niallon – National Anthem

Yes I forgot to do a write up on ‘Zombie’ (and ‘The Funeral’ come to think of it) and yes we’re back to solo videos this week. I can be consistent in my inconsistency though, haven’t you heard?

This song just straight up breaks my heart if I’m being honest. There are a couple of thousand things I reckon Brian Fallon wrote this song in relation to, and there are a thousand more things personally to me that I can relate it to and in essence, that’s a large part of why I love songwriting. A part of you wants every listener to get what you meant when you wrote it, another part of you enjoys the different interpretations rolling in, especially if they are well wide of the mark to where your head was when you wrote it. I listen to ‘National Anthem’ and I am regularly struck dumb by the lines “I remember when she looked so good in that dress / Now she just screams that I promised her more than this / Take it easy baby, it ain’t over yet” and to me they are some of the finest words ever committed to paper in relation to the trials and tribulations of love and marriage. They’re also the only explicit reference in the song to those topics. Technically speaking, the song is more focused on the modern day tech obsession and maybe a little loss that Fallon feels is deriving from that (“Everybody lately is living up in space / Flying through transmissions on invisible airwaves”). To me though, those aforementioned lines are just so powerful that they dominate the entire song. Whereas they are mostly an aside in reality, to me the rest of the song is the aside. But that’s music, and that’s lyrics, that’s art. That’s also enough from me, and I swear the I’m Talkin’ Here slacking off is over!

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niallon – Have You Ever Seen The Rain?

I was first introduced to this song via Rod Stewart’s cover. Suffice to say I was surprised to find out that it was originally written and recorded by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Up until that point I solely knew them for Bad Moon Rising which in turn I solely knew as the song from An American Werewolf In London. I can confirm I’ve now educated myself far more thoroughly with CCR’s back catalogue though and this song has remained one of my favourites of theirs.

We have covered a few tracks in the past where the intent has been to shine a spotlight on some songs that get dismissed as run of the mill, when in fact there’s a very sincere and well thought out piece buried within layers of production. This one somewhat falls into that category, though I’d hardly argue that the sincerity is absent in the original. Frontman John Fogerty maintains that the song was written in relation to rising tensions within the band and specifically the impending departure of his brother Tom from the group, despite the theorising that it related to the Vietnam war amongst other things. Nobody can argue that there is a genuine level of emotion and strife to be heard in the original but for me there’s an alternate spin available by bringing it down a bit more in pace, tearing the song open and letting it be even more raw. And that’s how we ended up here! As always, watch, like, share, subscribe!

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niallon – Castaway

Taking a break from covers and requests for this week, we decided to dust off another of the originals. Castaway was one of the easiest songs to write out of any of my efforts…lyrically that is. The bulk of it all arrived in one go while I was sat idly by waiting to meet up with some friends, in those glorious days before we had so much to easily distract and whipping out a notepad was an acceptable way to pass the time. Originally, it was a very lively bouncy number and I was quite happy with it. As time went on though I felt it didn’t really fit the lyrical content, at least how I intended it. To me the song was about the desire to go and do the things in the song, rather than someone actually in the process of doing them. The endless debate about writer’s intention versus listener’s interpretation is one I frequently find myself in – do we seek the writer’s interpretation of the song or our own? Everyone is different, I usually can’t decide myself, but I wrote this with a specific intention while at the same time I love hearing different interpretations.

Whatever your interpretation might be I hope you enjoy it, and as always, watch, like, share, subscribe!

niallon – 21 Times Around The Sun

So we finally get back around to the originals, starting with 21 Times Around The Sun. This song has been knocking around for a while, and same as Thirteen, we had a version up on the YouTube page from years ago, but it has since then gone through a tonne of revisions. The origin of the song was when two of my friends, the first (2) of the gang to turn 21, had a quiet moment of reflection one evening (they were drunk, I’m pretty sure) and got to thinking about how, for all the hoopla made over 21st birthdays, that they will have travelled around the sun 21 times. Cool concept right? Even if you think you’ve achieved nothing when you reach that eponymous age, you’ve at least got that to your name. From there the song was concocted, written in the week before the party and debuted there. Originally it was a little stilted, too much focus on the lyrics and not enough on the song overall I think. But over the years we have worked on it and I think we finally have it nailed, nowadays it resembles very little of the original version but it’s all the better for it. As per usual, watch, like, share, repeat and make sure to watch to the end!

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James Blunt Beams Into Dublin

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Dual blogged on Irish News Review

James Blunt. Two words that can cause so much division, usually followed by vitriol, and few can justifiably explain why. Nobody was more sick of hearing the constant refrain of “… you’re beautiful…” across airwaves in the last ten years than the man himself and sadly most people missed the fact that he is an exceptional talent in the meantime. On Thursday night he reminded a near full 3Arena just how good he is.

Continue reading James Blunt Beams Into Dublin

Live In Concert – Luka Bloom, The Helix, 2005

I’ll admit I felt like a bit of an outsider at this gig. Luka Bloom was filming a live DVD in The Space at The Helix, an intimate venue for a mere 100 lucky attendees. Why was I feeling outcast? Well, it was my first time seeing him live in full. I had seen him play support to his brother, Christy Moore, in the Kaedeen in Newbridge but this was the first time I was seeing him in full. And here I was surrounded by his most enthusiastic fans!
Continue reading Live In Concert – Luka Bloom, The Helix, 2005