Silhouette-Volume Destroyed

29 05 2010

I saw the video today for Silhouette’s amazing new single ‘Volume Destroyed’ and thought I’d post it up here as a wee treat. A great video for an amazing track.

Church Of Noise 4

21 05 2010

Want more Church of Noise? Oh, go on then..

Church of Noise

Local music news

Congratulations to former Big Gig alumni No Mean City who are celebrating the news that they have reached the finals of the Red Bell Bedroom Jam Sessions. Thanks to a tireless internet campaign which involved the Derry four-piece guilt tripping their online mates into voting for them (hey, it worked didn’t it?) they’ve made it into the final 16 and compete for a chance to play at Download, T in the Park and more this summer. However, just because they made the top 16 doesn’t mean you can’t vote again, so check out to do your bit.

It’s time for good news/bad news for anyone thinking about going to the Pigstock festival in Killinchy. While original headliners LaFaro have sadly had to pull out due to touring commitments, A Plastic Rose have stepped in to close proceedings. Taking place on May 29, the bash also features the likes of Swanee River, Pocket Billiards, Mojo Fury, the Lowly Knights, Gentry Morris and more on the bill and it looks like it should be a great day out. Tickets cost £25 (which includes camping) and are available from the official website As if that wasn’t enough, organisers have assembled a free (yes, that’s free cheap skates) warm up gig at the very fine Daft Eddy’s bar and grill on Sketrick Island, Killinchy on May 8 too. The line-up features Black Mambas, Shades of Jonah and the Glory Holes (do us a favour, NEVER google “the Glory Holes”) and Pigstock head honco’s are selling camping tickets at the knock-down price of £20 for one night only.

 Speaking of LaFaro, remember how last month I was giving off because I hadn’t heard their new record yet? Well, while this month I’m still sans their self-titled slab of wax sadly, I can tell you that they’ve announced a third date to their residency in the Menagerie in Belfast. Costing a mere fiver, the gig takes place on April 28 and tickets are available from so if you were dilly dallying on getting one for the April 26 and 27 shows that sold out, you’d have to be a real numpty to miss out on this one too. Now, where’s this bloody album then?

See y’all next month folks. Up the Irons.


Ronnie James Dio R.I.P.

19 05 2010

I’ve intended to write this blog since I heard the news on Sunday about Dio (one of my heroes) passing away from stomach cancer. I’ve put it off until today due to two factors-1) being utterly bummed out that I’ll never get to see him sing again and 2) (perhaps more sensibly) I had to get some deadlines out of the way.

I’m not going to retell Dio’s amazing life story here as you probably already know it (if you’re reading this and haven’t heard his work with Rainbow, Sabbath and indeed his solo stuff you should be ashamed of yourselves) but I will share with you a wee story about the day I became a Dio fan. I was roughly 8 or 9 and growing up in Newry in the late 80s. I wasn’t really like everyone else in my class who seemed to listen to Vanilla Ice and eat the rubbers off of their pencils for thrills. I loved Hammer Horror films, comics, action figures and anthemic, jaw droppingly good heavy metal.

I started out adoring Iron Maiden and Ozzy (while also picking through some of my parents old LP’s) but I wanted more. Being from a working class family meant my folks couldn’t afford all the albums I saw in Carlin Records and Sounds Good, so I did the next best thing-I got a library card, borrowed tapes and recorded them for my collection. Admittedly I ended up borrowing an absolute truck load  of absolute bollocks, but every now and again I got a gem and on this particular weekend I got ‘Holy Diver’ by Dio.

While I’d briefly heard the name, I hadn’t yet heard THE VOICE and chose the record purely on it’s cover (what 9 year old doesn ‘t love pictures of demons and priests getting their fuck knocked in?) and I took it home with me. As soon as the first verse of ‘Stand Up and Shout’ kicked in on my walkman I was utterly and irrevocably spellbound-immediately adding him to my unholy trinity of favourite warblers (Bruce Dickinson and Ozzy for those keeping score). I was so in love with ‘Holy Diver’ I listened to it every night after school for months. Instead of doing homework, I’d pop side 1 of the tape in and forget about the fact that myself and my brother were the only ones our age into this stuff.

As the years passed I got into other types of music, but Ronnie’s voice always did it for me. While Bruce and Ozzy let me down over the years, Dio never did and I will always love him for that. I finally got to see him live too and guess what? He played ‘Holy Diver’ in its entirity and his voice was as good as it ever was. Even better than that was how much passion he put into his performance, throwing the horns like the expert he was (hell, he did invent the gesture after all).

I’ll freely admit that I’m absolutely heart broken about the news Ronnie’s no longer with us. That’s how much this all means to me. But at least he’s left behind a huge legacy that proves he was one of the greatest of all time.

These days when I listen to my battered copy of ‘Holy Diver,’ I’m transported back to 1989 with the added bonus of not having to bother going to school. It’s a pretty good feeling I have to say and it’s as if the 12inch slab of wax is my own personal time machine. Yeah, I’m gutted I won’t get to see Dio do his thing fronting Heaven and Hell in Dublin on July 30 like originally planned, but I’m happy to see the great man remembered so fondly by the world in general.

Rest in Peace.

Church Of Noise 3

19 05 2010

Here’s more Church of Noise action, reprinted from the Big List.

Church of Noise

Local music news

If you’re the kind of reader who is sitting there and currently thinking to themselves, “Banbridge, what a place,” well then be prepared to get even more tingly feelings about the town as this month they’ve revealed they’re hosting their own music festival called (wait for it) Take It To The Bridge. Boasting a line-up consisting of And So I Watch You From Afar, Panama Kings, A Plastic Rose and the Complete Stone Roses (yeah, me neither….) the bash takes place at Corbet Lake on July 3. Tickets for the festival are a tasty £25 and with more acts to be announced they’re a bargain. Keep your peepers peeled on for more details. We don’t know about you, but we’re already pumped about potentially getting a chicken burger out of Friar Tuck’s after the show.

 As you probably know by now, this April 23 we’ve got the ear-gasm inducing Beat Poets headlining the Big Gig at the Spring and Airbrake. Why are we telling you this again we hear you cry. Well, the four-piece are also releasing their new single ‘One By One’ on April 19 via all major download sites. The Poets are currently swanning around Texas at South by South West as this writer types this month’s missive (not that I’m jealous or anything…) and have plenty of plans coming up in the pipeline which should secure their future as one of NI’s brightest bands. Last month we got a sneaky listen to ‘One by One’ and it has a chorus to die for, so make sure you (virtually) pick up a copy.

 Duke Special and General Fiasco are teaming up on March 29 for a very special gig called Unwind Your Mind and it takes place down at the Oh Yeah centre. Currated by Across the Line (yes, those dudes on the back page of the Big List who also host a mighty fine programme on Radio Ulster) the show is aiming to raise awareness about mental well being and Wonder Villains, Panama Kings, Kowalski, Ed Zealous More than Conquerors, Axis Of and Aaron Shanley also play on the night. It’s good news for all you cheap skates too as tickets are completely free. All you have to do is visit and apply for them. Good luck.

Finally, if you’ve found yourself still reeling from the shock announcement of Jedward getting dropped by their record label (y’know, we really didn’t see it coming) then you can find some consolation in the news that LaFaro release their long awaited debut slab of wax on May 10 via Smalltown America and play a gig in the Menagerie in Belfast on April 26 too. Now unfortunately tickets have sold out within about three nano-seconds of going on sale, but knowing the LaFaro boys it won’t take them too long to announce more shows around the rest of the country. Of course, we’d love to be able to tell you that their self titled debut is the veritable fairy on top of the Christmas tree, but as no-one has sent us our copy yet, we haven’t a clue what to expect (apart from sledgehammer riffs and killer hooks that is) and that, my friends, is what they refer to in the business as a subtle hint…

 See y’all next month folks. Up the Irons.


Church Of Noise 2

17 05 2010

Remember I blogged about a new column I’m writing in the Big List called Church of Noise? Well I’ll be running some reprints from the last few issues over the next lock of days.

Church of Noise

Local music news.

In the real world, dressing up as feg-smoking, beer drinking, gambling bear/men and kidnapping a hot blonde chick for your own ends will more than likely get your collar felt by the old bill, but in the realm of rock ‘n’ roll-people film it and make a music video out of it instead. Thank Elvis the Black Bear Saloon are the latter eh? Yes readers, if you haven’t seen the clip for their single ‘Face The Future’ by now-here’s the deal. The video features our heroes in bear suits while generally behaving badly and driving old cars around and very good it is too. The band have finally got their furry arses in gear and released it as a proper single too and for 99 of your pennies you not only get ‘Face The Future’ but you also have a newly remixed ‘Al Bronco’ and the aforementioned video for your virtual collection. All you have to do is click on and bob is your da’s brother. We don’t know about you, but that’s our Mother’s Day present sorted then…

It looks like March is going to be a hell of a month for local music as both Two Door Cinema Club and General Fiasco release their debut albums into the wild and we’re pleased to report that both slabs of wax are hotter than a pajama party round Megan Fox’s house. TDCC’s ‘Tourist History’ (out on March 2 via Kitsune and the launch gig takes place in the Stiff Kitten, Belfast on March 5) is possibly one of the best records this writer has heard all year and with the likes of cataracts-glasses wearing, award show wrecking Kanye West and Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus (y’know-the dude isn’t the one with the whiney voice or the bloke who looks like a human etch-a-sketch) falling over themselves to proclaim the three-piece from Bangor as the next big thing, we reckon it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world catches on too.

General Fiasco’s ‘Buildings’ (out March 22 via Infectious and the launch gig is on March 28 in the Mandela Hall, Belfast) is another thunderous 40minutes worth of teenage kicks and should see the boys scale the heights they’ve always deserved too. With a great new video for their stellar single ‘Ever So Shy’ slated for a March 8 release (if you haven’t seen it yet, check out my blog for a looky we’re predicting big things for the boys.

Another band on the cusp of something special are everyone’s favourite hard to pin down rebel rousers the Tin Pot Operation. The group (now augmented by the addition of mandolin player Daithi) are due to start work on their third record this month and are returning to their old stomping grounds of the Blueroom to start work on the much anticipated opus. Good luck chaps and chap-ess.

 Finally, fresh from the massive Belfast 4 Haiti mega-gig (yes, I’ve copyrighted the word mega-gig so don’t go robbing it) three photographers have decided to have a good old fashioned team up in order to aid the charity and are selling prints from the gigs on this link So if you’ve ever wanted a nice, frame-able photo of Yakuza, the Answer or some eijit in the crowd who’s drunk so much he looks like he’s chewed his own elbows off (while also helping a worthwhile cause) then you know what to do.

 See y’all next month folks. Up the Irons.


The Drums

15 05 2010

I’m spending this morning writing up a review of the new Drums album and I have to say that it receives my (wait for it)…

Free Irish Comic Book Day Tomorrow (May 15)

14 05 2010

If you’re in Belfast, Dublin, Galway or Cork tomorrow then call into your local Forbidden Planet (or Sub-City Comics, the Winding Stair and Other Realms too) to get your hands on some free comics. Yes, that’s right Fanboy-you get a bunch of stuff for nowt, so make sure you swing by. I got a sneaky preview yesterday (shhh! Don’t tell anyone) and got some great titles. Here’s a poster for the event-

Thin Lizzy Recruit Ricky Warwick

14 05 2010

Last Thursday (May 6) I got a text from a local bass legend telling me the rather barmy news that former Almighty frontman Ricky Warwick is the new singer in Thin Lizzy. The next day an Irish promoter told me the same thing and that a tour’s all booked for 2011 and yes folks, it is all true. Joining Ricky is fellow NI alumni Vivian Campbell (yes, that Vivian who twatted Danzig and plays guitar for Def Leppard) and original Lizzy tub thumper Brian Downey is also back, so it would seem that Scott Gorham’s plan to carry on Phil Lynott’s legacy might just pay off as I reckon Warwick can definitely do justice to ‘Are You Ready?’ et al.

They’ve a UK tour booked for the New Year (with support from the Supersuckers), a date in Dublin’s 02 on Jan 4, and there’s mumblings of an Ulster Hall date in Belfast too, so remember where you read it first. In the meantime, here’s a photo of the new line-up that some wag has put online. Personally I think Ricky rocks the ‘fro rather well…

NME Review-Iron Man 2 Soundtrack

13 05 2010

Crikey, it’s been a hell of a few weeks, workwise. Thankfully today things are starting to calm down a little. Florence and the Machine in Dublin was awesome (my review/news piece is either in this week’s NME on page 8. In the meantime, here’ s my straight news report of the show- KISS were amazing on Friday (the review’s in next week’s Hot Press), Decade of Aggression was fun (review will be published in a well known music mag next month. Will let you all know who it was for when it’s printed) and going two rounds with Metallica was hella good (again, a review will be published next month in the mystery magazine).

As well as all the work, I managed to fit in a viewing of Iron Man 2 and I was in Fanboy heaven. As well as being true to the character, it set up the Avengers really well and the soundtrack was ace too. Speaking of the soundtrack-here’s a reprint of the review I penned for the NME.


Iron Man 2 Soundtrack



Serving as both the score for Shell-Head’s second silver screen outing and AC/DC’s first ever “Greatest Hits,” the Iron Man 2 soundtrack is a 15song rock ‘n’ roll education. Granted, every track is about booze, balls and ladies with large breasts, but why change something that clearly works (are you reading this MGMT?) Plus, by re-releasing the likes of ‘Let There be Rock’ and ‘Shoot to Thrill’ wrapped up in a kiddie friendly super-hero cover, the ‘DC look set to warp a whole new generation of young minds. Think of it as a sonic fuck you to Justin Bieber. Edwin McFee



6 05 2010

I’m off to KISS tomorrow night in Dublin. BRING IT!