth Dimension album in her bedroom when I was having a chat with her. “Stealing Time” came on and I was hooked. I borrowed the C.D and that was it! I adored it. From start to finish, a superb album.

In 2004 a special gig was announced, we heard it through word of mouth from a metal fanatic friend in England I think. Blaze was coming to play in the Village, Dublin. I personally couldn’t believe Blaze Bayley was going to play such a small venue. Myself, Arlene (my sister) and her friend headed up for a ridiculously early time, hoping we’d get to meet Blaze himself before the gig. We waited and waited and waited… All day we sat outside the Village (we were the only ones!) and eventually we were invited inside! There he was, larger than life, Blaze Bayley himself with a huge smile. I remember my sister giving him a lollypop because she thought it would be cute and he laughed. He was so nice! He signed everything we gave him, (one of the items he signed for me was my Virtual XI Iron Maiden album booklet-my favourite Maiden album!) joked around with us and posed for photos with us. We were on an absolute high and couldn’t wait for the show…

Meeting Blaze in the Village, Dublin 2004
Meeting Blaze in the Village, Dublin 2004
Posing with Blaze in the village, Dublin, 2004 \m/
Posing with Blaze in the village, Dublin, 2004 \m/

The show itself was amazing. Blaze gave such a performance, his multi-national band was amazing, the songs were brilliant, the sound was perfect, we had so much fun!!! I came home with a setlist, a drumstick and a guitar plec. I also came home with a sore neck and without my voice!! I remembering meeting Italian guitarist Luca Princiotta after the show and talking with him, I also remember him giving me a kiss on my face, he was so very lovely! 🙂 That entire day was so special to us all and my sister and I remember it with the fondest of memories.

Blaze performing that night
Blaze performing that night in the Village, 2004.
Blaze Bayley band 2004
Blaze band performing in the Village, Dublin in 2004
Blaze hugs one of his guitarists that night mid solo! :)
Blaze hugs guitarist Oliver Palotai that night – mid solo! 🙂
Blaze and guitarist Luca Princiotta, 2004
Blaze and guitarist Luca Princiotta, 2004
Bassist Nick Douglas and Oliver Palotai in the Village, Dublin
Bassist Nick Douglas and Oliver Palotai in the Village, Dublin
Nick Douglas and Blaze Bayley metal moment, the Village 2004
Nick Douglas and Blaze Bayley metal moment, the Village 2004
Blaze has a quiet moment in the Village, 2004
Blaze has a quiet moment in the Village, 2004
Drummer Daniel Löble after his jaw dropping drum solo
Drummer Daniel Löble after his jaw dropping drum solo
Luca Princiotta and a smitten Steffy post gig ;)
Luca Princiotta and a smitten Steffy post gig 😉

Fast forward to 2010… Blaze was coming back to Dublin! This time we heard through Facebook. Fibbers on Parnell St. There was a meet and greet before the show and I was so excited and nervous to meet Blaze again. He wouldn’t talk at all to anyone (I assumed it was to save his voice for the show) but I sat beside him, said “welcome back to Dublin!” and he grabbed me and gave me the biggest, squeeziest hug I ever got in my life!!! That night he signed my Tenth Dimension album booklet.

The following show was unbelievably energetic and I fondly remember it starting off with the unmistakeable sound of Blaze Bayley himself shouting from the back “Get out of my focking way!!! Let’s get this focking show started! Come on!!!” as he pushed his way through the crowd. His big Birmingham accent filled the room and we all laughed and made way for the mighty Blaze! What a show it was! Again we were up the front and this time almost too close! I remember being able to hug Blaze while he sang, drenched in sweat! Haha, so brilliant! His band line up had changed but these players were brilliant as well. We all had a brilliant night. What a gig.

The biggest and best hug of my life! Myself and Blaze in Fibbers, Dublin 2010
The biggest and best hug of my life! Myself and Blaze in Fibbers, Dublin 2010.
Up close, personal and drenched in sweat! As all metal musicians should be!
Up close, personal and drenched in sweat! As all metal musicians should be! Blaze in Fibbers, 2010.

Blaze has become very Internet savvy in the last few years, he’s always posting on Facebook, usually he posts brilliant photos of himself in various places in Europe, making the same heavy metal face! He’s constantly gigging and recording. It’s amazing to see his international fan base on Facebook, everyone seems to have the same love for this brilliant, larger than life performer.

Blaze likes to keep his fans updated through brilliant selfies on tour.
Blaze likes to keep his fans updated through brilliant selfies while on tour.

I’m sure we all love him for the same reasons- his fantastic lyrics and songs, his amazing energy he delivers in his performances and the time and love he gives back to his fans.

Soundtracks of my Life is not only the perfect thank you to all his fans, it’s the perfect way to celebrate Blaze’s 30 years in the music industry.   “Thank you all so much for your support over the years and making it possible to live my dream.” -Blaze Bayley.

An awesome heavy metal album. Soundtracks of my Life is out October 31st. Make it your business to own a copy of it.

SoundCloud; Here’s the Drop… April Fool’s Joke or Hack?

I logged into my SoundCloud account this evening to find my stream plastered in “Here’s the Drop” graphics on waveforms [insert mega-surprised vinyl rip here!]. Like every other SoundCloud user right now, I’m totally baffled!

Here's the WHAT?! My SoundCloud stream a moment ago.
Here’s the WHAT?! My SoundCloud stream a moment ago.

And it’s not just on other users waveforms, there’s plenty of these ugly graphics on my own tracks!

My own tracks have also been hit....
My own tracks have also been hit….

A quick scan through forums and Twitter, users are noticing and there’s mixed feelings. Some believe it’s an early April Fool’s joke SoundCloud is playing on their users and find it funny… some feel like their creative work has been defiled and are furious… there’s plenty of talk about a possible hack and of course, there’s uproar that a term normally associated with Dubstep music is getting plastered on metal, rock, live recordings, video game music, etc!

The Drop meaning in terms of music..Urbandictionary.com
The Drop meaning in terms of music…Urbandictionary.com
My favourite "drop" meme...young master Skrillex :)
My favourite “drop” meme…young master Skrillex 🙂

At first glance I thought it was a clever new gimmick SoundCloud were testing, the arrows seemingly did point to spikes in waveforms but after closer inspection I did realise it was all completely random.

Personally I believe SoundCloud has been hacked this weekend. Did anyone else notice on Facebook that their newsfeed activity was completely random? My newsfeed was chocablock with bizarre memes and what not. Of course, this has all disappeared from their App page now.

I tend to take SoundCloud a bit seriously, I use it every day and I prefer it to other social media music platforms (MySpace is dead! Reverbnation never appealed to me as much as I tried! Twitmusic doesn’t cut it either) and I take pride in my profile. For me SoundCloud is the cleanest, easiest and most efficient means of putting my music out there and keeping track of my stats!

Maybe it’s all one big marketing move to get us talking about SoundCloud? 😉

I hope it’s not an early April Fool’s joke, would SoundCloud really do that to us? 😉 (but maybe the fact it’s premature is part of the joke?!)

Stephanie Caffrey’s stream on SoundCloud – Hear the world’s sounds.

UPDATE: It’s called the Dropometer and it SEEMS to be a gimmick! read about it here (I just hope we can remove it from our tunes cos not everyone uploads Dubstep to Soundcloud… though I still think it’s an April Fool’s joke, haha!) : SoundCloud » Debuting Today: The Dropometer.

Final Norway Blog: It’s Good to be Home!

I’ve been home a few days already, I’ve just been exhausted! It’s been mental, the 12 hour journey home from Norway on top of a crazy party the night before (4 hours drunken sleep!!), then straight back to work and college! 🙂

The last few days in Norway we spent preparing for the Final Performance which was a roaring success. We performed music, dancing, drama, painting and sound massages.

Our final day in Norway was an evaluation of the CREAL Erasmus Intensive Programme which was quite insightful. The trip was quite inspirational and it was great to hear the small changes students would make if they were to take part again (next year it’s Belgium’s turn to host students!). I suggested an ice-breaker session for each college group before they travel… personally I didn’t know anyone (bar one or two!) from my college and meeting the entire 65 group was very over-whelming for me anyway! Nonetheless it was an experience to say the least!

This was followed by a nature walk through the forest on the coast… this was gorgeous!

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2013-02-08 14.36.21

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Screen Shot 2013-02-13 at 08.21.35

We walked back to Leirvick from the beautiful Hystadmarkjo nature reserve.

2013-02-08 15.55.19

Straight back to the hotel, quick Facebook fix, I nipped to the amazing shop next door which sold gorgeous trinkets and pretty things and picked up a few things for my house 🙂 Showered and grabbed the next bus back to Rommetveit to the party in the college!

What a night it was! There was a glass of wine on arrival (me, drink white wine?! yeah it was sweet, therefore drinkable haha!), a delicious meal followed by dessert, a small photo-shoot, a slideshow of fun photos from the trip then speeches, live music, more drink, DJ music and lots of dancing!

Photo-shoot! some of team Ireland :)
Photo-shoot! some of team Ireland 🙂

2013-02-08 18.20.37

funny faces!
funny faces!
the Kantine
the Kantine

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Live music- Carrie McCarthy
Live music- Carrie McCarthy
Bohemian Rhapsody ;)
Bohemian Rhapsody 😉

2013-02-08 22.15.57

Me and Luk my Belgian friend :)
Me and Luk my Belgian friend 🙂
Yes I drank pear cider! (why was there no vodka?! haha)
Yes I drank pear cider! (why was there no vodka?! haha)
LMFAO
LMFAO

The party was organised by a committee of students from the IP and I have to say they did a great job! Taxis picked us up from 1am and by 2.30am I was back in my hotel room, out for the count!

We were up at 6.45am to meet for breakfast, we were getting the speedboat up the fjords to bergen airport at 7.50am. This was a thoroughly enjoyable experience!

Sleepyheads get the speedboat...
Sleepyheads get the speedboat…

We got the plane from Bergen to London, a 3 hour stop-over (where I experienced a typical British dish, yum!) and then back to Dublin for 5.40pm. I was home by 7.30pm and in bed asleep by 9.30pm! Most of the Irish had hangovers (not this cat- I remembered to drink 2 bottles of water before hitting the pillow in Norway!).

I am sharing my audio portfolio from the trip also here… Have a listen, I’ve included sound massages, lapping of fjord water on the shore, Irish traditional live music, haunting Norwegian female vocal harmonies, dances and improvised music to paint to! Enjoy!

Back to college life at DkIT! 🙂

Catch the Full Moon Boogie Band in Cork and Dundalk this January!

A WOP BAM A LU WOP A WOP BAM BOO!!!

The Full Moon Boogie Band are on the road and are on their way to a town near YOU!

We are a five piece band, made up of passionate, energetic and professional musicians, playing songs from Elvis to Rihanna, Wanda Jackson to Beyoncé, all with a full moon rock n roll flavour.

This Sunday we are playing The Spectacular Vintage Wedding Fair in lovely Corks’ The Imperial Hotel cork with Escape Salon & Spa… There’s gonna be tons of gorgeous vintage style clothing, yummy food and of course bopping’ tunes.. Do come along and if you’re looking for something a little authentic for your Big Day, tis the perfect place for ya!

Cork Sunday 20-01-13
Boppin at Cork this Sunday 20-01-13

We are also heading up to Dundalk next Friday the 25th of January for a good old fashioned, rock n roll show at the Spirit Store! We promise to create an awesome party atmosphere with our rockabilly sound! Check out the Facebook event here: Fri 25th January Full Moon Boogie Band Tickets €5.

Come along, you don’t want to miss these shows!

Party time!
Party time!

Music and National Identity

This week’s blog considers the role of music in national identity; is it important that countries have a national anthem and are there any contemporary musical genres based around national identity? This blog also considers if contemporary youth are aware of their national identity.

A countries’ national anthem is in essence, a musical flag. It expresses to other countries the unity of it’s people and what they stand for. People take great pride in their national anthem and it can provoke strong, emotional reactions. Take for example the Olympics this year, how many athletes did we see, women AND men, standing strong, waiting to receive their medals, crumble and cry when their countries national anthem came on?! Lots! I personally found that very touching.

Let’s talk about contemporary musical genres based on national identity. The first that springs to my mind is Irish pop/rock. Take the lovely Corrs from our very own Dundalk who have a huge fan base all over the world. Of course anyone who knows me or who reads my blogs knows I was quite the “Corr-razy” fan in my early teens and I still love their music to this day.

I loved that the Corrs fused typically Irish in style melodies (some traditional, some composed by themselves) the Irish language and Irish traditional instruments (the fiddle, tin whistle, bodhrán, accordian and even uilleann pipes) with contemporary pop and rock. “Toss the Feathers” which was released on their debut album (1995) is a great example of a traditional Irish tune blended with rock. It’s exciting, catchy and very Irish! No matter what country in the world you come from, you know instantly that this is music from Ireland!

This next song influenced me in so many ways as a teenager, as a violin player, as a songwriter, it fuelled an appreciation and understanding of great songwriting and it still does. Irish traditional instruments and melodies are laced with pop and rock perfectly. I still love that funky muted rock guitar in the verses and the vocal production and that sweet drum sound. Everything about this song is perfect. It sounds as awesome to me now as it did 16 years ago. The entire album remains one of my all time favourites.

I could write forever about the Corrs’ use of Ireland’s national identity in their music, they continued to weave Irish traditional in their music right up to their most recent album “Home” (2005). I remember being at their massive concert in Lansdowne Road, Dublin in 1999 as a 15 year old and enjoying watching the fans Irish dancing, there was a real sense of national identity and a real pride to be Irish that night. It was a beautiful and rocking show!

Sharon, Andrea and Jim Corr
Sharon, Andrea and Jim Corr

The Corrs have enjoyed global success with their unique blend of traditional/celtic/folk/pop/rock/alternative music, other artists which incorporate traditional Irish identity into their contemporary music would be the Pogues, the Horslips, to a lesser degree the Cranberries (for Dolores O’Riordans’ strong Limerick accent in her vocal performance and her lyrics which occasionally were about Irish politics), Sinéad O’Connor, Enya, Clannad, Mairín Fahy etc.

Israel’s modern music is strongly linked with their national identity. Jewish and non Jewish music traditions are fused with pop, jazz and rock etc. Modern songs are fused with the traditional canonical style of singing and music (use of minor and modal keys, strong off-beat rhythms, darbuka and tambourine instruments and lyrics about Israeli life).

Cool darbuka rhythms above!

A really good example of Israeli national identity within music is Rita, an artist who sings in her native Persian language and uses traditional instruments with pop. Her music, along with most other Western music is banned in Iran yet she is extremely popular with both peoples. Check out her recent hit “Shane” .

Lastly I will briefly talk about the importance of national identity in the age of the Internet. I’ve been asked to consider if it is important to young people in the global village. I would say yes, that it is very important. This is just my personal opinion, I haven’t done any research, I think that would be an interesting project in itself! 😉

I believe that people from different countries enjoy sharing music and culture through the use of the social media. Every day I see in my Facebook feed photos, witty jokes, status updates and music in various languages. I have a lovely circle of friends from Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Italy, New Zealand, Latvia, Mauritius, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, as well as other English speaking countries- America, Canada, Australia and the U.K. I find through Facebook that young people are quick to show their pride for their country, even if they aren’t living in their country of birth.

Again I’m thinking of the Olympics- wasn’t Facebook and Twitter feed FULL of national pride during the events?!

I hope this makes my readers think about their national identities and I hope they feel proud of their culture and heritage! I believe the Internet has made the world a smaller place but this has not diminished national identities in any way.

Peace out.

International Rock Band INTRO to Take the Stage in McHugh’s, Drogheda 16/11/12

Head’s up rock fans!

International rock covers band INTRO invite you to their exciting concert in McHugh’s, Chord Road, Drogheda, Friday the 16th of November.

Expect to hear old and new rock music performed by fine musicians hailing from Lithuania, Poland, Ireland and England.

Intro rock band

Here’s a taster:

Head over to their Facebook event here: INTRO Rock Cover Band Presents!.

Follow the band on Facebook: Intro.

International Rock Cover Band! Ireland!
Międzynarodowy Zespół Rockowy! Poland!
Tarptautinė Rock’o Cover’iu Grupė! Lithuania!

My Day as a Production Sound Recordist on Set of “The Hit Producer”

I had a very exciting day today! I got my very first taste of working in the film industry!

I have had a growing interest in audio for film the past few months and have been craving some first hand experience. My private prayers were answered the other night when Jass Foley asked me to be a boom operator for a day for a film he was working on-“The Hit Producer”, an independent Irish feature crime thriller.

A fledgling movie producer with a talent for contract killing becomes the target of Dublin’s drug underworld and finds bloody salvation in the film industry. via The Hit Producer.

Up and wide awake at the crack of dawn, I packed my AKG K272’s, lunch, tool-kit, laptop, Sat Nav, raincoat, scarf and fingerless gloves and headed for the Wicklow mountains. It would be fair to say that the hardest part of the day was actually finding the film location, my Sat Nav didn’t like being fed co-ordinates! Sat Nag more like! Nonetheless after a lot of twisty, windy roads and the help of Jass, I found my way!

I don’t want to talk about the film itself in detail for fear I give anything away but I do want to express how much fun I had boom mic-ing the tortured cries of actors both outdoors in the pouring rain and indoors in a lonely, cold shed for hostages! My arms ached from booming overhead, the wind and rain didn’t help my fatigued shaky arms (shaking with both nerves and excitement!) but indoors was a lot easier, perhaps by that stage I was getting used to the awkward positions and I was growing more confident! Not only did I record dialogue and cries of agony but a couple of wild tracks (the natural sounds of the environment in which I was recording- no talking, no shuffling.)

Check it out! That’s me getting my ‘boom’ on! 😉

I really enjoyed my day on set because it was a little break from music. I felt I got to use my skills of recording and listening in a different way and it was a challenge. It was a breath of fresh air! I absolutely loved being part of an exciting team and meeting new people (who so happened to enjoy the same copious amounts of Family Guy, Simpsons and South Park as me!). I had a lot of fun, learned loads and can’t wait to see the finished film!

Check out the teaser below, go like The Hit Producer on Facebook and follow @hitproducerfilm on Twitter.

Have You Heard the Voice That Belongs to Monica Heldal Yet?!

Monica Heldal 2012

I’m so excited to share this with you! This is a project that I have been working on for a couple of months and I’m delighted to introduce you to one very talented young lady- Monica Heldal.

Monica is a singer-songwriter from Bergen, Norway and at 21 years old, she has already taken the international music scene by storm and is one very busy lady! Her love for American country-blues and the music of Irish legend Rory Gallagher has brought her on a very busy musical journey so far. After playing the Rory Gallagher Festival in Ireland last year, Monica has been invited back to play again this summer during her busy Norway-Netherlands-France tour.

I have produced this song “Silly Willy”, a personal favourite from Monica’s original set. A delightful, bluesy, shuffling song which brings a smile to everyone’s face who’s heard it already! Monica exhibits raw, natural talent in her advanced acoustic guitar fingerstyle performance and in her alluring vocal on this recording and I think you’ll agree with me when I say that this lady is blessed with a gift!

Drums were performed by Daire Stanley, bass was performed by Sean Moher, electric guitar was performed by Darren Mc Eneaney and my recording assistant was Shauna Kearney. I recorded, produced and mixed the song and threw in some additional keyboard and electric guitars.

I really enjoyed this creative process and I’m pleased with the mix-down. This was my first full-band mix on Pro Tools (Logic Pro user!) and I hope you enjoy the song as much as we do 🙂

You can find lots more Monica material on her Facebook artist page: Monica Heldal.

Monica Heldal
See Monica perform at the Rory Gallagher festival this month