Glasgowbury Review (Hot Press)

4 09 2012

Here’s a reprint of my review of this year’s Glasgowbury that ran in Hot Press last month.Pic stolen from Ramsey Cardy (www.shoottothrill.co.uk)

GLASGOWBURY

Eagle’s Rock, Co. Derry

Featuring a rather fetching stripy circus tent serving as the new home for the G Sessions stage, an additional dance-oriented area sponsored by Red Bull and, most importantly, the strongest line-up they’ve had in their 12 year history, the self-proclaimed “small but massive” shin-dig that is Glasgowbury is rapidly maturing into something of a monster. With shed-loads of Irish acts on the bill, 2012’s festival has something for everyone and business really picks up with the arrival of the all-conquering punk-infused rock ‘n’ roll group Empty Lungs. Now a four-piece thanks to the recent arrival of guitarist Sam (“The fucker looks like Ryan Gosling and has a massive cock” offers singer Kev Jones by way of introduction) the boys are in world beating form and belt out the likes of ‘Identity Lost’ and ‘Nothing Left To Lose’ with a belief and passion that marks them out as one of the best unsigned acts on the island right now.

 

Donegal’s Mojo Gogo are another outfit who are on the cusp of greatness and their utterly infectious indie songs go down a treat on the main stage. Boasting a live sound that’s as solid as Godzilla’s sofa, the quartet impress thanks to numbers such as the stunning ‘Romance In The Lie’ and we’re sure this time next year they’re be much further up the bill. While the rather languid in comparison Master and Dog struggle a little following the Mojos and Katie And The Carnival’s performance suffers thanks to the elements, NI’s greatest party band Pocket Billiards arrive onstage to perk up us and they blast out some absolutely righteous sounding ska-punk, with ‘Dirty Money’ and ‘Belfast Town’ in particular sounding anthemic in the open air.

 

After a brief break checking out the hugely popular, Red Bull sponsored Generator Stage which saw DJs such as Viasidus and Casion spin tracks alongside local radio talent, we pop over to the Eagle’s Rock stage to check out the rootsy sounds of Farriers and their country/bluegrass-tinged songs are a perfect, chilled out precursor to the madness to come. By “madness,” we of course mean those riff lords LaFaro and their turn in the G Sessions tent is a master-class in sonic thuggery. In fact, there are more than a few punters who’ll definitely need a neck brace the next day after being pummeled by the punk metal sounds of ‘Easy Meat’ and ‘Full Tilt.’ Expect them to headline Glasgowbury sooner rather than later.

 

Speaking of headliners, NI legends Therapy? are left to bring the day to a close and they do it in style. Opening with the awesome one-two punch of ‘Rust’ and ‘If It Kills Me,’ the trio (which includes stand-in drummer Alan from LaFaro) are clad in suits and prowling the stage like street-walking cheetahs looking just as up for it as the crowd. It’s great to hear the likes of ‘Nausea’ being dusted off for a live airing and newies such as ‘Living In The Shadow Of A Terrible Thing’ sit happily beside the now classic noise-rock cuts ‘Meat Abstract’ and more. In short-for 70minutes the band brought the thunder and gave us the best Glasgowbury performance we’ve ever seen. File under “H” for Heroic.

EDWIN McFEE 





News From The North 103

12 06 2012

Here’s a reprint of my NI music news column that runs in Hot Press every fortnight.

News

Words: Edwin McFee

Over the last few months music lovers in the north have been treated to a veritable treasure trove of ear-gasm inducing line-up announcements from various festivals dotted all around the six counties. With Pigstock, Stendhal and more really stepping up and putting together some great bills, many people were left wondering what the grand-daddy of them all that is Glasgowbury would had in store this year. Well, ponder no more loyal readers, as Paddy Glasgow and his team have proved once again that they’ve got more surprises up their sleeve than Paul Daniels and this year’s bash is looking like it’ll be the best yet.

Taking place in Eagle’s Rock, Co. Derry on July 21, the headliners will be none other than NI national treasures Therapy? and this writer couldn’t be happier to see one of the north’s most iconic and important bands close proceedings in style. Also on the bill are the Japanese Popstars, LaFaro, Our Krypton Son, the Wonder Villains, Farriers and a veritable shed-load more and you can view the up to date line-up on glasgowbury.com. Tickets for the festival are on sale now via www.hmvtickets.com and are priced at £40 for the Bear Grylls types among you who want to camp and £30 for general admission.

Speaking of Farriers, the well thought of alt country/Americana/roots/Irish trad types are currently gearing up to release their debut album ‘Years Ago In Our Backyard’ on May 27. Elephant minded readers will remember we told you that the band opted to fund the record by offering bespoke packages such as signed albums and one-off performances etc to their fans in return for their moolah (as part of the Pledge scheme) and the tactic paid off in spades as they raised £4445 in total. Featuring ten tracks of sweet and tender tune-age, Farriers officially launch the opus with a gig in the Black Box, Belfast on May 27 with special guests, Gareth Dunlop and Three Blind Wolves. For more information visit farriers.bandcamp.com.

Finally this issue, the always incendiary Bee Mick See is releasing his debut album ‘Tales Of Self Preservation Gone Wrong’ on May 25 and if you’re a fan of super-charged, punk infused hip hop then you should check it out. The rapper launches the album in the Hudson, Belfast on May 25 and gig attendees will receive a code to download the record for free so make sure you head down. The video for his beyond awesome new single ‘Punk Hoplican Dissidents’ can be viewed at youtube.com/watch?v=6x_MDt2QFy4.





News From The North Week 92

8 12 2011

Fancy some NI music scene news?Course you do!Here’s a reprint of one of my recent columns from Hot Press.

Remember folks, the feature runs every fortnight,so if you’ve any news for me get in touch.

 News

Words: Edwin McFee

First up this fortnight I bring you news of an interesting experiment that’s currently being carried out by Belfast-based indie folksy types Farriers. At the moment, they’ve just completed work on their debut album Years Ago In Our Backyard and have decided to get involved with the Pledge scheme (which you may remember the likes of Duke Special took part in relatively recently) to generate enough money to get the slab of wax mastered and manufactured. So, what exactly is the Pledge scheme I hear you cry. Well, basically fans can send over money to the band in return for bespoke, one-off rewards and Farriers are offering the likes of private dinner parties with the group (for £80), a personal song written just for you (£100), a gig at your house party (£200) and more and you can check out the full list here- sponsume.com/project/farriers-debut-album.

Next up, the insanely talented Shauna Tohill (AKA Silhouette) has been making waves round old London Town recently. The singer and her band were given the opportunity to support Snow Patrol a few weeks ago at the Q Awards show in the HMV Forum and, lovely lads that they are, they also invited her to join them onstage to perform backing vocals for ‘Set Fire To The Third Bar’ and ‘The Garden Rules’ (which you can view here youtube.com/watch?v=890r6VCWnlw&feature=youtu.be and here youtube.com/watch?v=cSe7p1Wd1TE&feature=player_embedded). Regular readers of this column may recall that I’ve long been championing Silhouette (who have just released their new single ‘What Are These Voices’ via all major downloading platforms by the way) and I’m predicting that 2012 is going to be a massive year for Ms Tohill and her cohorts. In the meantime though, visit facebook.com/silhouetteofficial for more information and up to date info on where they’re playing next.

The good news keeps on coming this fortnight as it’s just been revealed that Rams Pocket Radio and Cashier No. 9 have been chosen to perform at the Eurosonic festival in the Netherlands in 2012. Now in its 26th year, the bash is one of the biggest industry showcases in the world and runs from Jan 11-14 and has featured the likes of And So I Watch You From Afar in the past and this writer for one is certain that both acts will go on to even bigger and better things after they play at this hugely influential event.

Finally, I’ve just enough room to let you all know that ska punk deities Pocket Billiards are on the hunt for a new drummer. If you’re interested in joining one of the north’s best live acts visit pocketbilliards.co.uk for more info.