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 www.openhousefestival.com. 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 www.oxegen.ie. 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 www.belsonic.com.

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 www.facebook.com/tennentsvital 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 www.ticketmaster.ie

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.

Kitty,Daisy & Lewis Hot Press Review

9 06 2011

Ok,first off-sorry for not posting as much as usual this past month.Work-wise it’s been insane and when I get through the deadlines I like to avoid the computer like the plague, but now (thankfully) it seems next week won’t be quite as crazy so I’ll have time to get my blog on a bit more regularly (oh and I’ll have the official announcement for the headliners of day one of Tennent’s Vital up here bright and early tomorrow, so if you’re into that kinda thing, come back here at 8am).

So yeah, expect reprintings of my work in Hot Press, Metal Hammer, the papers and all the rest as well as the usual bits and pieces about comics and other musings in the days ahead.

For now though, here’s my review of the Kitty, Daisy & Lewis record. It’s my album of the year so far so check it out.

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis

Smoking In Heaven (Sunday Best)

Four and a half Stars

Key Track: ‘I’m Going Back’

Having already made all the right tongues wag in the music industry thanks to their self-titled debut, multi-instrumentalists Kitty, Daisy & Lewis aim to capitalise on the kudos with their second stab things, Smoking In Heaven. Recorded at home by their dad Graeme, the album incorporates surf guitar, blues, skiffle, rockabilly and swing influences to create a killer sound that is sure to make them (whisper it) the next big thing.

An immaculately produced record, the shimmy-inducing retro styles are effortlessly cool and tracks like ‘Will I Ever’ are ear-gasm inducing affairs. Calling to mind the days when R ‘N’ B meant sharp suits and even sharper song-writing instead the slimy and sleazy Usher-esque power ballads of the modern era, Smoking In Heaven sees the trio swap genres, instruments and vocal duties as regularly as a divorced couple would insults. The trumpet playing from ska legend Eddie ‘Tan Tan’ Thornton on tunes like ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘I’m So Sorry’ is sublime and the handclap heavy ‘I’m Going Back’ is a thrillingly raw and raunchy three minutes of rockabilly and a huge album highlight. While admittedly the old school Spartan production may not be to everyone’s tastes, it has to be said that this is one time warp that this reviewer wants to do again (and again, and again).

Edwin McFee


From Fear To Eternity TV Trailer

6 06 2011

This is kinda cool.Always nice seeing the Irons on the telly-box.