O’Death support

Hi all,

We’re playing support to the excellent O’Death this Wednesday at Whelans, thanks to the lovely folks at Foggy Notions


Also, our friend Ian Lawton has added “The Lord’s Prayer” to the soundtrack to his new short move “Shut the Fuck Up”. Trailer below:

Upcoming gigs

We have updated the gigs page with two shows coming up - an acoustic gig at the Hefty Horse night at Anseo in Dublin on June 28th followed by a support to O’Death at Whelan’s on July 22nd, thanks to Foggy Notions.

Skeletons support

We will be playing support to Skeletons at Whelan’s in Dublin on March 12th.


Japan Tour Diary, Part 8

Sunday 15th of February Tokyo.


We say goodbye to Marvin’s dudes. Hopefully they’ll be over to Dublin soon to play. They’re more or less off straight to the airport to go home. We crawl into the van and Kazuto drives us back to his house. En route I keep falling asleep and waking up as I drop my phone on the floor in a loop. I also fall asleep alternately on Brian’s and Donnchadh’s shoulders. Thankfully I don’t drool on either occasion. We stumble to bed and I sleep solidly until 2pm.

I get up bleary eyed and have a Japanese style bath – a hot shower to clean oneself with soap followed by a soak in a hot bath, completed by a cold shower. This is very relaxing! Kazuto’s Mum and Dad lay out an amazing lunch and after we give them a present of a Cactus plant which the lads bought the previous day when I was in a jocker. Soon after we say our thank yous and goodbyes. Kazuto drives us back to the same hotel in Kashiwa City, where we will spend our last night. We cannot get over how generous Kazuto and his folks have been throughout the tour.

Its around 6pm by the time we’re checked in. We say goodbye and thank you to Kazuto. Hopefully we’ll see him in Dublin soon.

We wander off round the edge of Chiba and Kashiwa city for a stroll. All we see is gambling places and dodgy brothels with “Information charges” listed outside. Ultimately we buy a load of take out food and beer from the 7-11 near the hotel and crash out. “Bringing out the Dead” is on TV in English. It’s a great movie and I have a new appreciation for Nicholas Cage’s insomniac ambulance driver character. Soon after I crash out and sleep solidly for 9 hours.

Monday 16th of February.

Keita arrives at the hotel door around 10am. We’re already packed and ready to go. He’s planned a day of site seeing and shopping round Tokyo. After parking in Shinjuku we head to a few electronics stores. We get a call from Nez, who is now back home in Sapporo. He congratulates us on going the distance and reckons its been a job well done. Again, we’re too tired to get any real perspective on how it all went.

We head to AIRS, a legendary Tokyo store in Shinjuku where bootleg DVDs and videos have been sold to generations of Tokyo music fans. The AIRS guys find out we’re in a touring band and get our picture and autographs and give me a copy of a DVD from Italian prog rockers Area. Maybe our picture will wind up on the wall with Metallica? Either that or it will wind up covering the catflap! 


Later we wander round some cool guitar shops and head to the legendary Disc Union, a massive collection of independent records shops, where I buy the mother-load of 70’s Japanese experimental music -  Flowers Travellin’ BandTaj Mahal Travellers and Les Rallizes Denudes to name a few. I also buy records from the Pogues, Dinosaur Jr and A Place to Bury Strangers. We could spend a few days here!


Finally we head to a beautiful Buddhist temple in the centre of Tokyo. It is surrounded by a forested park and is somehow secluded and quiet despite being bang in the middle of Tokyo. I buy a few beautiful good luck charms as presents for the folks back home and we offer a prayer by writing it on a small wooden plaque to be hung with thousands of others in the temple. 

Tired and all shopped out, it’s time for us to go to the Airport. Keita drops us off at departure and helps us with the baggage to the plane. What a legend! We joke that we have become totally dependent on him as tour manager and may not survive on our own! We say our goodbyes and head through the security gates. Keita will be back in Dublin a few days after us so we’ll catch up then. Keita has been an invaluable help, saving so much time and effort for us, always ready to do whatever needs to be done to get us onto the next gig. I reckon another week of this tour and we would have been entirely dependent on him in “Spinal Tap”-esque fashion!

Our flight leaves around 9.40 at night. We hit Brian’s herbal sleeping pills and they work a charm. 14 hours later we arrive in Charles De Gaul airport at 4am. Nothing is open and we wind up stuck for an hour waiting for a bus to another terminal.

Tuesday 17th of February

Soon we are on a relatively short flight back to Dublin. Deliriously tired, we are looking forward to crashing out at home. There is a panic when we land around 8am where a passenger gets an awful altitude headache upon landing in Dublin. He passes out and the crew call the emergency services to meet us upon landing. Five minutes later and he seems to be coming round and we all leave the plane. Upon reclaiming our baggage we find that my guitar has gone AWOL. I’m too tired to panic or get upset. It arrives in Dublin later that day and is delivered out to my house, fair dues!

We clamber into my car out in the long term parking and after a ropey drive home I drop each of the lads off one by one until finally I stumble in the door of own house. Its 11am. Finally I fall into a deep, deep sleep.

Japan Tour Diary, Part 7

Saturday 14th of February, Lush Tokyo:

We wake up relatively rested to another wonderful breakfast from Kazuto’s mum. Tonight we play our last show. I wind up going back to bed for an hour as I’m so knackered. It’s a sunny morning and Kazuto drives us to Lush, a venue also in the Shibuya district of Tokyo. On the bill tonight are Tokyo noiseniks Kuruucrew9dw (Nine Days Wonder) jazzy fusion project of Kensuke from Catune Records, who distributed the Spook CD in Japan and finally Z, experimental jazz noise band and Transduction label mates.


We have a full hour set to play so will do our full set, including a newly arranged cover of Lizzy’s “Emerald”. As the 5 o’clock slump hits the lads head off to buy a present for Kazuto’s folks. I’m a little too tired to head off so head backstage as soundcheck finishes up. Kuruucrew sound amazing: like the proverbial flight of stairs falling down another proverbial flight of stairs. I’m slumped over a table backstage trying to get a little rest. The lads arrive back and its time to wake up and watch some of the bands. I head to a 7-11 and buy this energy drink with an alarm clock logo that tastes of condensed coffee and cough syrup. I really like it but the rest of the lads hate the taste. This is supposed to do the trick, and it does. Soon I’m jittery but very awake. Most of LITE are here and its good to be hanging out for one more night. I also meet some of Keita’s friends who have an excellent band called Knock Note Aliens who are hopefully coming to play Ireland next year.

Kuruucrew take to stage. Their set is one long pounding freakout, driving bass and drums, atmospheric feedback soaked guitar and effects laden sax. Its not a million miles from Lostage, who we saw in Osaka, but even more demented. It brings to mind Cope’s “Japrock sampler”. In the book he describes how post World War II Japanese embraced western musical influences but passed it through what he termed as “the Japanese cultural filter” to produce something even more out-there and inspired than the original inspirations. Kuruucrew demonstrate this filter, they could be from nowhere other than Japan right now, yet they sound as universal and relevant as anything I’ve heard round the world in the last while. There’s talk of them touring with LITE next year and I hope this happens!


Next up is 9dw who play layered jazz fusion with sequenced electronics, live drums, bass, guitar, and keyboards. Kensuke from Catune is the main man in this band. It brings to mind some of the more upbeat Tortoise stuff I know and some French dance music such as Justice or Daft Punk. Groovy!

Z (pronounced Zed) plays next. They are also signed to Transduction. Recently they have lost a member and so are now stripped down to drums, guitar and saxophone/ vocals. Its an incredible sound – mathy jazzy rhythms, chugging post metal riffing and demented vocals and saxophone from front man Jun Nemoto. It seems to bridge several gaps between experimental jazz, noise rock and Japanese folk. At one point Jun plays two saxophones simultaneously! Holy shit!


Finally, we take to the stage. This is our last and longest set of the tour. Its nice to be able to play the entire set, including the Lizzy cover. The sound is great on stage and I feel we nail the harmonies. We build up and up, through a run of 3 guitar-based songs “The Spook”, “The Lord’s Prayer” and “Down Comes The Bridge”. We follow with “Emerald” and it goes well, although I wish I could do a meaner solo!  Brian is pummelling the kit and we’re giving it our all. As per the previous night Brian gets up and gives a short speech in Japanese to the appreciation and amusement of the crowd, which gives us a bit of time for re-tuning (and a rest!). We start into our last tune “Pimlico” and in the noisy outro I jump off the stage into the audience and start running around the front of the stage to everyone’s amusement. And that’s that, the tour is over.


After we pack up quickly, Keita heads home for the night and the rest if us leg it over to the Shinjuku venue Marz where Marvin’s Revolt are about to play. Marz is another very modern Tokyo venue, full of people and there is a bit sense of expectation in the air. The Marvin’s lads take to the stage and play out of their skins and the crowd are into it. They finish on “Days Are Getting Shorter” the main track off of their Parabolica released record and are done to rapturous applause. Nez appears to have gone back to his hotel. It’s been a long night’s drinking so this is understandable.

Afterwards, we hit the bar just before Jun from LITE begins DJ’ing on stage. He starts by playing “The Hare” off of our album. He wants us to come on stage and dance but we’re too sober for that carry on (yet). Soon after he plays some Adebisi Shank to a dancing crowd and later The Vinny Club remix of “Infinite Mirror”. We bust several moves! A few pints later and we’re on stage locked, pogo dancing to Marvin’s Revolt! That’s beer for you. It’s now 6am on the morning of Sunday the 15th of Feb.