Bye Bye 2013

31 12 2013

Well, here we are again…the final night of the year. 2013 turned out to be a crazy busy one, but a really fuckin’ fun one too. There were loads of gigs, some great music and I did some of my favourite interviews to date. What follows below is some photos that summed up the year, the usual end of year albums/singles lists and other bits and pieces.

Thanks to all the bands, promoters, PRs and mates who hooked me up with records, gigs and good times.Here’s to 2014!

2013: The Year In Photos (and the odd You Tube linky).

2013 kicked off with a trip to Derry to cover Other Voices. The Tourist Board hooked me up with my own suite at the hotel. I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (without doing the sexy stuff for cash-money obviously…)

I got to hang out with the Hardcore Legend (and Mick Foley). That’s a joke for my big brother…

I got FREE comics!

Was on the telly (again).

Said goodbye to Roberto.Sniff.

Headed back to Derry for One Big Weekend.

Sampled the delights of the private box of the Olympia while watching the Gaslight Anthem.

Caught up with the Kings Of Leon

Had a blast at the Dublin Comics International Expo *insert Greg Capullo fanboy scream here*

Said goodbye to Clive Burr. R.I.P.

Had a great time interviewing wrestlers like Fandango and Dolph Ziggler

And of course meeting them too (backstage at the Odyssey)

Witnessing the resurrection of Rocket From The Crypt and Black Sabbath was especially ace too.

Aaaanndddddd I finally got my hands of the Iron Maiden beer!

And lastly, but certainly not, um, leastly, here’s my top 20 albums of the year, plus tracks of the year!

Albums of the Year (in order). 

Valient Thorr ‘Our Own Masters’

Pure Love ‘Anthems’

The Night Marchers ‘Allez Allez’

Clutch ‘Earthrocker’

More Than Conquerors ‘Everything I’ve Learnt’

Best Coast ‘Fade Away’

Dropkick Murphys ‘Signed and Sealed In Blood’

Paramore ‘Paramore’

Chvrches ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’

Jetplane Landing ‘Don’t Try’

Vista Chino ‘Peace’

Wild Belle ‘Isles’

Haim ‘Days Are Gone’

The Silver Seas ‘Alaska’

Disclosure ‘Settle’

Yeah Yeahs Yeahs ‘Mosquito’

Motorhead ‘Aftershock’

Deap Vally ‘Sistrionix’

White Denim ‘Corsicana Lemonade’

The Answer ‘New Horizon’


Singles of the Year

Paramore ‘Still Into You’

Rihanna ‘Stay’

Tegan and Sara ‘Closer’

Chrvches ‘The Mother We Share’

Haim ‘Forever’

Empty Lungs ‘Running In Circles’

Katy Perry ‘Roar’

Chvrches ‘Gun’

Iggy Azalea ‘Work’

The Silver Seas ‘I’m The One’


11 12 2013

Well, my amazing plan of whacking up rakes (yes, #rakes) of stuff worked out well, eh? Yup, got snowed under with deadlines again…

Anywho, here’s a review of the insanely good RFTC gig in Dublin from the weekend (which originally ran here ).


Live Review: Rocket From The Crypt at the Button Factory, Dublin

After teasing us with an all too brief reunion for kids TV show Yo Gabba Gabba, then downright torturing us with an Irish gig announcement and then promptly postponing the date earlier this year, tonight, in front of a packed Button Factory in Dublin, the absolutely seminal Rocket From The Crypt make their long awaited return to these shores and with all due respect to that bearded bloke from Bethlehem and those dudes with the bucket hats from Manchester, the resurrection of RFTC is the only second coming that this Hot Press writer is interested in.


Clad in matching mariachi-inspired stage clothes and looking like they may very well be real life vampires (hey, they do have a song called ‘I Drink Blood’ after all….), the age-defying San Diego natives’ set this evening features cuts from all eras of the band. ‘Straight American Slave, ‘Sturdy Wrists’ and ‘I Know’ are all aired within the first 15 minutes-ensuring no ass is left unkicked-and when they play the near perfect ‘Panic Scam’ a couple of songs afterwards, the punk-imbued rock ‘n’ roll group have already given us the gig of the year and they haven’t even been onstage for half an hour yet.


Frontman Speedo is in fine fettle (“Who here’s from Florida?” he asks during ‘Killy Kill.’ “I fuckin’ hate Florida” he then responds, proving that the old ones are indeed the best) and the sax and trumpet playing of Apollo 9 and JC 2000 respectively sounds as righteous as ever (particularly on ‘Made For You’), but guitarist ND is our man of the match thanks to some blistering solos and ace axe-balancing skills (all while battling an amp that seems to struggle with that “big sound of Rocket From The Crypt”).


Speaking of sound issues, there are a few moments where the brass is a little muffled and their singer’s voice is a bit raspy as it’s the last night of the tour, but ultimately they power on through and deliver a tour de force of soul-infused, garage rock. We even get treated to Rocket’s very own version of the Makarena at one point during ‘Come See Come Saw’ (who doesn’t love the Makarena?) and ‘I’m Not Invisible’ reminds us that the boys know how to deliver a diabolically catchy hook.


“Thanks for not forgetting about us,” says Speedo as they wave their goodbyes and while we’re touched by his modesty, there was never any doubt that RFTC would ever leave our minds. Gig of the year. Give it up for the band!

Edwin McFee