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Music Review Unsigned

::: JULY 2012 :::

Page 2 ::: JULY 2012 ::: MRU MAGAZINE

Content -

A few words from the Editor

I would like to thank you all for taking the time to read this months issue of MRU and for the support over the last 6 years, we have come along way since 2006, had a few ups and downs, tried so many different styles to our website and tried our best to bring you all the latest reviews from some of the worlds unsigned music. The 4th of July is a very special day for independence in America, it is also very special for MRU too, we are 6 years old and very grateful to share such an unique birthday with our USA readers, the only difference is our birthday can be celebrated for independent music and their success throughout the world. As you browse through the pages of our magazine take a moment to check out the artists we feature, because they are hard working, most of the time for free, covering charity events, fund raisers and gigs of their own, just remember they may not want fame and fortune but a simple comment on their website or social media site would make their day, even just by saying ‘Thank you’.

Reviews Page 4-16: Rooftop Runners - Jupiter Forest New Street Adventure - Raptor GMC - Waves Will Swallow Us - Blu Loves Milo - Dayo and the Swingfolk White Vinyl - Atomic League - Scarlett Parade - Hats Off Gentleman It’s Adequate - Michael Reeve - Neck Deep Sojo Ministries - Mellor - Rosie Abbott - Gespenst - Eric McGrath - a41 - The Emotion Project - Raglans - Shove Campaign LK - The Seventh Interviews Page 18-23: Erica Chase - Vinny Murphy The Mouth of Ghosts Live Reviews Page 24-27: Fox E and the Good Hands Eric McGrath - HWCH 2012 Launch Party Music News Page 28-29

Recommended by MRU

‘Thank you without your music MRU Magazine would be a blank canvas and not exist’

Editor-In-Chief T.Halpin

News Editorial Team

Editor/ Feargal Daly

Deputy Editor/ Aoife Read

News Reporter/ Anna Curran


Cairan Sweeney Catherine Maguire Darragh Mullooly Emma Kelly Garreth MacNamee Joe Ismail Joel Damian Haggerty Julie Duff Katriona Quinn Loraine Resa Beth Martin Churchill Patrick Shortall Sam Geaney


Vinny Murphy Interview shots by David Doyles Photography

Cover photo by

Find us on:

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“Progressive Trip Hop in the vein of Massive Attack” Jupiter Forest demo review Review by Catherine Maguire

Rooftop Runners We Are Here EP

waters is a brave move from the duo. Bang Bang is the first track on the EP. It opens to a howling windy background, bluesy guitar licks, and eerie vocals. The sparseness works well here and as the song progresses beats Review by and bass lines are added over Cairan Sweeney the top. The song ends with the e Are Here’ is the bare howling background again first EP from Berlin and this nicely bookmarks the based brothers track. ‘She Devil’ is a more upbeat ‘Rooftop Runners’ and the informative title serves as a track despite the dark lyrics. proclamation of intent on their The unconventional vocals are behalf. The band consists of surprisingly quite catchy. Drum Canadian siblings Benedikt and patterns and vocal harmonies Tobias MacIsaac who have add variation throughout an backgrounds in choreography otherwise linear piece. The next track is ‘Energise’. and dance respectively. Although they are no strangers The hooks again are quite to the performing industry catchy and they do well in delving into more musical overdubbing vocal harmonies


“Overall I think Rooftop Runners have an incredible vocalist and quite a fresh sound that will appeal to most”

to make it less repetitive than it should have been otherwise. ‘Streets’ is an interesting track musically in its incorporation of stutteringelectro beatsalong with dark shrinking bass lines. The singer’s long drawn out vibratos on this one are comparable to those of the late Layne Staley of Alice in Chains. Their music is a blend of progressive Trip Hop in the vein of Massive Attack and so is mostly quite listenable. However the music can get quite tedious with such little variation musically. There seems to be an identical formula applied to each song. There are some changes in texture and rhythm but not really any changes as regards tonality and form. But what I call monotonous another person might call minimalistic. Overall I think Rooftop Runners have an incredible vocalist and quite a fresh sound that will appeal to most. There is definitely room for improvement in their song writing though and if they can do that then they will surely be ones to look out for.

INFO: 2012 saw RTR releasing their debut EP “We Are Here” and two supporting music videos to wide critical acclaim, as well as a European tour, including a performance at Club NME. With an eagerly-anticipated full-length album planned, the siblings seem set to drop their pioneer strand of music at us from rooftops the world over before long.

Recent additions to the Dublin alt/rock scene, Jupiter Forest have released their self titled demo. ‘The duality of their music is based around a signature, finger style acoustic guitar sound coupled with echoed electric guitars and dream pop melodies.’ Their description could not have been any more accurate. Flight of the Sparrow is a cute summer song. It is in this particular type of setting that the singer’s voice really does shine. There are a few occurrences when her voice soars delicately. This recording was my favourite, gladly transporting me to a lazy sun drenched day. I am positive that this song will become a firm fixture on many soundtracks for summer 2012. World Between Us is a foot-tapping-head-bopping enjoyable recording. Odyssey had a very promising start but the recording of the vocals takes away from it drastically, Mcloone’s voice falls short of what she had brought previously leaving the song feeling deflated. It seems the bands main pitfall is when they try to convey a rough rocky sound. It doesn’t quite deliver and doesn’t do them any justice. Jupiter Forest is one of those groups that will gain a cult following. The overall atmosphere that the recording creates is lack lustre, but it has its breakout moments. They are certainly a band that will have far more potential live.

New Street Adventure

Say It Like You Mean It Review by Joe Ismail

New Street Adventure’s EP ‘Say It Like You Mean It’ offers a great mix of current pop and soul music. These tracks all eject a cheerful vibe and the very distinct British voice creates an original sound for the quintet. The first track, ‘Hangin’ On / Hangin’ Up’ has an upbeat jazz feel with thanks from the horns and carries a superb bass line which is an enjoyable addition to the song. To add, there is also an intelligent transition from verse to chorus. Similarly, in ‘On Our Front Doorstep’ the bass is at the forefront; however we nicely have the change over of vocals at times to add some difference. ‘Foolish Once More’ presents a slower tempo at the midway point of the EP and although the song itself is of a good quality, there is a spoken introduction, an influence seemingly taken from the rap and RnB genre which I don’t believe does justice to the song and it comes across somewhat fatuous. Nonetheless, ‘Jack n Danny’ despite retaining the slower tempo, is a strong point on the EP. The chord progression is well chosen and fits with a fine bluesy lead which is frequently played over the top. The song also relies heavily on clever rhymes, something which appears to be influenced by the early days of Alex Turner. This EP carries four strong tracks which all show signs of potential and has an excellent blend of indie and soul music conjuring a notably distinct sound.

Lovin’ Milo

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Raptor GMC demo review

Review by Joel Damian Haggerty

Combining his lifelong love of all things dinosaur, and his subsequent embroilment with music, via his acting experience, Raptor GMC has a promising take on the current sounds of hip hop, with a distinctly American flavour to his Myspace demo's. Given an extra push in delivery and ideas, he could most certainly ascend to a level that would demonstrate to other MC's in the game that he is far from cavalier in his attitude. Hailing from Ireland he faces the difficulty that all European artists face in a musical form that is dominated by state-side mega-stars, and perhaps his subsequent work will reflect more of an Irish bent-with British underground hip-hop in a state of creative hyperactivity at the moment, Raptor GMC could do worse than fire into the melting pot Alt -Rap and leave the mainstream sound to consume itself like a lizard eating it's own tail.

Waves Will Swallow Us Review by Joe Ismail

There seems to be a trend of creating a fusion of genres in this current day and age and ‘Waves Will Swallow Us’ seem to continue this. They are a quintet and play what they describe as ‘metal core’ music, mixing metal and hardcore punk into one genre of its own. ‘Waves Will Swallow Us’ claim they play with heaviness and melody, nevertheless when listening to their opening track, ‘Defeater’, I wasn’t so much convinced. The song seemed to stay on one level throughout and there were very few changes throughout the two minutes. The long awaited guitar solo which would have suited the song so well ceased to arrive and the song finally fades out without a conclusion. However, ‘Your Disease’ seems to have a more melodic opening and carries the song much better when the transition between verses, choruses and breakdowns arrive. The utilisation of guitars seems to be used more wisely in this tune and there is a melodic sound throughout. Although the ending would have been more satisfying if the music ended it rather than vocals. ‘Harvey Dent’ follows a similar pattern and holds a strong melodic riff from the off. The only criticism is that each song is extremely similar to the other. Especially in the chorus where there is screamed vocals followed by a chant of clean vocals. Finally, ‘To The Lions’ begins with a calm piano piece, giving hope that this band can alter their sound and avoid the one way tunnel this EP seems to be going down, yet after a full seven seconds the piano vanishes and similarities from the other three songs reappear. Nonetheless, there are some positives which can be taken from the EP. Firstly, the drumming is very technical and is to a great standard and the screaming vocals are also of exceptional quality; it is simply the songs which seem to be lacking a certain substance.

Blu Loves Milo

melody and a daring attempt at vocal harmonies which for the most part works. The opening ‘Blu Loves Milo line is reminiscent of an guitar could be a bigger arpeggiated version of Sixpence name in years to None The Richer’s ‘Kiss Me’ come’ intro. Thematically, the lyrics deal with young heartache and, Review by while some tired phrases are News Editor evident, a clear effort has been Feargal Daly made. The lyrics “her hair t’s understandable with the glows brighter than the moon/ amount of bands that have her eyes, they sparkle, they come and gone that we are could fill any room” isn’t going in an era of very unusual, to win them any awards, but unique and sometimes could melt the hearts of a few downright bizarre band names. young teenage girls that will Blu Loves Milo is no exception make the lads feel like rock to the trend. The band pitch stars. As a young band this themselves as a young makes perfect sense and it alternative/punk rock trio shows honesty in their approach consisting of members Echo to song writing. They write Harte (Guitar/Vox), Robert about things that are relevant Stephens (Drums) and Jack and true from a youth’s Roche (Bass). Hailing from perspective and ultimately it Tuam, Galway these young lads works, if not sounding a little have just released their very too grandiose in parts. ‘Sound of Rain’ is the first EP. Not only is Tuam the fastest town in Ireland (say it weakest track of the bunch. It out loud and you’ll get it! Poor becomes increasingly hard to joke...I’ll leave...) but Blu again take seriously the themes Loves Milo’s sound sometimes of love and heartbreak from a perfectly complements this. bunch of lads still in With an ear for melody, layers, adolescence. It’s a classic and a deft hand at song writing, thematic approach of the popwe are treated to three songs of punk genre but a little overused a solid quality for such a young and begs for something with a band, if not a little bit more substance. The guitar here is a mixed beast. I couldn’t underwhelming in parts. ‘Flame Red’ is a dynamic, help but feel it might be slightly fast-paced opener and an all out of tune and out of time with round taste of the band’s style. the drum beat in the early parts. The drums are stellar, with However, it manages to save numerous variations that itself in the breakdown, and this unfortunately get buried in the is where the band’s strengths in mix behind a prominent guitar great ideas shine. One of the niggling issues line, and are only noticed on repeat listens. Robert Stephens throughout is the incoherency hard hitting play style suits the of the vocal layers over the band and is one of the stronger much better mixed instrumental elements throughout the EP. tracks. The power behind the delivery is Echo Harte’s guitar solo is instrumental impressively fast paced and hindered by vocals that just technically sound and he don’t quite match the same demonstrates a knowledge of grandeur. It’s also easy to feel using a wah pedal to effect. The bad for bass player Jack Roche breakdown adds a welcome as he gets buried in the mix dynamism before a storming unless the bass is at the return to the chorus concludes forefront of a song. When he is called to deliver however, he the song. ‘Eclipsed’ is a musically solid does a fine job keeping the track with an emphasis on groove. Ultimately, the mixing


is pretty middle of the road in that it ultimately works, but leaves much more to be desired. This EP is relatively short at only three songs but concise enough to offer no room for anything but decent, well structured songs of a quality that a band this young could produce. The band is fortunate to have the element of time on their side to grow musically, and perhaps perfect the more technical aspects of recording. While this EP is nothing outstanding it serves as a stepping stone to potentially greater things. The obvious care and thought demonstrated within is often more evident in releases from upcoming bands than major acts, and this EP is no exception. They wear their influences on their sleeves which is always acceptable for any young band but they should be careful of this in future. If they apply their apparent ability to build effective songstructures and ideas with a more original approach to themes and lyrics then Blu Loves Milo could be a bigger name in years to come. INFO: Alternative/Punk/Rock band from Tuam Co. Galway. Formed in late October 2010 and have been working hard ever since! Blu Loves Milo write their own songs. Reorded and released first 3 track EP in April 2012 at Stables Recording Studio in Tuam.

http://www.facebook .com/BluLovesMilo

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Making waves in a league of their own

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Dayo and the Swingfolk

For Whom Do You Do Review by Emma Kelly

It’s great to see an act with so much passion that they’re willing to go it alone in order to pursue the musical direction they hope to achieve. Dayo and the Swingfolk is such an act. The Swingfolk in the name are present in the way The Machine is with Florence, or the Diamonds are with Marina. Dayo is a Dublin-based songwriter, who has released his debut album “For Whom Do You Do” on his own, after failing to find a permanent band that matched his drive and enthusiasm. The result is an eccentric mish-mash of styles that somehow really works. Dayo’s genre is, in his own words, swing-folk (hence the name), and encompasses elements of jazz, blues and acoustic guitar. This really works on tracks like “Consider It Done”, where Dayo’s husky vocals layer over guitar and bongos to produce a laid-back tune that wouldn’t be out of place on the Body and Soul stage at Electric Picnic. “Doin’ Alright” is a bit more eclectic, even fusing clarinet into the song nonchalantly. A more acoustic approach is taken with “Wave After Wave”, which features more Irish traditional vocals. All in all, this is a fine debut for anyone looking for a unique sound with a clearly passionate frontman that is all about perfecting his craft.

White Vinyl

Review by Aoife Read

The thing about psychedelic rock is … actually scrap that. There is no thing about psychedelic rock, it’s all awesome! I love my music guitar heavy, drums pounding and with a nice side order of trippy experimentation thank you very much! White Vinyl are a garage rock band from Manchester. Their self titled debut EP is a bluesy, riff heavy masterpiece of soulful noise and I loved every reverb laced minute of it. I went everywhere with these tracks in my head. From tripped out Jefferson Airplane, to Hendrix style 6 string foreplay. It has been a long time since I've been excited about good old fashioned rock n roll. I think the last time was my first hearing of Wolfmothers debut album, and I think that album changed my life! The first track I heard was ‘Shifting Sands’. It is old school rock. The vocals are akin to Jack White, and there is something Von Bondie-ish about it. It powers along to a tight sharp finish. But then, oh then, there was ‘Mountain Top’. You could have stuck me on a beach and played me The Cramps. I loved this track. Mixing that 60’s surfer sound with a more raw bluesy edge…this is literally toe tappingly good. Swinging sixties undertones, throw in some good old fashioned blues riffs and lace it with some seventies psychedelia and you have White Vinyl. These guys are definitely ones to watch out for…and they have the vibe of a band that would be fantastic live so watch out for that. With out a doubt 5/6, I really want to hear more of these guys. Trip me out and call me Grace, I’m a White Vinyl fan!

Atomic League

line with the sentiments expressed by Nine Inch Nail’s Trent Reznor. The gradual sonic evolution in the song never feels forced and the changing tempos and instrumentation work extremely well. It manages to refrain from sounding too cluttered and despite requiring a few listens to “get it”, you’ll eventually be tomic League is an hooked. ‘Dream Corruption’ first and experiment project from an experienced foremost has one of the better young Glaswegian Shaun song titles I’ve seen in a while. Canning. Shaun had previously You just know from reading the been the drummer for the short- name that something great lived, but well received band awaits. Thankfully, this track is The Routes and has played with no letdown. If anything on this other notable acts such as EP bears the influence from Deacon Blue and Amy Massive Attack it’s this track. Macdonald. Becoming It’s a heavily ambient track with increasingly disillusioned with some nice underlying melodies. industry promises that never Each part isolated would sound came to fruition, Shaun wasteful but delivered together tinkered around with some produces a sonic draw you “cheesy pop” tunes (with yet simply can’t resist. ‘Took My Heart’ is probably another band Ruby Culture) before deciding to try out a new the weakest track of the lot. The direction all on his own. Shaun music itself is solid but the undertook a hardcore vocals just feel uninspired and independent approach in distracting from what could tackling every responsibility have otherwise been an from song-writing to recording. engaging track. The uplifting Adopting the “lone wolf” piano line is a welcome change attitude certainly feels like the to the brooding offerings thus right step and, despite some far and the drum beat ramps up niggling issues, Atomic League the tempo nicely. A solid track, ultimately succeeds as one of well mixed, but the vocal the stronger ambient/electronic delivery leaves much to be desired. offerings by an unsigned act. ‘Glimmers’ marks a slight ‘In The Darkness, He Will Shine’ begins the EP and is a departure from the soundscape slow-building, dynamic, multi- we’ve come to accept from layered track. The vocals take a Atomic League. It’s one of the few listens to get used to as they weirder tracks that actually curiously juggle between trying pulls off different styles very to emulate the lazy delivery of well. In one ear we hear a Thom Yorke with the off- subdued, crackling guitar line putting, yet engaging style of while in the other we get an up Deftone’s Chino Moreno (in his beat counter melody. This mix quieter moments). This track of tonalities and styles sound presents the kind of dark like they shouldn’t work, yet electronic music that falls in they do. Not to say it’s off‘There’s a lot to grasp within these four tracks (the average running time exceeding 5 minutes) but it Review by manages to News Editor keep you Feargal Daly engaged’


putting or atonal at all but rather a good example of “modern” music in action. The sample vocal track over the end of “I began to float” actually works well in that it elevates the music and transcends the listener’s senses from reality (if you let yourself succumb to it). There’s a lot to grasp within these four tracks (the average running time exceeding 5 minutes) but it manages to keep you engaged. However, I found that it did require multiple listens to get to that stage and tested the tracks out in different environments. The best way to experience Atomic League is with headphones on, turned up to glass-smashing decibel levels and strolling through an urban environment. If you do this you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful, sometimes haunting, escape from the drudgery of an urban landscape. Keep an eye on Atomic League. They have the potential to grow into something engaging in the future.

INFO: Atomic League mixes ambient beats and elements of trip hop to breed its own distinct sound of Electronic Rock n Roll. AtomicLeagueBand

Something a little bit different

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Scarlett Parade


Review by Emma Kelly

very few months, some music magazine declares the rock genre to be dead. And in fairness, often their wild statements have some foundation in truth. However, as long as there are bands like Scarlett Parade around, rock n roll may well still have a few breaths left in its lungs. The London-based band, consisting of 24-year-old Adam Jones and Geoff Tinkler, have formed a sound that’s mellow and not alienating to those with a softer preference, but that is truly rooted in the rock genre. Think Led Zeppelin with deeper lyrics, or a less hookladen Black Keys. The guys

have just released their debut EP, and it’s something a little bit different. The rock vibe is definitely heard on Black as the Sun, where the Zeppelin vibe is strong- growling guitars, grimy drums and a muffled vocal; pure rocking Americana. But things soften up on Billie, which not only features piano and slow rhythms, but a more soulful, bluesy vocal that wouldn’t have been out of place on The Black Keys “Brothers”. In my opinion, the EP’s standout is The Time Ain’t Come Around, which evokes a sincere, bluesy, Southern state vibe, which would suit a cruise in a beat-up car through the desert. That kind of vibe. The thing that struck me is

Michael Reeve Find Me

Review by Darragh Mullooly

It has been an incredibly busy year of writing and recording, for new, Lincolnshire born, singer/songwriter Michael Reeve, along with the success, following the release of his debut E.P “Between Two Lives” he has released his new single, “Find Me”. The single is a haunting, somewhat thought provoking, catchy mix of acoustic rock and folk. Reeve’s gravely tones are slightly reminiscent of Bon Iver with a talented pinch of Ray Lamontagne. Reeve has already been featured on several soundtracks for independent films which have been shown at the

prestigious Cannes and London film festivals. In addition to this, Michael has received airplay on regional, national and international radio stations and was the featured artist on BBC Introducing. Michael has recently received recognition with three tracks being voted in the Top10 Pick on Tom Robinson’s “Fresh On The Net” calling his music "Elements of electronica, folktronica Gary Lightbodyfrom-Snow-Patrol-onica which all combine to make quite a unique-sounding track with a nice melody and a catchy chorus…..a slow burner that keeps on building….passionate vocals and swelling guitar melodies combined to spine tingling effect". So, what’s next for the

how much older than their years the guys sound. The vocals on the EP are so emotion-laden that they could be sung by a seasoned suffering 50-year-old. It’s that sincerity that brings this rock group to a unique level.

INFO: Scarlett Parade is a duo hailing from the Isle of Man, the tiny island located in the Irish Sea between Liverpool and Belfast. Formed in early 2011, members Adam Jones and Geoffrey Tinkler, both 24, have a strong songwriting partnership that is designed to showcase their strengths, not only as songwriters, but multiinstrumentalists also. /scarlettparade

Lincolnshire lad. Reeve says he wants to contine performing his new material and reaching out to the people that support and enjoy his music. “Find Me” is available as a free download from http://www.michaelreevemusic .com or to buy from Amazon and I Tunes.

Hat’s off gentlemen it’s adequate

Frail Hurricane (Demo Version) Review by News Editor Feargal Daly

MRU recently reviewed the brooding yet brilliant single ‘Wait For The Storm’ awarding it a rare six stars. With a new single in the pipeline Hats Off Gentleman It’s Adequate gave us a glimpse at their next single ‘Frail Hurricane’ from their upcoming EP and it couldn’t be any different from the last release. ‘Frail Hurricane’ cranks the distortion, attitude and aggression and you’d be mistaken for thinking they’ve entered a “punk” phase. Does this shift in musical direction pay off? Unfortunately the answer is mixed. While the guitar leaves much to be desired the drums are hard-hitting, stand out above all in the mix and arguably carry the song. Also missing is Kathryn Thomas’s (No, not the RTÉ presenter) sweeping flute that lifted the band to new heights. Lyrically front man Malcolm “Itsadequate” seems to be quite adept at throwing the personal strife out in the open. Unfortunately the music and lyrics don’t quite sync together and fail to replicate the same effect as the band’s previous release. It’s a demo so naturally the production quality isn’t going to be of a professional standard. Coming off the back of their last release and its outstanding production, this is definitely a regressive step for the band. The consistency of quality has certainly been dented somewhat and they should be careful of what they make available for public listening. As a demo this is but a taste and the verdict should be taken as a conditional “first-impressions” grading. The final version of ‘Frail Hurricane’ is due for an August release and hopefully it’ll have a bit more of the “punch” teased by the demo.

Neck Deep

What Do You Expect Review by Emma Kelly

Pop punk has always been a tricky genre- too poppy and catchy for true punk fans, and too hardcore for the Bieber loving tweens. But there’s definitely a market for it, albeit one that is littered with very mediocre bands. Luckily, Neck Deep have avoided the mediocrity and produced some technically professional and honest pop punk tunes. Unfortunately, this USdominated genre means that you do give up your musical individuality. Neck Deep hail from Wales, but you wouldn’t know it from their pseudo-American vocals and thrashing guitars. Perhaps this is what caught the eyes and ears of US label We Are Triumphant Records, who have just signed the band. While it’s a little bit annoying that they sound like a cookie-cutter US emo band without their UK lilts, you can’t fault their musical talent. The band sound like a much edgier early Fall Out Boy, with lashings of the more emotional side of Blink 182. On “What Do You Expect”, the tried-and-tested pop punk formula is utilised brilliantly- profanities scattered across the verses (“You went and fucked this up/ Cos you couldn’t keep your legs shut”), a super catchy chorus, and grimy guitar breakdowns. It’s standard punk fare, but will definitely snap up some fans. The same can be said for the emo lyrics of “I Couldn’t Wait to Leave 6 Months Ago”, which details the mental trauma of a youngster wanting to skip town (“The mistakes that I made, the lessons learned from the nights that I spent with my friends in this town I resent”). Groundbreaking they are not, but Neck Deep are talented musicians that deserve a break. We could have another Lost Prophets on our hands.

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A simple sound With a perfect composition

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Sojo Ministries Rejoice

Review by Sam Geaney

Any music that falls into a genre with the prefix Christian, whether it is Christian Rock, Christian Pop or Christian Rap, gets a bad name from the start. The word Christian in music scares people off. Even “The Fray”, who had become a hugely popular group before the discovery of their faith, faced criticisms regarding the meaning of their songs and some fans were turned off. This makes it hard for groups such as Sojo Ministries to gain popularity due to the preconceptions surrounding the word Christian in music. People with a fear of Christian music should try to let their prejudices go because there are some hidden gems within the genres. Sojo Ministries are a husband and wife duo that resides in Delaware, America. The duo is comprised of Sophia and Joe Vancey, Jr. They are both ministers and believe in preaching through the medium of song. They have ministered throughout the United States as well as some areas of Canada. They have also featured on numerous TV and radio shows so have a growing. Their music has a major basis in R&B, though it expands to other genres too. It is when they go furthest into R&B that they shine most. Unfortunately their recently released single “Rejoice” is not the best of the tunes they have written and a better selection is available on their ReverbNation profile, though some are only samples. This shows that the group has more to give. In saying this, however, “Rejoice” is still worth a listen. It is an uplifting piece of music that could get people bopping along to and it is easy to imagine it being played in a church with people singing and dancing along to it. Whether this will gain much popularity outside of Christian music circles is hard to say but it is a solid piece of work that surpasses some of the other productions by Christian music artists. There are some negatives to say about the song too, unfortunately. The backing sounds too simplistic and the vocal melody is not very original sounding. The instrumental part of the song seems to have too much of a reliance on electronic production and it could improve the music if instead live instruments were recorded for the track. The live instrumentation would also lead it to be a more engaging track when played live whether on stage or in church. This group has talent as is shown on their various online profiles but their choice of debut single was the wrong one. It may see some popularity in the Christian music circles but is unlikely to gain popularity outside of this. Their arsenal of other recordings, however, suggests that there their next release will be an improvement.


Catch Me Girl Review by Emma Kelly

In order to catch the attention of bored music fans, you either have to go completely modern and fresh, or go completely retro. Mellor, a four-piece band from Reading, have gone the latter route. On their single Catch Me Girl, which is due for release next week on June 25th, we are given an idea of what we would have got if Pete Doherty collaborated with Buddy Holly. And the result is pretty damn good. Retro nostalgic surf pop rock has made a return into the indie psyche with bands like Best Coast riding high. Mellor have taken this vibe and given it an indie twist- namely, by including lead singer Gary Kingham’s raw rock vocals. While his singing style would seem more suited to a straight alt-rock guitar band, it meshes well with the laid back, Hollies-esque melody. On single B-side Last Man on Earth, it’s more of a British Beach Boys vibe, that wouldn’t be out of place as a background tune for Heartbeat. But while not as strong as its A-side, it is still an original attempt at bringing back the good old days. My guess is that Mellor will be a huge presence on the summer festival scene next year, because their tunes so far will make you feel like you’re at a clam bake in 1952, rather than in a field in the present day. Neato.

Rosie Abbott


Review by Patrick Shortall

eatles influence, check. Multi-instrumentalist, check. Home recording, check. Rosie Abbott seems to fit perfectly into that tired old singer-songwriter cliché. But in a world full of stereotypes and wannabes this woman refuses to be categorised. This album is clearly a response to this situation, playing on the theme of pigeon-holing. Rosie Abbott is like a breath of fresh air compared to the latest products of the mass-media machine. Her music rescues that fun childish innocence while creating a free and relaxed atmosphere. The simplest way to describe Rosie Abbott's sound is a cross between the Beatles and Regina Spektor. She doesn't try to hide her influences, the first track, If Everything Was Up To Me, could've been taken off any early Beatles album. It is beautifully simple. The voice is sweet and clear, the lyrics twee and childish. The lo-fi production complements this style perfectly. There's even a touch of whistling which is very nice. The rest of the album follows in a similar vein. Things are spiced up with some

jazzy guitar, bluesy solos and even a trippy psychedelic interlude or two. Again this sounds like the later stages of the Beatles, or even more modern shoe-gaze indie. Rosie evokes other sounds of the past with waltzes and the final track A Year To Remember which reminds me of Auld Lang Syne. My favourite song by far has to be Victim Of My Imagination. Despite the quaint childish and folksy feel of the album this track is a real traditional punk tune. A demonic riff and angry distorted vocals. Maybe a slightly laid-back approach to punk it has certainly got the attitude. This sounds more like Patti Smith and reminds me of some early hardcore. This music is plain and simple but there is a lot more to it than it seems. Rosie explores the everyday in a childish and dreamy way. The rhythms chug along and the lyrics are charming. The instrumental skills are good and they serve the songs well, without overshadowing. The whole album is well put together. There are nice interludes and some diverse styles. I think this is an album that can really resonate with people. It's only downfall is that it may be too simple, but for easy listening it

is some quality music that is sure to strike a chord with people.

INFO: Songwriter/musician from Nottingham. I write, play, record and produce all my own music (no flashy gadgetry involved) - just my humble little 8-track BossBR900CD, a microphone and a few cheap instruments (plus the occasional woodpigeon.) I've played many acoustic gigs in and around Nottingham at venues including The Maze, The Jam Cafe, Alley Cafe, Lee Rosy's, Hotel Deux, The Loft, The Central, Loggerheads, Bunkers Hill, The Rescue Rooms, The Priory (Loughborough), The Canalhouse and The Golden Fleece. I've also been played on these radio stations: Trent Sound, Radio Thetford and KAOS radio (Washington DC). rosieabbottfanpage

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Here is something altogether fresh and exciting Eric McGrath Little Ripples Review by Emma Kelly

While the Irish and Spanish are probably not on speaking terms after last Thursday’s Euro 2012 bloodbath, here’s a Spaniard that we definitely need to let into our lives. Eric McGrath is a half-Spanish, half-Irish singer-songwriter that brings a unique Latin flair to his acoustic arrangements, that creates a truly new sound for the summer. On his new album Little Ripples, you can hardly hear any Irish influence, but more of an American feel that meshes well with the Spanish flavour. On opening track Let’s Get Curious, there are echoes of Jack Johnson there as carefree lyrics meet summery, breezy guitar. This theme follows onto Ripples into Waves. There’s nothing deep expressed, but the laidback melody cannot help but put a smile on your face. On A Lost Romance, you can really notice his Spanish roots as you listen to the guitar technique and the use of the ukulele in the background, which you can picture being played around a beach bonfire- a great contrast to McGrath’s mellow, chitchatty vocals. The production of the album gives an intimate sound, particularly on Carousel, where the song just features McGraths voice and a simple guitar progression, followed by sounds of the seaside. All in all, this is the perfect laidback summer soundtrack that showcases all of the musical influences that have had a bearing on McGrath’s sound. This guy is definitely one to watch on the Irish scene this year, and deserves recognition for bringing something new to the arena.


The Bloodline

and flows from track to track. If you have read any of my other reviews, you might already know that I am not the biggest fan of instrumental bands. I tend to feel that they fall a bit short and sound like Review by something is missing. But not Deputy News Editor Gespenst. In fact, it wasn’t until Aoife Read halfway through the second track that I realised there was no vox line. t first when I read the Their music is vast and epic. description of Gespenst It’s the kind of thing you expect and saw that they were to hear on the ad for a big block a Malaysian band my brain buster action movie. Actually, straight away jumped to cheese whilst listening to the title track metal, (something as yet to be ‘Bloodlines’, images of long explained, but still!). Then their haired Lothario's on press release described them as motorcycles, jumping through a ‘post rock’ and my concern cloud of fiery smoke kept being deepened. What exactly, I conjured up. Granted I had just thought to myself, is post rock? watched a Steven Seagal box Well I’ll tell you what its not, it set, but you get my drift! is definitely not cheese metal. I had geared myself up or this Comprising of Syahmi Rawi blood pumping to continue, and Zuhair Rawi the duo, (yes when on came ‘Memoir’. If they are brothers) bring we’re talking movies, this track something altogether fresh and is more Bela Lugosi than exciting to the table. Emotion Steven Seagal and I loved it. It positively drips from each blew me away. Soft and lilting, track. Held together by simple it sweeps along eerily. It was guitar licks and minimalist haunting and resonant and is a sloping piano riffs, the music truly beautiful track. maintains a rich multi The album is almost post dimensional sound that soars apocalyptic in its sound. It’s ‘I was extremely impressed by these guys and I really did like the album’


bleak and bold and packed with raw energy. In parts it’s almost gothic, and I honestly can not think of anyone to compare them to. I was extremely impressed by these guys and I really did like the album. A genuinely unique act, they really fill their own little space at the rock table expertly. Definitely worth a listen, just maybe, steer clear of the Seagal box set before hand!

INFO: Founded by two brothers from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2009, Gespenst members don't call themselves a band. “We’re not a band, we’re brothers” Gespenst is made of Syahmi Rawi and Zuhair Rawi a postrock duo known by their minimal riffs and sounds but presented in a big and cinematic style. Every note and riff in each song has its own emotion and shaped by ambient sounds and heavy soundscapes. Gespenst is influenced by the sound of Pg.Lost, Khoma, Mono, and Maybeshewill.

http://gespenst.bandcamp. com


Don't Break Review by Katriona Quinn

Four-piece alternative/indie rock band a41 have released their latest single ‘Don’t Brake’, a stomping track that stays true to the genre. Hailing from Cheshire, Northwest UK, these guys have oodles of potential to make it big in the industry. Influenced by a range of different artists, they have incorporated these individual styles into their own music and created their unique, and captivating, sound. Rough round the edges, ‘Don’t Brake’ delivers a stomping beat wrapped in undulating guitar work and edgy bass lines. Staying true to today’s indie rock this track is raw, edgy, rough and yet perfectly formed for commercial success. To my ears, it has the right amount of everything to become the next replayed radio sensation. ‘Sons and Daughters’, an older track for the band, has a softer, rounder sound with velvety guitar and beautifully sung lyrics. While the song has many obvious traces of Coldplay, it was still a winner for me. ‘Curtain Call’ has a similar style to ‘Don’t Brake’, less Coldplay-esque and more ‘rough round the edges’. ‘Curtain Call’ kicks up the tempo with solid drumming that compliments the crunching bass. Kind of a mix between early-Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes, it has a strong presence but a recognisable, ‘been there done that’ sound. Worth a listen if you like the aforementioned bands though. You can download ‘Don’t Brake’ and ‘Sons and Daughters’ on iTunes at

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Just waiting to be discovered

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The Emotion Project Is This Heaven?

Review by Patrick Shortall

This EP is another example of the kickstarter funding model and it seems to have worked well for this release. The first thing I noticed about it was the high production quality. Before even listening to this collection of cheerful pop/rock songs, I was greeted by some truly beautiful artwork. Despite the move towards digital formats the power of great artwork and presentation still makes a big difference. The illlustration provides a charming touch of personality. It has a retro feel but keeps a clear and simple design. This was a nice accompaniment to the music. Unfortunately, I think the artwork may be the best part of this EP. The production quality remains high in the music. These songs are all written by the singer and guitarist Jeff Tufaro, but he has pulled out all the stops to assemble a full band to record them. The pristine production is in keeping with the pop aesthetic and there are some great textures with piano, wurlitzer, organ and accordian added to the traditional guitar, bass and drums combo. The vocal performances are very good and I also loved the gang vocals which you don't often hear in this genre. Despite this elaborate production the focus remains on showcasing the songs. These type of projects are normally held together by the songwriter's skill, but in this case I don't think it shines through. The high contrast in quality in this department is disappointing. The songs are catchy and uplifting but they grow stale very quickly. The melodies become too repetitive, the harmony too predictable and the lyrics too clichéd. The highlights for me were the title track 'We Did It Right' with its infectious hook and 'Cancer Of The Heart' that had a driving energy and dynamic. This quality does not remain consistent, the slower songs tend toward wussy cliche's and meandering melodies which become tedious. I found myself waiting for some kind of climax which never really came. These songs have the potential to be really great but they're missing that little bit of suprise and tension which really grab the listener. Despite these criticisms, it's generally not bad. It's very cheerful and enjoyable to listen to. I love a good hook as much as the next guy, and some of these did get stuck in my head. The uplifting tone is also a welcome change from the negative moaning that seems to prevail in most indie music. The production is great, but the songs are not quite up to scratch. The goal of pop is to be simple and catchy. This is certainly simple and catchy but it also lacks that staying power. Like fast food; very tasty and satisfying at first but doesn't really fill you up and after a while you're hungry again. Decent pop/rock but ultimately lacks substance.


notable progression for the band. Produced by Lee Boylan ‘There are no (Drummer from Fight Like gimmicks here, Apes), ‘Long Live’ is a quality no ridiculous demonstration of indie-rock instrumentation’ done right. There are no gimmicks here, no ridiculous instrumentation for the sake of Review by being unique and quirky that News Editor can often alienates potential Feargal Daly fans from outside the indie-rock f you are in any way scene. Raglans are all about affiliated with the Dublin crafting songs that any music music scene, you would fan can invest themselves in, have heard of Raglans by now, and they succeed with ‘Long and for good reason. Gaining Live’. ‘The Man From Glasgow’ fans, one by one, through extensive touring in the UK and from the first EP has resurfaced Ireland over the last three years here with a bit more polish that you will belong to either one of makes it feel both familiar and two categories: Those who have fresh. Minus the audio excerpt heard of Raglans or those that from Wilfred Owen’s war poem will. Releasing their second EP ‘Anthem For Doomed Youth’ ‘Long Live’, the band is set to (“What passing bells for these pick up the pace on exposure who die as cattle?”) this track and gain recognition that this retains all the bounce and clever release proves they deserve. indie anthem song structure that The band consists of Stephen has made it such a successful Kelly, Rhos Horan, Conn release for the band. Including O’Runaidh and Liam Morrow it again on this second release is who each demonstrate clarity in a smart move for new fans and their ability as a band to create feels more relevant in the music meant for an audience in coherency of this release. ‘Digging Holes’ starts with a live performances, parties and vocal explosion before for just having fun. Labelling their sound as descending into an Asian indie/folk/pop it’s hard to resist inspired guitar line with plenty the modern twist to the genre of reverb and delay that would and is ultimately infectious. have The Edge himself Citing influences from rock and salivating. The guitar melody folk artists of the past and echoes throughout the duration present (Bob Dylan to The of the song going effortlessly in Gaslight Anthem and and out of prominence. The everything in between), quality of the production here is Raglans deliver a concise stellar and a standout track full demonstration of their ability to of up-tempo, sing-along energy produce dynamic, up-tempo and will surely be a fan in the live and toe-tapping folk-rock favourite anthems for a modern audience. environment. ‘Sand In My ‘Long Live’ follows the Pockets’ is probably the most release of their first, self-titled true to the “pop” moniker the EP from 2011 and marks a band hold. With a dreamy


progression that carries the music, this song is rooted in tradition in its retro-infused characteristics are reminiscent of a time when music was about something, holding a certain humanity that has been lost in a lot of contemporary music. ‘Save Your Words For The Widow’ brings a welcome return to the bounce and driving energy from the earlier tracks. This song will go down a storm in the live environment with an infectious sing along quality to the “Ahs” of the chorus complimented by some lyrics demanding to be chanted: “And on the seventh day/ Get on your knees and pray/ Welcome to the holy land, the only land, that don’t mean nothing!”. ‘Roll Away’ is a slow tempo track closing out the EP with greater sing along characteristics becoming a staple of sorts for the band. This is the ultimate sing along anthem with relatable lyrics. There’s something brilliantly poignant about the line “you’re dreams were never yours at all” which echoes the sentiments of the young generation in this country feeling powerless and out of control of their own futures. Ultimately ‘Long Live’ is a solid follow up to Raglans first EP and reaffirms that there is a healthy music scene in Dublin just waiting to be discovered. These guys are certainly one of the forerunners of the indie scene that deserve to be more widely recognised. Keep an eye on them, you won’t regret it. Long Live Raglans! Raglans

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Impressive songs but vocals Campaign LK disappoint Calms Your Soul Review by Catherine Maguire



Review by News Reporter Anna Curran

strengths. The band’s live cover of ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ shows they’re not afraid of hove formed in 2008, as a coming out from behind their result of the songwriting effects pedals and amps, and the relationship between use of what’s seems to be a Gary Brennan (vocals and ukulele (or perhaps a banjo) acoustic guitar) and Garrett makes it a unique version of the Hulgraine (lead guitar). The song. However, an issue that pair then teamed up with ex becomes apparent in other member John Peyton (drums) songs where instrumentation is and Ciaran O’ Gorman (bass) pared back is Brennan’s voice, and began touring and as he appears to have difficulty recording. The band has been hitting certain notes. But the successful in numerous song was recorded live to competitions and has cultivated certain imperfections are to be a strong online presence with a expected. large international fanbase. Unfortunately the same can’t ‘Every Step’ seems to be the be said for ‘Black Cat,’ which most clear example of what the was recorded in a studio, as band are aiming for with their Brennan appears to struggle sound when they cite Bon Jovi, with high notes and at times U2, and Pearl Jam and other appears to be out of tune. It stalwarts of the rock world as seems that the band’s strength influences. The song opens with lies in more instrument heavy an impressive riff that’s hard rock songs like ‘Every reminiscent of King’s of Leon’s Step’ where vocals aren’t the ‘Because of the Times,’ where main focus. What should be a the band exchanged indie floor ballad of heartbreak is fillers for serious stadium unconvincing because the anthems. singer seems to have difficulty ‘Breakdown’ sees the band hitting the heart-rending high take a turn in the direction of notes in this song. Alice Copper and AC/DC with The band returns to form on a rootin’ tootin’ good old ‘Come in From the Rain’ with fashioned Southern Rock Song more impressive guitar and a with good instrumentation, return to the vocal style that particularly in Hulgraine’s suits them better than the licks. Definitely one of the ballad, but it lacks the bands strongest songs and is a impressive hook in format that clearly plays to their ‘Breakdown’ that grabs the

Now, where do I start with this review? Firstly the thought of serious Irish rappers has generally been quite laughable. Remember that Big Brother contestant? Most members of this wannabe-ghetto-clique are well aware of the status of Irish hiphop at the moment, although sometimes I wonder. So, they willingly poke fun at themselves i.e. The Rubberbandits’ need I go on? When I do come across ‘serious’ Hibernian rappers, I’m never quite sure how I should take them. Should I scoff at their attempts to be from da’hood or should I sit back and take in what they have to offer? I followed the latter. Overall Campaign LK are O.K. the vocals are mellow and easy on the ear. However it is only when I hear the South-Western Irish lilt in the rapping that I cringe. I just cannot take it seriously! As much as I try to contain myself my index finger somehow manages to find its way to the stop button. Beat bustin’ rhymes such as ‘...livin’ in wig-whams...’and ‘ got no hack like the tinman...’ I’m still not entirely sure if this is street slang or how hippedy-hop country folk talk. Either way I’m not really impressed. The only part that I like from this effort was the opening and Brian O’ Brian’s vocals in Calms your soul. From what I could bear to sit through this is the fundamental point of the review... Awful attempt at music, best used as a cliché rap bingo drinking game, when any of Bitches, hoes, rhymes, beats, dog, representin’ or hood is used drink, otherwise nothing more than just bottles flatulence akin to previous attempts.

listener from the very start, as the riffs proper only begin two minutes in. ‘Shatter’ opens with a very nice riff that evokes Alice Copper circa ‘Poison,’ that transforms into a more reflective sound as the song progresses into power-ballad territory. But again the song fails to reach the potential that ‘Every Step’ and ‘Breakdown’ show the band has, and, at over five minutes, seems overly long. Overall, the band has some impressive songs but vocals disappoint n some songs and others seems to be in need of some more fine-tuning, with ‘Breakdown’ and ‘Every Step’ showing the band at their best. INFO: Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, Shove are a band that create an explosive, ethereal, dynamic & energetic sound of con temporary rock music set against a backdrop of eclectic musical influences. With a constantly evolving & ever growing fan base , the last four years have seen Shove emerge as an influential force on the Irish music scene impressing the public, critics & industry professionals along the way.

The Seventh

Review by Garreth MacNamee

Describing their sound as somewhere in between Muse and U2, The Seventh are a melodic rock group from Co. Dublin that possess a huge amount of raw talent. First thoughts; very catchy and very talented. The opening effects present in 'Stone Cold Heart' are reminiscent of a Muse like sound. Think 'Plug in Baby' distortion with some high registered vocals. Very tight and very impressive it has to be said. I would gladly blast their tunes out of the car stereo and what's more interesting is that I can definitely hear these guys on the radio. Their sound is commercial but different. The riffs are tight and the bass lines drip with a funky sound that separates this band from a lot of others out there. 'You're Not Alone' is very U2 like. The warm effects during the intro coupled with a somewhat gravelly toned intro sounds like this track came straight off 'The Joshua Tree'. I can see a serious future for this band. They are so accessible and they sound different yet familiar. The five tracks available to MRU sound similar to The Kings of Leon's vocals, U2's effects and Muse's harder, more complicated style. The Seventh are not afraid to emulate the sounds of others, but for a group that sound so similar to others, they have somehow created their own unique style and they seem like a bright hope for the future.

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Interview By News Editor Feargal Daly

see you live actually really want to be there and they will purchase your art. It is a new world with new profit centers for musicians, but I don't think rica Chase is an it is necessarily a bad thing. upcoming, LA based singer songwriter Recent articles have showed quickly turning the heads of that even the most successful musical heavyweights with her artists these days make very undeniable talent. Currently little in returns from music buried in a studio finishing up sales. Do you rely on her debut album with 80s merchandise and ticket sales legend Dana Strum (Slaughter), for income? Erica took time out to speak with MRU about what’s most Currently, I am in the studio and important to her: Music. Erica working on my debut record is not only an honest, level- and have not been touring yet. headed individual but also However, I know that the live demonstrates musical talent that experience as well as creating when combined ensures she’s marketable merchandise is got what it takes to stay around definitely going to be a for a long time in the harsh, financial focus once my record fickle world of the music comes out. However, licensing music to films, TV, and even industry. other artists is also a way to royalty profits The new 'Rock of Ages' movie expand is very much about the 1980s especially for an artist like glam rock scene. However, the myself who composes my own musical landscape has vastly music. changed. Forgetting sex, drugs and rock and roll that made (& plagued) the industry in the past, people now expect to get albums for free. It's becoming more about sponsorship, licensing and merch. What are your thoughts on this?


There are still people buying music. Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Radiohead, Gotye and others have sold millions of records of late in a declining industry. I think this is because good music mixed with great marketing will always sell. Yes, a majority of people stream music online and that is cool, because you can kind of try it and see if you want it. However, touring, licensing, merch and endorsements are definitely more of the profit centers for new music and older music artists as well. People will always want new music and those that can, will buy it and buy into the whole package.

Do you feel that music should be free, and that audiences have been manipulated to accept it as a product rather than an entitlement to art?

As an artist, music is my passion and beyond, and that aspect outweighs the monetary one for sure. However, we are also trying to support ourselves at the same time. I like the idea of giving music away for free because the people that come

‘I like the idea of giving music away for free because the people that come see you live actually really want to be there and they will purchase your art’

How involved are you/allowed to be in the merchandising? Are you comfortable selling products related to your music and image or is it just an unavoidable aspect of the industry?

We live in a capitalist world and also a world of constant (over) stimulation. People judge each other based on material things a lot of the times and some even generate their self worth from having "nice things." If I didn't think that music was a "business," I would be fooling myself completely. I think there is a way to stay grounded and not get over exposed, but when you become bigger than your body, you have little to no control if someone makes a Barbie doll with your name, face, and likeness. My own vision is to create products, hopefully eco friendly, that fans

want to have as a reminder of a shared experience with me, the artist.

What's it like to rock hard with the likes of 80s legend Dana Strum while developing your own Sheryl-Crow-meetsThe-Beatles musical identity?

Dana and I have a shared love of the Beatles and high-quality songwriting. That has made our partnership so meaningful and our musical chemistry undeniable. He started his career working with Barry Manilow and has always had strong pop rock tendencies. I remember one day in the studio, he put on the Bee Gees and we just listened to those harmonies for hours. So don't get fooled by the long hair and the groupies! Dana is a strong believer in the kind of art I create!

At a time when the music industry is declining and the charts are dominated by dance music, where does that leave new artists like you? What's the solution in your opinion?

There have always been trends and there have always been multiple kinds of music in the mainstream at the same time. Back in the 70's there was a time where dance and disco were hugely popular, but yet we seem to remember a little band called Led Zeppelin and maybe another called Fleetwood Mac that managed to sell millions of records during the same time. That is the beauty of art and music; there is something for everyone. I am not looking to be a passing trend; I love writing music and hope to be involved in the industry as long as they will have me! Now that labels aren't funding artists the way they used to and more artists, such as Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, were self-financed, how did you attract investors for the upcoming album?

My grandfather was a selfmade entrepreneur as is my father so that was kind of instilled in me from an early age. I know I am coming up in a way different music industry and a poor economic time as well, so I am fighting an uphill battle. However, I teamed up with a great partner with an exceptional business

background that has worked for many start ups as well, and we carefully, along with my manager, Dana Strum, packaged together a cohesive marketing plan and investment proposal to solicit. However, the thing that is important to note, is that everyone on my team believes so strongly in what I do and the potential of the product to have a wide reach and that is why through all of the frustrations, we are very positive and will not stop until we do what we set out to do. The fact that others believe in

me and are putting up their hard earned money behind it can be a little nerve wracking but also motivates me to achieve. I am so grateful to all of those that have invested their time, money, or both into my music and me.

What is your first memory of music in your life and how important is it to hold onto those memories?

My first memory of loving music was being a young child, throwing on headphones and blasting Queen and Fleetwood

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in many countries and it is definitely cool to see it take on a life of its own. Thanks to everyone who has clicked on it!

How do you feel about the shift from physical releases (CDs & Vinyl) that are becoming obsolete in favour of digital downloads?

Honestly, it is more portable. I think there is something special about the experience of opening up a vinyl and even a CD and reading the liner notes and all of that. However, you can lug around 10,000 songs on a tiny little device whereas 10,000 vinyls would cause an epic hernia!

You have the chance to perform on stage with any three (living or dead) musicians. Who would you choose and why?

It would have to be John Lennon number one because he has influenced me more than any other human on the planet. To play Beatles and Plastic Ono Band stuff with him live would be a trip! Number two would be my girl Sheryl Crow because I think two chicks with dueling guitars would be fun and I think we would get on quite well. Lastly, I think Prince because he is crazy and it would be super fun.

What are the goals you hope to achieve in the future? (Have you already reached some of them?)

‘I was made fun of because of my unique speaking voice, which is ironic now that I am exposing my voice to the world!’

Mac in my parents’ home. I always hold that to be the first moment I fell in love with music. The moment that changed my life and my path happened at age 7. The Red Hot Chili Peppers released "Under the Bridge," and that song made me realize I needed to do that. I borrowed a crummy toy-store guitar from my cousin and took a few lessons to try and mainly learn that song but also others. My hands were too small so I quit for a number of years, but never lost sight or belief that music and guitar would be such an important part of my life and journey. Every time I hear that song, I smile and am content knowing I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

Describe the first song you ever wrote. How did it feel

and how does it compare to your songs now?

It was a silly song called "Plastic Purse." I say silly because I was 13 and it definitely would not go on anybody's record anytime soon! However, it was about an issue that is perhaps even more mainstream today than it was then. The song is about bullying and feeling like an outcast, which I felt growing up and attending a very competitive junior high/high school. I was known as the basketball player and because that identity was formed so early on, I was never able to be a musician or even just Erica. I was made fun of because of my unique speaking voice, which is ironic now that I am exposing my voice to the world! I think my songwriting has greatly improved since then!

As an upcoming artist generating quite a buzz within the industry, how do you know who to trust, and how important is it to surround yourself with good people?

I have been so fortunate to have found a small team of wonderfully talented and honest

people. From management to publicity to my business partner, everyone works extremely hard and we are all in this together. I could not do this without them. You are only as good as the company you keep! With each successive step in your career, what do you do to keep yourself grounded in reality?

I was taught early on that the most important thing to be in life is a good person. I actually say two mantras to myself every single day: be a good person, and everything you want in life, you already have. Dana is also great about keeping me in check and I know my brothers will always do the same.

What’s your proudest music moment to date?

Dana was working with some very famous and talented people in London and one day, one of my heroes got the chance to hear and vibe to my music. His name is Paul McCartney! I am still freaking out that he dug the tunes and hopefully I can meet him at some point. Concerning the power of

social media, the barriers between the artists and fans has essentially disappeared. Do you like using social media to engage with fans or is it slowly being manipulated as a new marketing tool?

I think social media is a great thing because it gives an artist the ability to interact directly with fans and makes the experience seem much more personal. I totally embrace this and love meeting twitter followers and Facebook fans. It is a free focus group and they can tell you what they think instantly and are a part of the process with you.

Your single “We Can Fly” is generating rapturous appraisal and racking up an impressive view count on YouTube every week with little to no promotion. What’s the secret? Is this a grassroots, word of mouth movement like the old days before a digital/media reliant period?

It has been pretty cool to see a sort of grassroots movement as well as using social networking such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the YouTube awareness along. The video has been seen

I hope to be able to tour constantly and be a relevant artist with longevity in the music business. I also hope to be at the Grammys in whatever capacity possible! That is the Holy Grail for mainstream artists. Beyond that, I hope to use my music and platform to reach others and be part of a global conversation about the healing power of music that can unite us all.

What’s the best advice someone has given you that has changed how you approach music?

Dana told me to never think about what I can’t do. I used to be afraid that I was limited vocally and now I sing things I never thought I could because before I was too scared to try. I do not think in limitations anymore.

Finally. What advice do you have for any aspiring musicians?

Think. Do not just go out there hoping to figure it out as you go because you want it so bad. Really take your time creating something meaningful along with a plan and really think of it as a business. Also, be patient! Eric Chase – ‘We Can Fly’: ?v=PXLPwWOuPpA

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Interview By Loraine Resa Beth

Photos By David Doyles Photography

How did you get started in music?

First of all I always had an interest in guitar, long before I could form my 1st chord. I started to learn the guitar at age 13 and was in my first band by the time I was 14. It was a learning experience, I wasn't that good! I started to write little songs here and there after that.

Tell us about the live music scene in Co.Wexford and where you fit in?

There's really only a handful of places in Wexford that caters for original music. Some good, some not so good but the people that put the singer/songwriter sessions are very dedicated to showcasing original music. I'm not so sure how I fit in really, my songs and style seem to be quite different than the usual type of music that you would hear at these things. Not that I'm talking bad about other local artists, it's mostly because my songs are written with a full band sound in mind and then they're stripped down to just the acoustic when I play live. I just think it comes across a little different. I'm playing a few gigs to showcase my originals in the summer and I'm putting a band together consisting of a few mates on bass, drums and Rhythm guitar. We've done one or two little gigs before so that should be fun! My songs are pretty upbeat even if some of the lyrics aren't. The bass line is nearly always the first thing I come up with and everything else from there. I never like sticking to one certain style either so the writing process can be fun, trying at times but fun!

What have you been up to since the album launch last year and winning MRU’s TV Challenge?

Been very busy with the cover band, nearly burned myself out at certain points. I've been entering some song competitions, busking and popping up at some singer/songwriter nights occasionally. Took a break from writing but now I'm back in full swing.

What do you think about the music industry in Ireland, do you think that there is a good enough platform for independent artists to be noticed in such a pigeon hole industry, What are your thoughts?

I don't think it's great but I don't think it's much better than anywhere else. Originality seems to be gone out the window and we're reduced to listening to the usual 4 chord rubbish that sounds the same as just about everything else you hear. I don't mean to put such a negative stance on it but it's usually the case though some great bands do slip through every so often. It's refreshing when that happens.

It’s all about digital downloads and an interesting surge in vinyl sales recently, what are your predictions for the future of the music market? Digital downloading seems to be the thing now and will be for a long time to come. It's easy, fast and you don't even need to leave the room. It sort of kills the fun of actually going out and buying CDs though, but I still download fairly often. Yeah I think it's great that vinyls are making such a comeback, a lot of people really cared when the record stores seemed to be rapidly closing down. So yeah, it's great hope it carrys on. Your thoughts on talent shows like X factor and The Vioce?

Ehm, it's gotten a little out of control really. They're horribly contrived, the lot of em but I do understand why it makes for good entertainment for a lot of people, I even tune in to laugh at the bad auditions. But in reality these terrible singers need to go through about 3 other auditions before they make the telly all the while being told congratulations before being sent out to make fools of themselves in front of everybody. All the good acts seem to compromise themselves for the sake of selling pop music, I just don't think it's the way about starting a music career. I still prefer the old way in going out, playing your heart out, suffering bad gigs, learning from your experiences and

learning and improving your craft the hard way.

What’s your dream in your music career? To play in front of a sold out arena, backed by a solid 4 piece band with the thousands of fans shouting the lyrics to my songs back at me, not much to ask ha!!

Do you have any interesting tales about your career, like something that happened to you during a gig etc. Craig Charles from Red Dwarf (oh and Coronation Street and Robot Wars# was in a pub I was gigging in and stayed and watched me play all night and got pics taken with my guitars! That was pretty cool!

MRU MAGAZINE ::: JULY 2012 ::: Page 21 What is your favorite venue you have played so far and what dream venue/festival would you like to play?

I played over in Austria twice and that was pretty amazing, the reception I got was somethin else! Download Fest is a great festival, great atmosphere, but I'd really have to rip out the heavier tunes for that one!! Reading and Leeds fest too, or Oxygen at a push!

What are your top three inspirational songs?

This is tough cause I've never really asked myself this before, but commercially these are three off the top of my head. Free bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd .. Just a perfect song, great guitars and a crazy tempo shift near the end! Paranoid Android - Radiohead .. For the structure alone, I still remember the 1st time I heard it and thinking how unpredictable the song was, the breakdown is amazing. Comfortably Numb Pink Floyd .. Everything about this really, it's such a well put together tune and has an epic guitar solo to boot.

If you had to listen to one artist for the rest of your life, who would it be?

That's an easy one for me, I always loved Graham Coxons input in Blur, his guitar work was amazing, and he's brought out 8 solo albums since 98 so there's lots on there to keep me interested. He's not so popular for his solo stuff but I kind of like that! What is the one thing you would love to be asked about in an interview!?

Now all this female attention, does it take a lot out of you!! (ha that would be fun I think) What are your future plans , upcoming releases and tours etc..

Gigs gigs and more gigs!! Have an outdoor festival in August with the band, doing a few things with a couple of radio stations, I'll be popping up in more singer/songwriter sessions, more recording and finally putting my recent album out for release later in the year. For more info find me on facebook/vinnymurphy music

Check out Vinny Murphy: nymurphymusic

The Mouth Of Ghosts

Page 22 ::: JULY 2012 ::: MRU MAGAZINE INTERVIEW :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Artist of the month July 2012

Interview by Julie Duff

How did you guys first Phil: Clumsy, obsessive, noisy originate? And when? Valerie: Fringe, frankness, Cosmopolitan (the drink) Simon: At the start of 2011 I started looking for people to Where did the name of the start a band to make live band come from? performances of some songs I had written. I found Marco on a Simon: It’s actually a song title local musicians website, he’d by one of my favourite bands, just moved to England from Dilinger Escape Plan. The song Italy and was looking to join a has so much atmosphere and band. I met Alla in the same tension in it, so much dynamic. way, she was studying singing It inspired me to make a bunch at a music school near where of tracks that had all of that we rehearse. When we found atmosphere, but I wanted to her we knew she was our include some other influences singer! Everything fitted so and some really sweet female well!! Phil joined the band in vocals. The name of the band is late 2011, and Valerie is our tipping my hat to that influence. newest addition, she joined in Considering that creating March 2012. music in a band is a creative Could you describe each of effort, it would be surprising the group members in three if you did not encounter a few words so readers can get a spats. How do you deal with feel for each individual that? member? Simon: I’m always right, it’s Alla: Philosophical, sensitive, simple. loud Alla: Actually we don’t have Simon: Misanthropic, many creative spats, it’s usually dependable, impatient over more trivial subjects, but Marco: Hedonist, misogynist, it’s always me and Simon hairy arguing, I think we are the hot-

Photo by Dag Dürrich

headed ones in the band. The others are pretty good at calming us! Phil: I keep my head down!!

When making decisions that affect the band as a whole, do you go by the ‘majority rules’ vote or do you not make decisions unless the entire group agree?

Marco: We are an entirely democratic band! There’s five of us, so any decision needs a majority of three...there’s not much we have to vote on though, it’s usually things like which song gets dropped from the set list, nothing too dramatic. Maybe we should introduce band-practice Bushtucker Trials to spice things up a little bit.

How would you describe your sound to people that may not be aware of your music yet? Valerie: It’s a fusion of alternative rock and trip hop, with lots of atmosphere and tension in the songs. The soft parts are sweet and pure, the

louder parts are intense and full. It’s all about the atmosphere, the experience.

Who are influences?



Simon: Between us we are in to lots of different bands and genres. I think for this band the main influences are Portishead, Deftones and The Cure. I’ve loved Portishead since their first record came out, I kind of wish they’d release more material, but maybe that’s part of the allure of them, the exclusivity of their songs. The Deftones’ album White Pony is especially important to me, I love that album. So much atmosphere and feeling it’s crazy, and it’s got this really dark sexual undertone to it, I’d like to think we have a bit of that record in here somewhere. Also The Cure just wrote really amazing indie-pop songs that were so dark. Again I think there’s some of that in the track ‘When The Sun Sets’…it’s dark but catchy and almost poppy, you can sing along to it.

What musicians would we find lurking in your album collection?

Simon: I’ve got lots of metal in my CD collection, a lot of Sonic Youth albums, and a lot of releases from bands that nobody’s ever heard of. Phil: Me personally, Nirvana, Led Zep, Smashing Pumpkins, Dave Matthews Band, Rush, Jo Jo Mayer, Nerve, Benny Greb, Johnny Rabb. Do you all write your own songs?

Simon: I write all the music, and the lyrics are written by Alla. A few of the songs were written before the band was put together, and I worked with another vocalist then, but we’ve changed those songs quite a bit now, they’ve evolved. Alla: We have lots of new tracks written which are unreleased, if we do an album or another EP later this year they will be on there.

You are currently unsigned. Do you have any intention to

MRU MAGAZINE ::: JULY 2012 ::: Page 23 Photo by Illustration by Sam L Jackson

hunt down and attach yourselves to a label or do you prefer the freedom that comes with being independent?

Marco: I think we’d like to find a great label to work with. That would allow us more opportunities to release our music to a wider base, go on tour (and play Ireland!), and would make it easier for us to make and release more music. Being independent is great, but to reach that next level a label would really help. Have you toured recently? Any plans for Ireland?

Simon: Not a proper tour, no. It’s kind of difficult to do without a label behind you. We have our mini-weekend-tour planned in August which takes us to Doncaster on 11 August then on the 12th we’re playing a festival in Shropshire! If anyone wants to help get us to Ireland then get in touch! Alla: We’d love to play Ireland, but we need to get to the stage where we have enough support to at least break

even on travel costs. We were played on RTE 2XM a little while ago, they asked if we’d do a studio session there, so as soon as we can we’ll be there. How have you found people respond to your live shows?

Alla: Nobody’s thrown anything at us yet! The reaction is always good, though we are not a band you can jump up and down to, we’re more about atmosphere than energy.

integrity in those shows though quite easily, rather than just bashing out cover after cover of piss-poor Louis Walsh selected dross. (If I see Alla on the next series of X-Factor though, I reserve my right to change my opinion on that drastically!)

A lot of musicians use a great deal of theatrics in their live performances and videos. One prime example would be Lady Gaga. Do you think that this adds or takes away from the actual music?

What is your opinion on reality singing television Alla: Everybody’s different. If shows such as ‘The x factor’ you go to a Lady Gaga gig you and ‘The Voice’? expect as much of a visual show as a musical one, it’s part of the Simon: My immediate reaction whole package, so I guess it is to say something along the adds to the music. But with a lines of “they make me feel lot of acts the theatrics just physically sick”, but when I cover up bad music...but as think about it, all the people on long as it fills stadiums it won’t those shows are following their change. dream of singing for a living, Phil: Anything that adds to the which is a hard thing to do, so music and or helps benefit / fair play to them. I might not explain it is a good thing. like they style of what they do, Anything else is a waste. Great but I guess I do appreciate it on music needs little in the way of some level somewhere. I think theatrics to enhance it but used there could be more artistic judiciously they can add to the

experience of the listener(s). In the case of Lady Gaga? The line between genius and pretentious is a thin one! Valerie: We’re considering having white tigers jumping through rings of fire at our next gig. Where do you hope the band will be in the next year?

Simon: I’d like us to be signed to a label, and hopefully we would have been able to release an album backed up with at least a UK and Ireland tour, maybe supporting a better known band. Or maybe we’ll be in private jets with Kanye and Kim lighting cigars with £50 notes.

What is the best thing about being in a band?

Alla: Performing live, and creating new songs are my favourite parts of being in a band.

QUICKFIRE (Simon answering all of these) Favourite sound? Alla sneezing Favourite book? My book of Antony Micallef pictures Favourite musician that ever lived? I’ve got a lot of love for Tburston Moore right now Favourite newcomer on the music scene? I just discovered a band called There, There. They have a song called Roommates which is amazing. Most over-rated musician? Don’t get me started... Your guilty pleasure? New York Cheesecake. The actual cake, they are not a band. Favourite quote/saying? “Come the fuck in or fuck the fuck off” (Malcolm Tucker, The Thick Of It).

Pure Fox E Love

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The Grand Social, 4 June 2012


‘The band evinced a musical kaleidoscope of sounds tapping into every foottapping, groove based genre conceivable’

Little Ripples Album Launch Thursday 21st June Review by Deputy News Editor Aoife Read

Review by News Editor Feargal Daly

bank holiday Monday evening at The Grand Social in Dublin city was host to the regular event ‘Saucy Sundays’. As droves of tired visitors to the city drifted back towards their homes a select few that would remain were about to witness something special when Fox.E and the Good Hands shared their evening with us. The band has achieved notable success throughout the last year and is surely set to continue this trend. Having played well-received sets at Oxegen and Electric Picnic among numerous other festivals, these guys are no strangers to the touring circuit. Kicking off a mini tour in the run up to a much anticipated headline slot at the NPLD (No Place Like Dome) festival on June 17th in Sligo, the band promised fans they would deliver more of the wicked and energetic performances that have made them such a powerful live act. This gig was no exception and was hailed post-performance by loyal fans as one of their most memorable performances yet. As opener Modern India set up their gear, I paced around and found a good vantage point of the stage and crowd at the back of the venue. Quite content I began to take note of the intricate details and effort that has been made to make The Grand Social loft venue a contemporary hub of quirky and cool. As I attempted to scribble notes in the dimly lit environ a bright pink colour appeared in my peripheral vision. Front-woman Eimear Fox walked into the venue with all the cool, calm and brilliantly colourful look of a true musician. She was there not only to perform but to have a good time while making damn sure everyone else was too. One by one each band member arrived and settled into the venue. There was a real community spirit within the loft as band members mixed with staff and punters to enjoy their bank holiday gathering. Everyone here was treated as an equal and ultimately added to the bands ability to later engage with the crowd throughout their set. As their friends and loyal fans gave them a loud welcome upon getting onto the tight stage, it became evident that

Eric McGrath

Photo by Ian Pelly something special was about to unfold. Cue the smoke, the lights and the count in to the first sign and it became clear that Fox.E and the Good Hands were determined to sound bigger than the stage they graced. The band evinced a musical kaleidoscope of sounds tapping into every foot-tapping, groove based genre conceivable. Funk, soul, jazz, rock and rap were all blended together and effortlessly delivered with such energy and charisma rarely seen on a stage that was criminally small for a band of this talent. The eclectic sonic canvas being painted ensured that Fox.E and the Good Hands could be mistaken at times for being the musical lovechild of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Commitments. Just witnessing Fox.E and the Good Hands live is enough to remind you why there is nothing quite like the live music experience. Infectious hooks and grooves complimented by supreme vocal harmonies in ‘I Like It Curvy’ and ‘Soulfunkalicious’ had the band redefining sexy, with brilliantly filthy, honest lyrics that never

strayed into vulgar territory. Amongst the “sexy” set list were two particular highlights. ‘Get Up and Do It Yourself’ was the band’s chance to demonstrate their individual talents as Ms. Fox introduced them. One by one, we were treated to bass, drum, guitar, vocal and even rap solos that never felt self-indulgent and only enhanced a song that would have been brilliant enough on its own. The band also dove into an unexpected cover of ‘Forget About Dre’ by Dr. Dre Feat. Eminem that was rapturously received by the audience once Barry O’Farrell kicked into his rap frenzy, evidently in his element. It was a shining example of how covers should be done as it stayed true to the original’s intensity while adding a little “Fox.E” to the mix. Genius! Of particular note was how well choreographed the band were. The interplay and energy shared between them not only proved they had great chemistry but that they had every intention of delivering a memorable performance regardless of who was there to

witness it. In keeping with the sex fuelled themes of their songs, Fox.E and the Good Hands were hell bent ensuring the crowd was having the best fun they could have without taking their clothes off. Frontwoman Eimear Fox had the crowd in the palm of her hands, getting them moving and singing while expertly orchestrating her talented band mates through the guts of an hour long set. A triumphant success indeed! The last notes rang out, the house lights turned on, the smoke drifted and the band cleared the stage. I left as I had come in through the scattered crowds dancing and laughing to a relaxed celebration of Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust’, oblivious to the band above that arguably deserve to be in the same leagues as the legend himself. Back out to the city streets and just like that it was done. Yet a feeling lingered throughout the rest of the day; a feeling that something special was on the horizon for Fox.E and the Good Hands. es/FoxE/112400832131432

Having previously read the review on this site for the album, I was pretty excited to go and see this guy. I listened to him on YouTube and really did like what I heard. Eclectic, wide ranging and polished. Great vocals, great lyrics, ‘this’, I thought to myself ‘is going to be a good gig’. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite go as well as I had hoped. I brought a friend along, just to get a second opinion at the end. A fellow muso, she too was left a bit cold. The Sugar Club is a great venue for a gig. It’s a nice intimate setting with great acoustics and no blind spots in the audience. It’s comfortable and accessible. His stage presence was second to none, keeping us entertained with quirky anecdotes about each track. All of the musicians were great, the drummer in particular, who had his own little solo piece in the middle of the show, which actually got the loudest round of applause of the evening. None of this was the problem though. It just felt a little flat and emotionless, which is at odds with his writing style. It just fell short of the mark for me as a live performance. I felt a lot of the songs sounded as if the harmonies has been thrown in as after thoughts and just lacked the lustre and polished sound that I had heard when I had looked him up online. It all just felt a little forced. Granted it was the lads’ debut album launch night…and if I'm not mistaken, the crowd was mainly made up of his family and peers, whom I know, can be even more daunting than performing to strangers. The best track of the night was a song called Carousel which was about the town of bray. It was a beautiful track. Just him and his guitar. It instantly hushed the audience and held sway over the room. I would say this is clearly where his strengths lay, simple arrangements with a subject matter that is truly close to his heart. All in all it was a good performance, just expected more based on his album. icMcGrathMusica

MRU MAGAZINE ::: JULY 2012 ::: Page 25

Page 26 ::: JULY 2012 ::: MRU MAGAZINE

Thursday 12th - The Kings Head, Chester - Joshua Tree Charity Event. Sunday 22nd - Jabbez Clegg, Manchester - Surface Festival Semi-Final Tuesday 31st - The Red Lion, Little Sutton - Charity Gig

Hard Working Class Heroes 2012 Launch Party – Tuesday June 26th

MRU MAGAZINE ::: JULY 2012 ::: Page 27 :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: LIVE :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Review & Photos by Martin Churchill


nother year uncovering the best of Ireland’s musical talent has begun with the launch of this year’s Hard Working Class Heroes competition in The Workman’s Club on Wellington Quay in Dublin City. With its tenth year in the running a good turnout was not surprising as it has gathered many fans over the years. Launch night goers were treated to the sounds of Lisa O’Neill and electro-rock group Sleep Thieves. In her speech; Angela Dorgan – one of the original organisers of HWCH declared singer/songwriter Lisa O’Neill as the next big thing both on a national and international level. From the performance that followed it certainly doesn’t seem to be an overstatement. Lisa started off with “England has my man” and the room was flooded with pure Irish soulful tones. Following on among

others but most notably “Baby Doll”, “Boddy D”, and a song of reminiscence for an old job in Bewleys with the comical but entertaining “It’s Still Milk”. Sleep Thieves took the night up a notch with their mix of

technical difficulties with the sound let them down in the beginning but this was managed and made for towards the end of their tracks. Before the end of the night a birthday cake was brought out to mark the 10 year anniversary but I couldn’t help but think it

electronic tunes and haunting voices. Performances by Sleep Thieves included “Please Call Back” and from their new EP “Islands” we heard “Spirit Animal” and “Oceans”. A few

was marking the start of another incredible year for both musical artist hopefuls and music lovers. This year the showcase of artists will take place from October 4th – 6th. As well as bands and singers, photographers can submit any

music related shots to be in with a chance to get their work featured in the HWCH Photographers Exhibition. The deadline for anyone looking to enter the competition is July 26th and you can apply online through

Page 28 ::: JULY 2012 ::: MRU MAGAZINE :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Music News :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Therapy?/Seasick Steve/The Undertones to play in Dublin at The Tall Ships Races Festival News Reporter Anna Curran

The Tall Ships Race is set to come to Dublin the 23rd -26th August, for the first time in 14 years. The race begins on the 8th July in St. Malo, Northern France, and will continue Southwards to Cadíz before looping along the Portuguese coast and finishing in Dublin. Events will be taking place along the quays and in Grand Canal Dock, including sailing workshops, street performers and exhibitions celebrating Ireland’s maritime culture past and present.

Musicwise, Bulmers are sponsoring a live-stage, free to attend, on George’s Dock. Although the full line-up is yet to be released, it is set to include the likes of The Undertones and Therapy? Seasick Steve is also rumoured to be attending, but, as part of his contract, will not take part in any seafaring activity! The event is sponsored by Sail Training International, a charity which aims to train young people to sail regardless of their nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background.. More information keep an eye on their festival page stival

Kopek Prepare National Tour Off The Success Of Debut Album north this week, the boys will News Editor Feargal Daly

Dublin rockers Kopek and recent recipients of a raving review here at MRU have something to rock out about. Debut album ‘White Collar Lies’ has propelled the band into the national spotlight after years of blood, sweat and manly rocker tears. Having done the rounds at many of this year’s renowned rock festivals, including Download in the UK, the Kopek boys are planning a much anticipated Irish national tour to be announced next week. Kicking off things up

deliver a pure, balls-to-wall, rock ‘n roll performance at Gifted live from the Belfast Empire Music Hall in Belfast (obviously...) on Thursday July 5th. They’ll be playing alongside acts such as The Answer, David Kitt and The Riptide Movement. Doors are at 8.30pm and show at 9pm. The show is also Free! Can’t make it? Don’t fret! The show will be streamed live in glorious HD straight to your preferred piece of fancy technology! Stay here on MRU in the coming weeks for more on this tour and more! Visit for more info – Check out our glowing 5 star review of the album here http://www.musicreviewunsig

MRU MAGAZINE ::: JULY 2012 ::: Page 29 :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Music News :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Angus Powell Brings Welsh Magic To The Indie Scene With The Release Of His Debut EP

Deputy News Editor Aoife Read Releasing a debut EP can be a daunting prospect, especially when you fit into the over populated Indie genre. Angus Powell, however, has nothing to worry about. Coming at you gently with a fragile low-fi folk sound, his music is a pretty crescendo of lilting vocals and subtle guitar riffs. I’m not usually the biggest fan of this style of music, with the exception of the likes or The Reindeer Section and Elliott Smith. So it generally takes a lot to impress me. But impress he did and in fact reminds me a lot of Elliott Smiths tragic writing style and unique singing style. Bleak and beautiful, with deep and soulful lyrics, this guy could well be the next diamond of the genre. He has something captivating about his musical style that skulks around your brain and demands that you listen. The three songs I heard are from the upcoming debut EP that he has produced himself were, ‘Monster’, ‘Special’ and ‘Upside Down’, with Monster playing out to be my favourite of the three. I really couldn’t find any fault with these tracks. The technicalities of the music are all perfectly sound and the overall finished product is slick and skilful. I doubt anyone could really pick holes in the tracks I heard. Already making a bit of a splash on the Welsh music scene, Angus has already gotten air play on BBC Radio, and was featured as BBC Introducing Artist of the Week earlier this year. Unique and innovative, this is the first new Indie act that I have felt excited about all year. Watch out for the release of the debut EP coming soon and watch this space for bigger and better things to come on MRU.

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Galway’s Fling Journeys From Galway To Galicia News Editor Feargal Daly

Due to popular demand, Galway band, Fling, are set to return to Galicia in the north west of Spain to play a number of special concerts in July. Galicia is an autonomous region of Spain which retains its own language, Gallego, and has many cultural similarities to Ireland. Many Galicians believe

Playhard Music TV Streamed Worldwide This July

the Irish to be their distant cousins and Ireland even features in Galician mythology. This will be the band’s second visit to Galicia, having had a very successful tour there last year, with packed gigs everywhere they played. “We fell in love with Galicia and its people” said Maeve Kelly, whistle player with Fling, “It was like meeting a long lost family who welcomed us with open arms”. Playing a mix of Irish trad, bluegrass and

world music with overtones of rock and undertones of blues, this will be Fling’s third trip abroad in 2012, having already completed tours of Denmark and China earlier this year. The band formed just over two years ago and has toured almost constantly since inception, pausing only to write and record their debut album “Fling”. More information about Fling can be found at their website –

place until 3am where you’ll have a chance to mingle with the talent on the night and with whispers of industry heads in attendance you never know who you’ll get to speak to. gs Twitter - @playhardgigs (18+ event) £6 after 8pm / Guaranteed entry £4 advances 71677

News Editor Feargal Daly

Calling all indie-rock revellers! The streets of Camden in London, UK will be the scene of a global online broadcast this month on July 13th with many unsigned and indie rock acts taking part in Playhard's latest push for upcoming artists. We here at MRU always love to see unsigned talent getting a platform to promote their music and this is definitely one for our UK readers to take note of! The Line-up for the night includes: Missing Andy, The Traitors Club, The Rivalry, Of Kings And Captains, Bombers (live) plus DJ Jean Genie. Bands will be streamed live worldwide from 8pm-12am. If you’re in the area on the night then even better! An after show party will take

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MRU Magazine July 2012