WORDS: DANIEL ROBINSON PHOTOS: CRAIG MCCOLLOUGH
Breaking OUT OF
BELFAST give the “momentum a kick up They’ve united a homeland known for its divides. But now A would the arse” and “gel people together” Plastic Rose and The Rupture Dogs need to focus on the UK once more. at large. This month Daniel Robinson sat down with both It takes massive balls bands to find out where the Irish scene’s been, where it’s to do what we've going and the horrors of DIY tours.... done” an easy feat to match, never mind GERRY NORMAN Belfast has been brought to it's knees bego beyond.
by a community of acts steadily rising and roaring since And So I Watch You From Afar first alerted the country to a scene then largely unrealised with their mini-festival “A Little Solidarity” just over two years ago.ago. Solidarity was a historic moment in time for Irish music that preceded the boom of bands like Lafaro, Two Door Cinema Club, General Fiasco and ASIWYFA themselves. It would never
Over the last month Back Track spoke with The Rupture Dogs and A Plastic Rose, two Belfast bands in their infant stages at the time of Solidarity who've since established themselves locally and before Christmas were involved in the winter-long “You Are” festival, a fifteen gig NI-wide toast to what the nation had going musically. A Plastic Rose felt like the time had arrived to spearhead a campaign that
“I felt like after ASIWYFA went away there was a lot of pressure for them to be involved in the scene. But they can't, they're doing their own thing. Instead of passing the baton on they just put it on the ground and went 'Right, away you go'. We felt like 'Right, we'll take it'” said Gerry Norman of APR, “It takes massive balls to do what we’ve done, I don’t think anyone can deny us of that.”
4 NI bands to check out
F e a t u r e s . . . M u s i c
Tooth and nails punk rock from the North coast. LISTEN TO: Port Na Spaniagh
TEAM FRESH The causeway rocks have never been rocked as hard. LISTEN TO: Recipe for Disaster
Bruising Belfast crew sound like QOTSA in a quarry. LISTEN TO: Tupenny Nudger
And so I Watch You from Afar
Instrumental in the state of Irish music. LISTEN TO: Search: Party: Animal
Glasgowbury”s a celebration of the scene for summer, we wanted to start one for the end of the year
A Plastic Rose: Gerry Norman at the You Are finale Of course many might argue that every scene needs it's leaders. Without forerunners to motivate the up and coming and unheard of and to draw interest from the wider world, a scene will choke on the fear of fruitless touring, recording and promotion.
chart-topping bands last year.” affirmed Gerry, “Even before it was a success people just applauded us for trying”.
So when indie-hopefuls Panama Kings called it a day last year just as Fighting With Wire seemed damned to post-production hell, Lafaro had caught their break traipsing around Europe with Helmet and ASIWYFA, while still as adoringly conjoined to their homeland as ever, had flown the nest with the aid of Them Crooked Vultures and years of graft, APR were ready to fill in the gap. “It was more of a void than a pressure really,” agreed guitarist Ian McHugh. “There were just no figureheads, nobody locally really putting the work in.”
There were just no figureheads, nobody putting the work in
What place then did The Rupture Dogs have in all of this? The Belfast enthusiasts of all things raw and grungy were barely out of school when the thought of Solidarity rolled around the heads of ASIWYFA. Now senior noise-makers of the North, they've opened for the Sopranos-soundtracking Alabama 3 and been announced by Placebo's exsticksman as the loudest three-piece he's ever heard.
Although dented by delays, APR's headlining Mandela Hall performance culminated the celebration, once again consolidating a moment for NI music. But did the tireless grass-roots publicity pay off?
ty The Mandela afterpar
“I don't think it could ever have failed. It was more of an idea and there was no real pressure for there to be twelve hundred people there, but we got more people to that gig than some
The Rupture Dogs: Gareth, Allan and John