Avengers Assemble!

29 02 2012

Christ, the new Avengers trailer looks a bit good, doesn’t it?

Wyldling Q and A

28 02 2012

Here’s a reprint of a Q and A with Derry natives Wyldling that ran in the Big List last month. I’m expecting big things from this lot.

Wyldling Q and A

We may only be a few weeks into 2012 but we’re already predicting big things for the year ahead. So, to celebrate what’s sure to be a stellar 12months, we thought we’d dedicate our Q and A section to 12 of the most exciting acts around right now and we can think of no-one better to kick-start it all than with the brand spanking new Derry-based act Wyldling. Enjoy.


Hi Jill and welcome to the Big List. First off, you debuted your brand new solo project Wyldling a few weeks ago. What has the response been like so far?

Jilly St John: “Yeah, it was officially launched on December 23, 2011 with the posting of the debut demos. The response from my perspective has been way more than I expected to receive and it’s been 100% positive so far.”


Big List readers will no doubt remember you used to front No Mean City. How does it feel being a solo act as opposed to being part of a group? Do you prefer it?

“The project does present itself currently as a solo act but there are other people involved on a collaborative level. I really hope that they can join me on stage when the time comes. It’s partly the reason I decided to use the name ‘Wyldling’ as opposed to putting myself out there as ‘Jilly St John’. It provides myself, and my collaborators, with flexibility in terms of the set up; whilst crediting all those involved as they can lend themselves to the umbrella. I’m always open to what proves to be the best option for my act. It also means that I can take Wyldling as far as I want to without also having the worry about a breaking down of a band.”


Have you always wanted to front your own project?

“I don’t think that would be entirely my thought. I have always wanted to front an act, be it my own or a group effort. I just love being on stage. I love the privilege of living outside my own boundaries and becoming that other side of me. I have been looking for a permanent band set up for some time now, but it became apparent to me that finding the right people with the same amount of dedication as myself was going to be more than tough and waiting was wasting valuable time, so I simply made the decision to go out and make it happen for myself.”


Musically speaking, can you describe where Wyldling are coming from?

“Wow! A toughie. Writing has been a definite journey for me-lyrically speaking the songs are very honest. I tend to write about stuff I feel I can’t say out loud. Musically there are no rules for me. Like most musicians, I listen to a lot of genres and I tend to take influence from all the bits I like in terms of sound and feel, then collaborate to make it work. It’s like a jigsaw, only I get to make my own pieces. I don’t like to be pigeonholed or to pigeon hole myself, so I’ll continue to grow and better myself, and continue to mix it up and evolve.”


Are you planning to put together a band?

“Absolutely! I’ll be needing one of those for my live shows in the near future. In fact, we hope to begin rehearsals in the next few weeks, then all will be revealed. Oooo, S’exciting!”


No Mean City gained a lot of headway by bagging slots at Download etc before the band broke up. Do you feel under pressure to repeat (and better) your previous successes?

“When NMC split, I very much felt the pressure. I didn’t (at that point) see it coming, and so I felt that all the hard work and the opportunities we gained were gone. That quickly gave way to an urgent need to make it all happen again. The pressure very much came from myself though. I didn’t want to let all the people down who had supported us so fully. I think initially the splitting of the band had affected my self-belief enormously. I questioned if I was good enough to make the grade, and wondered if it was the volatile dynamic of the NMC members together which had proven successful. Now, I just feel that no matter what, if I enjoy what I’m doing then others will too. That’s not to say I’m not gonna work my ass off to try and make it my career though. My sights are set high, as always, but we’ll just see what happens.”


Finally, what are your plans for 2012. Surely it won’t be too long before you’re back onstage?

“I hope to see myself back on top form in 2012. I’m hoping I will be back onstage for March at the latest, and between now and then perfecting the live show and writing. The live set up will involve a good bit more than the NMC set up, so there’s lots of work to do. I have a lot of personal goals set for Wyldling this year, but I’ll fill you in on those as and when they become fulfilled. I’ve got a feeling 2012 is the year I’ve been waiting my whole life for, and I’m gonna give it everything I’ve got.”


For more information on Wyldling check out www.facebook.com/WYLDLINGmusic

News From The North

14 02 2012

Here’s a reprint of last fortnight’s NI band news column that runs in Hot Press.This week marks my four year anniversary with the mag, spookily enough…

Anywho, here you go-


Words: Edwin McFee

County Fermanagh-born fret botherers (and arguably one of the break-out bands of 2010) Darkest Era continue their relentless march towards world domination with the announcement that they’ve bagged the support slot on Scottish riff merchants Alestorm’s upcoming UK tour. Kicking off in the picturesque town of, um, Plymouth on Feb 4, the boys will be bringing down the thunder like the Mighty Thor himself for 14 dates all across the length and breadth of Blighty and by the time the trek begins they’re also planning to release a vinyl version of their whiplash inducing debut record The Last Caress Of Light so make sure you pick up a copy. For more information on the Metal Blade signees check out myspace.com/darkestera.

Next up, as it’s the New Year, your humble correspondent figured it would be a good idea to introduce you all to an act that I think could have a great 12 months ahead. Performing under the name Wyldling, this just-formed project is master-minded by former No Mean City front-lady Jilly St. John and a handful of days ago she debuted two suitably anthemic new songs (‘Waiting On Water’ and ‘Let Go’) on facebook.com/WYLDLINGmusic so have a listen. While it’s still early days for the tunesmith, both tracks boast massive stadium-straddling choruses and adopt more of a measured sound than her previous band and we can’t wait to see them performed live.

Keeping proceedings in a decidedly North-West persuasion, Derry label Smalltown America has recently announced that they’ve got a treat in store for Dublin-based music aficionados on Jan 13. Taking place at the Crawdaddy, the much-loved record company will curate a night as part of the Independence Month series and will have a selection of their roster of acts perform for your aural pleasure. Fighting With Wire, More Than Conquerors, Former Monarchs, Our Krypton Son and Wiltz will all be making the trip down to the Free State and admission is a mere fiver.

Finally this fortnight, news reaches us that Cashier No. 9’s continuing quest to be one of NI’s most important indie bands shows no sign of stopping in 2012 as they’ve just announced a string of Irish dates in February. As well as supporting everyone’s second favourite former Oasis member Noel Gallagher (Our Kid FTW) at the Odyssey, Belfast on Feb 16 and the O2, Dublin on Feb 17, they’re also playing headlines shows in Galway (Feb 23), Dublin (Feb 24) Cork (25) and Belfast (March 1). Visit cashierno9.com for more info.

Wicker Muppets

9 02 2012

This is genius (well, if you’re a fan of the Wicker Man and the Muppets that is).

Avengers and Amazing Spider-Man Trailers

7 02 2012

Four words: “We’ve got a Hulk!”

Kasabian at the Odyssey Hot Press Review

6 02 2012

Kasabian at the Odyssey, Belfast

It’s fair to say that ever since Oasis went their separate ways (well, at least until 2015 anyway…) lovers of lad-rock and all things lairy have looked to Leicester’s Kasabian to step up their game and keep the seat warm in the meantime. Tonight sees the boys attempt to climb yet another rung up the indie ladder with their biggest Belfast show to date and as soon as they blaze through an incendiary version of ‘Shoot The Runner,’ it’s clear that they mean business.

Touring in support of fourth album Velociraptor! the five-piece seem to be settling into their new found role as bona fide arena rockers well and this evening’s show is a big budget performance backed by even bigger tunes. ‘Underdog’ and ‘Where Did All The Love Go?’ in particular sound absolutely massive in the Odyssey and singer Tom Meighan (who currently looks like a cross between Bono circa ’91 and Danny Zucho from Grease) is the consummate frontman and effortlessly belts out the tunes while acting like the best mate we never had.

Guitarist and main songwriter Serge Pizzorno on the other hand is a different kind of cool altogether and struts around the stage for most of the night sporting a feathery black cloak (which makes him look like a mutant man-crow) whilst crooning along to the likes of the Kinks-y ‘Thick As Thieves’ and generally never missing a beat. It’s an unbeatable combination and when they run through a rendition of the suitably rowdy ‘Club Foot’ the venue erupts. Sounding as lean and mean as a supermodel that’s just been told she’s too old for a photo-shoot, the tune goes down a treat and is every bit as exciting as it was when we first heard it almost a decade ago.

But it’s not all about the oldies, current single ‘Re-Wired’ is another stadium-sized indie anthem and (unlike some of their contemporaries) the band are definitely getting better with age and don’t need to rely on past glories to impress. Signing off with ‘Vlad The Impaler’ and ‘Fire’ (which turns the Odyssey into a football terrace) they leave us in no doubt that that they deserve to be indie rock’s biggest band and it looks like they’ll be around for a long time to come. Move over, Liam…

Edwin McFee