Archives for April 2012

That New Band Smell - Littleboy

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ATL | 16:40 UK time, Monday, 30 April 2012

Some say variety is the spice of life – others (namely myself, Brian Coney) reckon it’s heading straight to the pub straight after knocking around the gym for twenty minutes. No matter! When it comes to music – the more local, the better – variety is what it's all about. Cue this week’s choice of three acts guaranteed to get you feeling all “eclectic” and shizz.

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Steering Fail - Dress Rehearsal
Belfast-based three-piece Steering Fail have been on the local scene for a while now nit only recently have they managed to capture what they’re all about over the course of a full-length EP, set for release on May 18h. Placed extremely well nicely between alt-prog, schizophrenic thrash punk and straight up hardcore, ‘Dress Rehearsal’ from the EP sessions epitomises the kind of battle-cry sound that they’ve worked had to perfect over the last few months.

 

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Volume Control: FWW - Oh Yeah, Belfast

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ATL | 14:19 UK time, Monday, 30 April 2012

 

Volume Control: Fighting with Wire, Abandcalledboy, 20 Second Century,
Oh yeah, Belfast
Friday 27th May


“Take some earplugs, apparently it’s gonna get loud!” What a way to welcome someone to a gig! Tonight’s triple bill of rock, roll and everything in between takes place in Belfast’s Oh Yeah centre, as part of their all-ages gig night Volume Control.

20 Second Century are very tight from the get go. Everything from the vocals to the guitar solos are clear as day, with perhaps the backing vocals the only area needing a serious lift. “The Art of Growing Up” resonates well with the predominantly teenage audience, and perhaps a few of the older generation harking back to those carefree days when Jimmy Eat World and Green Day were part of their staple music diet.

Making the fair assumption that much of the audience is new to their music, they throw in a few covers. Fallout Boy’s “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” is a carbon copy of the original, so it would have been interesting to see the guys make it their own. Later in the set comes their ‘funny’ song, which turns out to be loser anthem “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus. The band share the singing duties, and guitarist Philip McKinney bravely takes on the feminine vocal section which not only raises a few laughs, but is enough to get the audience front and centre, joining in on the fun.

Banbridge based Abandcalledboy quickly gain some new fans by dishing out free stickers before diving head first into their set, accompanied by their electric stage presence and cheeky banter. Bassist Sean Donnelly steals the show as he stomps and slides around the stage, eventually joking that these moves will someday make it onto a Yoga DVD.

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The Filthy Six, The Jepettos... - Hudson Bar, Belfast

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ATL | 13:50 UK time, Monday, 30 April 2012

 

The Filthy Six, The Jepettos, Kris Platt, Andy Briggs, Rams Pocket Radio
Hudson Bar, Belfast
Friday 27th May

Communion continues to enjoy a fine run in Belfast and has so far graced venues like the Black Box and The Stiff Kitten, but tonight’s event sees the turn of The Hudson Bar to host the international club night. Headliners are Londoners The Filthy Six with support from The Jepettos and an unadvertised set from Rams’ Pocket Radio.

Sets by Kris Platt (More Than Conquerors) and Andy Briggs, both on a singer-songwriter tip, appear plagued by sound issues on the night, making it difficult to give a decent account.

Let’s get straight to The Jepettos then. Fronted by husband and wife duo Mike and Ruth Aicken The Jepettos have a treat in store for us with half an hour of wistful, folky pop played by a band of multi-instrumentalists undoubtedly enjoying themselves. Standout tracks include numbers from the band’s EP ‘Start A New People’ including 'Goldrush' and 'Good Times'. One of the night’s highlights came when Nick from The Filthy Six and LJ from the The Lambing Season joined The Jepettos on to play horns on the heart-warming 'Should’ve Kissed You More'.

Next up was the special guest set from Rams’ Pocket Radio. He complains that he 's been stuck in the studio breathing bad air and shut off from human contact, so he's just glad to be out. And it shows.

He's in exuberant form with a mix of his established material including 'Dieter Rams Has Got The Pocket Radio' and '1+2' with some new numbers. One of which, 'Aria' enjoyed its first outing tonight. The crowd love it and it will help warm him up for the UK tour next month.

The headliners are up next. All the way from foggy ol’ London Town, The Filthy Six introduce themselves with the immortal line from Monty Python; ‘And now for something completely different’ before getting stuck into a set of jazz, soul and boogaloo taken from 2010’s debut album The Filthy Six and their newest one The Fox. Led by the trumpet of songwriter Nick Etwell and driven by the funky organ of Pete Whittaker, The Hudson does indeed get something completely different.

They aren’t given the same audience attention that Rams’... gets, but that's more to do with Rams' local hero status than the quality of music or musicianship because The Filthy Six must be the best bunch of musicians Belfast has seen for a while. It's dazzling as they trade solos and riffs with virtuosity.

Dancing shoes are well worn through by the end of the gig thanks to tracks like 'Get Carte'r, 'Fingerbite', the title track from the new album and a jazzy instrumental of Amy Winehouse’s 'Rehab'.

It was a bit of a departure for Communion Belfast but the mix of styles on the night worked well.

Owen McNulty

Therapy? Headline Glasgowbury 2012

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ATL | 13:25 UK time, Monday, 30 April 2012

therapy

 

Therapy? will headline this summer's Glasgowbury Festival, the organisers have revealed.

The East Antrim rock legends have enjoyed a career spanning four decades, and have been responsible for such hits as 'Potato Junkie', 'Nowhere' and 'Screamager'.

Other confirmed acts include Silhouette, Our Krypton Son, VerseChorusVerse, Space Dimension Controller, Ryan Vail, Amidships, Pretty Child Backfire, Fightin With Wire, the Japanese Popstars, Axis Of, runaway GO, Best Boy Grip, SOAK, Sons of Caliber, The Host (aka Barry Lynn), Deep Fried Funk and Psycatron.

The annual event will take place this year at Eagle's Rock, near draperstown, Co. Derry on July 21st. Previous headliners include Ash, The Answer and General Fiasco.

Polar Beyond, Blue Whale, Distracter - White's Tavern, Belfast

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ATL | 15:38 UK time, Friday, 27 April 2012

Polar GBeyond Gig Poster

 

Polar Beyond, Blue Whale and Distracter
White’s Tavern, Belfast
Thurs 26th April

It’s not often you go to a gig and are greeted at the door with a plate of tray bakes, but we think it’s something that more bands should do! With our brownies in hand, White’s Tavern doubles up as a substitute for our granny’s house.

First band up this evening are Distracter. A relatively new act, they don’t talk much during the set and come across as endearingly shy onstage. Opening with a song called ‘Blip’, they tell us that it’s the first time their bassist has added his parts to the song outside of practice, but it all comes together well. Their sound is a strange cocktail of electronica, grungy guitars, and mellow vocals, an unusual mix by any means, but when it works, it works really well. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work - timings tend to fluctuate during the set, and on occasion it feels more like three separate musicians onstage than a band. There’s definitely talent there and it’s the beginnings of something really unique, but they need to overcome those nerves and really let themselves go onstage.

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New Duke Special single freebie!

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ATL | 12:29 UK time, Friday, 27 April 2012

Oh Pioneer CD

 

 Duke Special will release his new album Oh Pioneer on the 18th of June and today he as released his new single, which is also the third track on the album, as a free download. Visit dukespecial.com to get the track which is called, 'Punch of a Friend'.

The Belfast based artist will go on tour from May across the UK & Ireland. His next Northern Irish gig will take place on May 12th at the Waterfront, Belfast with the Ulster Orchestra.

 

Oh Yeah is 5!

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ATL | 10:30 UK time, Friday, 27 April 2012

Oh yeah Logo

 

Back on May the 5th 2007, the Oh Yeah Music Centre opened it's doors to the public for the first time (And we got a sneak peek of the building for ATL TV). To mark the occassion there will be two events held at the centre on Saturday the 5th of May.

From 11am to 5pm there will be a free open day with music from Katie Richardson and Colly Strings, a Demo Drop for new bands, a Fighting With Wire live session in the studio, tours of the building/exhibition and Bandwidth will present films of classic Oh Yeah events. There will also be a barbeque in the car park and a live, 'Caravan Jam'. 

Later that evening there will be a ticketed gig featuring Bronagh Gallagher, Robyn G Shiels, VerseChorusVerse, Our Krypton Son, Conor Mason and special guests.

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Back in the third series of ATL TV, Stuart Bailie (CEO of the Oh Yeah) gave Rigsy a tour of the building before any work was done and he outlined his plans for the venture. Watch the episode that was broadcast on the 22nd of Feburuary 2007.

Derry's Peace One Day Announce

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ATL | 14:33 UK time, Thursday, 26 April 2012

 

 

Following the news last week that Massive Attack will now not be playing Derry this summer, the Peace One Day initiative have announced their plans for a concert on June 21st in the city.

The event, to take place at Ebrington Square will feature Guillemots, Newton Faulkner, Imelda May and Derry-Londonderry's own Wonder Villains.

The gig will form part of the London 2012 Festival a series of events to coincide with International Peace Day on September 21st.

 

Ben Folds Five Return!

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ATL | 12:42 UK time, Thursday, 26 April 2012

 

The reformed Ben Folds Five have announced they will play Vicar Street, Dublin on the 26th of November. Tickets go on sale next Friday the 4th fo May.

Last year Ben Folds Five reunited to record three tracks for Ben Folds, 'The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective'. The groups last album was The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner back in 1999

Darkness Pull Out of Belsonic

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ATL | 14:07 UK time, Wednesday, 25 April 2012

 

The Darkness have pulled out of their slot for this summer's Belsonic Festival in August. The rock outfit whose hits include 'I Believe in a Thing Called Love' and 'Get Your Hands off My Woman' were scheduled to play alongside Thin LIzzy, but have cited a 'scheduling conflict' as the reason for no longer being able to fulfil the booking.

The bill will now be completed by Downpatrick four piece The Answer, FM and Sweet Savage.

Other acts confirmed for Belsonic 2012 are Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Skrillex and Tom Jones.

Electric Six Autumn Date

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ATL | 12:31 UK time, Wednesday, 25 April 2012

 

 

Electric 6 are set to return to Northern Ireland this November. The Detroit rockers will play the Limelight, Belfast on November 30th.

The band will play their breakthrough 2003 album 'Fire' in its entirety. The LP features some of the band's best known hits including 'Gay Bar', 'Danger, High Voltage' and 'Dance Commander' .

Last year the group, led by Dick Valentine, played a sold out show in the adjacent Spring and Airbrake venue.

Chris Campbell on tour!

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ATL | 12:04 UK time, Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Chris Campbell Tour Poster

 

Chris Campbell has announced a short tour of Ireland this May stopping in Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Galway and Wexford.

The singer songwriter released his EP 'Paper Boats' back in March. He will also play Pigstock in June and Sunflower Fest in August.

Dates:


May 3rd - The Odessa, Dublin (with The Man Whom)
May 4th - McHughs, Belfast (with Mick Flannery)
May 9th - The Pavilion, Cork (with The Man Whom)
May 12th - Roisin Dubh, Glaway (with Mick Flannery)
May 20th - Whelans, Dublin (with Scott McWatt)
May 27th - Arts Centre, Wexford (with The Man Whom)

GOTW: Fighting With Wire (All Ages)

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ATL | 11:38 UK time, Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Volume Control, Fighting With Wire poster

 

We've always leapt upon any opportunity to big up Volume Control. A hugely enthusiastic and passionate teen collective who refuse to just complain about a lack of all ages gigs in Belfast - instead they host their own. And it works a treat - pretty much every band in the country is super-keen to play all ages shows, knowing they'll be rewarded with a great response. In the past everyone from Ash to Duke Special and Cashier #9 have played for Volume Control and loved it.

This time around, it's Fighting With Wire. They've hit the comeback trail hard (and then some) with an absolute belter of a new single - 'Colonel Blood' (below) was the onslaught you heard opening this week's ATL.

'We love what the Volume Control guys are doing, all ages shows are always great fun", explained Cahir O'Doherty, FWW head honcho. 'We're currently playing some material from our new album which is finally getting a release this year so we're super excited.'

What an understatement. After a couple of years of having their head melted by the industry, unable to release their new album, forced into a rut. Now they've been unleashed, are releasing the aforementioned album for free and, we're told, are in the form of their lives onstage....well, need we say more?

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Fighting with Wire, Abandcalledboy and 20 Second Century play Volume Control @ The Oh Yeah Centre this Friday (April 27th).

 

Indiependence Fest line-up!

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ATL | 10:56 UK time, Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Indiependence Logo

 

As previously reported Feeder, Jape, The Frank and Walters, The Japanese Popstars and Delorentos have all been confirmed for Cork's Indiependence Festival from the 3rd to 5th of August in Mitchelstown. 

Now over fourty acts have been added to play over the 3 day festival including 2manydjs, Beardyman, Scroobius Pip joining Irish acts such a Ham Sandwich, Fighting With Wire, We Cut Corners and many more.

For more info visit indiependencefestival.com.

List of acts so far:
Maverick Sabre
Bressie
This Club
Spies

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M83 for Mandela!

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ATL | 14:35 UK time, Tuesday, 24 April 2012

m83 logo

 

M83 will play the Mandela Hall, Belfast on Tuesday the 26th of June. Tickets go on sale this Monday.

M83, which is the brainchild of Anthony Gonzalez, released their sixth studio album, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming late last year. The band last played in Belfast at the Speakeasy, Belfast in October 2008.
As reported previously, M83 also are also playing the Body & Sould festival in Co. Westmeath in June.

 

The Staves, Christof - McHughes, Belfast

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ATL | 12:59 UK time, Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The Staves poster

 

The Staves, Christof
McHugh’s, Belfast
23rd April 2012


It’s a sold out gig in McHugh’s basement tonight; the place is as full as a butcher’s dog and we’re all eager to hear some fine folk. First to the stage is Christof, armed - in true folky style - with only a guitar and harmonica. Originally from The Netherlands but having lived in Galway for a stint, he’s no stranger to these shores. He’s got style, and I’m quite envious of his gravity defying hair-do.

His music is a lovely blend of whimsical folk, but always with an essential catchy hook. After a slight technical hitch, he launches into ‘The Ghost Of Corrib’s Lady’ and the title of his latest E.P ‘Honey Tears’ back to back, his songs of love and life being lapped up by this evening’s crowd. Inviting The Staves on the stage to tackle a bit of backing harmony on ‘Mind Yourself’, with perfect vocal throughout and a chorus that creeps up on you, it builds into a stomper and is a sign of things to come.

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Forfey line-up announced!

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ATL | 12:13 UK time, Tuesday, 24 April 2012

 

Forfey, Festival, 2012

 

 Forfey Festival returns this year on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of August in Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh. The festival takes place on a small family farm and also hosts art, poetry and films amongst it's line up of local bands.

Visit forfey.co.uk for more information on the festival.

Line Up:

Bad Operator
Katharine Philippa
Strait Laces
runaway GO
Wonder Villians
Feet For Wings
In Case Of fire
More Than Conquerors
Sullivan and Gold
Farriers
Morning Claws
Master & Dog
Go Wolf
Colly Strings
Not Squares
Katie & the Carnival
Before Machines
Axis Of 
David C. Clements
The Lowly Knights
Crooksy's



Orange Goblin - The Spring & Airbrake, Belfast

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ATL | 11:46 UK time, Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Orange Goblin tour poster

 

Orange Goblin with support from By Any Means and Wizards of Firetop Mountain
The Spring and Airbrake, Belfast
Saturday April 21st 2012


It’s the last night of the Orange Goblin tour and the Spring and Airbrake is packed with with beer fuelled rockers within minutes of the doors opening.

Wizards of Firetop Mountain are in charge of starting the night and open with one of their best known tracks 'Sonic War'. It’s testament to their reputation that the venue is filled from the start of their set. It’s a rare occasion to see the opening act get such a good crowd and the reaction is justified as we are treated to an outstanding set. A broken guitar amp on stage sees Paul from By Any Means jump onstage to help out his fellow rockers and after some fiddling abou, they get it working again.  Meanwhile, we're treated to an impromptu instrumental session which sounded like it was always meant to be there rather than a guitar rescuing filler. It’s great to see musicians helping each other out too - that camaraderie is apparent throughout the night with surprise appearances onstage during all three sets. The Wizards wield an unrelenting sound sometimes doom like, often more blues filled rock and in songs like 'Warrior', backed by galloping rhythms not unlike Iron Maiden’s trademark style.

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That New Band Smell : Death Of A Salesman

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ATL | 22:05 UK time, Monday, 23 April 2012

Death of A Salesman

 

It's been a whole month since I brought you your last dose of metal here on Across The Line but don't worry folks I have some great bands picked to quench your thirst this week!

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The Unprotected - Cheap For Thrills
Spear-heading a genre we're not allowed to name on here as they love their naughty words,  this loveable bunch of rogues are a perfect example of spandex clad eyeliner wearing backcombed drunken debauchery. Imagine if the New York Dolls and Motely Crue had a drinking game and swapped clothes and messed up eachother's hair- the result would be The Unprotected.

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Desert Hearts - The Menagerie, Belfast

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ATL | 21:46 UK time, Monday, 23 April 2012

 

Desert Hearts, Third Man Theme, Charles Hurts
Menagerie Belfast
Friday, April 21, 2012

The man with the best band name in Belfast (sorry Little Sausage Disorder, pipped at the post…) is slowly but surely coming into his own. After a period of fronting a slightly ramshackle three-piece band, Philip Quinn has been joined by Steven Henry (Documenta, ex-Clone Quartet among others), and Charles Hurts are all the better for it. There are a couple of false starts as the pair struggle to sync up with the laptop, but once into their stride, the strength of Quinn's songwriting shines through. He recently joined Girls Names as a guitarist and synth player, and fans of that band's gloomy post-punk aesthetic will feel at home with Charles Hurts, but just as important is Quinn's love for crystalline Sixties pop. His jangling guitar and rich croon mesh with the glorious twang of Henry's six-string bass, and the pair end on a high note with the help of backing singers "The Hurtsettes". 'Ain't Going Nowhere' sounds like a decades-old FM radio classic, while their sinister doo-wop cover of 1963 obscurity 'The Answer Is No' is a seriously classy way to finish.

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Pocket Billiards birthday bash!

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ATL | 12:51 UK time, Monday, 23 April 2012

Pocket Billiards

 

Belfast ska punk band Pocket Billiards will celebrate their 10th birthday with a special show at the Mandela Hall, Belfast on May 12th. The 'Pocket Billiard's Ten Year Take Down Party' will also be the launch of the band’s second studio album Last Chance to Dance. 

Axis Of, Bomb City 7 and Chewing on Tinfoil (Dublin) will support on the night.

The band are giving away an album track called, 'So Many People, So Little Time'  for free on their bandcamp now.

Pockets Billiards first played in Giro's, Belfast ten years ago and released their first album in 2009. 

Ryan Adams - Waterfront, Belfast

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ATL | 11:31 UK time, Monday, 23 April 2012

 

Ryan Adams
Waterfront Hall, Belfast
20th April, 2012

It’s a full house in the Waterfront, not many can claim that these days but Ryan Adams certainly can. With Adams, his reputation from his wild days always seems to precede him. Back then he was known for his prima donna tantrums and cantankerous approach from time to time so there’s the inevitable nervous anticipation in the room. ‘What kind of form is he going to be in?’. In double denim he marches on stage with purpose, lifts one of his instantly recognisable ‘Buck Owens’ guitars and launches straight into ‘Oh My Sweet Carolina’. There’s a sigh of relief. He’s in good form...phew! He follows 'Carolina' with the title track of his latest offering ‘Ashes and Fire’. The singer belts it out and it’s more than good, showing that his new stuff is for sure his best work since ‘Heartbreaker’.

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Keep 'er Country!

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ATL | 17:06 UK time, Friday, 20 April 2012

Farm Week Live

 

Whats your favourite 'farming' song? The Wurzels 'I've Got A Brand New Combine Harvester'? Bob Dylans 'Maggies Farm'? Steely Dan's 'Black Cow'? Why do we ask? Well, 'Farm Week Live' starts tomorrow across BBC Radio Ulster and we thought what better way to get involved than having a distinctly agricultural theme throughout the show his Monday!

So get your suggestions in via here, facebook, twitter or email atl@bbc.co.uk

BBC Radio Ulster's Farm Week Live runs from Saturday until the 27th of April. As well as a farming focus across much of the stations normal programming, there will also be a special live show every weekday morning from 10am-10:30am presented by Helen Mark and Enda McClafferty. Get involved via the Farm Week Live facebook or email FarmWeekLive@bbc.co.uk.

Record Store Day 2012!

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ATL | 10:44 UK time, Friday, 20 April 2012

record Store Day Logo

 

Now in it's fifth year, Record Store Day returns tomorrow (April 21st ) to bring independently owned record stores together with artists to "celebrate the art of music" .

The international celebration will see limited-edition vinyls released from labels and artists around the world including Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Death Cab for Cutie, Patti Smith and loads more. Independent Record Stores around the world will also host in store gigs as well as selling the exclusive vinyls.

Northern Irish Events for Record Store Day (All Free):

DNST & Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah Centre, Belfast
Time: 12pm-8pm
Live Acts:Tom McShane, Sad City, Sketch Nine, Third Man Theme, and Kiani
DJ Sets: Belfast Music Club, Timmy Stewart, Tw!tch, AU Magazine DJs and Parsley Monkphat
For set times visit their event page

Magpie Records, Ann Street, Belfast
Time: 1pm-6pm
Acts: BEW, The Couth, The Secret Sermon, SINA, Geoff Hatt, The Hungry Ear
For set times visit their event page.

Cool Discs, Derry
Event also around the corner at Sandinos Bar, Derry
Starts: 2pm
Acts: Mars Field,Arkeye,Wood Burning Savages and Strength

Music Master, Omagh
Start: TBC
Acts: Johnny Walker Wisdom, Ryan Dallas and more...

There are also events in Dublin, Galway, Dungarvan, Newbridge and many more. Visit recordstoreday.co.uk for more info. If you're organising an event, let us know at atl@bbc.co.uk.

Lostprophets - Ulster Hall, Belfast

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ATL | 14:11 UK time, Thursday, 19 April 2012

Lostprophets

 

Lostprophets
Ulster Hall, Belfast
16th April 2012

It’s a wet, windy Monday evening and Lostprophets are in Belfast for the second date of their tour. Rumour has it they were pumping iron in the local gym before taking to the stage – it’s only apt that they were preparing to treat us to a ‘gun show’ for their fifth studio release, Weapons.

The stage set up is impressive; there’s a massive Lostprophets backdrop and when they blast off with opener, 'Bring ‘Em Down', we’re blinded by strobes of white light interspersed with blue spotlights. It’s mightily impressive even if it’s a little difficult to look at the stage for too long at a time.

The opening segment of the set is largely made up of new songs and it’s safe to say it’s a slow start for Watkins and co. After initially seeming more interested in ensuring his asymmetrical haircut swooped to his left, he eventually loosens up a little and lets it hang to the right. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what rock’n’roll is all about. The crowd are a little subdued and Watkins is visibly frustrated – he attempts to engage the crowd, asking them to sing-a-long but the response is muted. He says he feels like he’s at a wake and asks, “Would you rather be watching Emmerdale farm?”. It’s a little awkward.

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Bronagh Gallagher Belfast Show

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ATL | 13:03 UK time, Thursday, 19 April 2012

 

 

Singer and actress Bronagh Gallagher will play the Limelight in Belfast on June 2nd.

The Derry-born artist who also plays drums, is set to release the self-titled follow up to her 2004 Meteor-nominated debut LP 'Precious Soul' this summer.

Bronagh's current single 'Fool' is presently available for a free download from her website.

As an actress, Gallagher has appeared in Hollywood hits such as The Commitments, Star Wars and Pulp Fiction.

Her band include former Therapy? The Frames, Boss Bolenti and Gemma Hayes sticksman Graham Hopkins

Bronagh will also play Whelans in Dublin on June 1st.

EP Additions - Patti Smith, Richard Hawley, more

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ATL | 12:19 UK time, Thursday, 19 April 2012

 

Electric Picnic

 

Electric Picnic have announced fourteen further additional acts for this summer's festival.

The 3 day event, which takes place in Stradbally, Co. Laois from Aug 31-Sept 2nd will now boast the legendary Patti Smith as well as Richard Hawley, SBTRKT, The Maccabees and Michael Kiwanuka. The already revealed lin up includes the Cure, Elbow and Sigur Ros.

Now in its ninth year, the annual music and arts festival have also announced Grandaddy,  Crystal Castles, Squarepusher, Gavin Friday, In Tua Nua, Van Dyke Parks, The Jezabels, Dublin Gospel Choir and Eagle and the Worm.

T Vital local slot shortlist annoucned

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ATL | 16:58 UK time, Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Tennants Untapped

 

As previously reported, Tennents UnTapped is a competition for unsigned bands to win a slot at this years Vital festival. The submission deadline ended last month with over 250 entries, and now organisers have announced the last 16 acts shortlisted for the next part of the competition. 

Each act will play one of four showcases next month, with two acts being chosen to open the main stage of the festival each day.

Showcase 1:
May 16th, The Limelight Belfast
Master and Dog
Gerard i2
Havana House Party
Jepettos

Showcase 2:
May 17th, The Limelight Belfast
City Of Stars
Futurescope
Peter McVeigh
Trucker Diablo

Showcase 3:
May 23rd , Bound For Boston, Derry-Londonderry

A Northern Light
Best Boy Grip
Mojo GoGo
Rachel Austin

Showcase 4:
May 24th, Bound For Boston, Derry-Londonderry

Droids
Morning Claws
Pretty Child Backfire
Two Glass Eyes


T Vital will take place at Boucher Playing Fields in Belfast with Foo Fighters headlining on Tuesday 21st and Stone Roses headlining on Wednesday 22nd August.

The Ulster Hall's 150th Birthday Plans!

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ATL | 13:58 UK time, Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Ulster Hall Exterior

 

Belfast's Ulster Hall will be the focus of a month long schedule of events to celebrate it's 150th year next month. The iconic listed venue was originally opened back in 1862 and has hosted some of the worlds most famous acts over the years, from Charles Dickens to Led Zeppelin.

Over the month fo May, there will be live music, films, talks and lectures, exhibitions and much more. Visit belfastcity.gov.uk for more info. Some of the music highlights include:

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Gig of the Week - Lantern for a Gale, Radar

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ATL | 16:21 UK time, Tuesday, 17 April 2012

 

 

There's no doubting ATL's infatuation with the noisy north coast - sure we dedicated an entire hour to the subject last week. So goes without saying we're excited about Lantern for a Gale who sum up, in a nasty little nutshell, exactly what's so great about the average band in their neighbourhood right now.

A young five piece hardcore outfit with bags of talent, a decent work ethic and a surprising amount of melody. Thats how they roll up in Portrush!

Here's Danny, guitarist with the band explaining why he's excited about what is ATL's gig of the week:

'It's awesome to return to Radar again, as it's arguably the best platform for local bands around. We're so hyped to have our pals Grader and Manes as support too, everyone should check them out now! Our new release Lands More Hostile on Savour Your Scene Records is limited to 100 handmade physical copies which will go on sale on the night. If you'd like to see 13 men play some music they're passionate about then we'll see you there!'

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Lantern for a Gale, Grader and Manes play Radar at QUBSU this Thursday.

Sea of Bees, Elspeth - McHughes, Belfast

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ATL | 11:58 UK time, Tuesday, 17 April 2012

 

Sea of Bees, Elspeth
McHughs Basement, Belfast
Friday 13th April 2012

Tonight at McHughs basement we have Sea of Bees, the Sacramento based group of Jules Baenziger who specialise in melodious lyrics, experimental tunes and emotionally resonant music. For fans of folk-rock we are in for a treat with songs from past album ‘Songs for the Ravens’ and the newly released ‘Orangefarben’.

Before we get to the main event we have an Elspeth, an alt-rock five piece from Northern Ireland who have recently supported Dog is Dead and Cashier No9. They have almost finished their debut album ‘Coax’ and we are treated to a selection of songs that suggest with the right production, these young guys may have a bright future ahead of them.

Their vocalist is easily the standout of the act, his voice ranging from Art Garfunkel to the more modern Hamilton Leithauser of The Walkmen. It has a versatile quality which gives the songs a big boost. Moody and mournful at times, this is a group that belies their age with ‘Think Back’ being a real standout. If the rest of the album can capture the same aural ability, this debut could well be a sleeping giant.

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Allie Bradley EP Latest

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ATL | 10:04 UK time, Tuesday, 17 April 2012

 

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NI singer-songwriter Allie Bradley will release her third EP in June.

The five track release will feature songs co-written with her long time collaborator Aaron Shanley as well as Jamie Neish, Mark McAllister of Pretty Child Backfire and Mark Graham.

Allie also duets with a songwriter from Nashville, Kiernan McMullan on a track 'The Simplest of Freedoms' which is available to stream here in advance of the release.

In 2011 Bradley released her debut and second EPs entitled 'Sincerity' and  'Flashbacks and Reruns'

The EP 'Two' will be available from June 11th.

As yet, no live dates have been confirmed to support the release but the previous EPs saw tours in various venues around Ireland.

 

That New Band Smell: Good Friend

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ATL | 20:13 UK time, Monday, 16 April 2012

 

Good internet to you, blog reader. It’s Phily Taggart back on stank patrol here at the New Band Smell. It’s been over a month since the last time I’ve checked in and since then I have amassed a bindle (yes bindle) of tunes so brimming it’s fit to burst. Here are three select cuts from my collection:

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Ryan McMullan – Dance With Me

Portaferry’s young answer to Foy Vance has an ample sleeve that he has acoustically displayed his heart on. Extremely promising!

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Neil Hannon pens Opera!

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ATL | 16:46 UK time, Monday, 16 April 2012

Neil Hannon (aka The Divine Comedy) has written an Opera called 'Sevastopol' which follows the young writer Leo Tolstoy's journey through the Crimean war. 

The half hour show is part of a series called OperaShots at Royal Opera House in London, which invites leading talent from other fields to "break the mould and take a brand new shot at opera".

This year also see's minimalist composer Graham Fitkin taking part, while Stewart Copeland, Jocelyn Pook and Terry Jones have all been part of the project over the last three years.

The opera runs for 6 nights, with the first this Friday the 20th of April.

Farriers album launch!

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ATL | 14:15 UK time, Monday, 16 April 2012

 

The Farriers will release their debut album, Years Ago In Our Backyard at the Black Box in Belfast on the 27th of May. The Co. Down folk troupe will launch the release with support from Three Blind Wolves and Gareth Dunlop at the Communion gig night.

The album was recorded recorded at Hillhouse Studios over the last three years. The Farriers previously released their 'Coastlines' EP back in 2009. 

Knockanstockan Festival announce first acts!

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ATL | 17:02 UK time, Friday, 13 April 2012

Knockanstockan POster

 

Wicklow's Knockanstockan Festival returns to  Blessington lakes in Lacken from the 27th to the 29th of July. The annual 3-day music festival focuses on Irish acts and this year is no different from the batch of acts they announced today.

The line up so far:

Arrow in the Sky, Blind Yackety, Best Boy Grip, Christof, Crow Black Chicken, Cat Dowling, Cry Monster Cry, Earthship, Elk, Enda Reilly, Fox E. & The Good Hands, Guilty Boy Association, Hassle Merchants, Indecent Cigar Emporium, king Modo, Little X's For Eyes, Louis Barabba & The Bedlam Six, Medulla, Mikey & The Scallywags, Mojo Gogo, Raglans, Rocket Surgery, Ross Breen, Sal vitro, Sive, Sara red, Swords, The Bambir, the Envelope, The fitzafrenic, The hot Sprokects, The Louisiana Six, The Riptide Movement, Trap Door, Twin Headed Wolf, Veroa, Wizards of Firetop Mountain, Wyvern Lingo

New EP for Lantern For A Gale

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ATL | 16:35 UK time, Friday, 13 April 2012

Lantern Fo A Gale Poster

 

North Coast hardcore five piece, Lantern for A Gale will release their second EP, 'Lands More Hostile' on Savour Your Scene records next Thursday the 19th of April.

In support of the release, the band go on a joint tour with Scottish outfit Grader next week which includes Radar in Belfast and the Retro Bar in Portrush.

 

Dates:
19th Radar QUBSU - Belfast
20th Retro Bar - Portrush
21st Fred Zepplins - Cork
22nd The Cellar - Galway

Amateur Historians - The Menagerie, Belfast

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ATL | 15:40 UK time, Friday, 13 April 2012

 

Cedric Has A Name, Bouts, Amateur Historians
The Menagerie, Belfast
12th April 2012

There are a few heads around tonight for the local music triple header, and only £3 at the door?! Where would you get it? The Menagerie, that’s where. Chris Steenson, AKA ‘Cedric Has A Name’ is first to the mic. Armed with 2 guitars, a nylon string and a fender and no frills he starts with ‘Empty Avenue’ a song from his upcoming E.P. to mucho applause, after which he mutters "I don’t know why you’re clapping, that was f***ing awful". It was far from it; it was quality and this self-deprecating approach makes it all the more endearing. He’s a handy guitarist and the songs are great, tonight though he’s not getting the order he deserves. His music would be more suited to the quiet and more intense venue
and audience. He does beg comparison to the likes of Elliot Smith or Conor Oberst, but there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s a good thing. He finishes with ‘What We Want’, a harmonic-laden, catchy number from his first E.P. It’s unassuming and humble music at it’s best. We like. With more gigs under his belt and the right venue set-up ‘Cedric Has A Name‘ is destined for good things.

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Radar: Not Squares - Speakeasy, Belfast

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ATL | 15:22 UK time, Friday, 13 April 2012

Not Squares Radar Poster

 

Radar: Not Squares, Blue Whale, White Collar Boy
Speakeasy, Belfast
Thursday 12th April 2012

Tonight in Radar we have Not Squares making a long awaited return to the Speakeasy, headlining a night full of electronica, thumping beats, throbbing bass and experimental instrumentalism.

White Collar Boy are up first. The musical project of Gavin White and Mark Cummins, two lads from Dublin who have supported electronic royalty such as Com Truise and Factory Floor. They have crafted a sound that melts from ambient grooves to heavy thumping synth and room shaking bass that echoes Crystal Castles.The way in which their songs gather momentum and change complexion highlights real technical ability.

Their songs take on a new dimension when Gemma Dunleavy takes to the stage, ‘Caps Lock’ being a perfect example with sprawling dreamy sections throughout. The only real criticism of their performance is the gap between songs. This interrupts the rhythm and we need a seamless transition to keep its momentum.

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New Festival for the North West!

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ATL | 11:45 UK time, Friday, 13 April 2012

Link Festival poster

 

Link Fest is a a new festival taking place in Derry on 13th and 14th of July. The weekend of live music will take place in multiple venues including Masons, The Castle, Bound for Boston, Gweedor and The Plyayhouse.

The confirmed line up includes:
Little Bear, Furlo, Triggerman, By Any Means, Wylding, Best Boy Grip, Conor Mason, Libido Switch, Our Kyrton Son, Soak, Nocturn, The Woodburning Savages, The Lost, Making Monsters, Cuckoo, Eros Theory, Johanna Feagn, Conor McAteer, Hazard Harry, Jack craig, JohN Deery and the Heads, Thumpin Jellyfish, Seneron, Conor Hutcheon, Balls Deep, Lost Avenue, Cradle Rock, James Quigley, Grace & Mercy, Shine May Sun, Zia Regime and Mars Field. 


Before Machines on tour!

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ATL | 11:21 UK time, Friday, 13 April 2012

Belfast's Before Machines have announced they will go on tour next month stopping by England, Scotland, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic and France. The bands debut album is expected later this year and they also plan a homecing show in Belfast at the end of the tour. 

Tour Dates:

Derby (eng) - Vines - 29/04
Sheffield (eng) - The Washington - 30/04
Manchester (eng) - TBA - 01/05
Glasgow (sco) - Bar Bloc - 02/05
Edinburgh (sco) - Henrys Cellar - 03/05
London (eng) - The Workshop - 04/05
Brighton (eng) - TBA - 05/05
Antwerpen(bel) - Music City - 06/05
Brussels (bel) - TBA - 07/05
Chemnitz (ger) - Subway To Peter - 10/05
Cheb (czr) - Jazzrock Cafe - 11/05
Künzelsau(ger) - Kokolores - 12/05
Caen (fra) - Le Cargo - 13/05

Indiependence Fest announces first acts!

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ATL | 10:41 UK time, Thursday, 12 April 2012

 

Cork's Indiependence Festival have announced the first five acts for this summers event which takes place from the 3rd to 5th of August in Mitchelstown.

Feeder, Jape, The Frank and Walters, The Japanese Popstars and Delorentos have all been confirmed. Headliners and the full bill will be announced soon.

Therapy?, Not Squares, Ash, And So I Watch You From Afar, Yes Cadets and Elspeth are just some of the acts who've made the trip south over the years. 

Skypilots 10th Anniversay Show

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ATL | 15:53 UK time, Wednesday, 11 April 2012

 

Doagh riff mongers Skypilot will celebrate their 10th birthday as a band with a gig at the Limelight, Belfast on Saturday the 5th of May. The Distortion Project promoted gig will also feature By Any Means and QAALA (Feat. ex members of Stand-Up Guy).

Since 2002, the three piece have released numerous EPs and their debut album, 'Monument' back in 2008. 

 

Gig of the Week: Not Squares

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ATL | 13:12 UK time, Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Not Squares Radar Poster

 

Radar's a reliable enough night at the best of times - fine local acts and it's free in. A great deal for you, the consumer.

This week's Radar looks a little bit special, with the return of the mighty Not Squares. The jury's still out on whether this lot belong at a gig or in a club but...it's kinda irrelevant. If you're watching them, you're having fun, it's that simple. Yeah they've got the rave - proper bowel altering slabs of it - but they've also got, you know, hooks. Choruses and stuff. The best of both worlds.

Ricki from Not Squares told us:

'We've been v busy playing (Japan was amazing!), writing (tunes and Moog!) and recording (days in a basement!) so it will be cool to try out new material on home turf.'

Japan + Moog + Basement = Not Squares mk 2. Sounds good to us....

****

Not Squares, Blue Whale, White Collar Boy play The Speakeasy, Belfast, tomorrow night (Thursday).

Tom Hingley - The Cellar Bar, Draperstown

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ATL | 11:32 UK time, Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Tom Hindley at the Cellar Bar, Draperstown

 

Tom Hingley, Rory McKee, Junior Johnson
The Cellar Bar, Draperstown
Sunday 8th April 2012

From the city lights to The Cellar Bar, Draperstown - famous on the local scene for the G Sessions. First on tonight’s bill is Randalstown’s Junior Johnson - one man and his guitar. In his element amongst the craic of a rammed front bar, JJ happily sets us up for a night of acoustic folk and blues. Occasionally it’s mere background but more than often there’s plenty of clapping and knee slapping as way of encouragement. We’re treated to his take on Cashier No 9’s ‘Good Bye Friend’ and an equally unexpected and brilliant version of ‘Everyday People’ by Sly and The Stone. His own ‘Colder Ground’ shows what he’s really made of, baring modest resemblance to Willie Nelson. A little rough around the edges for sure, but therein lies the charm.

Next up is Rory McKee, adding a looped iPad to the evening’s acoustic theme. A very clean performance and impressive on some levels - strong layered vocals and impressive guitar work, for a start. While what’s missing is unclear, we end up more than a little distracted.

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Architects, Rolo Tomassi - Speakeasy, Belfast

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ATL | 14:27 UK time, Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Architects poster

 

Architects, RoloTomassi, Stray From The Path  
Speakeasy, Belfast
Saturday 7th April 2012

Brighton-based metalcore heroes, Architects, are on the road supporting the release of their fifth album, Daybreaker. This early evening affair gives Belfast's under-agers a rare chance to get in on the action; from the girl being sick outside to the testosterone-fuelled pit-bravado - it's safe to say the kids are a little too excited.

New York's Stray From The Path don't mess around getting the crowd fired up. Complex riffs, visceral screams and thundering breakdowns make for a brutal assault but Stray From The Path have enough melody that it's controlled chaos, but only just. The crowd respond in kind; a sea of bodies slamming into each other, swinging fists with reckless abandon. Vocalist, Drew York has the swarming masses in the palm of his hands; getting them to jump on demand and raise their middle fingers while orchestrating circle pits like a hardcore conductor. The brutality is only halted when a shirt flies out of a fist-wielder's back-pack as he scuttles off to reclaim his school uniform. This evening, Stray From The Path taught a lesson in NYHC.

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More acts for Stendhal Festival!

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ATL | 16:28 UK time, Monday, 9 April 2012

Stendhal Festival

 

As previously reported, Stendhal Festival returns later this year to Ballymully Cottage Farm, Limavady on Friday the 17th and Saturday the 18th of August.

The bill of confirmed acts has now grown to the below list: 

Silhouette
Axis Of
Furlo
The Gorgeous Colours
Inishowen Gospel Choir
Mojo GoGo
Best Boy Grip
Paddy Nash and the Happy Enchiladas
Master and Dog
The Barley Mob
Triggerman
Exit Pursued by Bear
Wookalily
Owl Parliament
Balkan Alien Sound
Lantern For A Gale
The Steve Experiment
The Crimson Piper Sonic Orchestra
Intermission
Wylding
Peter McVeigh
Furlo
Dying Breed

Annapurna - Auntie Annies, Belfast

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ATL | 15:32 UK time, Monday, 9 April 2012

 

Annapurna,  Silent Front, Love Among The Mannequins 
Auntie Annies, Belfast
Thursday 5th April 2012

Brighton four-piece Love Among The Mannequins are the first band of the night on-stage in Belfasts Auntie Annies, introducing the show with some help from a vintage film reel projected onto the band’s bass drum. It’s a messy start and as much as you’d love the bands distorted, disjointed sound to be a part of the act, overall it sounds messy for the first few songs as the band seems to struggle to keep in time with one another. It finally takes the third track or so for the band to finally sort themselves out and the audience start to take notice of some genuinely well-crafted songs desperate to clamber out. The distinct English-ness of the vocals can finally be heard and by the final tune, Belfast finally understands what the Mannequins are all about.

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Daniel Johnston - The Empire, Belfast

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ATL | 14:48 UK time, Monday, 9 April 2012

 

Daniel Johnston with Cashier No. 9, VerseChorucVerse
The Empire, Belfast
Wed 4th April 2012


Welcoming us into The Empire tonight, was the snarling dust bowl folk music of VerseChorusVerse. He's just one man, Tony Wright as his postman would know him, with three chords and a monolithic satchel of 'the truth'. The North Coast troubadour has come on leaps and bounds since his first peering above the live music precipice at the tail end of last year. The initial shakiness and second guessing has been ironed out and Tony now commands the stage and the audience with relative ease, whether it be the fist clenching earnest rally cry of 'Big Red Van' or the blissfully bleak 'Spiders'. He’s found his feet and seems likely to do a whole mess of stomping in the near future.

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Master & Dog, David C Clements - Love and Death, Belfast

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ATL | 14:13 UK time, Monday, 9 April 2012

David C Clements & Master and Dog
Love and Death inc.
Thursday 29th March 2012


Despite the Gifted relaunch taking place just up the road, this petit venue was near bursting at the seams in good time for our support, David C Clements. Kicking off his acoustic-folk-pop set with an intense, 7 minute track “Hurricane” was a brave move, but tinges of Arcade Fire made for a perfect start. With the help of a full band, David’s material is sounding pretty huge these days, as his voice carries well over the crowd, many of whom clearly weren't here just for the headliners.

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General Fiasco announce album, launch dates and tour

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ATL | 16:29 UK time, Friday, 6 April 2012

 

 

The band are on the lead up to the release of their second full-length album ‘Unfaithfully Yours’ with a Great Britain promotional tour, followed in June by two album launch shows in Belfast; Mandela Hall on the15th and  Stiff Kitten on the 16th and one at the Academy in Dublin on the 29th.

The album will be the first released on the band’s newest label Dirty Hit, following the release of EPs ‘Waves’ and ‘Don’t You Ever’.

Tickets for the Belfast shows are out now from www.shine.net, The Stiff Kitten and Ticketmaster. Dublin tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.ie.

 

IMPRINT Launch Friday 6th of April

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ATL | 10:35 UK time, Friday, 6 April 2012

 

 

April 6th sees the re-launch of  local podcast site formerly known as 'Imprint This On Your Mind' as 'IMPRINT'.

The local podcast dedicated to music lovers of Belfast, has podcast some exclusive live sessions with local artists over the years and has strived to cover the sounds of the city and further afield

The new line-up of podcasters includes Matt Hazley, Paul McCarthy and Si McNair with the new focus being a more diverse range of broadcasts and expanding the site.

To celebrate the re-launch there will be a party at the Menagerie kicking off at 8pm

 

 

Stendhal Festival announces first acts!

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ATL | 14:16 UK time, Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Stendhal Festival

 

Stendhal Arts and Music Festival will return to Ballymully Cottage Farm, Limavady on Friday the 17th and Saturday the 18th of August.

The initial details fo the line up have been released with Silhouette, Inishowen Gospel Choir, Paddy Nash & The Happy Enchilada's, Wookalily, Furlo, Axis Of and
 The Gorgeous Colours all confirmed so far.

 

 

GOTW - Warrenpoint Easter Weekender

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ATL | 13:56 UK time, Wednesday, 4 April 2012

 

As you've probably gathered by now, it's any excuse to get outside of Belfast and hit the road, especially when it comes to our gig of the week. With that in mind, it's off to what's a surprisingly active little corner of the country - sunny Warrenpoint. Boasting two reliable venues, the small seaside town is more than ready for it's own mini-festival, in this case an Easter Weekender. So it's the INF for ATL show openers on Monday past Trucker Diablo on the Saturday, then over to the Duke for A Plastic Rose on the Sunday.

Gerry from APR told us 

'Warrenpoint is alway mental but Easter Weekend the place always goes absolutely bananas so we can't wait to return as headliners of this festival. A really strong line-up too, we can't wait to catch some of the new bands making waves here in Belfast showcasing their stuff.'

Oh yes, small matter of an entire ATL friendly bill to discuss. Way too many to namecheck here, but Stillpoint and Gascan Ruckus are among the highlights on Saturday with A Northern Light and Parachutes over Paris are among the picks on the Sunday. But needless to say, check out the full line up here!

Forbidden Fruit Additions!

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ATL | 11:33 UK time, Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Forbidden fruit

 

As previously report, the Forbidden Fruit festival returns on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of June in Kilmainham, Dublin with acts such as  New Order, Leftfield, Death Cab for Cutie, Field Music, Andrew Bird and The Rapture and many more. 

 

Now Friendly Fires, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, and Mmoths have all been added to the Saturday.

Saturday 2nd
Leftfield
Bloody Beetroots DJ Set

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That New Band Smell - Friends of Granleese (F.O.G.)

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ATL | 16:28 UK time, Tuesday, 3 April 2012

 

 

Awk, sure it’s yourself. Brian Coney here, individual of no particular repute except what can only be described as an almost overwhelming urge to inform others of what I know to be absolutely true.

Okay, maybe not … but as Ludwig Beethoven himself probably proclaimed in between bouts of deafness and compositional genius: “I know a good tune when I hear one”. Here are three good tunes from upcoming artists inhabiting these parts.

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Twomilliondays — Submerge 

Twomilliondays is a Roscommon-based musician better known to his parents as Paul Fallon (alternatively: our Paul). His brand new eponymous LP combines minimalist electronica/ambient with some, sublime acoustic instrumentalism and its closing track, ‘Submerge’, is a particularly transfixing track calling to mind a kind of weightlessness akin to Main, Seefeel and Brian Eno's early ambient works. Hypnotic and endurably experimental from start to finish, Fallon’s debut album signals even greater things to come.

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Sons of Caliber EP Launch!

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ATL | 14:29 UK time, Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Sons of Caliber EP cover

 

Sons of Caliber's debut E.P. 'The Tundra' will be digitally released on April 23rd, with a launch gig at the Black Box in Belfast on May 2nd. 

Beginning in early 2011, the band was originally the brain child of Andrew Farmer and Stephen George Williams. William's later returned to his native USA, but the band grew into a five piece folk troupe and built their reputation through their live shows across Northern Ireland.

Sons of Caliber - The Black Box, Belfast - May 2nd

Titanic Lockdown - T13, Belfast

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ATL | 09:30 UK time, Tuesday, 3 April 2012

 

Titanic Lockdown
T13, Belfast
31st March 2012

The ubiquity of the Titanic in Belfast 2012 has thrown up some odd scenarios, from Titanic Belfast's spokeswoman telling Stephen Nolan how the visitor centre represents "the future" (er…) to the irony of local transport provider Translink having their name emblazoned on posters advertising the doomed passenger ship. On paper, Titanic Lockdown is another strange one, but it's a more than welcome addition to the maritime mania.

Set up in the T13 building, across the road from Titanic Belfast and the old Harland & Wolff headquarters, the enormous hangar-turned-skate-park has been further transformed into a jamboree of good cheer, all in the name of one of the greatest nautical disasters in history. But let's not be too snide about this – the organisers have seen an opportunity to showcase all that is good and positive about the youthful Belfast that we are supposedly trying so hard to present to the world, and this launch event does it superbly. Sharing the vast building with skaters and BMXers are food and drink stalls, face painting, video games, street artists, homemade clothing, jewellery and souvenirs for sale – and a stage where some of our best live acts can soundtrack a fun day out. It feels like a village fete, but in a big concrete hangar. It's lots of fun, very gritty, and very Belfast.

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Korn, Downlink, J Devil - Mandela Hall, Belfast

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ATL | 16:45 UK time, Monday, 2 April 2012

Korn logo

 

Korn, Downlink, J Devil
Mandela Hall, Belfast
31st March 2012

The Mandela Hall is a relatively intimate setting for nu-metal pioneers Korn and it's no surprise that tonight's show sold out weeks ago. The mixture of young, old, metalheads and glow-stick wielders is a little more surprising but Korn are in transition; their latest release, The Path of Totality, is an experimental hybrid featuring the traditional Korn-sound spliced with the unmistakable woob-woob-woob's of the Dubstep monster. The record features production by Dubstep king, Skrillex, as well as Downlink, who just so happens to be one of tonight's support acts.

But first we're treated to the sounds of  J Devil - Jonathan Davis' dubstep DJ alter-ego. The stage is in darkness as J Devil slinks on to a curious sound-bite telling us that Barack Obama means lightning in Hebrew, and therefore is in fact the devil. It's debatable logic but the crowd lap it up nonetheless; antiestablishmentarianism is very metal..

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Gabrielle Aplin, Southern - An Droichead, Belfast

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ATL | 16:19 UK time, Monday, 2 April 2012

Gabrielle Aplin

 

Gabrielle Aplin, Southern
An Droichead, Belfast
31st March 2012
 

Playing in the somewhat unorthodox arena of An Droichead, we are here to see youtube sensation Gabrielle play an intimate session to a sold out crowd.

First up though we have Southern, with his band mate sister busy with her studies Thom plays an assured solo set that highlights not only his songwriting ability but also his confidence playing in front of an eager audience armed with only his guitar. Thom’s voice is unbelievably like Luke Pritchard of The Kooks, eerily similar at times. Songs are filled with snappy lyrics, bluesy folk tinged hooks and melodies that leaves the audience wanting more. Southern will be embarking on tour in May and on the basis of this performance, more and more success and notoriety beckons.

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Girls Names, Documenta, Third Man Theme - Radar, Belfast

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ATL | 16:19 UK time, Monday, 2 April 2012

 

Girls Names, Documenta, Third Man Theme
Radar: Mandela Hall
Thursday, 29th March 2012

With the somewhat soul-destroying prospect of Boyzone's Keith Duffy and someone from The Only Way Is Essex judging QUB's Got Talent downstairs, three of the country's more sonically progressive bands form what is easily the finest Radar line-up in some time. But, out of everything, what makes tonight such a thoroughly unmissable proposition is the fact it’s not only Belfast gloom pop band Girls Names' first gig of the year, it’s their first show as a four-piece. And yet the question remains: how well will such unfamiliar territory pan out for Cathal Cully’s band live?

Late addition to the bill, Kraut-pop three-piece Third Man Theme get proceedings under way in characteristically dogged form via opener, ‘The Road’. From this track, right through a further five brilliantly inspired songs of veering synth and attacking guitar noise, frontman Matthew Rodger’s severe temper on ‘Hepworth and Hapaska’ and highlights including the bobbing chant of “I walk up the road and I feel it rising” on ‘Tears on Tate’ and Brian Farquhar’s remarkable drumming on closer ‘Round Pound’ expose exactly what this trio are about: highly-imaginative, supremely unorthodox pop noise, taking in loose, energetic and well-constructed interplay.

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