News From The North Week 108

7 09 2012

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

News

Words: Edwin McFee

First up this fortnight, I’d like to introduce you all to a (relatively) brand spanking new band from Derry called Making Monsters that recently have set my “ace new band senses” a-tingling (well, I hope that was my “ace new band senses…..”). Indulging their inner Jean Grey and rising phoenix-like from the ashes from No Mean City and Hybrid, the female-fronted four-piece have just launched their self-titled EP and it’s recommended for fans of neck bothering, hook-laden metal. Available to buy via their website (makingmonsters.co.uk) and at gigs, the opus is worth the price of admission alone for the final two cuts ‘Sink Or Swim’ and ‘This Snake Bites’ and they stand as some of the best local tuneage I’ve heard all year. The former is a punchy, pit anthem that has a chorus to die for, while the latter is as venomous as a bite from the walking dead (and reminds this writer of ‘Head South’ by Pretty Girls Make Graves) and both feature jaw droppingly good vocals from Emma Gallagher. In short-check them out.

 

Next up, as I’m writing this latest missive, like many other readers, I’m regularly thigh deep in mud whilst clad in an always fetching poncho at the moment. Now before any wags leap to the conclusion that I’m trying out a new life choice inspired by 50 Shades Of Grey (#topical) I should remind you all that we’re now at the mid-way point of festival season, hence the garb. So, with that in mind, here’s a brief update on some of the north’s up-coming open air events.

 

Over the last few months there have been more additions to the Sunflower Fest, Hillsborough which takes place on Aug 17-19. Some of the added acts include Pocket Billiards, Runaway Go, Grainne Duffy, Clown Parlour, NI Soul Troop, Colum Sands, Suzanne Savage, Indigo Fury, the Delfinos, Yellow Car No Return, the Red Velvetines, Malaika, Bernadette Morris, the Couth, Axis Of, the Urges, My Fellow Sponges and Concrete Circus and you can check out the full line-up here sunflowerfest.co.uk.

 

Finally this issue, if you fancy being the last act added to the Stendhal Festival in Limavady (Aug 17-18) you better get your metaphorical skates on. Their Facebook page (facebook.com/pages/Stendhal-festival-of-art) are letting the public choose who will play alongside a line-up which already features Henry McCullough, Mundy, Mojo GoGo and more and your deadline is Aug 1. With the likes of Empty Lungs, Uber Glitterati and others all battling it out for a spot, it looks like no matter what the out-come-the public wins (yes, I went there).





Pretty Girls Make Graves

25 09 2010

For some reason I always end up forgetting how much I love/loved this band. Their music (particularly their debut ‘Good Health’ ) always brings me back to an exciting (and shit) time in my life around 2002/03 where I was living in a glorified squat that didn’t have a working lock on the front door and I was making my fanzine (Generation Why) not knowing if I could make an income from writing about music and generally paying my dues. In retropect, it was a really fun period but it didn’t feel like that at the time…

Anyway, I got to interview the band a few times and saw them twice in London, once in Glasgow and once in Punchestown and here’s some videos from the dearly departed group for your viewing pleasure. I still get goosebumps when I hear the opening bars of ‘Speakers Push the Air.’