Music: Relive Castlepalooza 2014

Were you at Castlepalooza a few weeks back? One of my favourite music writers Lorraine Harrison was kind enough to recount her musical experiences at what is arguably the best independent music festival of the year for musicandeverything.com. Have a read and let us know your own Castlepalooza memories. 

All images are by Dublin Photographer Ruth  Medjber. Visit her website HERE

Castlepalooza 2014 pictures

Arriving early on site on Friday Castlepalooza fans were met with hot temperatures and clear skies. Fast forward to about 7.00pm and it came. Rain; something all Irish festival goers are used to and know to prepare for. Then it continued. And continued.  And continued. There is only so much preparation you can do and layers a person can bring.

As luck would have it most of Friday’s musical delights took place under the covered shelter of the Metro Herald stage. Dubliners Sleep Thieves were amongst the highlights while DJ Arman Giorgio brought on the festival atmosphere with mixes of well-known tracks and acts such as LCD Soundsystem to delights of the rain trodden faithful. While many bring ear plugs camping to drown out the sound of some gobshite with a guitar “entertaining” the dwellers (it’s five AM, he’s playing Kodaline…again.), this was a first; using earplugs to drown out the sound of rain.

Festival Fashion

Festival Fashion – Credit to Ruth Medjber

One thing that makes Castlepalooza unique compared to other festivals is the variety of things you can do other than seeing music acts. During the day the stunning Charville Castle’s banquet hall is the location for lessons in things like yoga, hula hooping and burlesque. Yes you can actually learn to strip in a castle. If that doesn’t have you counting down the days to next year nothing will.

Saturday was again a mainly rain filled affair again meaning the majority of the crowd could be found at the Metro Herald stage once more. Benny Smiles was true to his name as the masses were left beaming from ear to ear from his unique brand of upbeat electro pop. Haüer’s 80s infused infectious beats could only have been improved if the set took place late in the night rather than mid-afternoon. One of the stand out new acts of the festival.  Sounds of System Breakdown showed why they’ve made a name for themselves as an unmissable live act while over on the main stage crowds began to brave the elements for O Emperor and the soaring vocals of We Cut Corners.

Hauer on stage - Credit to Ruth Medjber

Hauer on stage – Credit to Ruth Medjber

Day three of a festival is always a tough, but particularly when after the biblical rains of the previous 36 hours. It was just too much for some as the campsites were noticeably emptier. Thankfully for those who stayed there was no need for Noah and an ark. One of the early highlights of the day was Acrobat while over in the Metro Herald tent Elaine Mai, despite some technical difficulties got the crowd dancing to a top notch Destiny’s Child remix. In the relaxing setting of the banquet hall Sive’s elegant vocals matched the elegant surroundings. Derry’s The Clameens ensured theirs was a name to be remembered with their catchy brand of indie guitar pop, while Tvvins and Daithí regaled a packed out Metro Herald tent. If there is a finer way to exit a festival then by watching Summer Camp perform the Home and Away theme tune then I’ve yet to find it.

There’s no way to argue it, the weather was dismal and did affect everyone’s experience of Castlepalooza. Yet, it was still one of the weekends of the year and showed why the festival is held in such high regard. Had this weather appeared at any other festival in the country it would have been a complete disaster.

For more photos from the festival “like” Ruth’s Facebook page. See if you can see yourself in these pictures and tag away! 

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Tune of the week: Travis Oaks- Last Love Song

I’m a terrible music blogger! Musicandeverything.com is a lifestyle blog initially based around music and reaching out to like minded ladies (and men) who tend to veer towards the non-mainstream but not in a “hipster” way. Hipsters are mainstream. I hold my paws up and say “I have been neglecting the music aspect of things”. It’s my bread and butter and I think perhaps critiquing music is hard for a passionate music lover because I want to enjoy it not pick it apart. That being said I felt an urge to resurrect the Tune of The Week after an accidental hiatus after hearing a great track from an Irish four piece act.

Travis Oaks’ Last Love Song struck a chord with me, punsville, not intended.

Although this is technically his first release, the four piece has done phenomenally well in generating a good name for himself thanks to his obvious talent, winning a support slot with The Hot Sprockets and the indie promotional powerhouse that is Numu Promotions.

This stunning song and appropriate accompanying video is officially released today. Check out the video below. Enjoy!

 

Music: Sinead O’ Connor – Take Me To Church

Sinead O’ Connor is back, and fabulous!

Whatever your opinions about Sinead O’ Connor’s public persona, there is no denying her talent. She is beautiful in many ways, not least of all in her haunting vocals and crafted songwriting skills.

As the coverart for her upcoming album I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss was released recently, it’s quite fitting to see that we are getting a little teaser of what is to come.

As the heading states, this track is fabulous, topical and delivered with perfection. You will love this.

Happy listening!

 Click here to listen

Infographic: Boy Band Mania – The perfect recipe!

 

 

 

When Helen from Evoke.ie sent this along to me, I had to reblog it!

I am partial to the odd bit of pop music, in particular Take That and The Backstreet Boys, so this “Boyband Mania”infographic intrigued me immensely. Boyband Mania is rife in Ireland at the moment; we just recently said goodbye to One Direction, not a group I’m fond of to be honest, and Busted rolled into town last night.

What I found most surprising was The Backstreet Boys’ old manager’s shenanigans. Shocking, altogether.

Boyband stats

Interesting, eh? Visit Evoke.ie for more interesting tidbits and great articles. What do you think of the recipe for the perfect boyband? To the comments!

Music: August MS425 Bluetooth Speaker | Review

Is this the best Bluetooth Speaker?

A Bluetooth Speaker has to be the modern music lover’s best friend. You can take your music anywhere and crank it up, depending on the quality.

Truth be told, the August MS425 Bluetooth Speaker is the first of it’s kind that I have used, so I have nothing to compare it to apart from speakers that plug into your phone or Mp3 player.

Bluetoothe Speaker August

Features

To my surprise, I discovered that the speaker has a microphone which means that you can chat away on the phone if someone calls you during your precious listening time. This would also be handy for calling someone with a group of people; you can all chat away, no hassel.  It is quite small, light and easy to transport. The Bluetooth range claims to reach 30 feet and indeed, I’ve tested it out, leaving my phone inside to charge while I sat about 30 feet away from it out the back.

There is also a jack to attach non-bluetooth devices. Bonus points; they come in an array of colours.

Ease of use

This Bluetooth speaker is very easy to use; you switch it on, turn your bluetooth on your mobile device and connect with the speaker. Start playing music and adjust volume to your liking. No fuss at all, which is important in a speaker; the quicker the music lover gets to listen in, the more satisfied they will be.

Volume

This is the deciding factor with me. I’ve been surprised by speakers’ volume in the past; the mini speakers you can get in Carphone Warehouse have impressive volume for a small thing. The volume on the August Bluetooth Speaker is phenomenal.

Not only is it reasonably loud when you turn the volume up on the speaker, when you turn it up on the device it will blast your eardrums in the best way possible!

Where can you buy it?

Unfortunately August speakers are not available in tech retailers in Ireland at the moment. As soon as they are I’ll be sure to tell Twitter (follow me here) because this a diamond of a speaker. You can however, purchase it on ebay.ie  or Amazon.

Have you used a bluetooth speaker before? What are your thoughts. 

Music: Duke Special’s Gramophone Club is back!

Fans of Duke Special, rejoice, the Gramophone Club is back following some fantastic events across the country. Word has spread and people are clambering to get this unique and histerically fun event.

Duke Special

Dance and drink to 78 rpm records of times gone by and perhaps even pick up a prize for best dressed this May and June as the Gramophone Club is coming to a venue near you!

Get your vintage best on, curl your hair and clean your spatz because this looks set to be a fabulous night with the glamour of 1920’s Jazz and the decadence of 1930’s Dance Band era. Jump, Jive and yawtoosie to some war time classics before the time warp takes you to the hip wiggling, rock N roll era.

This looks like one of the most fun nights of entertainment you could haul yourself along to so take note of the dates below.

Duke Special’s Gramophone Club will be visiting :

Thursday 29 May                                                             The Liquor Rooms, 5 Wellington Quay, Dublin

Friday 30 May                                                                   The Sunflower Bar, 65 Union Street, BT1 2JG, Belfast

Saturday 31 May                                                              The Spirit Store, Dundalk, Louth

Sunday 1 June                                                                   Dr. Johns (above Blind Pig), William Street, Limerick

 

For further insight into Duke Special’s Gramophone Club check out the promo video here – http://youtu.be/-twS5sa64V0

Let’s Talk Blog Challenge: Summer Essentials… the ultimate playlist.

This week’s task in the Let’s Talk Blog Challenge, run by the wonderful Sarah of At The Beauty Desk , is “Summer Essentials”. Since the majority of those taking part are beauty bloggers I will presume that a lot the posts this evening will be centred around style and cosmetics, so hopefully this offers up something a little different for you to sink your teeth into. Meanwhile I look forward to reading everyone else’s. 

Tis the season for endless summer compilations; Summer Dance House, Summer Hits 2014 and so on. I’ve yet to see one for those with a more alternative taste in music with tracks that aren’t played incessantly on the radio anyway. For a sunshine filled playlist to soundtrack your summer, whether the weather matches up to your expectations.

Bruce Springsteen – High Hopes

 Springsteen is the king of anthems and this track is definitely a must for a summer playlist. It’s high notes of positivity and blasting, momentous instrumental greatness, this sing along number should be top of the list.

Arctic Monkeys- Why’d you only call me when your high?

Realised in the height of summer last year, this track not only has the right timeline but the right air about to make for perfect lounging in the sun music.

 

 Queens of The Stone Age – Lost Art of Keeping A Secret

Josh Homme’s drawling voice is the epitome of summer; soothing, lazy and somewhat dazed. Add to that the lightly treading baseline and the cooing chorus, it is a stunning summer track.

Vampire Weekend – Ya Hey

Everything Vampire Weekend is dripping in sunshine but I decided to go with one of their tracks with a light and airy feel to it.

Passion Pit – Take A Walk

No summer playlist is complete without a Passion Pit track. The epitomise the carefree dalliances of a summer day spent soaking up the sun with friends or family.

I’d love to know what you would add to this summer playlist? Leave it in the comments below. 

Follow the take a peak at #LetsTalkBlogChallenge to check out other bloggers’ posts on their “Summer Essentials”.