Musical Rooms

April 3, 2009

50 Best Irish music acts right now (who contributed to Musical Rooms)

davidholmesMyself and three Ticket colleagues (Jim Carroll, Tony Clayton Lea and Lauren Murphy) were each recently asked to compile a list of the ’50 Best Irish music acts right now’. As expected there’s lots of debate about it over on Jim Carroll’s blog. There were lots of bands I voted for that aren’t on the list, and some I didn’t vote for that made the final 50. Either way, it’s great to see a light shined on so many bands and the list proves that Irish music is in a fairly robust health. Well done to David Holmes for bagging the No. 1 slot.

Here’s a list of those included in the Top 50 who have contributed to Musical Rooms so far. Watch out for upcoming contributions from Spook of the Thirteenth Lock, Ann Scott and Dark Room Notes.

(49) David Turpin
(46) Mick Flannery
(38) The Jimmy Cake
(29) Julie Feeney
(23) Messiah J &The Expert
(20) Oppenheimer
(19) Chequerboard
(13) RSAG
(8) Adrian Crowley
(6) Villagers
(5) Lisa Hannigan
(4) Fight Like Apes
(2) Jape

February 27, 2009

Musical Rooms Part 62: Fight Like Apes


“There is a small box room in my house which we usually use. It’s right next door to my bedroom. We used to rehearse on Gardiner Street in a place we shared with a few other bands but the lack of a toilet became worrying. Unfortunately at the moment we are never really in Ireland enough to justify having our own space so the box room in my house it is! It’s really quite a small room. Yellow woodchip walls. Very messy. It’s also called the junk room because anything we don’t use anymore is left there stacked (game consoles, broken electronics etc). I also keep my decks and vinyl in there. They get used even less then the broken electronics…

I’ve got a really nice old Yamaha Clavinova. I love the Clavinova! It has the nicest “e. piano” sound going. I hate nearly every keyboard range Yamaha have done but with the clavinova I think they got it right. I’ve got lots of pedals, toys etc, most of them being very old cheap guitar accessories which seem to work wondrously on a keyboard. I’ve a few guitars hung on the wall which are rarely touched.

The most important thing to have in this space is a cup of tea at all times. Otherwise I will be downstairs making a cup of tea rather doing anything remotely creative. I used to spend two or three hours in the room writing every day. Now I don’t really have that much time free that I spend even less of it there! However I do try and fit in at much time as I can – I don’t like to schedule things as generally the songs you write that way end up being terrible.

When being creative, generally a bit of alone time is nice but not completely necessary. Sometimes it’s much nicer to write when there’s someone else there to bounce off. It’s something that works very well in this band. I’d imagine it mightn’t work well in other bands but we are lucky like that. I generally just wait till I have something to say. Any time I’ve forced myself to write I’ve written gibberish. You can sit down in front of a piano twenty times a day and will yourself to write and you won’t be able to. It’s only when you really feel like writing that you get anything done. Toys help! A new toy can help you get exited about playing music again.

Currently I use a Roland Fp-2, Roland SP-404 and few boss pedals. It’s a simple set up really. I’ve nearly made it more complicated on a few occasions, but can’t see the point.

What I like most about the room is that I can make as much of a racket as I want in there and nobody will ever say anything, because I’m supposed to make a racket in there.”

Since the release of their debut album, Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion in 2008, Dublin band Fight Like Apes have garnered huge acclaim outside of Ireland. The album has just been released in the UK and Sony plan to release it later this year in Japan and the video for their latest single, ‘Tie Me Up in Jackets’ can been seen here. They are nominated for the 2008 Choice Music Prize, which takes place at Vicar Street on Wednesday March 4th. For more information and details of upcoming live shows, visit

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