Taking the bait


It’s not list season right now, but after seeing Nialler9’s unordered top fifty Irish acts right now, and Hardcore For Nerds’ ordered top fifteen (both of which surpassed the Irish Times list by being a bit more sensitive to the now rather than the lifetime pass) I am finding it hard to avoid taking the bait and throwing in my two cents.

A bit of a preface: fifty is too many Irish acts for one man, I think. I could make a list up to fifty easily enough, but there would be so little separating number 49 from a potential number 53 that it’s probably not worthwhile. Going to fifty also means including a load of bands whose albums I don’t have, or who don’t have albums, so I’m avoiding that. I’ll go to fifteen, like Gabba, but like Nialler9, I think I’ll go with the alphabetical order.

I’ve said on this blog that So Cow would be number one, I’ve said elsewhere that Mumblin’ Deaf Ro is probably number two, and I’ll say now that if those two are one and two, then Fight Like Apes are three. But beyond that, I don’t want to assign numbers, especially because of the level of flux involved when all these bands are still playing and releasing music. I could order a list of albums, but this is a bit more nebulous than that.

Final prefacing remark: these are pretty uncontroversial.

So, for the record, the fifteen best Irish acts of the moment are:

  • So Cow
  • Mumblin’ Deaf Ro
  • Fight Like Apes
  • Adebisi Shank
  • Angkorwat
  • Bats
  • Dublin Duck Dispensary*
  • Grand Pocket Orchestra
  • Jape
  • Katie Kim
  • Lisa Hannigan
  • Patrick Kelleher
  • Super Extra Bonus Party
  • Terrordactyl
  • Ugly Megan

* Personal acquaintances: I play live with Bobby sometimes. I don’t go anywhere near the recordings though, and the Luanqibazao-Yykes Basket duo merit a place here. I’ve met members of all except Adebisi Shank, SEBP, Lisa Hannigan and Jape, though I did have a wee beside him in the Bernard Shaw yesterday. I know So Cow, Angkorwat and Ugly Megan a bit. But as the Irish Times list said, “What can you do? It’s a small country.”


5 responses to “Taking the bait

  1. I’m flattered that you consider me more sensitive to the ‘now’ (it’s probably because I didn’t really listen to any Irish bands before Fight Like Apes… except for Wilt). But if I had to give a lifetime pass, it would go to Si Schroeder (who’s not on my list, because his album is from 2006, though he is on the Ticket one).


  2. I like the wee gap in your list, Karl. It gives it the appearance of an upside down sonnet.
    I like all your choices, bar Ugly Megan, who don’t appeal to me. I suppose if I made a list Fight Like Apes would be number 1. But my list would have to be very small ‘cos I’m crap at keeping up with the Irish and the New.

  3. Oh and why do you think that woman swam toward the polar bear? Do you think she expected a hug or actually wanted to be half eaten?

  4. She was apparently “elated” as she got closer to the polar bear. Now, I’ve met that polar bear, and when I saw it, it was insanely protective and angry looking because of young Knut. So I definitely would not have recommended violating the personal polar bear space. She deserved what she got and more.

    I’m not that far from doing posts in sonnet form, either, or at least a pseudo-Ginsbergian thing where lines are as long as I want but all start with the same word.

    GGH, no problem, I’m enjoying reading your blurbs, and it is cool to see a list that doesn’t go out of its way to avoid missing the big guns.

  5. thank you karlington, that’s made my day approx 37% less shite, which considering my present dissertational state is a significant compliment.

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