General Fiasco-Ever So Shy

17 02 2010

On March 8, General Fiasco release their new single ‘Ever So Shy’ and it’s easily my favourite track from their debut. Here’s the video-





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.





News From The North Week 46

27 01 2010

After a brief break for crimbo, my NI news column in Hot Press is back in action. The latest issue is onsale in a  few days, so here’s the words from the previous issue to keep you entertained.

News

Words: Edwin McFee

As it’s the New Year we thought it best to kick start it with some good news-namely the fantastic Silhouette winning the first prize at a battle of the bands in Warrenpoint last week. If you haven’t managed to see them yet, the band are the brainchild of Shauna Tohill and employ a cello, double bass and whatever instrument comes to mind mixing Dresden Dolls, Kate Bush and Tegan and Sara influences and coming up with something else entirely. By winning first prize, Silhouette scooped £2500 worth of booty which included the release of her first single via VM Records and we’ll keep you posted about release dates etc. By the way, if anyone from the Silhouette camp wants to send us over some leftover bubbly, then post it to us c/o Hot Press

On January 24, the Green Party’s North Down candidate for the upcoming Westminster election Steven Agnew is organizing a fundraiser in Auntie Annie’s, Belfast. What’s this got to do with music we hear you cry. Well, the bash is called the Wee Green Man Festival and features Axis Of and Adebisi Shank playing live and there’s also a DJ set from Not Squares so we think it’s relevant (plus Mr Agnew loves the Murder City Devils, which can only be a good thing). The cover charge is a £5 donation and for more information visit www.greenpartyni.org. Should be a fun night.

Talking about showcase gigs, the ninth “Big Gig” takes place this Jan 22 at the Spring and Airbrake, Belfast and features a world beating line-up featuring a returning Yakuza (who play their first show in over a year) plucky contenders Before Machines and a headline slot by the inimitable Dirty Stevie. The Dirt are currently knee deep recording their debut record which will hopefully see the light of day this year and as it’s the first time they’ve ever headlined in the venue they’ll be chomping at the bit to pop their cherries in style (apologies for the mental image there folks). Admission is £4 and doors are at 9pm.

Finally, General Fiasco have revealed that they will release the mighty ‘Ever So Shy’ as a single on March 8 via Infectious Records. Possibly the band’s best song to date, the track should see the trio capitalize on their momentum quicker than James Corden chasing after the last chicken wing in the bucket and we wish them all the best. Their debut album ‘Buildings’ is slated for a March 22 release and judging by what we’ve heard from the sampler, it’s going to be a belter.





Hot Summer, What A Bummer Part 3

16 11 2009

The final festival I was at this summer was the much talked about Glasgowbury in County Derry. According to the ramblings of some internet user names, this bash is the best thing to happen since Fonzie stuck his boot up the jukebox in Arnolds’ hole and while I appreciate the spirit of the event, I wasn’t quite as spell bound as others.

Still, a fun day was had and here’s the reprint of my review that ran in Hot Press.

Glasgowbury

Eagles Rock, Co. Derry

Nestled in between some mountains, Glasgowbury might be a bit scarce on bogs and burger vans, but it more than makes up for the lack of facilities with the amount of talent on offer. Featuring a veritable truck-load of NI acts plus one Free State interloper the Mighty Stef (more on them later) the festival is more of a statement than anything else-telling the major labels and mainstream bands to get screwed, in the nicest possible way of course. With literally dozens of performers filling up four tents, it’s impossible to see everyone, so here’s a brief taster of the cream of the crop.

New kids on the block We Are Resistance put in an encouraging performance during the afternoon as did Furlo, who packed their tent out, but things really kicked off once the Black Bear Saloon arrive onstage a little bit later on. Despite a shaky start (and by “shaky” we don’t mean they played a cover of ‘Green Door’) the four-piece find their groove three songs in with the phenomenal ‘Face The Future.’ Frontman Aaron is clearly relishing the chance to perform outside of Belfast for a change, promising free blowjobs for all and bigging up guitarist Peter’s, er, unique skills. By the end of their hook-laden, groove-fuelled set the tent fills up just in time for the singer to successfully encourage everyone to push themselves against the barrier so he can “have a Joe Dolan moment and touch everyone’s hands” during ‘First Against the Wall.’ Classic stuff.  Hopefully this show will mark the rise in the ranks of the Black Bear Saloon, as frankly they’re getting far too good to be ignored for much longer.

Dutch Schultz put on a tight as hell performance too with Willy clearly in his element, shaking a bottle of Buckfast at the crowd, bemoaning the fact that they don’t make good porn anymore and generally blowing the heads off the front row with ‘LA Cumfucker.’ Sadly the usually impressive Mojo Fury don’t quite click today though. We’re not sure whether it’s the newer material or their lack of life onstage that’s hampering the set, but by the time we see frontman Mike in his other incarnation as singer of the weird and wonderful Clown Parlour, he seems much more at home playing odd, vaudeville-inspired songs than with his day job so maybe he just needs a break.

The Beat Poets on the other hand just seem to get better with every show. New song ‘One By One’ gives us an excellent teaser for the long awaited new album, ‘Ghosts’ has a nasty bassline and a filthy chorus and final song ‘Bloodline’ is now a bona fide fist in the air anthem. The great acts just keep coming too, with The Mighty Stef’s brand of booze-inspired shanties making a believer out of this writer, Here Comes the Landed Gentry charming everyone with their mash-up of blues and rockabilly and sounding like Satan’s house band (they even play an encore) and LaFaro bludgeon the crowd with their utter sonic violence.

 Local indie pin-ups General Fiasco also put on a hell of a show with the normally soft-spoken Owen maturing into the consummate frontman. There are definitely a few songs you could describe as filler in their set (‘First Impressions’) but the sheer pop suss of ‘Rebel Get By’ and ‘Ever So Shy’ mark the boys out to be next year’s potential headliners. Finally it’s left up to And So I Watch You From Afar to close things in style. Their take on instrumental punk rock has made them one of the most exciting Irish bands on the scene right now and ‘Clench Fists, Grit Teeth, Go!’ and ‘Set Guitars To Kill’ are fast becoming as essential as oxygen. In a perfect world ‘A Little Solidarity Goes A Long Way’ would be the NI national anthem, but for now, we’ll settle for it being the unofficial soundtrack to Glasgowbury ’09. See you all next year.

Edwin McFee





News From The North Week 41

15 10 2009

Here’s a reprint of my NI news column from Hot Press Vol 33 Issue 18. Enjoy.

News

Words: Edwin McFee

The Ulster Hall bound General Fiasco (the date’s Oct 31 in case you haven’t heard) continue to get bigger and better as the months roll by and on Oct 12 they release the hook-laden single ‘We Are The Foolish’ into the wild via Infectious Records. The accompanying video is pretty special too, but don’t take our word for it, have a look for yourself by clicking here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcQBB6ntDgM. The GF lads have also asked us to implore you to vote for them on Steve Lamaq’s BBC 6 Music Rebel playlist by visiting http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/shows/steve_lamacq/rebel_playlist.shtml so if you haven’t done so already, you know what to do.

As if they didn’t have enough members to contend with, the Innishowen Gospel Choir are looking to add even more bodies to their ranks before the year is out. The critically acclaimed singers are keen to get some fresh faces for their upcoming performance at the Belfast Festival at Queen’s and if you think you’ve got what it takes then pay close attention to these instructions the guys emailed us-“If you are over 17, consider yourself a singer and would like the opportunity to be a part of the Inishowen Gospel Choir come along to the auditions which will take place on Friday 18th September at 6:30 pm at the Carnival Offices, Bridgetown Business Park, Moville Rd. (behind Jaybee’s).” For more details you can email on inishowengospelchoir@gmail.com. Good luck!

If you ever needed proof that NI has a plethora of great new bands sprouting up on a monthly basis then check out the gorgeous sounds of Gironans. The electronica loving three-piece have been gestating in secret for a couple of years but now they’re ready to take things up a notch by playing some gigs. Have a listen to the haunting ‘Corduroy’ on their MySpace page (www.myspace.com/gironans) and then befriend them. Go on, you know you wanna.

Finally, the Varionis release their latest EP ‘Whatever It Takes’ by playing a gig in Auntie Annie’s in Belfast on Nov 10. Formed in ’07, the five-piece have been busy beavering away on the live circuit, refining their sound and kicking ass and this latest slab of wax is their best recorded material to date. Support on the night comes from the Good Fight and you can listen to some of their songs on their MySpace page (www.myspace.com/thevarionis). Make sure you sample ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ in particular as it’s ace.