The Manc Tank
Ali Ingle Scene & Heard 15-17 18-19 20 21-24
Dimestore Recordings The Ruby Sessions Corrina Jaye King Kong Club Semi Final #5
25-31 32-42 43-45 46
Irish Album/EP Reviews International Album/EP Reviews Single Reviews September 4x4
The Carnival Brothers
EDITORIAL We now come to our September issue off the back of a very good summer of music. This month’s issue features an interview with Wildflowers in which they talk about getting a pep talk from Elvis Costello to supporting the legendary Robert Plant last month. We also have interviews with Featuring X, The Carnival Brothers and Icechrystalls. There is also an interview with King Kartel for this month’s Manc Tank. In addition to that we also managed to catch up with Liverpool’s Ali Ingle. The team here at U&I Music Magazine has also grown and we added five new members recently. They are Wynona Grant, Jonathon Fitzgerald, Jamie Kelly, Darragh O’Connor and Paul Sleator. Things look very promising for us now and we will begin to launch phase two of our music based projects. These will include a U&I Radio Show, while we are also looking at developing a YouTube show that we have been developing since the start of the summer. We have also included a live review of Semi Final #5 of The King Kong Club in the “Scene & Heard” section. That is in addition to a live review of Corrina Jaye performing at her EP launch in Whelan’s. There are also album reviews from The Temperance Movement, Empire Circus, The Kissaway Trail, Ka-Tet and others. While the EP reviews include The Neo-Kalashnikovs, Dani, Land Of The Giants, Hospital and other great unsigned and independent artists.
Phillip Ó�Baoighealláin Editor-In-Chief
.................................................................................................................. From seeing them play live at a gig in The New Cross Inn last year, Wildflowers have been a band that been firmly on our radar since and we are big fans of them here in our office. We caught up with their lead singer SIDDY BENNETT recently to talk about music, a summer of festivals, meeting the other Elvis, one or two other things and a little bit about supporting the legendary Robert Plant at the end of last month. From the first time we saw you play we kept an eye on you. We heard good reports about you from people on the festival circuit. So that is where we will start. We will turn the clock back to the last 12 months and talk about how well everything has gone for you as a band. You played a lot of gigs and kept at it as all good bands should. But then you got some advice form a very unlikely source in June last year. How did the pep talk from Elvis Costello come about and what advice did he give you? How did it feel to know that someone of his stature was willing to make some time for a band like you? WF: We went to see him play at the Brighton Centre. We were invited up to the after show party which was more like a couple of beers and all his friends and family. Elvis introduced himself and asked about the band. He put his feet up on the sofa and started giving us some advice, he was really friendly. He said to not stop believing, and to work hard. He also said he would keep an eye out for us. He was definitely a dude. We were all very flattered, it was all rather comical/ surreal because he was in a huge cowboy hat and sunglasses and was lounging on a sofa giving us a pep talk in the middle of the night… The other thing about you as a band is that you made it onto ITV when you played at the Harbourside Festival in July last year. In our opinion you gave a good account of yourselves in the footage that we saw. How big a deal was it to see Wildflowers on a TV screen? WF: Thank You!! Yeah, we were shocked! It was amazing because it was only our 4th gig or something!! You then played a mini tour in Brighton in August. At the moment it is a very vibrant and happening place to play as a performer on account of how good the scene is at present. Do you have a particular venue(s) there that you like to play and why? Are there any particular artists that you like playing with or have played with from gigging? WF: In Brighton I really enjoy playing at The Hope! It has a nice scene and awesome sound guy. The Green Door Store is cool too; I like the aesthetics, it’s kind of like a stable. Well I like Robert Plant! His fans are the friendliest out there. As for new music, I am like a 45 year old, and just listen to old music from the 60s like Dylan, Donovan, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell. I just like bands and artists who play their own instruments and have good lyrics that mean something, and for some reason that’s quite hard to come by these days. f you know any, please send them my way!!! Ooh I do like the Lumineers and they did it all on an independent label, so I guess that counts! There was no resting on your laurels either. After the summer you got down to some more hard work and produced your very first music video for the band in September – “Took Me To The River”. In addition to it being a very good video it is also a cracking tune. Firstly to the video, what was the whole concept behind it?
WF: The idea was that it was early morning on Brighton beach, and the story of the song had happened the night before so I was a bit dishevelled, singing the story to the camera. So it was quite simple. We wanted to get some of the lyrics across, kind of a tribute to Dylan’s music video for “Subterranean Homesick Blues”. So we just got some cardboard and picked out some of our favourite phrases. It was a lot of fun, but it was very cold and windy. The editing and quality of the video is also of a high standard. That seems to be the case with any videos that you have officially uploaded. That is something the majority of bands never give much consideration to, but you are a band who seem to really place an emphasis on it. How important is video as a medium to you as a band? WF: Thank You! It’s so important to me. I grew up watching music videos religiously and I have a deep love for film. I get as excited about the video as I do about a song when it’s written. For me they come hand in hand. I love acting, photos shoots, fashion, (the sides of music which some musicians are uncomfortable with). I think we have a lot more to give as we are only really finding our feet with video editing, so now we are gonna aim bigger. The lyrics are also an incredibly sharp showing on it. How does the song writing process come about for you as a band? Is it a collective process? WF: It varies. Sometimes me and James sit down and write, he will come up with a riff, or I have an idea. Sometime Kit gets involved with the lyrics. Other times I just sit down and write a song in 10 minutes. Like “Took Me To The River”. That was an improvisation that I recorded in my bedroom. I like to press play on my mac and make videos while singing along to chords. Then I go back and listen to my subconscious and write down what I’ve written. With “Took Me To The River”, I think I changed about two words. I wrote it from start to finish in one take. I still have the original video. It was mad. I just go into a daze and have no idea what I’m singing about, and then when I listen back there’s always a story, or a hook. That song also shows a rich country/bluegrass styling to it. Your sound itself is rather distinct. Who were the influences on you as a band growing up? WF: Oh God, what a question! I like so much music. I guess I listened to a lot of old school country like Patsy Cline when I was a kid. My dad is a jazz musician so he would always be playing Billy Holiday. But influences on the band come from artists like THE EAGLES, ALANIS MORRISETTE, FLEETWOOD MAC, SANDY DENNY, THE POGUES. Recently we have been venturing into a more harmony filled live performance. I’m definitely listening to a lot of MAMAS AND PAPAS, and Indie Folk. You then continued to gig and October kept you very busy. How important is it for you as a band to play to a live crowd on a regular basis? What do you get from playing a live gig that you wouldn’t necessarily get from being in studio? WF: Invaluable practice!! You can rehearse in a studio over and over but live gigging is how to become brilliant because it puts you on the spot. I think the more the band gig together, the more comfortable the songs become. Therefore the more you can perform matters. It’s the most important thing to do with being in our band, because at the end of the day, it is all about the music!
This summer you played the Wildflowers tour and an appearance at “Dot-To-Dot” Festival in Manchester. How has this year’s festival circuit been in comparison to the 12 months previous? WF: Oh it was great to step it up a bit. Dot.To- Dot was such an awesome thing to be a part of. Everyone was really friendly and there were so many bands playing all over each city…who were all new like us so everybody was excited! We met loads of amazing people, and had a great time. It was nice to have a bit of recognition. Someone came up to me and Dot-To-Dot and asked for a photo for their little sister because she loves our band, and I was like “Really??? are you sure?? So that was amazing. The highlight of this summer is probably the support slot that you had for Robert Plant. It goes without saying how big a deal that really is because of how revered he is as a musician. What did it mean to you as a band to be asked to support him? How did it all come about? How did it feel to walk out on the stage at that gig and see the crowd? How did it feel after it had all happened? WF: Well I cried 3 times on the day I found out. He is James’s idol, so he turned white when we told him! We all went to the pub and sank quite a few beers to get over the shock. It came about because he heard our EP, contacted his agent and said get Wildflowers to support me. As simple as that, and as mental! Do you know what, all I can say is that it felt completely natural. I actually felt more comfortable on that stage than I ever have. I was very nervous before, so I did some meditating in my dressing room, and then watched a bit of The Secret!!! Haha (it’s all about positive thinking) and then I was pumped. As soon as we walked on, I was having the time of my life, and his fans were so friendly and supportive. The response was over whelming. We had stand up ovations, and met all his fans out the front after the gig and were signing CD’s and t-shirts. It felt to me, like the first time we were really being understood on a large scale. It was magic. Speaking of studio time, you released a track called “Tell Them I’m Your Woman” in February this year. That again showed the distinction in your sound. Your debut EP “Wild Among The Flowers” was released in June. When the band got together was that always the intention of what you all wanted to achieve in terms of music and sound? WF: We didn’t actually release “Tell Them The I’m Your Woman”, we just put the demo up on Soundcloud. We haven’t actually recorded it in the studio yet, just at home, so we are hoping it will go on the album and be re recorded! We wanted our first EP to be a bit ballsy, that’s why we chose tracks like “Miss Understood” and “Where the Flowers Don’t Grow”. We wanted people to hear it and think.. .’fuck these guys aren’t messing about’. It was really important to me that we put “Where The Flowers Don’t Grow” on as I wrote about the Gulabi Gang in India. I think it’s important to say something, and their vigilante movement is something I admire, and would like more people to look it up! It’s only our first EP, and I’m really proud of it, but like every artist, as soon as its done you write more songs and you want to put them out! What else lies in store for the band? Have you any future releases or gigs coming up? WF: We are off on tour with Brit winner Tom Odell in October, which is exciting. I think most of the tour is sold out, and then we are doing our own headline tour in March!! If you visit our Facebook or Tourbox tickets are available from there! (our website is under construction at the moment).
FEATURING X has become one of those bands that are gradually building up a following and reputation in the Dublin unsigned circuit at the moment. We have caught a couple of their gigs this year and they have been very impressive. The five-piece are also the literal embodiment of what it should mean to be a girl band because they play and write all their own tunes. We caught up with them to talk about music, Thin Lizzy and their first headline gig. How did the band come together and how did you come to settle on the name? Niamh Sharkey (Lead Vox): We came together in Transition Year, the end of 2011. Originally it was to take part in a school talent show here in Louth, but we decided to continue working together and gig some more! The name, well the identity of ‘X’ will remain a mystery to everyone, FOREVER. Dara Farrelly (lead guitarist): I'd always been interested in being in a band and I made it my business to assemble one, and I knew the others were into playing music too. We started off as "Yet To Be Named" but since that caused a lot of confusion, we decided to change our name and we ended up with Featuring X. You have a sound that is very much rock oriented. There is a strong sense of that in your music that we have picked up on from seeing you live this year. We have also noted that you’re also developing a progression in your performance both in terms of ability but also the content of your songs. Who were the bands that you listened to growing up? Sarah McLaughlin (Bass): Growing up my favourite bands were Busted, My Chemical Romance and S Club 7…I don't think they influenced me hugely but I have since found a less uncool music taste. Elle Rogers (Rhythm /Backing Vox): When I was young I loved Busted, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. But I never really came to appreciate music and its diversity Until I hit my teenage years. I met people who opened my mind up to different genres and changed my music taste for the better. Does that diversity have much influence with how everything comes together in the song writing process? Niamh Sharkey: I think it definitely does, but it also can really benefit us. All our tastes are very different but yet complement each other when it comes to writing. Dara Farrelly: Yes it does. Everyone has a unique perspective on a song when we're writing it.
Then in June you played your first gig in McPhail’s to celebrate the release of your debut E.P. Does playing in front of a home crowd have its advantages and disadvantages?
Niamh Sharkey: I feel it had both advantages and disadvantages. It was our first hometown gig in a while, and in that time we really upped our game and progressed in our performance and ability to play. It was great to show off how far along we had come in the past year and of course showcase our original music! For me, I was so so nervous! To be quite honest I rarely get that nervous anymore, but because these were our friends and family I felt pressure to impress! Jenny McKeown (Drums): Yeah that was a great gig. Personally I rather playing to new audiences to see how they react to seeing and hearing us for the first time. You were once invited to play as part of the Thin Lizzy Experience. How much of an influence were they on you growing up and what did it mean to be taking part in the event itself? Niamh Sharkey: Personally I only really heard of Thin Lizzy and only knew one or two songs. But from discovering more about this outstanding Irish band I really came to love them and felt privileged to be part of such an experience! Dara Farrelly: The music of Thin Lizzy has always inspired me and it was nice to take part in a tribute. It must have been a great boost to you as a band to know that you were being considered as good enough to play at the event also. Was there anything you were able to take away from playing it that you were able to bring to the band as a whole which has seen things move forward? Sarah McLaughlin: I think it made us tighter and strengthened our confidence as a band. It was a great platform for us to get ourselves out there and that helped a lot when we started to gig. Elle Rogers: It was my first experience playing in front of crowd that I didn't know. So I think it benefited me in way of getting more comfortable in my movement on stage and not be afraid to let loose and pull a few questionable faces along the way. Last summer was also one that was productive for you. There was your first acoustic set in the Salthouse in August, which is a marked direction from your usual sound. How did that feel to play? Sarah McLaughlin: It was a lot different to what we were used to but it was nice to get a feel for more intimate gigs and to find our acoustic sound.
Elle Rogers: I actually think it was around the time we brought Billie Jean into our set when we started playing in the Salthouse. That was probably when we started changing up the original structure of songs and adding in our own parts which I think benefited us when we started writing. What did you take away from it that was of benefit to you as performers? Niamh Sharkey: I definitely feel personally I gained more confidence with interacting and having that connection and eye contact with a room of people which can be difficult to do. But as it was so intimate you were almost forced to become more interactive which benefitted me as a front woman! Jenny McKeown: The ability to really connect as a band as that is important when performing to smaller audiences. Dara Farrelly: We had fun experimenting acoustically and we learnt what does and doesn't work when playing You have had some experience on the festival circuit this summer. How does the experience playing at a festival differ to playing at smaller venues for you as a band? Niamh Sharkey: Love love love it! By far the best kind of gigs…people are there for the music! Festival crowds always seem to really appreciate our music. Also I feel I can always let my hair down a little more at festivals and really have fun and interact with the crowd a lot more than smaller venue gigs. Always an amazing vibe of live music! Elle Rogers: The people at festivals get “it". They see the tiny parts of a song which some pub crowds don't notice. It is also alright to get sweaty on stage. GIRLS SWEAT TOO! Dara Farrelly: The atmosphere at festivals is usually a very exciting one, whereas the atmosphere in a smaller venue tends to be more refined. Both are equally as fun though. This year has been one that has really seen you come into your own as a band. How valuable has been having Katie Hogan on board as your manager? Niamh Sharkey: We see her as one of us now really. From the minute we began working with her we hit it off! She really understands us musically and personally. She gets our weird humour and puts up with our strange requests. I also feel she really reflects our ‘all girl’ vibe we give off! Girl power and all that jazz! Soon enough us woman will take over the music industry. But yes, she has been so valuable to us and seen something in us and supported us from the start. Don’t know where we’d be without her!
Sarah McLaughlin: So valuable! When we got Katie as a manager we all started to take the band more seriously. She brought the opportunities and experiences that got us to where we are now. What have you noticed from having the right manager behind you as a band in terms of the benefits and the experience that she brings? Niamh Sharkey: As Katie has worked in the music industry for a few years now, she knows how it works. All the ins and outs, the whos and the whats of the industry which definitely benefits us when it comes to gigging, recording and what not. She also has a great understanding of us and how we work…always pushing us to work at our best. Elle Rogers: Her experience with PR and dealing with people in this industry is a huge asset to the team and also her drive as an individual really helps us as a band unit. In March 2013 you then began to record your debut EP in NuMu Productions Studios in Celbridge. How did it feel to finally be getting to the stage of putting down some tracks? Elle Rogers: It was crazy, seeing something which was once lyrics on a tiny piece of paper written months, even a year before, come to life like that. It was a great experience. Sarah McLaughlin: For me the studio was one of the highlights of everything we had done. It felt amazing to finally lay down the material we had been working on for so long! Were all of the tracks that ended up on the EP already decided upon before you went in or did it all come about during/after the recording process? Niamh Sharkey: A bit of both. We had some definite songs that were going on the EP but then when we got into the studio we did a lot of messing around with songs and came up with bits in there too! Sarah McLaughlin: We had a good idea of what tracks we were using but all ideas were finalised in the studio. Before the studio 'Jekyll and Hyde' was a rough piece of chords and vocals with some ideas of hooks and bass lines. We did most of the writing of that track whilst we were there. We were in studio for intense writing and recording and we weren't too restricted for practice time so everything really came together there. Jenny McKeown: We had a good idea of how we wanted the songs to be and the layout of them. Our producer Barry Murphy was great help with the final drafts of the songs. You also rehearsed at Camelot Studios this summer. How has that experience been in comparison to March? Sarah McLaughlin: We were there with Rob Burch from the Original Rudeboys who shared his knowledge of song writing with us. It was different to being in studio in March because we weren't under pressure to produce new material but it definitely helped us in starting to write some new songs.
Elle Rogers: It was a very different but interesting experience there was no pressure to record. We jammed, wrote and bounced ideas off one another. We are writing as a whole band this time around so it’s really different but were coming out with some great things so far. Dara Farrelly: It was different in comparison to March as we were only there for rehearsals. But it was of benefit to us as we had plenty of time to chill and go through some music. What new tracks have been recorded and are there any plans for future releases from this? Jenny McKeown: We released our debut EP in June consisting of our three original songs 'Jekyll and Hyde', 'The Boat' and 'One Too Many Times'. We are currently writing more material and plan to go back to the studio in October. You then joined the alumni of bands that have graced BalconyTV Dublin. That was in April this year. What was it like to be involved in a video recording process like that? Niamh Sharkey: It was fantastic to be on such an established show. Getting the chance to be on a platform that allowed us to show our original music to a worldwide audience was amazing!
Elle Rogers: I think there is a stigma against music videos which are filmed on a low budget. It is necessary to spend what some bands spend on music videos. There are people out there who love film making and want a challenge on a low budget because it’s great telling people, "we spent nothing on this video". It shows that a band can be self-reliant and use what there is to offer because we are in difficult times. What is happening with “The Boat”? When will that be released and what is the concept behind the video? Niamh Sharkey: “The Boat video” is much calmer, which reflects the song itself! It will be released in October! You also had a very promising August. There was the feature of the band in KISS magazine. How did it feel to see some mainstream media coverage for the band? Niamh Sharkey: Personally I spend my early teenage years reading Kiss Mag so when we found out we had an interview with them I was ecstatic! Think we did 13 year-old Niamh proud! Dara Farrelly: I felt like I made my younger self, a KISS girl, proud. The fact that it was nationwide was pretty cool!
Elle Rogers: It felt so underground and groovy. I felt like my fingers were going to fall off due to frostbite but I got through it. It was cool seeing my face in HD.
But there were also two important gigs that took place. There was the Whelan’s Front Line Showcase on August 6 and then there was your first headline gig in The Mercantile on August 20th. Are you beginning to feel that your hard work as a band is now beginning to pay off?
How important do you as a band see a resource like YouTube as a promotional tool for bands at a grassroots level?
Niamh Sharkey: For sure! We definitely worked very hard this year and put a lot of time and effort into band and really starting to see it all pay off now!
Jenny McKeown: I don’t think that we as a band used it as much as other bands although we do have a few videos of our live performances and our official 'One Too Many Times' video on YouTube. I do think that YouTube has a lot of advantages for promoting bands.
Dara Farrelly: Yes but it's a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll.
Elle Rogers: I think YouTube is a great platform for up and coming bands. If you are on a certain side of YouTube you are open to so much good indie underground music you might not have ever heard. But even saying its underground music, the amount of content put out on YouTube daily is immense so it’s sometimes hard getting noticed from that audience who like discovering new music and appreciate it. It is so competitive out there so that’s why it’s great having a Twitter and Facebook which are great mediums in getting our music noticed. That leads us nicely into the topic of video. This is another medium that you have gotten behind. This year has seen two videos for the band. The first was “One Too Many Times” which was released in July, and you are currently in the process of making a video for “The Boat”. For “One Too Many Times” you showed that a good video can be made for a small budget. Was that the thinking behind it from the off or did it come about because of circumstance?
All the reports from your gig in The Mercantile were all good. How important was it to finally be playing your first headline gig then? Niamh Sharkey: It was great to finally kick being the support band in the ass and have our show and choose our own bands to play with! How did you feel before and after it? Niamh Sharkey: Nervous at the start as it was our own headlining gig in Dublin and to be honest I was afraid no one would be interested or knew us well enough to show up! By the time the doors opened it was a great relief to see new and old faces and supporting friends show up to see us play! What is next from the band? Sarah McLaughlin: Unfortunately we have to take it easy this year to make way for the Leaving Cert...but we have plans for another studio trip before Christmas and we hope to be back with a bang next summer!
ALI INGLE We have a strong music network in Liverpool that we are very proud to be associated with. We affectionately refer to it as “The Scouse House” and we are now going to feature a section in each issue that will introduce readers to emerging artists from the city. This issue kicks it all off with an artist who came to our attention last year- ALI INGLE. We caught up with him to discuss his music, influences, the release of his two EPs, making videos and other things. Here is what he had to say. It all began in April last year with your first EP “Man And The Monster”. That seemed to be the catalyst for everything to finally begin to fall into place. How long were you working on the EP? ALI: Well I guess you could say I’d been working on it for about 6 years. I’d been writing and playing all that time and never really released anything into the world. The collection of songs on the EP were all written within a matter of months however and the recording process was about 3 months. It’s like all of a sudden I had a concept and a strong idea of who I was and how I wanted to be perceived. Something I had spent 6 years to work out. But once I did work it out the rest was as they say, History! When did you decide that you wanted to follow a path in music and begin writing your own music? ALI: Music was something i kind of fell into. I started to learn bits of guitar and then one day I wrote a song. It wasn't terrible so I wrote more and more until I became so engrossed in writing and words that I couldn't stop. I always remember feeling like I wanted to do the most possible impossible thing. And music just became the most dominant option. Who were the influences that began to turn you onto music in a big way? ALI: There were so many artists that I grew up listening to but I believe it was more the people that inspired me. I spent my teenage years in a small but oddly musical town called Widnes. There seemed to be musicians at every turn, most of whom I guess play a small part in my story.
One of the other key things that you did was get the Shipping Forecast as the venue on the night. How important was it to get the right venue for launching the EP? Is that a venue with a special attachment for you?
ALI: It’s incredible really. My music has become well-travelled than myself. Like I said I was, and still am, extremely determined but determination only gets you so far. It always depended on how people felt about my music. And thankfully they felt something
ALI: The venue was just by chance. I wanted a cool and intimate setting to launch my EP and the shipping forecast seem to fit the bill. I was offered the gig two weeks before and I felt the short time limit was the kick i needed to get things moving faster. And it worked. The place didn't hold any special attachment to me but I guess now it always will.
Following on from the momentum of the EP was the video for “Tornado”. That was a video that really gathered a lot of interest and by the end of July there were over 5000 views. There was also a lot of airplay that came along for the tracks on it. You seem to be very active and creative when it comes to video. What is it about it that seems to appeal to you on a creative level?
The physical copies of were also sold out everywhere. For any artist that is always a good sign. How did it feel to know that it was performing so well? Did you do a reprint? ALI: I was so glad that the EP was so well received. As it was my first release i can't even describe the stress i went through wondering how people would take it. I only printed a limited number of copies so that I wouldn't have to stare at stacks of unwanted CDs if they didn't sell. But luckily they did.I haven't reprinted anymore as I felt it was a time and a place and also to make it more exclusive for the lovely people who actually have a copy. When we heard it here in our office for the first time we were immediately drawn to it. We gave it a considerable amount of play because we thought it was something special. The reviews that came through for it were all favourable and it was well received.Were you expecting it to be so well received by the media? ALI: That’s really nice of you to say. Thank you. I honestly had no idea which way it would go. I would constantly doubt myself throughout the whole process, but there was an underlying determination that ultimately left no room for failure. Secondly, were you expecting it to be as well received as it was? The EP was picked up by Radio Caroline and BBC Introducing. Then there was KBPK in California. There was even airplay as far away as Mexico and New Zealand. Were you surprised that it got as much exposure that it did?
ALI: I’ve just always been a huge fan of films. I really wanted to show that and do something that was recognisable as mine. Something that expressed creativity and humility. I put a lot into the videos with nothing but my ideas and the help of friends to execute them and it really did help to catch the attention I desired. But ultimately I have so much fun making videos and thinking up ideas. It’s a much needed escape when songwriting becomes too overwhelming. There were two other videos that also showcased a lot of imagination. There was “Jekyll & Hyde” which was the second video to the “Man And The Monster” EP. Were you always determined to make two videos for the tracks on the EP? ALI: : I didn't have any particular set plans of what songs I was or wasn't gonna make a video for, but these songs I felt simply were the best on the EP. The ideas came and I made the videos. I was going to make some for a few other songs but before I knew it I already started making the second EP. New songs and video ideas closely followed. Then the summer led to September and your first time on a plane for 14 years. How did you find playing BalconyTV? Did you get to see much of the city? Any plans for gigs over here anytime soon? ALI: I loved doing BalconyTV. Not only was it so much fun but it was an excuse to get a passport and jump on a plane. I was only there for the day so all I saw was the balcony and the inside of the cinema that I went to kill time until flying back. I can be such a bore. But I would
love to return to play a gig there some day. It reminded me very much of Liverpool. November last year was a month that was full of its up and downs. The highlights would certainly have outshone the lowlights. You released a very inspired and novel video for “Ribcage”. How did that whole concept come about? ALI: The idea came when my girlfriend bought me a small wind up bull in Barcelona. I told the bull I was going to make him a star and I kind of did. I wanted to add a light touch to such a dark subject matter and my star of the show certainly did his job. The video was welcomed with open arms and the views were higher than any of my other. Then it was taken down by YouTube and all the views were wiped out. What happened there? ALI: Unfortunately that month YouTube decided to take down a lot of videos mine being included. I was told it breached some form of copyright but i could re upload it. When I tried to contact I was given the brush off. In this story the little man lost but the views were meaningless to me. The fact that I could simply put the video back up was all I wanted. When one door closes another one opens because “Tornado” was then featured on the NME website. Was that a good consolation? ALI: Ohhhh yes. I have hundreds of copies of NME from my teenage years and have always been a fan. It was a cool moment. I don't have many cool moments, but yes that was one of them.
Then you brought out your second EP “Magic In The Mundane”. How was the recording process for that different to your previous release? ALI: Well my songwriting was taking a different direction…also I worked with a different producer. Both producers from both EPs work with me now and I guess the stuff I've been doing since then is a great combination of both. Each EP is just a time and a place and the sound of them really represents that. 'Magic In The Mundane' represents my moving to the next level. Although the EP didn't get fully released, it has paved the way for my album which shares the same name. But you also managed to secure a recording and publishing deal in February this year. How delighted were you when that happened? ALI: Yeah that was a very big achievement for me. Something I had strived for for so long. A huge game changer in that I have the resources now to really create something amazing. I have been working so hard since signing and have so many exciting things lined up that I am holding back until the last minute. Now Ii have the means of getting my music heard to a bigger audience I just hope they are as warm and welcoming as the people that have followed me so far. Recently you have been involved in a lot of things based around the Liverpool music scene. Apart from the Sound City Festival in May you were involved with the launch night for Tilt Shift. As a city that is as rich in musical history as Liverpool, how important is that as a resource to artists in the city of Liverpool at present?
The other video that you released that month was for “Empty House”. That was a marked departure in terms of tone from the sound of your previous work. Where did song come from? ALI: Empty house came from an idea i had before i went on a writing retreat. While there I met the wonderfully talented and unique Meghann Cheetham. I heard her voice and it destroyed me. I had to have her voice on a song with me. I approached her and together we wrote the song. Her writing style just seemed to fit so effortlessly with my own and it is one of my proudest pieces of music.
You also won best male artist at The Liverpool Music Awards on the 18th of November. It must have been nice to be nominated, but to win must have been a pleasant surprise? ALI: Yeah it really was. It was just such an honour to be nominated considering the short amount of time I had been around. The support from people even outside of Liverpool was incredible. And obviously I couldn't have done it without them. The award sits on top of my piano in my writing room. A wonderful reminder.
‘’You have to be insane to choose a career in music because there are so many hurdles and pitfalls just waiting for any young naive artist. We have to make sure that they get the chance to be a heard and appreciated for what they do.’’ -9-
ALI: I think it’s extremely important. The amount of amazingly talented artists in Liverpool that just need the chance to be heard is unbelievable. You have to be insane to choose a career in music because there are so many hurdles and pitfalls just waiting for any young naive artist. We have to make sure that they get the chance to be a heard and appreciated for what they do. And I don't just mean people from Liverpool but any artists from any city or country. As long as they are willing to work very hard and have the passion and talent to match then why shouldn't they be given their chance to shine? What can we expect to hear from you in terms of new material? ALI: Well I'm currently working on my debut album and I have been writing none stop. I have been trying out lots of different sounds and just basically having an absolute ball. I feel that comes across in the material and i cannot wait to release it into the world. Will there be anything form the writing partnership with Henry Priestman and Pete Riley? ALI: I have been writing with lots of different people including Henry and Pete and i find it a great form of lyrical exercise. It’s hard to say whether anything will come from whoever I write with but it certainly is a pleasure to work with such talented people. Mainly because I'm such a control freak that i struggle working with others, so I do mostly prefer to work alone. But who knows what can happen. I will continue to make music alone and with others as long as people are willing to listen.
How did the band get together?
ICE: We all knew each other from a local drama group. Emily and Deanna were actors, while Del and Laura had been in the band providing music for different shows. At the beginning of 2012, Emily & Deanna were thinking of going for X Factor auditions. Del & Laura helped with music various covers for the audition. In the end they decided not to bother with the audition and try writing their own music. Callum (another actor from the same drama group) was brought in to provide additional guitar later that year. The band name came from combining Emily & Deanna’s surnames (Ince & Christall) with some alteration to spelling. Some people would say that you are a band with a sound that is quite eclectic in places and others would say it is somewhat nourish because some tunes have a little bit of a dark side. How would you describe your sound? ICE: We always try to make the sound catchy, fragile, emotive and memorable. But there is inevitably a dark undertow to the lyrics or some bite to the music. Genre can be limiting…guess we sometimes hit pop, rock, celtic, indie and folk. It’s great to see comments from others comparing us to The Bangles, Ting Tings and Fleetwood Mac. How much of that is down to the influences that you had growing up? ICE: Del’s music is influenced by bands like REM, Marillion & Big Country, but by the time we all add our parts songs take on new identity. The band’s songbook came together in a very fast space of time. Two songs that particularly stand out for us are “Stronger” and “Wonderland”. How quickly did the process of writing your own material come about? ICE: Once the decision was made to go as a band Deanna and Emily submitted lyrics to Del and Beat., “Darkness”, “Silence” and “Shadows” were written in about a month. Del had further tunes and came up with “Stronger”, “Wonderland”, “Verity” and “Over” (not yet recorded). Who is the main songwriter or is it a collaborative process as a whole? ICE: Del writes the tunes but the lyrics are shared between Emily, Deanna and Del. Emily and Deanna come up with harmonies and we try to build in crossing vocal lines to give some depth to our songs. We seem to write in bursts. Currently we're working on two new songs. Emily came up with words to a song called “Imagine” - quite trippy in 6/8 time sig with a slight Biffy Clyro feel to the music. Then, not to be outdone, Deanna wrote a new one called “Dreams”, which is lyrically very dark and musically pretty celtic.
Colchester is not a place that most people would deem to be a veritable hotspot for discovering new music. But at the moment the city is very much alive and coming into its own.
ICE: Blur might have something to say about that. And Sade (most of us live in Clacton on Sea, a few miles down the road from Colchester). What venues and bands do you see as contributing to that scene at the moment? ICE: We haven’t gigged yet, but places like The Twist, The Bull and Tin Pan Alley are always supportive of unsigned bands. The Arts Centre is Colchester's major venue and has seen some pretty big names over the years like Paramore, Bring me the Horizon, Dandy Warhols and Idlewild. Speaking of other bands, there was also the collaboration with BIG FAT CAT UGLY BAT in February. That was for the track “One”. How did that come about? ICE: BFCUB have helped us record since we started and during one session Del recorded some guitar and bass parts just for BFCUB to mess about with. As the piece of music took shape Del, wrote some lyrics and we finished up with “One”. Is “One” going to be the start of more collaborating between you and other bands? ICE: Who knows? The internet links us with so many other great artists and opportunities. What did you find worked really well in the collaboration process? ICE: It was nice to come away with something nothing like our usual sound but still feeling like an IceChrystalls song. What did you take away from it as a band? ICE: Embrace opportunities to try something new and see how it is received by others. Another thing that we have noticed about you as a band is that you embrace YouTube and the medium of video in a very big way. Two of your videos in particular have become big favourites here in our office and we were really impressed by the work put into them. The first one we would like to talk about is “Stronger”. First off it is a very good tune with a great catchy riff to it. Then to add that bit extra it has a very cool video. The use of animation in it is very effective and works very well with intercuts by Ryan Woodward.
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ICE: It is an amazing piece of film and again with the help of BFCUB it was mixed with our song. The dance and the story sit nicely with the bitter lyrics of “Stronger”. Why did you go with that approach? Where did the concept for the video itself come from? ICE: To be honest BFCUB came up with the idea. This was the third video BFCUB had helped us with. “Silence” and “Shadows” were already proving very popular so it took no persuasion to go with “Stronger” as well. The artistic feel to it is also there when you see it playing. Was that an intention when you set out to make the video or is that just something that has come out of it by way of course? ICE: We’ve been so lucky to have help with artwork since we started and the three videos help to conjure added emotion and intrigue to our music. The other video that you released which embraced animation in a very big way was “Shadows”. This time around it was the use of the footage from ALMA. This time about it was the use of stop motion animation. It works very effectively for the track and the two are something of a perfect marriage. ICE: This again is such an amazing piece of animation and again compliments the “clock-work waltz” of “Shadows”. Emily’s dark gothic lyric really seemed to connect with the sinister cuteness of the animation. “Shadows” has become a really good “business card” for us on social media. Was there a particular attachment to that short film or was it a choice that came out of left field? Will future videos be embracing the use of animation or was it that those two songs just seemed to fit the niche? ICE: Totally left field and again that’s the beauty of having some outside help/influence. We’re working on a new video for “Darkness” at the moment. No animation in this one, but hopefully the movie will inspire emotion. “Darkness” has been hinted at recently as a possible track. Are there any plans for future releases? ICE: It’s out with various radio stations at the moment and we’ll make it publicly available very soon. We’ve sent you a copy though.
THE MANC TANK Column by David Beech
The best of the unsigned Manchester music scene
Naymedici Manchester is a city which, on account of where it is located geographically, unsurprisingly has deep-seated connections with Ireland and Irish heritage. Whilst some of these connections date back hundreds of years and don’t always bear remembrance given the occasionally violent or criminal nature of the narrative, a more contemporary facet of the Manc-Irish discourse, not overshadowed by politics or criminality, would be music after all four members of The Smiths had Irish heritage, likewise with the Gallagher brothers and even Mani from The Stone Roses had an Irish mother. It goes without saying, then, that with bands as pivotal as the aforementioned, Irish influence will always find a way to permeate Manchester’s music scene, via one band or another, and Naymedici are no exception. We featured an interview with them, last month and here we discuss their music. From the opening five seconds of flagship single 'Paddy McGee' you can tell that the band are whole-heartedly embracing their Irish roots; a finger-picked guitar is quickly joined by a fiddle before singer Mike King smashes any illusions that this is a traditional folk affair and instead asserts both song and band well and truly in the realms of Celtic Punk. In a genre as niche as Celtic Punk, every act runs the risk of being compared to those bands that everyone knows. Rather than ape the aggression of the Dropkicks or the self-deprecation of Flogging Molly however, Naymedici prefer to uphold a slightly more experimental nature to their song-writing, an aspect of the band that underpins the entirety of their most recent single 'Koo Koo the Bird Girl', indeed this track has far more in common with the gypsy-tinged ancestry of Gogol Bordello than the Jameson'ssoaked sounds of Against Me! An unusual and atypical affair, 'Koo Koo...' might not be the best introduction to the band for those who aren't familiar with the quirks and nuances of
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Naymedici's repertoire, but it certainly suggests that, as a band, they're more diverse than the genre usually allows. There's an unprecedented amount of energy upheld by the band, and it bleeds through in to their music effortlessly; described as “The Pogues and Gogol Bordello having a bar fight”, the band are fusing Irish and Baltic traditions with punk ideals and an unrelenting work ethic which has seen them tour Ireland no less than three times and play headline slots at festivals such as Y-Not and Kendal Calling. It's this work ethic, coupled with their penchant for not taking things too seriously that has allowed them to garner a burgeoning fan-base and affirm their place at the forefront of both Manchester and Ireland's music scenes. Never being fortunate enough to catch the band live, I can't make any judgement on their sets, but if the tenacity that's present on record transfers to a live environment then you can safely say that they're a band who deserves the hype they're enveloped in.
While the band might not be inherently Manchester, they're certainly inherently indie. Track's with names such as 'How'd He Ever Pull That?' couldn't be from any other genre. They meet and exceeding expectations with reckless abandon. There's a frantic and almost discordant tenacity at play within the band's more up-tempo songs and it certainly seems to be where they excel. That doesn't detract from their slower tracks; 'Artillery' is an indie club anthem in the making, though more akin to the likes of Two Door Cinema Club than earlier comparisons.
Following on from my feature of Naymedici over this monthâ€™s issue and lastâ€™s, another band bridging the gap between Ireland and Manchester is King Kartel. The roots of this band are founded in a group I was familiar with a saw a number of times several years ago: The Genuine Articles. However, according to singer Hugh McCreesh, King Kartel are the testosterone-fuelled adolescence to TGA's prepubescent tween years and coming off as the bastard spawn of The Libertines and The View, it's easy to see why. These tracks are sharper, more mature yet still bubble with the same youthful optimistic romance that endeared me to The Genuine Articles so much.
Having already seen airtime on the likes of BBC ATL, it's clear that this band is starting to get noticed, and well they should. Their music is without frills and comes across in the way it should be played. Destined for the fields and stages of the festival circuit, it's perfect for a cider and a summer evening and while it isn't specifically doing anything to break any boundaries, it doesn't need to. Records of this calibre are a testament to themselves and to the work that the bands that release them put in. Seeing King Kartel progress and mature from the youthful and rough Genuine Articles in to the fully realised entity they are today has been an absolute joy. Hopefully soon they'll find themselves playing the stages they fully deserve to be upon.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about King Kartel is that that there sound isn't inherently Manchester. In fact, without Hugh's accent, it wouldn't be possible to pin them down to any location, such is the universality of the band's music. Guitar's jangle as much as they crunch, sometimes within the same song, blending together elements of garage rock and indie-pop in to irresistible, energetic harmonies that are impossible to ignore.
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What do you think it is about Manchester that makes it such the hot bed for young talent that it is?
A question I ask all bands now. You've obviously played your fair share of gigs and presumably drank more than your fair share of free beer. What would be in your ideal rider, and why?
KK: It is history probably. Music and Manchester go hand in hand.
KK: Unlimited supplies of beer, whisky, vodka, with Jessica Alba or Michelle Keegan there topping us up in as little clothes as possible.
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 outside of its music scene?
You've also obviously shared stages with some of Manchester's most up-and-coming bands/artists. Care to plug some of your favourites?
KK: Apart from the weather? If not I think it must be the beach in Castlefield. I was familiar with your previous band The Genuine Articles, how do you think King Kartel differ from them?
KK: There’s quite a few good bands about but the ones we go to see again and again are NAYMEDICi and Sam Haine & the Bloodflames.
KK: TGA would have been like the early stages of puberty for us as a band. King Kartel would be when your balls drop, so yeah there’s a pretty big difference.
Following on from that, Manchester is a city full of venues, which has been your favourite, both to play and to see a band at?
Obviously you're a band with roots in both Newry and Manchester, how does that impact on your fan-base? Do you think it gives you more of a universal appeal rather than just falling in to the category of “Just another Manc indie band”?
KK: The Ruby Lounge is probably our favourite venue. The setup is class. The sound systems class. The guys who run it are 110%! Scott, Jay and the staff are brilliant and up for a laugh. We’ve played some great gigs in there. There's clearly a wide variety of influences at play within your music, both old and new, care to list some of your biggest influences?
KK: It might do. Although I’m not sure people come to the gigs to hear me talk between songs or in my case guess what I’m saying.
KK: The Beatles, The Stone Roses, Oasis, Arctic Monkeys and The Fratellis. We’re also big fans of The Vaccines, The Courteeners and Jake Bugg too.
You've just finished recording an EP, what can we expect from that and when is it out? KK: Yeah…we’ve been sitting on it for over a month now. It’s not out until October 14th. One of the tracks got played and featured on BBC ATL within two days of it being uploaded. We normally get the ‘your track has been listened to’ email and then fuck all else. So we’ll take that as a good sign.
Finally, any live dates or single releases you want to take the time to let us know about? KK: Our EP is out 14th October. Then the tour kicks off in Manchester. We play the Kraak Gallery on Saturday 26th of October. All other dates will be put up on Facebook and the website for anyone outside of Manchester including: London, Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds, Newry, Dublin and maybe Cork.
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THE CARNIVAL BROTHERS
.......................................................................................................................................................... In terms of being a band THE CARNIVAL BROTHERS are a relatively new band, but it shows that you have obviously played in other bands before. What other bands were you all in? TCB: Yeah, between us we’ve played with people such as The Frames, The Waterboys, Jack L, Bell X1…it’s not something we’re conscious of at all because to us The Carnival Brothers is a completely new experience….but I guess that our collective chequered past somehow creates a melting pot which results in something unique and original. Another thing that is very apparent about the band is that diversity that your sound has. What artists/bands influenced you? TCB: That’s a hard one to answer because to us it’s just all music. I personally don’t think about genres…I’m just as likely to be listening to a Bernard Hermann score as I am to the Beach Boys. I guess the key thing for us is melody and that transcends all genres of music…the idea of a combination of chords and a certain melody and lyric over those chords effecting the people who hear it and moving them in some way during the course of their day… that’s what interests me and it’s a real privilege to do that. The big thing for you so far has been your video for “Sun Is Gonna Shine”. We were very impressed by that video and on account of how original it is we included it in last month’s 4x4 on our YouTube channel. Special mention must go to the direction and editing also. Who came up with the concept? TCB: The band along with the director Simon Eustace came up with the idea. From the outset…with the rhythm and pace of the song, it felt natural that Ger “Wolfman” would be walking towards us singing the song. But that had been done before in music videos. We wanted to make the experience unique and his journey along the way colourful and magical at the same time introducing people to the world of The Carnival Brothers. That’s where the director, Simon Eustace, came into his own.
It really does show a lot of commitment in the end product. Be that the burlesque dancers and the other extras in the video….overall it looks like something that embodied a true collaborative process. How did everyone come to be involved in the video? TCB: Yes, you’re right. Collaboration is the best way to describe it. We’ve always had a passion for the world of Victorian Burlesque so we invited our good friends Bella a Go Go, Lisa Darling, Susan Fox and Terri Fierce to be part of the video. In the same way, the actors were people whom we had always admired and they brought a huge amount to the whole experience for which we are grateful. The video itself has been very well received. Are you surprised that it has gotten such a positive response? TCB: Yes…very surprised. Given that this is the very first thing we’ve put out into the world and also something which we made entirely ourselves, we’ve been overwhelmed and humbled by the positivity which we’ve gotten back from people. We also think it is a great tune. From the very first time we saw the video it became an instant favourite here in the office. When you consider the number of artists we review daily that is truly a testament to how highly we regard it. Are there any other plans for future releases? TCB: Many thanks for that. We will be releasing our second single next month with our debut album to follow early next year. You also had a debut TV appearance on “Saturday Night With Miriam”. That is a pretty big deal to have your band seen by a ready-made audience like that from a prime time show. Although some people would say that there is not enough exposure on TV for up and coming Irish bands. That the current culture of music television isn’t as focussed on acts that make music for the sake of music. Would you agree or disagree with that?
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TCB: Well, I actually believe that in many ways, it’s much easier for artists to get exposure now with the whole online platform. Nowadays, you can create something yourself and put it up on YouTube and Facebook which is what we did and you have an instant audience…but I imagine it’s possibly harder to stand out from the crowd because there’s so much more out there now in terms of content. What would you like to see to give more promotion and exposure to bands/acts that produce original music? TCB: Well I believe as I’ve said that the platforms are already there for artists in terms of free online exposure. The difficulty for young bands/artists these days is in making enough money from their music to pay for videos, recording costs, touring etc. given that music is now effectively available for free online. There have also been some radio appearances. The obvious difference to that kind of performance is playing to a different atmosphere that you miss from playing to a crowd. Which some artists find affects how they find their comfort zone at times. How do you find being in a studio to performing live on stage? TCB: There are few things in life which can match up to performing in front of a live audience. It’s a real thrill and a privilege. What can we expect to see next from the band? TCB: We will be doing our first live show on Nov 3rd in a very special venue. Full details to be announced soon!
Dimestore Recordings Sweeney’s 05-09-2013
SCENE & HEARD A warm up to their single launch later this month, their set was marked out by a slower build. “Red Sky” underlines this approach. As a slow builder it has a subtle hang to it that show finely with the broad feel in the vocals. The play begins with a gradual way to it that is quite impressive in how it lingers. There is a burst of energy which hits from the off in an impressive way on “Can You Tell Me?” It hangs back and the bass trips out in it. The drumming is also diligent in how it snaps it all into place. The considerable approach shown also defines it. They again show something with a sharp cut in the sound with “Do You Want More?” The guitar is angled in a way that gives the rhythm affluence. Much of what is shown here is kept in check and there is a quiet repose about it from the lighter touches on show. With “Nobody Knows” you see what the band are about as it hits hard and fast. The good curve in the beat is matched by the intent of the tempo. There is a smart showing in the lyrics that gives the chorus the lift it needs. New single “Until I See The Sun” comes next. This is just as good live as it is recorded. The dandy composure gives it a ‘steady as she goes’ feel that holds firm in the rhythm. The tempo follows a very distinct outline and that keeps the play very much in focus. Their next song was given its live debut here today. “Everything Is Wrong” has a locked and loaded feel that steadily falls into place. It hangs back in a fanciful way that is backed up by the proven quality in the delivery. The tumble in the rhythm gives it a more travelled sound in the process. Then we come to “Loving The Idea” which sees the vocals lean into it all. This ably assists the lyrics as they pour out on it. This is a song with purpose. There is no doubting that. It is underlined by the infectious and catchy riff in the rhythm. With that in mind it plays like a song that every band needs in their live set. Then things closed out with “Life & Love” which opens on the strength of a very good first line that counts for a lot. Things are motioned steadily here and it all has a good calling. The surge from the playing at times sits well with the depth which gives it bite. They also concentrate this in the right way and back it up with good timing in the delivery.
FUTURE PHANTOMS - 54 -
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CAB.CO Having made their debut performance earlier in the evening at The Grand Social they got things underway with “Kick The Bucket List”. Although it has a taut feeling there is also produce something tantamount that courses through on the rhythm. What seems to filter through very much comes together. The harmony of the vocals adds a woven touch to it all. Then the lonesome begins to show on “Expensive Trips”. How it is kneaded through gives it an American cut. There is also an earnest showing from how combustible it is in the delivery. The tidy shuffle in “Shave The Day Away” is appetising and is very becoming. The violin gives it grandeur. With the narrow running there is a togetherness to be found which is impressive. Then they produce something very enticing with “Watching All The People”. Convincingly applied this is minimal in a lot of respects, but highly effective nonetheless. There is point of merit in how the direction changes. They occur in an emotive way which carries much weight. A good carefree feel is noted on “Plain Clothes Police”. This anchors something specific and fortunate in the delivery that is select in the right way. That approach and guidance brings some robust character to the performance.
........................................................................................................................... MILLION LITTLE GODS
The intricate loop on “We Need This” gives the rhythm a sense of fanfare. The guitar resonates and the drumming carries that vigour further with how they focus those points. The resolve is significant here and formulates in a way that is impressively furthered from the trippy feel that seamlessly encloses around it all as the lyrics fall into place. Their upcoming single “Need A Little” is a skilful effort. Everything shows on it for the right reasons. The progressive slant that the band has delivers it all finely. Making the most of the tethered opening is “Mammoth”. Something relative is found in the rhythm which holds back finely. When it takes flight the upbeat skip to it all is tremendous. The elusive sense comes through on “The Witches” from the playing. It is all angled in to give a deeper and harder sound. This shows a well-managed and meaningful song behind the rhythm. But it is all contained impressively. A flurry in their sound comes to be very descriptive on “Dot The Shores” and sets in place from a point of stillness. From there it delves into something with an alluring dangle. The sense of fulfilment comes through and you feel the catharsis from the way it moves. The dark hint in the music is also impressively placed. Easing into the play is “Puma”. The descriptive way it is done leaves a lot to appreciate. The expansive side embraces the more full-on styles when needed which really sees the band step up to the plate.
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PUNCH FACE CHAMPIONS A clean cut covers all the angles on “11”. The drop-in-drop-out way about the playing is highly effective. Working wonderfully in the equation sees things muster a lot from the live showing as much as it does a fine body of work. There is a blissful turn in the overall movements on “5”. The clean follow through has a lot to merit and it amasses a lot from the build that is very descriptive. The drive from the drum and bass gets it all very finely in place. A skittish feel from the hard and fast points levels out the play on “9”. The smooth and overt playing gives it strength. The stylish points have a magnitude that filters through rigorously. Then things veneer into a darker tone on “3”. In terms of delivery it is spacious and embraces the expansive side admirably. Vocally things are apt and lightly applied but sparingly. That gives it a faithful and effective turn that shows the art of making good music still exists. The anthemic quality is there to be admired also. Things burst through on “2” commendably well. The real authority carries weight in the sound. With it being catchy sounding it is also lent something eventful from their stage presence. The continuity in their sound builds with the bass and guitar squaring up nicely on”8”. How it runs has a candid feel that is absolved by the strength in the play. Shapely and laid out with a well worked tenacity everything is formidable on it, while the refined moments cleverly collect. Watching this band play lets you witness first hand an act born to play live. As an encore they played “7” with a handsome derivative to be found. This is an ever present in a telling way. Contained in the particular way it is allows them to cut loose from being reined in when necessary. This is a spectacular effort which languishes in a particular way.
The Ruby Sessions Doyle’s Pub 3rd September 2013
SCENE & HEARD
GALIA ARAD We have seen Galia Arad play before and on each occasion we have been impressed by how she conducts herself during the performance as much as her music. Her first song “Boy” has a precious comfort relayed in her voice that contrasts excellently with the hard run in the guitar. That persistent heel comes off it, while the delicate hush in the tone as she pushes things out brings things through in a big way. Things are very solemn when it comes to “Somethin’ To Say” which couples everything in an embracing way. The empty and reflective delivery gives it all the required feeling. That substantially shows in the captivating way it is delivered live. The intimate telling in the lyrics rallies the sophistication and explicitly adds to the stillness of it all. The anecdote that precedes “Wally” is one of the highlights in her set. That is a trait that she has as a performer and the song itself is one that is cleverly pieced together. There is a scintillating way that it is written which brings a double entendre to how it all selectively plays in the running. The song itself is gentile, with the lyrics well figured. That moves the song as much as does the sense of loss conveyed in the lyrics. Her voice covets the moment on “Hope It Was Worth It”. The guitar deliberately relays the warmth of the rhythm. It all holds as her voice peruses through to bring a bonafide fulfilment to this enticing and attractive listen. The optimistic rhythm is justified on “What Am I gonna Do?” It opens the song into an upbeat number that the lyrics fashionably attach to. That good cut about it sits well with the resolute way that it is all played. There is an exquisite attraction from how her voice delivers here. With “I Didn’t Mean To Think About You” she needles in the woman scorned aspects excellently. While you might thing it to be a song that is obscure a closer listen shows more. To rhyme “Pocahontas” with “Subconscious” being an example of how well thought out the song is. This is a tune that has a strong pull and sets her closing song “Ooh La La” up well. This is a very courteous effort that is denoted by the steady way that it all climbs. The chorus catches a very candid curve that is brushed out with a hint of purity. The vocals prove to be enticing and show a great break down on it overall.
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LUCKY BONES The buried feel in the rhythm on “She Don’t Know” also gives the raw feel a good cut. This adds a good contrast to how inviting the rhythm floats across on it. That enhances the bluegrass texture that it has in the process. Then that wholesome feeling is furthermore played with on “Who’s Gonna Follow Me Down?” That lends a referential weight to the lyrics that adds a spiritual feel to the delivery here. There are gospel influences follow through and the volume in the song shows from the richness that comes through. This is all well projected and adds to the experience. The haughty and secure run shows quite well on “Summer Night’s Eruption”. This is rather sufficient and has a princely way that the urgent aspects corner finely. The dandy skip also runs hard. That purity of the song is in good contrast with the deep and fury. How they both sit side by side is very consequential. “My Dear I Fear I Won’t Be Coming Home” is beautifully traced. The arrangement is a classy working here that gives an enamoured presence. That is able to comfortably give it a classy showing which is sweetly built in the parlance from the keys. What is placed in the heft in “Born To A Holy Land” hits hard on the opening and produces an encouraging effort. Branded by the folk style things very much write their own way on it and it is all pristinely handled. There is a good tone from how “Forever With Wings” is laid out. It is rather delectable and fits well with the delivery. The way it all filters through the deep and emotive tone merges with these qualities to produce a song to truly admire. In their last song “Green Sleeves” the sturdy run gives it a clean cut that flies across in the guitar riff. That gives it a hustle and bustle that is very charming. The live delivery is also excellent and rides up well. This plays like a song should. The way it all releases brings it to life with devastating effect. What is on show here is highly impressive and it shows.
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SCENE & HEARD
Corrina Jaye ‘Light Will Come’ Album Launch (Whelan’s 30-09-2013)
We have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to catch this artist live for a while now and we got to catch her on a night that mattered. Her EP launch also featured support from Rachael McCormack, Myth and Frankenstein Bolts which made for a great night of music overall. “Dark Room” is the song that put her into the limelight in the past twelve months and it was fitting that it got things underway here this evening. There is a fired up feel to the drumming and this is something that is very concise in the overall delivery. The dark touches in the sound cleanly come together and also display a sultry tone that meets well with the compact side of the delivery. The rhythm is also well tracked and opens things sweetly. Following that is “Don’t You Recall?” The keys add a loom in the background that is very fine and gives a good presence to the intro. The patient build gradually finds its way and there is an impressive tone to be found in it all that picks up in a way that finely frames the playing. The definition to “For A While” is rather deft and carries an ambient tone about it all. There is something withdrawn to everything but there is an admirable quality to the depth that peruses from the vocals. The concise way that it all comes across makes for one of those songs with a fine way of coming into its own on account of how well it is all c rafted. Her cover of “Moon River” by ANDY WILLIAMS merges with a cover of “I Follow Rivers” by LYKEE LI. What shows with the interplay is very inviting. Then a sad song makes its way into her set in the form of “Invisible”. The timely quality is all brought about by the keys and adds definition in a way that brings the rhythm around. Everything is orchestrated and the violin serves it well. This all gives it a broader feel and a closeness in the progression displayed. Her vocals come in very early on “Clay Out Of Mud”. The tidy guitar riff is given additional lift from the way the drums come in. how it all comes together displays a fluid motion and there is also a confidence about her performance. The grace it has is enhanced further in the way the catchy side hits hard and defines the groove. “L.O.V.E.” is a product of her work with Marcin Jechrek. How the electro side is embraced gives it all a carefree motion. The lyrics and vocals drop on it to show something that is very much aware in the vocation. Her next song “Samuel” is another song that is well expressed. The brevity shown allows the lyrics to step out and keep it all within reach. The feeling also makes it become a big number because a refined showing is there to be seen in the build. That makes the performance all the more convincing. Her next song “Light Will Come” has a more sheltered feel. But the way it is played also shows a harder and broader style. The rich texture sits well and pours out sincerely from the fired up playing. The comfortable moments give way when it picks up and sees it play like a dream. Her next song “Jungle” has a catchy hook in the chorus that is very easy to pick up on. The show also involved belly dancers for added effect. There is a rich hook in the rhythm that brings a funky and groovy side to things. The bass riff shows in the shuffle and picks it up to give the sound a real whip from the guitar that is very pleasing to hear. She then played a good solid cover version of “Message In A Bottle” that covers everything as it leads into a splendid version of THE WHITE STRIPES “Seven Nation Army”. This works the crowd and her encore of “Dark Room” also covers everything in a way that cleverly sees the curtain come down on a great night of live music.
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THE KING KONG CLUB (Semi-Final #5) The Mercantile
SCENE & HEARD DEVOLTED Seven acts took to the stage here tonight for a coveted place in this year’s final. The first of these was DEVOLTED. They are a band who take a strong Eastern European influence and relay it into their metal based sound. “The Rebel” has a stirring looping intro that gives way to a raucous sound that is steeped in the aforementioned influences. However, it is an inviting prospect that has an elective feel that fits in nicely and finely gives it a punk feel. The second song in their set was “Death Proof” which skips along from the beat in the drumming. The strong hold that forms in the sound determines a lot of the right things on it here. The sound has a bite and kick that fashionably brings the rhythm in. The bass and drumming culminate and make it all catchy when it gets going. The third track in their set was “Eddie”. Here the guitar is loaded up on it and from here is where it all builds. The kick in the drumming brings a thunderous and fortunate feel to the running. As it collects it displays an intended direction to everything and this serves the harder aspects of the play well.
........................................................................................................................... SHAG HAIRED VILLAINS
SHAG HAIRED VILLAINS are a band we had seen live previously at Saucy Sundays and one who impressed us greatly on that occasion. They did so again here and the catchy curve in the guitar gives the tempo on “Beyond The Road” a real sting in the tail. This is a tune that is rather robust which brightly lights up as it falls into place. With their next song “Breaking Point” there is a heavy build on show that lets fly in the rhythm. It is all angled in a way that adds style to the structuring. The hard roll signified in the build-up has a purpose and the direction that follows is part of that design.
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They closed out with “One Good Reason” which is another offering from them that brings the guitar into the equation with a strong “Jailbreak” by THIN LIZZY undertone about it. The small whips pick up on it and drive it on. From the off it is a lean showing and it is exacted upon the playing accordingly.
THE TRENDS THE TRENDS are a band we have been meaning to see live for some time and tonight they showed why they are as good as people say. The enticing delivery on “Michelle” is helped furthermore by the enticing vocals at work. The small and tidier elements impact on it in a way that is a big deal. They also give it a comfortable flight that is clear and catchy. From there they get straight down to things with “It’s Gonna Be Okay”. There is a longing feel to how it plays and the leer is met greatly from the drumming and bass. That forms around the beat and the steady tempo in the delivery assuages something smart in the process. They played “Yesterday” as their third track and it is a song with a generous helping of guitar. This is also very sharp in playing terms and builds gradually. The volume on it is brought to heal admirably, while the lyrics and arrangement also show some solid efforts.
........................................................................................................................... TIC TILL FRIDAY
TIC TILL FRIDAY is one of those bands that you appreciate if you look beyond the costumes. This is a band that can seriously play. That is evident on “Summer Time Blues” and it is all brought to bear in considerable fashion. The beatbox and freestyle vocals bring out the character. There is also wonderful movement to be picked up on that comes in with real aplomb, but it is the vocals that really steal the show. After that came “Cool Philosopher” which is gives it a complete feel from the excellent live delivery. The running matches the intensity and falls into place. The bridge and the hard edge of the sound lock in the smoother points effectively. “Cold Blooded 45” storms into it all with the guitar. They also latch onto something in the sound that gives it real presence. What is sealed in on the rhythm shows that they mean business. That deeper aspect in their sound also does it justice and proves to be a good track to finish up on.
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JACK LATIN The next band tonight was a band we were seeing for the first time and with JACK LATIN. They got off to an impressive start with “Pirate Party”. It is a track marked out by the sold drumming which impressively opens it. The obscure feel from the sound is backed up by qualified playing. That validates their ability and the somewhat sunken feel to their sound is traced out finely. Next was the catchy and purposeful “Tony Give Me Everything You’ve Got”. There is a bounce in the step that is matched by the delivery. This is a nicely mastered piece of work that gets something additional from the haughty side of the performance. This is something they revel in. They played “Church State Relations” as their final track. With it there is a catchy side that is played to maximum effect from a souped up calypso beat. That then drops down into a ska style that sits well with the scatty lyrics. This all wraps around the rhythm and there us a colourful boost in the rhythm as it charms its way through.
Next we had MOOSEHEADS. With how they play “Holiday Song” something is exerted from how it takes flight that gives it an interesting feel. There is nice rip from the guitar as it charges across. From that there is also something level that sits well on the vocals and meets well with the turn from the tempo. “Cheerios” is marked out by the sullen tone of the opening. There is a contingent feel when they apply the pace. With that they then manage to floor the rhythm quite well and that gives it a leaner showing. Overall it is a nice steady offering from them in terms of delivery and performance. The last track in their trinity of songs was “Tramp”. This articulates the bounce in the rhythm to lock in the catchy side quite steadily. There is a laid back feel to it that is quite appealing and circulates tidily on the rhythm. This is a song that is very easy to warm to as much as it is opportune and handsome. - 30 - - 23
MR. SANDS opened their set with “JBW” which is one of those songs with a resolute feel about it. This all falls into place with a real upbeat steering in the rhythm that cleanly plays. There is a pleasance about it that charges it up well. Their next song “Lay You Down” is particularly soft. The lull in the delivery makes everything come around smartly. There is good work on show in the lead guitar. That all leads to a hard hold that produces an even and steady feel to it. The lazy skip also consolidates well on it and the “Brimful Of Asha” by CORNERSHOP is a nice touch at the end. With “Don’t Stop Me” they charge into the playing. The venom shown in the pace gives it all an American feel. There is stock taken in the arrangement and this is reflected in the end product. The heavy rock leaning has a formidable bearing on it al. How it all lands hard on it shows and impresses as it does so.
The winner on the night was MR SANDS and they go on to the final. - 24 -
Irish Artists EMPIRE CIRCUS All the right elements are there on first song “Lights Out”. The tempo is an energised affair with a sensible turn from the rhythm defining how fresh it sounds. There is style about it and when followed up by the ambient intro on “True Believer” you are very much in for the ride. This is a song with a patient feel that comes to bear on it all in a telling way. What is showcased in the looming aspects fully brings the quality feel to prominence. The reserved feel coming through on “I Know Better” peters along and catches everything right. The result is a milder tune but one that is balanced out by the measurements in the delivery. What immediately stands out on “Currents” is the inviting synth on the intro. It then becomes a track that reservedly brings in the play. There is a subtle retro feel hanging off the play in the later progression and is another track of a high standard. With “A Day in The Life Of A Superhero” they seem to produce a song with an identity all of its own (no pun intended). The sweeping guitar riffs meet with the keys resulting in a tempo that becomes fluid when paired with the lyrics. After this is “Cherubs Call”. While not having the same appeal or impact as the other tracks, there is enough on show to warrant appreciation. The handling of it is very much a solid display throughout. Next comes “Everything Amounts To Nothing” which builds from a fine score to turn in a somewhat contradictory effort amounting to something. Here the finesse shows as the synth gives it a lush organic feel that builds steadily. A cornerstone of
their live sets “There Is A Light” follows. This tidy tune has a smooth feel going for it. Aided by the sultry overtures it handsomely comes across to show merit. The guitar bristles through on “All I Need” assuring the credentials of the band. This is well worked and shows in the mainstream appeal, but cuts back before cutting loose in a telling way. There is something idyllic to how “Planting Seeds” builds. The patience in the vocal delivery catches everything sweetly, while there is a lot to be said for how the tempo comes to life. The reserved feel sits well with the arrangement and attentively projects a lot on all fronts. They then embrace a settled tone when it comes to “Sails Set For The Sky”. Lavish and high on sentiment it avoids the pitfalls of over doing it. Instead it pushes the reflective out in the delivery in a promising way. Charging along is final song “In Dreams”. The display in the catchy way the rhythm gathers great momentum, while the harmony in the vocals also gets so much right. How driven it becomes is more apparent as it shapes up and produces an incredibly catchy tune in the process. - 25 -
KA TET Arcadia
The intro to the album is a solid interlude that is quite catchy. Then it is straight down to business with “Let My Lady”. Very much the real deal, it catches an imaginative curve with the hard edge in the sound. The pulsating drive is invigorating proving it to be a smart effort indeed. The pace picks up on “Awake”, but is all steadily motioned by the catchy appeal of the rhythm. Metal and hard rock are let out on the sound giving a deliberate feel to the vocals. This provides an outlet to rest alongside the running of the track. There is a gratifying allure to “Free Love”. The tidy rhythm and intent of the lyrics combine to great effect. When the harder impact comes in to the equation it becomes invigorated. But it is a delightful track carried off with real stature. “Coffee” opens with a rich HOOTIE AND THE BLOWFISH feel about it on account of the elective way about the intro. Judged on its own merits it has a neat skip in the rhythm, while the guitar collects in a showing way relayed in the delivery. The offbeat telecast on “Bob’n’Charlie” sees the song collect and come in quite tellingly. Highly appealing, it then plays very much in a way showing a lot of the right stuff. There is a splendid feel from how it builds that smoothly caresses things in a rich Americana/Tex-Mex way. The next track “Stall On The Milky Way” really comes to life. There is a depth of imagination and creativity at work here. The acoustic elements sit comfortably with the vocals and the RHCP comparisons come through with real distinction. This is one of the standout tracks on the album. They then revert back to a more rock focussed sound for “Baby On The Brink”. The sensible placing shows. That tidies the tempo to sit up with a very clean cut but still display tenacity. Hitting the ground running is “Shere Khan”. This sets a precedent and they prove to be up to the task. The way they muscle in everything gives an abundant feel but also very cleverly comes together. This very much sees them step up to the plate.
A progressive feel to “The Waiting” is evident somewhat from the long intro that has a heavy leaning towards the ensemble and maintains that consistently as the song progresses. However everything is cleverly tracked and pitched. With “Cocaine Sandwich” they have a track that immediately grabs you from the off. The catchy way that the guitar switches direction is tantalising. The last offering is “World’s Edge” which comes in of its own accord. Looming in a marked way there is a lot going for it, but when the play kicks off things take a very candid turn that is well placed and lights it all up.
........................................................................................................................ CLASS A’Z feat. ROBYN
pace in the lyrics is also matched by a conviction that sits well with the compact feel to it overall. They show some swagger with “Got Your Number”. Here the ability backs up the statement of intent. The beat injects a large degree of funk in the rhythm and comes to pass in a noted way. They show a clean pair of heels on it and very much nail it down from start to finish. All the signs point in the right direction on “Pressure”. There is a broad weight in the intro and then it all kicks off. There is a neat tumble about the rhythm that dutifully masters the track. The catchy feel of the chorus is matched by the clear way it develops the appeal. What they manage to do is walk the walk as much as they talk the talk. Something is slightly lost with “Take Ya Down”. The attempt at a protest song meeting with a reflection of real life doesn’t stand up as well as it could. There is tightness in the play but it is off centre because of the way that the running doesn’t commit as much as it could.
8 Beginning with “Footsteps” the finesse on the vocals open the song and then the rap shows with a fine running. Things take hold decisively and the sway exhibits something fleeting when motioned. There is a delightful revelry and hijinks to the running of “How Bad”. With a fearless stance in the rhythm the drumming machine snaps the beat to life and delivers in a way that leaves its mark. They again come up trumps on “Faster”. The hardy
They return to form on “Won’t Stop”. This has a stellar trajectory that limbers up on the rhythm. The way that it cleanly gets going gives the release a point of reference. This hangs ever so effectively that it is very much praiseworthy. “I’m The Greatest” maintains the rich vein that they find here. The slick feel in the delivery is helped by the way the beat and production see it right. Strong work sees it through, but that only takes it so far. The rest of the accomplishment is down to how the skilled feel and flow is maintained. Things close out with “World Keeps Spinning”. This is a song that could convert the non-believers. The CURTIS MAYFIELD feel about the rhythm sets it all in place. What also works is the way the rap is pitched and it hands it all up on a plate when everything connects. It has a dalliance but it also displays an exquisite turning all the way through.
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Red Horizon An ambient feel greets the listener on the opening track “Oblivion”. It has a clear direction but what also impresses is the flitting between the enticing styling in the vocals to accommodate the gothic cut that follows in the progression. That leads nicely into “Broken Glass”. It is another tune heavy on the morose tone but also has a steadiness to the arrangement. The steep climb in the piano bears down finely. The lyrics and rhythm also find their place with the end result bearing fruit. “Fizzy Chewitt” has a gaudy feel resembling the early work of RADIOHEAD. Although not an imitation, it flaunts an extravagant feel that is matched by an overall substance. The Avant Garde feel as it delivers the bridge is expertly felt and well judged. They then showcase something with a deliberate sentiment on “Old Stock”. It manages to keep a good handle in the progression. There is a passive side shown and the string arrangements have a grandeur that sits comfortably along the other points. A solid and hard keel opens “I Don’t Mind”. Everything hangs back and all the solemn elements are etched into the delivery. The tempo collects in an explicit way but it has a degree of maturity that gives an allure. The refined feel to “Wrong” depicts a track very much aware of its identity. The band handles the placement quite diligently. It has an emotive ask of it but is not found wanting. The assured feel to “Setting Sun” sees the band settle into the song. This then results in the right feel coming across. From the patient and cautious opening it then finds the right balance as the harder keel cuts in. As expected “Lullaby” comprises a sullen tone to give it all definition. It admirably closes in on the comfortably numb. How it does it completes the manner in how it all drifts away leaving a track that has its own way of taking flight stood there in the process. The retro way that “Karpet Dancer” cuts in has a slick retro feel. The gentle vocals light up on it while the easy way things
8 bend give way to something expansive and experimental. It is an enticing listen nonetheless. There is another daydream drifting quality coming through on “Take It Back” that sets everything up. Falling into place in a way that is tantamount to the expressive hold there is a solemn feel in places but it is marked out by a distinguished progression musically. The album finishes up with “Silver Fox”. The vocals peruse on it from the off and it gives it a minded feel. That catches something spirited that is impressive in the yearning that is shown in the closing stages.
.......................................................................................................................... AS THE MILLER BURNS
Third track “Wave Of Disaster” charges along. The pick up on the pace is splendidly judged. The result is fired up and easily catches an imaginative trait that it casually runs with. Pegging it back slightly is “Against The Grain”. But when things hit hard the urgency and impact don’t go unnoticed. There is a light rock feel about it and the ambitions see an indulgence play in, but it travels well and is suited to the production. “Machine Gun Brother” bursts through. The guitar riffs chug along on it with complete disregard. The deep feel from the vocals also give it a clean cut. How everything combines catches it all just right and it is a song that stands out for the right reasons. The edgy presents itself on “Martyr”. Here the metal feel in their sound is dragged across but is applied correctly. There is a nice kick to “No One’s Gonna Save You”. Here everything runs smoothly with the heft in the beat deliberately driving the temp. It is very much built upon those attributes but it is not necessarily a bad thing.
A fine guitar wraps around “Intolerance” and brings it through. The vocals and the overall delivery are all angled in a way that stokes the delivery. The controlled play shows mettle and the lyrics are also grounded to show heart. The deep bass on the intro to “Lost In The Herd” steadies it while the guitar plays away nonchalantly. It seems to be one of those tunes that run of its own accord but they also display good handling. There is a lot to admire.
They wile away on “Fallen Leaf” but again they produce a song that seems to see them get lost in the playing. Catching the guitar in the lean way they do pulls through on the rhythm. The overall running is a hard, sturdy affair that is well gauged and brought to book. Again they produce something that procures a fine rock element allowing it to drive things with “Bargainless Deal”. The shared vocals are pitched in a way that is tantamount to the appeal and aesthetic. Everything that plays in here does so and holds up well. The last track is “Circles”. Softly opened it has an inclination to hold things close with the lyrics and arrangement. A lot is factored in with this one and as a long player it suitably closes out the album. Everything that is laid out is by design which is why it holds as a long player.
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THE VINCENTS Valley Of The Sun The opening track here “Who’s That Boy?” corals a neat frenzied whip in the sound. There on in the contested hard heel to it delivers something with a dark revelry in the tone. The sullen feel is complemented by the overall rough feel making it a top tune. Second track is the eponymous “Valley Of The Sun”. When the kooky sax beat drops out things are marked out characteristically by the haunting feel of the rhythm. This stark quality holds very well and drifts across finely. The upbeat calypso beat bears fruit on “Summer Song” and gives it a haughty feel overall. Blessed with this skip in the rhythm it exerts well, while the calm feel from the vocals pushes things out with a pure essence that gives it an urgent and deliberate feel. The final track is “Song For The Sea”. The impact from the opening excellently brings everything to life. Hitting hard but with the good sense to hang back gives it a tidy shoegazer style. This is caressed within the rhythm and proves to be highly inviting as the harder points in the play bellow out.
THE DAVID NELLIGAN THING Who Is Synthia “I Can’t Make You (On Friday)” has the innovative signature of the band. The offbeat feel is matched by substance in the music. The synth and vocals are fixed within everything here. This gives it all a rather precise and stationary vibe that is as effective as it is affluent. There is something of a DAFT PUNK vibe to “Bodies At Rest (Potential Energy)”. The playing embraces the expressive side as much as the experimental. The content aspects of it show and are a big pull to it all. Midway through the EP we come to “Who Is Sylvia? (By William Shakespeare)” and the pulsating loops in the synth give it a lease of life. The kind way that it all collects is apparent and is helped by how innovative it comes to sound overall. This is a track and a half really. After this comes “Genius Geneticist (In My DNA)”. In how it opens there is a conveyance of the affluent. Being unafraid to dilute the sound results in an enigmatic track overall that has a delectable presence to it. The running is a smooth application full of purpose and has a lot to admire here. The last track is “Embattled (When Your Cage Is Rattled)” and again the game is raised here. With a well felt out rhythm being delivered in the exchanges in the arrangement there is a lot to like here. Uncompromising to a degree it finely runs and gives a sense of being completed by how it runs.
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CORRINA JAYE Light Will Come
The sultry allure of “Dark Room” ha a positive and vibrant feel. The desirable way that it all circulates here brings the song forward in an acknowledged way. The playing connects well and the overall delivery has an even feel that is cleverly arranged. On “Don’t You Recall” there is a longing to it that is enhanced by the gradual way that the percussion is factored into the sound. That defines the tone and structure here in a way that is rather telling. When it picks up there is a defined song to be found. With “Light Will Come” it is very much a song with a lot of attentive moments playing into it. The voice centres on it in a truly inspired way, while behind that the playing is gracefully built. When it takes flight there is no mistaking the quality on show because it grabs your attention for the right reasons. Harmonising a spiritual side sees it all come together in the eventful way that it does. The final track is “For A While”. This is a lush number that is defined by the mood and tone of the rhythm, yet the lyrics and arrangement are just as important. What shows is an effort that is well crafted and highly alluring.
.......................................................................................................................... THE MIDNIGHT UNION BAND Behind The Truth The title track of the EP gets things underway. The harmonica sits well as the hallowed feel from the intro guides the play in. From there the vocals are pitched to command an enticing feel as everything steadily climbs. This gives it the distinction necessary. The dandy and soft number “If You’d Stay” adds appeal in how it builds. Filtering through in the rhythm is a consistency that manages to bring everything to the fore with the utmost diligence. They keep a pristine hold on everything with “I Miss You”. There is a precision to how it hangs back and one that develops the sentiment in a key way. The enchanted feel to the delivery catches the sing in the right light as it plays and it is very much able to capitalise on that. It takes off and evenly comes around to where it is intended to be. They move things up a considerable notch on “Raise It Up”. Here they rear up with the tempo and there is a storming number produced accordingly. This sees the band find a rich vein of form and they comfortably run with it here and see it home. The last number on the EP is “The Burning”. This sees the band find assured footing with their music. The entire arrangement is finely applied and the definition is felt in the weight that backs up the playing here. All in all it allows the band to comfortably lose themselves in their music and take the listener with them.
They will also be launching the EP on September 14th in The Set Theatre, John St, Kilkenny with support from TV Jones & The Tomahawks and Clive Barnes.
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CATALYST Hi, We Are Catalyst
The first track here is “Easy On Me”. Handled well on the opening it eases off from the hard roll and then it develops into a steady number. Brought about smartly it leans into the playing and comes out of it with flying colours. After that comes “Rebound Kid”. Here is a tune that very much strings it together. There is a beautiful front that is calculated well because it all lingers in a full on way that stirs the playing. A little creole plays into the rhythm on “40% Valentine” and gives it a smart kick. The guitar and drumming round out the sound in an exclusive way that skims across and brings a heft to the sound. With it being catchy it also demands of the running but never places anything upon it that is beyond the band’s capabilities. Closing out proceedings is “The Others”. It hangs nicely and everything is tastefully brought around in a way that is easy to warm to. There is a careful handling to it but it also displays a hard running as things step out on the upbeat rush from the tempo. The guitar is focused in a defining way here and it lets it all carry through from this approach.
.......................................................................................................................... CRAMPTOWN SPACES Step Back A fine guitar lick plays away on the intro to “Step Back”. As everything comes in you see it to be a finely judged track. The cherished feel from the rhythm connects extremely well and they trap a carefree sentiment in the delivery, but it also contains a large amount of stability that sits well in the delivery. After that is “Some Games” and again the guitar takes point in the build quite specifically. Here it seems to leather out on it but the vocals come in with two distinct tones. They slide across on it and the superlative way that the rhythm develops a kooky feel adds bounce to it all. “Quotes” is the final track here and is an exquisite affair. It is vibrant and has an openness to it that is high on appeal. The catchy way it is all stoked catches everything on show here in a way that is very becoming as it moves across.
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DONNA DUNNE Beale Street
A rich rhythm and blues texture comes across that signals the intent as much as it creates a wonderful tune. The stylish running brings a sense of rockabilly but it is also marked out by the way the blues generates the intended impact. Firing up “Kicks” is the Latin tint in the sound. It adds a hard side to it that you feel. The deep way that the guitar is angled in gives it a lush Tex-Mex beat that stirs it eloquently, but there is also a lot to admire in how it excites you as it plays. An endearing track follows called “Blue Skies”. Handsomely filling out as it plays there is a steadfastness to it that sees it all fall clearly into place. The partial way that it is delivered also denotes an artist with a lot of promise musically. A cover of “Lucille” by LITTLE RICHARD seems to undermine the rockabilly influences that we have come to pick up from her live sets. Here it finds a suitable place as an inclusion on the EP.
.......................................................................................................................... THEORIES DIVIDE Revolutions “This Is Revolution” gets straight down to the task at hand. The guitar generates a bounce in the rhythm but there is a lot to be said about the drumming. Determined in how it is rolled out this seals in the right qualities to bring forth a tune that opens up in a good way. A neat guitar riff on the intro gives way to allow the broader elements play in on “Not Like You”. The running to it has a lot to admire and it throws the weight behind it all as the playing is pushed to the front in a proven way. The handling on third track “Claim To Live” comes to be very dependable. The vocals gain a foothold in the delivery that very much dictates the good points to bring a very full on effort to the equation. What stands for the band on “Buried Alive” is how distinct it is all handled. The formidable feel from the tempo is very sharp, while they also find something of reference in the vocal delivery to exemplify the right balance that they have going on here. When it comes to “Mirrored Illusion” things have a very descript intro that gives the track the platform to launch from. That opening seems to set the standard and this retains a great deal in the offering. It is all very relevant and sets things up for the finish with “Drowning”. The opening is a no nonsense affair. The way that the rhythm is streamed fits impressively. Everything is taken hold of here and pushed to the front but they also manage to keep things predominantly loyal to what they want their sound to be about.
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International Acts THE KISSAWAY TRAIL
Drawing on a shoegazer style there is something appealing about “Telly The Truth”. Cleverly coming together it is cleverly motioned and these qualities are locked in rather apparently. The looming retro beats also finely carry across. “Nørrebro” is an astounding track. Immediately standing out from the intro it arrives fully formed. The synth and guitar handling denote an impressive indie feel. They then press ahead effortlessly and how it all resonates is definitive. The intent of “Cuts Of Youth (Razor Love)” is another impressive effort from the band. A dalliance is exerted that matters. It has a large showing of substance and the electronic beat gives it heart. They then produce something with a charming skip to it with “The Springsteen Implosion”. How it takes off sees the beat travel in an inverted way from the off. The energetic way it all steps out impressively brings it all under control to produce a truly spellbinding effort. Their next track “Sarah Jevo” appears to be cut from the same cloth. There is an investment in developing the music. As a result the smart way that was intended comes to the fore. Trippy aptly describes how the rhythm drags across on “Beauty Still Rebels”. Here lies a tune of undoubted credibility that endears the listener to fully appreciate the band for their music. It is 5:21 of pure bliss. “So Sorry, I’m Not” is one of those tunes that you immediately fall in love with. There is a blistering array of music on show with the guitar buzzing across. The synth gives it a sturdy new wave feel that makes it all the more
appreciative. A very lavish interlude follows on “Sara (R.I.Punk)” which doesn’t feel out of place in any way. There is a shake about “The Sinking” and it is able to steer things in handsomely. It is a song that is evidently rich but the way it all focuses these points in the playing is what grabs you. The volume in the rhythm marries well with the texture and the layers. Again they produce the goods with “Shaking The Mote”. The synth here procures everything with a stark definition in the rhythm. What is channelled here is absolutely fantastic. This is a flawless creation from the band that embodies what happens when imagination meets talent and ability. “Robot (Think Of Me As You Never Figured)” is a second interlude on the album that also brings an effective turn to the listening experience. “A Rainy Night In Soho” is very much a case of saving the best for last. The vocals are blessed with a grace that the artificial elements of their music are able to fully complement. This builds expertly and the alluring qualities pull you in like the calling of a siren from Greek mythology. - 32 -
The opening of the album is an instrumental interlude called “Hello”. It drags back but then the album roars into life with “A Mad World”. In the running is an example of good music but it seems somewhat erratic in the calling. There is a good bite to the sound, but it misses something in the bark. The Eastern influences result in a rich sitar sound on “Trouble”. The pace picks up in a tempting way. Here there is a lot to admire. Catching things cleanly in the delivery settles it all. The sheen comes through in how it all binds to produce a highly alluring track. “Ya Layl” is a brief interlude that fits the part. It is too brief to say anything more than that. “Lazy River” carries across in a knowing way. There is a charm to how it opens and it retains this consistency. There is a guidance that is angled specifically here. This adds to the effectiveness in the delivery. Again there is a soft approach taken with the acoustic guitar opening up “Timeless” before it develops a dandy skip. That neatly ties the rhythm to the delivery. What it aims for is achieved and the continuous way it runs relaxes into the arrangement. It is a neat and showy affair that achieves what is set out. “The Motions Of The Dancers” embraces a fiery approach. Something seductive in the Mediterranean flavour of the rhythm catches the spirited and dangles it into the movements of play. Then it courses through when the rhythm plays in hard. All in all it is also a fine turn as an ensemble piece. The Hindu beat to “All Mine” is evident. It seems to ease into a track with a competent pleasantry hat sets it all in place. It is very graceful and again the volume from the guitar and percussion elements gift it stature. “Falling” patiently holds as the guitar plays across. The classical feel branches out and develops the play in a truly sophisticated way that is easy to admire. As a
7 long player the directional arcs change but the fluid manner is retained. With “Luci” there is a broad definition felt from the rhythm. Cleanly coming across it directs the harsh cut in a way that gifts it an essence. This is a desirable song in places, but it does have a hint of blandness at times which lets it down somewhat. The last track here is “Watching Bird”. The vocals have an interesting offering. What is also worth appreciating is how the strings are worked into the arrangement. That gives it a subtle reach and it all combines to good effect in closing the album out.
....................................................................................................................... affair somewhat and the dark undertone does it justice. There is an interlude CATHODE RAY EYES Melancholy I
that follows called “Drowning Rats” which is an eclectic inclusion.
The guitar finely cuts in on the intro of “The Day I Got Drunk With Harry Houdini”. A slight sense of the funk is brought to proceedings while the play is also needled in a way denoting a more frenzied feel to one side. This gives it an underground feel as much as it does an experimental one. From the outset, “Off To Burn Video Tapes” proves to be a very intriguing listen. Denoted by a raw quality it is all steered commendably. The forward feel in the expanse serves it well and they lock down the hard points effectively. Again the harder and broader feel from the guitar pulses through “Keep On Failing” to good effect. With the way it hangs back the ambience is felt. They play it all with a purity carrying the expansive moments across. It is a diligent and finely prepared effort. The way things pick up on “My Song Is This” is a welcome reversion. The guitar cleanly plays away and is guided into a harder roll which gives things a more candid feel. The vocals reverberate in a telling way and the entire arrangement is cleanly caught.
9 A reserved pull dictates the running of “The Unsuccessful Resurrection Of James Dean”. As an opening track it embraces a very morose tone that is hard to get behind, but listening intently shows the surface of the song betrays the clean playing behind it. They maintain that approach with “Grim Reaper On My Back”. There is a hard roadhouse feel here and the poetry in the lyrical delivery matches to give it a clean feel. It is a trippy
Another interlude comes next with “Tripping With T-Rex”. This pours out the playing generously. Following that is a track to admire called “Santa’s On Acid”. Behind the gusto and bravado is a song with a solid structure to the playing. The depth of the rhythm holds to very much draw you in. Another alluring track follows with “Goodbye To The Wonder”. What is noted here is the way it strips the rhythm back and lays everything bare. Intriguing and enigmatic as a result, they also produce something with integrity in the innovation. The album suitably closes out with a track entitled “And Then The End”. There is a very refined feel to how it runs. The guitar has a neat nuance and the echo of the vocals adds a trippy effect to the running. It is a bewitching track that you do have to appreciate because it displays an incredible array as it runs.
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THE BADENVILLES D.I.Y.
There is a very off the wall feel to opening track “This Town”. This short track has a frantic way about it that denotes an interesting listen ahead. It is well schooled and played though. “Begging” is a track with a divine riff that tees up everything. The vocals come in extremely relaxed and sturdy in equal measure. There is a symmetry that finds its way into the overall delivery of “Country”. Steadily built it handsomely becomes a track of diligence. The bridge is a sublime feature that carries a lot of weight. The intro is heavier and hard felt on “The View”. It denotes a darker texture and rhythm from the point of origin, with the vocals reflecting this. “Maggie” is a track that embraces a ballad styling, yet there is a remorse displayed. The sense of loss is carried through and the development of the mood and tone here is excellent. A short track called “Summer” proves to be a 1:53 wonder. Flashes of NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS come off on it. Behind the steady play of “I Won’t Care” there is a resolve pumped through. The shared vocals are a replete feel that get a lot of things right with the delivery to make it a desirable track to play. Another excellent track called “The Man” follows. With the bounce in the rhythm a lot of life becomes injected into the performance. It electrifies and also projects a sense of creativity from what is channelled. An ode to a lady named “Susie Que” has a wild abandon that fits well. The sultry direction of the play is quite admirable and denotes a princely feel that is magnificent in how it comes to find its identity here. The wrap from the guitar riff on “Exile” is somewhat deadly and stirs the play. Containing the play in this way exerts something over it that tenaciously drags it through. The composure also imparts an exquisite texture to how the withdrawn elements are rallied. “Words You Say” has hints of LOU REED. There is a very
9 fine and sharp turn to the way it is all brought together. There is substance found in how it hangs back and the coarse way it is delivered sits well giving weight to the delivery. The urgency and intent drives “Coffee Shop” from the off. With the hard way it hits the ground running it keeps you along for the ride. The consistency in the play also has a drag and that raw quality seems to impart it with an additional classy touch. The album finishes with “Friend Or Enemy”. Finely laid out it settles in a way with the rhythm to also show a nostalgic tint to be found in the delivery. As a given it denotes the eventuality of it all and that is also reflected in the lyrics are recounted.
........................................................................................................................ GREEN LINE OPERATOR
Sixteen Ounce World
10 The depth captured on “4,3,2,1” brings the track to life. The competence in the guitar shows on the rhythm but seals the deal on the bridge. The vigilance in the delivery draws you in. Second track “Stitches” has a meander to the intro but it all collects into a hard affair. The blustering feel off the rhythm gets a lot of things right. Overall it is excellent from beginning to end and plays with a shanty kick. They keep a steady hold on everything with
“Not Afraid”. Tidily playing away, the vocals give it a graceful heel and it collects quite well. There is a distinguished tone that very much carries it along with the utmost credibility. Some more solid work follows with “Gasoline”. The harsh tone acquired from the delivery fits the overall arrangement. It is particularly effective when things get going on the chorus. The patient way the acoustic guitar comes across on “Grand” really opens you up to how good this band is. The drift in the sound gracefully collects to really put the emphasis on the excellence. Showing the same degree of excellence as the other tracks is “Concussion”. There is something charming to the hard roll of the guitar that expertly catches a clean glint in the rhythm that accumulates smartly. They then produce a neat affair with “Drinking Water”. It is brief but also quite candid, with a defined movement that is all sewn up impressively inside two minutes. “The Spirit And The Spirits” is a credible track that coasts along. There is an entwined rise displayed that runs alongside the edgier aspects of the sound. This is what makes it appealing but also shows substance. A very much enlightened affair greets the listener on “Concentration”. The guitar brims with a real hunger and it fetchingly comes to bear on everything as it all takes flight. That shake in the rhythm is impressive and the vocals pour out on it with the utmost distinction. A curt leaning follows with “Picking Up The Pieces”. It is very sincere and mean, with the tumultuous feel from how it gathers a refined touch that settles into it as much as charges everything. Their next offering “Concrete” applies a softer approach. The guitar gently stirs the rhythm which also seems to see the sentiment coveted by the vocal delivery. Everything has a settled charm that neatly falls into place. You are immediately hit by how hard “Waltz” runs. It bowls you over. The pace has no let-up and it is matched by a committed delivery. All in all the raw and edgy tracking is highly encouraging. The last track is called “20 Years” and the fine way the hard points are squirreled away sees them box clever. Here is a big number to close out on but they prove up to the task. It is sheer excellence.
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THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT The licks opening first track “Only Friend” trap in something that lock in explicitly when the vocals come in. They lean into it with a marked reverence held in a scintillating way that shows their intent. The second song “Ain’t No Telling” is another blistering effort. With it comes a resolution that is felt from how the arrangement is angled. The guitar develops things in a hard way but also retains an edge that gifts it fortunately. “Pride” is a track here that has a delicate definition about it. The delivery eases along and is comfortably applied. The sturdy way it all runs retains these qualities in a smart way which keeps the identity of the band intact. They box clever yet again on “Know For Sure”. There is a rich vein kept hold of in the tempo. That allows everything to pick up slightly when needed but remain on course. The rich delivery shows in the kick that feeds in on the rhythm. They pull it back on “Chinese Lanterns” and the softer aspects are caught effectively. It has a warm hold about the delivery that grants them licence to ease into the comfortable feel of the song. There is cleverness in it and things return to a harder, steely style on “Midnight Black”. The playing is floored to give a loaded feel that is well managed. There is a knowing way in the intent that is adhered to by design.
9 Seventh track on the album is “Be Lucky” has a notable charm. The way the tempo courses through is pleasant to hear, while it also gives their sound a distinction. They very much settle into it which shows in how fluid it comes across, but how the urgent side is embraced is very telling. “Morning Riders” again has a very rich blues style. The guitar steers the direction of the playing, while the vocals carry across with an honesty that sits well with the harsh cut it all has. Taking a catchy direction is “Take It Back”. This strong number gets a lot of things right. They lean into the playing to produce the goods locking in the right qualities in the upbeat feel in the tempo. There is a presence to it but the way it all shakes denotes substance. Things develop reverence on “Lovers And Fighters” to give everything an inviting feel. Though a softer delivery is apparent there is also a defined way that is all done which lends it weight. The next song “Serenity” is a reflective affair. The comfort in the delivery wraps around the playing and keeps the consistency rolling through. The album closes out with “Smouldering” and it is a big number to do so with. There is a broad feel about it and they encompass a lot and put it on show here. A slick feel seems to permeate from it all and this is brought to bear on it in a very significant way.
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DEAD LEAF ECHO
Thought & Language
The first track “Conception” glides the intro in to denote an ambience that meets well with the sense of anticipation as it all steps out. The hard shoegazer feel makes for a song demanding appreciation in the expression. Next is “Kingmaker”. The wallowed sense from the guitar feels lush on the tempo. The way everything hangs back also makes the play collect effectively. In “Language Of The Waves” they really deliver. The opening denotes significance in how the rhythm travels, while the lazy feel from the vocals commands something reflective in the delivery. The definition is excellent and figuratively encompasses all the playing. The next song “Memorytraces” blends into the rhythm in a way that draws you in from the off. The intro sets up a song that has credence and the drawl from the vocals gives the fallen feel something to hold onto. The candid way to it also displays a maturity that is excellently applied. They then turn in another lazy traced effort with “Birth”. The impeccable texture of the arrangement and scope serve it well. Enveloping those pristine qualities sees the tranquillity of the melody finely locked in in the process. That leads nicely into “Child” which is heavy on the morose side. The sullen way bends it to this approach. It has an intriguing intimacy that drags things before the tempo picks up tellingly. How the rhythm develops a curve draws a slight comparison to THE SMITHS. “Thought” opens with a displaced sense coming from the way the broad piano gives presence. The conduct of the arrangement finely plays out and that projects despair in the overall delivery but also gives it a desirable allure worth mentioning. The skirmished way “Dream Of The Soft” opens offers an attractive trait. A somewhat retro quality is balanced resulting in an intriguing track with a secluded feel. An admirable bounce in the rhythm also holds well and everything is offered up in an intriguing way. The lavish formations on “Heavensent”
meander through in a way that carries the track yet steers the compact moments towards something with purpose. The slow feel hangs back in a way that is motioned unconditionally and pushes things out with transparency. The penultimate track here is “She Breathes”. The song has shape in the rhythm as well as a countenance. Both are turned on to good effect and drives everything forward. The last track is “Flowerspeak” and the bass hook opening it is very cleverly done. The play then develops something with a reserved jut that is finely worked into everything. This is a long player but it manages to hold everything in a specific way in how well the outlines are all traced and worked.
........................................................................................................................ JOE SYMES & THE LOVING KIND
sophisticated, yet it meets something with a Honky Tonk feel in the later progression. The finesse comes through in a very converse way that sits well with the soft running. Then we come to “Ready To Ride”. With the jazz influence on show it readies itself and then brings something content forward. These features make for a pleasing effort that brings out the best in the delicate moments in the arrangement. “Lovers Undercover” has an ornate feel that enhances the tumble in the sound. There is a sturdy way to it that also complements the select way it plays. The lyrics manage to fall upon it in a very smart way that makes for an easy song to get behind. After that comes “Happy When It Hurts”. What comes to pass as it plays channels into a canter. That is then caressed into a swoon that comes to settle everything in a free way that gives it an enlightened candidness. There is an interlude that follows. It is somewhat left field but it is a nice touch here.
Released through the label Truly Independent this is a very remarkable effort. It gets under way with “Fallen Down” which announces itself through the guitar which remains central in the rhythm. That breaks thorough in an acknowledged and taut way. That comes to denote something expressive in the overall delivery. “Fine Line” acquires a somewhat beatnik feel that is
With “Love Is The Reason” things patiently build. The definition that is shown is all eased in to it all from the composure. That forms a lull that is denoted by the substance conveyed. The next song “A World Out Your Window” has a careening feel from the acoustic guitar. This in turn gives it a sunken feel. There is also a dark touch to how it sounds but it is all accounted for by how well the delivery comes across. The final track on the album is “Where Do I Belong?” This is a leaner effort and is a fine choice to close things out with. What the approach grants upon it leads to something that has a comfortably numb feel. This creates an ambience which is well considered. The play then picks up and becomes a catchy number that is well mustered.
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International Acts LAND OF THE GIANTS No Pressure
With “Sees Me As A God” the brass inflicts something suitable and flies that marries well with the sturdy running. Then the impact really lands on it when the bridge comes in on it because it charges it all up with an impeccable motioning that allows it to casually slink back before picking back up. Everything has a seasoned feel about it on “Red Dreads”. There is a reggae and ska influence worked in that stares down the harder running of it. That colourful trait hangs behind it naturally and comes to rise giving a satisfactory release. Then we come to “Alright Cheryl”. Off the back of a guitar riff to be proud of comes a damn fine tune. It is seriously funky on one hand but on the other is a fine display of indie credentials at work. Very much the real deal, “Love Is Here” is brought through from a patient intro. Then the play becomes dominated by the urgent running of the tempo as much as it does the playing. It has a considerable weight to it all that connects with the barrage of sound from the play. They then happen upon a true beast with “The Drop”. The angst in the vocals lends as much to it as does the arrangement. Certain of how good it can be it rolls out with the utmost sincerity and clocks in expertly. Things chill out somewhat with “Whatcha Gonna Do?” Catchy harmonies and backing vocals meet with the rhythm. A GOMEZ comparison is felt and the brass stands tall as it puts a boisterous rhythm front and centre. This turns on the style in the way it moves, but it has a mean streak to it that is served up as a treat.
.......................................................................................................................... BIBLEOTS Devil’s Highway Extremely lush and highly retro is what you notice about first track “Devil’s Highway”. There is a clean and candid way that the lyrics trade on the track. They imbue it all with a soulful demeanour but the playing meets with it in a way that is extremely impressive. “W.D.G.A.F.” wraps the rhythm around another highly innovative sound. The synth and guitar produce a strong new wave effect. From this the vocals cut across and the timeless qualities yielded from the tempo are alarmingly creative. Playing like a modern disco track there is nothing to really do except get swept up in the play. Again they strike gold with “Nemesis”. Appropriately applying the blues it comes to life with a degree of classification that weighs in heavily. A real bluster shows form how the guitar boots up the tempo and the passive vocal delivery matches the ambitious traits of it all the way. The SID SPECTOR remix of “Devil’s Highway” brings a lot of the right things to the track. It suitably deserves its place as an inclusion on the EP because it holds up when compared to the other three tracks.
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DANI It Speaks For Itself
The blues courteously opens up “Madhouse”. The timely way that the rhythm resides on it here sits exceptionally well alongside the lyrics and vocals. The jostle that is felt as the song slips into gear is very effective and what is placed upon it from the overall delivery is very exact. Next song “Swan’s Lane” conceals an essence that brings you on a journey as you listen to it. The concise way that it all manages to linger is amazing to hear. The delicate way the guitar tumbles across brilliantly underlines this point. Again the simplicity of the playing is effective on “Saurie”. The solid feel from the arrangement captivates. A song that embraces the harmony presents. The broad feel to it allows it to generate an enormous amount from the intimacy sifting through that enhances the sheltered aspects of the song impeccably. The guitar wiles away on “At Play” which allows the song to drift along. But this is no by the numbers effort. It is far from that. The closeness of the kindled style gives a lot back when placed alongside the content of the song. It is all carefully traced but it possesses an inspiring feel also. The last track is “For Jonah”. The taut way the guitar flits away is impressive. This then builds into a rhythm with depth and the ensemble piece also retains some classical elements in how it is all delivered. This is an excellent track from start to finish.
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WILDFLOWERS Wild Among The Flowers The opening track “Where The Wild Flowers Don’t Grow” shows the credential of the band. The way that it all comes together is incredible. The plucky feel from the rhythm displays a lot of the right qualities, while the vocal delivery carries across it all in a promising way. Here is a song with purpose and it sets out the intent of what to expect and leaves its mark when you hear it play. The spirited feel of “Edge Of The Road” really shows. But there is also a kick to it in the way the beat shuffles along that makes it all happen for it here. There is a real accomplishment to be found in how everything is placed on this one. “I Used To Run Wild” is a softer tune. Things are very much reconciled in the overall delivery. The texture of the tempo denotes this and the way that everything shows through here engages things in a rather succinct way. The beauty of it is all there to be admired when you listen to it. The last track is “Miss Understood”. The hard way that it is all pitched from the very off is magnificent. That hard vocal delivery shows and the definition of it is solid throughout the entire process. The rhythm is upbeat and also brings the finer folk elements to bear in a telling way.
THE NEO-KALASHNIKOVS Take It Or Leave It
Released in June this EP has a dangerous feel about it from the very second it opens. The delectable roll from the guitar on “Turn The Tables” brings out the best in the track. Cementing the impact is the urgency to the delivery. Here it very much runs of its own accord adding a charming disregard to the tune. The soothing vocal makes a lot happen on “Rock’N’Roll Friend”. There is a coasted turn from the arrangement but the hang back makes for a very sultry affair. That is a big pulling factor at work here. One of those sugar-coated songs that signal a dangerous temptation is next in the shape of “Take It Or Leave It”. This is a song that underlines how good the band is when they turn it on. What is delivered soaks up the candid running to produce the goods in a telling way. The other side of that very same coin is “Blue Lithium”. This has an alluring and lazy feel about it, but there is volume showing in the guitar that riffs along bringing the rhythm forth. That develops into a secure beat that manages to close in around the playing quite distinctly. The last track here is “Look The Other Way”. This gets the emotion of the delivery spot on. The reflective feel in the lyrics carries a true regard that comes in on the delivery in a way that leaves a lasting impression.
.......................................................................................................................... THE NEO-KALASHNIKOVS Gorgeous Baby The eponymous opening track gathers everything and also displays a tender side that appreciates the shoegazer leanings fully. There is a way that the tone accentuates here that is gratifying and the tantalizing way the rhythm is carried through has you under its spell from the very second it begins playing. Lighting up from the second it plays is “Diamonds”. Turning sharply into the playing there is a commendable sense of purpose to it all. The fine turn is enhanced by the structure and arrangement in the tempo, but the vocals also gift it as much presence. The bass brings an exquisite touch to the opening of “I Don’t Want To Be Your Friend”. In addition to being blessed with an excellent title the lyrics really showcase an excellence. They give it a spirited kick. The handling of the rhythm brings everything forward and locks in something amazing in the tempo that bowls you over. Everything is exacted brilliantly all the way through.
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Pounding drums give “To Russia” has a go-go feel that cuts like glass. They serve everything up on it here with an incredible amount of flair. There is also a hint of Japanese pop on show, but the way it all flows shows the integrity of the band. The pristine feel on last track “Shining Star” unashamedly shows the brilliance of this band. There is a mellow feel to it and the violin measures up in the delivery, but the whole arrangement holds firm with pure abandon coursing through the play.
THEM SWOOPS Glimmers
The catchy shuffle in the opening track “Work Around It” adds a charm that produces a good turn from the band. The way the rhythm catches things in the clean way it does manages to bring the track around. There is a consistency and volume in the texture that carries across on this in the most sublime of ways. The steady feel from the tempo gives “Too Fast For Love” produces an effective kick. This charmingly plays as a song. The upbeat way that everything is fashioned here pulls you in and manages to lock in a wonderful and catchy tune in the process. Everything is cleanly caught on this one. But more importantly it is all managed correctly. Then we come to “Rollerskate” which is another fantastic effort. The way that the vocals drift across manages to give it a shoegazer meets disco feel. This is a captivating effort that is spell blindingly done. Everything is caught right and the shades of PASSION PIT to this one can be rightly picked up on. But it is an outstanding track that truthfully delivers the goods. Things close with a BEN BROWNING remix of “Work Around It”. This yields a high retro feel and doesn’t look out of place on the album. In fact it seems to add to the feel of the EP.
.......................................................................................................................... COMO BROTHERS Still Waters COMO BROTHERS – “Still Waters” The first track “Parachute” is a decent effort. There is a tidy feel about it. While it doesn’t show a lot in the opening, it does deserve a further listen. That is when it begins to show for what counts. It picks up and there is a steady way that it all bears down to keep it all on track. There is an ease to “Bad Karma” that lingers on it in a way that gets going when it progresses. There is a light feel, but the rhythm has scope. There is a lot of the right production values showing in the arrangement and this is what brings the merits of the song through. “I Want To” has a skip that manages to get the balance right in the delivery. That holds finely as the song is cleanly brought about. It leaves a clean feel and kick to it all. The song begins to grow and the laid back manner leaves you with an admirable little track that has a satisfactory and upbeat style about it. Then we come to “Leaving You”. The pace is faster. That sees the attempt in the delivery work with the running from the guitar keeping it all intact. The lyrics though are somewhat not as hard as they need to be, but they do produce a catchy enough effect in the delivery. There is a fine hook on “Can’t Be Right” and the band then produce a clear effort. The sincerity is recognised in the delivery. The synth adds a level of texture that enhances this. Slightly retro and very much all about what they can do, you see them produce the goods here. This drives the catchy beats and shows substance. This is a track that you will play more than once.
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Adorable in how it opens, “Tailspin” very cleanly brings the track together from the fond retro feel that courses through. The reach it develops is also quite deliberate and sophisticated. Everything combines on this one to really bring the choice aspects of it through in a big way. A deft guitar riff opens “Time Will Tell” and proceeds to build formidably through the music and tempo, neatly catching everything as it does so. An essence echoes across in how the vocals gather. How it is all compressed is nothing short of excellent. Fancifully skipping along as it opens is “Secret Place”. This draws comparisons with PASSION PIT but it is very much a song with its own identity. It is pristine in how it all follows through in a way that leaves everything there to be appreciated as you get lost in the music. Two remixes of “Tailspin” follow. The first is by THE COSMIC SETTERS 90 and the second by HALCYON DRIVE. While the remix does have a style to it that catches things with style, there is a slight laboured feel to it. The other remix is the better of two. There is a more evident balance in the delivery which sees it all easily click into gear.
.......................................................................................................................... MARQUEES Every bit a European affair, the opening track “Meet Major Tom” gets down to everything. The finesse shows in the beat but the upbeat style it has embraces the right side of pop sensibility. With the equalised vibrancy in the tone the darker tone is allowed to feature in a prominent way which creates the identity here. “Blown Away” comes next. The dulcet feel from the arrangement lights it up. There is a shepherded way to how it builds which shows a well thought out tune playing in the process. Able to catch a feverish side and offset it with a withdrawn feel is what sells you on this. The grandiose moments are very select when they come into the reckoning also.
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How things move across on “Disco Parade” really gets it going. There is a taut feel as it rushes through, but there is something located which is very enticing. Locking in these principles allows the song to step out. The tempo is consistent and manages to turn on the catchy feel with the utmost reverence. But there is also a depth displayed with the playing from the backing vocals. The last track is “Chemical Lights”. This is another blistering effort. The dark tone gives it a taut and tidy feel, while the synth puts an organic stamp upon it all. It follows a very desirable direction as a result.
CARA PEARCE Blush
You are immediately drawn to “Blush” by the intro, but then when her voice peruses across a desirable tune comes forth. The way that everything is traced in the arrangement astounds. The rhythm carries the correct amount of weight and the bold strokes in the play show well alongside the broad definition that it has. Then comes “All I Need To Be”. This also portrays her as an artist to admire. The lift in her voice gives it all something to aspire to, but how it all adheres to the delivery fills the song with the right amount of lift. It shapes it and very much makes it a rounded effort. The rhythm form the guitar on “Parental Advisory” has a learned feel that very comfortably comes to reside in the song. Her vocals are equally as well pitched and the communal way that things combine on it ably gives it the artistic licence and freedom it deserves. A marked change in the direction on “Shimmer” seems to invigorate it all. The way that it comes together is nothing short of magnificent. This is the track that will sell you on her as an artist. The soulful meets the funky with the right amount of balance.
.......................................................................................................................... JOLLY KOREA Throwing Shade Animated by the way the guitar pitches up on “Only Time” kicks everything into gear. It roars like thunder and has an even tone to it all. That is then met with a formidable vocal that seems to be a natural calling on it because it carries everything through. The stillness fingered in the delivery is also enhanced by this. Again they hit the ground running with real force on “Harriet”. Yet this time there is something more inviting on show. They have a set way to how it is all brought through that locks in the right things with the right amount of measure. There is a fortunate and curt way to how “32X30” picks up. This drops in and out on the intro, but the catchy way it feels gets everything going. They occupy a neat style in how straight it seems to sound, but the vocals have an off centre charm that emerges here and really draws you in. “Spermophyte (Getting The Boot)” has this lavish and incredibly vibrant touch about it all. The succulent way that the delivery catches things is also helped by the unashamed ripping off of “The Model” by KRAFTWERK in the guitar. But take nothing away, they really steer the song into original territory and wear their hearts on their sleeves here. This will appease many a mosher. The final inclusion here is “Private Flounder”. This has a punk leaning. The raw and edgy sound transfixes you when you hear it. It is unmistakeably catchy and the decadent feel to it is there to be admired by the ballsy delivery that then opens up with a heavy and more full on affair in the play.
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LENI MORRISON Spindle
There is an expanse felt from the way the piano delicately plays in on the intro. It gives it a depth and promise which it collects upon quite effectively. There is an illicit and haunting allure to the hazy way that it all spreads out which augments the ambient feel that the song has. What is situated in the vocals is also finely handled, but in how it all comes together displays something inviting and dark.
ALL THE COLOURS Shame
The guitar on this is extremely lean and opens the song with a lot of urgency. That is consistently kept in check and the catchy side of this sits cleverly with the leaner points. How it all falls into place displays all the qualities of a great track. There is a slight pop sensibility to it but nothing to find fault with. This is a song that very much sweeps you up in it all as it plays.
.......................................................................................................................... ITWASALLABITBLACKANDWHITE The Electric Mayhem
This has an exceptional way of building with the organ very much situating itself in the centre. From there the drum beat comes in on it and shows it to be a very sharp affair. There is a new wave feel to it when it changes direction yet it very much feels like a natural process when it occurs. The synth beats dropped in display something appealing with an appealing feel to the overall experimental approach in the sound.
THE STILLWALKERS Bruises
The guitar on this is extremely lean and opens the song with a lot of urgency. That is consistently kept in check and the catchy side of this sits cleverly with the leaner points. How it all falls into place displays all the qualities of a great track. There is a slight pop sensibility to it but nothing to find fault with. This is a song that very much sweeps you up in it all as it plays.
The upbeat feel to it is all to be found in the rhythm. Capturing something catchy and somewhat slightly offbeat is part of the charm here you feel. There is a splendour displayed with the vocals and the lyrics which adds something extra to the overall dynamic that is very becoming. The running of the tempo comes across in a way that is well suited to the rhythm and the catchy side of it overall. With a little hint of reggae and ska thrown in for good measure it makes for a good tune.
CHIMPANBEE Through Rock’N’Roll
This next band play a very tight sound that really brings the rock’n’roll to the table. There is also a strong sense of indie about it. The merging of both produces something that has a very complete sense to it. The skip in the beat is also very prominent and has a smart way of coming in around the whole process that seems to travel along quite easily. There is a charming feel to it all that is ignited by the way it all goes with the flow.
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THE THESPIANS Adored
There is something of a slight romantic glint in this one. The rough and raw sound that the Liverpool band is noted for is present, along with a very definitive guitar sound. The elegant feel from the guitar pours out on it here and is rather delectable as much as it is charged. But in how they apply the subtle touches really marks it out as a tune of discernible note.
TARA STEWART Stars
The electronic aspects embraced in the song develop a causal effect in the sound that is very delectable when things progress in the playing. It very much delivers solid work and the expressive artistic intent is very evident here. It is laid in such a way that the class very much shows on it. There is a nuanced sense to it but it cleverly avoids the pretentiousness. This is an excellent tune that really seals in the essence intended and relays it back through the music.
FUTURE PHANTOMS Until I See The Sun
There is a very clean whip to the intro here and it then begins to gather things sweetly. A strong influence on the lyrics that offers up a good deal.as it changes direction. What is also displayed in the rhythm is a controlled offering that is handled finely. The backing vocals add a catchy hook to it that very much completes it all. There is a light feel to it in places but it rolls and runs with an incredible amount of urgency and consistency that keeps it all well tracked.
BIG SEPTEMBER The Preacher
The first thing that hits you about this one is the pace that it has on the opening. Then when it begins to sit back there is a song present that has bite. All the right elements are on show to it. Aside from it being catchy, there is an incredible amount of substance to the playing that collects on it in a very telling way. This is one of those songs that has an affluence to it that shows throughout.
THE CHEAP THRILLS Trying To Be Something Else
With how the track opens there is a perpetual motion at work that resides nicely with the raw cut to the playing. That is apparent and what shows in the workings here is a track that has a laid back skip to the delivery which plays in deliberately with the rhythm. While things have a precision to them, it is the uneven keel to their playing which very much sells it because it portrays a degree of angst which pours out on it quite effectively.
RICHARD RICHARD Afro-Caribbean Love Song
This is a great track to listen to. The catchy groove it has in the sound is very impressive. The calypso elements seemingly up the ante and show an incredible ability to produce a top tune along the way. How it all hangs back is also quite impressive. The way the beat is angled in is extremely catchy and deserves to be recognised for the musical qualities on show with it.
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SAINT YORDA Disco
Here is a track that has its own identity. The calypso styling to it also meets a very experimental approach. The result is something bold and daring that displays an honest approach to being creative. The lyrics and vocals add very much to everything in how they are applied. With the rich texture in the sound there is something truly original championed by the band here.
ELEPHANT EYES India
The song has a finesse to it that is underlined by the vocals. That harmonic feel to it is complemented finely by the lush quality that the playing demonstrates. The fine retro beat behind it steadies the delivery. It all becomes further enhanced from the ambient flashes that characterise the styling that is very much evident on it all.
ELASTIC SLEEP Anywhere
Embracing a shoegazer style but adding a hard keel to it sees the song develop musically. That is reflected in the way that the guitar is angled so prominently in the sound, but the lazy feel to the drum and bass carry as much distinction when they meet the vocals. What is captured is reflective of the disillusioned appeal that they produce in their sound and sits extremely well with the tone.
GOSSLING Never Expire
The synth works on this in a very telling way. The diligent way that the song all picks up is purposeful. The vocals also add extremely well to the tone that is present. What they all add to it something that has a retro quality about it but also something that has a modern styling worked in.
THE SHEIKS Tennessee
Very much an effort that hits the ground running, the pace proves to be a well-judged affair here. There is a vibrancy produced in the rhythm that allows the overall delivery to be finely touched upon. The cut to the tempo is sharp and the way that they have angled the entire arrangement prominently shows on this one in way that brings you along for the ride.
THE WONDERSMITHS Insignifican
A morose tone is picked up from the lyrics, but the music also seems to match up with an opportune blessing to it all. There is a retro feel conjured from the rhythm that is very effective. It washes over it all and keeps it all intact. That seems to hold finely on the whole song including the directional change in the later progression. It is a tune worth a second listen certainly.
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The U & I 4x4 is the editorâ€™s pick of four videos selected from our various music networks. These recommendations are then featured as a dedicated playlist on our official YouTube channel. The September 2013 4x4 consists of the following artists: (with the respective music network indicated in brackets)
The Hot Sprockets "Comin' On" (Dublin)
The Blue Ruin "Heroin" (Sweden)
Stonefield "Put Your Curse On Me" (Australia)
Cast Of Lions "Sticks & Stones" (London)
CONTRIBUTORS WANTED At U&I Music Magazine we are committed to supporting music at a grass roots level.This is the core ethos of what we have built everything upon.Our magazine is growing fast. We currently have an online readership of over 40,000 monthly, which is steadily increasing We are looking for people with a genuine talent for writing and a real passion for music to join our team. This can be in the form of writing about live music, features, interviews or music reviews. As we are very receptive to the ideas our staff being involved with U&I Music Magazine presents an opportunity to have a valued input in what you are working on. These positions are on an intern basis but could lead to a possible summer position reviewing at music festivals for the right candidates
Published on Sep 7, 2013
In this issue we talk with Wildflowers about playing with Robert Plant, career advice from Elvis Costello and other things. We also have in...