30 06 2011

As each passing week rolls on we get ever closer to the release of the new Captain America film (my second favourite character and indeed comic, fact fans!) and I have to say I am one excited MAMMA JAMMA (I haven’t a notion who or what a MAMMA JAMMA is, but I bet he/she/it rules). This week Marvel Studios have unleashed the latest trailer for the film and it looks all kinds of aceness.Steve Rogers looks suitably heroic, Peggy Carter is perfectly cast (and extremely easy on the eye balls) and who doesn’t love baddies with giant red skulls? Have a wee watch for yourself below….

‘Dead Horse readers will also be glad to know I plan on rocking my brand new Commander Steve Rogers Tee for the big day (coz clearly I’m THE COOLEST!).


Big Picks Oxegen Special

28 06 2011

Each month in the Big List I write a column dedicated to new and up and coming bands and as it’s festival season once again, I figured I’d reprint the Oxegen special that ran a few months ago.

Big Picks-Oxegen Special

Doing exactly what it says on the tin (or headline in this case) our Big Picks column will present to you three acts that are on the cusp of something special and give you the lowdown on where you can find out more. This month, we take a look at some of the bright young things performing at this year’s Oxegen (


The Naked And Famous

Who are they? Kiwi five-piece the Naked and Famous were included in the BBC’s Sound Of 2011 list and their debut album ‘Passive Me, Aggressive You’ is an electro-pop gem.

What do they sound like? The band call to mind MGMT before they crawled up their own arses and their break-through single ‘Punching In A Dream’ could provide one of Oxegen’s “festival moments.”

Where can I find out more?


Jenny and Johnny

Who are they? Erstwhile Rilo Kiley front-lady Jenny Lewis has teamed up with her main squeeze (and acoustic rock troubadour in his own right) Johnathan Rice for some alt-pop shenanigans and their debut ‘I’m Having Fun Now’ is a great soundtrack for the summer.

Who do they sound like? A heady call and response heavy slice of outsider pop, Jenny and Johnny really assert themselves as one of indie-rock’s power couples with their swooning debut.  

Where can I find out more?



Who are they? Another of the BBC’s so-called Sound Of 2011, Nashville-based Mona peddle a fine line of swaggering rock that’s sure to get many pulses racing this festival season.

What do they sound like? Their self-titled debut is due out in a month’s time, but we’ve had a few exclusive spins and it has hit written all over it (not literally of course, as that would be daft…).

Where can I find out more?

Vreid Metal Hammer Review

27 06 2011

As some regular readers of the blog may know, I review albums every month for Metal Hammer. Here’s a reprint of my verdict on the new Vreid album that was the lead review a few months back.




V is for victory.

It’s a familiar enough tale in the world of metal. A band with a shed-load of promise find their best laid plans scuppered due to an untimely death of a founding member and the rest of the group ultimately spend what’s left of their days limping on, a shadow of their former selves. Norway’s Vreid have put a different spin on this sorry story though, and they’ve actually found themselves emerging stronger after the demise of their singer Valfar in 2004. Back then they were known as Windir, but thanks to a name change and a renewed focus, the four-piece have ended up a much more impressive prospect as a result.

 Their latest salvo V (named after the roman numeral for five and not the much loved space alien show from the 80s) sees the band at the peak of their powers, thanks in no small part to the return of their erstwhile guitarist Strom and their decision to produce the slab of wax at bassist Hvall’s home studio. Featuring nine immaculately recorded tracks, the band have widened their musical scope further than ever before and as well as the tried and tested black and thrash blueprint, the quartet pay tribute to many eras of metal on an album which at times feels as if we’re taking a joyride in Doc Brown’s time-travelling Delorean, as we get to regularly peak into the past and future of the genre, more often than not in the space of the same track.

 Take Fire On The Mountain for example. Opening with some elemental samples, effects-laden keyboards eventually give way to some good old fashioned Bay Area-style riffing, before Vreid throw in some folk chants and acoustic guitars for good measure. It’s a dizzying concoction of sounds that might sound a little too schizophrenic in the hands of some bands, but the four-piece know exactly when to reign things in. The mid-paced, Maiden-y stylings of The Blood Eagle is another gem and features some military drum beats, muscular fretwork and unearthly shrieks and the fantastically named Wolverine Bastards boasts some excellent, melodic guitars too.

The anthemic The Sound Of The River is the pick of the bunch though and its odd time signatures, uncertain tempos and old school folk chants make the track as menacing as a Gary Glitter appearance on Yo Gabba Gabba. However, pretty much everything on their fifth record is a solid affair and by looking back at the past, Vreid have helped create a very bright future indeed. [7]


















Batmobile From Batman Live

15 06 2011

As preparations for the Batman Live UK and Ireland Arena Tour continues to gather pace, I’m getting more than a little bit excited to see the likes of Two Face, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy up close and personal. Kicking off in Manchester in July 19 and finishing off with four shows at the Odyssey in Belfast in October (full dates are available via it looks like no expense has been spared on the show and I think hiring Young Avengers/Wonder Woman scribe Allan Heinberg to handle scripting duties will turn out to be a masterstroke.

Today they’ve released images of the Batmobile that will be used for the extravaganza and I reckon it looks ace. Have a look and see what you think-

Sticking with Batman Live for a bit, I get a lot of visitors on my blog who want to know what the “Gotham City Seats” are. Basically, the production features a scaled down version of Gotham City right in front of the stage (in addition to the giant video screens and sets and what have you). The stage is like a “T” shape and the Gotham seats are right in front of these buildings, so you’re beside all the action. I’ll stick up a diagram/images from the show once I get ’em.

Why Music Matters-Iron Maiden

15 06 2011

Why Music Matters is a new initiative from EMI that’s intended to promote the importance of music-culturally and policitally. Here’s one of the videos they made that focuses on Iron Maiden.It’s pretty cool.

Up the Irons!

Here’s The Latest In What’s Sure To Be A Very Long Line Of Avengers Posters

14 06 2011

Yep, this latest poster has started floating around the interwebs today and I have to say, I kinda like it.

I wonder if Joss Whedon’s gonna keep the team as it is (Hulk,Cap,Thor,Iron Man,Hawkeye and Black Widow) or if he’s gonna expand it. Hmmmm. I’m sure we’ll all find out soon enough….

Oh Looky Looky

13 06 2011

It’s my big brother’s birthday today.Look what I got him-

For the unenlightened-it’s Cyclonus and it’s drawn by Transformers artist Nick Roche.I think you’ll all agree it looks the business.Thanks to my pals Karen and Ron for helping make this happen.

I also got a Hulk sketch by Glenn Fabry for myself. In retrospect I probably should’ve got something Preacher-related, but fuck it. Hulk is strongest one there is after all.

i Music June 12

13 06 2011

Every so often I look after music spread in the Sunday Life for my good friend John McGurk and it’s always good fun to write. Here’s a reprint on my pages from yesterday.

i Music with Edwin McFee


This week, hot on the heels of his recent win at the Ivor Norvello Awards, i Music caught up with Villagers mainman Conor J. O’Brien in Belfast ahead of his performance at Custom House Square on June 25 as part of the always entertaining Open House Festival. A shy and soft-spoken character, the unassuming singer/songwriter is an insanely hot property in the music world at the moment thanks to his swoon-some debut album ‘Becoming A Jackal’ and he told us he can’t wait to once again perform in front of his ever-growing legion of Ulster fans.

“I’m thrilled to be playing at the Open House Festival in a few weeks time with Fleet Foxes and the Low Anthem,” he smiled between bites of his sandwich. “I played the festival last year and it was hands down easily one of my favourite shows I’ve ever done-so I can’t wait to do it again. Hopefully, it’ll be just as good.”

With a sterling line-up and (hopefully) some good weather on the cards, Villagers’ latest gig has all the hallmarks of being an absolute triumph and, after scooping the gong for ‘Best Song Musically And Lyrically’ for the single ‘Becoming A Jackal,’ expect Conor and Co. to steal the show.

“I still can’t believe I won the Ivor Norvello,” offered the critically acclaimed songwriter. “Luckily we were on tour in the UK at the time and we got to go and pick up the award in person, so that was fun. I got to do a somewhat awkward speech too and then we were back in the tour bus and that was that, but it’s always nice to know that people out there appreciate what you do.”

With tentative plans already being made for their second album, expect many more people to “appreciate what they do” over the months ahead. Catch them while you can.

Fleet Foxes, Villagers and the Low Anthem perform at Custom House Square in Belfast on June 25 as part of the Open House Festival. Tickets for the event cost £38.50 and are available via Gates open at 7.30pm.


Tonight According to our spies located in pharmacies all across the country, sales of hair spray has shot up by nearly 100 per cent this past week and that can mean only one thing-80s poodle rockers Journey and Foreigner are back in town. Performing at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast tonight, both bands are promising to play the hits and it should be a fun evening of nostalgia is you’re into that kind of thing. Tickets range from £44-£46 and are available from Ticketmaster and doors open at 6.30pm.

Monday There’s not much happening across the Province on the live music front on Monday, so our advice is to check out the Katy Daly’s Alternative Pub Quiz in Belfast if you’re still looking for tune-based shenanigans. It’s a pound to enter and starts around 9pm.

Tuesday One of the front-runners of the thrash-punk scene back in the land before time (ok, it was during the 80s) D.R.I. blazed a trail that many are still following to this day and on Tuesday night you can catch the reformed rockers give the young ‘uns a much needed history lesson when they play the Spring and Airbrake, Belfast. Tickets are £15 and available from Ticketmaster and doors open at 7.30pm.

Wednesday Nu-grunge types Dinosaur Pile-Up play the Speakeasy in Belfast this Wednesday night and while they can’t promise any real live T-Rex’s, they can guarantee colossal riffs aplenty. Doors open at 6pm and tickets (which are available from Ticketmaster) cost £8.

Thursday Ocean Colour Scene and Paul Weller guitarist Steve Cradock rekindles his love affair with Belfast for another show at the Spring and Airbrake this Thursday and the gig is a must if you’re of a Mod persuasion. Tickets are £14 and can be obtained from all Ticketmaster outlets and doors are at 8.30pm.

Friday Three hotly tipped local up and comers by the names of Event Horses, B.O.Y. and Tied To Machines take a trip to South Down this weekend to play a gig in the Hideout in Warrenpoint and it should be a great show by all accounts. Admission is £5 and everything kicks off at 9.30pm.

Saturday Those much loved peddlers of eccentric indie sounds Gomez return to Belfast on Saturday for a show at the Spring and Airbrake, Belfast. Support comes from Little Comets, doors open at 8.30pm and tickets (which are available from Ticketmaster) cost £17.


This week Oxegen-bound singer (and arguably the most exciting British pop artist of her generation) Jessie J has hit out at some of the more (ahem) creative people in the press for making up stories about her that just aren’t true. Taking her crusade to Twitter, the ‘Price-Tag’ singer tweeted:

 “I have had a tough week according to the press. I’ve been in a plane crash, I’m having a baby and now I’m in hospital after an accident in rehearsals. Can I smell Bulls***? Can I smell rumours? Can I smell lies? Can I smell get a job and stop making stuff up?”

Y’know, if we were that way inclined we’d probably say something like “You go girl,” at this point, but we’re not, so instead we’ll tell you that the starlet (alongside the likes of Beyonce, the Black Eyed Peas, Ke$ha, Coldplay and more) plays the Oxegen Festival in Punchestown on July 8-10 and more information on the bash is available via We’ll see you there.

Next up, the lovely people involved with the Belsonic festival at Custom House Square in Belfast have unveiled the names of their final two headliners for the summer and they are (*insert drum roll here*) urban superstar Tinie Tempah (who performs on August 22) and house DJ Tiesto (on August 26). Both acts join the already confirmed Beady Eye, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Dizzee Rascal, Primal Scream, Elbow, Plan B and the Specials (as well as full supporting bills) and full ticket details for each day are available via

This Fortnight’s Hot Press

11 06 2011

Check out this week’s Hot Press for my interviews with the Japanese Popstars, Flogging Molly and Roisin O as well as my regular column, album reviews and plenty more besides. Will make sure to post my NI music news from it in a few days time…

And The Second Headliner For Tennent’s Vital Is….

10 06 2011

….The Script!

Press release below…..







Tickets On Sale Friday 17th June at 9AM

The Script will headline the first day of Tennent’s Vital on 23rd August.  The multi-platinum selling band will be joined at Ward Park by Bangor’s very own local heroes Two Door Cinema Club

The Script and Two Door Cinema Club are both enjoying huge international acclaim at the moment and are without doubt the most successful bands to emerge from these shores in recent years. The Script and Two Door Cinema Club will be joined at Ward Park by a full supporting bill.

The Script are one of the hottest live tickets in the world right now, breaking all manner of box office records globally and garnering fantastic reviews for their sell out tours of Australia and The USA. 

Their latest album Science and Faith’ peaked at No.3 in both countries and following high profile appearances on a host of hit US chat shows including The Late Show With David Letterman and The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, they sold over 100,000 albums and singles in a single week in the US.   They’ve just headlined a huge outdoor show at New York’s Rumsey Playfield (4th June) and after their headline slot at Tennent’s Vital, The Script will return stateside in the autumn for a 31-city headlining tour.

‘Science and Faith’ debuted at No.1 in both the UK and Ireland while ‘For The First Time’ also gave the trio their first No.1 single. Their self-titled first album sold more than 2 million copies worldwide.

The Script’s performance at Tennent’s Vital will be fans last chance to see them live in Ireland until 2013.  Anyone lucky enough to secure a ticket for their two sold-out nights at the Odyssey in March will remember the energy and excitement that the band generates live.

The Script’s lead singer Danny O’Donoghue comments: “Our two shows at The Odyssey were mind blowing so it’s fantastic to get the chance to come back to Northern Ireland.  We love playing live, it’s such an incredible buzz to experience that connection with your audience.  Headlining such a major outdoor festival will be really special”.

Famed for their haunting melodies  and Danny’s soulful vocals riding high over huge, anthemic choruses, The Script are a must see live act and their appearance at Tennent’s Vital will be among the most highly anticipated gigs of the year.

Following their all-conquering assault of packed-out venues around the world with sold out tours in the US, Australia and Japan, Tennent’s Vital will be a triumphant homecoming for Two Door Cinema Club.

The band’s upward trajectory has been unstoppable over the last 12 months. They’ve picked up a devoted word-of-mouth following and gained massive critical adulation for their debut album ‘Tourist History’Two Door Cinema Club have also just played their biggest headline show to date at London’s iconic Brixton Academy – it sold out within 3 hours of going on sale.


‘Tourist History’  has now been lodged inside The UK Album Charts for a phenomenal 60 weeks.  It won the prestigious Choice Music Award for Best Irish Album in 2010 and also helped the band pick up two nominations in the NME Awards (Best New Band and Best Album).  The Times have called them “the band of the moment” and NME declared that they have “quietly become one of the UK’s best loved bands.”

Two Door Cinema Club have also made huge waves in the US with an extensive tour in 2000+ capacity venues and being chosen to kick off this year’s prestigious SXSW festival in Austin, Texas with a sold out headline show.

Fans of Tennent’s Vital on facebook can get exclusive priority access to the Tennent’s Vital pre-sale from 9AM Tuesday 14th June.  Join to find out how to reserve your ticket before they go on sale to the general public.

Tickets for Tennent’s Vital with The Script and Two Door Cinema Club, 23rd August, will go on general sale from 9am Friday 17th June. Tickets are priced at £34.50 incl booking fee and are strictly limited to 8 per person/transaction.

Tickets can be secured via our official ticket partner

Tickets are also available in person from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide or via the 24hr Telephone hotlines: (NI & UK) 0870 243 445 / (ROI) 0818 719 300

Tennent’s Vital is an over 16’s event.  However, a parent aged 25 and over can take up to two under 16’s to the show.  Parents will be required to show age identification and sign a consent form in order to gain admission on the day. Under 16’s must be accompanied by their parent at all times.