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MRU News

We have a brand new section on our website and this is the place to be! WWW.MRUTV.COM NOVEMBER 2011

Who is running your band?

Full feature on Dublin’s hottests rapper! Turn to page 12

Turn to page 11

h t n o m e h t f o Artist S

L O O F M DE

Exclusive interview with Hazel Jade Rogers Turn to page 22


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::: October 2011 :::

Music Review Unsigned

Contents

Page 3 - This month Amanda gives her views on the unsigned and the signed in the industry. Page 6 to 9 - Featured CD reviews Page 10 - Live Review at the Workmans club Dublin.. Page 11 - Who is running your band Page 12 - Leathal Dialect feature Page 15 to 16 - Album reviews... Page 18 - How to make this the best ‘music’ year ever Page 22 to 25 - Exclusive interview with Hazel Jade Rogers

Editor: Trevor Halpin trev@musicreviewunsigned.com

Design Editor: David Duggan

Photography: Alison Lambert Hughes @ Dragon Photography Paul Kolbe www.paulspics.eu

Links:

Writers: Amanda Burns Arne Eichler Collie Bartley Emer Kelly Maria Molloy Luan Roberts Kelly McGill Paul O’Connell (POC) Lidija Radacic

www.facebook.com/musicreview unsignedofficial

www.musicreviewunsigned.com www.mrutv,com

www.myspace.com/musicreview_ unsigned www.youtube.com/MusicreviewU nsigned www.twitter.com/musicreviewU


Music Review Unsigned

::: November 2011 :::

Oh Music, Where Art Thou? By Amanda Burns

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saw on the news (Oh yes, the NATIONAL news) that Westlife are breaking up. How ignorant of me not realise how important this is, clearly it’s right up there with war and civil unrest and the economic downturn and all that craic. Well, superhero that I am, I have a solution. If what Ireland needs is a band, made up of 4 talented and good looking lads to become it’s biggest musical export, I have it. They’re names are Ronan, Joe, Paul and Enda, and they go by the collective name of Race the Flux. As it happens, they aren’t actually anything like Westlife, what with them being able to actually write a song and, y’know, play instruments. But my argument for them becoming one of Ireland’s biggest musical exports stands. If nothing else, we could at least prove that we can do more,as a nation, than get off stools and grab the air just as the song reaches the bridge. Of course, there is much else, much, much more. Last month, I was writing about a band called Town Criers (amaze-balls), who are one of three bands falling under the umbrella of Cold Room Records, an independent record label founded by three bands; Town Criers, Ka-Tet and Race the Flux.These three bands took things into their own hands, set up Cold Room Records, andembarked on a national tour, entitled The Novel Tour, taking in venues all across the country. This month, it’s the turn of Race the Flux to be featured. Hailing from Roscommon, this four piece was born in 2008 and are swiftly carving out a spot for themselves on the Irish music scene. They appear to be gigging extensively, seems like every week I see a different event on Facebook. This bodes well for them; you don’t get brought back for a second gig if the crowd hasn’t liked you. They’re hardworking lads,no doubt about it. On vocals, Joe Padfield is honestly incredibly easy to listen to. None of that pitchy, cracky off-key stuff that I often hear, on account of many recordings being done on a shoe-string. Nope, this guy needs no cleaning up, no polishing. He looks like a rock-star, he sounds like one, to my mind he may well be one. Except, maybe without the paycheque? I dunno, but he has something that I find more often than not to be missing from the vast majority of vocalists. He has grit

in his voice. Not the forced kind you hear 'cos a singer is killing himself to reach a note, but just because it’s there. And it sounds good. And, as good as he is, he has some excellent back-up. Let there be no doubt, and no mistake, Paul Higgins has a voice that could quickly become your favourite sound. Padfield plays guitar/piano, Higgins covers guitar/synthesizer, Enda Stritch is on bass and all instruments are played to a staggeringly high standard. Then there is the common denominator of all three bands that fall within the Cold Room Records circle; Ronan Connaughton on percussion. As I said before, prodigious is not the word. This guy is in a league of his own. He’s creative, he’s clearly versatile (3 different bands, boys and girls). If he pimped himself out as a session musician, I’m pretty sure he could end up needing medical attention for exhaustion, he’d be that much in demand. As it happens, I can think of many acts that could do with his kind of help! Usually, when a band describes themselves as “progressive” or “experimental rock” it’s, well, bull. It’s usually a loose translation for “we wanna be a rock band, but we’re pretty much a bad pop band, who like to mess around with our old Casio’s and call it music ”. (Trust me; I spend A LOT of time trawling through MySpace.) This is, by a very long mile, the ONLY time I’ve found that term to fit. This is the only time it has made sense, because (batter a cliché;)they’re different. Legitimately, they have something different and authentic about them. Race the Flux are most definitely what it says on the tin, and more. It’s weird; they don’t remind me of anything. I don’t find them reminiscent of anybody. And yet, I can see exactly where they’d fitin, and fit in well. Record execs say all the time how there’s a gap in the market for this and that (sadly, this “gap” gave us Justin Bieber), well, there’s a Grand Canyon sized gap for a band like this. All the great bands of my time seem to be ageing and getting ready

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to pack up, maybe an act like this is the next logical step. Recorded, they rock. Live, they’re fanfrikin’-tastic.Currently, they’re recording their debut LP, set to be releases in early-mid 2012. So for now, get onlineFacebook/Myspace/Breaking tunes, all that craic-and check out what’s on offer. It’s rock and it’s roll and it’s a whole lot more. “Run while you can, there ain’t no smoke without fire”. Damn straight, so take cover music world, Race the Flux are set to set the place alight. http://www.facebook.com/Racetheflux www.myspace.com/racetheflux

On The Other Hand: This one is gonna be short. And easy. I just saw a documentary on TV; apparently Steps are reuniting. Oh. Sweet. Heart. Of. Jesus. Was the once not enough?? Was one murdering of the Bee Gees and several other massacres of the eardrums of the masses not enough? Has Hitler come back as a zombie and found a way to torture the world again?? This is not fair. They’ve already committed musical genocide once. They’ve made their money and they’ve had their turn. Push them aside and give somebody new a chance. As it stands, this hasn’t seen the light of day, yet.It’s still in the pipeline; no charting has yet taken place, and so let me warn you now, record buying public; DO NOT DO IT!!!!!


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::: November 2011 :::

Music Review Unsigned

Pyramid Hill ::: All Human

Review by Kelly McGill

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http://www.breakingtunes.com/pyramidhill

ittle did I know Ballyfermot College was hiding some sheer talent! Pyramid Hill’s new EP All Human mixes rap music with soul music and stays on the line of delivering fresh and heartfelt music. With influences ranging from Led Zeppelin to Alicia Keys this seems to shine straight through this album and gives us the rock yet RnB feel not forgetting the hard hitting rap lyrics. Pyramid Hill has that unique and unmissable sound that is hard to find nowadays. What stunned me most was the vocalist Alison Daniel. Throughout the whole EP she captured me with her soulful singing and elegant piano playing. The beat breaking rapping performed by Oggan Ryan made me do the head nod with his genuine rhymes. This EP is packed to the brim with music that is fit to inspire many young musicians.

Dem Fools ::: Not as hard as it looks Review by Emer Kelly

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ublin folk/Reggae band Dem Fools have a distinct and unique sound about them, with vocals like Luan Parle and Gemma Hayes, Dem Fools are a band to look out for! Nice lyrics, good use of instruments and amazing vocals hopefully this Single will be the beginning of something wonderful for Dem Fools. I really enjoyed listening to their song ‘Not as hard as it Looks’. Dem Fools are currently in the You Bloom battle of the bands contest and will need all of your support in the run up to this, for more info and how to vote for them visit their Facebook page for updates, the only criticism I would have about them is that there wasn’t enough songs on the CD for me to listen to!

http://www.facebook.com/demfoolsmusic


Music Review Unsigned

::: November 2011 :::

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Sal Vitro ::: This Thing of Ours Review by Maria Molloy

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al vitro are one of those great bands that get you nodding your head in appreciation while listening to their tunes. Personally I wouldn’t be a blues funk rock fan, however, the tracks on This Thing Of Ours are so indisputably good that it really doesn’t matter what music is your usual forte. The EP begins with “Swear By Your Love” a frenzied track that will make even the most reluctant person get onto their feet. “Wear it Out” is more laid back with an unbelievable funky cool ambience. The third and final track on the EP is “Strange Friends & Peculiar Enemies” and to think this band hail from Dundrum and Naas is unreal, they wouldn’t be out of place in a 1960s American funk rock bar.

Lead vocalist Josh Dundford has the perfect voice for this kind of music. He is unfaltering in his delivery. Sal Vitro list some of their main influences as Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Holly and The Who and while you can hear that they have been deeply inspired by artists such as these, they have made their own mark on the genre of music they love. This Thing Of Ours leaves me with a smile on my face and a need to catch these guys live.

http://www.facebook.com/salvitro

Polly Barrett ::: Mr Bookshop Review by Kelly McGill

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ho knew that the streets of Cork where hiding such talent. Polly Barrett’s album Mr. Bookshop is an album packed to the brim with mellow folk songs that are a pleasure to listen too. There is no truer sound than the natural voice pulsing threw your eardrums and with Polly’s mellow relaxing, true Irish vocals; I can’t help but want to hear the next track. Polly really pulls on your heartstrings in this album with her from the heart lyrics. This album is simplicity at its best. With the backing vocals by Michael Daly combining beautifully with Polly’s voice, nothing seems to go wrong in this album.

With its plain and simple guitar plucking throughout the whole 11 tracks, it gives the album a complete endless tranquil atmosphere. Polly’s voice almost has an Andrea Corr vibe to it, except a more updated and modern version. The stand out track on this album is February as it truly reflects Polly’s love of nature with her lyrics making you feel like you though you are there in the moment. Polly seems to capture the true beauty of love and nature in her lyrics and that’s what makes this album stand out from the crowd.

http://www.myspace.com/pollybarrett


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::: November 2011 :::

HPM ::: New Breed

http://housepartymassacre.com/

Music Review Unsigned Review by Maria Molloy

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ouse Party Massacre, or HPM for short, are a London based punk/alt rock band who are in desperate need of better production. The drums on this EP are particularly unpleasant and it’s very hard to listen to their harsh metallic reverberation for an extended period of time. Second track on New Breed “Pavements Turn To Red” would have to be the standout track of the EP meaning it’s actually possible for me to listen to it without wincing. The EP persists without any songs particularly jumping out at me but as “28 FoREver” kicks off with in your face guitars and a low rang growl I’m excited for the first time while listening to it. However, it soon disintegrates into chaotic confusion. Final track “Pointless Paranoia” is the least punk and most monotonous song I’ve heard in a long time. It’s verging on depression inducing territory. If it’s the typical punk characteristics of chaos and anarchy HPM want to exude with New Breed then they have definitely achieved it, but not in the genius way of the Sex Pistols, more so in a disordered way with no definite musical direction.

http://www.letsshoot.ie


Music Review Unsigned

::: November 2011 :::

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Artful Renegade ::: Life and Death http://www.facebook.com/ArtfulR realise what I’ve been finding so familiar about the vocal, it sounds very like Bono which isn’t necessarily a good thing. The music takes a dramatic turn ife and Death opens with the just after the 3 minute mark which I feel promising “Man On Earth” it is too late, the track would have lost encompasses a relaxed, chilled the listeners attention by out vibe with some great screeching guitars. Although the vocal is powerful it then. What is made becomes a bit tiresome as the track carries on. The verses are a tad too dragged out, however, the original promise of the track is reclaimed in the soaring chorus. Second track, “We Own The Night” opens with some deep bass and when the guitar and backing vocals kick in it really gives the song a terrific flare. At this stage I’m getting the feeling that the singer’s voice has a bit of a marmite air about it. However, like with the sticky brown stuff, I for one cant decide if I love it or hate it. The clear song has a timeless quality about it, by now settling somewhere in between classic though is that the and modern rock. guitarists in Artful Renegade By the time “The Greatest” kicks in I

have undeniable musical talent. “Crawling Angel” boasts another promising start although by the time the long intro finishes and the vocal kicks in the song is verging on boring. By this point I’m losing interest in the EP with the tracks all seeming to merge into one. I’m sitting on a train while listening to this EP and it’s never a good sign when the endless stretches of bleak fields become more interesting than the music. As the last track “Hurricane” kicks in I have decided that I don’t love the singer’s marmite voice. The vocal arrangement in the pre-chorus just doesn’t work, it makes no sense to me and it doesn’t sound in keeping with the rest of the song. But again the track showcases great musical ability. Over all I found Life and Death frustrating because this band no doubt has heaps of potential. Perhaps if they didn’t over milk the songs (most of which are over 5 minutes) the EP would have stood out more.

Do it now!

Set goals, decide on the steps you need to take, divide them in tasks and go for it! For example, if you want to play gig for 300 people in March, how would you go about it? Do you have music you would like to play? Would it be special event, invitation only or gig with few other bands? Where would you like to have it? How will you promote it? Once you know EXACTLY what your gig will be like, work back from it and ask yourself: “What do I need to do today to get to that goal?”. Those are your to-do steps. Tony Robbins said, “When you focus on something it becomes possible. But when you schedule it, it becomes REAL!” So make your music career ambitions REAL right now! Please, don’t just sit there… DO SOMETHING RIGHT NOW! You deserve it, your music deserves and your current and future fans deserve it too!

Review by Maria Molloy

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by Lidija Radacic

When trying to promote your music, it can all get too much too soon. Well, there is like million things to do! Your To-Do list is huge. All things are important. People to contact, music to record, blogs to read and lyrics to write. It can get overwhelming really fast! (FACT – when you are overwhelmed you are actually finding more reasons to procrastinate than when you are better organized) Single most important thing you need is to plan your time - schedule time with

yourself to work ON your music career development. Get a piece of paper right now (or open a new file on your computer), you will also need to have your calendar in front of you. So… let’s schedule you :) You have to do SOMETHING each day to promote your music, band, yourself, career in some way. Today, you might only have 20 minutes for it, but tomorrow you may have 90 minutes, maybe next Saturday you have 3 hours, and on Sunday or Tuesday only 20 minutes. The point is that YOU DO have ‘some' time EVERY SINGLE DAY OF YOUR LIFE (at least 20 minutes right?) When you plan your ‘music career time’ you will make consistent progress towards living the life you WANT. But if you don’t actually make an “ACTION PLAN” then NOTHING will happen!


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::: November 2011 :::

Les Marionettes ::: Debut EP Launch The Workman’s Club /Dublin,Thursday, November 17, 2011

Review by Collie Bartley

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n the face of it, it’s a band taking a step back nearly thirty years to sit at the top table of music beside the Gary Numans, Bronski Beats, and Depeche Modes. The clothes, lights, styles, and general impression give credence to this, but this is a band for musos. Everything they do is a nod to what has come in between now and then, and the show, the music, the energy, the rhythm, as well as the bravery to create an image, is validation enough that Les Marionettes are indeed a breath of fresh air. To Andy Bell, there is a bit of a Frank Black influence, to Kraftwork - a britpop leveller. It’s pure electro-pop, but not necessarily as your finger-less glove and pleated jeans wearing folks would remember it. Les Marionettes work and that is down to hard work and no end of talent. They are very far from the Blizzard-type blandness that appears to be the aim of and extent of the music ambition pervading the live scene at present. All four band members have been on the music scene long enough to know what has to be put in to get anything out. Keith Farrell and Ger Eaton have been everywhere from a field in Somerset to the Jools Holland’s BBC set, while Lucy Cody and Derren Dempsey have both

been in bands that could almost taste the big time. What has been created is big time music, which really works live. The EP launch at the Workingman’s Club is a testament to this. The big crowd that gathered was treated to a throwback. Neither star-gazing nor shoe-gazing, this music is suited to both. Song’s like ‘Sign your release’ and ‘Hung on you’ are intrinsically constructed, which is no mean feature considering the amount of equipment combined to create their sound. On occasion it can feel like there is one extreme 80s effects too many for the present time - it having been cast-off along with lolo balls, fat frogs (unfortunately) and leg warmers. However on the odd occasion a doubledrum snuck in, just to bring you back to those overly fluorescent days, and memories of Weird Science (check it out on IMBd) et al. There is a big swell towards early 80s electro music, which will get stronger with the approaching Euro football championships next summer. Don’t believe me? Check out the Celtic, and now Irish, fans devotion to the classic ‘Just can’t get enough’. However I doubted Les Marionettes could produce a terrace trembler to trouble Depeche Mode - that is until Keith managed to get a little ‘Ole Ole Ole Ole’ into their last tune.

Music Review Unsigned Vantastival 2012 Now Accepting Applications from Musicians From Friday 1st December Vantastival will be accepting applications from musicians hoping to play the 2012 Vantastival festival. Interested acts should email info@vantastival.com with the name of the band or artist in the subject line. The email must contain a link where the judging panel can listen to a minimum of three tracks. Artists should not send mp3 tracks attached to their email. Vantastival will take applications until 16th January. Vantastival accepts submissions from all acts who write their own original music, as well as traditional groups, and the festival prides itself on showcasing the finest up-andcoming unsigned Irish acts. Covers bands will not be considered. Previous years have seen rising talent such as O Emperor, The Ambience Affair, The Riptide Movement and We Cut Corners take to the stage, while headliners have included Jack L, Alabama 3, Whipping Boy, Duke Special and Kila to name a few. In its first two years Vantastival has announced itself confidently on the Irish festival scene. With rave reviews under its belt, the festival will move from Dunany Estate to Bellurgan Park, Co. Louth, in 2012. The new venue is an estate of extraordinary natural beauty just off the M1 motorway north of Dundalk. Vantastival is a celebration of campervan culture and a top class music festival rolled into one. Three stages of live music and entertainment host nearly 70 acts over the course of the weekend, while a range of activities focusing on the campervan lifestyle make it the only festival of its kind in Ireland. Ticket prices are very recession friendly at 89 euro for three nights camping and a limited number of special offer Christmas tickets at 60 euro will be available from the website in December. See www.vantastival.com for more details.


Music Review Unsigned

::: November 2011 :::

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Who is running your band? by Lidija Radacic

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alking to a lot of bands, I see the pattern emerging. There is usually one person who does a lot of running around and promoting the band. This person would be the one who tries new things, comes up with press releases, calls radio stations and send music out for people to hear it. Rest of the band might contribute a bit, but rarely have I ever seen all band members contributing equally. What can happen in this scenario is that the band leader gets fed up because rest of the band is not working on it with them, or they just burn out and start looking for the new opportunities. There is the difference between people who truly “want to make it” and people who are “waiting for their break”. What are the solutions to this? One of my clients said that the moment he stopped having a band and started hiring musicians to play with him for the gigs was the break through moment. It was the moment he got freedom to make the music he really wants and no drama about replacing one person or another for the gig or recording. Also, as all band members were getting paid, they were more professional about it, made sure they perform really well and basically eliminated squabbles and no shows. He also went out and got involved people who were going to manage his band, contact people for him, and do his marketing or any other thing that was required. That way, he had time to truly work on his music, knowing that he is not the one who needs to spend time on redesign web site or organizing photo shoot. Results he got were also much better, and from plays on the few radio stations, he got to play at festivals all

around Europe. You have no money to hire out someone to do all this for you? Find someone who will do it for you for free. You don’t have to go to the best music manager. Ask a friend who is project manager or marketing manager or has a knack for running a business if he can spend few hours a week helping you run and promote the band. Or ask around if there is someone who could help you – you would be surprised amount of people

who might want to get into the music business and are happy to spend few hours working for the experience only. And finally, if they truly believe you can make it, then they will be motivated by possible future returns. Once they are successfully, and you start making money, everyone will start making money :) So, one lesson you should take from today – delegate as much as you can!


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::: November 2011 :::

Music Review Unsigned

Lethal in the rap game! By POC

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apper Lethal Dialect releases his latest single "Keep It Real", which is the first track off his new album LD50. In an interview with MRU Lethal-D (real name Paulie) explains how he first got involved with the rap game, saying. "I realised I loved it (rapping) long before I realised I was good at it. It really wasn’t until id been at it a couple of years before I started to realise I was actually good, but only on the strength of everyone else telling me that." When asked where his inspiration comes from in his writing/rapping, The 23 year old simply says, "Life in general, Im so distracted by the music at the minute I really don’t have time to be thinking of anything else. Its cliche for an emcee to say, but realistically, if I wasn’t doing this, what I would be doing is most likely nothing positive." In response as to why he feels there has been such a rise in the amount of Irish rappers over the last few years Lethal-D says with a hint of sarcasim, "It’s not easy to be good at, but it’s easy to do, all you really

need is an internet connection, a fisher price mic and your good to go", and on the current standard of Irish Hip-Hop he says, "There really is no ‘top’ of this thing. Every Irish

to see where he'd be in five years time, L-D says, "Realistically, if nothing significant happens with this in the next year or two I probably wont be still doing it, but a few

emcee who has stayed relevant has had to, and still is working hard to try and make something happen. Its an up hill battle, some are just further up the hill than others." With a lot of Irish rappers tending to lean more toward the US cliché content of "money & Ho's", LethalD seems to have a more socially important message to his lyrics, he points out that his lyrics come from what he see's around him on a daily basis whilst always trying to remain positive, saying, "I'm Just depicting reality, in all forms harsh or not so, all of the messages that brings good or bad. The main message would be despite how harsh it gets its always harder to stay positive than negative and that theres really no benefit taking the negative route." Luckily for MRU, Lethals buddy Costello returned with his crystal ball

things in the works (musically) already would say otherwise." We here at MRU agree that LethalD is one to watch in the future, with the honesty in his lyrics and sense of identity as a musician, he may be just what is needed in a country facing reality after the blind years of the so called "Celtic Tiger". L-Ds music is a stark reminder of the social inequality that still does, and always has prevailed in this country.

Download "Keep It Real" now at ….. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Leth al-Dialect/186626141358217


WITH TREVOR HALPIN-DAVID DUGGAN-KEITH MCLOUGHLIN


Music Review Unsigned

::: November 2011 :::

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Town Criers ::: Wake Up Review by Kelly McGill

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ith Town Criers going into hiding to write their debut album, they have however stated on their website to expect a “slightly” bigger sound from the album. With listening to this EP I cannot wait to get my hands on the album. Talk about a seriously rocking EP! Town Criers have gained one extra fan from there EP Wake Up. This infectious rock band seriously know when to throw in the oul guitar riffs, with starting track Wake Up sounding like it gained some inspiration from Irish Band The Coronas, with lead vocalist Dermot Kelly sounding like Danny O Reilly with his crisp Irish voice. With three songs following after Wake Up, it seems some songs like Wake up and my favourite one Imitation had the power to overshadow the other two songs with their guitar solos and a powerful lyrical performance. To Town Criers credit Wake up shows the lads split personalities showing that they can pull off a good solid rock song and then

change to a slow mover (Something that many bands cannot pull off). I now wait in anticipation for the news of the lad’s debut album which I’m sure is going to be not only a beautiful album, but an album that will inspire many other up and coming Irish bands. http://www.myspace.com/wetowncriers

Whether you want to capture your family's precious milestones or get striking images to market a product, you can rely on Alison's Dragon Photography to make it happen.

http://dragonphotography.eu


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::: November 2011 :::

Music Review Unsigned

Sweet Jane ::: Sugar For My Soul Review by Kelly McGill

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weet Jane, a Dublin based band, originated in 2008. With the support of fans Sweet Jane released their first EP, Blackhearts & Blackboots. With their nonstop touring schedule, supporting acts such as Glasvagas and playing gigs such as Electric Picnic this August, Sweet Jane came to their next stop, Sugar For My Soul. Sugar For My Soul is a full on psychedelic rock album. With its 12 song track list ranging from “Bleed” to “Fade to my Heartbeat” Sweet Jane bring their own unique slant to the music industry. This album is unlike any

album I have listened to, as it has a peace and tranquil vibe to it. It almost feels like a summer album. Sugar For My Soul does not fit into your average music genre, as the use of female and male lead vocals done by Danda Paxton and Lydia Des Dolles

captures me as soon as I hear their voices compress into one. Even though there are dragged out guitar solos, surprisingly it seems to fit in and make the album whole. The album defiantly has a sixties sense to it. It seems as though the band has been heavily influenced by The Rolling stones and guitar hero Jimmy Hendrix has clearly influenced Lead guitarist Danda Paxton. However Sweet Jane has grabbed the 60s and twisted it around into modern times to fit this album. With a song such as Close your eyes reminded me somewhat of Oasis. Sugar For My Soul is an album that’s well worth the listen and should be listened to with an open mind. It relaxes your mood and sends you into a time machine back to the sixties.

http://www.facebook.com/SweetJaneMusic

Review by Luan Roberts

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eleased in August of this year, "Kill or Cure" is the latest album from the Essex based two-piece Alice Rock. The album is fun and upbeat, but has a rough surface under its sugar-coated pop exterior. The vocals provided by Alice have a sing-song quality to them, reminiscent of girls teasing each other in the schoolyard. They are not shrill or irritating, rather playful and catchy. The majority of the album is stylistically homogenous, with a few highlights to keep the attention of the listener. "Kill or Cure" comes across as musically similar to the Ting Tings but with a quirky, punk rock edge. The album plays with the themes of futurism, both optimistic and dystopian. The album never grows too serious though.

Alice Rock ::: Kill or Cure http://www.alice-rock.co.uk/

On "Model QT100" Alice declares her affection for a fictional device, satirizing society's need for the newest model, only to dispense of it when something better comes along. Both "Old Fashioned Girl" and "The Breeding Lady" bring up the dichotomy between traditional rearing of young ladies versus the modern, technologically steeped, standard. They save the best for the last in "Kill or Cure". The final track is the most complex and biting of them all. Alice's vocals are laid bare as she questions whether or not society is driving itself to its own demise. "Kill or Cure" comes across as a

professionally produced, lyrically clever release. The album holds together tightly and does not feel dull or tedious at any moment. If any of the vitriolic enthusiasm in Alice's vocals translates into live performance, they certainly would be worth catching in person.


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::: November 2011 :::

Music Review Unsigned

How to make this the best "music" year ever? by Lidija Radacic So we kick off series of marketing articles and ideas for your band. Get in touch and let us know what worked for you, what are you struggeling with or just want to share with the community. :) It doesn't have to be New Year's Day to make resolutions (althought we are getting close to that time of the year) and set goals for your music career. Any time of the year offers a great opportunity for a fresh start. To make the most of the next 12 months, consider these 10 ways to "make" this a year to remember. Ever heard the proverb: “Fail to Prepare. Prepare to Fail?” 1. Make up your mind. Or, decide what it is that you want to achieve over the next year. Music industry is not just about your talent – it is about you knowing what you are going for and being focused on it every breathing moment. How big are the gigs you are doing? Are you releasing single, or album? Where is it played? What festivals are you at? How will you get to those goals? 2. Make it KISS. Keep it simple silly! Don't overburden yourself with a complex plan. Pick a couple of key marketing areas and focus on them. Keep things simple. Also, make it easy for other people: easy to figure out who you are and what you play ... easy to place an order ... easy to get in touch with you. Clarity is wonderful thing

4. Make a network. To promote your music, you must connect with people ... and follow up with them repeatedly. Get a system. If you use Excel or notepad, it makes no difference – just get names and get in touch with people. REGULARY. 5. Make love (not war). Stop fighting unnecessary battles. Don't always look for what's wrong with your career ... because you'll just get more of it. Zero in on what you want, keep things positive

and operate from a position of warmth and passion. Think pink!

6. Make lemonade (or get a tequila slammer, whatever you like to use lemons for). When you get some negative feedback, look for the opportunity to learn from it. Why did this happen and what can you do to make sure it doesn’t happen again? Failure is a part of life. Winners have 3. Make great music. A bit obvious, no? ability to overcome obstacles set in front No amount of money or great marketing of them and learn from them. ideas can effectively promote music that 7. Make it or break it. While having a doesn't connect with anyone. What's considered "great" music is subjective -- positive attitude is key, being objective and realistic is important too. Always but you should always strive to write, view your marketing activities with a record and perform music that is highly fresh eye. Talk it over with your band, satisfying to you and a growing number family, friends, innocent bypasses… And of fans.

remember - if something's not panning out, change it or try something new -- no matter how well you think the idea should be working. Your audience will tell you pretty quick if something is effective. Keep an eye for the clues! 8. Make an offer. Great, you have CDs for sale and gig dates to promote. But, how to get people interested? Make an offer! Buy one, get one free. Order within five days and get a 20% discount. Arrive by 9 pm and we'll buy your first

drink. Get the picture? 9. Make bridges. Everyone has regrets, poor decisions they made and bridges that were apparently burned. If you still ponder these events, they can eat you up and turn you bitter. Contact people you've had a falling out with or apologize to someone who really needs to hear that from you. Clear the air and make space for your success to bloom. 10. Make haste. Don't make the mistake of waiting too long for the time to be right, for all your ducks to be in a row, for the situation to be perfect. That time may never come.


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::: November 2011 :::

Music Review Unsigned

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Photo by Paul Kolbe


Interview

Hazel Jade Rogers By Arne Eichler

D

ubliner Hazel Jade Rogers is a 15-year-old singer/songwriter who has already attracted plenty of positive comments from some major music insiders. Despite her tender years, big things are expected from this multitalented lady who is equally at home when singing, playing music, dancing or acting. In this interview, Jade will be speaking to Arne Eichler about everything from her very first gig, to her theatre career, to her year abroad studying in England.

Hello, Jade – welcome and thank you for talking to us. First off, many congratulations on playing your first official gig at the Ruby Sessions on 15 November. How did you get on?

But for definite, on Sunday 18 December I’ll be performing an acoustic set at the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre in aid of the Peter McVerry Trust for Homeless people. There'll be a few other artists there as It was awesome! I can tell performing is well, as well as carol singing. one of the highlights for me. You’re definitely one of our younger Of course, my nerves where a little uppity, but I calmed down after the first interviewees. Is it difficult going to school while working so hard on song and really had a good time. The your music? place was packed – loads of people where standing. I’m currently in 5th year, but I'm All I could think was: "Wow there's a lot more people in here then there was in finding it quite hard to balance school and music life. There's a lot going on the sound-check, that’s for sure.” at the moment. The sound didn't work on my guitar I decided not to do transition year, for one song, but I kept going, and I got because for me didn't seem like the a few laughs from the crowd, because I right choice - I'm looking at going to accidently referred to “old people” as College, and want to get there sooner. being over-25s. I’m hoping to study an art/musicBut it was fun and I’ll definitely be based course - haven't made my mind returning to the Ruby Sessions. I’m up yet - but there's a lot of courses that looking to practice whenever and look really interesting. wherever I can now – to up my experience in performance. Could you give us a few examples of That’s great, Jade. So are you already your musical influences? planning some future gigs? Hmmm . . . my biggest influence would have to be Pink – especially her I'm hoping to get a couple of gigs older music. through my manager at the moment. I feel her lyrics and melodies come The Mercantile seem interested and The Grand Social are seeing if I can perform across as a window for people to drift away from all the pain, hate..Cont. and there.


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::: November 2011 :::

worry in the world and be their own person . . . at least that’s what I felt when I first heard her nine years ago. Her reason for writing is to make the world a better place and to help others – something I see as a number one reason to become an artist. Secondly, Christina Aguilera, because her song-writing and melodies are complicated but effective, connecting the listener to the lyrics. And then Nickelback: their strong, edgy grunge-like songs have an energetic lift, and the lead singer Chad Kroeger has a very low, ruff vocal which is very powerful to me. A lot of their songs being about drugs, sex and rock ‘n’ roll – it’s a vision of life lessons for everyone. How do you normally go about writing your songs? Do ideas just come to you? As I said earlier, I am not organised, so having a basic structure or formula is not something I work off. Basically, if I come up with some lyrics somewhere randomly – for example, the shower, school or a friend’s house – I end up saving the lyrics in my phone notes, and creating a melody later when I'm at a piano. And vice versa, when I come up with a melody on piano, guitar or just with my voice, I record it on my phone and use it later to write lyrics, too. You’ve mentioned that you co-write some of your songs. Whom do you generally collaborate with? Well, a young producer called LaGuil worked with me on “Kiss My Lips”, and we have another one we're working on at the moment with him. He lives over in Canada, but we just bounce stuff over the internet to each other. I've also worked with a group over in the UK called Rural Roots. I did a rap song with them which I’ve not put out yet. I co-wrote a while ago with some guys over in the US – a group of musicians called Bullring Entertainment and I often co-write with my mum, as she's a songwriter too.

Right, and do you have any musicians that perform with you?

Music Review Unsigned And what would a typical week there have looked like?

I hope eventually to have a band to A typical week in Redroofs was relaxed! perform with, but at the moment, I'm just From 9am ‘til 12pm we would do getting my performing feet, so I academic studies, for example, Maths generally ask musicians to help now and and English. then when it's needed. Then we would get changed from our school uniforms into our dance gear; I see that you play piano, drums and from 1pm ‘til 4pm we’d have classes in guitar. Do you have a favourite? dance, acting, singing and musical theatre. I can't pick a favourite because for me When I attended Redroofs, I learnt the all have their parts. four types of dance: modern, ballet, jazz Drums is something I get better at if I and tap, [it’s the] reason I enjoy dance so get angrier – it seems I push myself much. more to get the beats right and it’s great Regularly, school productions would for letting off steam. I’ve been messing happen. I featured in a personal on the drums since I was three . . . I can perspective from the school on the truly say I'm not that bad! Christmas tale “A Christmas Carol”, Guitar I’ve been playing four years which was very fun. I also did a number now. I’m not amazing at guitar by all of auditions and I feel I learnt and remeans. discovered who I was when I was there. I would call myself more or a rhythm guitarist than anything else. I love Well, it definitely sounds like it must playing it because it can fill a song out have been an exciting time for you. I great, giving warmth. noticed that you’ve performed Then Piano: been playing since I was professionally at the National Concert five and it’s by far my best [instrument]. Hall and the Olympia and Gaiety There is not really any pop song I cannot Theatres. Is that something you’re play on piano, but I'm not particularly still involved in? fond of the Classical “grade tunes” – as I call them – though I like classical music Yes, my dramatic acting days. and do play some now and then. I managed to be in three professional I guess I don't like exams and forced productions (all around Christmas) in the structure – but then who does. National Concert Hall – being Annie as an orphan, Oliver as one of the gang, Interestingly, you spent a gap year at and Carmen as a couple of parts. Redroofs Theatre School in the UK. Each consisted of about 25 shows a Did you go there to develop your play and I've been in simply loads of music or for other reasons? smaller productions put on at various locations too numerous to mention. Ah, Redroofs! I do miss that school – In school every year a play is put on and the people, of course. and recently I played the plant’s voice in I went to Redroofs to explore who I “The Little Shop of Horrors”, and in the am as a person, and basically mature and Olympia I played a Sugar Plum Fairy in meet new people. “The Little Nutcracker”. My parents thought it would be good I think my acting allows me to be more for me and help me develop, as I'd been myself when it comes to performing bullied quite a lot when I was younger these days . . . also I don't suffer from and they felt I needed to rediscover my having stage fright. confidence. It’s also something that inspired me to Your song “Still Love You” is being write my first song ever, because before considered for a film in the U.S. – the age of 13 neither me nor my parents sounds great. Are you allowed to give knew I had writing abilities. us a hint as to what this film is?


Music Review Unsigned Well, all I know is that the movie is set in Iraq, and it’s about a relationship developed between a U.S. soldier and a prisoner. So: fingers crossed! “Kiss My Lips” was featured on WDAR 96FM, have you had any airplay on any commercial Irish stations yet?

::: November 2011 ::: identifiable image (back when I was 13), and that I had to focus on a particular genre of music – I find that hard, because I like lots of different styles of music. And finally, I had to start performing live as a music artist, which was also hard because not many venues will let you perform aged 13/14. But now I'm coming up to 16, it's got a lot easier.

RTE Pulse are going to be playing that Where do you normally record? song soon. We have approached SPIN 103.8, too, and we’re waiting for a response – hopefully soon. And also REDfm (Radio station in Cork) are considering playing it, too. It's difficult to get airplay on the major stations, though. I don't understand why sometimes. I am doing an interview with a Californian radio station on 1 December, and I've to play a song or two live over Skype, I think. I don't think they're major, but it's nice to be asked. You’ve had lots of positive comments from people in the music industry. Have there been any serious discussions about the possibility of a contract? I did get asked to join with a management/label company over in the UK, but decided it wasn't for me at the time. I was also approached by a London publishing company, but my mum says we'll hang on to our own publishing. I've had some approaches from a few companies in the U.S., but nothing concrete yet. I'm very happy, though, that Dublin music manager Noel Taylor is now looking after me, and he'll be directing my career forward into the future. Have any producers or industry insiders ever offered any stand-out advice on how to develop further? For example, something that really stood out from you other than the standard “keeping working hard”? Yes, I've had some really strong feedback – from major industry heads, too. I was told that I have to develop an

Most of the time we record at home using professional recording software, and we've loads of guitars, pianos and even an electronic drum kit. We used to have a full recording studio with mixing desks and all, but that's been replaced by a MacBook with software-based recording packages. Recently I recorded with the band Big Digger and we hired out Salt Recording Studios on the Howth Road in Sutton. We recorded my new single which will soon be released! It is a smallish recording studio but very cosy, and it has everything you'd need. If we need to record, we always go there, and I've also done guitar and drum lessons there too. Thumbs up for Frank Kearns, the owner, who runs a holiday rock school there too. What’s the best online channel for your fans to keep in touch and check what you’re up to? Definitely Facebook - it’s www.facebook.com/hazeljaderogers; with over 12,000 fans, I try to keep

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everyone updated. I use my personal page constantly but I always check in and update my fan page at least once a day. Even if I have nothing to say I will ask a random question. What are you currently working on? I saw that you’ve just recorded your new track “Forgive, Forget” but is there anything else? Yes, as I said, I went into the studio with

Big Digger – a group of guys who are hilarious but are also a gifted bunch of musicians. We spent hours in the studio laying all the tracks down and getting the timing right, so I was busy with that. And yes, I’m currently writing another two or three songs – when they will be ready I can't say, but we’re in the middle of writing a new song with LaGuil, who also created the backing track for “Kiss My Lips”. We hope to have that song up and ready to record in the next month. Next year we think is going to be a big year for me, and I’m hoping to do one full major release of a very special song I wrote a while ago. And finally, what are your plans for the next six months? Wow - long time. Well, I’m hoping to become more aware of my performance and how to handle it. I also want to write another album and keep up with all my school work. A lot to do! I also want to collaborate with other artists and hold some gigs for my Facebook fans.


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