Bye Bye 2012

31 12 2012

Yes kids, it’s that time again where we wave buh bye to the year and welcome in a new one. Instead of words this NYE,  I’ve decided to post up some pictures which sum up the last 12 months before finishing off with my top 20 LPs of 2012.

Thanks to all the bands, promoters, PRs and mates who hooked me up with records, gigs and good times.Here’s to 2013.

2012: The Year In Photos (And The Odd You Tube Link)

May 13, 2012. I’ll remember this day until they put me in a pine box.Kinda crazy to think that long after we’re dead, people will still be able to see us on this footage of City winning their first Premier league title. Can you spot me and my Da? Handy hint: We’re under the giant purple arrow….

Chilling like villains backstage at the Odyssey with the WWE alongside my brother and nephew.Also-big thanks to the Celtic Warrior Sheamus for hooking us up and being an absolute hero.

Here’s a clip of Therapy? playing ‘Exiles’ at the Tall Ships in Dublin this summer.Y’know…I might refer to myself as “the wonderful Edwin McFee” for the duration of 2013 (the quality’s amazing, eh…..?). Mad props to the Therapy? boys.

My fanzine, Generation Why, (which started the ball rolling on this mental job of mine) celebrated its tenth birthday.

There was a lot of party rocking in a variety of different places with a number of different people this year.Here’s to more adventures.

I finally got that Iron Maiden mask I’ve always wanted.

…and that Betty Banner tattoo I’ve always been looking for too.

And lastly (but certainly not, um, leastly…) here’s my Top 20 LPs of 2012.It’s been a great year for records and hopefully 2013 will be just as good. Happy New Year and Up the Irons!

1) Therapy? ‘A Brief Crack Of Light’

2) Gallows ‘Gallows’

3) Hot Water Music ‘Exister’

4) Best Coast ‘The Only Place’

5) The Gaslight Anthem ‘Handwritten’

6) Wolfsbane ‘Wolfsbane Saves The World’

7) Triggerman ‘Hail To The River Gods’

8) JD McPherson ‘Signs And Signifiers’

9) Cloud Nothings ‘Attack On Memory’

10) Hour Of 13 ‘333’

11) Cheap Freaks ‘Bury Them All’

12) The Jim Jones Revue ‘The Savage Heart’

13) Bobby Conn ‘Macaroni’

14) James Levy And The Blood Red Rose ‘Pray To Be Free’

15) Mystery Jets ‘Radlands’

16) DZ Deathrays ‘Bloodstreams’

17) Master And Dog ‘Master And Dog’

18) Band Of Horses ‘Mirage Rock’

19) Baby Woodrose ‘Third Eye Surgery’

20) Alabama Shakes ‘Boys & Girls’

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Singles Of 2012

28 12 2012

At the end of ever year I have to send over a list of my favourite albums, singles and gigs of the year to the magazines I write for.Here’s my Top 10 singles of 2012.Warning-Genre Nazis should look away now…

1) Taylor Swift FT. The Civil Wars: ‘Safe And Sound’

2) Pure Love: ‘Handsome Devil’s Club’

3) Professor Green: ‘Remedy’

4) Girls Aloud: ‘Something New’

5) Grimes: ‘Oblivion’

6) The Gaslight Anthem: ’45’

7) Lana Del Rey: ‘Ride’

8) Best Coast: ‘Do You Love Me Like You Used To’

9) Pure Love: ‘Riot Song’

10) Bat For Lashes: ‘Laura’

 





The Gaslight Anthem ’45’

7 06 2012

So, a couple of months ago I got sent the new Gaslight Anthem LP (‘Handwritten’) and while I haven’t given it as many listens as I’d like, I reckon it’s as good, if not better than ‘American Slang.’Sadly it’s not as punky as ‘Sink Or Swim’,’ but it’s definitely going to turn a lot of heads when it comes out in July…

Here’s the video for the first single ’45.’ Will post up a review of the record whenever it runs…





The Horrible Crowes

31 08 2011

Next week the debut album by the Horrible Crowes comes out, so here’s a reprint of my review of the LP that ran in Hot Press.It’s my album of the year so far and if you like night-time music and having a wee mope (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) then check it out.

The Horrible Crowes

Elsie (Side One Dummy)

Four and a half stars

Key Track: ‘Behold The Hurricane’

Gaslight singer delivers plenty of anthems for his debut side project.

Billed as Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon’s “quiet band,” the Horrible Crowes is a brand new side project that sees the crooner pair up with his old friend Ian Perkins and for the duration of their debut album Elsie they unashamedly indulge their inner torch singers and channel Tom Waits, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, the Afghan Whigs and more on this hugely entertaining opus. Though not quite as chilled out as we were initially expecting, the songs on the record are sexy and soulful and fans will be pleased to know that they stand shoulder to shoulder with some of his best work in his “day job.”

In addition to being a skilled melody writer, Fallon is also a super-talented wordsmith and his heart-sick lyrics really shine on the mellow material and lines like “It’s such a shame/I heard the wind say this morning/Be still my heart/I age by years at the mention of your name” (‘Behold The Hurricane’) really come alive thanks to the more relaxed musical delivery. The perfectly measured melancholy of ‘Cherry Blossoms,’ the anthemic ‘Crush’ and the Waits-esque carnival stomp that is ‘Mary Ann,’ all see the singer at the peak of his powers and there is rarely a wasted moment on this inspired release. Pick this up now.  

Edwin McFee





Isn’t This Pretty?

25 11 2010

Soooooooooooo, as expected, the Gaslight Anthem absolutely killed it on Monday night and, truth be told, I’m still a little under the weather from all the merriment (yup, I’m a total lightweight). I’ll post up the review in a couple of weeks once it runs, but in the meantime, have a look at this amazing poster my brother bought me for my new place (which he has dubbed “the Passion Pad”). Isn’t it nice?

Here’s a closer look. I love the EC Comics/Tales From the Crypt homage. Now all I need is to find someone to drive me to Ikea to buy a frame for it. Oh the trials and tribulations of being the Young McFee….!





And It’s Probably Gonna Fade Like A Tattoo That Hides The Shame

22 11 2010

For the last six months or so, I’ve more or less been constantly listening to all three albums by the Gaslight Anthem. While their first one ‘Sink Or Swim’ is easily my favourite (I like it when bands are a little rougher round the edges) this year’s ‘American Slang’ is great too, and it features in the top five of my ‘albums of 2010’ list that I’ve sent to the different mags I write for for their end of year polls.

Tonight, I’m reviewing the band at the Ulster Hall and I have to say I haven’t been as excited about a gig in a long time. Last night they covered Lizzy’s ‘the Boys Are Back In Town’ in Dublin, so here’s hoping we get something similar this evening and if they play ‘1930’ I will almost certainly lose. My. Shit.





Hot Summer, What A Bummer Part 2

12 10 2009

The second festival I covered this year was about a month after Download and it was the much talked about Oxegen. This year’s bill was the best ever-specky indie kids could get their kicks from the likes of Blur and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, goths had Nick Cave and Nine Inch Nails, pop kids had Katy Perry and Lady GaGa, rockers had Therapy? and Eagles of Death Metal and dance heads had their own tent. We camped out as usual this year BECAUSE I AM HARDCORE (not in the “I’m hardcore/I’m a Straight Edge wanker” way-in a comedy way of course) and the weather was probably the worst I’ve ever experienced. Still, the music was great and thanks to the Hot Press people being so understanding, I didn’t have to review Kings of Leon so I could watch Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds instead. Result!

Day one consisted of travelling down, getting drenched, interviewing Duke Special on camera then meeting Brody Dalle, catching up with the Therapy? boys, drinking some beer and spotting Udo from Accept (http://www.therapyquestionmark.co.uk/biography/diary/read.php?diaryid=272). What he was doing there I’ll never know, but he seemed to get my phone number outta somewhere. Hmmmm…

Day two was a total washout. After Yeah Yeah Yeahs I thought I was a goner (probably should’ve followed Carrie’s lead by getting hammered on wine) but it cleared up nicely for old Nick who put on the show of his life. Day three saw us leave after Katy Perry (who was amazing) but not before torrrential rain soaked us so badly my phone drowned in my pocket. Still, the GaGa and Katy more than made up for it.

Anyway, I covered day two for Hot Press, and here’s the reprint that I lovingly typed up while caked in mud.

Oxegen Day Two (July 11)

Kicking things off bright and early, New Jersey blue collar punks the Gaslight Anthem arrive onstage 20minutes late and grinning like seven year olds who just won a year’s supply of sweets. Currently the subject of many a bro-mance (ahem) singer Brian Fallon is a charming devil and his band play cuts culled from their second record The ’59 Sound. It’s safe to say that the boys are on a total Tom Petty/Bruce Springsteen trip (in fact they even cover ‘American Girl’ as a homage) but their honesty and warmth make songs like ‘Great Expectations,’ ‘Old White Lincoln’ and the title track sound enormous.

The same can be said for Aussie outfit Howling Bells too, who play our very own Hot Press Tent. They might have been beset by a bucket-load of mishaps (their guitarist’s luggage was sent to Istanbul, they missed their ferry, they had to drive for 30 hours straight and according to singer Juanita Stein they stayed in a whore-house in Amsterdam) but they’re clearly loving being onstage and their set is a dreamy, ethereal clutch of tunes that sound like Florence and the Machine only, you know, good.

 Sadly we couldn’t actually fit into the Green Spheres tent for the Saturdays (boo) but we did manage to catch them play ‘Work’ and let’s face it, considering it’s the only song they have we didn’t miss too much. Eagles of Death Metal are another of today’s disappointments. Much like their mates in Spinnerette they spend far too much effort trying to be cool when they should let their music do the talking. Jesse ‘Boots Electric’ Hughes may have the tidiest ‘tache of the weekend, but the witty onstage patter just isn’t enough anymore.

Passion Pit in the Hot Press Tent on the other-hand are the exact opposite. They let their futurist funky white boy rhythms say it all and have the whole crowd unintentionally dancing like Bruno. Yeah Yeah Yeahs over on the main stage give us a powerhouse performance despite the torrential rain and a guitar amp which seems hellbent on electrocuting Nick Zinner. Karen O’s lime green leggings might make her look a little bit like a demented mutant frog, but she’s the perfect frontwoman this evening. Their set is a mix of old and new material and ‘Rockers To Swallow,’ ‘Cheated Hearts’ and ‘Date With The Night’ are definite standouts in a Herculean performance.

We spend the next few hours not knowing who to check out catching Pete Doherty, the Mars Volta, Doves and Bloc Party but coming away from the performances feeling a little unsatisfied. We’re mostly ticked off by the former Libertines man, largely because he’s still singing songs like ‘Fuck Forever’ as if they were anthems of a generation even though his most hardcore acolytes are finally starting to realize he’s a dried up old pantomime dame.

But, with the sound of the Pet Shop Boys plastic performance still ringing in our ears (‘It’s A Sin’ was great) we make our way over to the O2 Stage to catch Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ Oxegen debut. Playing a festival pleasing set, old Nick has the crowd in the palms of his hands wasting no time bashing out ‘Deanna,’ ‘Henry Lee’ and ‘Dig, Lazarus Dig.’ The ominous night sky and mud covered ground only seem to add to the performance with the singer virtually begging for some thunder and lightning during the stomping rain-dance that is ‘Tupelo.’ As per usual, Nick plays his customary role of the possessed preacher man with aplomb stabbing into the night air with his fingers and flailing his arms around like a madman. Highlight has to be the gorgeous ‘Ship Song’ which pleases the lovers and the loveless in equal measure but ‘The Weeping Song’ and a tamer version of ‘The Mercy Seat’ are runners up. The Bad Seeds bring their show stealing set to a close with ‘Stagger Lee’ which is as brooding and menacing as this writer had hoped. Sadly we only get one song for the encore as Nick calls out Shane McGowan, who in fairness looks like he’s had one too many light ales. Even the singer seems bemused by the Pogues’ frontman’s state and embraces him, laughs good naturedly and closes the performance with a bow. What a legend.

Edwin McFee