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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.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Live At The Marquee Cork

Today saw the addition of a number of acts (the final bunch, I believe) to Cork's annual Marquee extravaganza. [I'm loathed to refer to it as a festival due to the length of time between opening and closing night. It's more of a season of gigs really.]

Anyway since it's launch in 2005, the Marquee has played host to a number of successful acts - a huge boost to Cork and the people of the city and county who are able to see some great acts without having to travel to Dublin. A rarity, I can tell you!

It was launched as part of the European Capital of Culture programme (One of few successes Cork had with regards to this!) and since has seen the city play host to: *deep breath* Brian Wilson, Nick Cave (Solo), Van Morrison, Kanye West (twice), Bob Dylan, Roger Waters, The Frames, Faithless, Antony & the Johnsons, Duran Duran, 50 Cent, Elton John, Slayer, the Who, Bell X1, Madness, the Flaming Lips, Jay-Z, Paul Simon, Massive Attack, Lou Reed, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, the Prodigy and MANY more.

Last year's "festival" was the least successful. Poor ticket sales, cancellation of major acts (Blondie and Kasabian), mixed reception to the line-up (Ne-Yo, 50 Cent, Anastacia, The Priests) and poor reviews (The Prodigy were butchered for a short set. The band played for less than an hour, whereas the following night they played a set of almost twice the length at Slane in support of Oasis. Kanye West was also seen to be outshone by opening act Kid Cudi, while Lady Gaga and 50 Cent were both criticised also) blighted the event.

It is no surprise then that this year's festivities have taken a different tactic with regard to the acts sought after. JLS and Westlife appeal to the pop angle, though the rest of the acts are certainly of a different vein. The dates are as follows:

June 14th: Megadeth
June 16th: JLS
June 17th: JLS
June 19th: Al Green AND Michael McDonald
June 20th: Kenny Rogers
June 23rd: Jackson Browne & David Lindley
June 25th: Grizzly Bear, Midlake, Camera Obscura & Villagers
June 26th: Horslips
June 27th: Paul Weller
June 29th: The Cranberries
June 30th: Deep Purple
July 1st: Dara O Briain
July 2nd: Dara O Briain
July 3rd: Christy Moore & Declan Sinott
July 6th: Westlife
July 8th: Tony Bennett
July 9th: Madness
July 20th-August 1st: Mammia Mia (16 Shows)

The line-up has had its critics already this year, it must be noted. It seems to be catering towards a very specific audience - or at least age group. Aside from Westlife, JLS and Dara O Briain, there are few that stand out as relevant in terms of modern pop and rock - the inaugural Harmonic event (Grizzly Bear, etc.) aside. Paul Weller, the Cranberries and Megadeth will attract a mix of both young and old (as will many of the others but...) though I can't imagine a huge youth crowd swarming to Tony Bennett or Jackson Browne.

My own ageist failings aside, it is just difficult to see whether the Marquee will boost its ticket sales this year with the events on offer. Last year the focus was TOO pop, this year perhaps it is not enough? In previous years the most successful acts have been the alternative rock acts - Nick Cave & the Flaming Lips spring to mind instantly.

I am sure yet again this year will see a mixture of success and failure. The Marquee seemed to learn their lesson from last year (To my knowledge, Gaga was the only sellout gig) and pandered to a different crowd. Here's hoping it is a success as it would be a shame to see Ireland's second city without this draw. It is rapidly becoming part of the fabric in Cork and I would be devastated to see it go.

Tickets for all of the Live at the Marquee gigs are available from ticketmaster outlets nationwide as well as ticketmaster.ie

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