News From the North Week 109 (Hot Press)

20 10 2012

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

News

Words: Edwin McFee

Fresh from kicking many an ass and taking their respective names at Glasgowbury, the incendiary Empty Lungs continue their rise to NI rock royalty this fortnight with the news that they’re set to support San Franciso punks Dead To Me on their up-coming Irish tour.  Kicking off on Aug 18 at Fibber Magee’s, Dublin, the four-piece also share the stage with the Fat Wreck Chords signed Americans in the Warzone Centre, Belfast on Aug 19 and both dates are recommended for anyone with even a shred of interest in impassioned punk and rock. Generous souls that they are, Empty Lungs have just recently made their ace single ‘Identity Lost’ (plus two other songs) available for free too and you can snag them at emptylungs.bandcamp.com. Doooo iiiiittttt.

 

Next up, irrepressible alt-rock trio Axis Of have just unveiled their plans for their total domination of Ireland. Dubbed the 32 Counties tour and inspired by Irish artists, poets, writers, creatives and musicians through the centuries (nope, I’m don’t really know what they mean by that either), the band perform at least one show in each county over the next three months or so and some of the key dates for your respective diaries include Harrison’s, Dundalk (Aug 10), Voodoo, Belfast (Aug 11) and the “we’re not sure how they’re going to manage it” four gigs in four counties on one day event that takes place at Essaness Music, Kilkenny, TBC, Wexford, John Palmer Music, Waterford and Belly Bang, Tipperary on Aug 25. The boys will also be announcing extra gigs over the next few months to tie in with their up-coming release of their debut album Finding St. Kilda and for more details visit axisof.co.uk.

 

Snow Patrol frontman and all-round local lad made good Gary Lightbody has confirmed he’s just filmed a bit part for Sky Atlantic’s battles and boobies TV show Game Of Thrones. Filmed in the north, the popular (though slightly pervy) programme is a bit of a hit with the general public and while the singer didn’t dish too much dirt on his role he took to Facebook to post up a suitably muddy looking photo of himself. Nice…

 

Finally this fortnight I’ve just enough room to tell you noise rockers Comply Or Die and Mudbitch have teamed up to play three dates down south this August. Kicking off on the 9th at Fibber Magee’s, Dublin, the bands then play Fred Zeppelin’s, Cork on Aug 10 and the Blind Pig, Limerick on Aug 11 so if you’re in the area check them out as they rule the proverbial school.





News From The North 109

22 09 2012

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

News

Words: Edwin McFee

Fresh from kicking many an ass and taking their respective names at Glasgowbury, the incendiary Empty Lungs continue their rise to NI rock royalty this fortnight with the news that they’re set to support San Franciso punks Dead To Me on their up-coming Irish tour.  Kicking off on Aug 18 at Fibber Magee’s, Dublin, the four-piece also share the stage with the Fat Wreck Chords signed Americans in the Warzone Centre, Belfast on Aug 19 and both dates are recommended for anyone with even a shred of interest in impassioned punk and rock. Generous souls that they are, Empty Lungs have just recently made their ace single ‘Identity Lost’ (plus two other songs) available for free too and you can snag them at emptylungs.bandcamp.com. Doooo iiiiittttt.

 

Next up, irrepressible alt-rock trio Axis Of have just unveiled their plans for their total domination of Ireland. Dubbed the 32 Counties tour and inspired by Irish artists, poets, writers, creatives and musicians through the centuries (nope, I’m don’t really know what they mean by that either), the band perform at least one show in each county over the next three months or so and some of the key dates for your respective diaries include Harrison’s, Dundalk (Aug 10), Voodoo, Belfast (Aug 11) and the “we’re not sure how they’re going to manage it” four gigs in four counties on one day event that takes place at Essaness Music, Kilkenny, TBC, Wexford, John Palmer Music, Waterford and Belly Bang, Tipperary on Aug 25. The boys will also be announcing extra gigs over the next few months to tie in with their up-coming release of their debut album Finding St. Kilda and for more details visit axisof.co.uk.

 

Snow Patrol frontman and all-round local lad made good Gary Lightbody has confirmed he’s just filmed a bit part for Sky Atlantic’s battles and boobies TV show Game Of Thrones. Filmed in the north, the popular (though slightly pervy) programme is a bit of a hit with the general public and while the singer didn’t dish too much dirt on his role he took to Facebook to post up a suitably muddy looking photo of himself. Nice…

 

Finally this fortnight I’ve just enough room to tell you noise rockers Comply Or Die and Mudbitch have teamed up to play three dates down south this August. Kicking off on the 9th at Fibber Magee’s, Dublin, the bands then play Fred Zeppelin’s, Cork on Aug 10 and the Blind Pig, Limerick on Aug 11 so if you’re in the area check them out as they rule the proverbial school.





Mudbitch Big List Q and A

4 06 2012

Here’s a reprint of a Q and A with Mudbitch that ran in the Big List.Holla!

Mudbitch

Continuing our catch-up with some of the music scene’s latest and greatest bands, this month we meet David McCann, vocalist/guitarist for the mighty alt-rock band Mudbitch. Enjoy.

 

Hi Davey and welcome to the Big List. First off, we love the new EP ‘Step In, Bang Bang.’ It’s sounds fresh, exciting and unlike anything we’ve heard in a while. Can you tell us a little bit about making it?

Davey: “Thanks Edwin. It started as just us recording our ideas for songs and quickly turned out to work as a mini album. It was produced in the 2di studios in Coalisland. This is a place run by some of the guys in the band and everything on it was recorded by Philip [McKernan, bass]. We all have input into the recording and mixing, but really everything you hear is the result of him slaving over a mixing desk for way too many hours. It’s very handy for us as it is our practice space and having the members of the band who are very proficient at such things is great. Mainly the design is chiefly in the hands of Dominic [McNamee, synths, guitars, vocals] who is one of the most creative people I have ever known.”

 

Musically speaking-can you describe your sound for some of our readers who haven’t heard the band yet?

“That’s always a difficult question to answer.  We usually just leave it up to people to decide for themselves. We don’t like to put any restrictions on what we play. As long as we enjoy it we’ll play it! If I was forced to give an opinion, I would say it’s a mix of the noise of Sonic Youth, Faith No More and Ministry, a bit of jangly R.E.M. pop sensibilities and the groove of Trans Am, but I think people should just jump in and give us a listen. What’s the worst that could happen?”

 

‘Step In, Bang Bang’ has gained some great reviews so far. Do you take that as an encouraging sign for the band?

“Most certainly. We have had great feedback and we’re very appreciative of it, but we didn’t really start the band to put records out as such-more to create our own music without feeling any pressure from anyone to be anything (if that makes any sense). We wanted just to be able to put our own ideas into something, but we liked it so when we put out a few tunes to the public it was great to hear such positive feedback.”

 

‘Drown You C*nt’ seemed to ruffle a few feathers last year. Were you annoyed when the (admittedly) provocative title put a few noses out of joint?

“Ah, not at all. It obviously always was going to annoy some people-in fact our local paper refused to print our name…that’s quite laughable when you see the utter tosh they usually put out. I mean the way I see it is this, we are all adults, our music isn’t aimed at anyone who hasn’t yet discovered the world is full of rude words. By the same token, I reckon that anyone who gets offended by the name Mudbitch or any titles of our songs, there is a good chance they won’t like our music anyway, so we’re just sorting the chaff out early.”

 

I believe the band began around three years ago-can you tell us a little bit about how you formed?

“Yes, that’s about right. Well, we were all friends anyway and we all have previous experience in bands and thought ‘Let’s do something for ourselves.’ It started with myself, Philip, Eugene [O’Neill, guitar, vocals] and Jaime [Harte, drums] (and our ‘frontman’ yet to show up for practice ‘Stevie’) and we started playing. We just wanted to make a ball of noise. In fact if I remember right, it was an excuse for Jaime to play guitar, so we called upon our good friend Dominic to drum and basically it was decided we would all play as we stood outside Tesco waiting on a bus down to Ministry playing in Dublin (myself and Dom missed the gig because Dominic popped his elbow out of joint in an overzealous effort to relieve himself). Shortly after we got a gig in a local bar for Christmas, and it was all change. Jaime fired onto the drums and Dominic provides some interesting vibes from his keys setup.”

 

Readers may be aware that both yourself and Philly were/are in Yakuza. Can you give us a brief update on the status of the band?

“The members of Yakuza have now decided to grow plants in south Asia… nah, not really. Well at the minute a sort of hiatus is in place as James [McDonald, drums) is down in Dublin working as a doctor/being a daddy and Ronan [Quinn, guitar] is working on other projects (like Cashier No. 9) and being a daddy too. We still have our second album ready to go but we are holding off until we can get it out on vinyl and as a download. We worked pretty hard to get it recorded. We went to Portland and Dubh [Black] mixed it (Philip is also responsible for recording it too) and then we got Stephen Quinn to master it for vinyl, so it’s still feasible it will emerge at some point.”

 

Gigging-wise, are Mudbitch aiming to play at some of the NI festivals this year, or do you prefer to perform at your own shows?

“Yeah, we are hoping to get into a few festivals and have applied for a few. Hopefully with our gig on May 3 (in the Menagerie, Belfast with Spook of the Thirteenth Lock from Dublin) we should get a bit of a better idea of where we aim to be at. We do enjoy playing live, but want to make it count so that we don’t gig just for the sake of playing, so yes, here’s hoping we get on a few bills. I’m hopeful we’ll kick it off in May and then have a good focus on getting out there.”

 

Speaking of touring, are there any plans to play outside NI in 2012?

“At this stage there are none. Thinking long term-we would love to get something sorted for next year, perhaps the States, and would love to get a good oul’ rake through the UK too. Jaime says he is driving so we’re very happy about that.”

 

Finally, what are your ambitions for Mudbitch over the next year or so?

“We want to get more stuff recorded and released. A lovely plan would be to get a fair bit of touring all over, gather a bit of money together and fire it into a life of debauchery…either that or use it to upgrade our gear and maybe buy a soundman from somewhere. Anyone know any going cheap?”

 

For more information on Mudbitch check out mudbitch.bandcamp.com.