29 May 2022

The return of the music

And hopefully a revival of my ability to blog.

It has been a long two years. And I know the pandemic isn’t completely over, but it does feel like there is light now, and especially in Ireland, the numbers are low and the restrictions have been lifted.

And the music has returned.

After two years at home, we have finally been able to go to gigs again.And we have some festivals to look forward to as well.


6 April 2022: Ensiferum, The Academy, Dublin

Ensiferum band on stage bathed in green light

It is probably no secret by now that Ensiferum is one of my all time favourite bands. This was the fifth time I’ve seen them live, and I have seen then in four different countries now, and they never disappoint.

The Academy is a great, intimate venue, that allowed me a great view of the band without being right in the crowd.

And there is just something about this band that makes me incredibly happy.

The setlist was great, Sammi’s energy is unstoppable, and it was the best way to return to live music while living in a new country.


6 May 2022: Tool, 3 Arena, Dublin

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I must be honest and admit that I’ve never really listened much to Tool, but when a friend asked if we wanted to join them for the gig, I couldn’t say no, because it has been so long since we’d seen anyone live, and it is always a good way to get to know a band.

3 Arena is massive, and the event was a seated one, which is interesting for a metal gig, but allowed me to really listen to the band.

Tool is an amazing prog metal experience without the vocals. Some of the music was reminiscent of Opeth, but I prefer deeper vocals, and this was just missing for me. I will probably not listen to much Tool in the future either for this reason.

A shoutout for support band Brass Against, who we’ve seen once before at Wacken, and is simply amazing.


25 May 2022, My Chemical Romance, The Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin

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I never thought I would get the opportunity to see My Chemical Romance live, and when the reunion tour was originally announced, we still lived in the UK and tickets sold out quicker than I could say The Foundations of Ok. And then the pandemic happened, the tour got postponed, we moved and another date was added in Dublin. I got lucky.

First outdoor event for the year, and it was glorious. It was a lovely sunny evening, not yet so hot that you melt and cool enough to hop around if the mood grabbed.

And Gerard and the boys were amazing.

Also special shoutout to support act Gayle, who has an amazing voice and energy, and will now make it into my regular playlist on Spotify.


Our next music event is Prima Vera in Barcelona on 4 June, where we will get to see some long time favourites, including Einsturzende Neubauten, Nick Cave and Bauhaus.

I should start getting better at these again with some practise Smile

22 February 2022

Have you ever…

Have you ever
felt so completely empty
you cannot even think
or remember your own name

Have you ever
lost yourself so completely
you misplaced your soul
and forgot what breath means

Have you ever
felt so completely empty
that you cannot even string
a few shitty words together into a shitty poem

Have you seen me anywhere?

15 November 2021

Cruachan and guests in Dublin

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This weekend, the husband and I went off to Dublin for our first gig since Feb 2020, which also happened to be our first gig since moving to Ireland.

Ah, yes, that happened. We moved to Ireland! But we will come back to that another time, maybe.

It has also been our first semi-post-pandemic big outing, so we were a little nervous about being around a lot of people again. To be honest, we’ve been avoiding gatherings for the last few months for many reasons, and even visiting restaurants have made us nervous. And yes, we are both fully vaccinated, but there are so many people out there who are quite selfish in this regard that we’ve just generally steered clear of people.

Anyway…

The gig was at The Grand Social, which is a grand venue indeed along the river Liffey and in a vibrant part of Dublin city. From arrival, we met some lovely friendly Irish metal heads and other assorted interesting folks, and it was so nice to just be for a bit, let our hair down and laugh quite a bit. Not sure if anyone’s noticed, but the Irish are quite funny in a ha-ha-ha kind of way.

And then the music started.

 

The first band up was God Alone.

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I wish a picture could convey a vibe much better. Or the energy that these young lads had.

I may be slightly obsessed with telling everyone about them now.

These lads. My god. They blew my socks off. This stage was definitely not big enough for them, or their sound. They are a wonderful chaotic blend of many different sounds I love. My quick note to myself during the gig was that they sound like Opeth, Bauhaus and Einsturzende Neubauten spawned an offspring. I am not even sure if that was their intent, but the prog metal sound is strong in there.

After this, Ravenlight took to the stage with a good strong sound and fabulous female vocals.

We got a little overwhelmed by the number of people in the venue, so didn’t see too much of the Ravenlight set, and missed the Old Season set completely, but did manage to catch the headliners, Cruachan (pronounced kroo-kan apparently), who certainly did not disappoint. Strong folk metal sound and a fantastic stage presence – so glad we caught them.

We had a great night out, despite feeling a bit overwhelmed, and it was much needed.

The next gig we will be attending will be with the Hothouse Flowers and a few other bands on New Years’s Eve, and then Ensiferum and Dark Tranquility in April 2022.

16 October 2021

my dad is gone

My dad left us seven weeks ago. I've not really been able to get the words out since then. 
It is a hard thing, losing a parent. Especially if they are still on the younger side.
I mean, you never really accept that your parents are mortal. When you're a kid, they are your world, they are superheroes, even if they are flawed, and you believe they will be there forever. 

Our relationship was complicated. I have fond memories, and some really shitty ones. I try and focus on the good, but so much of my adult journey is because of the challenges he placed on my path.
For so long, I carried around so much anger towards him, and it is hard to let go of some of it.
But there is quite a lot of him in me. 

I loved him, and I miss him. I wish we could have one more visit. I wish he would send me one more joke.

Rest peacefully old man. At least his pain is over now. 

25 November 2020

eulogy

Today, my heart is broken. The universe has reclaimed a big piece of my heart.

You gave me a love for stars and planets, Einstein and Brahe, for Tchaikovsky and Beethoven, learning new things and questioning everything.

We have not spoken in the longest time, but you are in my thoughts daily. 

I will always love you. 

Rest peacefully, old man. I will miss you always. 
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