This being an Irish blog, I think I should have a little of an Irish angle every so often. So the first of these will focus on Mr. Fionn Regan, of Bray, Co. Wicklow.
Fionn shot to fame in 2006 with his full-length début "The End Of History", a gorgeous acoustic folk affair. The record was very well received here in Ireland, with a number of tracks garnering regular radio play - 'Be Good or Be Gone' and 'Put A Penny In The Slot' the most successful songs.
The album was nominated for the 2007 Mercury Music Prize - not a mean feat for an Irish album, with only Lisa Hannigan managing it since.
There was inevitable comparisons with Damien Rice (Irish singer songwriters...), though I personally found Regan to be more appealing and accessible. Rice tends to embrace the dramatic meloncholic tones that embodied the work of Jeff Buckley, whereas Regan had much simpler sound. This, for me, was among Regan's strengths. His album was much more folky than many others being released in Ireland at the time, such as Damien Dempsey and the like.
Understandibly there's been a bit of excitement in Ireland (and to Fionn Regan fans further afield!) since the confirmation of Regan's sophomore album "Shadow of an Empire", due for release on February 8th. The first track 'Protection Racket' was made available as a free download last October and until recently that was all we'd heard.
Luckily this changed last night... I was listening to Dave Fanning on Rte Radio 2FM (Monday-Thursday 7pm-9pm, and you can listen online via the rte website) when he announced that he'd been given exclusive playrights to the new record. Three tracks last night, three tonight and three more tomorrow night.
As of yet we've heard 'Protection Racket', 'Catacombs' and 'Coat Hook', the latter being my favourite so far. Regan's vocals are melted with a combination of both acoustic and electric guitar on this record, and it seems to be a brave and worthwhile forward step. I'm looking forward to hearing the rest of the album over the next two days and highly recomment tuning into Dave Fanning so you can do the same!!
Fionn can be seen around Ireland in March playing a number of dates;
05/03/2010: Electric Avenue, Waterford
06/03/2010: Dolan's Warehouse, Limerick
07/03/2010: Cork School of Music, Cork
10/03/2010: Nerve Centre, Derry
11/03/2010: Empire Music Hall, Belfast
13/03/2010: Vicar's Street, Dublin
Check ticketmaster.ie for full details.
- Cork, Ireland
- An Irish based alternative music blog. Music news, gigs, live reviews, album reviews... You'll find them here. If you want anything featured or removed, please shout. I hope you'll discover something new to love on this little experiment of mine. Currently editing the Music Section of the UCC Express and contributing to Motley magazine on campus, as well as writing for PopCultureMonster and 4FortyFour. Always looking for new projects so please get in touch if interested. Thanks for reading.