Sunday, 16 September 2012


So there we all were, gathered again after a long month, the time in between including a blue moon,  'amazeballs', 'mummyporn' and 'floordrobe', being made into recognised, look-upable-in-the-dictionary words and Ireland won enough Gold medals in the Para-Olympics to almost pay Angela back. We also had the chasing of moments of sunshine and bitching about the lack of it, the same old generic and mundane worries about money and the lack of it, time and the passing of it and moments of momentary concern that perhaps, the Mayans might be right after all and didn't just run out of space on their roundy rock calendar. It didn't matter now anyway, because there was the smell of Autumn in the chilly air and a fire lit and a bar full of nice things and an evening of potential ahead of us. Lismore sat snug on the Blackwater valley floor, safe in the knowledge that it was the home to the most epically splendid night of original entertainment in the whole of Whaaaterforrd.

Matthew Tull is a friend of ours and has been waiting for a long time to play The Medicine Sessions. for the last couple of years, myself and The Ronald have been nagging him to perform his own stuff and stop playing Albatross. It's an easy rut to become stuck in, learning the guitar well and performing your favourite songs, particularly when you start getting gigs and people react well to you performing them. That's fine. But personally, I would say there must come a time when you need to push your comfort zone and create your own sound, speak or sing your own songs, make a new universe, instead of borrowing the well worn path of the cover. I'm happy to say that Mat's creations are far better than I think even he imagined they could be and his reception at The Medicine Sessions was the most enthusiastic and genuine I've ever seen for him. His writing is reflective and heart felt, avoiding the usual cliches involved with broken relationships, general malaise and self discovery and also manages to include a healthy dose of ironic wit, all wrapped in more than competent guitar work. Sitting somewhere between Blues, Folk and Jazz, his set never gets tired, the songs switching between strumming and picking, all delivered with a voice that changes from ever-so-slightly unsure, to loud and  boisterous, depending on the context. It did him good I think, to prove to himself that his own songs are worthy things and he can well and truly do them justice.

I knew Fergus would be good, but nobody was prepared for the sheer ferocity of talent of his performance. "bollix actor" was how he sold himself to me and that is very true, he is a fine one. What kept creeping into my mind though, as I hung on every word, sentence, syntax, pause, inflection and roar of his delivery, was "punk Alan Bennett". If Sid Vicious had pro-created with the great writer of monologues and the child grew up in Cork for most of its life, then I think Fergus might have happened. His strange, tappy, plucky, New World music way of playing the mandola (Joe Foley I think his name was), made a very ethereal backdrop to his verbal landscapes. His pieces are extracted from his head using clever internal rhymes, rhythm, and sneaking repetition, which intelligently emphasizes the irony of the various situations in the story and provide killer punchlines. There is a reason why Fergus Costello has won so many poetry related finals, because he is just fecking amazeballs!
Watch this space for news on a one man show Medicine special with Fergus, coming soon.


I didn't envy the lads who had to follow Fergus, he had gone down an absolute storm and the room was  buzzing. But I needn't have feared for them, as Goldfish Syndrome absolutely kept the buzz alive and added to it heartily! These guys are one of the tightest bands I've seen and performed their set with genuine professionalism, with a proper amount of joy. Their songs are perfectly put together pieces of rock/pop with a distinctly Irish something. It's always brilliant to hear harmonies and these guys have the art down to a tee. Each member of the band lends their talent perfectly, with a drummer who was able to deliver the goods on a greatly reduced kit and sing, the most relaxed bass player in the world, chunkied out some great bass lines whilst thrown, almost vertically, in a chair. The lead guitarist didn't need a mic to add his vocals as he had a voice loud enough to carry above his noodling guitar bits and the front man performed the songs with a voice strong and pitch perfect standing with a great stage manner, bantering away between tunes and not afraid of a bit of interaction. The Medicinners lapped up their set like puppy dogs and were completely impressed by their tight delivery. It never fails to amaze me how much talent is out there, working their arses off for little financial reward, the least we can offer is an atmospheric venue and fill it with good heads who appreciate original music and can feed the hearts of the artists for a little while. These guys deserve to be fed lots!


  1. you guys are getting such a good turn out for this - keep it up

  2. yep, it's going well enough now, while the room stays full, we'll keep organising it, the day we get a run of quite ones, we'll call it quits! How's life in pixie land?