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9 SUPERBLONDES 12

THE MANC TANK

8 4 CONOR LINNE

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2MINUTES 2MIDNIGHT Plus:

Scene & Heard 14-16 Youbloom 17-20 The Cujo Family 21-22 LiveMicsWorld Launch Night 23 Ruby Sessions 24 Rachael McCormack 25-29 Dimestore Birthday Party 30-32 The King Kong Club 33-42 Album Reviews 44-53 EP Reviews 54-55 Singles 56 June 4x4


EDITORIAL The month of June was a very productive one for us. Our issue hit over 37,500 views and it really showed that the magazine is now becoming established on the Irish and international music scenes. Alongside the monthly issue we also released a special edition commemorating Beatlemania 2, which was a fundraiser we covered at the end of May. We also began to explore expanding the digital format of our magazine. That will now begin to incorporate radio format and a YouTube based project called Musique Garden. Developing a radio show dedicated to exclusively promoting the music of unsigned and independent artists from our co-op network was always part of what we had planned this year, and we are happy to announce that we have begun preliminary discussions regarding it. With the Musique Garden idea, that is also progressing nicely, we are awaiting the approval of one or two small details before we begin. We hope to have both of these projects in place by the end of the year. The other big news this month will see the co-op network of Whizkid officially come under the umbrella of U&I Music Agency Ltd. from the 11th of July. This will then give us more artistic freedom to access and make use of our music network to develop our intended music based products and services. This will have a huge benefit to everything that we are trying to accomplish. In this issue we have interviews with 2Minutes2Midnight and Superblondes. A new idea we are bringing to the magazine as a column called “Postcards From The Edge” which features an interview with The Hot Sprockets where we discuss their recent trip to London where they supported The Strypes. We have The Manc Tank, as well as live reviews from Youbloom and The DImnestore 4th Birthday party. All in all, the past 30 days have been very busy and proactive for us here at U&I and we are looking forward to the next issue.

Phillip Ó’Baoighealláin Editor-In-Chief


2Minutes2Midnight You are a band that has been together for over three years and now things are beginning to work out for you. The last six months have been extremely kind to you, but on the other hand you have also worked very hard for the success and acclaim that has come your way. How do you see everything that is happening for the band at the moment? 2M2M: Anything that we do is positives. That is all part of the portfolio that we are building as part of the bigger picture. Getting everything we can about ourselves out there to everyone….our music, sound, idealism, fashion, image….everything there is about us as a band that we can. You recently spent some time in London. That was split between playing some live gigs and also some meetings were set up with various labels. We will talk about the gigs first. You played three venues- Dublin Castle in Camden (Jun17th), Rattlesnake On Angel (June 19th) and O2 Academy in Islington. The Dublin Castle is a very well-known venue for Irish acts playing in London. There is a rich history of Irish acts, and other famous names that have played there. How did it feel to be playing at the venue and joining that list of esteemed acts? 2M2M: Humbling. It was humbling to walk out on a stage that has been preceded by so many other great acts. We were there and you are finding out that ALEX TURNER played, AMY WINEHOUSE….even SUGGS from MADNESS played there. All the Irish acts that you can think of as well. It was exciting too and we knew we were in the right place. How did the crowd react to your music? 2M2M: They loved it. It is a whole different game over there. People go out to appreciate and listen to the music. They bought into what we were trying to do and we had a fantastic night in The Rattlesnake.

Rattlesnake is a venue that not a lot of people would know about over here, but it is a very happening venue London. It is a venue growing in reputation. How did you find the crowd as a band? How did you find playing there in comparison with the other gigs you played in London? 2M2M: Now you are really putting a gun to our head. It was surreal. They were all pretty good gigs in fact. But just that night…well it all just happened for us really. It was perfect. The perfect gig for us. Everything just clicked and fell into place. Will there be other gigs planned for London in the future then? 2M2M: We have been asked back. We were asked back directly from the promoters themselves to play at other venues like the O2, Jar Music Live. That is something they are planning and they want us to come on board. So we will see in August how it is all going to come about and happen. The other side of the London trip was the meeting with people from a number of labels. How did you find the business side of the music business? 2M2M: We didn’t approach it any differently to a gig. No smokescreen or mirrors. We just went in and we were ourselves. They gave us some feedback and they were very impressed by what we had to offer them. They liked us for our music too and that was the same for each label we met. We met with EMI in the morning, then Universal at lunchtime. We met Rough Trade and Sony later on in the day. We were definitely on the radar. The A&R people were impressed. They were telling us that they laugh at some attempts but could see that we were clearly taking it seriously. We had what they expect from an artist with potential. That we had a properly produced CD as opposed to the “tapes and plastic sleeve brigade”…..honestly, they were telling us

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that people still send them actual demo tapes but that they never get listened to and go straight in the bin. How did you find the experience overall? It can be quite daunting and overwhelming. 2M2M: Grand! You can’t be shying away from it because this is what it all comes down to for us. It is inevitable…that is our attitude. The days of the 3 album deal are long gone. So it wasn’t daunting. We went in there with no fear. You have to hunt them because the old days are the long gone days now. The business side of things is based upon them wanting us so we had to sell ourselves. There are two sides – the business side and the music side. So we know which side we are good at but we want to see the business side. You have also got a good manager behind you in Mike Brough. A lot of bands find it very hard to get the right manager behind them. How did both of you come to work together with him being from Dublin and you from Dundalk? 2M2M: Mike saw us play a gig at The Grand Social. He was sold on us. What we are about. He saw the live performance. MB: What impressed me was the quality of song writing. Damien’s voice too…he has that distinct style. It is of a genre that is rare now and that is what makes the band stand out. I just knew they were a band that I wanted to manage. How important has he been in the progress and success you are now beginning to have as a band? 2M2M: We could see that his ambition matched ours. He works hard for us and does what he says he will. How do you view the band and where it is now compared to where it all started?


2M2M: We always had the same ambition. That drive is still there. The love for the music is still there. We are not a band that is happy being local. We have always been about spreading our sound. Whether we play The Mercantile in Dublin or we are playing to thousands at Glastonbury we still want to be better. You either evolve or you stand still. If you stand still you become a target for the critics. How did you view the departure of Trevor from the band? 2M2M: A shock to be honest. We didn’t see it coming. It was a blow. But it was also a personal choice and we wish all the best things for him. Obviously we wanted him to stay but it was his decision and we want to wish him all the best. In April you released your EP “How Did This Happen?” You very much got a lot of the right things into place with the launch itself. You first of all got the right venue (Spirit Store, Dundalk), but just as crucially you also got the right support acts on the night. There was a high calibre of musicians that played on the night with you. The other thing that happened that night was the playing of some new material. How did it feel to play that new material live for the first time? 2M2M: A buzz man…an absolute total buzz. For me (Fergal) I have only been in the band a year and a half. So the music was already there, but now it was something that I had had an input in that we were playing. I loved it. It sounds different. It is the evolution thing we mentioned before. With the new stuff you get some comparisons. The thing is to take our favourites together but not keep it the same. 2Minute2Midnight is who we are. That mix is what makes it all stand out. How did the whole night go?

2M2M: It was fantastic. We played at the Academty2 but having a hometown launch is always great. Plus we had come off a great 12 date tour. Anytime we play there is a great night because it is like a second home. We had everyone there…even the guys from J&J retail. Are there any other plans for other releases? 2M2M: At the moment we are firing off gigs. But there is a promo video for “Signs”. SO basically the EP is now our promo. Then we will be in doing some recording. Little overdubs on the album. Watch this space. Another thing that happened with your EP was that it went on release in Jack & Jones in Dundalk. Retail chains are now becoming outlets and selling more records-Tesco, Penney’s, etc. Do you think that is where the future of physical sales lies? Or do you think that perhaps the physical copy is something that (with the exception of vinyl) has had its day? 2M2M: Hard to say. Do people buy CDs or care anymore when it is so easy to download? But music and fashion always go together. J&J match the image with the band. There are four styles they use. Our fashion mirrors the 60s. They both go hand in hand like we said and that is the trip we are on at present. Jerry and Pat have been very good to us in Dundalk also. There have been some other gigs along the way this year. We have seen you play live in Derry and you have been frequent visitors to Dublin a lot. What other gigs do you have planned for the summer? 2M2M: We play The Sunday Roast on July 7th in The Mercantile and then on the 26th we are playing with Raglan’s and The Hot Sprockets as part of Tanglewood Festival in Warrenpoint. Then we are in The Spirit Store in Dundalk on August 3rd.

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It has been a very productive summer for the band. There was the video for “Soul Brother” which was extremely well received; in addition to it being a great tune it has an absolutely amazing video. How did the concept for the video come about?

HS: Soper wanted to do a sort of, Beastie Boys, Sabotageesque style video for it; basically a b-movie/ grindhouse/ mock music video, where we were kitted out with some fly threads, and some cool shit is goin’ down! That was basically what we started off with, so we met up with Finn Keenan to see if he’d be up for doing it and he said yes. Finn had another idea for the video where things ended up getting out of hand, arms and legs getting chopped off, over the top stuff! He wanted it to end bloody, haha. So from there we met up and amalgamated both ideas into this epic story. We wanted to start the video off by introducing each character and what they do by day, kind of like the way ‘Mask’ the 80’s cartoon use to introduce its characters. Then we just needed a bad guy, a damsel in distress, and a way of linking theM both up. After that we just had to come up with every b-movie/grindhouse tricks that we could think of, like the phone coming in from out of the screen, blowing the dust of your fist, the bird on a string, the quick zoom ins etc. etc. etc…Then it was just a matter of getting Finn to work his magic and make it look sweet, which he did amazingly! We shot the video over about two days. It all came together really fast. Finn works on his feet and he done a whopper job on the editing. It really knitted the whole thing together. Do you have any plans for any further single releases?

HS: We’re working hard on the video for our next single at the moment. We plan to shoot it soon, and release it late July/August, hopefully. We’re shooting it with Luke Sweetman, who has done a couple of videos for us before. It’s great working with Luke too, he’s an amazing cinematographer and we’re so glad he’s up for doing this next video. It’s gonna be ambitious.

That was then followed up by your London trip in May. Was getting the support slot with The Strypes at

The 100 Club the reason for the trip or were you already planning to come over before that? HS: No, we hadn’t planned on getting over to England until after we got the next album out, but we weren’t going to turn that support slot down. It was a great opportunity for us to ‘break the ice’ over in the UK. We were going to try getting some other gigs in and around that gig, but it never came to fruition. Kind of glad though, the other gigs probably would have been bogie so it was good to leave the trip on a high note. We basically got the boat over played the gig, had a few drinks and came home, ha. Deadly buzz though. Supporting a band like them is a big deal. Especially when you consider that it was in London as opposed to Dublin where it might not be considered as big a deal. How did getting that support slot with The Strypes come about? HS: We had gigged with The Strypes a couple of times up in Cavan, at the Café Sessions (Finn Keenan’s da Joe Keenan, runs the Café Sessions with his friend Niall, who manages The Strypes). There was a mutual respect for what each other’s band was doing; both bands would have a lot of the same influences. We dug what they were playing and they dug what we were playing. So when things started picking up for them and they got their own headliner at The 100 Club, I think they just wanted to hook us brothers up. They’re a sweet band, and ye couldn’t meet a nicer bunch of lads. They didn’t have to give us that support slot, but they did, and I have muchos respect for them for giving us that opportunity. The 100 Club itself is a venue that is steeped in a rich history. If you go and look through all the names that have come through the doors and graced that stage over the years…it is impressive. How did it feel to know you were going to be playing at that famous venue? HS: It was great. It didn’t hit us that much until we got there and saw all the photos on the wall. Photos taken the night each band played there… Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Otis

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your gigs. What other festivals/gigs will people be able to see the Hot Sprockets play live at?

There is a good perception towards Irish bands whenever they play gigs in London. How did the crowd take to seeing you play live?

What else do you have in the pipeline?

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Span, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who, The Bluesbreakers, Sex Pistols, The Clash, Oasis, The Libertines, and they’re just the ones off the top of my head. The list goes on and on. There are photos everywhere. Everyone has played there; I even think I saw a photo of the Hassle Merchants rippin’ it up!

HS: Yeah they took to us really well, fortunately. It took them a song or two to loosen up, which is understandable seeing as it was only half 8 on a Tuesday. By the end of the set though the people were really loving it. We sold a load of cd’s and stuff, it was great.

HS: There is a load of festivals on the way, all over Ireland. If ye go to our website, all the gigs are there on the main page.

HS: We have two videos in the pipeline to coincide with our next releases and then the next thing is to get the 2nd album out. Can’t wait, it sounds whopper!

You guys have played abroad before a fair bit. The Isle of Man last summer was something that you did. The old adage is that a gig is a gig, but does playing abroad hold more appeal to you as a band? HS: A gig is a gig, but gigging is something we love doing. Every gig we do, we put the same amount of heart into it, just some of them you might get a bit more nervous beforehand. The Irish music scene at the moment is thriving; there’s an influx of some really awesome bands, and it’s great to be part of it, but it’s an honour to be given the chance to play abroad. It’s something you only dream of when you start a band. So to be given the chance and to be received well really boosts your confidence as a band. There’s nothing better than hittin’ the road.

Are there any other future gigs planned for abroad? HS: Not as of yet, but we plan on hitting up some other countries after the release of the next album.

As we said it has been a very productive summer for The Hot Sprockets. You have already played Life Festival, Forbidden Fruit, The Wellington Weekender and the Radio Nova Listener’s Party. People always have good things to say after being at one of

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“Astray” is out now and was reviewed in the April issue of U&I Music Magazine.

CONOR LINNIE

You are getting a serious reputation as one of the main solo artists to be checking out on the unsigned circuit for 2013. We have managed to see you play live and we have had the pleasure of checking out your album “Astray”. It would be safe to say that we are big fans of you here in our office. When did you first begin to take a serious interest in music?

CL: I would say my style is more folk based rather than blues, although there is a blues element in some of the tunes. There are definitely a lot of great blues musicians in Dublin at the moment.

CL: I first began playing guitar and singing at about 15. I joined a punk band that three of my best friends had started and it was great fun. We were influenced by The Clash and Stiff Little Fingers. We became part of the DIY scene in Greystones that has given rise to so many great bands now such as Heathers and Enemies.

CL: I have a full band that I play with for bigger gigs and festivals which is great, while I usually play solo sets for the more intimate venues. Playing music with other people is always more exciting than going solo though I think.

Who were the influences on you growing up? CL: My dad got me into Queen and Neil Young when I was younger. I still remember the first time we listened to “Harvest” on his old vinyl player. Then as a teenager I got really into punk music and bands like The Clash. A few years ago I got into people like Bob Dylan, Nick Drake and John Martyn in a big way. Was there a particular “WOW” moment for you in music that drew you to the blues/ Americana style you have or was it something you were always drawn to? If there was a “WOW” moment was it a particular band/artist/album that created the defining moment? What was it about it that opened your eyes and changed everything for you?

Have you always been a solo artist or did you play in bands before?

The album “Astray” is an excellent piece of work. Every track on it is well crafted. How long were you working on the album itself? CL: Thanks a million, I wrote the whole thing in about 6 months, it all came quite smoothly. Do you have any immediate plans to follow it up? CL: I plan to release a small follow up in early spring 2014. I already have a few new songs that I’m really excited about. When it comes to performing you seem to always be consistently gigging or performing. You always seem to be in your element when you are playing live. Do you have any particular venues that you always like playing more so than others and what would be the reason (s)?

another in terms of being about the music, but also put something of an interesting comparison when you put them side by side that is interesting to see. CL: Yes they’re both great festivals and the people who run them are so cool. The independent ethos of both festivals is key to their unique atmospheres. I can’t wait to play them both. Are there any other appearances scheduled for you over the summer on the festival circuit? Would you have a preference to playing a smaller, more intimate gig or the larger crowds at festivals? CL: I’ve got a good few gigs scheduled for the next few months which is always great. They can be found on my breakingtunes page or on my official website www.conorlinnie.com. Another interesting live gig you took place in was the Coast To Coast: Tea And Toast earlier in the year. Tell us how that came about and what you made of it. CL: That was great. We played on the shores of Blessington Lake with mountains covered in snow behind us. It was freezing! I really enjoyed the experience though. I’ve gotten some nice support from Goldenplec which has been great. They got in touch with me to play and I was delighted to do so. Are there any other artists that you would like to work alongside – be that an established name or other artists on the unsigned circuit?

CL: I would say it was a combination of various moments…not all musical. I was reading a lot of great American literature at the time such as Whitman and Melville while listening to a lot of Dylan and people who draw from roots style music such as Tallest Man on Earth, Nick Drake and John Martyn.

CL: Thanks, I love venues like the Workman’s Club and The Grand Social in particular. You always get a nice sound there and the crowd are usually quite attentive. Sweeney’s is another great venue to play with the band because the atmosphere there is always electric.

Where would you like to see yourself five years from now?

Do you see the blues as being a genre of music that seems to be in vogue at the moment?

This year you will be playing Knockanstockan. That will then be followed by an appearance at the Rhythm And Roots Festival. They would be two festivals that appear to be a good complement to one

CL: Hopefully with a few more albums under my belt and a sense that the music has progressed. I would love to organise more international gigs too and get my music out to as many people as possible.

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CL: I’m always on the look out for new artists to play with, although I’m so fortunate to have a wonderful band.


‘Playing live is very important for us, we love it. That's what it’s all about. To get an idea of how a band really sounds you need to see them live. Recordings are important, but they can only convey so much’.

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How did the band come together? SB: The band started with Eoin and our friend Lory getting together to just make simple demos on a keyboard. We were very basic at the time…just keys and vocals. The band eventually built and developed from there, converting the demos into a full band sound. We actually have the demo track of "Kill Some Time" included on the hard copy of the single. It’s a pretty big transformation. How did the band get the name? SB: I guess Eoin just liked it. It doesn't mean anything or represent anything. They just needed a name to put on the demos. We have seen you play live and your stage presence is very raw and has a very distinct New York sound. We have drawn comparisons to your live shows and sound with bands such as The Strokes and New York Dolls. That is something that is fairly evident on your self-titled EP that you released last year. Who were the bands that influenced you all growing up? SB: For me (Calvin) it was mostly 80's rock and metal, but the guys were into QOTSA, The Cars, NIN and Joy Division.

The single that you released in February “Kill Some Time” was a year after that. Do you have plans for any other releases? SB: We have another single mastered and ready for release at some stage over the next few months. We're not sure when yet.

SB: Yeah, it was definitely a compliment! It was unexpected and great to see, because it’s often hard to know where exactly you stand in terms of recognition. We were happy with just that alone. Winning it didn’t really matter to us, we knew we wouldn't.

SB: Indeed! This summer we start recording our debut album. It’s about time and we can’t wait to get the ball rolling.

With the rise of social networking these types of competitions seem to be “10-a-penny”. Some people see them as a good thing, whereas other people tend to view them as something that alienates a band’s following. What are your own personal opinions of competitions that require fans to vote for you as opposed to voting for you based on your music?

The Minutes are a band that you follow quite closely. They opened their own studio in November. Would that be an ambition that you would have as a band?

SB: These competitions are just based on who has the most friends, so winning it doesn’t really mean anything anyway. It would have been great to have been on the cover of Hot Press though. But that will all come in time.

SB: That would be fun, yeah! It would be a great way of making friends and getting to know others in the scene, but realistically not for a long time. It would take away from time better spent pushing ourselves. We have a lot of work to do yet and a long way to go.

As a band you do tour and gig quite extensively. In terms of what your sound is all about from the loud and edgier style, it seems you find your element in that regard when you take to the stage. Last year you also played The Ruby Sessions. How did you find the experience of playing that as opposed to your more full on sound?

Are there any other recordings in the pipeline that we can look forward to in the future?

What other ambitions do you also have as a band?

How much of their music is reflected in your own do you think?

SB: Everything is one step at a time, but establishing ourselves internationally is an ambition we all share at the moment. In the long run, being in a position to inspire other musicians would be the icing on the cake.

SB: Guitar and synth wise, influences do show through. We have been compared to the Strokes a lot. It’s not intentional, and I myself haven’t ever listened to them. Our sound is developing more as we go along so hopefully we can shake that comparison eventually!

This year you were shortlisted for the Hot Press Big Break competition. In terms of the recognition by Hot Press that must have come as a compliment. What did you make of the whole process overall?

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SB: The Ruby Sessions was quite fun. We're comfortable with acoustic sets and have done many before, but maybe not in such a quiet setting. Needless to say, the audience there is great and they really listen. We enjoyed our set, and we got some nice feedback afterwards. We'd like to get back there sometime. You have also played a great deal of the college circuit over the last 12 months or so. Some


people say that they get different things from performing live. On the one hand they get the thrill or something out of it from being a performer, whereas others also get something out of it from being an artist. How important is it for you as a band to be gigging and playing to a live crowd? SB: Playing live is very important for us, we love it. That's what it’s all about. To get an idea of how a band really sounds you need to see them live. Recordings are important, but they can only convey so much. You don't get to see the energy, musicianship, stage presence, personality, and how each song is really meant to sound. Recordings can't match feeling the rumble of the bass, or the kick drum in your chest. What do you think you get out of it the most? SB: Pleasure. It's what we want to do in life. And we're there doing it. Every gig is another step further in our career. The friends you make, characters you meet, more doors opening, the good gigs, the bad gigs. We learn something every step of the way, but at the end of the day, it’s all about having fun. You have also done your fair share of radio over the last year and a half. Some artists view radio shows as somewhat restrictive performance wise – be that space constraints in the studio, or time constraints because of the running time etc. Do you feel that radio restricts you as a performer in any way? SB: We don’t mind radio shows at all! We do stripped back songs on air, just like they would be in the demos. There’s plenty of space for keyboards. They don’t even need to be good. We're rocking a crappy Casio or two. A nice simple synth, basic drums and vocal track will be more aurally pleasing than us trying to cram every instrument into the studio. It’s a fun experience and that live sound is what it’s all about. Needless to say, playing keyboard versions of our songs when space is restricted is pretty satisfying, and we don’t feel like the songs are compromised. They work great both ways! You can’t beat performing live, but we've nothing bad to say about playing on air. We've had the opportunity to play fully electric on air twice, with Paul McLoone and Dan Hegarty What lies ahead for the band now during and after the summer? SB: We have been, and are currently hard at work on a gig with Gerry Fish, Paul Walsh, Gavin Glass and Cat Dowling for the Junction festival in Clonmel on the 6th of July. It’s been a big undertaking, so once that's over a little breather is in order and we'll be back to business. Writing is a priority. As well as recording and organising our next tour for our next single. The remainder of the year should be pretty action packed, and we can't wait.

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THE MANC TANK The best of the unsigned Manchester music scene

The Ninth Watch

Formed in 2011, the band have harnessed and tamed whatever musical energy it is that runs through the city, soothing it's erratic and rambunctious nature until they could bend and manipulate it to a styling of their own accord. Not a band to be ensnared by the confines of genre, vocalist Stephen Ahern and his cohort of Manc every-men can go from swooning and melodic to raw and guttural with seemingly no effort what so ever, suggesting a maturity and a sense of longevity from a band who will hopefully fill their new-found position for a long while to come. This maturity is best exhibited in songs such as 'The Optimist' a swooning and self-explanatory track that's destined for bigger audiences and bigger stages than those of Manchester's back-street dives. Ahern's vocals glide effortlessly over melodic instrumentation in a manner evocative of Coldplay, securing the track

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It seems every city in England has their own flag ship band that not only perpetuates what it is that their city is about, but assimilates their city's musical heritage and makes it their own. Coventry has The Enemy, Leicester Kasabian, and Manchester? Manchester had The Courteeners, but let's face it, while their music was quintessentially Manchester, the pomp they put out now is more Broadway than Mancunian Way, inevitably leaving a space that a multitude of bands have clamoured for. The fact of the matter is, only one band could fill the pointy-toed and stacked-heel boots left behind by Liam Fray et all. Enter, The Ninth Watch.

as a favourite for radio-play. Conversely, 'Concrete Boots' brings proceedings crashing back to reality and is indicative of Patron Saint of Manchester, one Ian Brown. While both the aforementioned easily assert The Ninth Watch as a young band of Manchester upstarts worth getting excited about, it's tracks like single 'Forever is A Long Time' that affords them their claim to their spot in the city's legacy. Starting with an understated drum and bass combo the track soon sees itself becoming a fully realised and incredibly well-structured song, complete with string-section that will no doubt once again appeal to fans of The Stone Roses or The Verve. It's clear that Manchester is a city with a wealth of musical talent just waiting to be plucked from anonymity and guided rather than thrust in to the metaphorical arms of indie stardom. The Ninth Watch are one such band. Time and time again they prove they're not just one trick ponies. They wear their influences proudly: Elbow, The Stone Roses, Doves, they're all there. Though always underpinning, never overbearing, allowing The Ninth Watch to reap the benefits of their sound but never once coming off as contrived, or carbon copies. Expect big things from this band. Expect them soon.

Photos by Jonathan Garnett of JG Brand Design.

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TNW: Well we’re been cherry picking gigs lately so we can concentrate more on writing and recording some new tunes which we hope to have boxed off by the end of summer. We supported ‘All the Young’ on their UK tour when they played at Indiependence in Wigan, we also played at Mattfest and last weekend we were main support at Cadence festival which was top. 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? TNW: I think it’s the number of icons with Mancunian roots, whether its fashion, music, football or industry Manchester’s got it and every iconographically aware person knows it. It always seems like the rest of the country is trying to catch us up. You must have played with a number of local bands since you started gigging, any that you'd particularly like to mention or recommend? TNW: Yeah we’ve had some cracking gigs with another local band called ‘Stolen Haven’, we got on with them dead well and we’re into their music too. Your Facebook page is littered with pictures and status' that suggest you're a band that don't take yourselves too seriously. Do you think it's important to establish a balance between the serious and the light-hearted when playing in a band, it can't all be groupies and Jager shots right?

TNW: Well we take our music very seriously, but there’s nothing worse than a bunch of ‘johnnycome-latelys’ with their heads stuck firmly up their own arses going on social media everyday begging people to like their band or buy their demo or come to gigs. If your music’s good enough people will be into it and into your band. We see our gigs as a good night out with mates and fans we’ve acquired along the way.

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Hi guys, to kick things off, I was lucky enough to feature you on my personal blog several months back with both a single review (Forever is A Long Time) and an 'EP review' of sorts. What's been happening over at The Ninth Watch camp since then?

Manchester's a city that's full of venues, from the tiny-capacity dives of the Northern Quarter to the hugely corporate M.E.N Arena, which is the best to play at from a band's perspective and why?

TNW: We think that Manchester Academy is the best venue, the main room. Its still got that intimacy you need to create an atmosphere but at the same time its got a big capacity. We’re lucky enough to have played at the Academy, not many bands can say that. Last month you played Mattfest which resulted in a friend/fan breaking a rib. How did that come about? TNW: We usually finish our set with ‘Concrete Boots’ as it tends to really get the crowd going. A few people tried crowd surfing towards the end and I guess he didn’t quite get the support he needed. The next thing we knew he was on the stage with a cracked rib. We’ve actually gotten to know this guy quite well over the last year he comes to all our gigs so fair play to him. You think he would have known better though ‘cos he broke a collar bone doing something similar not long ago. You must have had your fair share of free beer at the gigs you've played, what would be in your ideal rider?

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TNW: For me it would be a comedian to kill that time between sound check and gig. Someone like that Welsh guy, what’s he called, Rhod Gilbert? Oh, and Ian wants a Dodo egg!

You're involved with The Online Festival with a healthy amount of other local talent. Do you want to elaborate on just exactly what that's about? TNW: Yeah it’s a great collaboration of unsigned bands from around the UK. We headlined their first ever Manchester gig at Dry Bar and it went down a storm. We’d definitely be up for working with them again. It’s got a large social media presence and is great for linking up bands from around the country. There's a kind of guttural romance to Manchester that lends itself so well to the bands that it produces but what do you think it is about the city that has such an established cultural appeal? TNW: Manchester seems to have been leading the way for years now, like I said before whether it’s football, industry, music fashion Manchester’s got it, and when you tell people that your in a band and from Manchester they expect things from you. The bench marks set pretty high and you want to live up to it without being a cliché. I think people from Manchester generally have a sense of pride and confidence that others simply don’t have. Finally, any forthcoming live dates, EP/single releases or other news you'd like to let us know about? TNW: We’re still finishing off some tunes at the moment, but we are playing at the One day/One love festival in Castlefield, Manchester on 27th July. We’re also up for playing at any of the decent venues Manchester has to offer.


SCENE & HEARD KIIRSTIN MARILYN

@ The Twisted Pepper (June 29th) We caught this American singer in The Twisted Pepper as part of the Youbloom festival this year. Here set was one that was full of animated traits and with “Waking You Up” her set here sits up. The synth is something that brings a noir feel to her sound. On those terms it makes for an intriguing and interesting delivery here. It has a tantalising grip on everything musically and her live performance is the making of it all. The change in tone is felt from how the guitar echoes across on “For Peace”. The other thing that works well is the manner in how her voice finds a comfort in the delivery. With that in mind it portrays a desirable characteristic that positions itself in the play admirably. The third track in her set was “Grim”. It doesn’t necessarily adhere to any specific formula. There is a withdrawn feel about it and she takes to the stage in a way that sees her lose herself in the music on this. In terms of her ability as a performer, things are nicely marked out with the way her voice draws the attention towards her and keeps you immersed for the duration. After that comes “A Million Dollars” and sees her revert to a song built around a synth score. There is a lot

that is put right here though. There is a skip that closes in on these retro points, while there is a comfortable feel about the way the lyrics go about everything. It is very active and the final track from her “Radioactive” backs everything cleverly. The sound has a personal loom with the raw quality in her vocals. The abandonment is traced in the live aspects and she embraces this in a way that comes clean and develops a presence in doing so.

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@ The Grand Social (June 30th)

“Don’t Mistake It For Love” shows why this band are here at Youbloom. This song focuses their playing and aims high. The tempo has a competent build and it steps out with everything showing well for it. The next song in their set was “Only When You Feel It”. What they manage to do in the playing is control it and allow the momentum to build. The way that the song hits hard has a blitz like quality about it. It is a fine call from the band because it sees them land a lot of the right things in doing so. “All The Way” is a truly solid piece of work. The cut to it is exemplary and how it pushes the rhythm out gives it a very well defined presence. They trade on this ever so well, but there is no resting on their laurels either. They very much set out their stall and show the intention that they have as a band by letting their music do the talking. The next sing from them is called “Fire” and it lives up to the name in that they show a lot of bite. There is something formidable in how the guitar cuts across, yet with the bass and drum it finds the body it needs. The harsh aspects in the sound are tempered well and they show how mean they can be with how they drop them into the playing. A BAND OF SKULLS cover came after. Their version of “I Know What I Am” matches the authority of the original. It is a tight version here that shoots from the hip with style. They then closed with “Don’t Let”. A rawness surges through in the pace that defines the feel here. The clean cut it has latches onto something in the lyrics that spirits it along. That rides in on the playing in a tantalising way.

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PARADE OF THE ALMOST @ The Grand Social (June 30th)

“I’m All Yours” gradually builds in from the intro. A reckoning is felt from the pace and there is a dark whip to the sound that is striking. The heavy aspects are very good in the way they are handled and they develop an edge from how forceful they feel. The synth is a strong quality on “Scorpio”, while the bass is another apt turn. There is the depth in the rhythm and that leads to a solemn texture forming as it picks up. The deep bass and synth sound holds up well and the guitar is able to drop behind that with relatively good composure. They then launch into a cover of “Cry Me A River” which is exacted with a polished feel to it. The whip on the sound to “K.M.T.” is something you can like and get behind. There is a bass driving it, but what stands out more is the candid vocal delivery. This perks up the live showing somewhat. It stands out all the more when compared with the hard concentration of the music here. A second cover found its way into their set. This time out it was “I Hate To Say I Told You So” by THE WHITE STRIPES. They are able to lock down the pace. In doing so they find a committed showing that calls the shots nicely. After that comes “Take It Away”. It is a song with a glorious guitar taking in the tracking as the synth brings a new wave stamp. The thunderous way it I s banged out has little regard and that is what gives the live delivery the impact.

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@ The Grand Social (June 30th)

We organised a gig for this band in New York back in March and the reports we got back from their set were excellent. Tonight we saw them play live and really make the most of their playing time. They play nine tracks inside a half hour allocation. That mean feat began with “Your Condition” and it hits you with the right amount of force that immediately turns you on to the band. There is a tidy bounce matched by the urgency that picks up on the guitar and drumming. The second song in the set here was “You’re Trying Too Hard”. It is a might appetising affair that lays down a marker. This is done through the rhythm and tempo. Everything on it has a lot to say. “Old Park Road” brings forth something glorious and soulful. That it tracks it well is one thing, but how it opens meets something that then packs a punch. The lyrical structure cleanly shows and it necessitates everything as it should be. Menace falls out on the tone to “Send In The Jackals” and it has a straight feel about it. The arcs are caught just right on it. The lyrics bring out a lot in the metaphors that carry a lot of weight. Then “Slow Boat To China” shows how good they are. This plays like a dream in how the playing picks up. The tightness forms and it retains the taut aspects in the consistent and fluid showing. This is also well angled in the song. As “The Wolf” gets going it hits you with the WOW! Factor. They really hit the ground running and it hits like a good left hook. They revel in the moment and the guitar follows a good command as it is guided in to the playing in a telling way. The delivery of the vocals matches this. There is a laid back and comfortable run to “I Shot You Down”. The noted playing ability also displays substance. With that in mind, there is a distinction to the essence that is marked out by a hard feel and fraught tone that is developed with specificity. Again the conviction of the band shows through on “Let’s Start A War”. There is a dangerous dynamic at work as the guitar and bass pound the beat, whole the drumming fires it up. You really see the hunger in the band and this defines them. “Rabbit Run” brings a close to a stellar set. The anthem feel to it is carried off with the electrifying way it is so full on. They blaze a trail here that has a chagrin styling to it as much as it boxes clever.

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KNOTS

@ The Workman’s Club (June 30th) The hardy rhythm serves “Smiley Face” quite well and gives it a movement that shows and also merits attention. It might be the first song in the set here but the conviction in the live showing is there to be seen. It is also a song that can be warmed to because it is styled in an appreciative manner. The raw aspects are focussed on more with “Stray”. The sultry way to it formulates in an able bodied way. It has a rich grunge feel and is also another big number high on appeal. The surge in the vocals on “What Do You Know?” develop a pique that is suits the playing when the two meet. There is something stirring in this that creates a high impact. A lot of urgency shows. The rhythm guitar has a countenance that is very effective when it gets up alongside the catchy hook in the sound. “Falling” then sees frontman BOTHAM VALENTINO embrace the crowd. The soft and safe feel of the song plays across. With that cushioned feel the presence and movement is also there to be appreciated. On “Hijack” the playing meets good form. It is one of those big songs that are well-tracked and the outline is apparent. Kit also moves in a way that retains the compact aspects whole giving rise to allow for good mobility in how it comes across. With a bluster from the off comes “Flashback”. It has a lot of lean character in how it sounds, while also having the pace to match. The alignment of the harder points gives it a bite, while the drive to it has a good plus point coming through.

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@ The Workman’s Club (June 30th)

A very swift push on the pace shows for “Light In Sound” and this is what gives the rhythm a presence. That is carried across with a defined sense and composure. They turn that all on in a big way that has an interesting line at work in the playing. The specificity shows on “Panic Avenue” and it does so with abundance. There is a concentration to it in that regard that gets absorbed in the delivery. The committed showing from the playing further helps. This is what makes it all work for the structure and arrangement. On “Get Set Go” the guitar resonating makes it showy. The bass/drum also makes it sound all the more inviting. The bridge is well delivered. A glide from the guitar is well pitched and sits appropriately alongside the well weathered feel about it all. They develop the playing in terms of generating the urgency to “On + On”. This is directed well. The movement produced on the pace delves into the upbeat in a very impressive way. A slight PIXIES feel makes itself felt on “Alone”. The tune itself is very tidy and descriptive. There is a grand feel about how it sounds. The reach it has is supported by the expansive showing that is motioned in a concise way. Overall it produces a solid display and steers the playing nicely for current single “She Said”. The drumming is what whops it into shape. The bass running through it ruins it a close second. With the synth coming into the play what envelops the song is a fine body of music that it makes the most of. The last sing in their set list here is “Fish Out Of Water”. It gets straight down to business off the back of that forceful showing. The brass tacks side of it see it all clock in as a solid tune with a smart hold. The good connection to all the playing points allows the synth to be felt, but also the rock side. In short a balance is brought into the equation that is needed.

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THE CUJO FAMILY “Stories Of Ruin” Album Launch (The Sugar Club, June 29th 2013)

SCENE & HEARD

The harmonica is a nice application that shapes his opening song “Don’t Let It Be You”. There is a heavy feel from the acoustic that shows real weight with how it brings the pace to bear. There is a good lift that is shaken up by the vocals. The composure in his set executes well in next song “Payday” also puts on a good front that MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT would be proud of. It makes the performance clean and ample. From there comes a song called “Blind Is Blind” which has a strong NEIL YOUNG feel about it. The supple beat is something that cosies up well and the vocals hand in a way that gives it a suitable demeanour. It also develops in a rich vein. “Ruined” defines the lyrics and his is what has such a good bearing on the song. His voice soothes across and the song develops alongside the full way it travels. It is quite sweet and delicate in how it sounds. The way his voice is threaded through on “Grinning In Your Face” has a hard showing in spite of the a capello way it is delivered. The interesting contrast is there to be found in the way he develops it. What also occurs is a comparison is made to the NINA SIMONE classic “I’m Feeling Good”. There is a steady show to the rhythm on “Your Belly Not Mine” and it conveys a harsh blues sentiment. It kicks off with a touch of strength that is a worthy effort in terms of how it is chased down. A cover of the LEONARD COHEN classic “Bird On A Wire” expresses a candid feel that hooks you with how it is played.

DYLAN WALSHE

Another cover version followed with “Ted”. This time around it was a WILL SLATTERY of THE CUJO FAMILY who was treated to a little hero worship. There is a very partial feel to this one that is pushed out by the way the song progresses. The solemn tone works well and the performance was rather favourable. So much so that Mr. Slattery immediately shook his hand straight after. The fired up playing on “Cut It Down” has a kick that instils and urgency that has a very forward projection. That touch of finesse keeps it all going well and it is striking and catchy as it is rolled out. On “Hill Of Light” there is a real splendour felt as it builds. That is marked out by the keel that provides it with a real heft. The crisp hold that is developed shows good movement at work. What is produced is able bodied and well tracked. While again the harmonica is a subtle touch, as if to somehow sign off with as steady a final song as he did an opening one.

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THE ESKIES

We always admire this band every time we see them live and tonight wasn’t any different. Their set immediately got underway with the dandy “Heave Away”. There are strokes in the playing that meet well with a lush quality that saturates their style very well. This allows them to connect with their audience. They also bought something with a real bounce to it in “Wild, Wild, Wild” that really supported the delivery. The forceful nature rides in on it and the impressive beat is what gives the song heart. On “Eloise” there is again some distinction locked in from the bass. The mandolin neatly cradles the rhythm. It has something sultry as it gets going that is unleashed in a way that keeps the resilient side of it in check. There is a steep cut to “Down By The River”, but it also has a merry skip to it that comes to pass in a very favourable way. It also brings a high octane delivery to the night’s proceedings. It is hot stuff and it was then followed up by “Who’s Crying Now”. This is a song that gathers momentum from the off and is carried off strongly. The body holds everything in with a taut feel to the play that cleverly runs. The vocals are angled in with real aplomb and give it real presence. With “Chin Up ack2 there is a diligence in the quirky way it opens that is sweet and evenly managed. While fluid it still retains a forlorn aspect in the delivery that accentuates to give it character. There is also an elegant roll to be seen in how it is shaped. As they get going on “Tear Along The Line” you notice how

impressive it is as it takes flight. The polka and eastern European influence comes to bear on it well. It is apparent and they cover this one with a wild abandon that has a haughty feel in the vitality on show. That is very catchy is an added bonus. “Mama Never Told Me” immediately hooks you because it is catchy as hell. How it climbs and rises is staggering and shows a real imagination at work. There is a lot to like and the full bodied tempo is excellent from start to finish. A song with a shanty quality is how best to describe “Down, Down, Down” because the mood very much develops from the polka. The good gypsy arcs are threaded through. They are what give it a divine flow that catches what it needs to drive the song. It has that pristine quality in spades. Some CLANCY BROTHERS came into the equation with a version of “Haul Away Joe”. While it is sung a capello it sees the band put some heart into the performance. After that a song with a jovial feel followed with “When The Storm Came”. That comes to be something that surrounds the playing. A gravitas builds in a telling way and it becomes all the more formidable for it. With “Fever” they get some free reign and produce something shapely. The rotund feel is exquisite and feels out the song. That good bearing is what charges it up and cranks up the folk style here. From that well played number comes “Jailhouse Sun” which closed their set. The importance of everything is effectively measured. A hard sense opens it but with the rich texture in the playing the southern telling about how it is styled is brought to book.

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THE CUJO FAMILY

There is something that is noticeable now from THE CUJO FAMILY at their live shows that wasn’t as evident three years ago. That is how they have matured in terms of being a live band. They were always good live but now they seem to have honed it to the nth degree and their shows are a lot tighter. That is apparent on “Let Your Feelings Grow” as it cleanly comes together to show the obvious ambition of their song writing now. The direction of it is managed and in the background all of the play is narrowed with the progression. Without skipping a beat they played “Dog Gone Crazy” and the conviction is etched into it. The vocals have a stark reach and the band gel on it. The organ is something that shows well on their sound as much as how they have progressed on this album. “Hours Of The Wake” is an oldie and it shows the band doing what they do best – tearing it up with a raucous tune. Here it is done in the delivery which boasts some excellent precision as it charges into it. The next song is “Cage Rattler” and this moves with a degree of class. The slow rise in the how it is arranged gives it a graceful feel while the live delivery puts it about well. It is fanciful and proves to be more than just a good song. Then they electrify their set with “Fool I’ve Been”. They collect it with such an importance that the raw conviction rooted in the delivery is there to mark the band out for the right reasons. As they play “Water Into Wine” you sense the goodness that is dragged across. It also draws it out finely. On the one hand it is a defined folk song, yet on the other it is a sublime and accomplished tune that is so much more. One of the standout tracks

on the album and it proves to be just so when performed live. This loses nothing in the live showing and there is a gloss about how it is steered. This is what sees it slip into its element when played. They find their bearings well on “Green Trees” as the sorrowful tone is applied. That token feel to the solemn nature is an aspect concentrated and able to give the song distinction. Another song with a great deal going for it is “North Of The Knowing”. The forthright feel is enhanced by a blinding factoring into the playing from the organ and drumming as separate characteristics in their own right. They are a big plus to it here. They then define their older sound with “Sleep Lemonade”. This track that was a surprise omission from the album, but it is one that is still very much a signature tine of the band. The bluegrass texture it has is something that they are able to draw strength from. Here they direct it in the live delivery quite well.They then work the crowd with “Half Of Bray”. It is at this moment that you see how much of an understanding they now have for the liver performance side of their shows. There is an impressive lift on show that very much matches the richness and volume about it. That same motioning from the band is repeated with “Patti Girl”. The shake to this one is very much the real deal and it savours the running quite well. Then their set takes on a sense of the slow with “Hooey Moses” first setting things up in that regard. Here the sophisticated style is something that elegantly moves and it forms something

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goes for “Shoplifting In Tescos” and they drive into it without skipping a beat. The ska/reggae style it has cleanly pulls through. This is a tune which has amazing qualities and vibrancy about it on many fronts. On “Bray Head Hotel” the maturity in the performance of the band shows again. This is another older track that was omitted from the final track listing. As opposed to the fired up way it used to be played it is instead given more emphasis in developing musically. It loses nothing in the process or approach here. “Paris, The Hate In My Heart” displays something that very much brings a comparison to THE POGUES in the way it flies. The folk side of it is fondly given an attentive measurement, yet the roll to it is something that has a true kick to it all. That abundant rhythm develops something volatile, yet it concentrates in a way that sees the tenacity carry through on it with a very good showing. They then build up “You Choked” and that brings an organic sense about it that fires things up. It combines things cleverly and shows a resilient factor in how it develops a light nature that captures the rhythm’s essence with the utmost diligence. You could sing the praises of the delivery here all day. A brand new song followed with “Death Ray”. A mariachi movement is sensed from what is on show and that leads into something with a Tex-Mex feel in a way. It is very captivating and it sees the band raise their game. This is a progressive tune that shows a rich roadhouse influence that makes you take note of the band. It is also very much an American sounding affair. The last track on the night was “God In A Tree”. This is one of their best songs and that it is saved until the end of the night makes this gig all the more important. How the playing is articulated is wonderful and plays to the soulful elements of the song. The performance is excellent and while it shoots straight with the organ applied in the playing, here they add a harmonica into the mix which puts a slight pep in their step. A night to remember most definitely from this gig it must be said. Big things must surely lie ahead for this band. something impressive in the sound. The natural sway that it has sits well with the sheltered lyrics and they are mustered well here. The organ brings “Mountain Song” to fruition and makes it sound pristine as it channels through. The sentiment washes over on it in a timely way and in doing so circles the music. While the soulful vocals pour into it and develop a yearning quality that figures well on it. A sweeping little number follows next with “Alonzaina”. There is very much going on and that dynamic works in how it is arranged musically. The rich folk sentiment offers plenty of style but it also has the substance to back it up. Here there is a lot offered and delivered from the band. “Sign On” pours out and is very effective in how it finds a vocation in doing so. The consistency presses ahead and that consistency is well measured here. There is something in how it languishes with the deep vocal tone showing how tight they are when they let their music do the talking for them. Again things are slowed right down with “One Bright Morning” but it also has a beautiful melody that marries to the playing. It blissfully plays, while there is something watchful and collected that draws a comparison with DIRE STRAITS somewhat. From there they go back to doing what they do best- showing how original they are as a band and their mean ability to produce songs that stir a crowd. Stepping up to the plate next was “Where The Blue Flowers Grow”. This is a big tune from the band that they revel in and it is impossible to ever imagine it being sung by anyone else. This is a song that they very much own from start to finish. Likewise the same

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LiveMicsWorld Launch Night The Stables, Mullingar June 28th 2013

CRAFTY FUZZ Our commitment to unsigned music took us to Derry in May, and this month our travels took us to Mullingar for the launch night of LiveMicsWorld at The Stables, Mullingar. The venue has had a refurbishment and investment put into it by Michael Kiernan and it is one of the best little venues outside Dublin for live gigs that we have seen for a long time. We caught the performance on the night from CRAFTY FUZZ. They always impress us when we see them perform and they got underway with “Save Your Own Skin”. The clean hooks bring it together and what cruises across on very much goes against the grain. This is full on and the vocals have a formidable kick to them. Their next song “Unknown” is very hands on with the intro and opening, while there is a hard feel to the guitar. The vocals come in and the pace is taken down neatly. Yet the song again picks up steadily and, in how it climbs, catches everything right. The rhythm on “Struggle” is well steered and has a handsome showing that is very abject. The neatness in how it comes around shows. With the bass steadying it,

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SCENE & HEARD

there is a weight to match the catchy and slick lyrics pouring out. Their stage show aspects are enhanced with how easily they jam into “Sleep” by DRAGONAUT towards the end. “Gone Now” featured on their six track EP. Here the rhythm is driven by the hard rock edge that makes the drumming and bass tantalising. What comes through has a seductive and dangerous charm about it, while the vocal delivery adds something animated to the mix. “Rat Race” is a track off their new EP. The intro leads it all in and the brash feel to it is a good calling. What it lends to the song is focussed well. There is also something angled in on the rawness cutting through on the play that shows on the bridge. The vocals are etched into “Once In A Blue Moon” making you take notice of the band for their music. There is a real assertion to how the chorus is delivered. This produces a lingering quality in the tempo that pumps things through the music with real power. It is rather sublime in how it hits the spot here. Following that was the sturdy effort “The Game”. The follow through from the lyrics matches up with the playing. Overall it is a tremendous delivery that is well tracked. What is important in the song is well nailed by the band here. To close their set they played “One Day” which is played in well from the off. This composure shows in the arrangement as much as it does in the sultry and seductive vocals. The admirable drag off the playing creates a rapturous quality in the delivery.

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The second band that we saw on the night was FUTURE PHANTOMS. It was straight into things with “Can You Tell Me”. Here the guitar develops a natural arc that is very lean and dependable. As it picks up it charges up the playing. Here the compact feel gives it a good running that braces well with the drumming. That was then followed by “Just For A Day”. Here the even side of it develops a canter as easily as the fluidity does. There is a fine whip in the tempo that gives the bridge a sharp feel in the rhythm that snaps the song into life. The patient opening on “Do You Want More” then eases into something with more urgency to it. It is carved out with a determination that shows as it locks in the play. The patient showing resurfaces and the way that it courses through as it picks up shakes things up in the right way. The strong rhythm to “Talk Of The Town” has a depth to it as it plays. A rich indie texture is also present on this one. The voice of IAN BRENNAN also has a heartfelt presence that is approached in a suitable and telling way.

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FUTURE PHANTOMS

“Loving The Idea” produces a very catchy rhythm. This is a consistent showing and it develops a presence for the band that allows them to work the crowd. The delivery is electrifying and is very much on the money here showing what a good live band they really are. Their upcoming single “Until I See The Sun” was next. They close in the playing and that gives how it forms a more deliberate feel. How it runs has a fullness that shows in the committed live delivery. The rotund feel from the rhythm is what seals the deal. They throw it down with “Circles”. The heavy side shown has finesse, while the rock aspects have a diligence that nestles in the sound. There is a bass solo on it. The combined effort to it is something that develops a finely tailored curve. A blissful guitar lets “Nobody Knows” breathe. That opening is then followed by a stark roll that is pivotal in the build. When this lets loose it takes no prisoners when the chorus kicks in. It is very purposeful with a catchy and graceful way about it. There is a stoic cut to the rhythm on “Life’N’Love”. The guitar languishes on the sound as it opens. Then things develop a more upbeat tempo and the transition occurring reasons well on many fronts. It impacts on both the delivery and focus. It channels them into the beat in a way that shows a sufficient emphasis has been placed on the playing as much as the sound. This is why it works. Their version of “Red Morning Light” by KINGS OF LEON was a confident affair and showed how good they are as a band by nailing it down with the required measures to make it effective. *This gig was also Rob’s final one with the band and they are currently looking for a new bass player.

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The Ruby Sessions Doyle’s Pub 2nd July 2013

SCENE & HEARD

Now in its 14th year, The Ruby Sessions is something that is now considered an institution in not just the Dublin music scene, but for Ireland overall. Three acts graced the famous stage this evening to treat the audience to an intimate night of music and we were there to see it all.

CARA COYLE

The first act to play was making her debut here and she was joined by her two sisters on backing vocal duties. The first song was called “Don’t Let Me Down”. The guitar is gauged finely and in doing so it turns in something on the rhythm with a token feel to it. The very bespoke handle finely moulds the tune and the longing side is played in a way that the audience took to rather well. Her second song was called “Apology” and it slowly peters out from the playing. There is a precision in how it is done and cautiously built. That lends it a prominence that hangs about on it while the closeness of the tale told centres. The feeling is nicely touched upon and brought out on “Already Seen It”. There is a stationary feel that is carried along on the playing. Once it settles the inspired feel from it fixes itself extremely well. Her last song here was “The Plea” and it is another pleasing effort. The running to it is well done and the pace applied develops the folk characteristics, albeit it slight ones, in a way that has an urgency also.

DEC GREENE

DEC GREENE is an artist that has played here before and “Breathe” threads the gentle aspects in a way that keeps a reserved hold firmly in focus. The inward feel of the song is met with the spacing. In this showing he has to dig deep to bring out the attentive points. The second song in his set here is “Lesson” and it circulates. This will be the title of his upcoming EP and it keeps things in time. There is a mindful and very light feel about it. The canter showing here has a slight melancholy that holds things together. With “DIY” there is something that exerts cleanly. The turn in the rhythm is very one sided at times, but the abject observation in the lyrics is something to note. The acoustic setting suits the style he has as an artist because you sense that he is comfortable being a one man show. To close his set came “Love Crime” which comes to pass smartly. The feeling is brought out on it with a very interesting meander in the sound. The lyrics apply themselves and with that approach it provides for the song.

SIVE

SIVE is an artist who has been on our radar for some time and tonight we caught her live for the first time. The impression left is one that got everyone’s attention with the stage presence alone on “If I Had A Home To Go To”. Enchanting is the only way to describe it. The lyrics and rhythm ruminate with an intriguing performance to match. There is something watchful and sentient to it that impresses fully. A very cool jazz feel comes off on “Sunkissed” that stirs a mindful beatnik style. That is well conditioned and the slender movement to it tolls well. The cajun catches something that is in sync with the rhythm all the way and adds flavour. A new song followed with “I Never” and it holds steady from the off. It keys in her voice in a consummate, watchful way that seasons a narrow beat. That sees a progression in the song as it blossoms and seeps forward with diligence. “We Are Moving” brings something funky and impeccable does so. This is what creates the movement. It produces a lean showing in that regard and has accuracy to the vocals as they wrap around the song. The temporarily titled “Rubber Giraffe” has a partial feel from the playing that outlines a jazz ability at work. That gives the delivery a glow and the body on show here is derivative. It charms with such ease that it conveys her reputation as a performer in the flesh. She closed down things with “Turn Down The Silence” and the folk feel here is strong and declares that from how it opens. It builds with a real eventuality as the cajun and bass give it a spirited kick. This is blissful and a joy to hear.

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SCENE & HEARD

RACHAEL MCCORMACK ‘This Is My Identity’ Album Launch (The Mercantile 21-06-2013)

We were invited to the album launch and it proved to be a good night of live music. Things got underway with “Karaoke”. This is a song with an even roll to it that stokes the rhythm. It leads into things finely, in particular with the rhythm guitar proving an effective trait behind the scenes. The lyrics also catch things nicely here. “Am I Still Breathing?” followed and this dedication to Amy Winehouse develops a pleasant tone to accompany the subtle movements. That slender side of it comes across and collects into a nice tandem. The upbeat side is a good showing here and that is easily felt. After that was “Stand Up And Be Counted” which has a good shake in the rhythm. The tidy shuffle to it immediately lights up and makes everything more positive. It also shows a comfortable live performer in the delivery here as the sound is narrowed to take hold. That adds an effective reggae vibe which tidies the showing more. After that it was “Daddy Please Take Me Home”. This slows things down. There is a soothing arrangement to it on all fronts which develops an essence in the music. What is honed in gives the song credibility. Her recent single “Everytime” locks in something sharp that gives the sound a dependable feel that it builds on. That makes good use of the arrangement by giving the quirkier traits in the performance a formidable showing. The acoustic guitar on “My Wonderful Disease” brings something that matches the electric guitar. Both styles derive a neat lullaby feel from the arrangement and structure, while her voice fits the song well. Not just in terms of the lyrics, but in how she brings out the feeling here. There is also a hard hit as it progresses and shows a lot of credibility. A solo effort was next with “Crippled Inside”. The personal attachment to this one allows it to open up finely with a precision. It is admirable for the sweet way that the song is cradled. It gives it a delightful feel as a tune that is reflected in her voice. To close her set was “Under The Bullet”. There is a sheer feel to what goes on and the tempo is also more direct. That resilience comes to the fore. What shows in the heft is rather accomplished. This gives the urgency and intent more in the tracking that carries over in the committed showing here. We have reviewed “This Is My Identity” in the Irish Albums.

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For any club night dedicated to unsigned and independent music to reach the milestone of a birthday is always impressive, but when you see Dimestore Recordings celebrate their fourth birthday it comes as no surprise. The dedication from Peter and A-Tray is what gives this institutional landmark on the Dublin music scene its heart. Tonight was a celebration of what Dimestore is all about- great music. This was why they had two floors in Sweeney’s dedicated to their night.

DIMEFOUR RECORDINGS - 25 -


Dimestore Recordings

SCENE & HEARD

4th Birthday Party

20th June 2013

ENDA REILLY ENDA REILLY got things going in his set with “Poíci Stróicthe”. Alongside the tidy way that it is all played is also a display of a grasp of the Irish language that is most impressive. That comes to bear here in a very prominent way. Following that is another well framed song in “Yesterday How I cried”. The playing brings a slight grace that shows a formidable ability. There is a longing and mournful feel turned on in the lyrics that gift it all with a morose suitability. The weary feel comes through on “Drinking At The Gearrabh Óg”. The tidy show on it is made to matter as it is turned in. The fluid and crisp feel about it sees something inventive as the song drops into the native tongue again. “Hiding Away” has a very proficient feel to it. Here the guitar comes across with something soulful and considerate. That is gently stroked and the patient, deliberate feel to this is something that matters. That was then followed by a JOHN MARTIN cover in “I Don’t Want To Know About Evil”. Here the overall play is shown well and the performance that is turned in does it justice. To close out his set was “Samurai”. The colourful tune has an evident clean feel to it that shows something imaginative and creative at work. The easy going style has a lot going for it and in how it runs it develops a chic that is very apparent.

...................................................................................................... LISA MCLAUGHLIN

The second solo artist on the night was LISA MCLAUGHLIN who is an artist blessed with a truly great voice. There is a saintly hold as “Covered In Dust” opens. The coveted showing suits the lyrics and in her voice is a soothing quality that is definitive. With the way it builds the intensity becomes trapped and garners well with the tempo, but the bequeathed feel to it holds the softer moments cleanly. The dependable showing of “Slow Song” has a careful feel which allows the opportune to come across. There is a display of maturity that weighs squarely upon it here. Her next song is the very moving “Sooner Or Later” which tailors the arrangement to match this. The tone is delicately felt. In that lies an intricate and determined showing that builds very well. The saunter in the rhythm in “Seven Colours” gives the song a good calling. The sense of damnation in her lyrics is a very effective trait. It adds to the clever running on show to a number that is sweet and tidy from beginning to end. Her last song on the night was “Say That You Want This”. The wanton feel about it sits nicely with the sparse way the song is laid bare. The quaint song is enhanced by a lull produced in the sound. The deep and passionate hold from the vocal delivery also sees it right.

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COLD COMFORT The first band we saw on the night was COLD COMFORT and we have been waiting a long time to see them live. The blues immediately comes through in “Retrace Blues” and comes to bear on things well. The tenacious little skip in the beat is a nice touch. The delivery all round is very committed with the rhythm guitar wrapping around the tune to show the real intent of them as a band. The weight in the playing works on “Belong” and the saxophone adds a little bit of flair. The rhythm and pace from the drumming come off cleanly. With how the vocals lean into it there is a good degree of ferocity and fire coming off that is rather distinct. In comes to bear on it delectable in terms of how upbeat it becomes. With “Be Gone” everything is made to bear. The lyrics have depth and there is a neat reggae styling about it. There is also a flute involved and everything here is a true musical affair. The texture in the playing elements sits right on all fronts to make it an interesting listen in terms of style and substance. The stationary feel on “Aces Falling” has a smooth running to it that clearly shows. The venerable moments are played and develop a lush

feel in the sound. This is then played in with an efficient turn coming about it all with plentifully. There is a lingering pattern that has a comforting and significant feel to it on “Love Pains”. The way it glides across is also rather graceful. While the build is a majestic trait when the flute is applied, that fanciful way is reeled in to commendably fly. Again the arrangement laces the song with a sense of composure on “High”. The bass and drum collect and fashion something stark about the rhythm. The fullness produced is exemplified by the bridge. Everything ambitious about the playing is matched with ability and skill. This is a performance from a band really going for it. On their last track “Bury Your Head” the pace is fast and checked. The vocals have a way of easing into it as the playing rises that is impressive. The consistent showing in the regard reflects that intelligence in the lyrical composure. That is what gives the song a hefty pull that is very full on and one that they revel in.

...................................................................................................... LEADING ARMIES

Limerick band LEADING ARMIES were up next and “Stranger” has a relaxed and laid back vibe to it. Behind that is a rigorous rhythm that is dropped down with a fine reverence that is very clear in terms of direction. There is a sultry feel about “Girl” from the off. That slick candescence develops a moody tone but one that is not entirely solemn. How it is styled shows sophistication at work. This is well tracked all the way and on account of that it becomes a tune to easily warm to. There is a great whip to the sound on “Who’s To Blame”. There is a reggae flavour as the pace eases off. This is underlined by the dalliance that the lyrics have and it is what adds flavour to the rhythm. This is compact and when the playing changes direction a degree of funk is added to the mix. This gives the defined tone bite that brings out more in the structure that the playing has.

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The little tune on “Run Wrong” is an effective musical trait on the opening. The vocals very clean press ahead on it and this sees the song arrive at something as it builds. The terms outlined in the rhythm have evident contours that collect on the bass and drum with aplomb. The handling is also assertive. With “Thinking About” the extremely catchy riffs serve it well. And it brings you into the playing with the band as it takes flight. The flow is followed up by the playing and has a vocal delivery that matches. The last song in their set was “All In Between”. The bass opens it but the keyboard spreads out on it with the rest if the playing to produce a strong reserved feel. The edge shows it to be a broad ensemble piece that follows a formula with the directional changes. The lyrics then come to impart upon it and in doing so display fullness with the delivery and playing arcs. The Latin overtures in the acoustic guitar make it more tantalising as it progresses.


TANDEM FELIX TANDEM FELIX are always an interesting proposition when seen live, “California (Year One)” has a nice solemn hold that keeps progressing. The lull in the vocals falls across in it and marks out their ability. The expansive side is compact in equal measure. The sheer presence to “Tell Your Loved Ones” is depicted by the enigmatic and intriguing allure it has. There is poignancy in the vocal delivery here that solidifies the atmospheric elements in show. The finesse collects yet again on next song “Hello Wyatt” which gives the vocals a comfortable and deeper feel from the sound. The musical arrangement here sits in a place of prominence. It is affluent in how it is displayed and brings some very touchy classed into the play that bring out the best in it. Their upcoming single “Ryan Hoguet” is served well from the steadiness that builds. The expanse is developed in an elaborate way as the rhythm guitar clocks in and gives it a withdrawn feel. It is captivating and the lucid rhythm develops something catatonic in the sound. That elegantly flows on the tempo. It is how the band allows everything to naturally run in the performance that impresses most. The voice alone works for “On The Scarlet Riviera”, yet the bass and drumming have a connection. The work on their own behind it, yet influence how it is shaped. That is what defines the song and the totality is realised in the ambient moments in the play. Here is an experimental/progressive alternative style that captures an imaginative side and relays it into the music.

“Suffer The Stroke” comes alive with the bass riff. This has something casual about the style that is evenly played and spaced. The live delivery is almost faultless. They capture something specific here that warrants appreciation. With “Pointing And Laughing” the resolute feeling of the emotive shows well with the tempo. Here everything holds up and there is a good depiction in how it progresses. There is a lot embraced in the way it does but it develops formidably as it does so. The last song from them was “Third Degree Burns” which is a two part song. The first half travels through guitar territory with a moody first half. That is denoted by how solemn it feels. The second sees the pace pick up and there is a sense of release felt as it opens up. The parlance from the guitar is quite exquisite and deft overall, but it kicks it into gear with a catchy manner.

...................................................................................................... LEGO LEPRICONS

We opened a co-op in Israel in January this year and the next band on the line-up were arranged by U&I Music Magazine on the night. Hailing from Tel Aviv was LEGO LEPRICONS and they brought their progressive style to the night with real class. “Into the Bones” has a bold and lavish opening that is definitive and pushes the experimental workings of the pedals. Things are kept in check and the bridge displays an incredible composure that siphons the synth into the equation very well. This goes beyond new wave and could be described as nou wave on account of how alternative and progressive it plays. The sound of the band moves to something more refined on “Freedom”. It also develops a deeper sense of purpose. All of it is readied with a dependable amount of ability. The electronica scoring it sits neatly in the background. They focus on the rock side more with “You Should’ve Known”. The fashion in how it opens gives it a very deliberate push and pull. That is something that develops the sound while the synth produces an organic and industrial vibe to it all. A meander develops on “What Is it?” The result is a sultry rhythm cleverly factoring in a lot of things. The hallowed sound is worked well. While it goes on the guitar creates a resonance that stems the delivery while the drumming is what gives it mettle. The way it closes marks it all out with interesting apparel. The last track was “Click” which is great with the way that the pace picks up. Prior to that it is very much a steady rock affair, but this now sees it step up a notch. Everything clicks for them as a band and it really sees them let loose from the guitar. What is also interesting to note is that there is no bass guitar on this one, yet it still retains a large degree of authority that has a significant bearing on it all.

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MARKAS CARCAS MARKAS CARCAS opened their set with “Roach Material” and it is one of those songs with a true verve showing n how the rhythm moves. The catchy streak in it matches up with the lyrics and vocals. What they catch in the delivery hooks you right in and has a good movement about it all. Another thrilling song to hear followed with “Grim Reefer”. Here the playing keeps the fluidity running. The delivery gets so much right and an affirmation develops from how the playing is stoked and that is why a very decent version of “Burn The Witch” by QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE comes into it so effortlessly. From there a song dedicated to the late James Gandolfini came. A slow canter begins on “Into The Ground” and then the pace is applied. That is a fine foundation laid down, but the kick form the running is superb here. It electrifies as it smoothly lets fly. On “Polecats” they develop a tumble in the play that marks time with an amazing amount of pace. The compact and rotund feel sits sweetly with the overall combo of bass, cajun and guitar. There is a focus on the bridge that plays at an incredible rate. The tempestuous feel is able to click into place finely. The frenetic playing on the guitar stands out on “We’ve Been Found” and it pumps up the song as it gets going. The rifled feel to it is also able to anchor something to the rhythm quite well here. That is what makes the delivery a true contender. As they close off their set with “Mississippi Wine” they leave the crowd wanting more. The reason for this is because this song has everything you could want in a top tune. The chorus is covered in magnetism and the intense manner in how it was delivered here hones everything excellent in and projects it out from a loaded gun.

...................................................................................................... THE BARLEY MOB The last band we saw on the night was THE BARLEY MOB and they have been a band we have wanted to see again for a long time. There is a degree of the real to “Road Tune” that slowly builds. The lyrics impart a message that is very much there to be understood and appreciated. The acoustic guitar brings a fine focus that sits well with the smart lyrics. In how comfortable it sounds the passion is to be found. They blend some folk into their sound with “Medicine Man” that is very much felt here. The traditional aspects cleverly pick up the pace and the vocals are also up to the task. What branches out on the rhythm is enhanced by the impassioned delivery. The playing pushes the urgency into the tempo with a catchy shake in the tempo. A proficient beat is a telling feel on “World Today” and it shoots the breeze on the delivery. Here is a catchy and lean number that is given a shot in the arm from the mean showing on it. They then produce something stirring with a quaint Caribbean influence at work on “She’s Falling”. The sound from the music reflects this. The lyrics have a point of origin that is sharp and slick. The well measured beats are dropped in and it all necessitates in a clean way.

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There is something rich in the texture to “We Go The Distance” that sees life imitate art as they perform. The sound is corralled on it very well. With animated performance that is turned in they give it a respectful pull also. “Nothing In The World” cleanly lights up their set. There is a fine running to it. The guitar locks something in on the rhythm that slides across. As it does so it is finely applied. A compact feel comes off it and how well worked it is shows. The reflective philosophy of their musical influences shows with “You’ll Never Be Lost If You’ve Got Music” and it impressively pulls together. The rhythm is centred where it should be. The catchy and upbeat melody suits that side of the tempo as the band very much get behind it and this shows in the reflective lyrics. The tempestuous traits that they have as a band show on “Stand Up. Rise Up. Big Up.” in a concise way that is catchy as hell. The calypso styling is prominent here and it breathes life into the song. Even more so on the chorus. It is almost a song that takes itself too literally, but in a good sense. “This Is Everybody’s Music” really gets going and hits the ground running. The lyrics angle in on it in a way that matches the intensity of it all. The resolute meaning to the lyrics coupled with the live showing is incredible here. There is a good buzz about it from start to end. Then for an encore came “Clarity”. It settles into things well and has a broad sound that is very rich. The Latin undertone is a neat dynamic to it and the lyrics have a tidy cu. When they lean in to command the rock elements they find real weight to support themselves. The drumming is also something that clocks in to underline that in a good way.


THE KING KONG CLUB (Semi-Final #4) The Mercantile (June 15th 2013)

SCENE & HEARD THE GREATER FLAW

Six bands played here tonight at the ‘Home Of Enthusiasm” that is The King Kong Club. All of them hoping to get that all inclusive sot in the final where it is all to play for. The first band to get things going was THE GREATER FLAW. “Graceland” opens selectively and produces a bug beat that has a free flow about it all. That decadence is nicely applied and it helps hold the track together. The vocals are presented in a way that is appropriate to the structure and it turns in smartly as a long player. A good skip to the sound shows on “Feeling Better” and it draws a FRANZ FERDINAND comparison. There is a pristine vibrancy that constantly plays and the run from the guitar is considerably felt. Likewise when it comes to the beat from the drumming, the song has the substance necessary to go with the catchy. Their third track “Mind Control” locks in the bass in a tasty way. It has a new wave meets calypso vibe about it.

........................................................................................................................... RICHARD RICHARD

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RICHARD RICHARD came next to have their say and their first sing “Faces” develops a compact rhythm with a curve that comes through on it here. The execution if it is very much the real deal. The vocals stand tall on it and the sound has a wonderful roll to it. With “Laughing At Me” the sound follows through and the drumming becomes a stellar attraction on the rhythm that traps something evident in the running. It sounds sharp and there is something deliberate carried through in the motions. Their upcoming single “One More Thing” has a hard effect to it. It is one of those tunes with quality all through the rhythm. That develops a string focus as the pedal work gives it good grounding to go with a thorough delivery that is highly likeable.


SINEAD WHITE

SINEAD WHITE is a solo artist that we do admire for her music the patient and wonderful build to “Flat Battery” sees her voice sit upon it and gift it a truly elegant turn. In the playing is a competent showing that turns the sweet number in finely as it is performed. “Lies” has a body and tempo that abundantly play to the strengths of the considerate and sorrowful run it has. That lament is developed properly and works in a powerful way. The heft from her guitar defies her being merely a solo act. To close out she played “Mouth Trumpet” and it sparkles into life in an offbeat and charismatic way. The shuffle about the playing is a defining trait that is light hearted but behind it allows a song to be crafted. It is imagined well and there is a detail in the design that brings out the warmth in it.

........................................................................................................................... WILD TIBETAN MONKS

A hard edge is apparent on “For You”, the first song from WILD TIBETAN MONKS. It empowers the rock elements into an orchestrated process that grants something sublime upon everything. The playing keeps the rhythm tight and the taut quality produces a mean showing in the tempo. There are some nice blues touches with the guitar solo on the bridge. The diligence shown allows “Lying Next To You” a reckoning in how the beat transforms the playing. There is a shoegazer feel about it but it has a tasteful sound about it. This then becomes more comfortable as the vulnerable sensibility in the proceedings takes flight. To see out their set was “Liam”. A strange title but as a song it has a clear and robust rhythm showing. It is directs it smoothly and the guitar is something that polishes the sound. It is extremely catchy. How it is rattled out flashes across on the play.

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THE DAILY HOWL The next band was THE DAILY HOWL and they brought an upbeat sentiment on “To Be A Man” that steers a fine country styling. The kick about it brings a nostalgic tint into the reckoning. It has a blues fashion and influence that gives it a shared “Sun records” alumni feel. While the bass shines on it, the tempo is where it really matters. The quality of the bounce on “Maggie” is nothing short of superb. This gives the live delivery a pomp that they settle into rather well. There is a force felt on the rhythm and this backs up the song. The integrity is there to be found and the shared vocals play their part well. Here there is a strong folk influence at work that is akin to THE WATERBOYS. The last song in their set is “Hang It On A Hook” which merrily tumbles out on the intro. It clocks in nicely and the surge it has is measured with the correct amount of pace on the rhythm. The pleasant harmony is well fleshed out and the delivery is graceful and friendly. This rightfully deserves to be appreciated on account how catchy it sounds.

........................................................................................................................... BROKEN VICE

Our last act to play on the night was BROKEN VICE. The vocals sit well on “Spanish Apartment”. The lucid grasp they have sits well with the tone about the delivery that follows through on the intro. That is fed in quite well. The electric guitar brings a stark playing to prominence that it then dilutes away from being considered progressive. That good tracking brings the expansive side of it around formally. A solemn feel builds on “Desert Isle” inn how it spaces out. The momentum is gathered gradually and the vocals produce something with definition. There is an open and fluid candidness to it and it holds true for the song by giving a rich texture. To end with they played “Pasteurisation” which is enticing to hear. The playing has a fine deliberation to it all and the direction changes are matched by the playing arcs. The very competent way that is runs creates a presence that is able to cleverly settle into the overall breakdown. That is reflected in the bridge as the play is coaxed out.

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The winner on the night was THE DAILY HOWL who will go on to play in the final.


Irish Artists SWORDS Lions And Gold “Myopic” opens the album and immediately shows what this band is about. The synth is gauged on the intro before a soft and defined vocal is nursed into the song. It adopts a patient and stirring approach but also nurtures the warmth that creates a distinct tone. The trance side of their music takes hold on “Buildings”. There is a retro cut about the synth that is as formidable as it is catchy. The upbeat determined feel from it sees the band really find form. How it is cornered is rather admirable. After that comes “8 Life Eat” which brings an ambient feel to a well-constructed digital sound. The presence that it has is truly impressive here. There is scope within the play and ambient structure that shows an ambition at work that is very much achieving what is intended. A piano announces “Hips” that reels in the softer and supple points quite effectively. There is a soulful demeanour fading away with the delivery. A degree of class shows in the transition that brings a real ethereal beauty that rallies the song’s ambience brilliantly. With “All The Boys” the catchy side of it hits the ground running. It derives something truly nostalgic in the retro feel here. There is purity in how catchy it plays. There is a foundation and substance in the tempo that is also matched by how it sounds. After that comes “The Menace”. Again there is a flirtation with a darker element in the tone. That noir filters through on it with a sophisticated beat that captures the essence well. It also shows a developed and experimental side that envelops the playing at times.

10

“Lions And Gold” has a thorough feel from the tone. The rhythm is applied and has a thorough feel about it. The drum and bass sit alongside the piano sound, while along the way other minute musical touches are brought into the fray which are apt in the way they wrap around the playing. Things are very heavy on “Cross Beat”. The sound still delves into a very rich synth based sound, yet it has something that produces a more industrial feel. The vocals lean into very astutely which in turn adds some weight to the overall body and tone. “Nine Nights” touches on a pop sensibility in the rhythm. But in doing so it produces a very rich beat, while the abandonment from the way it is all drawn together is very effective. This shows the new wave credentials of the band and it shows them well. Their sound becomes more focused on “Skin You” with a guitar sound driving featuring heavily. The deep and urgent tone of their sound remains, as does their fine ability to touch on ambience. That artistry at work is why it works so brilliantly here. The interestingly titled “Wicklow” is the final track on the album. The way that the playing climbs here is a sheer joy to hear. So much is at work in the way it takes flight with sheer elegance. How it is put together diligently brings a fantastic album to a close with a fantastic closing track. - 33 -


RACE THE FLUX Dutch Buffalo

8

“Evolve” opens the album with a computerised feel to the sound. That then allows the song to breathe and when the robotic side of the vocals are added there is something more definitive fleshed out. It retains that digital feel throughout and trades on it quite well. That shows again on next track “I Am Animation”. Here there is an expansive feel as a rock element merges with the digital aspects. This accomplishes things musically by bringing decorum alongside the expansive texture being felt out. “Eleven” is a joy to hear. The vibrancy meets a well-checked pace that is there to be admired in the arrangement. This defined showing expresses itself efficiently. Musically it is well brought around with a thorough showing. Following that is “Julian”. Here the synth is prominent from the off. This drives it and provides the platform. The application of the guitar gives it a new wave sense while the lyrics fill out the sound without removing the essence. Next song “Can I” has an intro that is a harder affair. The guitar plays in with bite and weight, while the drumming bides its time before coming in. This characterises the progression that the album has undergone to this point. Something modern and fortified lingers in equal measure balancing the play. The body of the playing is developed impressively around this. The next track is the resolute “Icarus”. Solemnly opening off the back of a deep and lush synth beat, it spaces out steadily. Then it becomes defined and catchy in equal measure. The lucid feel is enhanced by the robotic vocal before it finely takes flight. However it loses something towards the end ever so slightly.

The penultimate track here is “Siren”. Again the opening tone is a sombre affair that holds a haunting melody that shapes the intro. There is a steady climb to the playing that gives the guitar a platform to be reckoned with. The running to it is a clear and straight affair that has a hard keel about it. It also makes it worth tracking down on account of that interesting retro knack. The album closes with “Resolve”. There is something extravagant and lavish to it but not overdone. It is there to close out the album and how it does so is a nice little touch to cap it all off.

................................................................................ LIZ SEAVER Turbulent Bliss

The first track “Inside Out” opens with a very soft rhythm. The feeling presents itself fittingly. Her voice is a soothing quality that fires up the song. The ambition shows here and that is what draws you in. The second track “I Knew” has fullness in the tempo that is reflected in the vocal delivery. The lyrics also have a good showing. When everything aligns the urgency in the tone is brought out in a way that matters. The arrangement on “Can’t Help Myself” is immediately felt. There is a hearty showing and the delivery reflects this. The heartfelt is invested and rises to give a sense of stature. The outline of “The Voice Inside” suits the delicate feel. There is a bucolic sensibility from the music that connects with the sentiment. What is also impressive here is the way the whole process is cradled. This pulls the delicate feel together but also binds it. Things develop a more determined feel with “In Between You And Me”, but are balanced with the lush. There is a lot to admire in the arrangement. The volume in the body shows and works well. “Down In Tears” is defined by the piano. It has a patient and dutiful feel that falls into place. As it moves it develops an innate and choice gathering that locates everything in a way that is noticed. A tough side shows on “Exposed”. The tempo is a more assured affair with a confident and urgent feel that gets under it all. The heightened delivery shows her range as an artist. The pace is played in with aplomb on “Run ‘Til It’s Gone”. The clean hook in the rhythm gives it lift. It is able bodied and it glides along on the back of this with a slight country ring about the style. The sentimental and reflective “I Lost It All” comes next. The bittersweet pours out in terms of lyrics, vocals and tempo. The hallowed tone brought to bear on it is met with a patient and clear delivery that keeps it all in place.

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Again a song with a deeper presence presents itself with “The One”. The playing concentrates all of that in terms of the music. The vocal delivery has a proactive ability that plays all the angles right. The formidable feel about it has an unmistakeable rush that makes you take note. The safe playing sees “Hold On” through. The percussion and piano elements hold finely in terms of shaping it. How it develops as a transition is finely done. The last track on the album is “Little Song”. The piano immediately stands it good stead. The flow of her voice provides well here, as does the definition in the arrangement. The soulful push and pull from it is tentative, but it also displays an attention to the playing as it is all turned out.


RACHAEL MCCORMACK This Is My Identity The first track on the album “Keep Believing” signals a lot of intent. The running of it has a resurgent feel that carries across in a catchy way. The vibrant aspects retain a consistency that envelops the song from the off that works well. Things are slowed down on “Am I Still Breathing?” It is a good quality that is situated well here. It allows the patient side of the song to show before it picks up. When it does the upbeat side of it shows in a way that completes things. Next is “Everytime”. A lot of things line up well and have a becoming way when the positive side is factored in. It benefits from that clean sitting but when held in context to the rest of the album it does lose something slightly. After that is the very impressive “Daddy Please Take Me Home”. The soulful points of it are practically applied. They define the song and the arrangement is able to hold everything in place. A smooth sensibility also glides across on it that is well placed. The next track is “Karaoke”. It has a kick to it but also something reserved in the way it builds. That really brings everything out in the song as it gets going. Another thing that works in its favour is the smart feel that prominently comes across. The shake to the guitar is immediately noticed on “My Wonderful Disease” and reaches out on the song. From there the song finds a grounded way that steers the direction of it. An honest pull about how it sounds makes it an attractive listen. Fluid and straight into things from the off is “Under The Bullet”. Here the circumstantial feel to it is undeniable and the intensity gives the delivery real bite. Here she comes up with the goods because it is a song that has everything very much sussed. The

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context in how it plays is excellent and gives it an ample substance that is well traded on. “Don’t Go Waste My Time” develops something splendid in the neat and tidy acoustic aspect. It is befitting and brings the lyrics out nicely. DEANIE IRG features on here collaboration “Stand Up And Be Counted”. It has a HOOTIE AND THE BLOWFISH comparison from the way the rhythm plays out on it, but there is a synth added to it that adds a plush feel. “Crippled Inside” closes the album. It has this soulful characteristic that is very well cradled. The a capello manner in how it is delivered brings a gospel sentimentality to it that impresses a great deal. Gracing the album in the way it does is very telling and it is a good way of closing things.

................................................................................ RICHARD FARRELL AND THE LAST TRIBE Lights At Sea

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The opening track “Feel Good Music Now” has a very smooth feel about it. The piano and drumming define the rhythm, while the vocals are applied effectively. The laid back sentiment gives it a relaxed feel that complements the tracking. That same feeling is felt on “In Community”. There is a black influence showing in the music here that is positive. The light blues feel merges with other aspects such as gospel and jazz. The way it all accumulates is rather fetching and distinct. “Changes Play” is something that draws comparisons with artists such as Stevie Wonder. There is a tussle in the way that it moves, but the compact feel to it is magnificent. How it all lines up is truly impressive. The bass line on it really impacts, while the overall vibrancy is wonderful. The harmony aspects of “Catch Me In The Open” give it a clean feel. This is championed by the tidy rhythm that constitutes all of the good points required. The effective application knits the song together. “Strings Attached To Your Brain” formulates something nostalgic in the build-up. The organ has a splendour that is backed up by a candid and lucid charm in the progression. There is strong break-down on it that doesn’t put a foot wrong. Things get very funky on the eponymous “Lights At Sea”. The way that the playing develops the hooks is sublime. The vocals are also as effective. There is a disco feel to this, yet it also seems to elevate and slip in a lot of elements and turns it into something that has top tune written all over it.

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The sublime is written all over “Ancestors”. The tone has a withdrawn feel about it but is also high on appeal. They dig deep on it when it comes to musicality and it is very complete sounding. Things develop on “Raven’s Smile”. There is a southern feel and reverence about it. The rhythm traps something spiritual on the opening. It beckons the song forth with that in mind and it finds its feet expertly. The suggestive and abject feel to “Fall Through The Skies” is very appealing. It has a foxy quality to it in abundance that works well. The last track is “Already Home”. It threads things through in a way that is very ethereal and rises accordingly with the beat. There is an untitled bonus track on the album that has a homely feel to it. It is rich in hospitality. The direction of it matches up with everything else on the album.


O EMPEROR Vitreous Since we first listened to it, this album has become something of an office favourite here at U&I. The opener “Grandmother Mountain” is a piece that grabs you. The essence of what it brings musically is a beautifully thought out affair. There is an expanse found in the arrangement showcasing how ambitious and well thought out it is. The whimsical way that “Holy Fool” runs is delightful. There is a volume displayed in terms of how clean it sounds. But beyond that is something of depth and merit that is a real plus. The tranquil and psychedelic awakening comes through on “Whitener (Part1)”. What leaves a lasting impression is the rich synth scoring it as much as the gentle, breezy feel from the vocals. It is a very well pieced together tune that has a wonderful bliss that defines it. The intriguing synth sound that opens “Brainchild” collects furthermore with the sublime way it drifts. It keeps that as a derivative that serves it well. Attractive and lush is what best describes it, but it is the effortless way it drifts that sees it right in so many ways. The next song “Contact” shakes it all up. The indie credential they have is enhanced by this one. Things develop a sense of the prolific from how compact and precise it comes to be. After that is “Minuet”. A precision shows from the opening piano that has a solemn grace to it. That conveyance is rooted in the lyrics and the vocals. It does give the song a good feeling and presence that escapes any melancholic trappings. The grandiose shows here but never oversteps the mark.

9 The next song “Land Of The Living” catches something about it all just right. The rhythm has a relaxed way to it catches something in the beat that is rotund and sharp. There is a feel about it to other bands like ELO in terms of the scope that is factored into the playing from the music. “Soft In The Head” has a clear classical influence on show. A comparison to “Claire De Lune” is made for the soft piano that plays out on it. The way it all connects is able to illicit a lucid and ambient feel to it that safely peters through. The album is closed out by “This Is It”. Another languid affair but the conviction of it begins to come through as it builds. The finesse shown here is most remarkable. What is locked down by the band here with the harder keel sits appropriately alongside the relaxed elements and they all combine well on it with real fervour. - 36 -


EVORA Hurry Up Before I Die A fine degree of pace opens “Close To You” and the appropriate way it is done shows well here. The compact feel as it runs steers the tone well. It has a prowess and it also very much shows a wholesome side that feels right. They then play into some very even territory that draws a comparison with BAND OF HORSES on “I Started To Wish You Well”. There is a reverence that builds on many fronts. Vocally telling, the arrangement has a candid skip and then leads openly from there. That open feel comes through again on “Into The Fire”. There is a competency showing in the patient way it is played. A pristine slow build on show here is a card that is well played. It brings it all together with an abundant ability that matches the reach. “Running Scared” is a song that explores an option vocally that is interesting to pick up on. The song is fronted by that with the playing sitting behind in an explicit way. With everything set out on it here there is nothing in the way that prevents it running as smoothly as it does. Irish songstress SHANNON joins them on “Tell Me Your Name”. It is a duet that finely plays to the strengths of the softer aspects. It lounges about with the tempo and that runs through on it in a good way that sees the tempo drift along. “Any Other Way” is another song on the album that locks in a softer sentiment. Before it does that the opening has a heavy playing to it that is curtailed. The open way that it collects is affectionately done. This sees it out and sees it through quite well. Dwelling on the solemn is “In Your Eyes”. The play is somewhat withdrawn, yet the bridge is very much an affair that catches a lot of things right. In particular the guitar here has a resonance with a fine reach. The tenderness is also a fine touch here. “Meet Me By The Water” again evokes that tender style. It is able to maintain something spirited that does develop the feeling of the song quite well. As it opens “Jangle” shows promise and again it is a gentle showing from the band. But in this instance there is a fanciful flight in how it sounds. Taking that as a god starting point is what develops the song sweetly. The chords that play on the opening to “Tomorrow” bring something forth in doing so that is well tendered. It binds the rhythm to a vivid lyrical content in a way that plays well with how it is motioned. That telling aspect is a defining trait that showcasing something in terms of musicality that brings out a lot more.

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“Fall Away” comes next and it sews up the song inside a reserved canter. It slips easily into something comforting in terms of body and texture. It lets everything fall into place in a way that has a soothing sway to it all. A reprise of “Close To You” (which we saw live recently at The Ruby Sessions) closes out the album. It brings something intimate and tactful to the table. It equates well and closes the album evenly.

................................................................................ ST. JOHN THE GAMBLER Five Miles To Vaudeville

There is a rich feel from “I Got Demons” that blends well with the timeless shimmer that it has. The tight and wicked feel from it is enhanced by the way that the playing tumbles along. It evokes a spirit of a bygone era as much as shakes things up with a feverish folk track. “Vaudeville Rag” adds weight to the colourful rhythm through a brass and horn section. The temperament is one which brings a rapturous spirit that fires it up and really grows on you. “Stigma” is next and is also steeped in an Americana influence that gives the rhythm ebb and flow. The dandy skip in the play and the overall way it is charged consummately are to be admired. The eastern European influence on their music shows on “Lemonade Man”. A polka style is present on it and the right ingredients are added to the mix here. Sophisticated in the right way it also has a degree of charm all of its own. The carefree manner about “What You Do” pulls you in. It has a laid back feel to how it sounds, but with a closer listen you see a lot of other points in the play. This is a big show on the musical front and it plays to those strengths here. With “Monkey Jamboree” there is a strong feel good factor from the way it sounds. The brass elements whip it into shape. It is a sturdy showing that drops in a lot of things in the playing arcs, while the upbeat bridge on it is something to truly marvel at. Next song “The Corner” has a strong jazz feel to it. The bass line that is strummed along is enhanced by the whistling effect. It gives it a casual feel that is provided for quite well with how the lyrics are dished out on it. There is something prolific in how the fiddle is applied on the sound, and all of the differing playing arcs play quite well here. With “Fire Station Blues” they again play a sorrowful card in how it is put together, but they play it well. The emotion in the song rings out on it while the playing simmers on it. It is very heartfelt and the harrowing feel from it holds well. They then impart a Charleston style to the mix with “Roll On”. That sees the tempo of it develop while reeling in a lot of characteristic traits. It has a bounce to it and it bombards you as you listen to it with a deluge of sound that is well balanced.

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The smooth shows on “Ballad Of Monday And Tuesday”. Here what works is the Bossa Nova style. It really brings a swing to the sound that is finely put about. The princely way that it gathers is something to savour. How it grinds out on the sound gives it a volume that is savoury. On “Love & Liberty” their sound develops something with a darker feel. It is very much removed from the more upbeat style that the album has had up until this point. With that nourish temperament it stands out all the more. They then close the album out with “Victor Jara”. The rhythm here has a rich texture to it that evokes a Mariachi flavour to it. It is very select and choice sounding. The way that all of the play runs across on it showcases a free flow that brings out everything by a process that feels natural.


International Artists THE ANTI-RETRO VINYLS Trouble The feverish way “Would You Like To Pretend” has a British sensibility that locks in on a candid, upbeat tempo. The manner in how it flows has a mean streak that also gives it a clever pull. It consistently plays to that strength. That sensibility shows again on “Give My Heart Back”. A piece of mind is achieved in the darling style that it conveys. That is threaded through with a carefree ease to it that lifts it all. The band builds on that strength cleverly. “Just A Game I Play” seems to see them flirt with a punk style. They blend something with bite into the sound here. It has the end result of giving the song a kick while catchy vocals back it up. “Last Day As Lovers” is an emphatic tune that wears its heart on its sleeve. The carefree effect of the delivery has a causality here that produces something of significance. That nestles a controlled beat that then really picks up as it closes to showcase a very smart and deliberate turn. A very fast bass hook proves a good calling on “Can I Kiss You” that is pleasing to hear. The clean way that it runs is something that is fashioned with an assured feel. That is then able to set up next song “I Won’t Do That Again”. The guitar and drumming very much shape the tempo here. They lead it into a very steadfast rhythm that is welcomed by some very sharp lyrics. The vibrancy here is what gives it an identifiable quality that puts the catchy points of it at the front quite effectively. “Fire” is a telling track on the album. The hard keel to it is displayed in the vocals. The lyrics are vivid. Then from

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the opening it progresses and the catchy beat here is impeccable. It is very attractive and accentuates all of the right things here. There is a hard ferocity on show that is definitive. A bounce comes across on “Disaster” that allows it to develop a stride. It coasts along on the back of that yet it is not a complacent attempt. Instead it has substance and eases into the catchier side with relative ease. “Lipstick And Late Nights” follows and this is another incredibly catchy affair. Kooky playing aspects give the background music an interesting arc. It then develops a very clean cut that finely comes through. In doing so it becomes more compact and yet gains a lot in the process. A catchy shuffle brings “Best Leave Before I Say Hello” and from there the vocals also develop a quick pace that styles the song. They sit well with how fast everything rolls on this one. It is comfortably done too and they ignite the whole song from the very beginning. They again stake down the catchy sensibilities on the way “She Doesn’t Care She Wants To Dance” is built. It develops with accuracy. From that the running capitalises on it and it is from this point that the catchy side of it originates. Then the album is brought to a close with “Trouble”. This very much sees the band go at it and go out in a blaze of glory. All of the playing develops towards a hard keel that has a true heft that is hammered home with real intent.

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SPIDER HEART Under The Gun This band was recommended to us through our San Francisco music network. The first track “Voodoo” really astounds. A voluptuous essence builds it up. The colourful feel washes over on it with clarity from beginning to end. This bold tune piques the interest for all the right reasons. With “Blood In The Water” the raw and edgy feel that they have emanates fantastically. It shows with the way it develops a cut in the sound that explodes into life here. It takes no prisoners and gives attitude back in spades. Then they develop a tremendous tumble in their sound with “Spark”. Here there is a heightened sense of identity. That is processed evenly and then it closes around that as it brings a song with attitude to the mix. The drumming and guitar combine on it and drive it forward. With “Red Song” the drumming and guitar show a crisper side. That is reflected in the way the song travels. It has a neat and riot grrl feel from it. Yet at the same time it is also characterised by how stimulating the rhythm sounds. That intensity is angled in a very impressive way. On “Runaway” things are developed with a more inward feeling. A shoegazer sensibility is inevitable for how it runs. That is a territory

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that is embraced and it is done quite well. It holds evenly and steady throughout. They then mark their return to guitar driven matters on the excellent “Little Doll”. This is definitive. The punk leanings of it are angst driven and they play to the potential of the band in a very big way. Here they let the music do the talking. They have a lot to say in that regard.

“Under The Gun” signals their intent from the off with a guitar that whips things into shape. The snappy feel from the playing is enhanced by a tremendous lift in the sound, but furthermore from the sultry and tight vocals. This combination skirts along as the song is rolled out. Another livewire affair follows with “Ready Steady”. This is another charged up song that is unleashed with the utmost purpose and intent. From start to finish it clicks into gear and there is no let up. The last track here is “Book Of Poems”. It displays a morose tone by bringing a dark aspect that takes hold in the music. Yet it also very much gives off a lot from the deeper cut that it embraces. There is a hard angle that is worked in with the arrangement that steadily stokes everything. - 39 -


THE BLUE RUIN The New Disorder Urgency greets the listener as “Gum Ball” opens the album. The gritty feel from the rock is hard felt. It is also deliberated well and how these points are channelled capably shows as the rhythm is pushed out giving it a real shake. “Into The Sub” comes next and displays a creative and inventive style. The stammered delivery of the vocals meeting with the drowned out sound is a curt showing that styles the whole delivery and checks in with an effortless amount of cool. A strong synth beat drives “You’re Still Ridin’ Me”. It gives way to allow a hard rock style with a feral kick draw out the raw side. When the synth comes in it shows how well fleshed out it is. They get it right again on “Heroin”. It derives something fetching with the sensible way it is built. In doing so they put a twist on it that makes it flashy. That contrast is controlled well allowing it to fly. The interestingly titled “Television Borderline” hits the ground running. There is a deep beat pounding away here. The shared vocals are al quality that hit equally hard and blows you away when heard. They step it out with a funky feel on “Baby”. Shouldering it on a lot of fine fronts sees it automatically run. The clear and sharp guitar riffs really blend in on it. The beat created is steadily delivered and grinds away with such reverence that it is impossible to ignore. Here the band exerts an importance and show why they should be taken seriously.

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“Bring My Doll To The Voodoo Tree” is cut from the very same cloth. This is one of those songs that get everything right. The rock side is very keenly brought to the reckoning and easily clicks into gear. The connection between the playing elements and the ambition is astounding. A splendid organ filters through on “Levels Of Lies” and in doing so adds a great amount of weight that settles into the song immediately. The way that it all aligns develops wanderlust in the sound that is the real deal. They really dig deep on it and come up with the goods. Boosting the sound the band has is “Crows Nest”. The synth on show embraces a dark side. This is something that develops a gothic appeal in their sound. Added to the mix it doesn’t feel out of place on the album. It embraces an experimental side that derives something that is very much the prerogative of the band. The final track here is “The Sound”. There is a lazy feel in the approach. Both the lyrics and the vocals have it licked in the way they bring it across effortlessly. Then as the song progresses it seems to careen into this with a fine and favourable intent that sees the song ride out on. - 40 -


BONEHOUSE The Long Summer They get under everything here with “The Bonehouse Summer Jam”. It is very much a medley that crams a lot in and has an obvious American sound about it. Second track “Minnesota” picks up where the opening track leaves off. But it progresses the sound. The way it is all angled in is quite descriptive and both tracks mirror one another. With “One Arm In” they charge along. There is a deliberate way about it and it has direction. It follows through with an upbeat tempo that celebrates it’s character. “A Grasp Too Far” channels a lot of heavy guitar into the play to good effect. There is a nice little flurry to the vocals that finely bring something raw with them. That bile induced feel from them hangs nicely here. On “We Know So Well” there is a blitz about the way the sound moves. It hones in on a formidable tracking that edges forward. That is also countered by a hard feel about the body on it.

Imaginatively titled “Shipwrecks Don’t Sink Ships” comes next. Here they up their game. In terms of how the song develops a dalliance it is an excellent showing from them. The lucid moments are quite fetching and push out the sound that the band has. “Old Faithful” delves into a song that focuses on finding the right balance between music and rhythm. It gets it right to a large degree, especially with the catchy chorus that comes in. The last track here is “Tops Off. Hoods Up” which takes off well. They develop the harder points in the playing to good effect. That is what drives it on and it is something they feel comfortable with in the playing. Effectively this is a collection of demos but it still holds up well in places.

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COMA CINEMA Posthumous Release The album has something interesting about the first track “White Trash VHS” that is able to impart the subtle angle as a point of focus musically. The fluid countenance of it sits well with the stripped back feel here. With the bareness of it layered quite well. The next three songs are rather brief but matter. First is “She Keeps It Alive”. A taut rhythm plays across on it that keeps everything following a neat curve that has plenty to savour. With a shoegazer-meets-west coast garage sound it is rather fresh sounding. The second of the brief tracks is “Bailey jay”. Here the acoustic guitar flushes out the playing but it meets with some brass elements. It makes for an ensemble sound that brings a lot of promise and delivers on it. Yet it has to carve it out and earn that right. Third in the sequence is “Lee (Columbine High Harmony)” which has a distinct overture in the sound. The lyrics are tapered and delivered with a laid back appeal which keeps things running but not overly done. “Satan Made A Mansion” sees the clever style that they have really come into its own. In the way that it steadfastly comes across you immediately warm to it. Candid and also quite fluid, there is an aspect of it that accentuates the interesting factor it has. Next is “Partners In Crime” which again trades upon developing an intriguing structure with depth in the lyrics. It drags across and develops these points with notable distinction. That is a prelude that it follows through on quite well.

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“Burn A Church” is something that develops from an obscure point. The kooky feel about the opening is experimental. That then binds the way it runs, yet the overture in the lyrics and their unique feel are what give the song appeal. Then an overture develops on the bridge that derives an intrigue which drives it on. A country feel comes across on the opening to “Virgin Veins”. The monumental way that it acquires things neatly is marvellous work. It contains everything and the mild mannered feel it has gauges things in a very desirable way. Another brief tune on the album here is “Survivor’s Guilt”. This is included like the others with a good passing to it. The short running time on it still manages to bless it with a lot of substance though. Brevity shows on it and that is a diligent trait played well. With “Marie (No Sleep)” the acoustic rhythm is finely felt out. There is a charm about it as well that is all of its own making. That is paraded with an astute and quirky manner that is processed exceptionally well. The eponymous title track closes out the album. A very broad piano tempo opens “Posthumous Release” and it is a song that holds on to that quite well. It navigates it all well and the lonesome drawl from the vocals stands up well. .

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Irish Artists FLOOR STAFF The Good Luck The opening track on the EP has a very luxurious slant to it that brings something more to the carefree way it is styled. There is a glare that delicately tweaks the playing. It evokes something arty but is not pretentious. There is a rich texture sending it on its way. The second track is “Good Luck”. The intro to it is a withdrawn affair that stirs a scratched out folk rhythm before a drum machine kicks in with a fine beat. The artificial aspects in the sound carefully deliver and round it out. “Owe Everything” has a harmonic that presents well on the intro. Then the mournful delivery in the vocals casts a good calling over it all. Little brass elements in the playing bring a slight touch of class to it all. On “The Oldest Mind” they seem to develop the song with the arrangement taking second place. That is not to say it loses anything badly. Instead what it does is create a languished tune that sits nicely with the stray feel of it all. It does pick up as it closes out and that is another quaint characteristic it has. The last track here is “Funeral March” and it plays into the trance like zest they have in their sound. Here they pepper the delivery and the morose tone is felt, yet they keep the Avant Garde feel to it central. It has got a transgression to it that piques the interest though in an interesting way.

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.......................................................................................................................... OTHERKIN Broken English

Pummelling into the playing is “’89” and it has a marvellous intro. Then it changes direction and brings with it something that has a nimble feel collared by the rhythm. This is siphoned with different directions and elements added, yet it is very telling as it plays. “Anotherkin” plays away and splendidly does so. It tinkers away and brings a hard sound that strikes through on it. It really cleverly shows and the vocals a have a truthful aspiration to them.

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The guitar spins away on “Lockjaw” and feels it all out. Pressing in a way, it also hangs loose and collects something specific that floats along on a catchy wave here. That evident heel to it is instantly attractive and gets down to things immediately. The substance is brought to proceedings here with how it ascends. They bring a stirring shoegazer sensibility on “Waypoints”. It clearly follows a set path that arrows the tempo into something with a carefree run. The progression is impressive and the band pulls their weight on it here. You get a sense of THE STROKES from the final track “Better Undone”. There is an apparent shift in the sound that relies on creating an edge in the tight sound. That raw way it flows is incredible lean and focussed. The playing matches the intent with vigour.


TAYLORS LANE Battle Scars The debut EP from the Dublin based sibling duo is a tender affair that is rich in folk overtures. “Home” conveys a sense of wonderment in how it is handled. The lyrics understand this and have a replenished accompaniment to suit the arrangement. It has a dandy skip about it and grows on you. The next track on the EP is “Shooting Star” and it entwines a lot of softer aspects. The acoustic guitar sees a fine effort entwine the listener. It fulfils something rather respectful in the way it carries itself. Coming after that is “Battle Scars” and it hits things nicely. It carefully comes about, but hanging behind the lyrics is an angry sentiment. It squares things away neatly. The rhythm is made up of a simple arrangement that keeps an ornate present to it firmly at the fore. A sultry shape demands your attention on “Prone To Fall”. The way that they change their style here shows well. With it comes something very much influenced by a Latin influence which shows in how splendidly present the Spanish guitar is on the sound. The invigorated styling it brings shows handsomely in the bridge as it plays out. “These Times” is the final track here. It has a lush and tranquil air to it. With the way that it branches out you hear an evident resolve pushing the softer moments through. The Latin influence pleasantly lingers in the play. Everything about it is tidy and the way it moves is gracefully played.

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.......................................................................................................................... FRANKO FRANKO Animal House This is another band that we have seen a great deal of on the live circuit this year. Their debut EP brings a degree of assured swagger on the first track “Top Shelf”, but it has the music credentials to back it all up. The rhythm is steadily laid on. With the guitar and drumming sliding into one another the bass line sets the tone. It also allows the synth to move across on it deliberately. The synth scorches “Far From Home” as it opens. Then it drops into a dreamy state of delirium with the rhythm encasing the song. The indie showing here is a wealthy affluent attribute that it capitalises on to good effect. It has a shoegazer on acid feel to it which is not a complaint but merely an observation.

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There is an intention about “Slow” that belies the feel good feel from the rhythm. It has a laid back feel but when listened to closely it has a bold structure at work. While a whistle plays into it to give it a casual feel, the way that the music all connects to deliver something that is very much on the money. The last track off the EP is “Animal house” and it has an obvious 80s influence. That counts for a lot on the song here. It has a way that comes to shape the rhythm in an elegant way. The retro pours out on it before coming into the aspects that are all of its own making.


RED MOON BAYONETS The Dark West An interlude opens it called “The Dark” and then it plays into something with a grandiose gothic side in “The Cure”. This sees the band lean into the playing to produce something that appears to be an extension of the opening. Very pressing guitar riffs form a wall of sound on it that is steeped in a heavy feel. The vocals have a drawl that imparts upon it with notoriety. A rattle from the drums patiently stows away as a guitar riff does something similar. Then things collect. The harrowing sentiment of it has a dark tone that is inviting and definitive. The playing combines in a way that neatly grounds out the intent on it. “West” is a second interlude and one with an Americana folk ring to it. The pick up on the rhythm of “Flames” shows no fooling around as the playing pours out on it. It lights up with exuberance. The fresh feel to it serves it well. Then “By Design” closes it all out. With how it charmingly spins there is a divinity felt from it. But alongside that is something with an edge that stirs a cautious feeling. With the grip it takes on the playing it steers the dark tone and sees it clear. What it also does remarkably well is provide it with a framework within which the margins can expand in terms of developing definition in the playing at different moments.

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.......................................................................................................................... STU DALY Hermitage2

As “The Landing Light” plays a comparison is drawn to OF MONSTERS AMD MEN’s “Little Talks”. It is impossible for it not to enter into one’s conscious when hearing the arrangement. The lyrics and voice come across on it and how they fall down on it is something that is engaging to listen to. There is a precise way about how the piano tumbles along on “Plaster Of Paris” that does seem to evoke a merging of traditional folk and Olympia values. The tale told holds true and there is revelry about it. What is captured in the music is also the same essence that sees it through in the right moments.

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The third track here is called “Lifers” which has a candid skip from the double bass on the playing. It burns bright in terms of making the track catchy. It realises that and the exuberant swoon that the playing is delivered with relishes this. It has an offbeat charm in how the rhythm is measured. “Museum” also seems to capture something spirited but it has a more serious feel to it. The folk aspects test the waters with an expression into a slower tone and tempo. That levitates here with a notable bliss and then delves into something that pushes things on a musical level. It is clear in how it signals the intent and brings a sullen draw before the pace becomes stoked. Hitting the ground running is “Heirlooms” and it has a fine direction. Here is the standout track on the EP. The pace rockets along and the way that it tears up things is promising. The obvious design to it shows this to be a clear intent. It is something very much narrowed down and brings a lot more to the mix than the others.

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SHADOWS AND DUST Each Year Forever There is a very tranquil feel to the opening that rolls over sweetly on “Cobblestones (Part 1)”. It derives an honest feel in the delivery that blends the fuller aspects of it together. It creates something reserved that sits well with the tense side of the play. All on all it has a lot in the broad definition it has that is able to evoke the paying. “Cobblestones (Part 2)” sees the same folk influence develop into something sturdy as it opens. It comes away with it and as it does it affords a sense of the coveted to everything. The dalliance in the playing allows builds up the sweeping tempo nicely. The interestingly titled “Bridge Of Sighs” shows an obvious TOM WAITS influence. It shoulders the sullen feeling and the playing is herded in a way that moves along with the darker handling. It is efficiently done also. “Homely Ground’’ brings a lot of the right things to bear. The sentimental tone of it is patiently allowed to come to fruition. It marvels in that process and because it never rushes the process everything on it lines up assuredly. It has a credence about it that is delightful to hear. They allow “Gosling” the time and space to breathe. As a result it finds an essence that it relaxes into on the playing side of things. A catharsis is established in how the elation fondly breaks through. It is a neat touch that works well and shows how promising an act they can be. To close out things is “I Hope We Go”. This is something that touches you when you hear it play. A mournful opening is neatly styled. Then there are forays in how the rhythm drops in and out but when it does find its feet it never puts a foot wrong. There is a depth of emotion shown on many fronts here when it finds its way. It really showcases the band in the best possible light.

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.......................................................................................................................... GREG CLIFFORD The Temple Lane Recordings This is a collection of recordings made during December last year. The opening track is “Hold On”. A bouzouki is adopted for this track and creates an interesting soundworld. The rhythm is focused, and has a touch of country infused rock. The arrangement lends itself to being catchy and it builds in an effective manner. Taking you along for the ride again is “Looking Out For Number One”. There is a patient feel to how it builds from the late 16th century tune “Greensleeves”. When it reaches its destination it gives rise to lots of excellent elements. Lyrically this is a strong attempt form Clifford. Although bleak in outlook, there is subtle hope and acceptance to be drawn from the song. “Wasting Away” is a song that really brings a ‘suave’ coolness to the mix. A Latin influence peruses through on it and evenly finds its feet. Special mention must go to Jack Sherry for his virtuosic flute skills on this track. With “A Song For You” there is an embracing of the softer points. The arrangement here consists of acoustic guitar, electric guitar and flute. We are treated to an emotive, impromptu improvised outro, in which violin and drums are added.

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The tumble to “On The Road” has a wonderful carefree feel. The lyrics have a wonderful freedom to them that is maintained as the upbeat tempo kicks in. There is cause for celebration when it reaches its peak. The warmth in the playing necessitates and retains a prominence that situates a lot of clean and clever turns where they belong. After that comes “It’s Time Girl” and the sound develops something with a harder rock feel to it. It really makes the most of the lean sound and the rawness of it seems to evoke something reminiscent of the glorious days of punk in terms of how vibrant it becomes. The bonus track on the EP here is “Take Off Your Mask”. The soft and refined feel to the whole song is littered with metaphors and philosophical reflection in the lyrics. This transforms the body of the song and it has an elation carrying through from the playing here. It is a subtle approach and fitting as an inclusion as a bonus track.


SLOW SKIES Close “On The Shore” has a wistful feel to how it is drawn out. The closed off and secluded feel brings something safe into the mix and meets with a bold expression musically. It shows well and with how it locates the soulful her voice grows into the delivery all the more. The next track here is “Wounds”. It has a watchful and detailed notice to it all. That is stared down quite well and kindly. The brittle decree from the lyrics has a serene presence, and with the way it folds away. That sits well with the ambient posture that the playing develops. For “Ties” the narrow and stripped bare playing also present s the emotion on in a quint and apparent way. To not overuse a pun here, this is what binds it all. There is a stark and bitter touch about it that dutifully plants something thoroughly sorrowful and bittersweet, yet it finds a place to call home in the arrangement. The closing track here is “Close”. Touching on some well traced sentiment, the playing has a heft about it all. It instils something cold and reserved, yet the intimacy that pours out on the lyrics has a clean confessional feel that sits well with the sheltered delivery.

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.......................................................................................................................... RED SAIL We Still Build Forts

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Angling in the folk on “Wheel Your Wings Home” is done well. The feel to how it is all applied plants something quite squarely in the centre of the playing. The volume derived from the way the softer and broader playing elements do a lot for it. At the same time they show in equal measure. The piano is applied in a way that seems to dictate the harder moments. The tender and timid showing to “Whole Again” is something that they settle into quite well. Progressing from the piano it opens up and shows something with great urgency. It is settled in a way that makes it more formidable when it gets going. It evenly does it which is what makes it all the more pleasing. With “Sailing Song” a rather fine tune turns out and brings the whole process together. It is stirring and telling in how it seems to run. “Balcony Blues” has a pronounced folk influence. It diligently processes this and invests it into the play. Dutifully done it emerges from applying the substance to what plays underneath it and that is why the substance of it matters. “Collide” breaks it all down and signs off cleverly. It aligns the body and shape of the track swimmingly. It sails across and the safe feel that it implies shows something significant. That captures the essence of the song and lets it play in the soft, lush way it does.

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International Artists TV GIRL Lonely Women The album has a very carefree and superb feel to it. The rhythm on the opening track “She Smokes In Bed” is a truly languid affair that has a true keepsake quality to it. But it is enhanced by how cool the lyrics are. They have a very intelligent cut about them that an intent listen reveals to be more than the sum of their parts. Second track “Laura” visits a territory that is somewhat akin to Japanese pop. It has an enigmatic saunter to it and the kaleidoscopic sense to it is brought about by the uttermost conviction that is created in the playing looms. With “My Girlfriend” one thinks of the unlucky in love musings of bands such as PULP. The Japanese pop feel is also evident here, yet the offbeat way that it is played gives it a sense of hipster. But it has a chilled out feel that removes it from a pretentious wandering and instead of losing track of itself it just retains a sense of identity that is managed just right. “Easier To Cry” injects the EP with an appreciative tilt. They bring the reserved feel in line with a subtle dub step sound. The way it sounds is somewhat simplified but it doesn’t drive it to despair. It keeps some distinct playing touches in the fold and they have a role to play. Then they play “Melanie” which has a true sense of identity. The recounting of female names has a prowess and diligence about it. It follows a degree of mobility in the way it develops an identity of its own.

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.......................................................................................................................... THE SHALLOWS Same Space – Vol.2 This EP is a distinctly British affair and reflects that in the music. The opener here has a rich tumble from the guitar which then drops out to allow the pressing of a drum and synth based sound that relies heavily on a synth origin to give it drive. Scintillatingly done it catches a lot of good hooks in the playing here that are fanciful and there is a leaning in from the vocals for added effect. “Guessing Games” has a lament to it. The synth scores it finely. That pours out on it with excellent effect and it purrs like a kitten in terms of how catchy and fresh it sounds. That leverages well as the song gets into the flow and needles these qualities very descriptively.

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“Running For Cover” ruminates and hits the ground running. The dramatic effect to it is sublime. Kindling the sharp burst in the rhythm is something that is done well. That gives the song a resonance that is upbeat and catchy, yet also shows some substance stirring beneath the surface that is a given. That governs the way the delivery rolls out and does it well. The last track here is “The Enemy”. A hard gusto shows on the way it comes together. It has a heavy beat and bounce to it that the synth industrialises in a very plush way.


BOURBON STREET BEAT Knuckles Of Brass “The Gamblers” lovingly plays with the guitar focus of their sound and it has a prowess in it. The handling is a sturdy affair that takes flight with a dandy skip. The elegant way it bounces here catches things with a formidable bounce that immediately satisfies you upon listening. That locked down quality is pleasant. With “A Stone By The Coast” they heel the rock side of it to come to bear admirably. The influence of the blues on the band shows here. The deep tone that it has finds something sullen that the drawl of the vocals piece together with dazzling aplomb. It has a very colourful heel about it all. The third track on the EP here is “Save Me” and is rich in an American style. The steady way that it sails across impresses here a great deal. It shoots straight and has no let up or shying away from wearing their heart on their sleeve when it comes to delivering a track with mettle.

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.......................................................................................................................... DIRTY SAINT Professional Beggar

The pace is sealed in and the turn from the music here remains faithful to a hard rock telling. The New Zealand rockers have an honest conviction in the playing. This is tight in terms of the timing and how things sync. With the rise in the playing it realises a lot and turns on that when it steps up to the plate. A telecast sample sets up “Free Your Mind”. Blistering along the pace checks in nicely. The pull for the song rests in the way the vocals lean into the delivery to match the intent of the delivery. It has a turgid, dirty feel from the rhythm that swings out with a lot on show. The handling of it frees up a good old-fashioned turn from the band. A wonderful whipped guitar resonates and appears to have no let up on their version of “Devil”. Which appears to be an unashamed version of THE STEREOPHONICS “Roll Up And Shine”. It deliberately seems to mirror it but still puts its own stamp on it. But the similarities are far too close.

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They then play a smart guitar riff that bristles finely on “Tell Me”. This has a splendid and timely feel to it that is well felt out. With how it catches the spirit of the band it keeps things in check. The way it rolls out does show a consistency and easy listening school of thought. The last track on the EP here is “Lady J”. It retains a steady hand as the playing develops. The rock is heavily present and it shows in a damn fine way here. The consistency and fluidity of it is there in the volume and locked in with the right amount of handling.


THE BEACHES Self-titled This band really has everything down pat. There is an immediate pull to “Absolutely Nothing” that is resilient and racy. The delivery packs the pace with an electrifying charge as it hits the air. What works n it here connects with any listener who admires fine music in all its glory because that is what is on show here. “Boy Wonder” repeats the trick and they show the credential they have. It packs a punch and the raw sensibility is given bite. The deep sound it has really holds up and the rotund feel to it has is tantalising. The tenacity also checks in with a deliberate feel. Third track is “Kids” and they stick to their guns. Only here they expand in what they have in their repertoire. The moody tone of it meets well with a fresh sound that is kept in line. It comes round and the clear cut that washes through on it really impresses. This is a slick affair that knows where it is going and how to get there. Neatly following that up is “Loner”. This has a punk feel to it and is driven by the bass on the intro. It clocks in and the way it breaks down clocks inn with real sensibility. The strong and catchy beat is a focal point on the song, but with the rock edge it has it is taken that little bit further by how attentive it plays. The keel it has crosses over finely. The guitar that is dragged across on “Youth Lament” swells the deeper moments that it has going for it. It has a perused element that is rather fetching in the sound. Electively drifting is a nice selling point on it that parts ways with the downbeat moments by developing a sense of abandon to it all. This is what feeds it well. Closing out the EP is “Wanna Know Your Name”. It is triggered by the harsh tangle of the playing that is satisfying here. The playing ability develops those qualities in the sound with the right amount of timing and tracking. That is what helps it check in so elegantly. There is a derivative at work on it that keenly shows for all the right reasons.

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.......................................................................................................................... THE AIRPLANES The Jingle Jangle EP

Sweet and affectionately bursting with an imaginative turn is “A Little Light”. It develops the sound consciously and brings finesse to it. The way that the catchy side of it is combed over here is what helps it find a true calling. On “A Second Person Point Of View” the spread on their sound is evident. The way it all pushes out embraces the playing side of things but in equal measure they place an emphasis on developing the structure and framework to it here. That is why it so cleanly comes around.

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Next comes “Jingle Jangle” which roars into the equation and has a true presence to it. The deep play that is pushed out on it here comes to serve it well. With how it is pressed the catchy side of it nestles inside some playing with true substance. “Bug Star 45s” closes it all out. The acoustic guitar is forcibly delivered while a neat dobro slides across on it. The sweet nicks in the sound travel well and the catchy way it rolls is another plus on it here. It cleverly focuses on the playing and the sublime hilt of the vocals is able to concentrate that and locate it just as well.

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THE TWENTY Camarilla The rush in the play is a stirring quality on “Heads Up (Heads Gone)” that the mosh pit regulatory feel it has spins in a sixpence. There is a sturdy transition about it and the way it connects here brings out the best in it. In that regard the explosive and volatile feel from it as it builds locks that all in with definition. Then “Take A Penny” has a smart roll to it. With the way it focuses things it stands out, though the lyrics do feel a bit laboured on it at times. The running to it does pick up and that can be overlooked when it occurs. It has a dirty feel to it also. “No More No” rises up. There is a stark feel to it that injects it with a raw and edgy feel. The guitar strips back the sound and plays in with feint regard for anything else other than the music. The punk feel to it is refreshing to hear and is noted for the voluptuous feel that the playing develops. It is not just in how it sounds bit also in how it neatly interjects the playing and progression. That dalliance sees it straight. The rhythm that drives “Parapet” on has a dainty run about it. It shakes it all up here and it runs with a real aplomb and majesty. There is no shirking from developing the way it has to get it all done here. With the focus of the playing directed as it is the song easily gets going. To bring the EP to a close we have “Petrol Fumes”. Lean and full of energy announces it. The way it is all centred is to be admired. The bluster from the rhythm has a hard keel that resonates from the guitar in a fetching way. It pushes that further with the largesse developed in the sound on it.

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.......................................................................................................................... LIZABETT RUSSO The Traveller’s Song

Our next EP is from Aberdeen artist LIZABETT RUSSO. Her voice projects on “Lose Your Colour”. How it does so displays a colourful and enigmatic movement. It has a practicality that is ratified by the delivery. It fastens these points down and plays on the strengths of them to a delightful tee. “Tonight” crosses a threshold that the tidy shuffle and beat caress. It is all acknowledged by the wholesome way that it commandeers the guitar into the rhythm. The steady skip to the drumming also purses together all the playing elements tidily. There is a lot to admire about it here.

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The playing is stoked on “The Travellers Song”. A wholesome and spiritual feel hangs off it from her voice. The rhythm itself has a centralised point and it has a format that evenly distributes the elements. A lot is a steadied in the detailed motions. It is here that the song finds heart.


THE DARK LIGHTS Stop Existing, Start Living This recommendation comes from our London network get it going with “Clear The Air”. There is a definition that it adheres to and complements the delivery all the more for doing so. It does produce a beat that clearly has a bounce in the sound that is essential to how it forms the body musically. The second track here is “Sticks And Stones”. It has a countenance in the transition that it plays to rather well. The voice collects on it neatly and carries the tune when required. “Game Of Two Hearts” seems to gather the playing in a strong way. Here is where the band shows why they have developed a reputation in the way that they have. It dusts off things quite well. In doing so they then develop things artistically with the playing and arrangement in a way that warrants mention. That lift they develop here is reflected again on the closing track “Ghosts”. The tripped out feel in the sound is there to find. It skirts in with hard rock elements and some degree of new wave playing that gives it a good overall running.

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.......................................................................................................................... THE GULLWINGS EP Part I

The Stockport band has a reserved feel form the opening track “Turn Back time”. It adopts a languid posture that rations the playing and pulls it inward. With that fancy hold on show it is then able to stand alone. The gothic styling to it has a lucid tone that t knowingly presses ahead with. There is also something very much realised with how withdrawn it collects. The next track here is “Truth Or Tone”. Steering the guitar across on it gives it a bountiful and street feel. It has a kitsch quality that it kisses feverishly in the delivery. How it then drops down has a bold feel to it and it angles the play in a very dry way.

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“Why Are We Always Too Late” gains from the blues style. What is noticeable about this band is their ability to wield an axe in bringing out a tune that has a guitar at the core. That is a function you feel to why they exist as a band.

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BLUE ANGEL LOUNGE Walls There is a trippy feel to this one and it seems to bring a pleasantry to it all. The other thing that impresses on it is the way that those points are canvassed. They keep everything closely and the running time on it here is well maintained at 3:49.

8 .......................................................................................................................... 9 SINEAD WHITE Flat Battery

Here is a song from an artist that we have been waiting to see release material all year. Here she doesn’t disappoint and the neat licks on the play are all exemplary. It also shows how she is progressing under the wing of the good people at Putting Out Records. But it is also a reflection of her ability as an artist because her talent is something that is undeniable.

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VALENTINE BLACK What A Woman Can Do

This is a song that has a wonderful arrangement. This is a band that draws a comparison between JAMES meeting with BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN. The blend of heartfelt lyrics and neat playing is shown here and the balance that is struck candidly absorbs you in the moment. It develops the feeling and has a mutual way about it that has to be appreciated.

.......................................................................................................................... THE DEATH OF POP Sun In My Eyes

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There is a very revered 80’s spin about the sound. This coasts along on it here and the sublime way that it feeds into the rhythm is joyful. With the candid feel it has, alongside and enigmatic direction that is knowledgeable of developing its own identity. What is vibrant on the rhythm is marvellous and the carefree spirit of it evokes everything you could ask for.

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CPNHGN Cry Wolf

You immediately get turned onto this band because of the consistent way that the guitar runs across on the track. It has a clean feel to it, while the handsome way that they drop it all down into a hardened drive is well played. It is a song that is as sharp as a tack. There is no mistaking that. - 54 -


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NEW YORK TOURISTS Move” & “My Baby

The first track here has a defined Mancunian feel about the sound. It operates well and the drawn out feel of it rises to a wanton feel with the deep feel it has. That is locked in and the rotund way it feels develops steadily. It also locates the finer points in a way that is obvious. With “My Baby” the clean kick it has really soars across on it. In the travelling is something sweet and notable for the hard way that the blues come into the reckoning. This handles the urgent points as they should be.

.......................................................................................................................... RIOT TAPES Cardinal Rules

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There is a clear catchiness about this that screams tune. The guitar has a deliberate and fine handling. But behind that it builds with a clean showing. As it does so it also spaces out with a consistent showing which defines the band as one with ability in abundance.

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KYNCHINLAY Public Execution

They steadily build it with a track playing being it in reverse. From there it allows the guitar to come in and exact the right sentiment. This is pushed out on the playing with a formidable tracking. It has a hard heel to it and it plays with some dynamics that savour at the right moments on it.

.......................................................................................................................... EMPIRE CIRCUS There Is A Light

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The playing is cradled and has an exuberant feel about it. How full on they manage to make it become is impressive. The volume that presents from the delivery is able to lock down the substance side of it all. The catchy pop side is a sensible feel and it rides it all out well.

.......................................................................................................................... THE BALCONY STARS She’s Going Down

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Again this band produces the goods and show they are an office favourite. There is a clear confirmation of the raw quality and essence that their music has going on. The revelry mustered in the playing and delivery have a clean and raw cut to them that is blistering form from the second it starts to take off. - 55 -


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NEXT ISSUE: In Their Thousands Corina Jaye 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

Dec Green Jack of Diamonds The Manc Tank Album Reviews EP Reviews Single Reviews

U&I G igs Photographer: Eric Cooper Manches ter Mus ic Scene: David Beech

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July issue 2013