Double Headline Concert with
PUGWASH & KEN STRINGFELLOW (Big Star)
“..one of the most highly regarded psychedelic-pop songwriters around.” – Tony Clayton-Lea, Heineken Music
“The Olympus Sound is the best Irish album of the year to date” – The Irish Times
Thomas Walsh is a Choice Music Prize, Meteor and Ivor Novello nominated songwriter having been the driving force behind his cult powerpop outfit PUGWASH for ten years and recently being one half of the cricket loving pop duo ‘THE DUCKWORTH LEWIS METHOD’ with musical partner Neil Hannon.
Thomas was born in his parents house in Drimnagh in 1969. “Lazy bugger even then I was, not wanting to go to the hospital to be born”. As men landed on the moon and the sixties were officially coming to a grand musical close at Woodstock, Thomas set about listening to all the classic pop music that was streaming forth literally every week from his parents TV, radio and stereo. “My brothers started to bring Al Stewart, Mike Oldfield, Queen and E.L.O records into the house along with Roy Wood, Slade and Gilbert O’Sullivan ones that my Mam and Dad already had there…..you can see why I’m steeped in a love of great pop!”.
Thomas, in his guise as PUGWASH has released 7 albums in ten years and been given numerous accolades..one of which is still a ‘goosepimple’ moment for him. “Back in 2006 Brian Wilson’s manager David Leaf obtained my e-mail through an acquaintance and sent me a mail saying that Brian loved my track ‘It’s nice to be nice’ and as he was coming to Dublin to play in Vicar Street he’d love to meet me. MEET ME!!?? He came, I met Brian, he said ‘Hey! You’re the nice to be nice guy’, I said ‘Yes’ and he said ‘Great song’…..I still think it was all a fantastic dream to be honest”.
After years of artistic success it was time to get something more out of the music game, so OF COURSE an album all about cricket was the obvious step towards that..??!! No? Well 50,000 sales in the U.K, a Top 40 U.K debut chart placing, numerous award nominations, famous fans (Stephen Fry, Simon le Bon and Noel Gallagher to name but a small few) and sell out shows in London (Queen Elizabeth Hall) and Dublin (Olympia) all within a year of the release of ‘THE DUCKWORTH LEWIS METHOD’ certainly adds up to a resounding YES!!
In 2010 Thomas & Pugwash were snapped up by the renowned AMA – Music Agency and Thomas has just secured a worldwide publishing deal with SONY/ATV. August 2011 saw Pugwash release their 5th album “THE OLYMPUS SOUND” on none other than the venerable E.M.I., the bands new home and includes stellar guest appearances from the likes of Ben Folds, Neil Hannon and XTC’s Andy Partridge .
“An artist worthy of respect and a listen from any true fan of classic pop….uniformly flawless” PITCHFORK
“Stringfellow is one of the most underrated songwriters of our generation” BILLBOARD
“Stringfellow’s clear, composed croon forgives all sins” ROLLING STONE
“Lush pop perfection” MOJO
Ken Stringfellow – musician, songwriter, producer, arranger – has been part of the indie landscape since the debut of his acclaimed band The Posies in 1988. Hailing from the musical hotbed of Seattle at the time when that music scene exploded into national prominence, The Posies went on to sign with Geffen Records and released brilliant, successful albums such as 1993’s legendary “Frosting on the Beater”. The band is still active today, having released their seventh album, “Blood/Candy” in 2010…an album heaped with critical praise in the UK press…The Word magazine devoted two pages to a review which called it “a finely calibrated….dazzling tapestry…just stupidly good”.
In addition to his groundbreaking work with the Posies, Ken was part of rock legends Big Star, one of the most acclaimed and legendary groups of all time, from 1993 until the death of Alex Chilton in 2010. Ken played bass, sang and helped create the band’s 2005 album “In Space”, their first since 1978’s timeless “Third/Sister Lovers”. He’s still frequently called upon to perform, speak about, and celebrate the music of one of the cornerstones of indie rock.
Ken also spent ten years on the road and in studio with R.E.M., appearing on two albums (2001’s “Reveal” and 2004’s “Around the Sun”), and propelling the band on keyboards, bass, guitar and accordion during headlining slots at Glastonbury, Rock In Rio, Rock Am Ring, etc as well as on TV shows such as Top of the Pops, Saturday Night Live, Later With Jools Holland and countless others.
The list of collaborations goes on: guitarist in punk legends Lagwagon; producer/engineer on albums for Damien Jurado, the Long Winters, China’s Hanggai, and dozens more; onstage and on-album appearances with Snow Patrol (keyboards on their landmark “Eyes Open” album), Neil Young, Patti Smith, Mudhoney, Death Cab For Cutie…to list all his work over the years would add up to hundreds of albums and thousands of live appearances.
Then there’s his solo work. A scant three albums over the last two decades (1997’s “This Sounds Like Goodbye”, 2001’s “Touched”, and 2004’s “Soft Commands”), all garnering high praise in Pitchfork, Mojo, NME and other incontrovertible indie rock media. The albums mix Ken’s deeply expressed, emotional singing with delicate support: acoustic, electric, electronic, chamber–Stringfellow is adept at many styles. His shows are legendary, pushing minimalism to its core definition, often performing without using the house PA, Ken’s voice soars, cries, leaps from barely audible to room-filling anguish, joy, sorrow and humor. Ken’s live show has been raved about in packed audiences from Lithuania to Lima, from Taipei to Tasmania, from Johannesburg to Trinidad.
Ken is set release his fourth album, “Danzig in the Moonlight” October 1st on Lojinx in Europe. The album was recorded at the legendary ICP Studios in Brussels, and mixed by up and coming production team TheLAB in Los Angeles. Ken also received contributions from musicians in Mumbai, Italy, Seattle and more; Charity Rose Thielen from buzz band The Head & The Heart joins him on “Doesn’t It Remind You of Something” which is what Lee Hazelwood might have co-written with Leonard Cohen. The album has moments of fearsome electro-tinged menace, balanced with some of the most intensely intimate fragility you’re likely to encounter on record this year. Like Stringfellow’s lifestyle it’s multi-national, genre-defying, challenging and deeply musical.
Ken will tour Europe throughout the fall in support of the album.
€12 available online from WAV Tickets [Lo-Call 1890 200 078] (50c per ticket service charge applies on phone or creditcard bookings)
AFTER THE GIG
Whelan’s Indie/Electro Club w/ Late Bar from 10:30pm.