Best of 2013 w/ Sadhbh O’Sullivan of Sive


It’s that time of year when every music website, publication and blog (including this one) are busy compiling lists, lists and more lists. Last year I asked bands and artists who’d played ‘BarryGruff Presents’ shows to put their own list making skills to the test in picking their ‘favourite album of 2013′, ‘favourite song/remix of 2013′ & ‘favourite Irish song of the year’. After another successful year of shows, why break with tradition?

Right, that is enough waffling from me, it’s over to Sive’s Sadhbh O’Sullivan for the last in the series and her picks from 2013.

Favourite album of 2013: Villagers – ‘Awayland’

When I was going through some of the albums I liked best this year and trying to pick one favourite, I just kept coming back to this one. It was one of those records I listened to on repeat after I bought it and every time I heard it something new seemed to catch my ear. I love the arrangements and the attention to detail; there’s so much to be found within each individual song. The songwriting itself is obviously really strong too, and I love Conor O’Brien’s style of lyric writing.

Favourite song of 2013: Agnes Obel – The Curse

Agnes Obel’s new album was another one of my favourites of the year. I could have picked almost any song from it as my number one, but when I saw this live video of The Curse it really blew me away. The looped strings, piano parts and vocal melodies come together to create something really beautiful.

Favourite Irish song of 2013: Ann Scott – ‘Stripes’

I’ve been a fan of Ann Scott since I first heard her music about 6 years ago, and her new stuff hasn’t let me down. This song is a perfect example of her ability to build a simple but effective musical backdrop for her voice to sweep over. She always manages to produce a sound that is quite dark and haunting, but really pleasing to the ear.

BarryGruff Unplugged: Oisin McCole + Sive + Phil McDermott :: Wednesday, December 18th :: The Liffey Studio, Newbridge

Oisin MCCole_edited-2

We’d an amazing time doing the first ‘BarryGruff Unplugged’ earlier in the year, easily our best show to date. To sign off on 2013, we’re doing another unplugged show in the wonderfully intimate surroundings of The Liffey Studio, with Oisin McCole, Sive and Phil McDermott performing for you;  three exceptionally talented musicians.

It’s all happening next Wednesday, Decemeber 18th in The Liffey Studio, 1 Main Street, Newbridge. Door are at 8pm. It’s €5 if you book in advance or €7 on the night. The cheap list is limited so if you would like to reserve a spot, just email your name to barrygruff[at]gmail[dot]com – with ‘Cheap List’ in the subject title. More details & info below. [RSVP]

:: Oisin McCole ::

Oisin McCole is an outstanding and undeniably talented folk singer and songwriter, yet he has managed to remain rather illusive outside his native Dublin. McCole’s lo-fi blues / folk blend is refreshingly humble and entirely devoid of ostentatious. His songs are beautifully written and constructed, never sounding contrived or over-produced, and posses an incredibly intimate sound and personal touch. These are folk songs from a seriously talented songwriter, deserving of far greater attention – something his two recently released EPs, From Here The Mountain & Winter Is Coming, are testament to.

:: Sive ::

Sive is no stranger to Newbridge audiences; having been wooed on many occasions by their always impeccable live shows. The brainchild of Naas musician Sadhbh O’Sullivan, ably assisted by her band, they draw from a wide variety of alternative rock, jazz and folk influences. Sive’s gorgeous sound comes from a combination of these influences being fused with excellent musicianship and charm, and her voice, which is simply exquisite. 

:: Phil McDermott ::

Phil is a talented young songwriter from Newbridge who has only begun to cut his teeth so to speak. Relatively new to the game he maybe, but he’s already got a fine bundle of material in his arsenal. Hopefully in the new year he takes the next step and heads to the studio to record some of his music. 

BarryGruff Presents #16: Biggles Flys Again, Sive & Knoxville Morning :: Saturday, June 29th :: Flanagan’s Bar, Newbridge


So, we took a little break, but we’re back again with ‘BarryGruff Presents’ #16 in Flanagan’s, Newbridge on Saturday, June 29th. We’ve got the superb Biggles Flys Again and the wonderful Sive performing, and the ever brilliant Knoxville Morning playing a special solo show (expect to hear some new tracks he’s been working on).

This is a really exciting lineup and one that promises to be a great night, so come along and enjoy the music. It’s FREE in as usual & kicks off at 9 pm. [RSVP]

:: Biggles Flys Again

Biggles Flys Again is the moniker of Dubliner Conor Deasy, who’s got a real talent for crafting 3 minute pop gems. Biggles’ debut album Remember Saturday is brimming with enchanting and whimsical good old fashioned pop songs, filled with sinuous melodies and organic arrangement. This is pop in the old fashioned sense, played by a band, and with an assured sense of style. Remember Saturday is one of the finest albums of 2013 and there’s plenty of others smitten with it too. The Sunday Times made it ‘album of the week’, The Sunday Business Post coined it as “a wistful, enchantingly gentle brand of day-glo alt-pop” and The Irish Times quite rightly said “Deasy has a canny knack for creating tunes the right side of familiar”. Extremely excited to bring these guys down to Newbridge, should be quality.

[Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter] – [Stream Remember Me Saturday on Spotify]

:: Sive

It’s been far too long since we’ve had Sive play one of these shows, they’re performance is always impeccable. Sive is the brainchild of Naas musician Sadhbh O’Sullivan, who along with her band, draw from a wide variety of alternative rock, jazz and folk influences. Sive’s gorgeous sound comes from a combination of these influences being fused with excellent musicianship and charm; not to mention her voice, which is simply exquisite. Sive’s debut album We Are Moving is well worth checking out, if you haven’t already of course.

[Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter] – [Stream We Are Moving on Deezer & Spotify]

:: Knoxville Morning

It’s always a pleasure to have Knoxville Morning play one of these shows, they always go down an absolute storm. On this occasion we’ve got a special solo show from chief songwriter and frontman Ciaran Dwyer, who’s got some new jams and what’s to test them out. This will be the first new material since last years great self-titled debut which enlisted the help of  fellow BOAI members, Stefan Murphy, Gavin Elsted, Brian Gallagher, Claire Prendergast, Stephen Fahey and Laura Caffrey. The result? A record of sweet folk, country and Americana, and while it wears it’s US influences on it’s sleeve, Ciaran’s intuitive storytelling remained a cornerstone.

[Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter] [Stream Knoxville Morning on Deezer & Spotify]


Best of 2012: w/ Sadhbh O’ Sullivan of Sive


It’s that time of year when every music website, publication and blog (including this one) are busy compiling end of year lists. This time around, I thought I’d shift the focus to the bands and artist’s who’ve played a ‘BarryGruff Presents’ show this year and ask them for their ‘favourite album of 2012′, ‘favourite song of 2012′ & ‘favourite Irish song of the year’.

Right, that is enough from me, over to Sadhbh O’ Sullivan from Sive and her picks from the year that was 2012.

Favourite album of 2012: Sam Jackson – ‘Sharp and Flat’

I stumbled upon Sam Jackson by accident when I read a review of his album in the Independent and thought “hmm, this sounds like it might be up my street!” I took a trip over to his Bandcamp page and within the first few seconds of the opening track I was already compelled to buy the album (AND a ticket to one of his shows). Every track displays not only a top notch level of musicianship, but also a lofty helping of sensitivity and imagination. His sound is reminiscent of jazz, classical and some more contemporary music, without sounding like it quite fits in under any one label. For me this album is a perfect work of art!

Favourite Song of 2012: The Unusual History of Ether – ‘Innate’

I’m not entirely sure whether this song actually came out in 2012 or at the end of 2011, but I discovered it at the beginning of this year and was blown away by it. The band is fronted by Irishwoman Rebecca Collins, who is based in Copenhagen along with her band of Danish musicians. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them live twice and they’re a lovely bunch of people as well as fine musicians. Their whole EP is worth repeated listens.

Favourite Irish Song of 2012: Wallis Bird – ‘In Dictum’

This was one of the stand-out tracks from Wallis Bird’s latest album, for me anyway. The first time I heard it was at her album launch in The Academy when she hopped down from the stage to perform an unplugged rendition of it in the middle of the audience. The entire crowd joined in and it was definitely one of those gig memories that sticks with you for a long time. When played live this song carries bags of energy and passion that can’t have been easy to capture in a studio, but I think Wallis and her band nailed it. Here’s a video of what happened that night in The Academy:  

BarryGruff Presents #6: w/ Sive, Padraig McCauley & The P Affection and Sea Area Forecast :: Flanagan’s Newbridge :: May 25th

So, ‘BarryGruff Presents’ returns to Flanagan’s Bar, Newbridge for its sixth instalment on Friday, May 25th.

The first 5 shows have been fantastic & ‘BarryGruff Presents’ #6 promises to be no less impressive, with the delectable talents of Sive, Padraig McCauley & The P Affection and Sea Area Forecast on show.

Sive, the brainchild of Naas musician Sadhbh O’Sullivan, who’s recent debut album We Are Moving was greeted by rave reviews. Drawing from a wide variety of alternative rock, jazz and folk influences, Sive’s gorgeous sound fuses these influences, with excellent musicianship and charm.

Accompanying them on the bill are Naas-based Padraig McCauley & The P Affection, whose genre hopping sounds of their debut album received notable acclaim last year. Meanwhile Newbridge based Sea Area Forecast take time out from prepping their debut EP, indie, folk and rock sounds. It is going to be yet another memorable night. 

Entry is FREE as always and starts at 9.00pm Friday, May 25th. More info & Facebook event here.

Sive – Sunkissed

Download: Padraig McCauley & The P Affection – Lingo

Sea Area Forecast – Marvelous With Tin

Introducing: Sive | Charming & Sweet Folk / Alt Rock Fusion

Sive is the brainchild of Kildare songwriter and musician Sadhbh O’Sullivan. The band was formed (in full) in 2010 following the addition of Eoin Hartweig, Patrick Hopkins and Mark Dudley to the fold. 

Drawing from a wide variety of alternative rock, jazz and folk influences, Sive’s gorgeous sound is a fusion of these influences, with perfect arrangement, excellent musicianship and charm. No question it is Sadhbh’s voice which is the greatest asset, it is simultaneously powerful, delicate and intricate, sweeping along sweetly, adding depth and feeling to songs, both bright and touching.

Sive left quite an impression on everyone with a stupendous performance at ‘BarryGruff Presents’ back in December and with their debut album, We Are Moving, out this Thursday, April 19th, it was high time we shed some light on this talent. The launch takes place in The Grand Social on the same day. More info here.

 Sive – We Are Moving

Download: Sive – Sunkissed

BarryGruff Presents #3: The Last Tycoons, Sive & Ciaran Dwyer :: Flanagan’s :: Newbridge :: Dec 14th

So, it’s gig #3 for ‘BarryGruff’ Presents’ in Flanagan’s, Newbridge on Wednesday, December 14th. Entry is FREE as always and judging by the gigs #1 and #2, this is going to be immense!

Now based between their native Dublin and Berlin, The Last Tycoons have taken time out of their busy schedule for a headline show in Newbridge. The Tycoons’ debut album was one of last years top albums, armed with this, their southern roots Americana tinged alternative rock sounds and some new songs (hopefully), it is going to be a fantastic show.

On the bill too are Kildare musicians Sive and Ciaran Dwyer. Sive are fronted by songwriter and musician Sadhbh O’Sullivan, who along with her band, has been busy gigging around Ireland this year. Meanwhile Ciaran Dwyer of Band on an Island will be showcasing material from his debut solo album, which is due out in March of next year.

Entry is FREE as always and starts at 9pm, Wednesday, December 14th. More info & Facebook event here.

The Last Tycoons – Speed

The Last Tycoons – The Dry Law

Ciaran Dwyer – Alphabet City (Acoustic) 

Sive – Sunkissed