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
- Dublin Duck Dispensary*
- Grand Pocket Orchestra
- Katie Kim
- Lisa Hannigan
- Patrick Kelleher
- Super Extra Bonus Party
- 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.”