I.M.R.O. Showcase

29 07 2011

Folks, I know quite a few NI bands read this blog so I thought I’d draw your attention to this very press release below…



It’s showcase time! The IMRO Showcase Tour returns with the very best new Irish music, live at your local venue throughout September 2011. Celebrating twenty years on the road, the 2011 IMRO Showcase Tour is now seeking applications from Irish artists who wish to take part in the eleven date tour. All genres are welcome, from rock to folk, pop to hip-hop and beyond!

The Belfast Imro Showcase will be in Katy Dalys on Wednesday 7th September. Bands and artists wishing to take part in the IMRO Showcase Tour 2011, send on a link to your online music profile or website to showcase@imro.ie BEFORE 10th August. It’s a music opportunity not to be missed!
The IMRO Showcase Tour has been providing a live platform for new Irish music for two decades. In that time, hundreds of music makers have had the opportunity to showcase their talents to thousands of music lovers. Bands and solo acts have performed at Ireland’s most iconic live music venues, gaining new fans, impressing music media, catching the ears of talent scouts and exchanging ideas and opinions with their peers. The IMRO Showcase Tour has borne many successes and fostered a multitude of friendships and collaborations.
Commencing in September, the IMRO Showcase Tour will hit the road for the twentieth time, with long time radio partners RTE 2FM and online partners State.ie on board for the rock’n’roll ride. The tour will play out in Belfast, Derry, Dublin, Cork, Mayo, Galway, Kildare and Limerick. The annual ‘End of Tour Showcase’ will take on a new vibe this year and in mid October, Dublin’s celebrated new live music venue The Workman’s Club will play host to a day-long celebration of many of the acts who performed on the 2011 IMRO Showcase Tour. There will also be an educational aspect to the day and a number of shows will be open to music fans of all ages.
The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) protects, promotes and develops the collection and distribution of music royalties, fosters music creation and promotes the value of music to the creative, cultural and business communities in Ireland.
For details, music, links and more information, join us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/imro.ireland) and Twitter (IMROireland). For information on IMRO and what it does, log on to http://www.imro.ie  

Limited Amount of Tickets For Iron Maiden’s Belfast Show Now Released.

27 07 2011

Yes folks, as the headline states, this morning MCD have released the last (and VERY limited) amount of tickets for the Maiden gig at the Odyssey, Belfast on August 3, so if you’ve left it to the last minute to get your hands on some, you better be quick…or be dead!

Iron Maiden plays the Odyssey Arena in Belfast on Wednesday August 3. Tickets for the show range from £41.50-£46.50 and are available from Ticketmaster. Support comes from Dragonforce and doors open at 6.30pm.

News From The North 83

27 07 2011

Here’s a reprint of last fortnight’s NI music news column that’s been running in Hot Press for the last 3 and a half years. Will try and post more of these up on a regular basis..


Words: Edwin McFee

Fresh from playing a suitably super sweaty homecoming gig in the cosy confines of Quinn’s in Newcastle on June 30, Glagowbury (and Knebworth) bound long-haired retro rockers the Answer have just announced a string of dates for the rest of Ireland this autumn. Taking in the length and breadth of the island, Cormac and Co.’s latest jaunt sees them go back to their roots somewhat as they continue their preparations for their up-coming third album Revival and the seven date trek will be a treat for anyone who’s always wanted to see the boys in a more intimate setting. Kicking off at Dolan’s, Limerick on Sep 30, the four-piece then move on to Whelan’s, Dublin on Oct 1, Roisin Dubh, Galway on Oct 2, Cyprus Avenue, Cork on Oct 3, the Diamond Rock Club in Ahoghill, the Nerve Centre, Derry on Oct 7 and they finish off the tour in style at the Hideout in Warrenpoint on Oct 8. At the time of going to press, the Answer’s hugely anticipated third album hasn’t got a release date yet, but we’ll keep you posted on their movements over the months ahead.

Next up, promising alt/punk trio Event Horses have had to reschedule the night of their launch gig for their new ep ‘Dance With The Devil.’ Initially planned for June 24, the hard hitting band from Ballycastle have now confirmed that August 9 is the new date for your diary and their venue of choice is the Carrick A Rede bar in Ballintoy, so make sure you check them out if you’re in the area. Event Horses seem to have made all the right tongues wag of late and your humble correspondent is planning on keeping an eye on them as the weeks progress, but in the meantime you can check them out on Facebook at facebook.com/eventhorses.

Finally this fortnight, we thought we’d give you an update on the Sunflowerfest which takes place on Tubby’s Farm, Hillsborough from August 19-21. This year’s line-up has expanded since we featured it last and the likes of Trucker Diablo, the Bonnevilles, Silhouette, Roysta, Pay*ola, Kasper Rosa and more have been now added to the bill, making it one of the strongest around. A festival of “love, positivity, tolerance and smiles” the organisers are donating £1 from every ticket sold to the people of Haiti and a further £1 from every weekend ticket to Bernardo’s (NI) which can only be a good thing, really. Yoga, meditation, aroma therapy and workshops are also planned for the event and all the latest ticket details are up on their site (sunflowerfest.co.uk) now.

i Music July 24

26 07 2011

Last Sunday I looked after John McGurk’s music pages in the Sunday Life, so here’s a wee reprint. It’s always fun writing the spread and I was happy to see it plugged on the front page.

i Music with Edwin McFee

Iron Maiden 

By the time you read this, heavy metal demi-gods Iron Maiden will have just started the leg of their most extensive British tour in years. A veritable institution these days, the band have sold a staggering 80million records to date, currently fly around in their own customised plane (which is captained by the singer Bruce Dickinson and has been dubbed Ed Force One after their zombie-fied mascot Eddie), have seen their 15th studio album ‘The Final Frontier’ enter number one in the album charts of 30 different countries (including the UK) and once they reach Belfast in ten days time they’ll have performed to a whopping two million fans worldwide on their current tour.

While the six-piece continue to receive little in the way of radio-play and mainstream media coverage, they remain one of the most successful bands of this or any other generation and the “family-oriented” attitude of their fans’ (which range from six to 60 year olds) help make their shows a one of a kind experience. On Wednesday, August 3, the legends return to Northern Ireland 15 and a half years on from their gig at the Maysfield Leisure Centre for a performance in the somewhat roomier Odyssey Arena and in many ways this full-on UK tour is a thank-you from the band for their followers’ years of support. Clearly excited to be trekking around his old stomping grounds, Maiden’s bassist, founder and main creative force Steve Harris had this to say on the subject

 “Everything in the Maiden camp has been so full on these last five years or so that we haven’t travelled around the UK to play for our home fans for almost that long. These fans supported us by coming to Twickenham Stadium, Reading and Leeds Festivals, Download and more recently Sonisphere, so we thought we should get off our backsides and do the travelling this time and get round the country to see them all. We very much look forward to playing all four home countries and a couple of places we haven’t been for a very long time- Aberdeen and Belfast!

“We intend to take the full stadium show into the UK arenas and fit everything we possibly can into each venue,” he concludes. “The set list will be different to last year’s tour. Of course we will play more songs from the new album and some other recent material, but we intend to include a healthy dose of older fan favourites too for those who haven’t seen us before, plus a spectacular light show and stage set, not forgetting, of course, …Eddie!”

Iron Maiden plays the Odyssey Arena in Belfast on Wednesday August 3. Tickets for the show range from £41.50-£46.50 and are available from Ticketmaster. Support comes from Dragonforce and doors open at 6.30pm.


Tonight If, like this writer, you’re spending your Sunday lying in a muddy field in the Sperrin Mountains (and they say this job is glamourous…?) then you’ll be pleased to learn that the organisers of the previous day’s Glasgowbury Festival are putting on a gig tonight in the Cellar Bar, Draperstown for those with no homes to go to. Aptly dubbed-Glasgowbury: the Aftermath, the local line-up (TBC at the time of going to press) is sure to sate your thirst for live music and admission is £5. Here’s hoping complimentary Alca-Seltzers are provided on the house…

Monday Gigs are thin on the ground on Monday in the wake of Glasgowbury, but if you’re still hungry for music-based hi-jinks check out the Alternative Pub Quiz in Katy Daly’s, Belfast. The fun starts at 9pm and entry is £1.

Tuesday This Tuesday we predict many a Mod fan will be dusting off their Vespa’s for a trip down to Dublin to see the Who’s Roger Daltrey perform the near-mythic rock opera Tommy in its entirety. Taking place in Marlay Park, tickets range from E39.50-E44.50 and are available from Ticketmaster. While we’re not sure if the leather-lunged singer still has the pipes to belt out the big hits, we’ve no doubt that he can still play a mean pinball (I’ll get my coat..).

Wednesday Hailed by Christy Moore as one of the best songwriters to emerge in the last ten years, acoustic troubadour John Spillane visits Belfast tonight for a gig in the Black Box. Admission is £10 and doors open at 7pm.

Thursday Duke Special performs in the relatively cosy confines of Sandino’s in Derry this Thursday night for a hugely anticipated show. Admission is £12, doors open at 9pm and if you’re in the area this gig is a must-see.

Friday Fresh from their chuckle-some performance at this year’s Oxegen, Limerick-based lunatics the Rubber Bandits bring their show to the Stiff Kitten in Belfast on Friday night. Admission is £12 and tickets can be bought via www.shine.net. Doors open at 9pm.

Saturday This Saturday Belfast-based alt-pop singer John D’Arcy performs for free at Head Records in Victoria Square, Belfast. Kicking off at 2pm the bill also includes Feldberg, Southern and Dr Lilt.



This week i Music would like to offer our sympathies to Belfast-bound pop-stress Katy Perry. In a recent posting on Facebook the singer revealed that’s she’s been struck down with a nasty case of food poisoning and has been forced to reschedule a couple of dates on the American leg of her tour. At the moment the star who famously confessed to kissing a girl and liking it (me too! We have so much in common…) is currently celebrating shifting over 1 million copies of her new single ‘Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)’ in the U.S. alone and we’re assured that by the time Oct 24 rolls around she’ll be ready to rock the Odyssey for her sold out show. Best keep her away from any suspicious looking potato bread just in case though, eh….?

New offerings this week include Joss Stone imaginatively titled comeback album ‘LP1’ and teen sensation Justin Bieber’s DVD Never Say Never (we’ve refusing to make any jokes about that one for fear of being hounded on Twitter for the next decade) but if it’s pure power pop at its best you’re after then check out local tunesmith John D’Arcy latest (and greatest) new single ‘Barcelona,’ which is available via all major downloading platforms as well as from his official site www.johndarcy.com.

Blue Moon

15 07 2011

I’m Going Out. I May Be Some Time.

7 07 2011

Folks, I’m off to cover Oxegen tomorrow so I will get back to everyone on Monday. It’s my ninth time down at the festival and I’ve a feeling this year could be as good as ’04 (when I saw the Cure and PJ Harvey).Either way, I’m keeping my fingers crossed I don’t get quite as drenched as I was in ’07 (see pic below).Buh bye!

All Hail Megatron

4 07 2011

Well, as luck would have it, my new Transformers T-Shirt didn’t arrive in time for me to wear it to the showing of Dark of the Moon, but the Omniplex’s loss is the realm of the interwebs gain so here it is…

Needless to say I loved the film, but admittedly as soon as I heard Sam Witwicky’s new girlfriend was going to be called Carly (after the character from the 80s cartoon) and Sentinel Prime (from the comics) was going to be in in, I was sold. Till