KINGS OF LEON HOT PRESS COVER STORY

4 11 2013

Have to say, I’m happy how my cover story with Kings Of Leon turned out.

Go buy it, y’hear?





Day Two Of Tennent’s Vital Announced.

13 05 2013

Snow Patrol and Kodaline announced for Day Two of Tennent’s Vital (Aug 15).Here’s the press release.

SNOW PATROL TO PLAY MASSIVE HOMECOMING SHOW AT TENNENT’S VITAL IN THEIR ONLY EUROPEAN DATE THIS SUMMER
TICKETS FOR DAY 2 OF TENNENT’S VITAL ON SALE FRIDAY 17TH MAY, 10AM
 
Tennent’s Lager and MCD are thrilled to reveal that Snow Patrol will return to Tennent’s Vitalthis summer to play a massive homecoming show at Belfast’s Boucher Road Playing Fields onThursday 15th August. In a major coup for organisers, the band’s headline slot on the Day 2 of the festival will be their only European date this summerKodaline and Foy Vance have also been added to the bill for Day 2 of Tennent’s Vital.
Snow Patrol played the very first Tennent’s Vital back in 2002, returned to headline in 2006, and now they’re set to receive a local hero’s welcome when they bring their epic festival anthems back home to Belfast this August. The five-piece soared to international stardom after releasing their chart-topping breakthrough album Final Straw, which yielded the band’s first top 5 hit, Run and bagged them the inaugural Ivor Novello for Best Album in 2004. Its multi-platinum-selling, smash hit follow-up Eyes Open featured the epic Chasing Cars – a huge hit which was hailed Best Song of All Time by Virgin Radio listeners, number one song of the noughties by Channel 4 viewers and became the most played song of the decade in the UK.
Hailed Irish Band of the Decade by Hot Press in 2009, they are recipients of an impressive array of Meteor Music Awards, including Best Irish Band (2005, 2007, 2010), Best Irish Album (Final Straw andEyes Open), Best Live Performance and Most Downloaded Song (Chasing Cars­). Their long-awaited return to Tennent’s Vital promises to be an epic, unmissable occasion.
Dublin four-piece Kodaline have had a phenomenal start to the year, after going down a storm at SXSW and topping the Irish single charts with the smash hit single High Hopes. The group release their hotly anticipated debut album In A Perfect World this summer, and are sure to get the crowd going when they play Boucher Road Playing Fields this August.
Northern Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance made a big impression with his 2012 release The Melrose EP, and is set to follow it up with his new album Joy of Nothing this summer. Celebrated for his thought-provoking, powerful lyrics and spine-tingling vocals, he’s been hailed as one of the finest song-writers to emerge from Northern Ireland in recent years.
Last month organisers revealed that US rock giants Kings of Leon will headline Day 1 of the festival (14th August), with more top acts set to be revealed by organisers in the coming months.
Nicola McCleery, Head of Marketing for Tennent’s NI, commented:
“Snow Patrol are huge favourites with the Tennent’s Vital crowd – they played our very first festival back in 2002, and blew everyone away with their headline set in 2006, which has gone down in Tennent’s Vital history as a truly seminal moment. They are one of the biggest bands in the world, and we can’t wait to welcome them back to home soil. Joining them will be Kodaline and Foy Vance, who we’ve also announced today, and the second day of Tennent’s Vital promises to be very special indeed.”
 
Tennent’s Vital 2013 will once again bring some of the best musical talent on the planet to Belfast for an unforgettable festival experience. Fans can get their hands on tickets for Day 2 of Tennent’s Vital (15th August), headlined by Snow Patrol when they go on sale at 10am on Friday 17th May fromwww.ticketmaster.ie. Fans of Tennent’s Vital on Facebook can get exclusive priority access to theTennent’s Vital pre-sale from 10am TOMORROW (Tuesday 14th May) – joinwww.facebook.com/tennentsvital to find out how to reserve your ticket before they go on sale to the general public. Tickets for Day 1 of Tennent’s Vital, headlined by Kings of Leon, are on sale now from www.ticketmaster.ie.
Ticket Information
Tickets for Day 2 of Tennent’s Vital 2013 (Thursday 15th August) will go on general sale from 10am on Friday 17th May. Tickets for Day 1 of Tennent’s Vital, (Wednesday 14th August) are on sale now.
·         Wed 14 August – Kings of Leon plus more to be announced: £49.50 incl booking fee – on sale now
·         Thu 15 August – Snow Patrol plus guests Kodaline, Foy Vance and more to be announced: £44.50 incl booking fee – on sale Friday 17th May
·         Tickets can be secured via Tennent’s Vital’s official ticket partner www.ticketmaster.ie 
·         Tickets are also available in person from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide or via the 24hr Telephone hotlines: (NI & UK) 0844 8472455/ (ROI) 0818 719 300.
 
Tennent’s Vital is an over 16’s event.  However, a parent aged 25 and over can take up to two under 16’s to the show.  Parents will be required to show age identification and sign a consent form in order to gain admission on the day. Under 16’s must be accompanied by their parent at all times. Bars will operate a strict Challenge 25 policy.




TENNENT’S VITAL 2013: FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT

8 04 2013

Yes kids-it’s back! Here’s the first announcement for Tennent’s Vital 2013. Will update with more details over the next few hours. See you down the front.

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KINGS OF LEON CONFIRMED TO HEADLINE TENNENT’S VITAL
TICKETS ON SALE 9AM FRIDAY 12TH APRIL
 
Kings of Leon will headline Tennent’s Vital on Wednesday 14th AugustTennent’s Lager & MCD are thrilled to reveal. The Southern rockers are the first act to be announced for the 2013 festival, which returns to Boucher Road Playing Fields in Belfast this August, with details of the second date and more exciting line-up news set to be unveiled by organisers next month.
After a two year hiatus, Kings of Leon are back and ready to make their long awaited live return to Europe this summer. The band posted images of their return to the studio on their official Facebook page last week, fuelling excitement amongst fans, with anticipation for details of their 6th album rapidly growing.
The Followills made a big impression when they burst onto the scene in 2003 with their debut releaseYouth & Young Manhood. Since then, they’ve sold out arenas across the globe and cemented their status as one of the world’s biggest and most in-demand rock bands. The band have a slew of number 1 platinum selling records under their belt plus an array of accolades including BRIT Awards for Best International Band and Best International Album (Only By the Night) plus Grammys including the prestigious Record of the Year (Use Somebody) as well as Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song. Their epic, soaring anthems and incredible energy make them one of the greatest live acts on the planet, and their return to Belfast is sure to be the hottest ticket of the summer. Cue mass singalongs at Boucher Road Playing Fields.
Nicola McCleery, Head of Marketing for Tennent’s NI, comments:
“We are thrilled to reveal the first details of Tennent’s Vital 2013. We’re incredibly excited that Kings of Leon will be taking to the stage at the festival this August, as we’re sure our fans will be. They’re one of the finest bands in the world and a phenomenal live act, and I’m sure they’ll treat us to an unmissable set. Since its return in 2011, Tennent’s Vital has sealed its place as the highlight of Northern Ireland’s music calendar and we’re delighted that our partners at MCD have secured another huge international act for this summer. We’ll have more news on the rest of the line up next month with many more top acts in store – details will be revealed very soon!”
 
Tennent’s Vital 2012 saw the likes of the Foo Fighters, The Stone Roses, The Black Keys and Florence and the Machine play to 60,000 music fans at Boucher Road Playing Fields, and this year’s event will once again bring some of the best musical talent on the planet to Belfast for an unforgettable festival experience.
Fans can get their hands on tickets for Wednesday 14th August, headlined by Kings of Leon, when they go on sale this Friday (12th April) at 9am from www.ticketmaster.ie. Fans of Tennent’s Vital on Facebook can get exclusive priority access to the Tennent’s Vital pre-sale from 9am on Tuesday 9thApril – join www.facebook.com/tennentsvital to find out how to reserve your ticket before they go on sale to the general public.
Ticket Information
Tickets for Day 1 of Tennent’s Vital 2013 (Wednesday 14th August) will go on general sale from 9am on Friday, priced as follows:
·         Wed 14 August – Kings of Leon plus more to be announced: £49.50 incl booking fee.
·         Tickets can be secured via Tennent’s Vital’s official ticket partner www.ticketmaster.ie 
·         Tickets are also available in person from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide or via the 24hr Telephone hotlines: (NI & UK) 0844 8472455/ (ROI) 0818 719 300.
Tennent’s Vital is an over 16’s event.  However, a parent aged 25 and over can take up to two under 16’s to the show.  Parents will be required to show age identification and sign a consent form in order to gain admission on the day. Under 16’s must be accompanied by their parent at all times. Bars will operate a strict Challenge 25 policy.




Foo Fighters At Tennent’s Vital Review (Hot Press)

19 10 2012

Here’s a reprint of my review of Foo Fighters’ headline slot at this year’s Tennent’s Vital that ran in Hot Press a few issues ago.

FOO FIGHTERS

Tennent’s Vital, Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast

Ever since it was first announced that Dave Grohl and his band of genuinely merry men would be playing Belfast for the first time as part of the Tennent’s Vital festival, there has been more than a smidge of excitement emanating from the black t-shirt-clad rock community north and south of the border. Normally an event associated with indie, pop and hip hop acts, tonight’s bill sees those who love their bands turning the amps up to 11 get their turn and after being suitably warmed up by the likes of Trucker Diablo, the Minutes, the Cribs and the Black Keys, Hot Press heads towards the pit to watch the Foo Fighters pop the city’s cherry up close and personal.

 

Making their way onstage bright and early at 8.30pm, the boys tear straight into ‘White Limo’ followed immediately by ‘All My Life’ prompting thousands of people to push their way to the front and even provoking the odd lost soul to whip out their air guitar (bless). As introductions go, it’s a hell of a way to start the set and from there Grohl’s rock juggernaut fires on all cylinders, taking the fans on a trip down memory lane and visiting all seven records along the way.

 

“Has anyone seen us before? We used to suck,” offers the frontman in an attempt to apologise for his band’s way overdue visit and while it doesn’t exactly make up for the fact that they never bothered their holes coming to Belfast over the last two decades, the crowd certainly appreciates the sentiment. This evening every rock cliché is served up to festival goers on a plate and the 30 000 plus in audience lap up every morsel. We get mass singalongs, an airing of a few bars of the over-played Stiff Little Fingers cut ‘Alternative Ulster’ (*cringe*), a huge, fuck-off cat-walk for Dave to walk up and down on and even a backstage camera just in case the crowd haven’t seen enough of the hairy ones.

 

There are numerous highlights over the next two plus hours. ‘Hey, Johnny Park!’ is a particular treat thanks to its old school melodic metallic riff and the almost proggy sounds of ‘Rope’ works really well live and ‘Learn To Fly’ and ‘Monkey Wrench’ has the desired effect on the fair weather fans too.

 

By the time we get to the encore, which initially features the frontman playing ‘Wheels’ solo, we start to think about just how far the band have come over the last 17 or so years. What began as a side project (that saw Grohl regularly brick it onstage due to nerves during those first few gigs) has grown into a bona fide rock monster and he’s now a fairly consummate frontman to boot. In fact he even good-naturedly berates a fan for fiddling around on her mobile phone before playing ‘Breakout’ and delights in wishing tour manager Josh happy birthday onstage and the whole gig has felt extremely assured all night.

 

Signing off with ‘Everlong,’ the band state that it won’t take them as long to return to Belfast and while we don’t believe a word of it it’s clear that the crowd will always cherish their first time with the Foo Fighters.

EDWIN McFEE 





News From The North Week 106

23 07 2012

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

News

Words: Edwin McFee

This issue I thought I’d kick off proceedings with news about this year’s Tennent’s Vital festival which takes place in Belfast on August 21-22 at Boucher Playing Fields. Some of the more elephant-minded readers among you may recall that the festival organisers recently ran a competition (UnTapped) to find two up and coming NI-based bands to play at the shin-dig and this fortnight it has been revealed that no frills rock ‘n’ rollers Trucker Diablo and hip hop hero Gerard i2 have been selected to appear on the day. Beating off 16 other performers (apologies if that sounds like something from a mucky movie by the way) both turns truly deserve the opportunity and I’d like to wish them the best of luck for the event. For more info on the festival visit tennentsvital.com.

 

Next up, it gives me great pleasure to announce that drummer with the mighty Gacys Threads and all-round prince among men Stephen Currie has lined up another immense, neck-bothering release for his label Savour Your Scene Records. Specialising in Irish hardcore and metal, the enterprising tub thumper has been in touch to let us know about the impending cassette release of Dublin band Milestones’ new mini album Entropy. The date for your diaries is July 9 and on the same night, Milestones perform at Auntie Annie’s, Belfast and support comes from Death Of A Salesman and Katabolis, so make sure you check it out. For further details on the label and their roster of acts visit savouryourscene.co.uk.

 

It’s been a while since I last gave you news on the Stendhal Festival in Limavady and in those couple of months the organsiers have fleshed out the line-up for their festival in spectacular fashion. Taking place on Aug 17-18 at Ballymully Cottage Farm, the event now boasts (deep breath) Henry McCullough, Silhouette, Trucker Diablo, Triggerman, Mundy, Pat McManus Band, Mojo GoGo, Best Boy Grip, Intermission, Lantern For A Gale, Wyldling, Peter McVeigh and many more and you can view the full list at stendhalfestival.com. The organisers are also letting the general public choose which act receives the final slot on the line-up via their Facebook page (facebook.com/pages/Stendhal-festival-of-art) so head over there after you’re done reading this.

 

Finally this fortnight, I’ve just enough room to tell you that the always incendiary Fighting With Wire have been added to the bill for the Tanglewood Festival at Narrow Water Castle (round Newry-way) on August 4. For more details have a wee click here tanglewoodmusic.co.uk.





Trucker Diablo and Gerard i2 for Tennent’s Vital

13 06 2012

A few weeks ago I was invited down to help chose the winners of the Untapped competition and today the acts who have bagged the slots on the bill for Tennent’s Vital have been revealed. Here’s the press release.

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TENNENT’S LAGER UNVEILS TENNENT’S UNTAPPED WINNERS

TRUCKER DIABLO & GERARD i2 WILL PLAY TENNENT’S VITAL

Tennent’s Lager is excited to reveal that local rising stars Trucker Diablo and Gerard i2 will join some of the biggest stars in the world at Tennent’s Vital this August.

Moira based rockers Trucker Diablo will play the festival on Day 1 alongside Foo FightersThe Black Keys and The Minutes on Aug 21st.

Strabane Hip Hop star Gerard I2 will have the incredible opportunity to perform on the same stage as The Stone RosesFlorence and The Machineand Rodrigo Y Gabriela on Aug 22nd.

Tennent’s UnTapped is a major initiative from Tennent’s Lager that unearths and supports the best up and coming music talent based in Northern Ireland and give bands the unique opportunity to perform on the main stage at Tennent’s Vital.

In its inaugural year, 250 artists submitted their tracks for consideration to the Tennent’s UnTapped website. A prestigious panel of music industry judges then chose sixteen acts to perform in front of audiences at a series of live showcases in Belfast and Derry-Londonderry in May.  After much deliberation, the judges have now decided that Trucker Diablo and Gerard i2 are the two acts that will open Tennent’s Vital in August.

 

Aisling Duffy, Marketing Manager for Tennent’s Lager NI comments:

“The standard this year has been outstanding and really reflects what’s going on in Northern Ireland’s grassroots music scene.  Tennent’s are proud to be supporting these new artists by giving them this unique platform and the chance to share a bill with some of the world’s best bands. We’re sure that Tennent’s Vital fans are going to be incredibly impressed by both Trucker Diablo and Gerard i2” 

One of the judges for Tennent’s UnTapped is Joe Dougan from The Limelight and Shine Productions.  He comments:

 “I think all the judges have been hugely impressed by the talent unearthed through Tennent’s UnTapped – the live showcases were a fantastic advert for the vibrancy and diversity of our local music scene. Trucker Diablo are a thrilling live band and their sound is made for the big stage. Gerard i2 impressed everyone with the energy and originality of his performance and it’s great to see the emergence of an authentic Northern Irish hip hop star. Both acts really stood out for us and I can’t wait to see them take to the stage at Tennent’s Vital.”

Trucker Diablo formed in early 2008 and soon built up momentum through the local support of fans and strong word of mouth across the internet.  Their self-released debut album “The Devil Rhythm”, features a guest appearance from fellow Northern Irish rocker and Thin Lizzy frontman, Ricky Warwick.  The band has also won praise from Joe Elliot (Def Leppard) and Cormac Neeson (The Answer).

Gerard i2 is a talented hip hop MC and lyrist from Strabane.  He’s already won much acclaim for his blunt, honest and thoughtful lyrics on the album ‘What I Like and Love’ and he’s picked up support  from both Radio Ulster’s Across the Line and BBC Radio 1 Introducing.

 

For more information about Tennent’s UnTapped please visit: tennentsvital.com/untapped and facebook.com/tennentslagerni.





News From The North 102

31 05 2012

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

News

Words: Edwin McFee

A few months ago, you may recall we informed you about a new initiative called Untapped that was master-minded by the head honchos behind the upcoming Tennent’s Vital festival which aimed to promote the local music scene by offering four lucky acts the chance to open the main stage at this year’s shin-dig in Belfast. Well, this fortnight, the organisers have revealed the names of the final 16 turns who will be fighting it out for a much coveted slot alongside the likes of the Stone Roses, the Foo Fighters and more on August 21-22 and they’ve also confirmed that they will perform at four showcase gigs in both NI’s capital and Derry in May.

 

Kicking off in the Limelight, Belfast on May 16, Master and Dog, Gerard i2, Havana House Party and Jepettos all duke it out for a spot on the bill, then the following night in the same venue Trucker Diablo, City of Stars, Peter McVeigh and Futurescope all lay the (sonic) smack down. After that, the Tennent’s Untapped competition takes itself off to the Bound for Boston in Derry on May 23 and features Best Boy Grip, A Northern Light, Rachel Austin and Mojo Gogo battling it out, while the next night features Droids, Morning Claws, Pretty Child Backfire and Two Glass Eyes. I think you’ll all agree that the final 16 are a pleasingly diverse mix of acts from different genres and sub cultures and I’d like to wish everyone the best of luck.

 

Next up, keeping proceedings on a festival tip, the brand spanking new Link Fest in Derry have just revealed details of their line-up and the bill is as solid as the Incredible Hulk’s armchair if we do say so ourselves. Taking place on July 13-14 and at multiple venues (which include Mason’s, the Playhouse, the Castle, Bound for Boston and Gweedor) some of the acts include Our Krypton Son, By Any Means, Furlo, Wyldling, Triggerman and Making Monsters and for more details check out facebook.com/linkfest.

 

Finally this fortnight, I’ve just enough room to remind you all about ska punk deities Pocket Billiards tenth anniversary gig at the Mandela Hall, Belfast on May 12. Doubling as a release party for their second album Last Chance To Dance the show is set to be a doozy (yes, doozy) and Axis Of, Bomb City 7 and Chewing on Tinfoil are the support acts. The band have also uploaded new track ‘So Many People, So Little Time’ onto pocketbilliards.bandcamp.com and it sounds awesome, so check it out.