Just A Quick Note From Me…

28 02 2011

…Nope I haven’t forgotten about y’all, it’s just beena  bit crazy deadline-wise for the last few weeks and on a related note, there’s something cool coming up in Metal Hammer in a few weeks time that’ll definitely interest some of the regular readers here….Anyway, I’ll go into depth once it’s published.

Thanks to anyone who voted for me in the Irish Blog Awards this year by the way (I was nominated for ‘Best Blog From A Journalist’). Yiz are awful nice.

Right, I’m off back to the deadlines, but before I go, here’s a video for the Faces’ cover of ‘Twisting The Night Away.’ You should definitely hunt down the studio version as it’s just perfection. What a band, what a voice…If I had to pick an all-time top ten song list-this baby would definitely be in there somewhere. If you’re ever bummed out, you should stick this on and it’ll sort you right out.

The Gaslight Anthem At The Ulster Hall, Belfast

8 02 2011

I’ve been listening to the Gaslight Anthem’s ‘Senor And The Queen’ EP a lot recently and it reminded me that I promised I’d reprint my review of their gig at the Ulster Hall last Christmas that originally ran in Fate magazine. So, needless to say, here you go. Photo by Mark@wakeuphate.com

The Gaslight Anthem at the Ulster Hall, Belfast

It must be pretty fuckin’ great being a member of New Jersey four-piece the Gaslight Anthem right now. Not content with counting their hero Bruce Springsteen as a fan, the blue collar reformed punks have released the album of the year in the utterly life affirming ‘American Slang’ and tonight’s first ever date with Belfast  has been upgraded from the Mandela Hall to the much roomier Ulster Hall and they’re sold the place out too. Essentially, they’re the “little band that could” and this evening they take to the stage in front of thousands of Teddy Boys, punks, posers, greasers and everyone in between to deliver a master-class in misty eyed tales of romance and lost love.

Opening with ‘The Spirit Of Jazz’ the Gaslight Anthem’s sound is impeccable. Each instrument gets room to breathe and the boys are a finely tuned rock ‘n’ roll machine thanks to six months straight on the road. Tonight is their final date before they return home and while singer and unassuming style icon/tattooed dreamboat (at least according to the ladies this reviewer knows) Brian Fallon appears a little punch-drunk, he croons his way through ‘Boxer,’ and the perfect ‘We Came To Dance’ like a pro, marrying together his stage persona of punk rock everyman and lonely hearted Romeo perfectly.

“I love this place man,” he grins. “This crowd is full of so many good looking people. I try to keep myself good looking for you too. Can I come and live with one of you for a while….?” he asks before launching back into a beautiful rendition of ‘Stay Lucky’ while bounding around the stage, picking up his band mates and generally behaving like the best friend we’ve always wanted. Hell, they even throw in an understated cover of Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ for the hell of it and it’s a gesture that might have passed some of the punters by, but it doesn’t go unappreciated from this reviewer anyway.

Speaking of gestures, support acts Chuck Ragan and Sharks join the band onstage for back-up vocals towards the end before stage diving into the faithful at the front and it’s a heart-warming show of solidarity to keep us toasty on this cold November night.

As the band wave their goodbyes and prepare to take some well earned time off, it strikes us that while it’s hard to pick a stand-out moment in a set that’s so strong, the one two punch of ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘the ’59 Sound’ is an unbeatable combination that could provoke a tear from Mr T himself. ‘Boomboxes And Dictionaires’ too was a rare treat, but the performance as a whole insured even the most fair-weather fan fell in love with Gaslight’s anthems tonight. Gig of the year without question.

Get Your Trailers Out

7 02 2011

Last night’s Superbowl gave us a sneaky peak(y) at the new Captain America, Thor and Transformers 3 films, so here they are below for your viewing pleasure. I’m gonna love all three films I reckon, but although the styling (check out skinny Steve Rogers) and subject matter of Cap appeals to me the most-how amazing does Transformers look???

Offical Poster For Captain America

4 02 2011

I have to say, this is pretty much perfect. It mirrors a classic Cap cover, the colours are superb and realistic and Evans looks the part as Steve Rogers. Can’t wait to see the trailer on Monday.

News From The North Week 70

2 02 2011

Last night RTE Television showed a pretty ace documentary on the history of one of the mags I write for: Hot Press. Now in it’s 34th year and 800th issue, I’ve been with them for three years this month and everyone involved with the publication are nice people and I always have a lot of fun writing bits and bobs and making the odd joke about Showaddy Waddy (as is my way).

So, with that in mind, here’s a reprint of my first NI news column of the year. Oh, and if you missed the Doc you can catch it again on www.rte.ie.


Words: Edwin McFee

Happy New Year readers, and welcome along to the very first NI news column of 2011. For the past couple of years we’ve broken exclusive stories on the likes of Fighting with Wire, Two Door Cinema Club, And So I Watch You From Afar, General Fiasco and more and fingers crossed the next 12 months will be another bumper year for new nordy acts. Sadly though, we start off this latest missive with some unfortunate news. Ozzmium (arguably one of the most exciting live bands in the country right now) have somewhat strangely decided to call it a day and are playing their last show on Jan 22 at the Hide Out in Warrenpoint. At the time of going to press the reasons for the split were unclear, but we’d like to wish everyone involved the best of luck with whatever they do next. Hot Press will, as ever, keep you up to speed on their future endeavors.

As one door closes, another opens though and for all of you people who are still mourning the demise of the Black Bear Saloon a few months ago (I know I haven’t stopped sobbing for months now) you’ll be pleased to learn that most of the members (minus their singer Aaron…) have formed a new band and they play their first show on Jan 15 in Auntie Annie’s, Belfast. While the lads currently don’t have a new name, they’re batting around the moniker of Black Throat Monsoon in the meantime and also appearing on the bill are Comply or Die. We’re not sure about you, but we reckon We Hate Ron could be a great new name for the ex-BBS boys…. (we only joke because we care).

No strangers to line-up changes themselves, the Lowly Knights are preparing to embark on a tour of England and Scotland and will be about to play their first show by the time you read this. If you happen to be over in Blighty anytime soon then the dates for your diary are Jan 19-the play the Inn on the Green in London, Jan 20-they’re in the Hope, Brighton, Jan 22-they perform in the Lot, Edinburgh and on Jan 23 they round off their tour in Nice ‘n’ Sleazy’s, Glasgow.

Finally this fortnight, news reaches us that the always entertaining Trucker Diablo are celebrating the launch of their new video for the touching ballad ‘Drink Beer Destroy.’ The clip is currently play-listed on Scuzz TV and it’s great to see the lads do their thing on the telly. The band’s debut The Devil Rhythm was also chosen as Rock Radio NI’s album of 2010 and expect big things from the four-piece over the next 12 months or so.

Best Coast Part Two

1 02 2011

*Double Swoon*