News from the North week 45

2 12 2009

This fortnight’s Hot Press is on the stands now so here’s a reprint of the previous issue’s NI bands column!


Words: Edwin McFee

On November 30, one of NI’s most promising acts the Beat Poets release their new EP ‘The Making’ via all major download sites and their official online store ( The four track opus is currently played by U105fm and sees the four-piece from Warrenpoint showcase a softer side than we’ve seen before, opting to take their foot off gas for just a moment. The title track is a corker with the (slight) change in direction a welcome one and we heartily recommend you pick it up. The boys are also gearing up for the release of the debut album which comes out next year and features Greg (Manic Street Preachers) Haver, Dave (Foo Fighters, Stevie Wonder) Way and Neal (The Answer, Fighting with Wire) Calderwood on knob twiddling duties and this writer for one can’t wait. On December 3 the band will also headline a special, one off showcase at the Spring and Airbrake in Belfast that aims to promote the best of the Newry/Warrenpoint music scene and the lineup features Ozzmium, Forgetting June, Indy Artworx, This Year’s Black and LTR and admission is only £6 so make sure you head down to support them all. Rumours of free Friar Tuck’s snack boxes and Timoney’s ice cream for those who turn up wearing Beat Poets t shirts have yet to be confirmed from the organisers at the time of going to press…

 Fancy the chance to support the high kings of indie synth pop Oppenheimer for their all ages show at the Spring and Airbrake this December 19? Well, all you have to do is email with your band’s details and some MP3’s before November 30 and you could be the lucky winner. The only stipulation Oppenheimer have put in place is that your group must be in their teens, so if you’re in your 30s we advise that you shave off those beards, buy some guy-liner and pretend you’ve had a tough life. Don’t worry, Hot Press has your back. The winner will be announced on December 1 so good luck.

Congrats to local rockers Swanee River who have bagged the much coveted support slot for the Answer’s Ulster Hall gig on December 14. The band kicked more ass than Jean Claude Van Damme at this year’s Glasgowbury so if you’re planning to go to the show make sure you get down early to see them. Tickets for the Answer’s homecoming gig are selling fast, but there are still a few left and you can get your mitts on one for £17 courtesy of Ticketmaster. We’re already dusting down our leather jacket in anticipation.

Fight Like Apes

3 12 2008

Well tonight we’re off to see Fight Like Apes in Belfast and to mark the occasion I thought I’d post up my review of their amazing debut that ran in Hot Press a few months ago (yes, I gave it five out of five). Tomorrow I’ll post up my FLA tour diary from Reading and Leeds. Isn’t that exciting?

Fight Like Apes

Fight Like Apes And The Mystery Of The Golden Medallion (Model Citizen)

Five out of five

For close to an eternity (well ok, it’s probably only been a handful of years) Ireland has cried out for a band to make a record that not only sums up life in the 2000’s, but also to play music to actually believe in. Step forward those plucky young punk rock-tinged upstarts Fight Like Apes, who have not only achieved all this and more, but they’ve created an album that looks set to change a lot of people’s lives for the better.

            Filled with more kick-ass moments than a Jean Claude Van Damme highlight reel, their debut recalls all those great (but sadly defunct) Kill Rock Stars bands such as the Bangs, Bikini Kill and Bratmobile but at the same time puts their own Ape-stamp on things by including songs about wrestling (I’m Beginning To Think You Prefer Beverly Hills 90210 To Me’) dip-shit Top Shop bands (‘Something Global’) and, um, Megameanie’s (the gloriously obnoxious eight second long epic ‘Megameanie’) as well as darker material (‘Digifucker’).  

            Recorded in Seattle, yet thankfully sounding nothing like those dirty-haired bands from the decade that hygiene forgot, Golden Medallion practically buzzes with excitement every time it hits your speakers. Yeah, some nay-sayers may complain about the fact that much of the record is culled from songs they’ve been playing on the Irish gig circuit for a few years now, but when you consider that most listeners will be hearing ‘Jake Summers’ and ‘Lend Me Your Face’ for the first time, it’s an exceptionally cohesive collection of sonic thrills.

            Never out-staying its welcome and clocking in at a pacey 36minutes, Golden Medallion is as catchy as a Christmas cold and filled with more hooks than a match with Ricky Hatton. Star of the show has to be MayKay’s vocal performance (particularly on ‘Jake Summers’) which ranges from sultry to insane in three seconds flat but bassist Tom, drummer Adrian and synthesiser supremeo Jamie are no slouches either, despite their efforts to prove to the contrary. To say that Golden Medallion is probably the best Irish album of the year just doesn’t do it justice, as pound for pound it’s probably the best slab of wax to be released in 2008, period. All in all, judging by the strength of their debut, it looks like Fight Like Apes will be the top bananas for years to come.


Key Track: ‘Jake Summers.’

Edwin McFee