niallon – You May Be Right

This track really brought to a head how much I love the requests concept. Not only was this a song that was totally unknown to us all (well definitely myself and Peter, it seems Vicki is quite a Billy Joel fan), but it was requested way back before we had even upgraded to a three piece outfit. Not only that but even the duo videos were a rarity, scattered between weeks of solo vids. Initially I wondered if a solo reimagining was in line for this track, then it moved on to myself and Peter considering a multi track pre-record, before it finally landed here with a full band performance.

What I most enjoy about this is that the track called for some substantial lead guitar work. Now, I’m not aiming for faux humility here and saying “Oh I can’t play lead guitar”, in a pinch I can and I can more than hold my own with the basics. I do consider myself a vocalist and rhythm guitarist first and foremost however and in recent years I have strayed further still from playing any lead guitar. So then we arrive at a song which requires a rhythm guitar, lead guitar and a saxophone, at times simultaneously. Ok, we definitely stood no chance one of us would turn into a sax player, but through some thorough reworking that subbed in the bass for sax we managed to pull it off. Well, in theory we did until I completely f**ed up the first two bars of the solo. But in all I was quite chuffed with our re-arranging techniques and with an eye to playing live as a three piece, arrangements and performances like this are massively important for the growth of the group.

Then of course there’s the song. As I’ve mentioned multiple times before myself and Peter are massive fans of Bruce Springsteen and to me this song is the closest that these two favourite sons of New Jersey have come to each other. You May Be Right slots in alongside songs like Sherry Darling and Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) with absolute ease in my mind and it was great fun taking on the challenge of creating a live big band sound with only three people. Hopefully we’ve done it some justice and as always – watch, like, share, subscribe.

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niallon – American Slang

And so we’re back! This is our second cover of a Gaslight Anthem track and not likely to be our last. I can’t speak for Peter but they’re definitely right up there as one of my all time favourite bands. As a Springsteen fan they were a natural progression, with the nod to the boss in Great Expectations (“At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet|It’s a pretty good song, maybe you know the rest”) serving as my introduction to the New Jersey quartet. To say they are in anyway Springsteen-esque or draw their inspiration from him can sometimes be met with near hostility from both fans and the band alike, though the influence is clear to be heard. But Gaslight should more so be compared to The Boss in the sense that they’re doing for the New Jersey sound now what the man himself did for it back in the day. They may not be as politically direct as Bruce, nor have they hit (or want to hit) the commercial goldmine of a Born In The USA, but they carry a thought with their music much the same, a message, a notion. No song epitomises that more than American Slang. Contextually it is wildly open for interpretation, between allusions to Brian Fallon’s father (not in fact dead, but having abandoned Fallon’s family may as well be), calls of life in the modern America, the breaking free of youth (I seem to be coming, out of my skin) or quite simply, whatever you want. The guitars clang, the drums pound and the vocals pierce. If we have even managed to capture a tenth of that in our version then I’m a happy man. Like, share, subscribe!

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niallon – Thunder Road

Sometimes you practice the hell out of a song and still fluff a chord or two, but then you decide to cover a song on the fly and realise early in that you don’t know it at all! A song that needs no introduction, from Bruce Springsteen’s seminal 1978 album Born To Run, Thunder Road is, to me anyway, the embodiment of what The Boss is all about. A cool summer’s evening in New Jersey, deadbeats, blue collars and wastelands all around, but the small few who might dare to dream of finding another way, a different path, want their voice to be heard. Or something like that! Watch, like, share, repeat!

Live In Concert – The Gaslight Anthem, Olympia Theatre, 2010

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Back in 09 a buddy pointed out a band to me in Rolling Stone. They were from New Jersey, they played in a punk rock fashion and one of their songs directly lifted/referenced Bruce Springsteen lyrics. ‘Nuff said, I was interested. What followed from there was me well and truly developing an obsession with Gaslight that has remained solid to today, and with them playing here in a few months what better time than now to look back at when I first saw them.

Continue reading Live In Concert – The Gaslight Anthem, Olympia Theatre, 2010

Springsteen Set For Croke Park

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As an avid Bruce Springsteen fan and as the proud owner of an unused Garth Brooks ticket it’s hard to respond to this news with anything but at least mild trepidation; but all signs indicate that Bruce Springsteen is set to play two nights in Croke Park this coming summer. Continue reading Springsteen Set For Croke Park

Live In Concert – Bruce Springsteen, RDS, 2008

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Seven years ago, my life changed. Not some personal epiphany or near death experience; I got a new soundtrack. I actually can’t remember what specific song or moment it was that turned me onto Springsteen, I’m thinking it was “The River”, but what I do remember is that not since Tom Waits had I known so instantaneously that an artist’s music fit so perfectly in with my styles, though I don’t think even then I could have foreseen the fanatic I would become.

Continue reading Live In Concert – Bruce Springsteen, RDS, 2008

Dublin Grooves To Jake Clemons

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Dual blogged on Irish News Review

Rarely I go to a gig entirely oblivious to the music of whichever artist I go to see. I’ll usually at least know their biggest hit. But when said artist is the sax player in my all time favourite band, good faith alone sees me buying a ticket, and I’m glad I did. Continue reading Dublin Grooves To Jake Clemons