Hot Press Jagermeister Freezer Sessions
The Hot Press Jagermeister Freezer Sessions are held around the country every year and highlight
some of the great talent from Ireland, often giving breaks to more unknown musicians. They are
attended by applying for tickets and then waiting to see if you are successful in your attempts.
Then one fateful Monday in November, success, the email has landed and we are officially invited
to an exclusive and free, yes free gig in The Button Factory on December 4th 2014. I then spent
almost every day asking my wife if she had printed the tickets yet because they are very important,
otherwise, How would we get in? Every day she forgets. Then an email arrives to ask me to
confirm our attendance as the tickets are much sought after and if we can’t go, then the tickets
could be allocated to the next eager person in line. The email also quite contradictory then stated
that if I wanted to add more people to my guest list, just ask and they would be able to
accommodate. Clearly tickets aren’t quite as exclusive as they were made out to be in the first
email. As any well mannered man would do, I promptly replied to confirm that yes, we would be
there and that we were looking forward to it greatly. Then some more wife badgering as she still
had yet to print the tickets. I should point out that our printer is broken, I don’t just force her to do
secretarial jobs for me. Finally on December 4th, mere hours before the gig, she printed them.
We arrived at The Button Factory and walked up to the door, we were given a stamp to prove our
entry and then our much lauded over printed tickets, these exclusive golden tickets (Golden in the
metaphorical sense, not colour.) were handed to the man at the door who without looking at it,
threw it on the ground in a pile with the rest of the discarded print outs. Well that was an anti
climax. I was then greeted by some sexy Jagermeister girls carrying bottles and shot glasses.
“Would you like to try some?” she asked. “Yes I would” was my reply thinking to myself, free gig
and now free drink? Awesome. “That will be €3”.
Now onto the music. The first band were on when we made our way past the large crowd. I can’t
remember the last time I saw this venue so full. The bad playing were The Academics, a four piece
indie rock band from Mullingar. This was my first time to see these guys live. They had the crowd
dancing and singing along. They definitely had some fans in the room. While I enjoyed the band, I
wasn’t blown away by them as they sounded similar to many other bands on the indie scene.
Next up, Rackhouse Pilfer, another band I had now heard before tonight. As soon as they walked
on stage, I suspected I would like them based on their look and instruments. All bands should
have a banjo. Immediately, I was disappointed. The first song they played seemed to be all over
the place. It sounded like three or four different songs merged into one but didn’t really work.
However, that was the only song I didn’t like and they grew and grew throughout their set. The
songs became more Bluegrass in nature which is what endeared me to this band. The drummer
stepped forward to sing on one song which for me, was the best song in their set. They won the
Freezer Sessions Live Band Of 2014 award which was well deserved and hopefully we will hear
more from this band. Now to try get my hands on their albums. Quite a few people left the venue
after they had played.
Third band on the line-up was a band I had previously seen twice and both times I had enjoyed
their performance. The Booka Brass Band are an eight man brass band based in Dublin. Initially
the crowd responded well but then the excitement waned and large section soft the audience had
begun engaging each other in talking which is always rude but that’s a whole other blog entry in
itself. They got the crowd back after a few song when they began “dancing” and did a cover
version of “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child. Unfortunately it wasn’t the bands best performance but
that might have had something to do with the crowd being a bit restless. It was indeed getting late
and soon after their set, more people left the Button Factory before the headliners, The Minutes
took to the stage at 11.25pm.
It was loud. Recently in a review of The Minutes latest album, I said they had turned the amp up to
11. At this live show, it definitely hit 12. The pure energy coming from this band was immense. At
one point a girl in the front row asked could they turn it down. She was met with “If you want
sedate music, Hozier is playing around the corner in the Olympia, we are The Minutes, it’s only
going to get louder” and it did. They belted out their well know hits from both of their albums,
including “Cherry Bomb” and “Gold”. However, when the clock struck 12, it was time to go. It had
been a long day and I was worn out from all the excitement. A nice free cd on the way out is
always greatly appreciated. It was a cd showcasing all of the bands that had played across the
different venues around Ireland. Thank you Hot Press and we look forward to doing it all again next
By: Dave McMahon