Rev Run has cancelled his European tour, due to unforeseen circumstances.
This includes his planned Saturday headline performance at this weekend's Sea Sessions festival in Donegal. The festival begins this evening with Kaiser Chiefs headling the main stage and runs until Sunday night with the likes of Happy Mondays, Hot 8 Brass Band, The Coronas and many more.
Archives for June 2012
Rev Run has cancelled his European tour, due to unforeseen circumstances.
For the first of our ‘The Making Of....’ series, who better to speak to than one of the latest acts to be added to the bill for Vital this summer (supporting the Foo Fighters, no less)?
Here’s Tom Harte to tell us about the making of his band, Trucker Diablo....
The first record I bought was Pearl Jam’s "Daughter", in Woolworths.
As for the last record I bought - that’d be ‘A little Piece of Dixie’ by Blackberry Smoke. A great southern (America) rock band, very like Skynard, set for big things.
The one gig that made me want to be in a band was Iron Maiden in the Kings Hall, 1993. That pretty much sealed the deal for me.... However, the one musician that inspired me to start performing was James Hetfield - definitely a massive influence. Every 15 year old when I started playing guitar wanted to be him, I just wanted to riff like him!
The last gig Trucker Diablo watched together was Ginger Wildheart in the Mandela hall a few weeks back...awesome show!
The last collection of music we listened to as a band was probably a tour compilation. We got an American greatest rock songs compilation at a service station when we were playing down south, and we had a few beers and listening to that!
The one local act we’d happily share a stage with every night - that would have to be Million Dollar Reload, a great group of guys and extremely talented.
The first cover version Trucker Diablo ever tried was ‘Dangerzone’ by Kenny Loggins! The last one we tried was ‘Proud Mary’ by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
And finally, an act we’re into that may surprise people would be Foy Vance. What an amazing song writer, loads of passion and loads of soul!
Lurgan 4 piece Trucker Diablo play The Playhouse, Portrush this Friday (June 29) with Baleful Creed. The play Vital in August. They released their debut album ‘The Devil Rhythm’ last year.
Dublin label Richter Collective has announced details of its final show.
The Redneck Manifesto, Bats and Not Squares are all on the bill for November 24th in the Button Factory, Dublin, with more acts to be confirmed.
At the start of June, the independent label released a statement that it would close at the end of the year.
For more details on the show, check out richtercollective.com.
Keeping with Dublin-based collectives, Popical Island launch their third compilation with a free gig at Whelans on Wednesday 7th July. More info on the 20 bands featuring at Popical Saturday can be found here.
Sunflower Festival has just announced a new electronic stage for this year.
The Electric Disco Shed will feature both local and international talent including Ryan Vail, Defcon and Twisted Nerve label boss Andy Votel.
The festival takes place at Tubby's Farm outside Hillsborough village 17th to 19th August. For full details of the new additions, check out sunflowerfest.co.uk.
Following the recent additions to the Electric Picnic lineup, local promoters Pure Savage have confirmed they will curate the Oxjam tent at the festival on Sunday 2nd September.
Axis Of, Bomb City 7, Master & Dog, Mojo Fury and Rams' Pocket Radio have all been announced so far.
As part of a three day ‘Oxjam Gigwam’ organised by Oxfam, the Friday and Saturday will be curated by Dublin's King Kong Club and Rubysessions who have yet to unveil their line-ups.
Mandela Hall, Belfast
Tuesday 26th June
Rarely has a support band been as appropriate as tonight's warm up Man Without Country. The Welsh (See they do have a country, the liars) three piece have been slogging it out on tour with M83 and ATL can only think that they have been poaching hundreds of fans along the way. Everything is meticulous, from their light show, to the arpeggio scattered teeth rattling backing tracks and most notably the deafeningly loud sound. Hey, Man Without Country, My Bloody Valentine called and they want their decibels back.
Musically they have the transcendent embrace of shoegaze in the eerie vocal and synth. The suffocating smoothness gives us some major heebie jeebies. On the percussion front, their drummer is hellbent on inducing tinnitus on the 800 strong crowd with every industrial plant of his drum stick. Whoever put this band on tour with M83 needs a gargantuan gold trophy and award for excellence in the field of 'appropriateness'.
The Open House Festival have announced they will host a run of summer gigs in Bangor, Co. Down this August.
Set to take place in a new music venue called The Goat's Toe, the gigs will happen over five consecutive Friday nights.
Details of the acts have yet to be announced.
Back in May, organisers announced that their usual annual event that takes place in Custom House Square, Belfast would go on hiatus but that they planned to continue bringing acts to Northern Ireland throughout the year.
All ages gig promoters Volume Control will host a special summer festival on Friday the 6th of July. Organised by a team of young people, the day long festival will be held across 3 floors at the Oh Yeah Centre, Belfast between 3pm-10pm.
More Than Conquerors, Soak, Emerald Armada, NI Soul Troop, Audio Cavalry, Owen McGarry, Hard Jets, Conor Scott, Mere Moths, Patrick Kelly and Little Rivers will all perform on the day across two stages.
There will also be workshops in songwriting, jammin’ sessions, industry advice and a demo drop during the day.
For more information visit their event page.
James Blake released his debut album in 2011 and was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. Fellow R&S production outfit The Chain (AKA Dan Foat and Nathan Boddy) will appear on the night too.
Tickets are on sale now.
Tim Burgess will play The Stiff Kitten, Belfast on Saturday 27th October.
The Charlatans frontman began his solo carer back in 2003 with his debut album, I Believe. His latest album Oh No I Love You will be released on September 24th. He still records and performs as part of the Charlatans.
Tickets go on sale this Friday.
More acts have been confirmed for Electric Picnic in Co. Laois from the 31st August to the 2nd of September. Explosions in the Sky, Dexys and Bombay Bicycle Club are amongst the new additions announced today. As previously reported, they will join the likes of The Cure, The Killers and Elbow on the bill.
New acts added:
Explosions in the Sky, Dexys, Bombay Bicycle Club, Ben Howard; Wildbeasts; Grimes; Villagers; The Vaccines; The Antlers; Nell Bryden; Bellowhead; Paul Buchanan; Patrick Watson; The Staves; Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny, Liam O’Flynn and Paddy Lackin and Wallis Bird.
Hard Working Class Heroes showcase returns to Dublin this October for its tenth year. The festival takes place on the 4th, 5th and 6th (Thurs - Sat) across six venues in the city and organisers are currently seeking applications to play.
For more information on how to apply, visit hwch.net after 6pm today.
Closing date for applications is Thursday the 26th of July.
After six months, Katharine Phillippa, Conor Brown, 20 Second Century and Everyday Superheroes are all about to complete the Oh Yeah Music Centres 'Scratch My Progress' development programme.
Through the pilot scheme the acts were introduced to vocal coaching, PR, photo sessions and meetings with industry professionals. During their time in the scheme they also recorded a track for a special compilation CD and it will be launched at the Oh Yeah in Belfast on Friday June 29th.
Supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Invest NI, 'Scratch My Progress' will be return with a new batch of acts later this year. Details of the next scheme and application forms will be available at the gig on the 29th June.
Over the years, we’ve been asked a lot about how we put together our weekly playlists. We’ve happily answered, usually as part of a workshop or those ‘talks’ media folk are occasionally invited to give. But for whatever reason, never online. Which is odd given that, over the years, message boards and blogs have theorised about the process, often making assumptions that are reasonable and correct while occasionally getting it wrong. So for what it’s worth, and for those who care to read what is quite a lengthy and formal piece, here’s Rigsy with a little insight into how the Across the Line team decide what music is worthy of a play of a Monday night.
It used to be a neat little pile of envelopes. Which was, in hindsight, a fair bit easier to deal with. They magically appeared in our office and lived in a little tray near the corner of our desks. Now tracks are in an uploader, linked on twitter, uploaded to our facebook or an old email account. Still the odd envelope as well or the odd CD pushed into our hands at a gig. I’ve started noting down who’s sent me what and to where.
Tracks that really stand out are listed in pencil and underlined. Next, the ATL gig guide is consulted and particularly important gigs (EP launches, major supports - that type of thing) will get underlined. While on the ATL site, the news section is checked for a reminder of bands who may have done something to warrant a play - released a snazzy video or announced a tour, for example. They’re added to the list. Sometimes underlined. Standouts from our first play slot ('That New Band Smell') are often added as well.
At that point, the other two members of team ATL get involved. I’ll sit down with Amy and Paul on Friday afternoon and they go through their own pitches. A mixture of particularly strong acts that have come in via the uploader and caught their attention, maybe an act they’ve seen at a gig or have read about somewhere or just a track they love and worry we've forgotten about. All added to the list. Following that, I’ll make a playlist template, complete with the show’s features and estimated timings, which allows me to work out how many slots we actually have for plays. Usually it’s around 18-20.
At this point, it’s all about priorities. Underlined tracks go in first, obviously. What we deem to be the most ‘radio friendly’ (doesn’t mean they’re the best, mind) are slotted in at important junctures. These would be at the opening of the show, off the 9pm news, after a big chunk of speech - that type of thing in order to rein people in and/or keep them listening as best we can. Of the tracks that don’t make it, some we’ll cut into clips for the gig guide or news section of the show with the rest saved as ‘extras’.
We do make sure the playlist is nice and varied. Female voices should be dotted throughout as should tracks that are heavier, quieter and dancier than the majority of the playlist so things don't sound too samey. A draft is sent to Paul and Amy. The feedback is usually regarding a band who’ve been ‘played too much’ (and thus can be rested) or to do with one of their picks being left out. It’s tweaked right up to and during showtime.
We should also point out what it is we're actually looking for. Across the Line's remit is to play new Northern Irish music and that's what will always make up the vast majority of our show - unsigned tracks no more than a few weeks old. If an older, established act are in the news or playing a show (that can be anyone from Therapy? to Cashier No. 9) we may play an older, even a 'classic' track. There's usually a small handful (say two or three) tracks from south of the border - acts coming up North to play a show or something we just feel our listeners would really enjoy.
As for genre, that's where it all gets a bit murky. Lets face it - local indie and rock makes up the majority of our playlists. That's a good thing as this massively popular style of music isn't fully represented elsewhere on our station. But we're always on the look out for a little hip hop, perhaps some poppy electro and the type of folky music not being played on other shows. Techno, house and any form of beats is more Paul Hamill and The Dance Show's territory - though we'll play the odd
track for sure. Straight up singer songwriters do feature on ATL - but if we feel that they are or could be represented elsewhere on Radio Ulster, that can sometimes 'free up' a space for something else that only ATL would play. In many cases, ATL should be a springboard to wider plays, right across BBC Radio Ulster, daytime included. Rest assured we do constantly hustle other production teams and the management, lobbying for plays for Irish bands that we feel would fit well on their programmes. TV shows regularly raid our playlist for new, fresh sounds from here for theme music or plays over sports montages.
There are other, more serious ‘rules’. For a start, no swearing. Its zero tolerance on Radio Ulster. Tracks can be edited, of course - but excessive profanities usually result in a version so chopped up it becomes unplayable. Very frustrating. Bonus points to bands who supply their own, presentable radio edits, needless to say.
Arguably even more important is our rule about personal relationships. Over the years, following sessions, gigs and polite chats at gigs, we get to know bands reasonably well. That’s okay, we reckon. However, if any of us know a band or any of it’s members outside of general gig going and
‘business’, that’s a concern. For example, I believe my former flat mate has released one of the albums of the year - but I can’t and won't play a track from it. Similarly, if any of our team is involved with a gig as a performer or promoter, we make sure that these shows aren't promoted, beyond even the BBC's editorial guidelines.
After all that, we’ve a running order, some clips and our extras. Off we go. Even then, tracks we've planned to play will sometimes be dropped if an interview or feature over-runs.
Our method for compiling a playlist, just like every method for compiling playlists on radio shows throughout the entire world, is flawed. Bands many would say are very worthy of a play on our show, perhaps with a fanbase and an impressive work ethic occasionally get left out because, simply as individual people with our own in-built likes and dislikes, don't dig what they do. Its impossible to redress this, short of playing every single thing sent in and we wouldn't have the time in our little slot to do that either. We appreciate this is hugely frustrating for them and their fans and probably seems very unfair. The odd gem slips through the net and we'll kick ourselves.
However, we only have two hours a week to represent as much new music as we can and properly establish certain acts we deem worthy. Someone has to draw a line, and you’re stuck with us three, working as a collective. We're an approachable bunch, although if we're running with a panic-stricken look on our faces towards a big BBC truck during an ATL recording it's maybe advisable to not try to nab us for a ten minute chat!
We do genuinely realise how much effort goes into making music and how little reward there can be, especially these days in a troubled music industry. It is appreciated, even if your music doesn't make it to air. Please, keep the music coming.
You can hear Rigsy on Across the Line every Monday night from 8pm on BBC Radio Ulster.
Rancid have confirmed they will play the Mandela Hall, Belfast on Wednesday the 28th of November and The Academy, Dublin on Thursday the 29th.
The American punk band are currently celebrating their 20th anniversary and have released eight albums to date.
A new Rancid album is expected later this year or early 2013.
Django Django, Third Man Theme
Friday 22nd June
On an absolutely horrendous day a soaked crowd fills up a crowded and noisy Limelight seeking shelter from the storm but primarily to witness the rising unique and exciting talents of the brit quartet Django Django.
First up we have local act Third Man Theme and to be honest they don’t get off to a great start.The vocals of Matthew Roger, whilst reminiscent of David Byrne are loud and difficult to decipher. Musically there are flashes of brilliance, with good use of synth and precise drumming but having heard this trio before I was feeling rather let down as their live material doesn’t yet translate as coherently as their studio endeavors.
Tom McShane album launch
Oh Yeah Centre, Belfast
Friday 22nd June 2012
Having battled with the weather to attend tonight’s album launch, the doors of the Oh Yeah Centre have never looked so welcoming, but, despite the torrential rain, gig-goers are keen and the venue soon shows its numbers. Tonight’s support act takes to the stage in the form of the lovely singer-song writer Tony Wright, of VerseChorusVerse. As infectious as ever, Tony kicks into his acoustic-pop filled set with a tortured number, with the harmonica making an entrance early on. Despite claims of having a bad cold, you could never tell as his usual enthusiasm shines through in his flawless performance. Set staples such as “You Can’t Win Back Your Freedom” and “Big Red Van” have the crowd tapping along.
Knife Patry, You Me at Six, The Coronas, Jake Bugg & Kill the Noize have all been added to Belsonic 2012 which returns to Custom House Square, Belfast from the 15th-26th August.
Both Knife Party and Kill the Noize will join Skrillex and Dillion Francis on Wednesday the 15th of August.
You Me At Six will support Paramore on Sunday the 19th of August.
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds will be joined by Jake Bugg on Monday the 20th of August.
The Coronoas have been added to the James Morrison support bill alongside Newton Faulkner and Gareth Dunlop on Saturday the 25th of August.
Scottish indie rockers Frightened Rabbit have confirmed a full Irish & Northern Irish tour this Septmeber. As previously announced, they will play the Playhouse in Portrush pn Thurs the 6th of September, but now they've also confirmed The Empire, belfast on Saturday the 15th September amongst other dates.
The band released a free three track EP back in October last year and their fourth album is due to be out later this year.
6th Sept - Portrush, Playhouse
7th Sept - Navan, Swan Lane
8th Sept - Michelstown, An Bodhran
9th Sept - Dundalk, Spirit Store
11th Sept - Dublin, Doyles Bar
12th Sept - Cork, Cyprus Avenue
13th Sept - Galway, Rosini Dubh
14th Sept - Dublin, Academy
15th Sept - Belfast, Empire
Savour Your Scene label mates Gacys Threads and By Any Means have teamed up for a European Tour this September. The ten date tour will end with a homecoming gig at Voodoo, Belfast on Sunday the 23rd of September.
Gacys Threads released their third EP The Ignorance of Purity and By Any Means put out their debut album Built on Respect both at the end of last year.
14th Sept - Chamelon, Nottingham (England)
15th Sept - Smile Cafe, Liege (Belgium)
16th Sept - dB's, Utrecht (Holland)
17th Sept - Sub071, Leiden (Holland)
18th Sept - TBC (Germany)
19th Sept - Bar 227, Hamburg (Germany)
20th Sept - Musikbunker, Aachen (Germany)
21st Sept - Workshop, Hoxton, London (England)
22nd Sept - Fibber Magees, Dublin (Ireland)
23rd Sept - Voodoo, Belfast (NI)
Two Door Cinema Club have confirmed details of their new album called 'Beacon'. To be released on August 31st in the Republic of Ireland and general release elsewhere the following Monday the 3rd September, the eleven track album was produced by Jacknife Lee who has previously worked with the likes Snow Patrol, REM, U2 and many more.
Alex Trimble told Kitsune.fr, “Beacon is a much more intimate record than our first, but at the same time, it’s much bigger and more inclusive. Trying to find that balance has been our goal for a long time and this record takes us one step closer to the band we’ve dreamt of becoming."
This will be the Bangor bands sophomore album after their debut Tourist History was released in early 2010.
1. Next Year
3. Wake Up
6. Sleep Alone
7. The World Is Watching (with Valentina)
Grandmaster Flash has been confirmed for 'Jam in the Park' in Inver Park, Larne on Saturday the 11th of August.
Born in Barbados and brought up in the Bronx, the pioneer of hip-hop DJing, cutting, and mixing had success with tracks like 'The Message' and 'White Lines' In 2007 he became the first hip hop act to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Utah Saints, East and Young, Miniminds, Walsh and McAuley and many more local DJs will all play on the day which begins at 2pm until 1am. Tickets are on sale now.
As part of the Clipper Homecoming Festival in Londonderry next month, there will be a free 'Legenderry' concert at Ebrington on July 5th from 6pm. Acts confirmed for the concert include the Undertones, Paul Casey, Paddy Nash and the Enchiladas and Best Boy Grip.
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race arrives in the city between June 29th and July 1st and due to set off again on Saturday the 7th of July. The ten yachts left Southampton back in August 2011 and will have been to 15 different countries when they arrive in Lough Foyle.
The next day 'Clippers Connection Concert' will host the Saw Doctors, Red Hot Chilli Pipers, James Peake Xperience and Eoghan Quigg which is also at Ebrington on Friday July 6th from 8pm.
To set the scene we refer to you to Stillpoint, one third of this glorious gathering. "We're actually really looking forward to playing this gig - between recording and busking out on the streets of Dublin to raise money for the recording, it's feels like forever since we've played a show! That along with the fact we're playing with Jackalfeud (who we've somehow managed to avoid up until now) and our mates in Making Monsters should make it a great night. One of our very first gigs was in Ballymena and we haven't made it back since, so it'll be great to return and see if anyone remembers us! We hear the Slemish is a mad house too, so here's hoping!"
Jackalfeud, Stillpoint and Making Monsters play The Slemish Bar in Ballymena this Saturday.
#ASH20: Ash and Wonder Villains
Oh Yeah Centre
Friday the 15th June 2012
We’re not sure who, if anyone, to expect as support tonight. It’s a delight then to see four Wonder Villains take to the stage in the Oh Yeah Centre. They launch straight in to their trade mark joy pop and engage the crowd from the off. This is a talented bunch who seem to be getting better with each gig. Wonder Villains are a musical party on the stage and a real pleasure to watch live. It may just be me getting to know the material better, or it may be the sound quality tonight which is clear and on the button, but the songs seem to have developed a welcome punch. There is a solid core of rock rhythm driving the mini pop anthems on. Staples such as Party In Japan and Zola keep the show bouncing and, to their credit, half an hour seems way too short when the set closes. A delight.
Castlepalooza will return to Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Co. Offally from the 3rd to the 5th this August.
Now the full line-up has been revealed including the likes of This Club, Patrick Kelleher & His Cold Dead Hand The Casanova Wave, Deaf Joe, Cry Monster Cry, Last Days of 1984, Little Xs for Eyes and many more. The new acts join previously announced acts including The Charlatans, Ghostpoet, Jape, Katie Kim, Mmoths and more. Visit castlepalooza.ie for the full details.
Carrie Davenport is back with a big slice of heavy tunage to wake your ears up on a sleepy Tuesday afternoon!
Politically driven music with a twist - Censura mix a creative blend of industrial electronica and metalcore to create a truly unique sound. The united colours of benetton of metal they have members from Ireland, America and France but are currently based in Ireland and planning world domination from there. Their music has a strong message behind it - being powerful together and standing up for what you believe so not only has it some positive messages, it's also a really great listen!
By Conquest or Consent
Formed from the ashes of ninety nie knives and Alaskan Death Jacket, By Conquest or Consent are the newest thrash metal band to start making a racket in Belfast. Currently recording their debut release and from what we've heard of the demos we can't wait to hear it
New Age Extinction
Brand new metalcore from dublin these guys have the visceral riffs and lyrics to melt your faces. Their second EP "A Grand Deception" is set for release on July 14th and although only a fresh faced new band they're already tipped to do great things so don't understimate them - they're gonna be big.
Canadian duo Japandroids will play Mandela Hall, Belfast on Friday the 17th of August. The band released their third album, Celebration Rock at the start of June.
Meanwhile Scottish indie rock act The View will play the Limelight, Belfast on Friday the 7th of September. Their third album, Bread and Circuses was released last year.
Armagh rockers Gascan Ruckus will take in Masons, Derry on July 27th as part of a nine date Irish tour. They will also stop by Clones, Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Moate. Check here for all the details.
The Emerald Armada, Sons of Caliber, Hope and Fair Fellow
The Black Box, Belfast
Thursday 14th June, 2012
With a double whammy of potential crowd reducers in play, with both torrential rain and a Republic of Ireland match on, you would be forgiven for thinking that there will be a reduced crowd for this evening’s festivities. However, the enthusiasm for The Emerald Armada is so great that The Black Box is completely packed for the duration of the evening’s festivities.
Formed from the ashes of Maguire & I, the first band to take to the stage is husband and wife combo Hope & Fair Fellow. Playing keyboards and guitar, the duo put in a set of rather nice, earthy folk, with some brilliant harmonies throughout.
The charming ‘Grab Your Coat’ is perhaps the highlight of the set. Their performance is somewhat marred by the crowd, whose idle chatter throughout has the tendency to drown the vocals out.
Cedric Has A Name, Best Boy Grip, Ciaran Lavery
Catalyst Arts, Belfast
Thursday 14th June 2012
In space, they say, no-one can hear you scream. However, in Catalyst Arts, space plays a very important role, colliding with notes and lyrics to become almost a performer in its own right. The room is wide open, all whitewashed walls and neon light, and into this void steps Ciaran Lavery, perhaps best known as frontman of country rockers Captain Kennedy. Armed only with an acoustic guitar and a soaring voice, he fills the room magnificently, his cracked and bruised tones echoing around the room, making the most beautiful of reverberations. Throwing in a Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy cover for good measure, Lavery shows that he’s more than ready to take on all comers, regardless of the situation.
Led by guitarist and production maestro Nile Rodgers, the band will play the Mandela Hall on Wednesday August 1st supported by a DJ set from Space Dimension Controller.
Chic were responsible for some of disco's most memorable musical moments from 'I Want Your Love' to 'Le Freak'. In the 1970's and 1980's Rogers produced global hits for Madonna, David Bowie, Diana Ross and Sister Sledge.
Chic's performance at Electric Picnic in 2009 is regarded as a landmark performance, but the concert in August will be the band's debut in Northern Ireland. Nile Rodgers was the keynote speaker at the launch of the first ever Belfast Music Week in 2010, shortly before he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, the treatment for which the songwriter has been documenting on his blog since.
Despite this, Chic have continued touring and Rodgers' colourful autobiography has become a besteller.
10 Days In Dublin is an arts festival from the 5th - 14th of July and held in 20 venues across the city. The full programme includes events and performances in theatre, film, music, comedy, spoken word and the visual arts.
With a focus on music the likes of Cloud Castle Lake, Spilly Walker, Girl Band, Robotnik, Patrick Kelleher and His Cold Dead Hands, Bouts and White Collar Boy are among the bill for the festival.
Visit 10daysindublin.ie for more information.
Tuesday 12th June 2012
From his early days of mainstream success as frontman with heavy metal giants Skid Row from 1987 to 1996 to a somewhat hit-and-miss solo career ever since, Sebastian Bach is generally – justifiably – renowned for possessing one of the most powerful and distinctive voices in rock. But twenty odd years on from his heyday, the question remains: now 44 years of age, does Bach still have what it takes to command songs demanding both physical stamina and vocal prowess?
The arrival of Bach amidst the powerhouse intro to ‘Slave To The Grind’ – one of Skid Row’s biggest songs – sees an immediate reverence from the crowd. Masterfully swinging his microphone over his head and belting out forceful falsettoesque vocals with visible intent, Bach is on form early on, a kick-ass one-two of ‘Kicking and Screaming’ and the riff-heavy ‘Dirty Power’ ending in deafening applause.
Van Morrison has been confirmed as the headline act for the East Belfast Arts Festival on Saturday the 8th of September.
The festival will take place between the 5th and 9th of Septmber across numerous venues in East Belfast. Ticket sales and more acts are to be confirmed. For more information visit eastbelfastartsfestival.org.
The East Belfast native began his career in the 1950s, became the lead singer/songwriter with Them in the mid 1960s and in 1967 began his solo career. His hits include Brown Eyed Girl, Bright Side of the Road and Have I Told You Lately That I Love You.
Some of Morrisons most famed songs were penned about the East Belfast are including Madame George and Cypress Avenue. An annual Van Morrison bus tour visits various places in the east of the city that were namechecked in his songwriting.
It is expected that upwards of 8,000 might attend the headline event.
Two local acts have been confirmed to play the forthcoming Tennents Vital festival later in the summer.
Trucker Diablo and Gerard i2 have been selected through the Tennents Untapped competition and will now perform at the event due to be held in the Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast on August 21st and 22nd.
Trucker Diablo will share a stage with Foo Fighters, the Black Keys and the Minutes on August 21st, while Strabane rapper Gerard i2 will play algonside The Stone Roses, Florence and the Machine and Rodrigo Y Gabriela.
Tom Harte, lead singer with Trucker Diablo, told ATL "To get this chance to play Vital makes all the hard work worthwhile, to all our familes, fans and supporters this is for you...Big Truck Keeps on Rollin'"
The BBC Music Video Festival is back and looking for more new and emerging acts to submit their music videos. Those chosen from submissions will be shown on the 22 BBC Big Screens across the UK and at special events in Norwich and London.
As well as music videos, this year they will also show "fan-films, documentaries, road trips and passion-driven movies".
Submission info can be found at bbcmusicvideofestival.tumblr.com.
Hello y'all. Phily Taggart here back with three brand new inductees to the Across The Line playlist. There is a fierce musk of these three too. They may well be our most pungent triplet to date. Check it!
No Disco - Going Away
This band are Ronseal, there most definitely is no disco contained in this little diamond of angst. They channel local influences A Plastic Rose and The Good Fight in this track. A very encouraging introduction to these North Coast rapscallions.
Bit of an emergency one this - if you missed the show, you've left yourself very little notice regarding our GOTW - it's tonight (Wednesday)! So you should't be reading this at all, you should be...getting yourself dolled up for a proper fistful of awesome at Auntie Annies.
For your official invite, it's over to J Ryan McCormick, representing Belfast prog-rock merchants Kasper Rosa, headliners for the evening....
'For people able to make it down, they should expect a complete onslaught of the ears, for one. We've got local boys Seven Summits opening up the show with their own flavour of gorgeous pop. Followed by two bands thathave never seen Belfast before.
'Overhead, The Albatross and FLIGHTS. One of whom are an instrumental 5-piece from Dublin, and the other a Bristolian 4-piece who have been described by Big Cheese Magazine as 'Nothing short of phenomenal.' We're in love with both of these bands, and its really exciting to have them on the bill with us.
'Kasper Rosa have been spending a lot of time doing shows in the South, and the rest locked away in the studio, so its a pleasure to be taking the stage at Auntie Annie's again.'
Kasper Rosa, Flights, Overhead The Albatross and Seven Summits play Auntie Annie's, Belfast, tonight.
Yes Cadets have also announced a Dublin gig on Wednesday the 1st of August at Whelans. The gig will launch their single 'Le Mans'. The Belfast band will be supported by September Girls on the night.
Animal Collectivewill play Vicar Street, Dublin on November 6th. The gig is part of a four date tour promoting their new album Centipede HZ which is out on September 3rd. The Baltimore pysch-pop act will also stop in London, Glasgow and Manchester as part of the tour. (Photo by Hayley Madden)
Each category winner will recieve €5,000 and nine runner-up acts will receive a bursary of €500.
A shortlist will be chosen by a panel of judges that includes Mary Black, Fiachna Ó Braonáin (Hothouse Flowers), Niall Byrne (Nialler9.com) Ciarán Tourish (Altan), Cormac Battle and many more.
Closing date for entries is Thursday the 9th of August at 4pm sharp. For more information and Terms & Conditions visit RTÉ.ie.
Shonen Knife will return to the Black Box, Belfast on Sunday the 14th of October as part of a tour promoting their new album 'Pop Tune'. The Japanese 3 piece pop punk band last played the Black Box in August 2011.
Conor Mason has announced he will launch his album, 'Standstill' at the Pavilion, Belfast on Saturday 16th of June. The Derry singer/songwriter will play with a full band , while Our Kyrption Son and Shine May Sun will support on the night.
Dublin band Bats will headline a special Quarantine Collective night at Aunt Annies, Belfast on the 14th of July. Support will come from The Rupture Dogs.
FOG, Dead Til Friday, Stand With Heretics, Nasa Assassin and Like Statues play the Stiff Kitten, Belfast on Friday the 3rd August.
Summer Rocks 5 will mark the launch of Payola's EP with support from Tric, Red Velvetines and Rosie Broadway at the Empire Music Hall, Belfast on Thursday the 21st of June.
The Heathers will play McHughes, Belfast on Friday the 28th of September. The two MacNamara sisters have their second album 'Kingdom' on the way, with the first single being released later this month.
Clock Opera will play the Limelight, Belfast on Saturday the 27th of October. The band released their debut album 'Ways To Forget' on Moshi Moshi / Island Records recently.
Nathaniel Rateliff, David C Clements & Chris Campbell
The Limelight, Belfast
Thurday 7th June 2012
The Limelight is filling up nicely when our first song-writing troubadour hits the stage, it’s one of local lads - Chris Campbell - and we’re glad to see him. Tonight it’s just himself on guitar, accompanied by the lovely Rachel Boyd on violin (fiddle to you and me), piano and backing vocals. He starts confidently with the catchy number ‘I Wish I Was’ his voice sounds even better than on record, but quite quickly it’s evident that it’s going to be a struggle for him to be heard over the restless Nathaniel Rateliff fans that are gathering round the bar.
He wades through his seven song strong set and by the end he has all but conceded to the noise of the crowd, which is a pity as his songs are great and are the perfect complement for what is to come for the evening.
Communion Belfast will host a special gig as part of the 'Bushmills Live' festival later this month.
On Wednesday the 20th of June Communion presents Marcus Foster, The Staves, David C. Clements, DJ Wooden Wisdom (Elijah Wood & Zach Crowie) at the Oh Yeah Centre, Belfast as part of a gig called 'Bushmills Live in the City'.
Tickets are available through a free draw.
It's in the run up to the main festival at the whiskeys distillery on June 21-22nd with Snow Patrol, Foy Vance, Iain Archer, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Marcus Foster, The Staves, Elijah Wood of DJ Wooden Wisdom, General Fiasco and David C Clements.
Theesatisfaction, Nathan Flutebox Lee
Love and Death Inc., Belfast.
Friday 8th June 2012
Despite being billed as the first of the two acts to perform tonight, the majority of anticipation surrounding the gig seems to be focused on the self-professed "Queens Of The Stoned Age", THEEsatisfaction. With their new album awE naturalE receiving a wealth of glowing praise and noteworthy performances from this year's South by Southwest festival in Austin, there is a significant amount of buzz around the band ahead of tonight's performance.
Theesatisfaction, Nathan Flutebox Lee
Steering Fail will launch their EP 'Tubes' on the 22nd of June at Aunt Annies, Belfast. Support on the night will come from Chocolate Love Factory, Jackalfued, 24 Broken Amps (Dublin) and Ryan and Steve from Kasper Rosa.
Belfast based three piece, Steering Fail released their first single 'Good Luck/Bad Luck' last year, and where featured in ATL's 'That New Band Smell' back in April.
The Sea Sessions return to Bundoran, Co. Donegal this year on the June 29th, 30th and 1st of July. Acts like Kaiser Chiefs, Happy Mondays, Rev Run (Run DMC) and many more are on the bill along side Irish acts including Delorentos, Bouts, Ham Sandwich, Jape, We Cut Corners, Tieranniesaur and many many more.
The day by day break down and a festival app for smart phone users are now available on their website - seasessions.com.
The Empire Music Hall, Belfast
Thursday 7th June 2012
The stages are set for this month’s Gifted Live, with several acts from all over Ireland gearing up to play to a worldwide audience through the magic of the internet. Although this set-up could be the reason why the crowd is a little sparser than average this evening, there is still a great buzz for the seven acts playing live in The Empire.
The first band of the evening is A Plastic Rose, with a short set seeing the band placed in a more acoustic setting. Ian McHugh finishes the set with a powerful solo song, with the energy he puts into the performance almost causing him to trip over the many fuzz boxes littered around the stage.
They are followed by power trio Window Seats. While their sound is usually riff-driven alt-rock, their performance is slightly mellower, with acoustic guitar replacing electric and drummer Tony playing the harmonium instead. This approach works well on both ‘Awake’ and ‘Miss Midnight’, but it is during ‘Juliet’s Letter’ that this set-up is at its finest, with the stripped-back approach of the night’s set helping to amplify the song’s tender undertones.
Cursive, Kevin Devine
The Limelight, Belfast
Wednesday the 6th June 2012
It’s been a long time since Nebraska’s finest, Cursive played in Belfast. Six long years to be precise, and that was a festival slot. Kevin Devine’s not been here since 2008 either; “not since the big wheel was here”. But the wheels kept on spinning (or in this case, being dismantled) until finally the pair joined up again to bring their indie-rock back to an appropriately intimate setting.
Kevin Devine takes to the stage first, alone with his trusty guitar, nothing but a blue spotlight to set the scene. As soon as he sings the first few notes of “You’ll Only End Up Joining Them”, you can hear a pin-drop. Everyone’s silently transfixed as the rasping rocker strums and croons through a set of achingly heart-felt, indie-folk.
The biggest cheer comes for the intro of “Time To Burn”. Kevin tells us he’s had too much burrito pre-gig and you can almost see the food sweats kicking in as he strains his vocals through the final few songs – but it works. Kevin Devine has this innate charm - he doesn’t quite demand you sit up and pay attention in the way Frank Turner for example would, but Kevin will tug on your heartstrings, drag you in and tangle you up in them. Lovely.
The remaining live acts for this summer's Glasgowbury festival have been announced.
Mojo Fury have now been added to the annual rock music pilgrimage in the Sperrins. Joining them will be RAMs Pocket Radio, Triggerman, Empty Lungs, Swanee River, The Red Velvetines, Paul Casey, Ard Ri and Icon on Fire.
This year's festival will be headlined by NI rock legends Therapy? with the likes of Fighting with Wire, Lafaro and Axis Of already confirmed over previous weeks.
The festival has been running for 12 years, and has grown into Northern Ireland's largest local music event.
Dublin label Richter Collective will close at the end of the year according to reports.
The independent imprint, home to the likes of And So I Watch You From Afar, Adebishi Shank, Not Squares, Jogging, The Continuous Battle of Order and Squarehead have released a statement on their blog detailing the reasons behind the decision.
It states.."In a nutshell it’s a decision that’s part based on money and part based on not wanting to compromise on the vision we had for the label when we started. It’s become increasingly difficult to apply new ideas within the constructs of a “traditional label” model and our label still falls within that remit. Instead of being doom and gloom about this decision we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped us along our journey, especially the amazing bands and artists we have had the pleasure to work with."
Several acts on the label have already been expressing their dismay at the news via twitter and facebook.
The news comes as another blow to independent irish music in the wake of various venues closing their doors in the past year.
Across the Line would like to place on record our sincere thanks for the great music that the Richter stable has been responsible for and their commitment and passion for new Irish music.
The Cast of Cheers will play the Limelight, Belfast on Monday the 24th of September as part of their tour in support of their new album Family. Now based in London, the Dublin band will release their album on the 23rd of July on Schoolboy Error records.
The band will also play Belfast on Thursday the 2nd of August supporting Two Door Cinema Club as part of the Belsonic festival.
Beach House will play the Mandela Hall, Belfast on Friday the 26th of October. The Baltimore "dream pop" duo released their fourth studio album Bloom last month on Sub Pop.
They last played Belfast in the Speakeasy back in 2010 while touring their previous album, Teen Dream.
Tickets go on sale this Friday at 9am.
General Fiasco, The Wholls, The Savage Nomads
Notting Hill Arts Club, London
Wednesday 30th May
The sun is once again beating down on the city this evening and what better way to celebrate this fine weather and the end of exams than hitting the town with your friends? In our opinion, none! So we’re off on the tube to check out the latest instalment of the alternative ‘Death2Disco’ nights at Notting Hill Arts Club.
Somewhat bizarrely, having headlined ‘Club NME’ at KOKO just last week, General Fiasco open the night to a muggy room that’s still looking a little empty. Yet, despite the underwhelming crowd, the boys from Bellaghy get stuck in right from the off - they don’t seem to have much to say tonight, but there is a definite self-assuredness in the way they perform that serves to emphasise each euphoric chorus and every swaggering hook.
Their set is nicely balanced, with choice older tunes and fan-favourites interspersed amongst a good number of songs taken from the band’s forthcoming record ‘Unfaithfully Yours’. Stephen Leacock is positively pummelling his kit throughout the set, and during a charged rendition of ‘Dancing With Girls’, part of a stick goes flying but he doesn’t drop a beat. Owen Strathern is also in fine form tonight, looking like he means every word; then steps out by himself to perform ‘Sinking Ships’ with his voice even more compelling in this stripped-back context. They close the set with the angsty and anthemic ‘The Age That You Start Losing Friends’. The only slight detracting factor in what is altogether a good set is the fact that the boys never look like they’re really enjoying themselves...Maybe it’s the heat?
Next up are The Wholls, and as soon as they start into their twelve-bar blues intro one can’t help but feel another interesting decision has been made tonight. Originally from Bedford, they get things rolling properly with ‘Under My Hat', a song that lays bear influences such as the Artic Monkeys and Jamie T. What follows is a slightly disjointed set that features a cover of Maverick Sabre’s ‘I Need’, and a ‘Garage influenced’ original B-Man that does little to inspire the lukewarm crowd. Comedy track ‘Emily’ does get a few cheers at the end of the set, but all in all it feels like The Wholls are a band who still haven’t perfected their sound and perhaps aren’t ready for the tough reality of gigging on the London circuit.
Main stage (11pm) 2nd June
Tweet: Arguably the bravest and most vital set of the day!
Bold, ambitious, unpredictable and huge! Fresh from a UK tour, Mojo Fury storm the stage determined not to waste a single second. From the get-go, things are different and urgent. The drums are set up to the extreme left of the stage to make way for their brand new drummer (ex-Brigade skins man) Andrew Kearton. The first half of their set is almost entirely made up of new tracks, some of which are being aired in public for the first time. Opener “Safe in the Arms” starts off with confident Mojo angularity before James’ shimmering guitar line joins the dots and colours it in to reveal one of the most stunning tracks they’ve penned so far. “Grounds” (formerly “I Ain’t Sharin’”) is greeted like an old favourite. We get a handful of tracks from “Visiting Hours of a Travelling Circus” of which “The Colour of the Bear” and “We Should Just Run Away” are the standouts – the latter now a bona fide Northern Irish anthem, before finishing on new song “To Comprehend”. For the encore, they took on “March of the Pigs” by Nine Inch Nails. It was a perfect end to a truly remarkable set.
Yes: Ciaran’s bass detonations on “Grounds” and the spirit of joyous adventure from start to finish!
No: One of the new songs had a slightly worrying funk element but we’ll keep the jury out until we hear the album version.
Main Stage (10pm) Sat 2nd June
Tweet: Short but sweet.
What happened: Mmoths (AKA Kildare producer Jack Colleran) was one of the most anticipated acts on tonights bill and with good reason. His prodigious talent was introduced on his breathtaking eponymous debut EP (my vinyl copy is already a treasured possession!) and, on the strength of the new tracks played tonight, it looks as if the next EP will be even more beautiful and more imaginative than the first. So why is it that his set doesn’t completely work for me? For starters, it’s too short – 30 minutes doesn’t really cut it for the penultimate act on the main stage at a festival. The music was stunning from the word go and sounded incredible through the huge festival speakers but the performance lacked something. Maybe it’s the nature of the beast for electronic producers but, in spite of the fact that I watched him firing samples live, it felt like 90% of the set could’ve been simply played out on record. The most interesting live embellishment came half way through “THNX” when he added a cavernous bass kick, offering a tantalising glimpse of where the live set could go in the future.
Yes: The new tracks sounded sensational!
No: Disappointingly short set.
Engine Room, 7pm Sat 2nd June
What happened: It was at Pigstock last year that it was announced that bassist Herb Magee would leave the band. Since then, they’ve released the mesmeric “Easy Meat” album and hired new bassist, Oisin O’Doherty. Tonight, he looks at his most comfortable on stage since he joined, casually singing along one minute, thrashing the bass to within an inch of its life the next. Which is exactly how the band are tonight – they effortlessly deliver what other rock bands strive throughout their entire careers to achieve and never do. White hot, sheet-metal riffs and music that could only come from here but could go anywhere! “Tupenny Nudger” is magnificent, as usual, but no longer feels like the ‘big’ song simply because it’s a set of ‘big’ songs. The tense build-up in “Mr Heskey” goes on too long for my liking but when it releases, it unleashes a frantic circle pit! “The Ballad of Burnt Dave” is beset by blister burns from the PA but still packs a huge emotional punch and “Chopper” threatens to completely wreck the place. Yet another awe-inspiring set!
Pro: Dave’s delight at the circle pit - “It was as if someone from above was stirring a big bowl of people...but you couldn’t see the spoon” and, of course, 11 slabs of life-affirming, death-defying rock n roll!
Con: The snap, crackle and pop of the PA throughout the last 3 songs and the extended build up in Mr Heskey.
Main Stage - 3:30pm, 2nd June
“You can slap your thigh to this…doesn’t have to be your own thigh!”
Farriers’ set was a full-blown harvest hoedown. It was five songs in before frontman Stephen Macartney announced, “So Long As I Can Stay” with the words “We’re gonna do one you can dance to!” – the frenzied straw-hatters had received that message loud and clear from the very first song. They have their own devoted, hardcore following but Farriers connected immediately with the whole crowd and it’s easy to see why - the music is built for the outdoors. The seeds were sown in the Appalachian Mountains in the 19th Century and travelled through 60s folk rock revivalism to create an expansive, harmony-drenched wash that is at once intimate and anthemic. Superb set!
Pro: A bit obvious, perhaps, but the harmonies in “Another One Riding” with the sun burning down. Blissful!
Con: Technical problems, beyond the bands control, saw the set delayed for 15mins. Thankfully, most people waited.
Mainstage, 7.40pm June 2nd
Tweet: A tweet?! Two words will do - PARTY TIME.
What happened: Pocket Billiards bring the party - this we know. Perhaps riled up following a triumphant 10th birthday gig in Belfast last month or keen to somehow top a raucous set at Pigstock in 2010, Pocket Billiards are going harder than ever. Eleven musicians seemingly having the time of their lives, giving their all to every single note, practically shaking us, demanding we have even half as much fun as they're having. 'Dirty Money' and a particulaly bouncy 'Molly' represent their reliably fun debut album, while a notably intense 'Robot Repeat' and the brilliantly daft 'Tetrisaurus Rex' show the colour of their second. It's the debut that 'wins' out though - the majority of tracks in tonight's set are old, with 'Spide' and the inevitable carnage that comes with 'Belfast Town' bringing them home.
Pro: At least two cases of 'taps aff' by the end of the set (and that was just onstage).
Con: 'So Many People So Little Time' remains this reviewers favourite PB song, but where were the airhorns?! A few airhorns would have got you a 9, guys....
Gem Saloon, 645pm June 2nd
Tweet: Its hip to be Not Square.
What Happened: They decided to showcase a lot of the material. This worked. It worked very well judging by the crowd reaction of dancing in a slow frenzy. The new material itself is a change from what has gone before, rooted more in soundtrack and 70s futurism than the dance-punk-funk of their debut album, with more stripped back beats and slow funk rather than angular electro-dance. This is then topped off with a sweet cherry when the old material does appear and the pleasantly filled tent loses its collective mind in an extremely friendly way.
Pro: Asgood as the new material is, there's not much that can beat the one-two punch of 'Asylum' and 'Release The Bees', both of which descend or ascend into crowd-chanting party times.
Con: It may be because of earlier delays but the set feels short - we want more!
Gem Saloon, 5:40pm June 2nd
Tweet: He came, he was seen above ground, he brought some beats.
What Happened: The unwieldy moniker is a mask for one man, his drum kit, assorted percussion and laptop of ideas. From this he proceeds to create a slew of danceable funk and beats, with the odd bit of vocals for good measure. At times it recalls some kind of forgotten 1970s film soundtracks, just dripping hooks and funk. There are limitations to what we see though, due to the restrictions of the form and what one man can do while stuck behind a kit.
Pro: 'Stop Doing If Your Heart Aint In It' is excellent driving funk-dance, and the sight of a bag covering a snare which is being played is one of the more bizarre things of the weekend.
Con: The crowd, although appreciative, is small in number and must be disheartening.
Mainstage, 5.30pm June 2nd
Tweet: So many songs, so little time.
What happened: Already armed with a fairly impressive arsenal of well known tracks, Silhouette are set to stand out at every local festival they set foot in this summer. She may be modest and (almost) shy between songs, but singer Shauna Tohill is full of confidence when she sings, relishing the chance to get up from behind the keyboards for the awesome 'Volume Destroyed'. With it's beefy synths and looping melody, 'Everything' is the pick of the new songs while new single 'Running Against the Wall' is only outshone by 'Can't Keep Up' (from *that* ad).
Pro: The cello and violin shine brightly - not an easy feat for any engineer. The sound at the main stage has been equisite all weekend.
Con: But what about the bass? For whatever reason, Silhouette were down a member today. About the only thing missing…
Mainstage, 5.30pm June 2nd
Gem Saloon - 4:40pm June 2nd
What Happened: The 25 minute delay knocks the crowd and the band out of their stride with punters wandering in and out of the tent, disappointed to find only a soundcheck. When it does get going, the lads openly admit that they've not gigged for a while, and the rust is obvious with mistakes being made, sound problems, and a curtailed set. Once they do get into some sort of shape, they're reliant on the strength of the material rather than the performance. This is one to chalk up to experience.
Pro: It has to be the sight of Her Maj taking a break from the Jubilee celebrations to play guitar on 'Get Back'.
Con: The lads are so much better than this, although the circumstances have conspired against them.
The Engine Room, 3:55pm June 2nd
In A Tweet: Festival highlight? Quite possibly!
What Happened: Pigstock never shys away from the heavy, and with the Hornets we've got tonnes of loud, raw, spluttering punk delivered from a viciously brilliant three piece. Immediately they demand the crowds attention, with the towering main vocalist and bass player Sib screaming with intent. Its the bands first ever festival, but fans are here shouting along to 'Thrash Hallion' and 'Mission Statement'. Effortlessly engaging and engrossing, this is the kind of band that should thrive at festivals from here on in!
Pro: Jamie from Lantern For a Gale takes over bass duties to free Sib to invade the crowd and rile them up. CIRCLE PIT!
Con: Pretty great gig overall, just not for the faint hearted!
Gem Saloon, 2:45pm June 2nd
In a Tweet: Glorious atmospheric electronica without a laptop in sight!
What Happened: Arriving just as Ryan introduces the first song, we're a bit worried that it's gonna be just us and the sound guy - but once the sound filters through the festival site, a decent number occupy the tent. Ryans somewhat timid demeanour is joined by a similarly quiet Katie Cosgrove on keys, but the combination of their whispered vocals sets the intimate atmosphere of the set. We're treated to songs of his EP 'Colours' and a recent remix of Gorillaz, 'Melancholy Hill'. As riffs begin to overspill from the other stages, Ryan responds with, "we'll get louder". They begin 'Days', and for a moment we almost forget we're in a field in Kilinchey.
Pro: The intimate sounds of his recordings are expertly recreated live on hardware, making us relieved its not just glorified karaoke over a laptop.
Con: Only wish it could have been outside to soak in the sun. Would have been the perfect soundtrack.
Mainstage, 4.25pm June 2nd
Describe in a tweet: The (new) old reliables.
What happened: Feels like they're festival veterans, simply because they do it so well. 'Electric' sets their stall out nice and early, the first of many highlights, but it's their general demeanour and charm which will win them many a new fan this summer. Dave works the crowd constantly, Fiona is effortlessly cool. Despite the notably chilled vibe (the main stage is still to get to its feet today) we've a proper call-and-response situation during 'Delicate Man'.
Yes: 'Wide Awake' is an obvious standout and makes for a wonderful conclusion, but lets reference 'Jump Start', one of two new songs. That debut album really is worth looking forward to.
No: Such excellent stagecraft only highlights how other bands can let themselves down.
Pigstock rating: 8/10
Gem Saloon, 3.50pm June 2nd
Describe in a tweet: There's always one. Unfortunately they came a long way….
What happened: Not much, for quite a long time. We're assume there's been some kind of catastrophic fail on this stage - a few sound guys look flustered and this is an awfully long line check. Punters get bored waiting and leave before, with all but five minutes of their slot gone, Dublin five piece Tieranniesaur finally come to life. Only to flatline again as lengthy gaps between songs start to fry our collective heads. Possibly not their fault, mind.
Silk Purse: Somewhere in the distance is a whiff of absolute greatness. 'Here Be Monsters' is one of many little gems this band have recorded and while today doesn't do it justice, we're still recommending that last album of theirs. Just make sure your speakers are working at home.
Sow's Ear: An explanation as to exactly what was happening up there would have helped us hang around and get on your side…..
Pigstock rating: 5/10
Engine Room, 3pm June 2nd
Describe in a tweet: We may be in pieces after this .
What Happened: With their choppy rhythms, growls and screams, and all round demented assault, these noisy, noisy men came on and did some damage. Even the quieter moments are unsettling rather than relieving, as their sound is always slightly unhinged, and when they go for it, bringing in messed up samples, their rapid-fire changes in direction and style are so quick that we can never settle into the rhythm. 'Lammas' was given it's debut here last year, and is a defiant, rising melodic post-rock interlude before a return to the screaming and beautiful agony.
Highlight: While being heavy, they've got enough about them with their inventiveness and willingness to not stick in one style to keep the casual fan entertained and attracted, an essential in a festival setting.
Lowlight: All that screaming really can't be good for the front-man's throat, and it can grate on the average listener's ears after a while - perhaps more of the post-rock interludes to break up the set would be better for the casual punter.
Pigstock Rating: 7
Engine Room 2.10pm June 2nd
Describe in a tweet: The engine room purrs along nicely with Annapurna
What Happened: An assault of melodic dissonance and wailing doom in the vein of Sunn O))) and Om, with a darkness and precision to the sound-scaping. The local comparisons would be with ASIWYFA and Kasper Rosa with similar concepts on show - the swoops and soars of emotional flight and journey, but there's a dirtier, crunchier, drone-ier metal element to them. The seeming relentlessness of the assault makes the quieter moments stand out more.
Highlight: Here's another band who can hold their own in the instrumental scene locally - seriously, there must be something in the air here - and they're distinct and different enough that they can carve their own niche.
Lowlight: A lack of interaction between band and crowd, while it may be deliberate, creates a gap and leaves us unable to connect with them. They've got the chops, but seem to hide behind their music rather than present it.
Pigstock Rating: 6/10
Engine Room, 1.15pm June 2nd
Describe in a Tweet: Definitely not Thread-bare.
What Happened: The lads are so enthusiastic that they start early, probably a little too early for most of the revellers, especially with the abrasive growls and thumping drums, which handily double as an alarm clock for those in the adjacent campsite (and possibly in Dublin as well). Perhaps in recognition of this 'Weight of the Wretched' goes out to those suffering in front of them, but while it may rouse those who dying, it's heavy enough to also send them to an early grave.
Highlight: Their heartfelt dedication of songs to other bands in attendance highlights the close-knit and friendly vibe of this festival and scene, even if swirling demonic guitar of 'Detach Yourself' isn't the most obvious friendship song.
Lowlight: It may be motivated by their professed desire to get on the booze but their early start catches us by surprise.
Pigstock rating: 7/10
Main Stage 11pm, June 1st
Describe in a Tweet: They're back. And this time it's personal.
What Happened: We're up close and personal by the time our headliners arrive - Pigstock didn't feel the need to layer up in that sun and now the evening chill has set in, most of us are huddled down the front. Fighting with Wire are in a welcoming mood, bigging up anything that moves, winning us over to their twisted way of thinking despite those obscene anecdotes. Clearly a band desperate to prove their second record (it's been so long coming Cahir now calls it 'Chinese Democracy') will be worth the wait. We're convinced, even if it does seem like a pleasantly confused prospect, from the filthy 'I Am Ursus' to the Blink-poppy 'Didn't Wanna Come Home'. Old songs are a little overshadowed, but it's still nice to hear a tweaked 'Into the Ground', growling monster 'Make a Fist' and the reliably nasty 'Cut the Transmission'. Oh, and recent single 'Colonol Blood' already feels like a classic.
Silk Purse: Slightly unfair to highlight a cover given the quality of those new songs, but 'Breed' was a real treat, the band claiming to be 'winging it' after a random request from the crowd. In their words: 'after all, it's a party.'
Sow's Ear: Potty mouth. So much potty mouth.
Pigstock rating: 8/10
Main stage, 9.10pm June 1st
Describe in a Tweet: MTC MkII
What Happened: Much like Colly Strings before them, More than Conquerors are giving fresh material a run out, boasting a beefier sound and a promising future. Well aware they're nailing it with these new songs, they ooze confidence and charm. Even a slightly souped up 'Go On Get Out' sounds minimal, especially alongside a pair of chunky new songs later in the set. In short, MTC are showing the type of progress a band from Northern Ireland needs these days if they're going to stand out.
Silk Purse: The start of 'War Pigs' came from nowhere, a massive surprise yet one that strangely makes sense.
Sow's Ear: We thought they were serious when they talked about playing some hip hop. They weren't.
Pigstock rating: 7/10
Main Stage, 10pm June 1st
Describe in a Tweet: Early Dillinger Escape Plan in slight dorky, human form, but from Dublin. And hungry.
What Happened. Well, initially nothing. There is some scurrying about from the band as leads are temporarily misplaced then thankfully found. A quick plea from the stage for food (the band havent eaten) and we're good to go. This lot are very much a Richter Collective band. The label is home to ASIWYFA and Adebishi Shank, a fine home for waifs and strays seeking to subvert the paucity of spirit in modern music. There are some moments close to math-rock or elements of the Dischord back catalogue with off-kilter time signatures and no holds barred on the dual vocal attack. It's close up, intense, in your face and they just might bite. There's very little let up. By mid set the band are considering scavanging in the bins as the trio test drive new songs to assuage the rumble in their bellies. Thankfully the latest material is solid and there will be no tricky sophomore effort with a new album in the pipeline. Will someone please buy these guys a burger?
Silk Purse: Musically this is tight unit. Three people have rarely made such a full on racket. We likey.
Sow's Ear: Perhaps having Jogging sandwiched between Fighting With Wire and a revamped and souped up More Than Conquerors is a scheduling faux pas in retrospect. The crowd thins and at points the lack of familiarity has an effect on the crowd.
Pigstock Rating: 7/10
Main Stage 8.25pm June 1st
Describe in a Tweet: These Colly's aren't no dogs, and ain't String-ing us along either..
What Happened: Our first full band of the weekend, and they set the bar for others to follow. They've been on a hiatus for a while, and come back with a set of mostly new and currently unnamed material, that continues in the vein of their sky-chasing American tinged indie-rock rooted in funky rhythms. And, they've not dumped the old favourites as 'To The River' makes an appearance, still as stadium in waiting as ever.
Silk Purse: Their comfort and ease on-stage, showing that they have the confidence in this new material, and a willingness to have a laugh, joking that the biggest cheer is for the weather.
Sow's Ear: The new material is a little too new and needs road-tested and scuzzed up a bit to fit in, particularly in a festival like Pigstock which has a history of heavier music.
Describe in a tweet: Sunshine, guitar, singer - perfect start to the weekend
What Happened: Our gentle pleasant start takes the first of several turns as our usually solo acoustic man introduces 'Big Red' on electric guitar for 'Belly Of The Beast' with its blues bitterness and sorrow. 'Goes Down Deep' in contrast has that boom-chikka-chikka country rhythm with the jaunt of a troubadour, and 'Tender Never Brought You Back To Me' has the tender (obviously) wail of damaged torch singer. It's a fine start to the weekend for a man who will be double-jobbing with More Than Conquerors later on.
Silk Purse: Jamie's comfort in a variety of styles shows that this busy man can back up his hard work with ability, and 'My Lungs To Breathe' is hopefully the happy, upbeat start to a good weekend.
Sow's Ear: That there weren't a large number of people here, but he's first man on, and it's only to be expected.
Radar Live: Silhouette, City of Stars, Allie Bradley
The Speakeasy, Belfast
Thursday 31st May 2012
Following a wonderful few months, this evening’s Radar event at The Speakeasy is to be the last one until the new academic year starts up again in September. But tonight is not a night to grieve, for they are playing host to three fantastic female-fronted acts.
Taking to the stage first is Allie Bradley, who is playing for the first time with a full 5-piece band. Although given how well the band gelled on the night, you would think that they have been together for years. ‘I Will Follow’ is a rather tender track, whilst ‘Fireman’ is the closest that Bradley comes to a full-on rock tune. Ever the humble performer, Allie apologizes for being self-absorbed before breaking in to the reggae-tinged ‘I Need Money’, which is the highlight of the set. The crowd has been gradually building throughout and as she boldly finishes her set with an acapella song, she is greeted with a rapturous applause.