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.

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Silhouette At The Riff Raff Rooms Newry-Tomorrow Night

21 10 2010

If you’re nowt on tomorrow night, you should head to see the uber-good Silhouette at the Riff Raff Rooms in Newry town. Shauna and Co. have had an amazing 10 months so far and next year things look like they’re going to get even better and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the opportunities right now. If you haven’t caught the band before, they’re an ace mix of avant garde influenced awkward alt-pop and Victory At Sea-esque grandiose clatter and are getting better as the weeks progress. In fact it seems like no time at all when they were debuting the new line-up last year at my 30th birthday show and they’ve really gelled well together in such a (relatively) short space of time.

A few weeks ago I wrote a short piece on the gig for my column in Hot Press, so here’s a reprint. Incidentally, if any bands/promoters want featured in the Hit the North page get in touch. In fact while I’m at it, I’m also looking after the music pages in the Sunday Life for the next few months too, so if you want your gig featured there give us a shout  on here, Facebook, Twitter, or, if you’re that way inclined-you can talk to me via the medium of dance.

But enough waffling, here’s the Hot Press column and the poster for tomorrow’s gig. If I’m not covering a show elsewhere I should be down at this too, so come say hello. I’ll be the grumpy looking bloke with too many tattoos.

News

Words: Edwin McFee

Ever since time began (well, the 80s) this writer’s homeland of Newry has been a bit of a wasteland when it comes to offering some much-needed teenage kicks. While the 60s and 70s saw the likes of Lizzy, U2 and Gallagher tread the town’s boards, (Rory that is, not those two eijits from Manchester) it seemed that the initial spark of a burgeoning live music scene unfortunately fizzled out like a firework that’s been left out in the rain. All is not lost though, as the good people involved with the Riff Raff Rooms have been steadily building up a reputation for themselves as the taste-makers of the border town and have made some excellent bookings in recent months which have whetted Hot Presses collective appetite and marked them out as ones to watch over the months ahead.

Part of the venture’s current appeal lies in their recent union with the 27 Club. Already a staple event in Warrenpoint, the club is masterminded by Beat Poets’ tub thumper Mark Dinsmore and has featured everyone from NI heavyweights And So I Watch You From Afar to General Fiasco over the years and it looks like they’re planning to repeat that success in Newry. Kicking off the union with a gig on Oct 22 by the insanely talented (and arguably one of the best performers in the country right now) Silhouette, there are also plans for shows from the whiskey-soaked lunatics that are Here Comes the Landed Gentry on Nov 19 and the always impressive Cashier No. 9 too and we’d like to wish them every success in the world.

Speaking of success, the annual local band love-in that is Glasgowbury has once again been nominated for several categories in the UK Festival Awards. Paddy Glasgow and Co. are in the running for Best Small Festival and the Grassroots Award (which are voted for by Joe Public via http://uk.festivalawards.com/) as well as the industry selected Promoter of the Year and Line-Up of the Year and fingers crossed they’ll come away with something as we’d love to see the lads channel their inner Halle Berry for their acceptance speeches.

Finally, NI’s all-conquering kings of metal Gacys Threads have announced that they will launch their second EP ‘Wolf Brigade’ with a gig on the night before Hallowe’en at the Pavilion in Belfast. Having supported the likes of Fear Factory, Cancer Bats and August Burns Red in the past, the band’s star has been in ascendance this year and the new four track release leaves us hungry to hear a full length LP from them. For more info check out www.myspace.com/gacysthreads.





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.





Vote! Vote! Vote!

13 08 2009

If y’all have a spare minute, take a bit of time out to vote for SilhouettE in the People’s Music Awards and also at this year’s Music Quest in Lisburn. She’s a great singer and is (unless you didn’t know) playing at the Spring and Airbrake on Aug 29, so go support lend your virtual support!

Here’s the original mailout-

Hello hello!

How are you all doing?! 

As you may have read in the last newsletter, I have entered into the Peoples Music Awards again this year with a new song ‘Volume Destroyed’ and would really appreciate your votes if you could. 

All you need to do is visit http://www.thepeoplesmusicawards.com/silhouette and there will be info on how you can vote for Silhouette there!!!

There is also another voting thing for ‘Music Quest’ 2009 on http://twtpoll.com/3x5e8l so if you fancy having a listen to some of the acts – then vote for your favourite!!!!

Thanks very much!!!

Shauna T xxx