brownbread mixtape #9 review — cooler than cool

This month’s brownbread mixtape theme was “Things that are cool” and it did not disappoint! It was a night filled with raucous roars of laughter and boundless waves of joy. All of it endlessly cool of course.


As always, the coolness kicked off with a rambling, happy, singalong song from Kalle and Enda (who was decked out in the coolest 80s threads imaginable) who powered through a brownbread rendition of the Kool & the Gang classic “Celebration”. What, if anything, could be cooler?

The evening then took off in earnest. Our first act of the night was the gifted singer and songwriter Fiach. Having recently completed a support slot to the legendary Ray Davies of The Kinks (and he can list Gilbert O’Sullivan as a fan), we were proud to have him with us to perform some of his songs at the brownbread mixtape.

Fiach began his set with a cheeky grin and launched into a little list of things that are cool (that he had compiled for the night that was in it) which led into his opening Gypsy song. His energy was infectious and his charisma shone through in a brilliant performance. It was no wonder that his recently released album “So I” was a big seller at the interval. Keep an eye on him, he’s going to be massive, but he did promise to go to Weight Watchers if it gets out of hand.

Next up, it was time for a brand new bespoke poem by our resident MC Kalle on the topic of “Things That Are Cool”. In many ways it was a lengthy rhyming list of everything that Kalle holds dear aesthetically and pop culturally. Which is basically a cool excuse for a funny poem. The audience was asked to holler, whoop and get rowdy if they heard something that resonated with them. And they surely did, although Kalle was personally surprised that Rilke got a louder roar than Wilco…

The time was then upon us to invite our brilliant resident brownbread players (Gus McDonagh, Sean McDonagh, Eva Bartley) to the stage. What began as a quirky, humorous interlude between acts and performances, has rapidly become one of the most popular parts of the brownbread mixtape gig. And tonight the brownbread players were in rare form once again!

This month’s comedic offering was a series of hilarious live radio commercials written by Kalle specifically for the theme of the evening. The products and services on offer treaded a fine line between impossibly cool and unbearably uncool. What was not in question was their funniness.

Our final act of side A was the very funny man they call Trevor Browne. Bringing together his twin weapons of the guitar and mind, he broke our funny bones into little pieces with his comedic musings.

Trevor took the opportunity to debut some of his poetry, as well as singing some of his funniest songs (even producing a really well-received brown(e)bread remix of “Freaky” for the occasion). He is a terrifically funny comedian who has an interesting mix of subtle and wacky material. You really have to see him perform. No seriously, you really do.

Side A was closed out with a healthy debate on what songs were cool, which songs were terribly uncool and what songs merit full-on air guitar. See for yourself.

Side B began with our monthly raffle, this time in aid of the fantastic work being done with homeless people by Depaul Ireland. Keep an eye out for Depaul Ireland at this year’s Oxegen and Electric Picnic festivals and take the time find out more about the great work that they do. As well as the “cool” t-shirt and ultra rare brownbread mixtape CD on offer in the raffle, the top prize was in fact a photograph of an original piece of artwork by a homeless artist who worked with Depaul Ireland last year. The raffle was a roaring success and raised an impressive €226.76 which will go towards providing necessary services in Dublin.

We then launched into the audience anecdotes on the topic of “coolness”. Stories of friends dressed as kangaroos, Ireland’s Eurovision victories, disgusting habits and sexual relations with Tiger Woods all made for a rowdy but memorable series of stories. So thank you all for contributing!

Our first act of Side B was the ever-charming Erin Fornoff (all the way from Asheville, North Carolina) who performed the classically cool Shel Silverstein poem “The Perfect High”

On a night of many cool things, Erin’s performance of “The Perfect High” was up there with the coolest. A wacky, oddball poem that took us on a mad journey peppered with magic moments. We hope to have Erin back soon to perform some her own poetic work.

It was then time again, to call on our inimitable brownbread players for our second cool commercial break. Another batch of odd, esoteric, cool and quirky products and services were given the brownbread treatment. Judging by the roars and shouts, some of these characters may have to get sketches of their own…

As microphones were shifted and readjusted, Kalle gave the audience a taste of his foulmouthed poem “Cinematic Sex” which talked about cool things such as sex and pornography in a rhyming structure that the literary greats would be proud of!

It was then time for our final act, the absolutely hysterical sketch comedy trio Foil, Arms & Hog. The lads have a wonderful device to close out sketches where they smash a cymbal to signal the end, but part of you doesn’t want the sketch to ever end. Don’t bang that gong!

The lads elicited wave after wave of laughter with their zany comedy sketches, but the biggest laughs were reserved for their brand new thematically “cool” sketch about iPhone apps. That brought the house down. Foil, Arms & Hog are headed over to the Edinburgh festival this summer and upon their return, expect them to be packing out Vicar Street and beyond. Catch them now while you can!

And so all things must come to an end. The evening drew to a close with the now traditional singing of the alternative Irish national anthem “My Blood Is Boiling for Ireland”. With everyone standing, hands on heart, in full voice roaring the immortal words of “Ireland, Ireland, Ireland f#*king Ireland” the curtain fell on yet another insanely cool, fun brownbread mixtape.

We had an absolute blast. We hope that you did too. Check out our myspace soon for audio of the night. Check in regularly with our YouTube channel for new videos. Become our fan on Facebook. Be a twat that tweets with us on Twitter. Go for a pint with us in the real world some time. See you all next month!

All photographs (c) Jessica Ryan 2010

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1 Comment

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One response to “brownbread mixtape #9 review — cooler than cool

  1. BmCd

    Sorry Kalle Great and all as your night was, I want to take serious issue with your lazy pigeon holing of the very talented Trevor Browne as a “comedian”. While Trevor has undoubtedly as finely developed a sense of humour as many of the great artists, It does him and yourself a serious disservice that you failed in your review to recognise the full breath of his talent both as a musician and a poet. In the true spirit of the new movement his undoubted technical genius , and the sincerity of his voice as a beacon for a new generation make Trevor a standard bearer of our time. Focusing solely on his whimsical yet in-arguably profound sense of humour to the detriment of all else is deeply disappointing. I know you mean well but next time perhaps make an effort to recognise the true message of Trevor, take some time to recognise the seriousness of the Artistic vision behind the smile. Thanks.

    P.S. Some of your own stuff has real potential, you should get Trev to give you some pointers.

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