Vote For World Of Kitsch

31 08 2010

This month, an old friend of mine’s website got shortlisted for the Cosmo blog awards under the “Lifestyle” category. Voting closes today, so point your clickers towards and vote for World of Kitsch pronto. If you don’t-this light up moose will kill you in your dreams (he’s like an illuminated Freddy Kruger).

Gaslight Anthem Upgraded To The Ulster Hall-Nov 22

30 08 2010


Last week I was having a few light ales with one of my bezzie mates while watching Summerslam. “Here, c’mere,” began said bezzie mate. “Did you hear the boul Gaslight Anthem has been upgraded to the Ulster Hall?” “Fuck away off,” was my charming reply and lo and behold, four days later it was announced that the gig has indeed been moved from the Mandela Hall to the somewhat roomier Ulster Hall in Belfast.

I love me some Gaslight Anthem at the moment. ‘American Slang’ is one of my favourite albums of the year, ‘Orphans’ (featured below) is an amazing song and I love the band’s sound in general and their lyrics are vaguely Morrissey-esque (“Everybody leaves so why wouldn’t you?”) if our Moz was a Yank. If you haven’t got a ticket for the show yet, then you should get one sharpish as it’ll be one of the gigs of the year. Fo’ reals.

Timber Timbre-Demon Host

26 08 2010

A few weeks ago I reviewed the new Timber Timbre album and I fuckin’ loved it. It’s an odd mix of Bon Iver, Anthony ad the Johnsons, Dr John and Jeff Buckley and I think you should all listen to ‘Demon Host’ as it’s gorgeous.

Trailer for the Walking Dead

25 08 2010

Back in 2000, my brother ordered issue one of a comic called Battle Pope by a then fledging writer named Robert Kirkman. Loyal sort that he is, our Martin then proceeded to buy anything that came out under the Kirkman name for the next ten years (and counting) as he loved the concept. In 2003, the beardy scribe was still pretty much an unknown when he released issue one of the Walking Dead (and Invincible) but both titles have since gone on to be worth a small fortune on the back issue market.

The Walking Dead in particular eventually clicked with the masses too and as soon as I read the first six-issue arc I loved the story of Rick Grimes as much as my big bruv and even went through a phase of buying people volume one of the trade/hardcover in a bid to convert them to the epic zombie saga.

Seven years on, and the Walking Dead is a million times more popular than is ever was and has just reached issue 75. This October, the cult will probably grow even bigger with the debut of the spin-off TV series and here’s the 5 minute trailer below. Yes Martin, you were right all along…

NB: For maximum effect-listen to the Sword’s new album ‘Warp Riders’ while watching this.

Therapy? Back In Belfast-Oct 15-Mandela Hall

20 08 2010

Yep, it’s good to see the boys back in town again. Press release below-


Venue :Mandela Hall
Times : 15 Oct 2010 8:00PM – 15 Oct 2010 10:31PM

Therapy? with LaFaro & Axis Of The distinctive sound of Therapy? was first forged 20 years ago: three young men in a dingy rehearsal room, heads down, eyes closed, lost in music, locked into a groove: a fractured dance beat, a prowling bass line, whirring, whining guitar, distorted vocals spitting alienation and desolation through an overloaded PA. And so began the history of a legendary band that has spawned over a dozen albums delivering monster guitar riffs, huge choruses, anthemic songs and high octane slabs of pure Rock, from Babyteeth (1991) to Crooked Timber (2009) and not forgetting the all-time classic Troublegum (1994).

“Old school post hardcore sounds with just drums, guitars and big chunky distorted bass and Jonny Black mangling his vocals like he’s got a mouth full of drill bits, believe me, it’s a good thing.”
‘Alternative Ulster’ magazine on LeFaro

Axis Of are an Alt/Punk band hailing from Portstewart/Belfast who have made quite an impact with their massive riffs, chaotic live shows and thoughtful lyrics. Debut single Brobdingnagian was released to a terrific reception in a sold out Auntie Annie’s.

 Introduced by BBC Radio Ulster’s Rigsy.

This event will be recorded for future broadcast on Across the Line.

Mr Postie’s Been Good Today

16 08 2010

There was much excitement inside the great halls of Castle McFee this morning as the postie brought me lots of amazing Maiden stuff (yeah, I know it’s been a bit Maiden crazy on the blog at the moment, but the new album’s out today so they’ll be everywhere for the rest of the year).

First off, the lovely people at EMI sent me the promo for ‘El Dorado.’

This bad boy is super-limited and is going for between £50-£100 on ebay (not that I’d even dream of flogging it) and it’s now one of the most prized possessions in my 22year old collection. Here’s a couple more pics.

As if that wasn’t enough to get me metaphorically gooey in the unmentionables, I also received something I’ve sought for a loooonnnng time courtesy of Mr Blaze Bayley himself-a tour shirt from the first ever gig I was at (more on this here The great man also signed it (it’s from his personal collection) and I’m toying with getting my brother to hack it up and get it framed to hang on my wall.

In other Maiden news, check out next week’s Hot Press for my verdict on ‘The Final Frontier’ and here’s a pic of the event shirt they did from their recent show in Transylvania to make anyone who wasn’t there (including me) extremely jealous. What I would have given to be there. Ah well, some you win, some you lose…

Come on you Irons!

Iron Maiden 02 Live Review

13 08 2010

This fortnight’s issue of Hot Press has my review of the Maiden show, but here’s the longer version for your reading pleasure. Pic by John McMurtie

Iron Maiden at the 02, Dublin

It’s been four looooong years since we last saw Iron Maiden on Irish soil. Arguably the biggest band in the history of metal, tonight, the evergreen six-piece finally make it back to our fair isle in a bid to sate our thirst for the kind of blood and thunder only they can bring. With our excitement at fever pitch during their traditional intro tape of UFO’s ‘Doctor Doctor,’ we’re straight into a ferocious rendition of ‘The Wicker Man,’ with frontman Bruce Dickinson literally leaping around the stage like he’s in training for some kind of heavy metal Olympics.

 This evening’s show is a celebration of their last three albums (Brave New World, Dance Of Death and A Matter Of Life And Death) and the set is packed with material from the last decade. In many ways, giving the likes of ‘Ghost Of The Navigator’ and ‘These Colours Don’t Run’ another airing is a statement of intent by the band. Unlike some of their contemporaries, Maiden aren’t money-hungry jobbers who lost their edge years ago (*cough* Ozzy *cough*). They’re still fighting to stay relevant by creating new master-pieces such as ‘El Dorado’ and shoving it down our throats. For those in the crowd who aren’t aware of the likes of the brain-fryingly brilliant ‘Dance Of Death,’ Bruce proves why he’s the greatest frontman in the history of the genre by making sure no-one in the audience is left out as he scrambles around the space station set, urging everyone to sing until their lungs give out and bang their heads, while bassist Steve Harris mouths along to every word.

 Highlight of the performance has to be the majestic ‘Blood Brothers,’ which the singer touchingly dedicates to his “mentor” Ronnie James Dio, who was due to support the Irons tonight as part of Heaven and Hell, but sadly passed away. The tribute brings an extra bucketload of poignancy to a song that already drips with drama and passion and thousands of people from five year olds to fifty-somethings throw their arms around each other’s shoulders and belt out the chorus. It’s a moment that proves that heavy metal isn’t as brainless or moronic as some detractors may say and can provoke real emotion (when it wants to).

 As the band race towards the finish line with a note perfect ‘Fear Of The Dark,’ zombified mascot Eddie makes his appearance during set closer ‘Iron Maiden’ and he’s not only grown in size, he seems to have a whole new set of gnashers, changed colour and has learned how to play the guitar and give the fingers too (clearly he’s spent his time off wisely then). After a brief break, the encore of classics ‘The Number Of The Beast,’ ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ and ‘Running Free’ are played as a rather languid looking inflatable Lucifer sits and watches the band from the right hand side of the stage and before we know it, Iron Maiden are drinking Guinness and mucking around before waving their goodbyes to us all, safe in the knowledge that their reign as the kings of metal is far from over. Now, where can I get one of those blow-up devils for my garden?

Edwin McFee

The Scarf

12 08 2010

Needless to say, it’s been a bollocks of a week so far, but the end is nigh as most of the deadlines have been met. It hasn’t been all bad though, as my ma got me this scarf and I think you will all agree that if I entered a “who has the best neckwear” competition (and let’s face it, there has always been “who has the best neckwear” battles going on throughout history) then I would emerge the deserved victor.


Metal Hammer Metallica-Belfast Review

10 08 2010

Were you at the Metallica gigs a few months ago? Me too. Here’s the Metal Hammer review of the show.


The Odyssey Arena, Belfast

It’s been 22years since Bay Area’s finest last visited Belfast, but tonight they’re making up for lost time (well, kinda) with a rare show “in the round” in front of 8000 boozed up metalheads. Clearly not here to fuck around, Metallica launch straight into That Was Just Your Life backed by enough lasers to make the Decepticons jealous. It’s an unbeatable one-two punch of sound and vision, made all the more palatable due to the fact that we can’t see Lars Ulrich gurning behind the drum-kit as the venue is bathed in green.

With anticipation amped up to “13year old boy getting his first feel” levels, the house lights come on and the band blaze through The End of the Line, For Whom the Bell Tolls and Creeping Death in rapid succession. James Hetfield, looking more and more like a rockabilly version of the Cowardly Lion, addresses the crowd a few times over the night, profusely apologising for their long over-due return to Northern Ireland, but wisely lets the riffs do the talking for the most part, battering his instrument of sonic destruction like a red headed step-child during All Nightmare Long, Master of Puppets and Blackened.

 Tonight’s show is like a master-class in arena-level heavy metal. There’s pyros, flames and lasers galore, however unlike other acts, it never seems to overshadow the music. As entertaining as the eyebrow-singeing fire is, the note perfect strains of Wherever I May Roam and (Welcome Home) Sanitarium is what we’re all really here for. You can see that the band are enjoying themselves too and bassist Rob Trujuillo and Hetfield swap devil’s horns high fives like a middle aged Bill and Ted as the last half of One thrashes to a crescendo.

 As the gig is in the round, Metallica don’t bother with the pantomime theatrics of coming back on for the encore and after a quick minute changing t-shirts it’s straight into Breadfan, an utterly venomous Whiplash and traditional show closer Seek and Destroy as huge black balls bearing the Metallica logo fall from the roof (insert your own Carry On joke here, readers). It might have taken them a lifetime to come back to Belfast, but it was definitely worth the wait. [9]

Edwin McFee

Viktoria Modesta In Dublin This Saturday

5 08 2010

Yes, yes, I know I haven’t updated in a few days. A combination of festivals, deadlines and other bits and pieces have meant a bit of prioritising, but I’m back now and will be sticking lots of interesting things up next week.

In the meantime, if you find yourself in Dublin this Saturday night then make sure you go see Viktoria Modesta. An old friend is helping to put the show on and it’d be good to see some support for it.

Here’s the story I wrote on the performance for Hot Press to give you a bit of background and the poster is below.


Gothic glamourpuss Viktoria Modesta has her first date with Dublin This Saturday

Hotly tipped London-based singer/songwriter/model/muse/saucepot (ok, we added in the saucepot bit) Viktoria Modesta pops her Irish gig cherry this Saturday night in the Vaults (under Connolly Station). Promoted by the newly formed Sedition Industries, Ms Modesta’s salacious sounds splices electro-pop with old school 50s rock ‘n’ roll and has already won her an army of admirers over in Blighty.

 She is supported by David TG (co-founder of the notorious Torture Garden club) and performance art troupe the Sedettes, tickets are 15Euro and available from Doors open at 10pm. Check out for more details.