The Manc Tank
In Their Thousands
Scene & Heard 14-17 18-19 20- 23 24 25-28
Jack Of Dimestore/Knockanstockan Wrap Party The Ruby Sessions Saucy Sundays Aggro Culture Pre-Knockanstockan Party
29-38 39-50 51-54 56
Irish Album/EP Reviews International Album/EP Reviews Single Reviews August 4x4
EDITORIAL We had a very productive month in the office at U&I. The 11th of July was a landmark day for the magazine as our entire co-op officially came under the remit of our parent company U&I Music Agency Ltd. This will have a huge significance because it will now give us the freedom to bring the music network fully into the ideas and projects that we currently have in the pipeline. The magazine itself also saw us forge new links with FaceMelter Music. This will now allow the unsigned metal scene to find a voice within the pages of our magazine and on our site. In our opinion it is a genre of music that is largely an ignored scene, but one that is brimming with excellent live acts that deserve to be featured. This month’s issue is one that we have had great pleasure in piecing together. The live scene this month saw us see The Knockanstockan Pre-Launch party and culminated with us catching the triple header that was the Knockanstockan wrap party/Rhythm & Roots Festival launch party. There is also an interview with Christina Quill about the festival in this issue. We also caught a great night of music at The Ruby Sessions and a great afternoon at Saucy Sundays. In terms of the quality that we have reviewed and featured in this month’s issue there are fantastic Irish artists such as Niall Connolly, Leon Rosseau, Jet Set Radio, Keith Moss, Vann and Empire Circus and many more. The international music reviews include acts such as Kaurna Cronin, Born Cages, Tessa Rose Jackson, Eliza Jaye, The Box Tiger among others. All in all the high standard of music that is reviewed is there to be appreciated for what it is….great music. We also have a very interesting array of interviews this issue. The cover band this month is the excellent In Their Thousands. We also caught up with Dec Greene to talk about The Voodoo Sessions. “Postcards From The Edge” features an interview with Greg Clifford who talks about the live music scene in Spain, while Corrina Jaye also talks about what is in the pipeline for her musically. The Manc Tank features Naymedici, while Delamere are also featured as one to watch by David Beech in his column.
Phillip Ó’Baoighealláin Editor-In-Chief
IN THEIR OWN WORDS...
If anyone was to follow your progress as a band over the last 12 months or so, they would come to see that your progress and success have been off the back of a combination of hard work and focus. That is now beginning to take shape for you and if you were to pick a specific point to where things began to take off we would start with your EP “Cellars”. How would you have viewed the recording process overall?
Aidan: Organic. It was kind of natural, we just went in and played the tracks live and took the best takes. Attica is a great studio, big live room. Most of that EP is recorded live, the tracks I mean. The vocals are overdubbed in. Tommy really let us find our own way and gave us the space to get the tracks down the way we wanted. The other thing that you got right was the publicity for it. You went with the idea of launching it at a secret location. How did you come to settle on that as an idea for launching it? Ruairí: The shed. We were looking for a venue that wasn’t a venue, if you know what I mean! We liked the idea of an underground scene, where people took the music or anything they’re doing back to natural places, any places at all. Because it can be done without relying on the established things. We wanted to try something very different, so we set up a shed in the countryside with a stage, installed a P.A., lights and transformed it for one night. Then we bussed people from the towns up north to the gig, they didn’t know where they were going when they got on the bus because we didn’t tell them. About 150 of them! A BYOB affair. Some craic! Great night. Another thing that also seemed to work in your favour was selling tickets for the gig through the An Grianan Theatre box office. How does using a resource like that benefit you as an unsigned act? Aidan: There is a small cost associated with it, but having a centralised system there in the towns simplifies the process for us and the punter. Declan: It takes a lot of the work off the band too, organising to print and deliver tickets. Everybody supports everybody in the scene up there, so it seemed a natural way to do it.
Liam: Plus they accept card. We can’t accept cards yet! Following that you were then shortlisted as one of the four semi-finalists in the Northern region of “Arthurs Day Play On The Day”. How did it feel to make the cut as one of the final four? Declan: It was alright, aye! Finally good to get into the Belfast crowd. Not necessarily the punters there, but there were a few industry/radio heads there that we’ve maintained contact with since. Ruairí: Surprised really, we never set out with the plan to get there. It was one of those spontaneous things. We looked at it as another gig with no real expectations. The night itself took place in the Limelight in Belfast. It was a high profile gig in itself because of the involvement of HOT PRESS. But the other thing of note about that semi-final was the line-up itself. There was a high calibre of artists you were up against– Triggerman, Peter McVeigh and Suzanne Savage – and to come out on top against such a high standard must have come as a real boost. How did it feel to be nominated and to then go on and win on the night? Ruairi: It was unexpected, and any night you get to play in front of such a great audience is a good gig for us. The competitive element of the thing doesn’t really enter our heads in that situation because music is not a competition to us. We were lucky to get that particular opportunity and they come in different ways for different acts. All the acts are top, and we try to bump into them on the road. That then led to the final in Dublin. That was a national competition so it was a really big deal to win it. Again the competition on the night was a high standard. The build-up to the night was no shy affair either because all of the four finalists were featured as a stand-alone double sided cover of HOT PRESS. So there was an incredible amount of publicity to each of the finalists. What did it meant to you to come out as the overall winners? Ruairi: Again, the competitive side is not something we spend much time on. Why would we? Nobody beat
anyone in that competition, the judges chose some act and it happened to be us that time. The level of national exposure for each act was great from that and the Hot Press covers. It provided us with the opportunity to establish an identity and a following nationally and meet some great people along the way. And just as importantly, what did it mean to the people back home to see a local band win it? Declan: I suppose there’s always an old feeling of being left out up in Donegal. They feel forgotten! There is a serious original music scene building there so I think for people to feel like the spotlight was being shone on the scene up there made a lot of people very happy. Liam: Well we weren’t there! But there were a lot of them down in Dublin! People were tuning in, texting and calling us and shouting down the phone! Another thing that you are noted for is the way you look after your support and provide for them in terms of coaches. That is something that you do a great deal of the time. That must have added something on the night to have a large support in the crowd to share in the win with you. Declan: It’s very easy to say ‘I don’t have a lift’, so we try to make it as easy as possible for people to come out with us and enjoy the night. Aidan: Living in rural areas, you dont have the luxury of having public transport to and from everywhere either. Ruairi: We like the community of it too, taking a crowd of people together for the cause in a way! We had a coach of 40-50 people, who paid roughly €10 return to Donegal. (Some didn’t make it back home and came with us!). It wold have been €30 with Bus Eireann, it provides employment to our local businesses, people can let their hair down and come and join in the experience with us. At the moment there is a thriving music scene in the west of Ireland. Along with you guys we have also seen other bands come through such as ODDSOCKS REVIVAL to name just one. But one thing that is also helping the music scene to thrive there is the number of venues that are
dedicated to supporting artists by giving them a platform to play live. In Galway there is Monroes, The Roisín Dubh; Sligo has Fifth On Teeling; there is The Green Room and Voodoo in Letterkenny; and there are others. How essential to the growth of the unsigned music scene is the existence of venues that are dedicated to helping new artists develop? Declan: I’m not sure if that really exists, I think most of the venues might not be doing it if they weren’t making some profit on it. Aidan: Crucial, especially at the start when a band has the opportunity to play live, play support slots and get gigs of their own. Ruairi: It would be very easy for every venue to go down the fully commercial route of cover bands, nightclubs etc. But it’s the venues that go out on a limb, take alternative routes, take risks on music they believe in, that I think helps the whole thing stand up. I also like the idea of having things outside existing venues, like we did with the EP launch, but without the venues that have built up a name over the years I think we would suffer culturally, especially with getting international acts good gigs here and opening up those opportunities for Irish bands to support them. Then you could also see the Westport Festival as something that is a natural evolution from this because the live scene is firmly being put on the map by the quality of artists coming through. Some people would say that it has been a long time coming. Would you agree with that opinion? Ruairi: Westport was class, just because of the amount of Irish bands playing alongside big international acts. It’s about time both were on the same stage because sometimes it feels like we exist on different planets. Are you surprised that the west of Ireland has now become such a musical hotbed? Ruairi: Not really, we’ve seen it happening for a few years now in that a lot of the teenagers we know are all into writing original material. That can only lead one
way, to better songs, better acts, more interest in the bands & acts and overall a strong groundswell of people dedicated to making and supporting music. You have also been busy touring this year. The new tour bus made its maiden voyage when you toured in the UK this year. Do you ever find anything different to gigging over there that you wouldn’t necessarily find on the Irish circuit? Ruairi: It’s a good challenge, playing to rooms of people that you have to win over. In a lot of ways the places we played and the crowds were similar, people out looking for new music, bands supporting each other. There’s really not much difference in us! We had some great gigs there, and the van done about 2000 miles on that trip. Another interesting gig that you played was with the Inishowen Gospel Choir as part of Carnivale of Colours. What did you take away from that experience? Ruairi: We played a gig with the choir once, done “Tear It All Apart” and “The Pattern” with them and immediately afterwards invited them to our EP launch to have them as part of the show. They give a lovely depth to any song they get involved in, and it’s cool to hear a choir belting out your choruses. The new single that you have released is “Tear It Apart”. That has been followed up by the release of your third EP. You had two launches for the EP. The first was in Donegal and the other in Dublin at The Odessa Club on July 25th. The process now of recording and releasing an EP must be a familiar one to you now. Ruairi: Yeah, we like it. Especially when it’s coming together like it is now with the artwork etc. tying in to the previous two. We sketched the drawings for the artwork ourselves and put it all together with Annette Gallagher’s help. There is an interesting back story to some of the writing that was done when you were in Hungary.
Ruairi: There’s one song on the new EP ‘Between The Waters’ that came from Hungary. It’s called ‘Hungary’! It’s our most political song so far, about a lot of things that are going on today that we are concerned about. What has been different/easier this time around? Ruairi: The recording process. It was more in-depth and complex than we’ve been accustomed to. But we’re happy with the results. We recorded with Dave ‘Skippy’ Christophers and he is relentless when it comes to getting the best take out of you. Which is tough going, but worth it! We try not to make life too easy for ourselves with the launches, always trying to better the last one. You also made a video for “Tear It Apart”. How does that process differ and remain the same to the recording process for you as a band? Aidan: It was a long process! One of the most stressful times of my life! Declan: We started with one concept involving a car, the car was rolled by the driver acting in the video! It was caught on camera and everything. No one was hurt! So we had to go back to the drawing board after that. It was months after we started that we actually got a finished video. It turned out really well though. Our mate Charlie Doherty from a class Donegal band called The Capitol directed it. Liam’s nephew Emmet plays the boy in the video, we like working with local people and people who are not necessarily in the trade we are asking them to be in! The festival circuit is something that will see you kept busy this summer. Where can people see you play? Knockanstockan on Sunday 28th July Derry Folk Festival on Sunday 4th August Aranmojo Music Festival on 17th August We have an Irish tour in the first week of September for which the venues are still being finalised, we’ll let you know when they are. Then the last week of September we have our second UK tour where we’ll be hitting Manchester, Liverpool, Somerset & London with a few more to be announced.
CORRINA JAYE How did you come to fall into playing music then? CJ: I started writing music in my final year of University. I wasn’t particularly enjoying the course which was Business and Law and I guess my creativity burst out in that way with little melodies coming into my head that I would record and jot lyrics to. Who were the artists that you listened to growing up? And who were the ones who really turned you onto music in a big way?
CJ: Ha! I think it was just a subtle entendre instead of asking for a number… I’m asking him into a Dark Room. There are two versions of that video. There is also the US version. It (the original) currently stands at an impressive viewing of over 90,000 views on YouTube. CJ: Yes, the original is at 124,000 and the American is at 94,000 now. So I am really impressed. I was lucky in a way that I caught in on that fascination with Fifty Shades at the right time. I do think people like the song and video though. I think it was a combination of things.
CJ: I loved Madonna as a little girl. I still think she had great pop songs back in the eighties and nineties. She was very relevant and cutting edge at the time there was nobody like her before. I got into Blondie later but she (Deborah Harry) was before my time. I loved Michael Jackson, and had quite an unusual obsession with M.C. Hammer (very uncool! ) That was my first ever concert my Dad took me to I even had the big pants he wore.
Did recording the second version help with that in any way do you feel?
Since November things have begun to pick up for you. The way things have moved forward for you has been an impressive showing. There was the video for “Dark Room” and that seems to be the point where it has all really started from. It is a video with a very interesting concept going on. Tell us about how the idea for it all came about.
CJ: I like them both I have to say on a push maybe the original though.
CJ: Well I was reading Fifty Shades of Grey at the time and one day the melody came in my head and I liked it so I just started working on that. I liked the song I thought it had something and wanted it to be my first single. The idea for the video came to me and in organizing it I managed to blag a lot of stuff for free. I’m a big believer in asking for what you want. I lucked out with Andrew Jordan as well as I had no idea he would do such a fantastic job, he has a great eye, and takes things in almost a single take, he is an extremely talented guy. I also worked with Fergus Kealy and I just want to say as an actor/ model he was great and helped me relax as I was quite nervous before the shoot). When the concept was agreed on was it a deliberate decision to go with filming it in black and white? Or was it something that was deemed suitable after it had all been recorded and then it became a conscious choice? CJ: I think it was a combination of things when we were filming it I didn’t request black and white I presumed it would be colour but I think Andrew felt it looked better that way and I have to say I agreed with his decision. Was it that video which led to you being referred to as “X-Rated Carly Rae Jensen” or something else? It was a rather specific analogy. What did you make of it?
CJ: Yes definitely. People see the Matt Bomer version and then check out the original. But I think the fact that my own is higher says a lot. I think it would have done well either way. Do you have a favourite of the two?
Is making videos to suit different territories something that you would consider in the future if you felt it was required and would work? CJ: A lot of people all over the world have watched Dark Room and strangely I get a lot of feedback from Portuguese/ Spanish countries. I don’t know in all honesty. I didn’t aim to attract any particular territory, just to release a song and idea that I liked. But if someone asked me to record a Spanish version I might do it. I’m not against anything like that. I’m just focused on my new material at the moment.
try in alleviate it even in small ways if it’s just a hello, or a kind gesture to a stranger. You have also been experimenting with electronic pop. You worked with Marcin Jechrek on a track this year. How is that shaping up and will it also be included on your album?
CJ: I loved it, it has been taken down for copyright reasons but I did really like it and shared it on my page.
CJ: It is funny you should mention that as we are going to finish that hopefully in the next week or two. It is very different from my usual style but I love to mix things up. He was busy recording with other artists but I’m looking forward to finishing it and releasing the final product. I don’t know if we’ll release it as a single or include it on my album. It is a co-written song so we’ll have to wait and see how we’ll release that one.
You recorded your debut EP with Paul Murphy. How is that coming along? It is taking a while I have to be honest. Paul hurt his playing hand and then other factors have slowed us down a bit.
Is that a genre of music that you have always been interested in or was it a case of something you wanted to experiment with to push yourself as an artist musically?
CJ: I’m really excited to hear the final mixes. One song recorded by Joe Chester will also feature on the EP. It is more like Dark Room but the other songs will be quite different I think.
CJ: I am interested in all kinds of music and I write all different kinds of songs. Though I may veer towards a particular style more than others I do like to mix it up. Like most people I enjoy all styles of music (except maybe heavy metal if I’m completely honest!)
What did you make of the Spanish version that was recorded by Jenn Dee?
You recorded Moon River/ I Follow Rivers at Bluebird Studios. Is that a setting that helped with the creativity or was everything written and decided before you went in? CJ: We had decided on it before we went in. It did help because it is such a beautiful studio. It was quite funny getting there, combination of snow, a GPS system gone haywire and getting lost in the mountains! Ah we got there in the end and it was good fun recording it. How is the process of recording the album coming along? CJ: I have new songs I’m all excited about now. I am always writing new stuff and working on a new batch so I definitely want to get the best album possible before I release it.
You have recently recorded a second video to “For A While”. It seems to be another video that has high production values about it. How did you find the process this time around? CJ: Brilliant fun, had a great day. Andrew had two other crew members with us (Aidan and Meg) who are also training in film production and it was just really good fun. I don’t want to say much else about it or who was involved as I want the video to be a surprise. How important is the emphasis on putting the effort into the video that matches the song writing process for you on a personal and professional level?
Will “Maps” and “Invisible” be included in the track list?
CJ: For me it’s art and it’s incredibly important. I wouldn’t make videos if I didn’t like it. That being said the music comes first and what’s most important is the song but I like to create a visual to go with that.
CJ: I’m not sure is the honest answer - possibly. I know you guys liked “Maps”, and I do like it but I’ll have to wait and see where I am with the new songs and then pick the ones I think are strongest out of them all.
What is next on the horizon for you? Will there be upcoming gigs and so on for people to see you play live or are you shying away to concentrate on recording for now?
Speaking of your track “Invisible”, a version appeared online with photos by Lee Jeffries added to a video. You were very happy with the end result on it. What did you feel it added to the song?
CJ: Yes I will be headlining my own show with full band very soon. Although I have been making solo appearances I have been focused on recording for the past few weeks so then it will be rehearsals for the show. I don’t have a confirmed date yet butI will let you know as soon as I do. I also took part in a charity single recently with Shane Lynch from Boyzone and members of Westlife, as well as a number of other Irish artists so I’m looking forward to sharing that as well. The main thing will be getting my E.P. out there and launching it. I am very excited to finally be getting to share my new material with everyone.
CJ: I do like “Invisible” and it is a very heartfelt song I wrote it about a homeless lady I saw one day. We sometimes don’t like to think about the depressing aspects of life, but they are very real to others so I think it is important to be aware of suffering in the world and
POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE
This month’s Postcards From The Edge comes from our intrepid Deputy Editor Greg Clifford. Having spent all of the month of June in Spain, which took in Malaga and Granada, he tells us about his experience touring over there and what it brought to the creative process.
Having spent a full month in Spain what did you notice about the music scene over there that is similar to the Irish music scene?
GC: Not much to tell you the truth, which was relatively surprising. Yes they have open mic nights, but they don’t seem to go for live, unsigned, original music. Spain is, generally speaking, all about DJs and nightclubs. This was epitomised by the Sonar Festival, which was in full flow while we were in Barcelona. I went to see Kraftwerk play one of the nights of the festival, which was a special gig. I’ve been a massive fan of them since I was young so it was amazing to finally see them live. It was difficult to find places to play and discover new talent though. I had no joy getting gigs in Madrid or Barcelona! However, Malaga was kind to me. What did you notice that was different?
GC: I witnessed some fantastic Spanish guitarists busk during my time away. However, when it came to the original rock, pop, blues genres there was nothing that significantly impressed me. Being away made me appreciate our own music scene much more. We’ve a lot of talent in these parts. It’s fantastic to have the likes of Sweeney’s, The Mercantile, The Workman’s and Whelan’s all in such close proximity to each other. I take it for granted at times.
You said that the music scene was largely a club based/dance music scene. Are they still receptive to live music though? And did they take to your music?
GC: I ended up playing 4 or 5 nights in Malaga, with one in Granada. The gigs went down really well. The first night I played in Onda Passadea (Malaga) people were coming up and onto the stage, midway through the gig, to buy CDs and asking for autographs. It was bizarre but I obliged of course ha. By the time I was leaving Malaga I had got to know a few musicians and concert goers. For the few days there I became a part of their mini scene and built up a bit of a reputation. What venues did you play at and was there a particular gig that stood out on the trip as a personal favourite?
GC: Onda Passadena and ZZ’s Pub stood out as the best gigs/venues. The first gig in Onda set the wheels in motion. I got to play two sets that night as the promoter enjoyed my material so much. I thrived on being the wild card. The unknown guitarist - having to win the crowd over. It helps me up my performance. I loved the challenge. How did this trip compare to your trip to Switzerland in March?
GC: What goes on in Switzerland is a totally different animal! I don’t gig as Greg Clifford over there. In fact I don’t even go by the name of Greg Clifford there. I play with what is effectively a piss-take Irish Trad band called The Led Farmers. In ways it’s musical prostitution! But the laugh I have with the 3 other guys is like no other and worth it. We certainly have a unique chemistry. Its blatant departure and obscurity! Full blown lunacy!! We get sorted with paid gigs, free accommodation and free food and drink! Very different to the majority of Irish venues! We put on borderline circus acts and play the music with serious intensity and drive. We always entertain crowds and in November we’ll be setting off on our 4th tour of Switzerland. It’s massively surreal and is always very hard to define. Spain was about relaxation, getting away, sampling something different and writing new material while giging a bit along the way. It lived up to what I’d desired. They say that travelling broadens the horizons. Did the month over there lead to anything new creatively? GC: Removing myself for a month benefitted me in a great way. I’m usually pretty flat out here, which can culminate in me being seriously burnt out. Being away gave me the opportunity to write new lyrics and concepts. Even just writing down passive observations is so important for me. I enjoyed walking around in an anonymous state. Being an outsider almost. It helps me see life in a more cleansed manner. Spain has an interesting rhythm to the streets. It’s like the people are somewhat sun scorched and move at their own lethargic pace. It’s difficult to articulate. But I very much enjoyed seeing another culture and way of life. I wrote new material in Malaga and Granada. The new songs need a touch fine-tuning, but will feature in sets in the coming weeks, which will be refreshing and exciting for me and the people who come see me play! Will there be anything that you will be incorporating into your sound that you might not have considered before spending time in Spain? GC: I don’t thing Spain necessarily will be what directly aided the songs. It could have been anywhere in the world if you know what I mean. Removing myself from my usual routines, spending time in the sun and swimming was all most important. Having the time to write and reflect is what the songs needed. The Spanish guitar influence in my sound is not a product of having spent time over there. The chords, strumming patterns and ‘Rasgueado’ technique I employ was already present in my music. I don’t consider my music to be a Spanish fusion in anyway. I don’t consider what my sound is at all in fact. I just trust intuition and let the music and environment guide me. And are you pleased with how this trip managed to shape/change the direction of older songs that were still kind of hanging about incomplete until now? GC: Yeah I’m pretty content with the work I got through. As I was saying what I required was a bit of space and time to reflect on what I’d previously penned. I altered some lyrics and then began to consider slightly different chord progressions and how to incorporate solid hooks into the songs. I feel I achieved this and hopefully this will be apparent in my next EP, which will be released around October!
THE MANC TANK Column by David Beech
The best of the unsigned Manchester music scene
Naymedici Manchester obviously has more than its fair share of great new band on the up and up, a lot of which seem to be indie bands indebted to Morrissey and Marr, or the Gallagher brothers, why did you choose to go down the punk road when so many others eschew it? We wanted to do something different. We're not really interested in rehashing the old 90's Manc scene ourselves, but fair play to anyone else going down that path. Given that this particular column is about the Manchester scene, what do you think it is about the city that makes it the hotbed for young talent that it is?
Not too sure. There's always something to do, somewhere to go, something to see. There are so many live music venues in the city that it's hard to avoid the music scene. Everyone seems to love a good gig in Manchester. Your music obviously stems from a number of diverse and eclectic influences, both musical and otherwise, care to name some? We're massive fans of The Pogues, Dubliners, and Gogol Bordello. I listen to a lot of Bob Dylan and Tom Waits. Really like folk songs, the older the better. And anything with an accordion or a fiddle is normally a winner! Your track ’Koo Koo the Bird Girl’ isn’t exactly your usual run of the mill, three minute radio-friendly affair, in fact it seems more like an LSD soaked exercise in alternate history. What’s the story behind that?
-- 12 9 --
We backed a horse called Cosimo De Medici, and when it didn't come in, all yelled 'Naymedici'.
Hi guys, thanks a lot for doing this. Just to get the ball rolling, how did you come up with the name Naymedici, and what does it mean?
It's based on a woman called Minnie Woolsley, who worked in various carnivals under the name 'Koo Koo The Bird Girl'. It's a true story – the only things I've changed are the facts. Obviously you have major ties with Ireland, relocating there quite recently. How intrinsic do you think the Anglo-Irish narrative is to the music your making and indeed to other bands that share similar backgrounds? We're living in Ireland now, and are spending a lot of time gigging all over the country. At first we thought it might look a bit odd, us English lads all going over there to play Irish music, but everyone has been very appreciative so far. We play the Irish songs loud and brashly, so I think they can't help but be won over. A lot of punk bands have quite stringent and dogmatic ideologies, political or otherwise, do you find that your own politics bleed through in to your music or even live shows? We all have our own ideas on politics, but we're not too bothered about forcing them down people’s throats. Here’s a question I ask every band I interview now; what would be in your ideal rider, and why? We'd just be happy with plenty of ale to be honest. The more the better. Probably worth having a Spar next door for our bass player, Hilly, so he can go on the crisp butty run. I’ve featured you on my own blog before now, LIFE’S A BEECH, a post which has garnered almost my highest amount of hits. Do you find that bridging the gap, both physical and metaphorical, between Manchester and Ireland has allowed you to develop a following that includes people who might have not batted an eyelid without those connections there? Yeah possibly, we're gigging all the time now, both all over the UK and all over Ireland. It gets us into places that wouldn't necessarily have heard of us. We've not got any money to spend shitloads on PR, so it suits us to do things at a grassroots level. The harder we seem to work, the more things seem to come our way. We've still got a long way to go, but fingers crossed things will start to come good! Finally, what’s on the horizon for Naymedici as a whole, and where can we catch you live? We should be releasing our debut EP in the next few months, which will have our new single 'Whack Fol The Diddle' on it. After that we're hoping to tour around Europe, in between fitting gigs in around Ireland and the UK. Check out our website www.naymedici.co.uk for upcoming gig dates.
Take any city in the UK, and almost literally, you can find an unsigned scene that's completely saturated with bands and artists from a myriad of genres and backgrounds that are all vying to put their city on the musical map. At best, only a handful from each city will get signed and fewer still will go on to make it. There are those that approach their music with a cocksure arrogance soaked liberally in sense of self-entitlement who, unfortunately do end up going places. Then there's bands like Stoke's Delamere; a band whose music isn't their own way of certifying their own arrogance, but a cathartic means for them and their listeners to escape the drudgery of the everyday monotony. Rather than release a single EP, the band meticulously write, then rewrite singular tracks and release them on an almost monthly basis. Indeed, having only been together a short space of time, releasing each track individually allowed them to garner a fan-base from a small yet steady stream of tracks while the fans in turn eagerly await each single, as opposed to hearing an EP and tiring of it quickly. Not that that would be the case, however. Each track released by this fourpiece upholds a distinctly anthemic ideal; there's an underpinning sense of ambition, hidden brilliantly by a darkly optimistic veneer.
The first track to be uploaded to their SoundCloud page, 'Vampire', quickly asserted them as a band with a penchant for aesthetics and suggests an understated intelligence to their song writing rarely exhibited in the indie scene. I caught up with the band earlier in the year, and the same quiet intelligence came through then, though conversely, their sincerity is manifested in their music and in conversation the band are light hearted and chatty. This is a side seen in their most recent track 'Colour Me in'. Uplifting and optimistic, a perpetual high feel drives the song forward and gives texture and grounding to guitars that threaten to float away. Singer James Fitford excels himself in each and every of the band's releases, and it's been an absolute joy to hear them progress and mature over the five months I've been following them. Support slots with hotly tipped bands such as Peace and Palma Violets suggests that people are beginning to take notice of Delamere, and well they should. The band is so much more than the majority of bands that grace the pages of the nationâ€™s music press. They harbour a youthful energy that's all too aware of a darker more sincere side of life; it's this dynamic that the band thrives on and it's this that gives them the edge over so many of their contemporaries. Set to release the dĂŠbut EP towards the end of summer, there's bound to be big things happening with this band and they couldn't be more deserving of it. - 10 -
BLACK MAGIC MAN The Voodoo Lounge reopened recently, adding another fantastic live venue to the Dublin music scene in the process. The unsigned music scene has an outlet in the form of a new club night which launched recently called THE VOODOO SESSIONS. We caught up with organiser Dec Greene to find out more about the night itself, what is going on with the venue and other things music related. What is The Voodoo Sessions going to be all about? DG: The Voodoo Sessions is all about cultivating a nurturing environment for up & coming songwriters & giving them a place to showcase their talent on the infamous Voodoo Lounge music stage in Dublin. Having had such artists as Snow Patrol & Biffy Clyro grace the Voodoo lounge in the past, the goal is provide a venue where the musicians come & listen to one-another, learn from one-another & make new friends & new networks while putting on a cracking show for the audience. As a musician myself I feel that it is as important for the musician to have an experience when playing as it is the audience & that’s what is making The Voodoo Sessions cause a stir in showcase night arena since we began. We have an amazing stage, top class sound and I host the night to make it more of an 'event'. We also give the musician 30minutes of stage time. This is a huge slot to fill with original music. It just means that it will be a little more worthwhile for fans of the acts to come out & see the gig. We are shooting for somewhere between The Ruby Sessions and The Zodiac sessions. Other people would say that it is just another club night, but there has been an incredible amount of high profile unsigned acts playing at it already. Gavin James and Sinead White being two that spring to mind. Is placing the emphasis on a high calibre of live act something that the night is going to be built upon? DG: I am trying to foster a place where signed & unsigned acts come and play, learn from One another and build relationships. Gavin James, Sinead White & Ray Scully are signed to record labels and are just such high quality artists. It is great to have them in so regularly. We also have incredible independent artists such as Garr Cleary, Kurtis Murphy and I who are very well known around the circuit. I believe this helps create a community atmosphere that drives the night and perhaps that is why the musicians are speaking so highly of the show. I suppose the reason we attract such high quality acts is because we put on a great show. Acts want to play there and people want to be there. It's not that difficult when we have the calibre of artists that I’ve mentioned above, in this fair city. But yes, we will continue to get high quality signed and unsigned acts on our stage as often as possible. What other acts are pencilled in to play at it? How do acts get to play at it? DG: We will have the above mentioned artists in again over the coming weeks no doubt, along with one or two nice surprises, so keep an eye on the Facebook page! If acts want to play they can 'Like' my Facebook page & send me a private message: 'Dec Greene Music'. All they need to do is include a link to their music. We have a huge volume of submissions so please be patient! Are there any plans to link it up with other festivals in the future? Much in the way that The Sunday Roast and Saucy Sundays will be part of this year’s Rhythm And Roots Festival. DG: We do have plans to expand in the future but because the Voodoo Sessions is so young, I am focusing on getting the basics done to a really high standard. I want to build this night so that it becomes synonymous with high quality original music & big names dropping in to play. Down the line we will be looking at holding stages at various different festivals in Ireland. We are also looking at ways to give our Voodoo sessions artists the opportunity to play support slots at our Friday or Saturday night gigs, where we will be sparing no expense in getting in some huge names. This is great for artists looking to lend some gravitas to their press kit as they move towards pitching for radio. The venue itself is a little bit off the beaten track. What attracted you to putting on a club night in the venue? DG: When the owners approached me to run this showcase, I said yes without hesitation. The Voodoo Lounge is such an infamous music venue that it would have been madness to turn down the opportunity to offer like-minded musicians the chance to play on its fantastic stage. It is a new animal at Voodoo Lounge now. The place has been refurbished. We have a completely integrated 24 channel desk & soon to be installed TV screens. We have a cafe that stays open until after midnight on Thursday's. They serve pizzas, burgers & meals at very low prices. Not to mention the great drink promotions we're
running. At the moment the deal is 3 pints for €10 euro & a 9" pizza plus a pint for only €9. Prices like that just don’t exist in the city centre. We feel that if we put on a great show, coupled with these insanely low prices that the few extra steps down the quays won’t matter much. Money is tight for everyone with the economy the way it is and that is why we have designed the night this way. Anyone that has been to Voodoo Sessions will agree. How are you finding running a club night of live music to being a performer on the night? DG: I love it. Don’t get me wrong I find it challenging if I've been in the studio from 10am - 7pm that day and then have to be in Voodoo for 8pm until 1am. But it is the type of challenge that I enjoy because I'm 100% engaged in doing something I absolutely love. Not many people can say that they are working at the thing they love the most so I never complain. I play so regularly that I find Voodoo Sessions to be a great relief to me. I get to enjoy the show without the pressure of performing. That said, I do perform at Voodoo from time to time but it is not 'my' night & there is a lot of work in getting great artists each week. The night is designed for musicians & lovers of great music. Many of the nights have ended in an unplugged jamming session with as many as 6 artists. I enjoy that the most! You are currently working on your EP. How is that coming along? DG: The Lesson' E.P yes...Its coming along brilliantly! I can’t wait to get these finished tracks out into the public for people to hear. We are using lots of strings & keeping it nice & acoustic. Someone recently described my music as a mix between Kodaline & David Gray - when I listen to the E.P /album with that hat on now, it’s frighteningly accurate even though it was completely unintentional despite the fact that they're huge inspirations to me. There is a huge movement for acoustic singer/songwriter music right now. I am hoping people will enjoy my music and share with friends and family.
- 11 -
How is the recording process coming along and when is it due for release? DG: I love the recording process. Seeing a song develop and evolve into how you imagined it initially and beyond is a thrilling ride. My producer Paul Woodward is an instrumental cog in this wheel. We have a smashing work ethic and we drive towards what is best for the sound. I try to have fun in the studio while getting the work done. Check out my Facebook page… some funny videos & photo's go up daily! Something I have learned from Paul during recording is that 'feel' is as important as technical sound. There must be life in the guitar, life in the vocals. In that way, getting that performance across in studio is more challenging than it is on stage because you have to make the listener feel your angst and feel your joy without them seeing your facial expressions or body language. What are the plans for the EP in terms of launching it and following up on that? What do you have in the pipeline? DG: I am currently putting the final touches to my debut E.P entitled 'The Lesson'. It will be cut from an album that I am recording of the same name. I am shooting for a September iTunes release for the E.P. I will spend the months leading up to Christmas promoting it with a tour of Ireland, Germany & the UK. In the new year I will likely release a single to try catch the ears of those who haven't heard the E.P and then I will go back into the studio to complete the full album (which is already written), for release in June 2014.
The Voodoo Sessions takes place every Thursday at 8 PM in The Voodoo Lounge.
This year The Jack Of Diamonds Rhythm And Roots Festival heads into its second year running. This is one of the most dedicated and spectacular unsigned music festivals in the country. The ethos of what it is about is something that sits well with what we like to support through our magazine. We caught up with Christina Quill to talk about this year’s festival. Here’s what she had to say This is not your typical run of the mill festival in a field. What is the festival all about? JOD: It kind of came together off running gigs around different venues for years. We had all the stuff in place to be able to get all the venues together for one big hooley around the city. We wanted to give music lovers in and around Dublin the best deal possible, so we could reach the music to any who wanted to hear it. When we realised we could make the festival completely free we were delighted as it meant huge accessibility to the artists involved. It’s about getting all these stellar home-grown musicians together and projecting them upon their city for all to enjoy. We hope people will come along to it and walk away with a new nugget of bands they can enjoy for years. Are there any acts playing at it this year that you are excited about? JOD: Without sounding too obvious, sincerely we are excited about every single act on the bill. We know a lot of them personally and have helped some of them organising album, EP & single launches throughout the year. Some we met from just hanging out at gigs and festivals with them. This year we have worked with The Eskies, The Hot Sprockets, Conor Linnie, Gypsy Rebel Rabble and John Blek & The Rats. We’ve had an absolute ball gigging with all of them and they have all very kindly got on board with us again and joined the bill for the weekend. One gig I will be especially looking forward to though is I Draw Slow as they will just be back off their U.S Tour and were gonna have a nice homecoming set up for them in Whelan’s on Sat night. You don’t want to miss it. How important is it to you to see the festival make it into its second year? JOD: The first year was a real test, just even to make it happen was really sticking our neck out and we didn’t know if we could do it. But all the bits sort of came together so well, we were like “holy shit balls we’ve created a musical monster”. It was really important for us to make the next year different and more exciting that is why we added so many new venues and artists, we have pretty much doubled in size adding venues like Whelan’s, 4 Dame Lane and the Globe. We have included nearly all the bars in the Dame District area and are really gonna bring the ‘Rhythm & Roots” atmosphere there to the centre of the city. If 2013 goes well for us you can guarantee we are gonna be sticking around for a while. What prompted you to get involved and get something like this off the ground? JOD: It was funny. It was when I was really hungover on the train home after a night out gigging and being in various venues around the city. When I was on the train in bits it just popped into my head…so I started planning it there and then. I just thought wouldn't it be great to get all these artists that we’d been watching
around the city for years and all these venues we’ve gigged in and get them together for one big hooley around Dublin. There were so many artists we loved around Dublin and we thought how is there not already a festival in the city for all these guys that are rocking around the city week in week out, then it was just a matter of picking up the phone and getting the idea around. Sweeney’s were a huge support at the start they really believed in it and we had built up trust with other venues by playing and working in them before, so they were excited to see what was gonna happen. All the venues were delighted with the gig so it was nice to have more support from them this year more people are getting behind it now.
That this a venue based festival is what makes it different. Was it always intended to design it as a festival that would be run that way? JOD: The reason we decided to do it in the city was purely logical for us. It meant we already had most of the facilities needed to do the event in place, things like security, insurance, and equipment. It just made it simpler and easier to get off the ground. We didn’t want to deal with the stress and cost of all these things we decided to use venues and bars which could provide all these for us which allowed the running the festival a lot smoother for us. What venues are involved in it this year?
It is a great reflection of the current Irish music scene- not just in terms of the calibre of artist involved, but also the fact that it involves so many venues that are all about supporting home grown talent. You had a stage at Knockanstockan this year. How much of the festival is about its own identity and how much is about bringing the community aspect of the music together? JOD: Well the identity of the event pretty much comes from the community of musicians we support. We feel our artwork and imagery is a visual representation of the music we try to nurture so they are nicely tied in together. The stage at Knockanstockan was a real testament to that idea. We always try to emphasise the buzz of the music in as many ways as we can in creating a different atmosphere for people to enjoy. Knockanstockan have always supported and guided us and as a result have allowed us to achieve things beyond what we imagined. Doing a stage down there was an absolute pleasure and challenged us to do things that would never have been possible without them, so for us to do a stage down there is a real honour.
- 12 -
JOD: We’re gonna have two outdoor stages in Dame Lane then also Whelan’s, The Button Factory, The Workman’s Club, The Grand Social, The Mercantile, Sweeney’s, The Bankers Bar, 4 Dame Lane, The Stags Head, The Dame Tavern, The Speak Easy and The Globe. Can artists still submit to play? JOD: Well you never know what is gonna happen when you have got so many bands together. Some people have to pull out last minute sometimes and slots come up all of a sudden. So if ye feel like you wanna get involved just send us a mail email@example.com because were listening to bands all the time and can’t get enough!! What is planned for next year? JOD: Next year is hard to even think about, but we would love to get more going outdoors around the city, we love to watch tunes in the open air and create a real buzz around the streets so doing a Shack of Diamonds outdoor somewhere in Dublin would be a real exciting thing to do for 2014.
SCENE & HEARD JACK OF DIAMONDS/KNOCKANSTOCKAN WRAP PARTY Mick Heslin p. 14 The A nnulments p. 15 The Yips / Gyp~y R ebel R abble p. 16 Blind Yackety / Meltybrains? p. 17 THE RUBY SESSIONS Ultan Conlon / Eamonn Barrett p. 18 Leni Morrison / The Enemies p. 19 SAUCY SUNDAYS Ciara Ashmore / Kicking Bird p. 20 Shay Cotter / Motor Cycle Display Team p. 21 The Winters / The Tracks p. 22 The Moves p. 23 AGGRO CULTURE
PRE - KNOCKANSTOCKAN PARTY Brian Keary / Rosco Flanagan p. 25 Rob Walsh / Mongoose p. 26 Peter & The Purehearts / Rob Steenson & The Apt 6 Club p. 27 Land Of The Giants p. 28
Jack of Dimestore/
SCENE & HEARD
Knockanstockan After Party
A bit of a three –way was held in Sweeney’s tonight as Dimestore Recordings merged with the Knockanstockan after party and the Jack-of-Diamonds Rhythm &Roots Festival launch. It all made for a great night of music and one heck of a party. The other emphasis of the night was that it was a fundraiser for Focus Ireland who is the adopted charity of the festival.
MICK HESLIN The slide guitar has a sharp focus to it on “Just Pretend” and that gives it a steady kick that bears down on it well. The barren feel in the build shows real skill in the live delivery. The voice has a distinct keenness to how the feeling comes across. The twang in the sound is a welcome pleasantry on “Runaway Mutt” and brings a hard keel that bears down on it in an uncompromising way as it gathers momentum. That gives it an impressive footing. The vocals stir the vocal proceedings and exact a grace to it all. The distinction in the ample guitar and harmonica bring a rich blues essence on “Pray Not Complain”. All of it feels eventful. With the growl in his voice some character is added. There is also a rich vein in the playing that comfortably develops the robust tempo. “My Baby” has a slick feel to the tumble on show and builds a steady pace. The guitar is plucked in way that adds a kick behind it that adds more weight to the mean feel about the lyrics here. The next tune “St James’ Infirmary Blues” serves up a striking delivery. There is a lot realised in the playing. The entwining feel from the way the harder points pick up places a lot upon it here. The rhythm has a delectable burst to it on “Forever On My Mind”. This very much allows the performance to get in amongst how the expression is carried. There is a great hold in the guitar that partitions something in the tempo that resides squarely on it here. An articulate feel courses through on the rhythm that gets on top of it all with a virtuous feeling. The vocals underline this and they collar something that permeates finely in the solid way they shape the song. A scattered layout in the playing makes “Lazy Day Blues” an inviting listen. Things come together in a sterling way. The splendid feel to the texture adds to the good arrangement it has. It is then followed by a truly slick affair in “Going Down Slow”. With the harmonica and shuffle from the guitar electrifying the air.
He shows that he is a performer who means business with “Tall Long Brown Haired Woman”. The treatment here places the necessary care and consideration upon the playing. The pick-up is excellent and the live deli very carries a composure to it that is very fanciful and full of body. A fresh feel rains down on the ebb and flow to “Magpie Blues” that tears into the playing. It is competent and marked out by the definition in the tone of play. The catchy way it gets under the finer details carries across impressively here. He applied the autoharp to close out with a version of MUDDY WATER’s “Hoochie Coochie Man”. The enthralling delivery brings it to life and the harmonica is something that blazes across on it. There is a job to do here and it gets done. What more - 54can - you ask for?
- 14 -
clever turn to “Both Sides Of The Bad” that creates a smooth feel. The reputable lyrics come in on it cleanly and the layered feel adds a sublime tilt as the settled moments in the play act on it. That is down to the bright pick up. A homely feel locates on the gentle approach about the delivery that is effective. This finely comes to bear and offers something to the longing sense in the emotion that catches an imaginative trait in the delivery. It catches it quite well.
The next band to take to the stage brought a buoyant feel to their music with their first song “Little Boy” and it has a true organic sense felt to it. The handsome dalliance captures something soft in the lyrics that add to the affluent and layered showing here. That was followed by “The Letter” which has a flight of fancy to it that shows well in how it collects. The rich texture in the folk points conveys a substance that runs through it. The lyrics here are also a blessing placed upon it. With “Old Town” a slight jazz feel is stared down which gives the rhythm a handling that is well played. The feverish feel of it is reeled in and there is a piano perusing through on it. That is timely and defined on it here, with the neat running getting all things on the right side as the credulity pounds away on it.
“Fix Things” mutes a country feel from the moody tone. There is a controlled way that it is gathered. The fleeting rhythm has a casual feel as it gets going but it also displays a degree if intent in the motion. This is fixed on it in a way you can warm to. A fine aspect on “The Birds” is the way that the violin spirits the play. There is a side to it that sweeps along and it digs in to give it a reserved feel. The harmonica adds a reserved feel on it and there is an expansive way that the whole song materialises in the progression. Their set was closed with “Last Saturday Night”. The skip grabs it by the tail, but there is a soothing and articulate hold in the timely feel to it. An elevation presents itself in the vocal delivery which puts a watchful feel across on it. With it being brash in some corners it also proves to be effective in dragging out the leaner side.
A lazy sunken feel comes to bear on “Cuckoo” which sits well on the vocals and creates a longing sense that stays the course. The play is steadily motioned and gradually spreads out. How it is locked in is interesting and felt all the more by the way that deep drop down creates something encouraging and hardy. There is a
- 54 - 15 -
THE YIPS We really like seeing this band play live because there is always something about them that you take home from the gig. The sophisticated and soulful feel to “Fever” shows. As the voice bellows out on it there is a restraint shown which adds to the draw. They steadily build the bass line. There is no mistaking the “cool cat” feel to it, yet it is an isolated feel with a really fine attribute on show. They then produce a funky element that brings “Slip” to life. This has a rather articulate feel to how it climbs. They demonstrate an enigmatic turn with the differing arcs which give their music a flit that adds to the sultry charm. They bring a reggae feel to bear that is quite reverent on “Break” that develops a credible arch in the playing. Trapping in the finer points begins to develop things carefully and considerately with the sublime way the beat is dropped. Dutifully brought to bear is “Transient Song” and it brings everything forth in a good way. It is cradled and slowly stoked while the bass is divine on it. The guitar works in and the pedal work really hits home. That sinks in the feeling in a consummate way that complements the attractive vocals. “Happy Murder” builds in a contemporary way that locates something sullen that has an exacting side to it. The way it all begins to lie low is then turned on its head as they angle in a harsh rock element. Again the guitar pursues something relevant which shapes the rhythm on “Sex Shun”. The neat feel is ground out and gives the compact a little bit of added style. The pick up on the pace brings urgency and has a definitive feel to it as it rolls. There is a slick feel from the former point and the drumming also stands out on it. The souped up calypso points finely work the crowd. “Suka” closed their set. A performance that saw them lean into things and go out all guns blazing. There is a large pull about it and the break down realty lets fly. It is a song that reaches out and grabs, takes you along for the ride and leaves you feeling content that it did.
...................................................................................................... GYP~Y REBEL RABBLE
Another fine band that we like to see play live were next tonight and they opened up with the impressive “Take My China”. There is a bright opening to it and there is a smooth transition to the play. This then sets up “Bastard Baby Brown quite nicely to come into the set. The vicious roll it has stirs up the performance, while the spirit sits well on it and gives generously to the even roll it displays. The polka on “Secret Tea adds a very nice kick to the proceedings. There is again an eastern European folk element added to the mix which lights it up. Yet there is also something pragmatic to how tuned in the live delivery is. The sorrow also conveys quite distinctly on it. With “The Corporate Shuffle” there is a lively skip to be found in the play that yields a high rockabilly sound. That EDDIE HALEY feel to it steadies the blues aspects and also locks in the fullness in the drums. The vocals have a high catchy feel that gives it all a ‘shake,rattle’n’roll ‘ to coin a phrase. How the harmony grows on “War Droid” is very choice. The rhythm also adds a robust feel that is a good addition when considered alongside the gospel qualities that are souped up on it here. A rich southern flavour is trapped in quite well and has the pace to match.
- 16 -
The pace that picked up is maintained on “McGuffin” which hits the ground running and has no let up. There is very fine handling displayed and the double bass is smoking on it. The volume and consistency are also two things which add to the incredible feeling form the play. The lively skip in their last song “Dragon’s Den” curtails all the playing arcs quite well. The bluster of it all carries through and finely develops the rhythm. The heft of it all is delightful and cleverly delivered as the compact consistency holds true on it.
BLIND YACKETY A monastic feel develops on the harmony to “Oh Nurse” which feels very decadent. Then a sturdy tumble is produced on the beat. Everything develops a mindful solace that sits well with the alternative styling which is very implicit here. They build on the grandiose points in a very interesting way. The effective artistic side of their style again comes through from the conveyance of their musicality. The organ has a prominence to it that adds up in a superlative way in the overall dynamics. There is also a select feel about the collective working of it all. A slight Latin tilt presents on “Black Rain” which holds formidably and presents a scope in the build-up. The lift then brings it to life and adds verve to it. The clarinet figures on it in a deliberate way which brings a smart sound that goes down well on it here. Again there is something smart about their music in the way “Close Line” fills out. It manages to occupy something with the fanfare as it is threaded through. The rich volume of it is locked in and there is a lot of bounce to the rhythm that cleverly catches it all. The lively characteristics mark out their playing ability as a band in the creative lustre on show. “Glory Days” has a tremendous feel about the composed way it comes to bear with the hearty skip to the temp enveloping it and pushing an inviting loom out on the sound. This takes you along for the ride. It incorporates a crossover in styles that culminates in the creativity of the arrangement that is both pristine and delightful. A reggae style clocks in smartly on “Glorious Days. It is articulate and measured in a neat way that illuminates as it builds. The beat is well guided. It also holds handsomely and exhibits a control to the laid back feel. This adds to the incredibly stylish running of it all. They then stare down a hard side quite well on their final track “Put In”. There are controlled bursts of play that present a sharp side. They then give way and what collects well shows well in it here. The steady pick up also helps to oscillate the sound in a way that adds depth and resilience.
We have seen this enigmatic band play live on a few occasions before and the ambience cruises across on “Long Intro (Macarena)”. While progressive, it also manages to embrace the dark currents in the playing effectively. Boldly experimental, it also shows a band unafraid to push the limits and it is referential in that regard in how it is styled. A high standard is set on “Green Yellow Purple” that brings a tactile feel in how it gets going. They put a lot of effort into it and get their reward here. The tranquil points have a clean feel to them that also hit hard in how the sound necessitates evenly in the production. This is expressive and expertly built. The beautiful riff on “Fishbowl” purses through and pulls you in. They display a fine movement that carries it all off. The development of tone embraces this with an impressive output to match. The echo in the vocal delivery sets also a high standard in terms of an alternate feel. They then charge ahead with “Chocolate” and forge something committed to how the music collects. The expansive and broad definition really shows credibility, while the application of it all holds in something brilliant on it. A pristine feel shapes “Block Rockin’” that has an intriguing pull from the dark and sombre movements worked into the intro. The synth comes in and breathes life into it. Both the artificial and the organic elements converge lavishly on it and the extravagant approach to it all is well measured. The funk is dropped into the mix on “Lee San Spo” which picks up in a pristine way. There is something very formidable to the bass line. The arrangement itself is activated in a captivating way that puts the displaced feel of it all to work quite well.
- 17 -
The grip on the expressive side is finely traced out on “Roland”. That is a captivating prospect and the drop in the sunken moments brings a gravitas that lights it all up. The angst driven side to it is also very well controlled. They bowed out on the night with “Gyp”. A song that has a drumming and bass sound that gives to the deep tone if it. The ambient and fluid feel from other parts of the playing is nicely cornered on the showing. The sound pans out and is equivocal in how it captures the splendour of the movements.
The Ruby Sessions Doyle’s Pub 30th July 2013
SCENE & HEARD
Galwegian artist ULTAN CONLON got the night’s musical proceedings underway with “The Will”. There is a kind feel to the rhythm here that has a comfortable running to it. Something memorable is traced out in how dutifully this is brought to bear. The sturdy feel from the tidy and longing lyrics touch on the tenderness in a way that gives it a defined feel. “The Lumberjack, You And Me” has a dutiful feel that comes off the arrangement in a pleasing way. The dignified characteristics in the playing follow through. There is a simple direction which steers it in a majestic way. That is why it sails as steadily as it does here, but it also grows into it all in a timely way.
The upbeat tempo to “In The Mad” is quite showy. The vocals come to develop on it in a way that has a solid holding on the overlay. The determined showing as it all comes together here follows convention, but it is nothing to find fault with. Just merely an observation in how it builds. “Lonely Avenues” is motioned in a very telling way. This puts a handsome spin upon it all that serves it well. The taut playing envelops the tumble about it in a sweet and comfortable way. This then fed into the live delivery with great effect. His set was closed by “Really Gone”. It is built around a slow and cautious build. The lingering way it hangs is well judged. The stationary is locked in on it here with a pleasing front to it. The even keel to his voice pursues well on the delivery to produce a good and reasoned styling to it all.
...................................................................................................... The ROYSEVEN guitarist played a brief set here with three songs. The first of which was “The Size Of A Man”. The warmth comes to pass on it fashionably. There is a fine running to the guitar that also gives it bite. The content and full beat is a sublime showing, while the neatness and prepared feel give rise solidly to the emotional side of it all. There is a light showing to “My Heart Dies A Little” that develops something specific to how it holds. A steady and refined measure takes off on it. The soft and personal feel of it all lies well with the hallowed play that it is mindful of. In the arrangement the closeness is brought to bear on it in a way that bears fruit. The last in the trilogy was “Jabberwocky’s Breath”. The rhythm forms on it in a neat way, but what impresses more is what rises from the sheltered feel on it here. The softer moments on it come across quite well and they give it all a dependable feel that is closed off with a hard keel. - 18 -
We were very impressed by her set here this evening. The enchanting way that she moves on stage bewitches as “Pull Down The Clouds” plays. That seductive charm to it draws a lot of impressive things through on it. The animated showing in her performance here adds impressively to the overall dynamic. The textured feel of “Calico” wraps cleverly around the sound. The movements in the acoustic guitar work finely here. There is a sullen and pertinent class about it. Her vocals have a resilience that gives it a demeanour as they lean into it all. The harmony is also shared and feels very fluid as the soulful moments meet with the heart of the track. There is an intricacy at work on her next song “Apples” that comes together and shows magnetism about it all. The shape of her voice adds to the appeal in the performance. It ignites it with a fondness that steadily steps out on it. The stable hold here gives it a fulfilling and undeniable appeal. The dark, noir aspects of “Spindle” capture things in a select way that engulfs the live showing with the harrowing ambience displayed. The light application in the delivery here yields something that is highly effective in the process. Her final song “Carousel” has a befallen feel to it. This is mirrored in how the song plays. What is noted is the way it is all exacted. The precision in the lyrics play their part in this. While the playing is shepherded in a way that is a good calling, there is a straightness in the lyrics that is also finely done. A couple of upcoming gigs to note include Red Chair, Wexford (August 20th), Carne Festival (August 24th), Fusin Café, Wexford (August 26th) before she flies off to Los Angeles.
...................................................................................................... The closing act on the night was THE ENEMIES and there is a boisterous appeal to their first song “Beauty People”. This collects in a clean way. The method brings the dynamic of it all to the fore here. The performance perseveres in a clear and free way that is high on appeal. After that came their charity release “Smile”, for which all the proceeds go to Down Syndrome Ireland. There is an easy going feel from the way it plays. The lightness of the rhythm here plays well with the delivery. It all gives a very lean easy listening feel that locks in the catchy side quite well here. The guitar on “Pretty Valentine” seals in something that is able to add weight to their sound. The veritable feel to it allows for the soft beat on show to drop down with subtlety. There is a handsome showing about it all and the formation it has is one with a virtue about it. The hit the ground running with “Perfect Stranger”. The hard and fast feel about the tracking gives it a course feel. The pace is loaded upon, but it is not overbearing. The smart pull on the acoustic guitar and the cajun give the beat something special on their final tune “Funny World”. The parlance to it all is pleasing, while the vocal delivery adds weight. Everything comparative about it is pleasing here, while there is a loom to the tempo as it all gathers momentum that is very exact.
- 19 -
Saucy Sundays The Grand Social 28th July 2013
SCENE & HEARD CIARA ASHMORE There is something about Saucy Sundays that makes every afternoon so worthwhile when we are there checking out unsigned live music. The first act to take to the stage was CIARA ASHMORE. Her set was very well delivered from the off with a song called “Anchor”. There is a delectable feel on the opening that creates a nice flow about it here. The pleasant gathering adds to the vocals. There is a powerful hit to it that imparts it all with a true soulful keel. After that is “Seeing Stars” which has a nice way to how everything is brought to bear. There is a true wonderment found in the playing that piques as the delivery is leaned into. The soft tone in the lyrics teams up well with the voice. A neat loom follows through on the intro of “Magic” and her voice arches well on it. That leads to an intricate feel in how it is all woven. It is very moving in how it is projected and the exactness of the feeling is to be appreciated. “Horizon” picks up the pace distinctly. The emphasis on letting the song collect is a good calling as it benefits finely from it. The rhythm has a robust feel and the way that the song runs unleashes something unbridled that is an excellent showing here. There is a very abject stature to “This Kiss” that brings a consummate feel to it all. The tone is defined in the way that it builds and shows as it gets behind the song. The playing is steered in a savoury way and this also locks the emotion in smartly. A cover of “Sweet Nothing” by FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE brings a sorrowful feel to a tune that sounds otherwise in the original version. She then brought the curtain down on her set with “I Am A Pirate” that unfolds rather fashionably. The playing is guided in a clear way. That direction is helped by the meaning in the metaphors to the lyrics. It is carried off with certainty and something is captured in the moment of it all that you truly feel.
This is a band who have been on the radar for a very long time and to finally get to see them live today was worth the wait. They instil something with the ukulele on it that is very pragmatic. That is characterised by how it feels and sounds, with all of the solid elements producing and delivering as intended. There is a merry and enchanted feel on “All I Want Is You”. It comes through on the well layered and precious feel from the beat that is quite alluring as it does so. There is something decisive in the dreamy and lucid charm that it has. These little intricacies in the sound add to the appeal and give of a hallowed sense to it. Next was “The Brighter Day” which has a dependable feel. It shines on a lot of points. Firstly, the keepsake and token way that it runs evokes a very spirited turn that drives it on. The other point of note to it here is that it is quite a dignified tune with a big draw about it that is lifted by the harmony. The application of an additional guitar in their sound here shades something specific on “Drunken Blues”. The developed urgency gathers momentum finely. This is felt in equal measure from the tempo. While it is articulate there is also a splendid kick to it. Then something incredibly imaginative follows in “The Yodel-ay-ee-oooo Song”. The quirky feel displays real smarts. The country feel about it is followed through with conviction. This also brings a bluegrass feel and the cajun adds a fantastic slant on it that is very stylish, With “Damages” they bark out the feeling of the sound, while also showing some teeth. It contends quite well as it builds. The acoustic guitar meets well with the bass and cajon and it dances in doing so. The delivery is well worked. There is also a graceful turn on the vocals that bellow out on it to give an importance that sits well with the composure. They shake it all up with “Breaking”. There is a taut and sturdy backing to it that is impressive in how it all breaks down. The overall layout is excellent and the vocals lay down a fine marker. There is a real flavour that shows in the arrangement that hits hard and fast. They finished up with “The Edge Of The Earth” which has a true heft going for the playing. It is a rich country and bluegrass number that sees the lyrics release a hard side that rolls out with great pleasure. All in all, it is a song that is good for the soul. That also goes for the rest of their set. Get on this band is what we say.
- 20 -
SHAY COTTER His set opened with a song called “A Pair Of Dice”. A tune about the advantages of disadvantage, which has a smart grandeur to it as it takes flight. There is something very confident and matching in the carefree way that it has about itself. He then plays another fast finger plucker with “Morning Insomniac”. This is imbued with a good bluegrass feel to it and it imposes itself superbly here. There is a good overall operation at work, while the narrow points play well on the guitar. Then a song that truly steps out followed called “Paradise Is A Hard Place To Find”. The signs all point here to mark him out as an artist to watch. There is a seasoned feel to the rhythm. It manages to close in around this in a way that finds a parlance that is kind to it. The heart of the song displays a fanciful feel. The playing of “Little Magician” was the first one ever live. Again an astute way closes around on it as it builds. There is a very refined feel; going on to the vocals. This is a song that is well suited to an acoustic delivery, while the little nuances in the children’s fairy tales that make up the lyrics are quite impressive. A BOB DYLAN cover of “Don’t Think Twice” catches something spirited and is followed by “Coat Tails” which has a high country feel to it. The rhythm shifts across on it here and is what gives it shape. The purity in the inclination is delightful. While it has a whimsical feel it is done in a noted way. In how this articulates it finds real meaning. He finished with “Ball Of Malt” which has an ordered feel to it. This stirs the playing to great effect here. There is a neat way that it all collects in the dalliance on the rhythm. It is a simple story about a love affair gone wrong which closes out with a brilliant polka rhythm that picks up the pace excellently here.
................................................................................................................................ The next band to take to the stage opened with the cleverly titled “Betweenager”. There is a crisp feel as it all play with the guitar being very impressive on it here. The catchy and knowing way that it all operates centres something in the rhythm develops the groove. The eventful draw on “Brick Wall” spaces the song out quite well. There is a kick to it that is extremely catchy, while the substance to it leaves its mark on it. As it moves there is something robust displayed that animates it. The urgency is packed in on “Indelible Ink”. How the tempo collects packs in the urgency. The tempo develops a true volume here that imparts an essence upon it all. There are shades of comparison with “Eton Rifles” by THE JAM thrown in for good measure as it shows a clean pair of heels.
MOTOR CYCLE DISPLAY TEAM - 21 -
The sunken feel to “Not Raving But Frowning” is enhanced by the driven drum and bass sound of it all. The sunken feel bears well on it. The lyrics and vocals have a patience about them which produces a very steadfast number. That gives it a decent pull which it works to great effect. The catchy as hell slide from “Taste” bursts through on the rhythm and maintains a lean streak. There is something magnificent the seems to show through on it here and it has a disco feel about it. It produces a barrage of catchy that correlates explicitly on the tempo. The lyrics have a tasty whip about them which makes for a remarkable chorus. “The Wind” produces and incredible bounce. This yields a lot from the playing. Here the funky comes into the equation in a big way. All the right things carry through on it here with a truly splendid feel coming off the lead guitar. They then closed off with a cover of “Let’s Dance” by DAVID BOWIE which had it all well and truly licked.
THE WINTERS The band who came next were THE WINTERS and they have a tantalising sound that hangs expertly in the skilled way their first sing “Bring” is arranged. There is a great harmony shown from them. But what impresses most is the eventful way that it is all built and delivered live. They then bring a blissful feel across on next song “Grace”. The deep bass line here is a great hook. The deliverance becomes fluid and there is a spectacular feel to it as it lights up. This is eased into on the flow and bathes it in a true splendour. The drumming is a snappy affair on it that brings substance. They then produce a sixties feel to “Boat Song”. The organ grandly builds into the sound. In doing so they produce an ornate feel that leverages these points on it in a way that shows true reckoning, This is well figured out but also a big hitter. They cradle the playing in “Riches” in a way that builds the playing. There is a progressive and stray feel in how it is done. The soulful aspects unfold and place something graceful upon it as it is done. They gauge everything that comes across on it in a calculated way, while the dalliance to it sees the play soldier on smartly. “Hold Me Down” carries splendour in the tempo that is very catchy and upbeat. There is a resolute spirit to it and the calypso aspects enrich it in a big way. The keys hold a sway on it that shuffle about and ground the beat at the same time as allowing it to take flight. The guitar riff on “When” announces the arrival and grabs you. The effective way to it is further helped by how the vocals lean on it and lead the expressive side of the delivery. There is a fine lingering quality at work here which shows the band really knocking at the door of a great tune. The last song in their set list is real lies. It has a virtuous feel that displays a full body of work. This is exemplified by how slick the rhythm is worked into it here. The heeded feel makes it a big number to close on that also sees a lot fall into place correctly on it.
“The Road” opens with attitude. They then ride in on it and produce an aggressive turn that is very presentable as it keeps the compact running in line. There is a good hold from the guitar and the bass is well keyed into it all here. After that comes “Street Pretender” and the lyrics have a slick feel to them. This is full of punk platitudes. The streaky feel from the rhythm also clicks into gear smartly. There is a raucous feel to “These Are The Days”. A blissful resonance comes to bear on how it sounds. The aggressive tone it has catches something that has an id entity that is developed as much as the identity here. With “Brake Light” there is a sharp feel to the tone. That locates something that has a zip in the rhythm here. They drag this across with reverence. It is telling in how it forms the tempo. The unbridled feel doesn’t go unnoticed because there is no let up or reprieve given. The choppy feel in the rhythm descends into “Trouble In The Girl”. This offers a lot in the displaced and raw feel that the sound has. How it picks up the pace gives the band a tearaway feel that is hard to beat. Then a very upbeat number that is full of life is next. With “Looking To The Future” there is something controlled to how it travels. The lyrics fall in with the catchy side of the playing easily. In how it all happens something with real verve is developed and equally is delivered in the way it deserves to be. The slick feel from the guitar resonates on “Where Do You Run To?” It is befitting and gives it a livewire feel that champions the rhythm. There is a substance displayed in the arrangement even though it is a little rough around the edges. This adds to the charm. Yet it is still a catchy number with a great running about it. They cut loose with their last track “Swords”. Again it is a well knitted together song that puts the meat on the bones of the rhythm. This is dangerously catchy, but it rides it all in a great way. The beat is smart and the guitar is angled in which sees the heft in it all come through very cleanly and thoroughly.
- 22 -
This gig was the first from the band in ten years. Yet none of the magic or enigmatic side of their stuff has been lost in that decade of exile. “Everyone Is A Hero” finds its feet in a compact way. There is an efficient side in the style. The minimalist approach of it all here adds some flair. That countenance serves it well and makes it feel smooth. That is then followed by “Human Shield” which captures something with a clever sense of organic in the sound. The spacious feel merges something with a new wave feel and elevates it to an intriguing status as it plays. There is a high underground house feel to “Quick Shot Two”. This comes from the garage feel blended to the mix. There are good catchy lyrics that sit well with the zesty delivery and it is very hands on. The enigmatic turn it proves to be demonstrates a fine turn from them.
They trap something that harks back to the era of The New Romantics on their next song. With “Wounded House” that is enhanced by the deep trance feel on it. The eclectic feel that it gives off is very impressive here. From there a blistering synth score sails across on “Rapsidize”. The brazen hold ion their sound is maximised by the way it opens up. The reconciliation in it meets well with the industrial feel from the rhythm.
There is a longing feeling coming through on “Impossible To Love”. The poetic stillness in the lull from the sound fixes an occupational depth in the tune. This is slowly traced out on it. The yearning feel gathers and demonstrates a broad definition in doing so. This comes to be rather eventful on it all. A glorious vibe forms as the Turkish styling wraps around the sound on “Arms To Karachi”. The venom in the vocals comes to bear notably here. This is a very attractive and satisfying
feel and elevates it to an intriguing status as it plays. There is a high underground house feel to “Quick Shot Two”. This comes from the garage feel blended to the mix. There are good catchy lyrics that sit well with the zesty delivery and it is very hands on. The enigmatic turn it proves to be demonstrates a fine turn from them. They trap something that harks back to the era of The New Romantics on their next song. With “Wounded House” that is enhanced by the deep trance feel on it. The eclectic feel that it gives off is very impressive here. From there a blistering synth score sails across on “Rapsidize”. The brazen hold ion their sound is maximised by the way it opens up. The reconciliation in it meets well with the industrial feel from the rhythm. There is a longing feeling coming through on “Impossible To Love”. The poetic stillness in the lull from the sound fixes an occupational depth in the tune. This is slowly traced out on it. The yearning feel gathers and demonstrates a broad definition in doing so. This comes to be rather eventful on it all. A glorious vibe forms as the Turkish styling wraps around the sound on “Arms To Karachi”. The venom in the vocals comes to bear notably here. This is a very attractive and satisfying beat that is produced. It gives of an underground feel that is very prominent on it here. They closed their set with “Sputnik” and there is a direction expelled from the beat that impresses. That select feel to how it is motioned is very telling. The vocal delivery resides on it in a way that also adds definition. beat that is produced. It gives of an underground feel that is very prominent on it here. They closed their set with “Sputnik” and there is a direction expelled from the beat that impresses. That select feel to how it is motioned is very telling. The vocal delivery resides on it in a way that also adds definition.
- 23 -
AGGRO CULTURE Sweeney’s Basement (25-07-2013)
SCENE & HEARD ................................................................
The opening night of RALLY THE WICKED showcased some of the most talented bands in the Dublin scene today. The night is the team up effort of Face Melter Music and Music Medium Live. The fourth band of the night is none other than AGGRO CULTURE, one of the hardest working bands on the gigging circuit.
No time is spared as the four guys quickly set up. A low and heavy rumble fills the stage as they detune their impressive collection of instruments . The crowd are in full swing with an abundance of enthusiam after a great set from BELTBUCKLE OVERDRIVE. Eagerly, the almost full capacity crowd wait for battle to comence. Six taps on the high hats by drummer Stephen “Spud”Murphy and an incredable burst of raw energy hits the crowd as “You and I” takes flight. A relentless song hard hitting and conviction filled. A song hook riddled to the point of bewilderment as it runs the crowd into a frenzy. The most insane three minutes and thirty seconds I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness.
A quick “alright, we’re Aggro Culture from Dublin” by the shirtless, tattoo baring front man Leigh O Reilly and “Welcome To Hell” continues the barage of quality musicianship. The sheer brutality is something to behold. The chorus then demonstrating their true song writing abilities, with one of the best dymanic shifts I’ve ever heard. “Good Men Doing Bad Things” quickly follows making it song three of this compelling set. A song that would easily rival any and all technical driven metal bands. During this song I find my eye’s drawn toward Stephen “the machine” Murphy behind the kit, a truly gifted musician and a master of his craft. Performance levels at this point explode to a new level as Leigh spits his beer into air whilst spinning one hundred and eighty degrees to engulf the microphone with an onslaught of vocal gymnastics . Guitarist Daffyd James got to spread his musical wings on this one, bringing the song to a close with a soaring melodic solo complete with hand tapping! The guys take a short moment to catch their breath and to respectfully thank the gig organisers before smashing out the violent intro to the next song “Sticky Mattress”.
The extraordinary aggressive nature of the band then suddenly turns in to a Caribbean mento/Calypso Ska fusion with bouncy beats and rythmic vocal lines. A fusion executed so well you forget your watching a metal band but when the chorus drops it throws you right back into the jaws of the metal beast. This back and forth of blending and mixing styles happens another time around grinding to a slow and intense breakdown passage conducive to moshing. The huge bass tones produced by Gary O’Connell and his five string mammoth locks so solidly with Stephen’s bass drum it can be felt like a thump in the gut. Only having time for one more the guys decide to display their full capabilities by playing a very tricky and complex cover called ”Early Grave” by the one of the UK’s finest Metalcore bands Architects. A complex song that Aggro Culture played with ease and speaking as a huge Architects fan it was the best live version I’ve heard and thats no mere feet . Aggro Culture are an exceptional live band with a bright future, so go catch them before it costs an arm and a leg.
Aaron Gaffey Face Melter Music
- 24 -
SCENE & HEARD
Pre Knockanstockan Party
25th July 2013
BRIAN KEARY Tonight’s Dimestore Recordings was all about underlying the fact that Knockanstockan was happening. The entire night was dedicated to highlighting that fact with each act playing featuring on the billing for this year’s festival. BRIAN KEARY got things underway with his blend of classical guitar. The first track from him was “Barrioso” which is nice and compact. The strength of the ensemble qualities bring a stoic manner upon how it sounds that is quite fanciful. The way it takes flight garners in a specific way which underlines this. From there he played an ANDREW YORK tune with “Sunburst”. It is a song that has grandness in the playing. The slight Latin overture on show is gracefully worked. In doing so the playing develops a sullen drop to it in parts that is effectively rolled out. With “Tango” the classical feel is duly applied. The wondrous feel to it lights up the foray. That produces a majestic feel on it with the way the directional changes branch out. An ASTOR PIAZZOLA number was next. “Verona Porteno” has the necessary supine feel that is played
sweetly in the delivery. Here the illuminated feel to it settles into it all quite cleanly. In how the playing is caressed the mastery finds something formidable in the precision. The classical elements are all on show with “Iacata Dralle” which puts a sublime cap on it all. The efficient way that it all follows through brings the climb in the musical elements to bear on it in a manner befitting of the care and consideration factored into its play. To close was the very dependable “Astorow” by ISAAC ALBINEZ. The rich Spanish feel to it is unmistakeable. There is a fired up and spirited countenance to it that comes through on it here. There is a fleeting feel to the tempo that retains the identity and warmth of it all quite well.
................................................................................................ ROSCO FLANAGAN
Following the cancellation of The Voodoo Sessions due to flooding the guys at Dimestore Recordings accommodated the next artist ROSCO FLANAGAN. His set was an interesting one with a very specific sound coming from his cigar box guitar. “I’m Gonna Get You Anyway” has a haughty and high feeling to the rhythm. It is very abundant and puts a clear lining upon it. This is a really strong tune that is well played and the excellent skip sits well with the carefree style of it. After that came a song called “Seasonal Blues”. There are folk elements that are called out on it but done in a fine way. The roundabout feel to it as it all falls into place suits the lyrical steering and shows a fine overall management in how it is contained. The blues slide to “Renfield Blues” displays a competency and backs up a fine playing ability. There is a fine way that it is all focussed which necessitates freely in the performance here. There is a LOVING SPOONFUL feel to his next song “Are You Waiting For Summer”. The rhythm is very lucid and laid back but at the same time manages to weigh in quite well. The fanciful way to it all carries it off cleanly. What remains is a song that is rather descript and pleasing to hear.
- 25 -
ROB WALSH The COLD COMFORT man took to the stage and played a confident set from beginning to end. There is an enormous kick to his opening song “Chaos, Bedlam Or Calm” that reacts well with the live delivery. It breaks into the song in a very hopeful way. That is evident in how it is stoked, but how it is brought to bear has a somewhat triumphant feel to it. The merry skip in the tempo on “When Love Grew Wild” crosses over well on the delivery. There is a faithful showing to how it keeps the song together here. Something resilient and smart garners in a revered way on it that brings a haughty feel to it all as it lines up here. A new song followed with “Your Love Is Gone”. What is nestled in the play drives the song. It is fuelled by a sense of longing. When that is directed it moves along in an impressive way that shows a deep intelligence on the lyrics. A protest song followed in “Bury Your Head”. It indulges in the reflections of modern times and the lyrics call it as he sees it. This ignites it all as much as the rhythm does. All the right points on this have something to say. How it plays has a closed off feel to it but it is not too distant either. The grandeur ventures forth on “Coupe De Grace”. There is a very keen way that the rhythm is coaxed. This is what builds it and does it very tellingly. The grand feel to it falls into place with the overall showing of it just as well. “Aces Falling” is another song that has a serious kick to it. There is an urgency that is shadowed with way it sublimely builds. That gives it a crowing feel. The sense of it being curtailed as the stride is developed works, and also shows there is no slacking about it. As a live performance it very much becomes something to watch.
The essence on “Love Pains” walks a very fine line. The song has an incredible degree of commodity to be found in the lyrics. That replete feel very much connects and identifies well on it. With “You Come Through” there is an imminent and graceful feel that is pocketed by the delivery. This provides a launchpad for the song. There is an excellent follow through present here that is enhanced by the tidy and compact marriage between the lyrics and acoustic guitar. The sorrowful feel from his voice is an excellent trait here. He brought his set to a close with “High”. It is a song with a natural zip. This yields something rousing that it takes good command over. The play seeps forth and the flow to it is very alluring. The way it moves into a blues number is well played and there is not a trick missed as he does so.
We are beginning to see a great deal of this band and every time we do we like them even more. Their set opened with “Zip Zap Boing” which very much hangs on the a capello vocals on the opening. When the playing comes in on it there is a fine way that it all gathers. It speedily moves along and produces a zest from the sound. The organic touch to it displays a high degree of imagination. Their next song “Slow Lane” furrows the feeling. The longing comes through from the sullen way it drops. It is smooth and the pace is quite specific, yet it is highly enjoyable. The voice is something that breathes life into it as much as the double bass. It is pristine, while the kazoo on the bridge provides an inviting addition. There is a depth and reverence to “Knocked Singing” that gives the intro a moving feel. The vocals are placed upon it dutifully. The free way that it flows is quite productive and intelligently applied. “Woman On The Beat” remedies something with a sense of importance. How it motors along is done in a truly eclectic way. There is circumstance to the vocals and the warmth sees it candidly break into stride. The body of playing is a tip-top affair that comes to define the song in the fresh and original way it all feels. Things are finished up with “Bright Horizon” and the soulful voice carries the tone of the song. The daring feel from the arrangement places stillness upon it all. It breaks out and the urgency is felt in a choice way. The momentum it builds rises and when it is dropped out shows a supple and delightful tune in one’s midst.
- 26 -
PETER AND THE PUREHEARTS The joyfully abundant “Mr. Evergreen” brought a lot of the playing elements to bear. The tune benefits from a full band. In the presence here the song radiates in a lively way from the playing and produces a determined showing that turns up well on it here. With “Raindrops” the violin sculpts the delivery in a rounded way. There is a hard keel that also falls into place neatly with the grounded tempo. The debonair hook in the sound brings the sublime feeling out on it, but the running also pushes it out in an equally fine way. Some more definition builds “My Friends”. While being patient it is also formidable and has something clean and considerable about it. The way it is marked out sees it play like a dream that connects on a spiritual level. The contemporary feel to it is highly absorbing. They very much up their game with “You Been Lied To” and sees a steely feel take hold in their sound as it clicks into gear. The rhythm has a clean bounce. A lot is invested in the play here that comes off and their efforts are justly rewarded. There is a wonderful tune presented in “Open Your Eyes” that is big on the music. It is also a tune that plays to its strengths. The detailed guitar playing impresses. The rise in the sound reflects ion things considerably and the dalliance sits well as a fine collection of sound. The marked commitment of “Reconsider Baby” is loaded with pace. The handling of it is a true dream when met with the buoyancy in the tempo. They link together as a roadhouse number comes to the fore that is steeped in good musical influences like THE DOORS. These see it coast along in a competent way that catches on. The complete feeling from their final track “Falling” evenly tempers the flow. In doing so they construct a framework that gives the big showing the platform it needs. The lyrics catch it all in a way that magnifies those details and in doing so draw you in.
...................................................................................................... ROB STEENSON AND THE APT 6 CLUB
before a hard effect comes to bear on it. There is good tracking in how it is outlined, while the sentiment gives it a well weathered feel that holds up. They fire it up on “Sleep Whore”. There is a finesse shown as the rhythm rises on it. That leaves the right mark as it takes flight. The sense of placement in the lyrics has a way of finding the right amount of impact on the song that works. “Five Years” is a very choice song. The lyrics are loaded with merit. The rather poignant feel to it is improved here by the manner in how the playing builds. The clean way it is all put together helps to see it home. All in all, it is a very able-bodied tune with the necessary elements coming together as intended. They then indulge in the catchy side of things with “Down To The River” with the upbeat way that it all rolls. The lyrics have a high degree of regret and sorrow tinting them. The contrast makes for an interesting listen that makes it an exceptional number. They dig deep to produce a sturdy effort here.
There is something angled in on their first song “Faithless” that patiently builds the lyrics into the song. The focus about the sound here all collects on it in an impressive way. The soft feel of it is pushed out with a sterling degree of composure and competency. The lyrics on “Breathe” come to define things in a specific way. There is an excellent feel in the delivery as it all breaks down. The clean way things are constructed here adds to the even feel that is cornered in the harsh reflections. They turn in a very commanding performance on this one. There is something to “If The Moon Turns Green” that becomes very embracing on it all here. The synth opening sits well and the vocals drop in a softer side
- 27 -
They then catch something deliberate that helps “If You’ve Got The Money” take off. The clean little hooks in the playing are very effective. There is a startling way that the lyrics are dropped and the speed matches this. The rhythm follows a steady beat and the input of THE STROKES sees it step out. A cover of “Can’t Hold Us” by MACKLEMORE was steadied into “Summer Rain”. The laid back and carefree manner of the performance sits well on this. It gets up quite neatly and there is a sterling way that it all runs.
LAND OF THE GIANTS The act that graced the cover of our June issue closed the night. They also happened to be the only UK act playing the festival this year. On top of that they also happen to be a damn fine live acct who know how to work a crowd. A decent cover of BLACKSTREET’s “No Diggity” sees t=something figurative added to it from the brass section. This gifts it a fine funk to it all. Then they slip into gear with “Red Dreads”. The rich texture to their sound that the vocals lean into with a true reckoning. The lingering way that the beat has is an exquisite turn from them here. They cut loose on it here is a satisfying way. Then a well versed number follows in “Love Is Here?” As it takes off they stare down something in the rhythm. The fearless way it is fixed is done in a considerable way. The brass puts a fashionable feel upon the funky side. The affluent touches also bring out the best in it. The opening on “Sees Me As A God” hooks you. The beat is a fine and uplifting affair that progresses into something that very much steals the show. There is a hearty and incredible amount of style turned on here. They also carve out an incredible groove on it. A pure and true fanfare engulfs their next song “Love Me If You Dare” that really draws you in. This is GOMEZ meeting Latino beats, but done sublimely. The way that the catchy side is balanced out by the substance is a very assured showing that you take a shine to immediately. They then burn up the dance floor with the catchy “Whatcha Gonna Do?” that is very much a big number. The delivery is catchy and extremely fetching. The brass necks down the beat. There is a well chased feel about it all that is catchy as sin. With “The Drop” they continue to deliver the goods with another catchy number. It evenly builds the beat and distributes it among the playing. This is a good combination shown all round from the steady build. It produces a cavalcade of true force when it lifts off that is pushed out in an extreme way. The subtle feel from the vocals give it an added dimension, while the brass section does more than is asked of it. It is truly fantastic work all round here. The revolution in their sound continues on “Alright Cheryl”. The hardy feel meets a controlled beat that come to bear on the divine feel to their catchy side. The brass side sees it get down to the task at hand and truly lock it all in. They close out with “Best Days”. Here the song has a real get up and go about it. Thing are completely off the hook on it. The fiesta feel to it is an incredible showing and the rhythm builds on it in a slick way. The purpose in the sound is damn impressive.
- 28 -
Irish Artists KEITH MOSS
What Eludes You Moves You The opening track “Torture In Paradise” has a chic guitar riff that resonates on it in a truly catchy way. There is something enigmatic to be found from the vocals too. As everything combines here there is a heightened sense to it all. “Burn Away Inside” explores a more ambient side. An emphasis is placed on the patient styling here, with the vocals tastefully underlining that. The appeal of the song is underlined by how the synth becomes fixed in the sound as it all progresses. A bold guitar opens “Under The Sun’s Light” to then seal a docile feel in the music. There is a tranquil lull to this that is neatly done. That is reflected in the arrangement and it very much shapes everything in a specific way. “Fat Men Have To Eat” is a folk like song but it is more than that. It embraces elements of protest in the lyrics that is completed by the reflection in observation. The gain is to be found in the savoury way that it all picks up the pace. It is a very complete sounding tune. With “Hazy Thoughts On Foggy Walks” you get a feel from the song. There is a sweeping feel to how it plays. There is a harrowing feel about it and he demonstrates a fine ability to carry the notes here. The album then picks up with “The War Outside The Door”. Here is a song that immediately grabs you. The tempo has an even running to it that ably carries it. There is an elated feel to how catchy and steady it sounds. This is a very impressive showing that is rich in texture on many fronts. It is a very fine turn indeed.
texture on many fronts. It is a very fine turn indeed. On “Maybe It’s Me” there is something haunting that is channelled through the playing. This is developed in a significant way with the guitar riff patiently plucking away on the rhythm. The whistling adds to the feel of the song and it is a diligent offering that very much draws you in. That leads nicely into next song “The Girl With The Wand At The End Of The Pier”. Here there is a broad definition to the sound that is extensive. Within this is a contented drift that is inspired. It holds in a way that demonstrates a wonderful finesse. There is some more serenity on show with “Now You’re Nowhere”. All of the weight in the design is evident. The expressive side to this wins out in a way that tastefully forms in the cautious way it all lingers. The closing track is “Sing To Be Saved”. It is a good call to close the album on. The pressing way that it brings the play together imbues it with something chic. The synth that builds into the rhythm sees the song climb. As it does the urgency is there to be found and it climaxes in the right way.
- 29 -
NIALL CONNOLLY Sound
The opening track “Samurai” is a sublime effort which opens in spectacular fashion. With his vocals cutting across on it in the spirited feel that they do, there is a huge pull to this song. There is something grand that is fixed in the rhythm which really sees it out. The soulful flow of the sound on “Invincible” gives it an ethereal feel as the playing is caressed. Finely felt in how it is traced, his vocals define the song in equal measure. As it develops those sullen aspects it also grows as a song. “Beef Or Salmon” has a gifted feel to the rhythm. The dreams of a gambler give the lyrics a treasured feel, but in how it picks up the pace there is a telling attribute brought to bear on it finely. There is a display of warmth and content in the rhythm which bless it with zest With “Were You Dropped” there is a reflective feel to the withdrawn feel from the song. A select feel comes from it in how it builds. The acoustic guitar imparts a stillness on it that is rather effective and distinctly develops the tone. Then he really brings “Lilly Of The Mohawks” to life. His voice gifts it a fantastic feel that sits comfortably with the way the rhythm is worked on it. The balance in the harder feeling makes it a very loaded affair. That is reflected in the excellent way it all comes together. A clean guitar wraps around “The Year Of The Dragon” and lingers cleanly in the way that the dragged feel to it builds. When it all takes off there is a veritable and detailed feel to how the tempo builds. The ferocity in the performance ignites it with an alarming quality.
10 The tidy way that “Places I Promised I’d Go” shows that behind the slower pace is a song that is well figured out. The piano applies a tidy measure to how it comes around and that is something that elegantly draws you in. There is also something very promising to be found from listening to it. A kindness cuts through the narrow feel of “Inland To Mercy”. That gives it a pensive feel but it has a substance to it that is an impeccable measurement to the strength that it conveys. It is a beautifully pieced together song. “Brooklyn Sky” has a static calypso feel that is eased across on the rhythm. There is directness in how neat it becomes when the urgent aspects in the song pick it up. That freely allows the expression to become apparent. Here is something different and very much imbued with identity. The poignancy in “My Next Move” is cleverly pushed out in the application of the arrangement. There is a static feel from the rhythm that pulls on the softer moments of it all. The vocals and lyrics embrace a solemn reflection and that is what comes to shape the sound with a hard cut. A certainty shows on “Come Back To The Table”. This is why is walks tall. The handsome showing to the lyrics is enhanced by how exact the vocals trap in the feeling. The way it is guided produces something that is more than a simple black and white affair. The bonus track here is “Work With Pias” and it opens with an assured swagger. The guitar whips across with a laid back feel. The stray way that it sounds is quite articulate and everything is brought to bear on it in a manner that is befitting of it all.
- 30 -
Don’t be put off by the title. This is a great album. “35” opens everything and it is a robust tune. The piano develops a very tidy skip in the rhythm. That then becomes enhance by the figurative way it all takes off. It has a vitality that the delivery of the track brings on in spades. Next is “The Kid” which is a song driven by a country feel. There is a wealth to be found in the way that it is all tracked. With his voice soothing into it the charm easily rubs off on the listener. It catches on in a very specified way. “Brother” is another excellent offering. It has a vaudeville style that has a bite to it. This is what settles it as a tune and the way that it all plays has a true majesty to it. After that comes “Eugene”. It has a pensive opening but it then collects finely. The lyrics leave a supple impression that is very apparent. With that is a steady and grand build which benefits from the broad styling on the bridge. Things step out on “Sunday” and it is not a case of merely being out for a stroll here. There is an importance felt from it. The way that he comfortably sets it free is something that takes your breath away. This is an exceptional tune that takes a ditty quality and evolves it. With “The Greatest” he gently moves the listener. There is a feeling conveyed from the lyrics and playing that is a great marriage. It all glides along with true warmth that gently moves you. The eponymous track “Fat Bastard” hits the ground running. It is loaded with pace and the way it is all charged up is incredible. That countenance about it all conjures up a tune that engulfs you with the feverish feel to it. The urgency is packed in and it steals a lot in doing so, but gives back so generously. The craftsmanship shows on “This Bed”. There are little slides of play that are effective, and those minute details sit well with a well-minded and constructed track. The mood developed is a pleasing affair. The intricacy of it all shoots through and the little movements make it a big deal here. Then we come to “Of You”. It is an opportune song that brings a softer side to his sound. The piano arrangement is something that truly brings some additional class to things.
Next song “George Clooney” is saddled with a really impressive showing. Again it is a song that hits the ground running and is highly appealing. The enigmatic feel that it has is there to be seen. The rhythm and tempo are applied and it gets going in a way that expertly keeps it all in line. The sound mashes along and is really clued in. “Ford Taurus” is a long player on the album. It is blessed with a refined feel from the music. The fanfare qualities intensify the sound here and make it a great listen. The closing track on the album is another long player. It is added as a side but it has a little sublime feel that complements the endeavour. The drop down to it creates a stillness that is optimised fully. It has a distinguished feel to all of the sorrowful qualities.
....................................................................................... THE MOVES
Human Shield How the rhythm develops and tumbles on “Human Shield” is very comparative. The skip to it from the drum beats add a touch of flair to it that sees the other musical elements applied shadow the playing in a precise way. The open showing here is sublime, while the vocal catch something lonely in their conveyance that is appealing. The electronic voice that carries across on “Decay Of The Angel” locates on it in a concise way. It shows a full experimental approach in the softer way the patient flow of it plays out. The noir flushes in the sound are effective when added. “Impossible To Love” yields something from the loom in the play. That obvious intent draws you in and the harmony drifts across on it as effectively as the cautious build in the sound. The deep and meaningful suggestion of it all is applied well. A withdrawn feeling is trapped in on “The Wounded House”. It expresses in a way here that gives the meaning and appeal more substance. How it all closes in brings it all together and allows it to rise in an efficient manner that holds up when the harder points are stressed. “Human Shield” is another track that gathers the electronic elements of their sound. It articulates on the rhythm in a way that is rather prevailing here. The beat is a steady affair that develops a clear ambience that gives it an inviting allure while still embracing something urban. The calypso feel to “Auto Fire” displays something of substance in the laid back feel to the tempo. It creeps along and the way that it drifts also sits alongside some very rotund beats that the synth aspect of the sound finely pursues. “Wait” opens with a rising and cautious build. The patience sets it in motion quite well. There is a candid feel about it also that weighs in neatly with the running of it overall. The closing track here “Everyone Is A Hero” is a tune to get excited about. The finesse in how it all comes across is definitive. A broad definition builds on the piano here and this seems to ignite it all. The purpose and urgency seep forth on the arrangement, but there is a distinction in the lyrics and vocals that is able to match this on every level. They definitely save the best for last with it here.
8 - 31 -
THE WINTERS Riches
We caught this band live at Saucy Sundays and the live review of their set is included in the “Scene & Heard” section this issue. Their album also lives up to their promising set. Opening with “The Rain Is Falling Down Again” it encompasses a pleasantry that sits well on the expansive. The bustle in the rhythm handsomely holds, while the enigmatic way it all rolls gives it a very effective catchy side. Then “Bring” slides out with a clean glean from the guitar. The whispered hush of the vocals adds a thrill to the tempered and stable sound. There is a wistful way that “Holly, Go Lightly” drifts. The vocals are able to impart a soft, still feel upon it that is rather kind. The softer points travel in a soothing way and it all has a fine, articulate feel that genuinely spaces out. There is a stirring way that “Riches” is cradled. Here a degree of temerity grounds the rhythm. But there is a careful focus to how it unfurls. It delivers a soulful song that impressively rushes through with a fine sentiment. “Hold Me Down” has a hypnotic ability to the pursed sound. Elements of Tex-Mex hauntingly play out to a still and barren sound, but it has texture to the soulless feel of it all. Then we come to “Starlight Song”. Here there is a spirited feel from the kick, but it drops down to a softer tune. The pertinent feel really lifts up and has warmth that shows when it gets going. It has an opportune styling that the playing revels in. There is a distinction to “(Don’t Let Me Be) The Last One To Know” that allows the supple feel sit contently among the country feel. It is very fetching in how it carries across and the vocals have a choice cut about them.
10 That is then followed by “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues”. Here the drop down has an ambience that pulls through on it in an entwining way. With the dalliance smoothly channelled tellingly. The lyrics also space out as they sweetly lean into it and build the play. The brass is a nice added touch. “Even In July” also embraces some jazz. With that vibrancy coming through on it the effective way that it all feels is something that does not go amiss. There is a real turn of style about it but it has the substance to match. “I Want My Baby Back” is a song that continues that train of thought. It is carried off with distinction and the organ carries something on the delivery that gives it a true splendour. The enamoured feel is tracked in a way that truly empowers. That it is a slick affair is an added bonus. Again the organ plays in with distinction on “Real Lies”, but plays behind the good tidings of how it is arranged. There is a smooth side that gives it a sense of clear abandon that is resiliently charming. The bold feeling is impressive and settles into everything impeccably. The telling feel to “When Are You Going To Love Me” very much carries the song. It has a steady way to it that meets the urgent weight the delivery develops. The roadhouse feel to it is a big number that encompasses a variance in the playing style yet never loses anything in that process as it finely clocks in. There is a very fine blues feel to the bonus track on the album “I Got My 45”. The brass and organ combine to great effect on it. The whimsical way that it travels has a vibrant telling that gestures the playing through on it cleanly. - 32 -
JET SET RADIO Rare Candy
A very high retro fell comes off the opening track “Shadows”. The electro aspects sit very neatly in terms of the synth before they give way and a hard industrial sound flows forth. There is something imbued in the noir like touches that sit amicably with the tempo. The running and pace also keep things in check. Then comes “Animal”. It is a track that has a very purposeful feel to it that is very forward in terms of the content of the lyrics. The rhythm has a galvanised feel about it that pushes out a lavish feel from the electro aspects. With that in mind the beat to it is a steady process that delivers. “Decide” opens well. The lush and catchy intro drops down into something with a defined tone. The vibe to it sits well with the synth and electronic manner of what they are about as a band. It does lack a little bit of bite, but that is made up for by the way the rhythm is focussed and how it builds. It leaves a neat and tidy tune standing from the approach adopted. The last track on the EP is “Learn To Love It”. Everything on it is down to a tee and it is the true standout track of the four here. It has a catchy side and then goes beyond that. It has substance and the way everything is locked in on it shows the potential they have for producing great tracks that can see the band leave their mark on account of their music.
.......................................................................................................................... THE RATTLING KIND Rise Up The title track opens up splendidly. The playing has a sense of accomplishment to it. That is something that gives a good platform to the lyrics to build upon. With how everything all comes together there is something complementary to it all that defines the poignant aspects of the song. That is followed by “The Mero” which has a merry skip to it. The folk leanings of the band are evident but here they seem to be taking the sound to a level that takes that as a starting point. The way that it all forms is definitive. There is something of abandon in the way that it runs that is truly inviting.
- 33 -
You again see the trad influences on their sound with “All Around The Town”. However it is not your typical paddy whackery tune. It merely lends to the band something musically. From it they grow something organic that has a well felt sentiment to it. The reflective side to it is very solemn and the rhythm is a steady affair that gives it an added bite and equips it with a resilient feel. A smart drumming opens “Follow The Moon”. It seems to be imbued with a passionate style that magnificently charges along. It is a sweet listen and the neatness of it very much wraps you up in the moment of it all. Then “No Time To Say Goodbye” closes out everything. The heartfelt manner of the vocals here creates a good hold on the song. It also has a depiction in the lyrics that balances it all out. There is something beautiful trapped in the playing that is sweetly etched into proceedings. The weight behind the song is rather intricately applied and sees the band produce the goods in a way that truly counts here.
ANNA JORDAN Dust A very interesting angle forms in the sound on “Dust” that takes its toll as it chips away on the playing. The stark feel from her voice really gives it a lift and there is something of a classical feel to the soprano elements in it. The piano adds something ambient that is befitting of the lucid overall feel. The next song is called “The Air That You Breathe” which again makes great use of the piano in terms of how it surrounds the play. The harmony of the backing vocals gives it a haunting trait that is carefully carried through on it that excels with the static feel to it all. It is well outlined and the way that the cautious feel of it is brought to bear counts for a lot also. The third track here “She Dances” and it parlays something emotional into the telling lyrics. There is something introspective to it all that cleverly comes to the fore. In the way that the heft is felt there is a true longing showing to the way it is all pieced together. It has a way in the formation that suits the arrangement of it all. But there is a captivating feel to the catchy side of it also. “Silent Sea” closes things. Here the voice soothes across and finds comfort amongst the way the playing is brushed out. The softness of everything is very easy to warm to. But there is also something barren conveyed in the song that invites the listener in and demonstrates a feeling of comfortably numb. However it is not off putting but is instead and intrinsic value that sells you on it.
.......................................................................................................................... WORDS THAT BURN Praey A lot is brought to bear on opening track “The End Will Come”. The playing necessitates the harder feel to their sound and doesn’t alienate any novice listener. The gothic and noir aspects are finely tuned in and serve it well. The rhythm on “So Helpless” switches to match the directional changes. The vocals are engaging and it navigates safely away from becoming a screamo based affair. The openness is finely applied on it which benefits how it is tracked. “Ctrl X” opens with a soft lull from the piano before the heavy roll in the sound is applied. There is a hallowed feel to it that is an absolute to the delivery, yet it is focuses that to capture the essence fully. The dark feel on “R.I.P. Me” very much has an interesting feel to it. It is complemented by some very strong playing. There is a lot to like on this as it holds true on many points which lend a lot to it.
“Wounds” opens off the back of a harsh feel. The vocals close around the lyrics. In doing so the gothic feel of the song is felt, with the release of the music adding to the ambient texture it contains. That is a patient trait that is well worked in terms of how the tempo is channelled. That is followed by “Dig”. There is an immediate grab from the way that the vocals bark on it. Then there is a sharp feel to it as the tempo begins to drop down into true metal territory. The gothic feel is represented by the arrangement as a whole and dutifully rounds the rhythm out here. There is a brittle tone felt on “Sictember” which imparts upon the playing with esteem. There is an accomplished feel to it as the tempo rises, yet there is a large amount of ability displayed that is honed in effectively. The final track here is “[Praey]”. This is ambitious from the band in terms of being experimental. The vocals are fitted and applied in a telecast format. Around that is a neat and steady beat that is minimalist but yields a high feeling of atmosphere upon it.
- 34 -
EMPIRE CIRCUS In Dreams There is a euphoric feel that floods through on “True Believer” that brilliantly showcases what they are about as a band. The level feeling to it is enhanced by how cautiously it builds. In the way that it begins to pick up pace it displays an awareness of how capable they are of delivering the goods, and here they do it with certainty. “There Is A Light” has a dalliance to it that breaks through exceptionally well. It lights up as it progresses and everything aligns on it with real class. The fallen feel to it is another enamoured trait that brings out a clean feel to it all that is bountiful. A clean cut shows with how “In Dreams” hits the ground running. With the catchy hooks in the playing there is also substance that comes to shape it. The bearing that has on the way it all sounds is beautifully done. In how it is orchestrated it finds a rich pull to the rhythm. The vocal delivery matches the resolute feel that it has and there is a mass appeal to how the harmony hangs on it also. A live version of “True Believer” followed by a remixed version by CITIZEN DC close it. In terms of the live version it shows how fine a live act they are. The audio quality is clear and the merits they have as a live band are underlined by this recording. The remix is another fine attribute on the EP. What the remix adds to the sound is shown with the added little beats in places, without diluting the identity of the original.
.......................................................................................................................... R.S.A.G Rotate The first offering on this six track EP is “Open”. It very much garners something specific in the ensemble that pushes out the progressive stylings. The way it is arranged has a telling presence that locates something in the tranquil feel of it all. It is an intriguing offering and one which cleverly draws you in. Then there is something with a more retro feel on “You Want More”. The 8-bit character of it comes across neatly and it is merged with a decent structure. The overtures add something pleasing that gifts it an additional essence. It is a piece that is very well crafted and you sense that as the playing comes across. “Broken State” is a very catchy affair. The way that the tempo builds is a card that is well played. This then sees some vocals come to bear on proceedings. They have a draw to them that seem to situate a reggae sense about it and the backing of the playing also indicates some influence musically in this regard. But it also has definition in the electronic aspects of the sound.
“Falter” is an inclusion here that is very deserving of its place. There is a very rotund feel from the guitar on this one. The slick way that it all seems to be carried off is very defining. What is also stamped on it is a catchy feeling that demonstrates an undeniable ability and creativity. It is followed up by “This Winding Sheet”. The electro parlance of the sound meets with an indie feel. The new wave sentiment of it shows through and there is a rawness that breathes life into it. The running to it has a pacier side that is refreshing to hear and one which really clicks into gear. Things close out with “Rotate”. The neat way that it develops the beat is a strong point on it. It has a loom in places and at the same time intelligently motions the play forward. The solemn points of it are countered cleanly by the more affluent points in the tempo. In short it has a laid back and easy going feel as the playing is channelled through on it.
- 35 -
VANN Electro Shock Dreams The opening manner to the EP is felt on “Life In Real Time” and it develops something controlled and rich in retro from the synth styling of it. The vibrancy immediately presents, while the textured layered of how it plays is a true marvel. It is indeed many a splendid thing in how it picks up. There is a striking feel to the intro on “Never Want To Be Alone”. It has a calling about it that piques interest for all the right reasons. The definition to it is brought out and catches an imaginative curve that displays true creativity in the process. It has an affluence to it that is highly effective also. “Be My Balloon” rides high with the way it pieces together. The free feel to the rhythm is countered by the way the vocals are deployed. There is a veneer to the synth as it is channelled through and it lingers on the rhythm in a truly commanding way. The final track “Into The Night” really takes flight. There is a true urgency in the way it builds into an anthem that catches everything it needs to. The tempo expertly filters through on it and meets with the spirited vocal delivery to underline the credentials they have as a band. We marked them out as one of THE bands to watch in 2013 and here we are beginning to see the justification to our belief in them from last year.
.......................................................................................................................... JUPE Across The World There is a rich texture in the sound on “Across The World” that cleanly builds. It shows and the steady way that the synth plays in on it gives it feeling. There is something undeniably catchy to it that shakes it all up and that fresh feel to it keeps it all together by developing a hook in the sound that is neatly applied. The carefree feel of “Things I Can Be” is extremely well done. The way that the song breezes along off the back of the laid back feel to it really transforms as it progresses. It is an excellent tune which is high on the feel good factor and at the same time has the substance to match the style.
- 36 -
“Green Light” comes next and there is a way that it is developed that interests you when you hear it. The sound on it is a clean affair that has a catchy riff and beat to it, but there is also a neat showing about how it all runs. That is a pleasing attribute on it and the new direction that their sound is taking with the keys is something that brings out the best in this one. The final track is “Happy Endings”. This is a song that has a dalliance felt from the piano arrangement that meets well with the vocal delivery. It lights up as it takes flight and the sturdy feel to the music is enhanced by how everything else comes to bear on the sound here. The feeling also comes through on it in a way that shows for all of the right reasons.
IN THEIR THOUSANDS Between The Waters
There is a great deal to admire about the way “Carrickatine” is arranged. In the vocals exists a quality that finely traces out across on the singing, while the tidy shuffle in the rhythm kicks into gear. There is a trail that is blazed in the process that embraces a fired up blend of folk and indie that is superbly delivered. There is revelry in the way “Harvest” plays. They sew up the right elements in the playing, and what is yielded from the song is a fair reward for the effort put in by them here. An allure is felt from the process as a while here that is able to stir the sentiment quite well. After that comes “Hungary”. A withdrawn and barren feel plays in on it. It has a careful and stoic touch to it that plays well with the settled and sullen feel of the sound. The lyrics embrace a reflective nature which seems to dictate the running of everything here, but it expresses well. There is a harder feel locked in on “Minds Eye”. The careful and dutiful nature of the song conveys well, but when the vocals are leaned into the song picks up in spectacular fashion. This is a tune that really grabs your attention and doesn’t let go. Everything lines up on it and the elements in the play give it an additional depth which very much sees the band up their game. They then drop down the harder side of their sound to something with a softer side on “Patterns”. How the playing is framed has a mindful showing to it here and the distinction it carries exudes a calmness over how it sounds that is efficiently applied. The guarded feel that presents itself also sits well with the bigger moments that come to bear on it here. This is a big number from them manages to become that way by the gradually way it builds. The EP closes out with “The Swell”. There is a spark in the playing here that brings it to life. The drumming stows away on the beat before the more upbeat gathering of it all takes off. The tightness from the bustle burns brightly on it. They bring something from the taut styling of the rhythm that runs squarely on it and the vocals also reach out on it in an imparting way that is a delight here.
.......................................................................................................................... HOT SOUL PSYCHOS Everfunk Junior This immediately grabs you with the investment of originality and creativity that rolls out the funk on the opening track “Keep It That Way”. The guitar and the bass hit it off, while the drumming smartly shapes it all as it falls in behind. The catchy looping vocals grasp the content of the lyrics and they cleverly run in with the rhythm here. The second track is “Connie”. This is also cut from the same cloth with how the funky side of things is applied. Here there is a patient styling, yet a whip from the guitar rolls out on it. The way that it breathes has a lean feel to it with a grandeur emanating from the play. Yet here there is a more refined feel as the urgency is applied. It is very straight up and champions the rock elements of their sound sweetly here. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree with “One Es Dancer” either. The hard way that the guitar and drumming bellow out on the pick up from the intro is a blistering affair that steadies the song. It drops down and the tempo has a mindful feel about it, yet when it gets going there is a very clean showing about it. The high pitch to the tone of it is steadfast and it marches to its own beat. Here there is a commendable feel about it that also gives it lift.
8 - 37 -
KID KARATE Lights Out The guitar on “Two Times” immediately grabs you and then to hear the vocals come in the way that they do really lights up the song. The rhythm resonates on it with an affirmative stature that hits the ground running and shows no respite. The lean sound to it here is impressively collected and there is a substance presenting itself. “Heart” sees their sound carry forth with a vibrant synth loop at the core of the sound. The experimental feel of it all pulsates, while at the same time there is a deliberate way that it all collects which is very appealing. The vocals are an effective turn on the showing here and add another nice cut to the sound. Third track “This City” is beautifully worked. The way that it steps out is extremely well worked. The tracking and the timing all see it lean into the playing. In how it is done it really catches the right things in the sound to produce a catchy and spirited tempo that is a marvel to hear. The last track is “You Need Violence” and it has a rawness that is very integral to the sound. The guitar hits hard and fast to build the rhythm into a steady flow. There is also a hard way that it hits which floors you upon listening. This is a song that is provided for by the way it prevails. There is a diligence in how it is applied.
YOUNG WONDER Show Your Teeth From the brief intro there is enough demonstrated musically to entice any listener towards this duo. The looming way it creates an ambience is something delightful and leads expertly into “Time” (feat. Sacred Animals). Here there is a threshold in the playing that superbly spreads out the sound. The tempo climbs steadily and in doing so galvanises the track. The way that it is embraced creates an ebb and flow that gifts it an intrinsically organic feel. There is a nice oriental feel on “To You”. The synth embraces that and in doing so invigorates the listening experience. It connects well and also presses ahead with a finesse that really holds its own as it subsides. It is also rather accomplished by how well threaded the sound on it is.
With “Electrified” they again showcase something of true merit. The arrangement comes through on with a clear distinction. The synthesised aspects are cleverly pushed out on it and the sublime feel to it clearly showcases a definition at work. It is configured in a way that impressively builds clearly defined overtures into the sound. With the calypso elements in the sound “Seventeen” is built upon an assured footing. It has a pleasance about it before dropping in some fine ambient layers on the sound. What is also cleverly done on it is the way that the synth courses along on it. The closing track here is “Bullet” which lifts off immediately. The tempo rises on it and the lingering way that the electro aspects of the sound exact upon the track fires it up. The beat to it bristles with the creative and inspired feel that the arrangement of the music is able to bring to it all.
International Acts THE FIREFLYS
Embers Of The Autumn The album opens spiritedly with “Unplayed Guitar”. There is a determined feel from the play here. The lyrics have a sentiment to them but there is a smart way that it all aspires. The finesse in the sound here gifts it with a subtlety that is a strength played to quite well here as it comes around. “Autumn Soul” checks in neatly. There is a standard in the playing that is high. The rhythm follows a closeness here that allows the courteous feel to be finely coaxed, yet the catchy style of it does come into the equation in a way that is noticed. There more of a focus acoustically on “Hummingbird” that pulls through on it. The splendour that is caught by it here elegantly comes through. The hushed tone in the vocals connects well here, while the guitar builds it all impressively. What follows next is a truly sweet affair. The rhythm is sewn up on it and there is a smooth way that it all relates. The soft tone of the lyrics adds a sublime feel that catches the tidy style in a way that comes around making it easy on the ear. That seems to see “Broken Pieces” play as an extension to it in a way. There is enough on show to see it through as a song in its own right. It seizes the opportunity to develop a slow song into something with more to it than the standard. “Cemetery Song” is one of the best songs on the album. A sturdy and elated feel then brings the guitar and other playing aspects to bear on it in a notable way. The build is steady to begin with but it progresses to a big number with true grit.
There presents something hard in the riff that opens “Paper Plane”. Then it all begins to light up as it takes flight. It has a clean and compact style to it that fuses the playing commendably here. That rotund point is cornered quite well on it. Following song “Der Reise” tears into the play. The way it hits the ground running has a raw feel that energises the flight to it all. The impact is immediate and the way that it all hangs in the air catches something spirited here that walks the walk. The second last track is “Between The Tide”. The opening has a sparse feel that collects mildly on the tempo. The even styling of it has a neat parlance that draws out the playing. A soft feel in the vocals is applied and that gives it a yearning that suits it all. The album closes with “She Said” and produces something closed in the play that gathers well. The scope of the arrangement shows ambition and composure. The break down gives it a lot to admire. It is a big number to close on but there is a lot packed in without it becoming overburdened.
- 39 -
THE UNDERGROUND YOUTH
The Perfect Enemy For God This Manchester band develops the sound on their opening track around a slick bass hook. Then the play comes in and it builds around a sound that is characterised by the looming shoegazer feel of it all. This however shows good tracking. There is also meat on the bones of it here because it has an enigmatic draw about how it sounds that is highly effective here. An interesting dalliance comes through on “Rodion”. That gives the beat a neat skip that has a very urban feel to it. The cautious and hushed vocals add some presence to it that gives it character. Following that is “In Sofia’s Reflection”. This also has a fine reverence in the build. The guitar steps out impressively on it and lingers on it effectively as the way the vocals are pursed across. There is an effective lull in the sound on “Juliette” that has all the right makings of a song very much formed in its own identity. The withdrawn feel hunches on the sound to produce something distinct with a stark hang to it that lingers efficiently. There is a dreamy feel to “Runaway”. The shared vocals produce a harmony that sits well with the cold feel from the rhythm. The boldness in it presents well and how it comes to define the song is evident. The sweet and precious feel to it is alluring also. “Veil” is a long player that keeps things in perspective. The forlorn feel of the shoegazer aspects meet well with the intent here. The desirable feel that comes through on it here very much gauges this and capitalises on the appeal it has.
A JOY DIVISION comparison is made on “In The Dark I See”. This one slips into gear and has that feel that the band had about them circa their “Warsaw” period. A solid build engulfs their sound with true substance and they carve out a result here that has finesses and flair in the sunken feel of the tempo. But the rhythm picks up on it with the utmost grace and that is what seals the deal for them. They produce the goods yet again with how they handle “Masquerade”. Fetishising the tempo is a good calling on it here. In doing so they create an alluring sound that elevates the status of the playing. The substance to it carries through and the sheltered feel of the delivery is an excellent showing to it here. It is an excellent showing to what they are about as a band in fact. The album closes out with “Ritual”. There is a harmonica which adds some depth and texture. The sturdy play gives the guitar a longing sense in how it rolls across. The slide guitar then amplifies the impact. This is just the intro. From there it builds the intent figuratively. There is a virtue in how it all combines that makes it a great way to close the album.
- 40 -
The guitar that flies across on “Psycho Aphrodisiac” brings a raw attribute. This enhances the late-90’s feel. Loops in the sound, with additional synth effects, motion the play forward quite admirably. The harsh feel in the sound to “Crash” stirs it. The dark feel of the lyrics creates a gothic sentiment which branches out finely when it meets the subjective feel in the sound. The rhythm neatly follows through while still having an identity that goes against the grain. “Slave To Lust” has a grandeur about the rhythm. This opens sublimely and then produces something that slips cleanly into gear. The drumming adds a lean feel that nestles alongside the deliberate feel from the guitar. The lyrics also lose themselves in the withdrawn delivery behind it. With “Daisy Chain” the hard side is ground out in terms of the guitar and heavy drum sound. The ambient feel is definitive. The weaving, looping run to the rhythm bears heavily on it but does so appropriately. Their sound then develops a different style on “Lazy Days Of Summer”. Here what they can deliver in terms of ability comes to bear finely. The cradled feel in the tempo also embraces a light acoustic playing with a rounded, coarse feel from the elated styling. This has a lustre to it that is high in charm. Again their sound demonstrates a progression on “Disco Freak”. Systematically fusing the guitar drive with the synth, in the fusion the sound finds a balance while also a hard edge that is sublime to hear. The clean and sharp tempo piques on “Lunatics”. The redacted feel from the way it is constructed produces an inviting fray in the sound. The drop down in the pace creates an alluring noir that is strangely sedate, yet has a fascinating spin to it. An eastern feel is subtly felt. Next song “Mistakes” moves in a thrilling way. The
opportune pace picks up superbly. A hard feel shows that brings the synth in and creates a new wave feel effectively. “Chill Pill” embellishes a taut feel and nurtures that in the stark etchings. The patient feel to the play catches something descriptive in the running. The vocal delivery is another haughty aspect that adds a darker feel. Then we come to “Killer On The Dancefloor” which impressively rolls out. The clean pull of the rhythm and stray feel in the guitar circulate with distinction. They neatly come through and the tempo has a harsh build. The end result is a catchy number with an underground feel as it charges along. With how it builds “Come Again” sees you get lost in the moment as it begins to pick up. There is something circumstantial in the build that sees it take off with aplomb. The overture in the synth brings a precedent to bear on the rhythm that also impacts well with the vocal delivery. After that fantastic drumming opens the intro on “Waiting For You”. The barren feel it develops meets well with the urgent delivery that steps out on it. The guitar and other playing aspects make their point felt and there is a careful way that the weight of the song is applied. This helps mark out the delivery for the right reasons. The album closes out with “Eye For An Eye” and it marks a directional change. The playing is fostered on it here with the right elements pushing it all out. The synth transforms the song and produces a catchy beat on it in the process.
- 41 -
A National Service The Edinburgh band brings their blend of electronic music to bear quite well on “Tall Tales (intro)”. They fuse the guitar driven sound to the lucid, tranquil feel in a truly vibrant way that hones in the resonance in a way that depicts a true nuance in their sound. The second track on the album is “The Hollowing”. Again the individual and organic feel to their sound comes to the fore here. A tempered skip in the beat pushes it out, while the enamoured feel and draw to the vocals are implicitly applied to great effect here. “All These Years” embraces a heavier drum sound on the intro. Yet the new wave feel comes off with the way the music merges on the upbeat side of the play. The lush feel of the synth locks in the essence here and there is a drive to it all. On “Jealousy” there is a tumble about the guitar that invitingly stirs it. The loom created meets well with a kick in the rhythm. An affluent turn develops that is kept in checked by the measured way it all rolls. “Global Marine Breaks” neatly builds. The resilient stirrings in the pace clock in on it finely. In how it spaces out as it builds shows excellent composure. They find something coveted on “Sinking Ships” that is brought to bear on it all in a rather fine way. It sublimely runs with the resolute feel coming through on it with prominence. This is a marvellous effort rewarded for its endeavour.
A trumpet gifts the opening of “Hello World” with a replete feel before the sharp impact of things come to figure finely on it. The tight feel from the running has the right amount of pace applied on it. This sees the clear feel about the run come to the fore and fix as intended. Then on “Reliever” a retro feel is noted on it, but there is something evolved in the sound. Embracing that sees the slight and fanciful feel concerns itself with incorporating an expanse into the playing that is highly effective. “The Grace” sees a soulful feel from the voice stretch out on it all. The rise from the playing seasons it all. There is a sentiment presented and this loses itself in the playing in a noted way. It gets going in a good way. After that comes “A Spectre Is Haunting Europe”. There exists a pattern in the play that finds its way in the electronic elements of the play. The lustre it has is one that exudes an enigmatic sway and dalliance that is excellent to hear. The album finishes with “An Ode To An End”. This imbues a mournful tone that lights up the playing as it comes to bear on it all. In how it all builds demonstrates a neatness that it profits from.
- 42 -
ELIZA JAYE The Seed
This Australian artist brings a blend of blues and folks to her sound that is evident on “Bella”. A minded feel comes across in the tale that is told giving it a trusty and hearty feel that is marvellous to hear. The feeling is also mastered well. On “Needs Must” there is a vibrancy driving everything on. The hard feel necessitates a raw aspect in the guitar, while the melody occupies something distinct that builds excellently. Her classical influences show on “October”. They breathe life into the spacious track and accentuate it all with a telling specificity. It is class personified really. “Fire” lives up to its name. The gnawing guitar strummed away has a listless feel that converges on it with menace and intent. The kicked to the curb feel to the rhythm has a harsh quality that gives it a sense of the real. “Temptation” stirs the violin as her voice grows into the delivery. All the right things give a big showing here and the smart way it all falls into place catches something just right. Something that is rich in texture follows in the shape of “Love Potion”. The pull to the country styling is felt by the way it opens out into the play. The right elements are stoked on it and echo across with a neat strut that lines up squarely.
The strumming on “Marmalade” produces an ambient and intoxicating low feel. The pale features absolve the lyrics selectively. The deft feel produced gives a courteous and lean offering to the song that is dependable and full of depth. “Merry Lee” is kindled by the playing. The coarse feel to the rhythm feeds in to it all quite electively. The hard strum binds well and the tempered feel is kind to it. A neat and fluid feel takes hold on “Crimson Lipstick” that cleverly shapes the overall feel. Locating the lyrics in the exact way that they are brought to task sees the playing develop a settled tone on it all that is quite alluring. The seductive allure to “Glass Poppies” presents well. The lean and taut feel from the playing shows in the hold to the bass and guitar combination. A rich blues sentiment flows on it and that current is applied in a practical and careful way that brings out the momentum in it. “Big Tin Heart” charges into things with a fine whip to the drumming and guitar on the rhythm. It all falls into place with an exactness that sits cleanly. The last track here is “Black Heart Rum” which is cut from a fine cloth. The violin stirs the pace on it and beckons a folk song with a kick forth. The spirited charge lights up and crosses over expertly. There is a confidence in the performance that necessitates freely on it here and this is what seals the deal.
- 43 -
TESSA ROSE JACKSON
(Songs From) The Sandbox
There is an eventful feel from the first track “Stepping Stone”. The optimistic feel from it is felt from how the rhythm seems to busy itself and wrap around the track. A smooth and fine feel shows through on it that seems to imbue a catchy side with true style and substance. “Lost And Found” is another strong showing from her. The harmony in her voice is brilliantly brought to bear. It has a sense of perfection with how it is arranged. The trusty feel is sustained and abundantly carries off here in a truly exceptional way. That is then shown again on “Sea And The Storm”. This is a truly magnificent effort. The skip in the step is also matched by the punch it contains. This is another admirable song that shows an imaginative side to her as an artist. “Again And Again” captures something soulful. The build is galvanised by the hard feel from the rhythm. There is a precision on show and the patient way her voice sails across on it seduces you. But how it all runs is very select with an intelligent showing in the lyrics. The freestyle beatbox comes off on “Change Time”. It is excellent and then as the song builds it really showcases a tune with a brilliant scope. The overtures are pitched in a way that imbues it all with a truly brilliant styling. It just blows you away when you hear it. With “You Do” she caresses everything. There is a righteous feel to the song. Her voice is a beautiful characteristic on it and the forlorn way that the song is laid out is a true sense of wonderment in itself.
She then seals something in the delicate “405” that produces the goods. The feeling and the emotion skirts across on it with such artistry that you get swept up in it. Enamoured by the castanets as they are applied on the sound, it is all beautifully pieced together. Then on “All The King’s Horses” everything comes together. This is another song that is high on the wow factor. The controlled feel to it is angled in a way that produces on the arrangement. The safe feel to it doesn’t betray anything because it has a fierce temperament to it also. Next song is “Mister Carpenter” and this is another startlingly good track. The sweet way her voice guides the song and it very much lights up as it progresses. The sunken feel of “Forgive Me” is there to be appreciated. In the steady guitar something is produced and with the finesse from the body of work a true marvel springs forth. Here the beautiful moments catch something moving and enriches the listening experience considerably. There is a fine ramble felt from the guitar on “2O Years”. That pleasing feel sits well with the way that her voice combs through the song. All the correct things line up on it and it is so blissful to hear. Such a delight to hear in fact and the album closes out with “Where The Light Goes”. It has a BING CROSBY feel to it that is so precious. It is very “of a bygone era” and the lonesome feel to it suits it. The timely way sees it through and does it with such distinction that it cannot be underappreciated.
- 44 -
DELETED This band comes from Poznan, Poland. They bring a calculated graft to bear on their sound and shows on “Agenda”. The hard arching feel of the guitar and drumming drives it on. With the vocals also pitched to this approach it all collects finely. Next is “Blinded” and they tease the build lightly. The withdrawn feel situates a sunken sound on it here. A steady spacing steps it out and it has a tidy feel to it all. A fuller sense of play comes to bear for “Blurred Vision”. The playing profits from the arrangement. Here the guitar sound is a sharp focus full of intent that drops things down superbly where they need to be placed. “Comatose” seals in the darker feel to their sound and does it quite well. The synth comes to have a good and practical feel to the way the sound builds. Voice drowns out on it effectively too. In “Pareidolia” they allow things to cautiously build on it. The contrast following through cast well over it and builds ambience. Yet it projects presence and curtails the style and invests it back in the play quite well as an ensemble piece. “Howl” has a clear cut about it. There is something constructive built up by the whole process that unfurls and lets things come to bear on it quite well. Again they project the industrial influences upon the sound with the synth merging with hard metal points in the sound, but they work effectively here. The drumming is considerable on next song “Kill Me Today” and the synth that comes in to the equation has substance. The splendour carries well on it and admirably does so. The racy side of their playing is brought to the mix with “On The Road” and brings the right amount of edge to things. The unbridled feel about it all is locked in smartly and the rock elements pour out from the guitar. Things are angled in the right way to give the playing the specific drive needed.
The impressive heel shows through on “Reflections”. The choke to the guitar on this is well held and brings the weight to the tracking as needed. A chime opens “Strange Days” and from there it builds in an alluring way. Exacting the right qualities gives it an impressive calling that shades things through on the playing with a diligence. The drumming has a crisp feel that is extremely retro on “The Moth”. Then a fast lashing of guitar comes across on it for good measure. Then the sound drops like a bomb and it moves up a gear. There is a very steady movement that has a gravitas and shows teeth in the sound. “Warning!” plays to a closed feel. The balance of the arrangement busies quite smartly. The last track is “Wasteland (We Call Home)” and it brings an abundance of play to the table. The trajectory f it is marked and candid, but the sharp angle of the play has a focus on delivering the raw, edgier curve that suits it so well.
THE BOX TIGER Set Fire
Catching an inspired turn from the guitar riff and pace, “Bleeding Hart” is one of those songs you take notice of. Loaded with pace and steadily feeding the hard side of it all, it manages to maintain fluidity as it gathers momentum. Repeating that trick is “The
Hollows”. A yearning presents itself from the rock side of things. The guitar and drumming click into place to produce a song of pure indie credentials. Then something blissful found in the content of “Set Fire To Your Friends”. Working on a set-out formula the sound embraces and develops a catchy rhythm. The focus is on bringing the drumming to bear alongside the guitar. The result is a slick affair that flirts with calypso elements and lights up when played. Resting her voice alongside the acoustic guitar sees SONIA STURINO impart the emotion on “Hospital Choir”. The soothing aspect of the sound draws you in and has a rich texture about it that is startling to hear. The select way it builds is a joy to behold and the band clearly owns it. That is followed by “Knives”. There is a curt guitar played in that gives an inspired feel that in turns catches the upbeat skip quite specifically. The way that it rushes the sound through is definitive and holds well. The tight feel from the rhythm is grounded out here and with purpose. Next is “Taller Than Trees” which gives rise steadily. On the intro an eclectic mix presents itself that comes to have a strong bearing on how the song progresses. The tight feel in the tempo complements the vocals and it stirs the effort in a striking way. A smart and highly strung rhythm catches an imaginative streak on “Makers”. The running gauges the playing in a calculated way and lays down a fine marker in the arrangement that affords the vocals a way of holding steady that comes to press upon it with a smart demeanour. “Julian” moves up a level. The soulful way to it threads through wonderfully. There is a beauty to how it is crafted. With the vocals really delivering something that draws a comparison with FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE and THE MYNABIRDS on account of the class that matches the delivery. The draw to “See-Through Hole” is there to see. A precision in the drumming meets with an illuminating arrangement that demonstrates an expanse and scope in terms of ambition. Everything that lines up on it here draws in the play, with the erratic points serving it well. The last track here is “”Unmasked”. There is a weighty feel to it that skirts along with a pleasant manner. The substance to it here is what stands out. A scintillating vocal sits well with the inviting feel of the rhythm to produce the goods and see the album out with a track it deserves.
- 45 -
THE DIG Tired Hearts The New York band develops a free falling sense on “Angeline”. There is romance to be found that lightly plays into the shoegazer feel of their sound. It has a subtle feel in that regard before the playing embarks on a prominent direction change from the bridge. On “How Can You Trust A Feeling” there exists a very defined expression in their sound. They embrace this and the vocals give a confided feel to it. The snappy feel from the rhythm also bristles on it with a smart showing. The next track “Permanent Night” pulls you in from the dark and rotund feel breezing through on the playing. There is a direction to it here that keeps steers it handsomely. The melancholic feel and the static are also met with considerable playing ability which defines the song cleverly. The dreamy feel of “Over You Again” replenishes the sound. There is feeling present in the way that it all slips away. The catchy side of it is also pronounced and the presence to the song shows a good mind behind how it is tracked. A charged feel from the guitar opens “Without Your Love”. It locks away a nifty groove that seems to evoke a 60s vibe that meets a shoegazer. Cleverly building on this there is a sense of magnificence to it as it all circulates here.
.......................................................................................................................... BORN CAGES The Sidelines EP The opening charges up the sound in a truly stark way. The fetching way that it is all locked in is a fine merging of indie credibility with a synth based element. There is a catchy way that it is all styled and it simmers with a large amount of finesse coming across as it runs. They then hit the ground running with the hard and rawness effectively showing on “Caiti”. The catchy hooks in the playing have a gravitas to them, and the vocals drop down on it in a way that rides up high and fast on it. The way that it all synchronises is truly eventful.
“Metaphor” follows and is another song that has a graceful feel to it as it plays. In how it is motioned there is a degree of sophistication to it. The broad feel from the chorus carries through on it and the playing backs it up by delivering a level of urgency that rises commendably on it. The synth side that their sound has is brought to bear on “Perfect Harmony”. But what is brought to the mix in equal measure is the rock side to their sound. Both elements line up with notability to deliver the goods here. The EP is closed out with “Cover My Band’s Song (intro)” and this has a grand allure to the opening that is grounded and steadily builds. As a brief interlude it whets the appetite and leaves you wanting more.
- 46 -
A goodness presents itself that the band cleverly draw upon. There is a fine cornering of them that sees the song become enriched through the strengths they play to here. The rhythm is wedged finely from the guitar and has a true hard heel to it. The next track “Sona 4” deploys a harmonica upon a very compact rhythm. There is a sterling showing to how it steps out. The tempo finely charges along here with the emphasis being on establishing a carefree feel in the sound which works well for it. With “Rocky Mountain Time” there is a timeless feel that is pressed ahead from the way that the guitar finely develops on it. There is a climb in the playing which produces a bewildered feel to it, yet also seems to somehow get it to soldier on in a particularly ragged way that is appealing. The final track here is a live recording called “Never Again Until The Next Time”. Despite the poor audio there is a lot contained in the sound that seems to display ability. The minded feel to it depicts a sharp feel with the way it flits between the grooves and the blues. It all weighs in quite well and steadily.
.......................................................................................................................... THE GULLWINGS EP (Part II)” “Liar For You” has a smooth feel to it as it takes flight. There is an abundant maturity in how vibrant the rhythm on it plays which it settles into quite admirably. The feeling that peruses from it is very approving and has something to the texture on it. There is something very much full on to “Illegitimate Child” which cruises along. The swagger that it builds brings a true touch of class. There is something moving in how “I’m Not Going”. There is a sense of solitude pouring out in the reflection in the lyrics. That then meets well with a tough styling as the urgency runs its course on the track here.
8 - 47 -
KAURNA CRONIN Pistol Eyes The vocal harmony echoes out on “Run Boy” and blissfully imparts solidarity as it tracks the tempo. It aligns alongside the cautious feel and lights up as the pace becomes more upbeat. The vocals also give it a grounded feel. Again they produce the goods with “Fearless”. A transition from folk is apparent but there is volume to the way it skips. The smart and sensible running meets a sense of careful wonderment in the arrangement. This leads the tempo in a noted way that brings the feeling to bear on it in a pleasant way. “Pistol Eyes” has a bounce to it that is steadily traced out. The lyrics necessitate properly and the pace picks up comfortably with the shallow feel. This shoots straight and the narrow feel to it is a refined trait that delightfully stokes the play. There is an impeccable pull to the scatty way “Lover Lie” that is befitting of the withdrawn feel it has. But in the withdrawn feel to it is something that is cradled specifically and that delightfully befalls it. The revered sentiment sees it all through. The harmonica adds to the bluster on “Precious Time”. Here is a track with a compact feel to it that also has a well minded and delicate feel about it. The way that the groove is met lets it slip into gear comfortably. The last track here is “Stockholm”. The longing sense of this is conveyed expertly on all fronts to this song. The sentiment floods it with warmth in the vocals and the pertinent way that everything falls away allows it to sink into the feeling of the song. The way that it the travels on the pick-up gloriously enhances the persuasion to it.
.......................................................................................................................... BAD EXCUSES Press Start The opening track here is “The Funky Song” and it puts a good foot forward. The forceful side of it is locked in. A frequency builds from this and that cleverly pans out on the sound. It is fed into it with enough to keep it ticking over. On “This Is True” a lot of the right things come up for them. There is a catchy running to the rhythm that gathers a steady pace. It really lights up when you hear it and it digs the heels in to produce that catchy beat. This sees it out and has a commendable and opportune feel to it. There is a sense of an influence of bands like RHCP to “I Don’t Know”. There is a drawl on the vocals which rises on it but it has a sense of falling short somehow. Although the delivery displays a competence that does have a lot of appeal going for it. They do pick up the lean feeling to their sound with “Cease Hate And Violence”. It lands well with the way the tempo builds around this. There is an arc locked in which does imbue it with a sense of purpose. The softer side garners on “Fifth Season”. The mopey feel off it is leaned into by a song that locks in something ambitious in the attempt. The arrangements on show are quite dependable, while the drawn out feel to it does suitably make a good attempt at what it wants to achieve. “Disorientated”. There is a neat fitting to it, but there is also a little bit too much of a light showing to the lyrics. What is well applied here is the smart way that the guitar rolls out on it. That is what brings a heft to the rhythm.
6 - 48 -
PUPPET REBELLION Chemical Friends The opening track “Chemical Friends” is a blistering tour de force when it comes to the rhythm. The hard hitting feel to it is well collected and the manner in how the vocals flow on it showcases a band blessed with an uncanny amount of ability. They fit a lot in on this track which marks them out for the right reasons. There is a loosely figured feel to “The Greatest Lie Ever Told” that fits it like a glove. In how the rhythm steps out on this one it develops something formidable. That is matched by the vocals and how they are angled into the playing. That steady feel to it also has a hard tumble to come in to bear on it quite well. The trio of tracks is completed by “The New Twenty”. The smart feel to the drumming is then met by the guitar. It is overall rather fetching and has a dandy feel that is rather appealing. The shake to the tempo is incredibly inviting and the spirited way that it all collects is incredibly felt. The consistency in the running brings a true fluidity to it all in a telling way.
.......................................................................................................................... HARDBANGER Foursome Tape This French artist embraces metal. The harsh side of opening track “neck” is immediately felt. The screamo aspects of the vocals relay on it in a way that adds something select to the feel of it all. There is a churning singularity to the guitar that breaks it down hard, but it also holds together in way that gives it a sound that merits appreciation. With “Shades Of Envy” there is a powering mobility in the tempo that has a hard keel. This links up well with the substance of it all. The result is a tune that has a hard transition but makes a crossover in sound that relays something that can be appreciated by the uninitiated. “She Says” stirs the guitar and has a clever bounce in the rhythm. This is backed up by a solid combination of bass and drum sitting upon the playing. The pressurised feel from the beat shows no strain and gathers in a way that is immensely full on, but has a careful mind to hang back when required. That is what works well on it here and the shake in the lyrics has appeal. The EP is closed off by a decent cover of JUSTICE’s “Civilization”. The immediate opening to it here carries true and there is a significant feel about how it plays that works well for it.
8 - 49 -
THE BALCONY STARS For The Pleasure This is another Liverpool band showing how alive the sound of the city is at the moment is THE BALCONY STARS. The opener here is “She’s Going Down” which has a vibrancy that unleashes in a way that sees the tension of the guitar sublimely charge through it. The pace picks up and the compacted feel about it all hangs in the air with true gusto. Everything about it works as it hits hard and fast. “Restless” is another effort that embraces a hard approach in the sound to fine effect. The way that the playing rushes across on it is cautiously delivered and gives it a pristine feeling. That dalliance in the rhythm complements it finely here. “The Butterfly Girl” angles in a strong and empowering tempo to great effect. The withdrawn sound it has keeps it all in check. In doing so it cleverly builds, with the definition to how it all comes around showing a very interesting sound that is cornered in a way that brings out the best in it. The final track here is “Two Broke Legs”. The rhythm is pushed out on the playing, yet there is something edgy retained here that is very appealing. The way that the tempo smartly peruses on it shows real heart but also an incredible array of ability. These are a very underground band, but they have something about them that marks them out as a band to watch.
.......................................................................................................................... PRETTY SILHOUETTES In The Bag We have become fans of this Liverpool band over the past few months. The pristine guitar riff whiles away on the intro to “In The Bag”, allowing the play to develop into a steady beat and a perused vocal eases across on it. The smooth qualities of it all give it a very opportune feel, then the pace picks up and the urgency is felt. The drumming is evenly checked on “Boat Acoustic”. The hard feel of it seems to embrace shoegazer in places, but the play is motioned in a way that shows real muscle. The hard roll from the tempo gives it an inventive feel that sits well with the stark qualities of it here. “Dancin’ On The Dole” follows and it lights up from the off. The way that the playing is motioned on the rhythm sits up well here. Then the vocals ease into it in a way that finely greases the wheels here. It is a very catchy affair that has a lot of coolness that clicks into gear for it here. Again a catchy riff brings in “Take You Down”. There is a controlled weight to it all that gives the impact a raw cut. The guitar is cleanly applied and lights everything up here. The bounce that the tempo produces superbly locks in something with a lot of appeal. The last track is “Take Your Chances” and it finely comes in with a true reckoning about it all. The gusto felt from the resonating guitar meets well with the free styled lyrics. It has a strong indie feel that again takes a shoegazer style and mixes it up with a good hustle being the end result.
8 - 50 -
GEMS Sinking Stone This single from the Washington band is a glorious tune that has a rich noir texture that it to truly savour. It elevates their sound into a territory that explores things in a dark way and in embracing that side of things steers their sound into a grandiose territory. The lush aspects in the sound connect well with the looming feel created from it overall. In short it is a step in the right direction from the band that takes you along for the magic ride that it is. The neatness it has is very inviting.
.......................................................................................................................... THE STONEY BROKES Counting The Days
The opening to the song characterises why this underrated band are held in such high regard by their peers. The still opening patiently builds behind the guitar. Then as it picks up there is a catchy way that it rides in that is impossible to ignore. It opens up vocally and it has a demanding feel to it as it all collects. There is a smart showing to it that is also matched by the sensible delivery and arrangement. When you hear it a comparison with bands like THE NOISETTES can easily be made.
.......................................................................................................................... LEADERS OF MEN Fear What greets you from how the drumming opens the song is then neatly gathered. The guitar develops the rhythm which then holds court admirably with the steady way that the tempo soothes. From that languid feel the lyrics come in suitably. They soothe on it, yet there is something about the vocals here that drives it on. With how it is laid out there is a conviction to be found from the fraught nature of the lyrics that is well matched to the dalliance that the playing develops in the sound.
.......................................................................................................................... JONES APOLLO Believe It
There is a deliberate feel from the guitar that is immediately felt. From there the rest of the song is stoked. That is reflected in the vocals and how they are delivered here. There is also something laid back but of noted urgency to how it sounds. The way it cleanly builds the sound is something that they very much get right here. While it is light in some places, there is enough substance to show what the band is about and capable of delivering on when asked. - 51 -
DIRTY EPICS Those Pretty Things This is a song that gets the balance about everything just right. There are displays here that could easily see it veer into pop territory, but it has something about how it plays which displays substance to match the style. It expands when the chorus comes in and as it does so they catch something vibrant which brings the substance to the fore in a particular way. It has a catchy side to it that is quite catchy, while the beat is also something they really get their teeth into it on it here.
.......................................................................................................................... WE TOWN CRIERS Weight Of Mind The first thing that is picked up on here is the way that the rhythm casually comes across. It has a catchy side and feel to it, but it also shows that there is something about how it plays that denotes more than that. From there the song has a gradual way that it builds which sees the playing nestle nicely alongside the lyrics and beat. The overall running here is cleanly done with the rhythm showcasing a very affectionate groove that is habitually formed in the song with true aplomb.
.......................................................................................................................... PIGSASPEOPLE The Art Of Leaving Your House The raw feel from the guitar here is something that the band has about their sound that is very much a key part of their identity. The skip to the sound is also reined in to complement the spiteful feel from the lyrics. The vocals have a way of leaning into the song. To the uninitiated it would appear to be pure noise and no substance, but it is more than the sum of its parts. The way it is all worked into the equation brings out the best in it and shows how good they are as a band.
.......................................................................................................................... SHE’S THE QUEEN Cold Heart/I Don’t Wanna Know
This New York duo bring something in their synth based sound that locks in a nice and neat retro tone. It harks back to a bygone error that underlines that famous quote “pop is not a dirty word”. With the vibrant way it is laid out the beat cleanly picks up it allows the simplicity in the lyrics to play in quite effectively. It is very much marked out by those points, but also has a side to it that stands up. The second track brings more to the equation from the band and is more focussed. The synth side that is more developed. By being more industrial it then embraces a contemporary new wave feel in a very efficient way.
- 52 -
DAMN TERRAN Lost This tune immediately grabs you from the off with the guitar riff. The attitude is felt from it and it has a steady way in how it runs that is highly impressive. With the vocals and lyrics locked in the way they are it clicks into gear. From there it then develops a hard and keen edge to it on all fronts. With how it is all provided for there is a lot to admire and take in. The catchy little slides to it are an effective trait that is nailed down quite well in their sound and also bring a volume that is placed neatly alongside the direction their sound heads in.
.......................................................................................................................... THE JONES RIVAL Jumpin’ Frog
This Sydney band really hit the ground running on this one. The guitar has a meandering feel that is quite descriptive, yet the careful feel that comes through on the vocals gives them a New York feel. It has an opportune slide to it that is delightfully fed through. The guitar sound is something that very much drives their sound, but the carefree way it all comes together marks them out as a band for all of the right reasons. What they come to produce here has a resilience to it that is excellent.
.......................................................................................................................... STONEFREE Broken Pictures The opening here is a sublime piece of work that is pitched quite well. The catchy aspects in the sound are conjured from a playing ability. That gives the whole feel to it something lean that takes hold fast, but also takes hold in a way that keeps it all ticking over in a very impressive way. The urgency to it all is well placed. Yet it is all threaded through with such distinction that you wouldn’t believe that they are an Irish band. That is nothing to fault them for either.
.......................................................................................................................... PARALLEL When I’m High
There is a catchy hook in the guitar on this that is quite definitive. That upbeat tempo is also reflected in the way that the lyrics come across on it. There is a formulaic way to it that is high on the catchy side. But if you go beyond that you’ll discover a track that is well mapped out and shows a sturdy feel that ticks over on it all quite well. It has a fortunate feel about that makes it an easy going track to get into without losing any of its appeal. It also has a smart running time to it all.
.......................................................................................................................... VIRGIN SOLDIERS Safer Ground
There is a tidy feel from the classical aspects in the sound. Those percussion based instruments shape the song quite finely. There are points on it that don’t hold up as well in terms from the vocal delivery, which is flat in places. However there is a good feel to it in terms of how it is constructed and arranged, with the slower feel of it coming through with a measure of contentment.
- 53 -
STONEFIELD Put Your Curse On Me A very eclectic opening immediately draws you in before the thunder of the guitar rocks your world. There is a sweet way that the angst from lead singer AMY FINDLAY cruises across on it. The sound has a ballsy swagger to it that is very charged up. It freely runs through on this and collects itself in a rather specific way. It is well figured and what it brings to the song is complemented by the choir like backing vocals in the later progression. This is a careful and considerate offering from the band.
.......................................................................................................................... GREG CLIFFORD Can’t Rain Forever
This is a strong effort, lyrically speaking, from the Dublin based musician. The song consists of vocals, guitar, bass and percussion, with all parts being tracked by Clifford himself. A tranquil, yet ominous feel is established from the offset; while the title suggests hope though despair. The reflective observations, which are very cleverly placed, hook the listener in. We have an effectively crafted song here, epitomised by the constant crescendo and build. The song culminates in an anthemic manner, with what could be called the sing-along coda. Effective use of whistling here acts as a further build and hook.
.......................................................................................................................... HEAVY SOUL The Writing’s On The Wall A very marked progression from the band in terms of sound is the first thing that is noticed here. Their indie style remains but there is also something displayed in the song writing ability. The pick up on the pace here and the manner in how it progresses shows that they are very much beginning to get their game together. It has a catchy riff banging away on it but it also has a bite to it that also shows teeth with the way it doesn’t hold back. This is the band now living up to their potential.
.......................................................................................................................... THE VICKERS She’s Lost
The way that the band embraces a slight shoegazer feel on this track is a mere flirtation. The new wave feel to it is impeccably handled and sets down a fine marker from them on the track. The bass line produces a rotund beat that sits amicably with the laid back feel to their sound. It has a distinction to it all in how fluid it all sounds when the elements of it all come together musically. They very much own this and it is a tune that is definitely worth tracking down for any aficionado.
.......................................................................................................................... THE OPEN FEEL Pushing Back The opening to this song is a blinding affair. The trippy feel captivates and it shows an apparent definition in the sound. How the arrangement is embraced also sees a degree of finesse that is controlled and gives their sound an animated reach. The rich texture is abundantly applied here and there is a stationary feel from the vocals that seduces the listener. Those haunting aspects are staunchly applied but the way the whole song moves gathers in a way demonstrating true sophistication from beginning to end.
- 54 -
CONTRIBUTORS WANTED At U&I Music Magazine we are committed to supporting music at a grass roots level.This is the core ethos of what we have built everything upon.Our magazine is growing fast. We currently have an online readership of over 40,000 monthly, which is steadily increasing We are looking for people with a genuine talent for writing and a real passion for music to join our team. This can be in the form of writing about live music, features, interviews or music reviews. As we are very receptive to the ideas our staff being involved with U&I Music Magazine presents an opportunity to have a valued input in what you are working on. These positions are on an intern basis but could lead to a possible summer position reviewing at music festivals for the right candidates
The U & I 4x4 is the editorâ€™s pick of four videos selected from our various music networks. These recommendations are then featured as a dedicated playlist on our official YouTube channel. The August 2013 4x4 consists of the following artists: (with the respective music network indicated in brackets)
The Eversons "Creepy" (New Zealand)
Turnpike Glow "Heels In Madrid" (London)
The Carnival Brothers "The Sun Is Gonna Shine" (Ireland)
Family Of The Year "St. Croix" (Los Angeles)
NEXT ISSUE: - Wildflowers - The Nameless Girl U& I Mus ic Magazine 26 K ings Inn S treet Dublin 1 Editor-In-C hief: Phillip Ó’ Baoighealláin Deputy Editor: Greg Clifford G raphic Illus trator & As s is tant Editor: Andrew Duff Live R eviews & As s is tant Editor: Mark Lynch
- Ali Ingle - Featuring X - The Carnival Brothers - The King Kong Club - The Manc Tank - Album, EP & Single Reviews
U&I G igs Photographer: Eric Cooper
- Scene & Heard
Manches ter Mus ic Scene: David Beech
- September 4x4 Interested in advertising with U&I?
August's U&I Music Magazine features In Their Thousands, Dec Greene, Greg Clifford, Corrina Jaye, Delemere, Naymedici, Album Reviews and EP...
Published on Aug 3, 2013
August's U&I Music Magazine features In Their Thousands, Dec Greene, Greg Clifford, Corrina Jaye, Delemere, Naymedici, Album Reviews and EP...