Church Of Noise #1

15 02 2010

As some of you may have noticed-I’ve started doing a column in the Big List called the Church of Noise. It’s basically a round up of what’s happening music wise in the north with me throwing in a few willy and boobie jokes for good measure. It’s one of those columns where they require a pic to go along with it, so I’m sending in a daft photo in every month because I’d be mortified if anyone thought I was one of “those” writers with the really serious, photo-shopped  mug shot….

Oh and while I am getting my blog on-check out this week’s Hot Press for (yet another) photo of me plus a biog in the featured contributor section.

Anyway-here’s Church of Noise #1

Church of Noise

Local music news with NME and Hot Press scribe Edwin McFee

In the immortal words of NI’s greatest band Therapy?-“Welcome to the church of noise.” Each month we aim to bring you all the latest happenings in the local music scene plus news of gigs, albums and any scandalous goings on we hear. So, if you’re a fan of Fighting with Wire, General Fiasco and more, or if you’re that dude from Ajenda who keeps emailing me about their demo then your luck’s in as this is where you will get to read about it all.

First off, fresh from bothering Coronation Street viewers’ ear-holes with their ace single ‘Long May You Reign’ by way of the Discover Northern Ireland advert, John Shelly and the Creatures are set to unveil their debut album ‘Dinosaur.’ Released on March 5 via iTunes, the band are about to undertake an extensive tour down south, will feature in session on former Late Late Show presenter Pat Kenny’s radio on show on RTE Radio 1 and my friends south of the border tell me the band have been making plenty of new fans already. But enough talk about all these shows happening down Mexico way we hear you cry, when are they playing here? Well readers, the band will launch their album with a gig in Auntie Annie’s on March 4 and support comes from Queer Giraffes and Before Machines.

It seems that being a bass player in a local band these days is a bit like being the coolest kid in school as there are a ton (well ok, not literally unless NI bands have gone on a pie eating rampage) of acts looking for someone to bring the low end. If we mentioned them all, then this issue of the Big List would be like the Never Ending Story (only without the flying furry dudes and sweet soundtrack) so we’ll pick three bands in need at random. First up Katie and the Carnival seek some four string action and if you think you’re up to the job then check out their MySpace (www.myspace.com/katieandthecarnival) to listen to their Camille O’Sullivan/Nico-esque noise. Secondly, awkward alt rock noise assassins (author’s note-we can’t prove that they’re actually assassins) Delirium Tremens also need a bassist after some in-band reshuffling, so have a listen to www.myspace.com/deliriumtremensrock and see if you fit the part. Lastly, stoner rock behemoths Howlin’ Widow also desperately need some low end throbbing and if early Sabbath, Kyuss and Goatsnake are your bag (and why wouldn’t it be?) then check out their MySpace on www.myspace.com/howlinwidow. Hell, even if you can’t play bass, check out Howlin’ Widow any way as they kick more ass than a football match between Newry and Larne.

Finally, as most of you already know-a huge earthquake decimated Haiti recently. Keen to do their bit, the NI music scene have banned together for a gig on January 31 at the Spring and Airbrake, the Limelight and Katy Daly’s. Organized by Ron from the Black Bear Saloon, Anto from Tin Pot Operation and John from Bruised Fruit, it features 50bands including the Answer and General Fiasco and while it’s already no doubt been mentioned in the Big List it’s worth stating again that you need to be at this show. For more information and for up to the minute news, click on www.twitter.com/belfast4haiti.

See y’all next month folks. Up the Irons.

Edwin

 

PS-This month’s photo was taken backstage at Download 07 after Valient Thorr’s set-hence the reason why I look fuckin’ mentals.

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News From The North Week 43

5 11 2009

This fortnight’s Hot Press is on the stands now (more details here http://www.hotpress.com/2893481.html) so here’s a reprint of the previous issue’s NI bands column!

News

Words: Edwin McFee

This fortnight this writer has been playing the new album from NI’s finest punk rock band the Lobotomies in almost constant rotation. Entitled Big Bang Hangover it features 17tracks in around 30minutes and it’s pretty much one of my favourite records of the year. Why am I telling you this, you ask? Well the four-piece launch their album on October 23 with a gig in the Pavilion, Belfast and you should all be there as it’s only £5 in. There are plenty of highlights on the release, but the smashmouth sounds of ‘Freedom,’ and the savage ‘Bloodsports With Lapdogs’ get our recommendation and if you can’t get to the gig don’t fret, as Big Bang Hangover is released vie EHC Records. Visit www.myspace.com/thelobotomies for more details.

Congratulations to the Panama Kings who not only ruled the school at their first ever Mandela Hall headline gig a few weeks ago, but they’ve also bagged the hugely coveted support slot on Ash’s up-coming UK and Irish tour. The boys will hit the road with the band from mars (see what we did there? No? Alright, please yourselves…) throughout the months of October and November and these include dates at the Button Factory, Dublin on Nov 25 and the Spring and Airbrake, Belfast on Nov 26 so check Ticketmaster and the usual suspects for ticket details.

Sludge worshipping heavy hitters Slomatics have released their latest slab of wax this fortnight and it’s a split CD with the mighty Selaah. The band contribute three songs to the record (while Selaah recorded a 17minute long improve piece. Jazzy!) and it’s strictly limited to 200copies, so get ‘em while you can. At £4 it’d be rude not to. More details are available at the link http://slomatics.bigcartel.com/.

Delirium Tremens (who are currently beavering away in the studio like, er…beavers) have posted up two demos for their forth-coming debut release on their MySpace page (www.myspace.com/deliriumtremensrock). ‘Shuffle Off This Mortal Coil’ and ‘Requiem’ are currently available for streaming and even in this rough format, it’s pretty clear that the record will be nothing short of monstrous once it sees the light of day in the New Year. The boys are also in the process of booking a tour south of the border and although some shows are to be confirmed, the trek runs from Nov 27-Dev 7. As if that wasn’t enough, they also support American post rock types Junius in Belfast on Nov 27 and once we have the final dates, Hot Press will of course keep you up to date.





News From The North Week 39

9 09 2009

About a  year and a half ago I jumped aboard the good ship Hot Press. Initially I was asked to write a fortnightly column about NI bands for the Hit the North section and it kinda all grew from there to being one of the main publications I work for. I’ve decided to reprint the column here once a new issue of the magazine hits the stands, so although some of the news might be a little out of date, hopefully it’ll shed some light on acts from my neck of the woods.

Below is the column from our Electric Picnic issue (Vol 33 Issue 16).

News

Words: Edwin McFee

We start this fortnight’s NI news with a great story about the criminally underrated Delirium Tremens. The Belfast-based four-piece have just signed a deal with Audio Ill and will be recording their debut album over the next couple of months. The DT’s have been on the rise of late thanks to their ear-gasm inducing single ‘Barabus’ (which you can hear for free by clicking on www.myspace.com/deliriumtremensrock) and if we get a few more like that then the band will be unstoppable in 2010. Congratulations boys!

Surf punk duo Girls Names will be unleashing two cassette tapes of material through Caff/Lick Records this month. The label has released material by the likes of Lucky Dragons and High Places and Girls Names are an impressive addition to their roster. Both tapes (named ‘C-10 1’ and ‘C-10 2’ respectively) will be strictly limited to 25 copies each and you can buy them from the band at the Black Market at the Black Box in Belfast or from the band via their MySpace www.myspace.com/girlsnames. Fans of Lovvers should adore what they’ve got to offer.

Derry’s Japanese Popstars are set to release a live album this September. The much loved dance act have put the finishing touches to We Just Are: Live and there will also be three brand new tracks on the slab of wax. Sep 21 is the date for your diaries and for more details keep checking www.myspace.com/thejapanesepopstars.

Seven-piece folky types Captain Kennedy have given their website a bit of a makeover recently. The Americana aficionados have spruced up their blog and you can find out all of their latest developments by clicking here www.captainkennedy.co.uk.

Fresh from playing their first ever gig, Belfast’s Uber Glitterati have decided to celebrate this latest milestone in their career by posting up a “100 per cent unofficial” remix of the Lily Allen single ’22,’ which for our money sounds better than the original. But don’t take our word for it. Go have a listen for yourself www.myspace.com/uberglitterati.

Finally, if you’re in the North West this weekend (particularly on Aug 29) then check out Smalltown America’s mini festival This Ain’t No Picnic which takes place at St. Columb’s Hall, Derry. The all day event initially started out life in London but has since relocated to Smalltown chief Andrew Ferris’ hometown and features Future of the Left, Lafaro, Panama Kings, the Beat Poets, the Dangerfields, Spectator, Black Bear Saloon, Stereo War Favourites and Mr Ferris himself. Doors are at 3pm and it’s £8 in. 

PS-The new issue (feautring my Kasabian and Dizzee Rascal interviews) is out tomorrow, so keep an eye out. www.hotpress.com.





Delirium Tremens

24 06 2009

Here’s a reprint of a recent interview I did with Delirium Tremens. Great band with Chris Goss-esque vocals.  Enjoy.

Delirium Tremens

Loved by tattoo toting types and lauded by the likes of Radio One’s Huw Stephens, Delirium Tremens are slated to play the third Big Gig this June. A few weeks ago the Big List managed to drag singer/bassist Peter Gilmore away from his Rocky-esque training regime in preparation for the show to talk horror films, scene spirit and inter band love affairs (in a purely platonic way of course) so sit back, relax and enjoy.

 

 First things first, Peter. Tell us how Delirium Tremens first started.

Basically we all went to school together in Rathmore and one day in mid august ‘07 I was in the Parlour drinking strawberry daiquiris and I bumped into Damien [Delirium Tremens’ guitarist] and we got talking because I hadn’t seen him in a while. His housemate Brian, who’s our other guitarist, was also there and we ended up going back to their house. They were in a band at time and already had a singer (they kinda sounded like Bon Jovi) but he ended up leaving and I took the helm as the vocalist. A friend of ours knew Glenn [our drummer] and she said to him we were looking for one (he’s been in lots of bands like Patio Sounds) and he was up for it. We got together in a community youth outreach centre in east Belfast to play about a month after I met Damien and Brian and we spent a lot of time in a dusty garage just going over some of my song ideas. I’ve been in bands since I was 15 and I’ve never been in a group where the personality and the music mesh so well. Usually if the personalities don’t get on very well the music’s really vital and really interesting, but once you finish playing you don’t want anything to do with them, but Delirium Tremens is different because we enjoy hanging out together as well as playing great music. We’re real homos about stuff like that [laughs].  We’ve a good working and friendly vibe. Nothing’s labored and it all fits into place really well.

 

Did you find it hard getting gigs in the early days?

I knew a few people who were willing to take chances on bands they’d never seen before and places like the Pavilion, Auntie Annie’s and Lavery’s were very good to us. The good thing about playing all those shows is that you get to meet a lot of different bands and it’s all about who you know and stuff like that, so we tried to get our own clique going with like-minded people. Our first gig was on December 13 ‘07 and then the next day we recorded ‘Barabas’ and ‘Butterknife.’ We’ve got a bit of attention for ‘Barabas’ and it’s been played on Huw Stephen’s show as well as Rory McConnell’s. We did a session for Rory too in February and it was cool to be in the BBC studios because we’re not really used to doing things like that.

 

We hear the band’s music was going to feature in a horror film last year too.

Yeah, in the summer of ‘08 we went to the Blueroom to record more stuff with Peter [Pratt, producer] and one of those songs (which we don’t play anymore) ‘Remora’ got us attention from the makers of this low budget British horror movie. It was the guy who worked on Hollyoaks and he heard our tune and got in touch asking to use it. So we sent it off and he took it to the money men but it didn’t work out. We got a lot of publicity out of that though.

 

How important do you think it is for bands to play outside of Belfast?

I think it’s really important. Personally speaking, we’ve played so many gigs in Belfast that we decided we had to get out of the city and play somewhere else. So many Belfast bands are like dogs chasing their tails. Look at groups from Portrush however-they tour everywhere and play places like Cork, Galway and Dublin just as much as here and that’s what we intend to do too.

 

What was it like playing the Dublin Tattoo Convention last year?

It was such a great show. We went down on the Friday and basically started drinking straight away. The thing is, I’ve no tattoos whatsoever and neither the majority of the band so we were walking around like freaks [laughs]. Our drummer has got one on his arm so we kept trying to convince him to roll his sleeves up so we didn’t look quite so out of place. We ended up quite drunk beforehand (which is something we rarely ever do when we’re playing a gig) and played a great show. Maybe there’s something about playing in an environment where people are getting tattoos, but it seemed to spur us on. Every time we would stop between songs we’d see people bleeding from getting them done and we just really liked the idea of sound-tracking this kinda stuff. We went ape shit and the energy we had was unreal. The coolest thing about the convention was that we were playing to people from all over the world and we had Americans and Italians coming up to us to tell us they enjoyed our music.

 

Are you excited about playing the Big Gig?

We can’t wait to play it. I think it’s great for the local scene and we’re happy to be a part of it. It should be a really fun night.

 

Finally Peter, what are your aspirations for the band?

We want to get to a stage where we can record everything ourselves, play gigs in as many different places as possible and pretty much be self sufficient. We know we’re still a new band and we’re happy to keep progressing. It’s a good time to be in Delirium Tremens right now.

 Delirium Tremens play the Big Gig in the Spring and Airbrake, Belfast alongside A Plastic Rose and Ablespacer on June 27. Admission is £4 and doors are at 9pm. www.myspace.com/deliriumtremensrock