And The Second Headliner For Tennent’s Vital Is….

10 06 2011

….The Script!

Press release below…..







Tickets On Sale Friday 17th June at 9AM

The Script will headline the first day of Tennent’s Vital on 23rd August.  The multi-platinum selling band will be joined at Ward Park by Bangor’s very own local heroes Two Door Cinema Club

The Script and Two Door Cinema Club are both enjoying huge international acclaim at the moment and are without doubt the most successful bands to emerge from these shores in recent years. The Script and Two Door Cinema Club will be joined at Ward Park by a full supporting bill.

The Script are one of the hottest live tickets in the world right now, breaking all manner of box office records globally and garnering fantastic reviews for their sell out tours of Australia and The USA. 

Their latest album Science and Faith’ peaked at No.3 in both countries and following high profile appearances on a host of hit US chat shows including The Late Show With David Letterman and The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, they sold over 100,000 albums and singles in a single week in the US.   They’ve just headlined a huge outdoor show at New York’s Rumsey Playfield (4th June) and after their headline slot at Tennent’s Vital, The Script will return stateside in the autumn for a 31-city headlining tour.

‘Science and Faith’ debuted at No.1 in both the UK and Ireland while ‘For The First Time’ also gave the trio their first No.1 single. Their self-titled first album sold more than 2 million copies worldwide.

The Script’s performance at Tennent’s Vital will be fans last chance to see them live in Ireland until 2013.  Anyone lucky enough to secure a ticket for their two sold-out nights at the Odyssey in March will remember the energy and excitement that the band generates live.

The Script’s lead singer Danny O’Donoghue comments: “Our two shows at The Odyssey were mind blowing so it’s fantastic to get the chance to come back to Northern Ireland.  We love playing live, it’s such an incredible buzz to experience that connection with your audience.  Headlining such a major outdoor festival will be really special”.

Famed for their haunting melodies  and Danny’s soulful vocals riding high over huge, anthemic choruses, The Script are a must see live act and their appearance at Tennent’s Vital will be among the most highly anticipated gigs of the year.

Following their all-conquering assault of packed-out venues around the world with sold out tours in the US, Australia and Japan, Tennent’s Vital will be a triumphant homecoming for Two Door Cinema Club.

The band’s upward trajectory has been unstoppable over the last 12 months. They’ve picked up a devoted word-of-mouth following and gained massive critical adulation for their debut album ‘Tourist History’Two Door Cinema Club have also just played their biggest headline show to date at London’s iconic Brixton Academy – it sold out within 3 hours of going on sale.


‘Tourist History’  has now been lodged inside The UK Album Charts for a phenomenal 60 weeks.  It won the prestigious Choice Music Award for Best Irish Album in 2010 and also helped the band pick up two nominations in the NME Awards (Best New Band and Best Album).  The Times have called them “the band of the moment” and NME declared that they have “quietly become one of the UK’s best loved bands.”

Two Door Cinema Club have also made huge waves in the US with an extensive tour in 2000+ capacity venues and being chosen to kick off this year’s prestigious SXSW festival in Austin, Texas with a sold out headline show.

Fans of Tennent’s Vital on facebook can get exclusive priority access to the Tennent’s Vital pre-sale from 9AM Tuesday 14th June.  Join to find out how to reserve your ticket before they go on sale to the general public.

Tickets for Tennent’s Vital with The Script and Two Door Cinema Club, 23rd August, will go on general sale from 9am Friday 17th June. Tickets are priced at £34.50 incl booking fee and are strictly limited to 8 per person/transaction.

Tickets can be secured via our official ticket partner

Tickets are also available in person from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide or via the 24hr Telephone hotlines: (NI & UK) 0870 243 445 / (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.

News From The North 75

4 04 2011

As some folk may already know, for the last three years I’ve written a column in Hot Press devoted to covering bands from Northern Ireland. Here’s one of the more recent missives…


Words: Edwin McFee

It’s “new release” fortnight up here in the north at the moment and it seems as if everyone has something to flog. So, without further ado, let’s get to it. First up, Belfast’s decidedly modish four-piece the Vals are preparing to unveil a brand new double A-side single (‘Look To The One/Emily O’). Featuring the inimitable Mr Henry McCullough (formerly of Wings) the slab of wax is penciled in for an early May date, so get saving your pennies now. The band will no doubt be off on another European festival jaunt this summer and we’ll of course keep you posted.

Next up, if, like this writer, you enjoy a bit of action in the squared circle (I swear that isn’t half as dirty as it looks on paper) then you’ll want to check out the new video for the Bonnevilles’ latest salvo of sleazy blues punk ‘Good Suits And Fightin’ Boots,’ which features some Mexican style Lucha Libre wrestling. Made by the hugely imaginative filmmaker Sean Duncan (AKA Red Cap Productions the clip and single are available on April 7. The band also play a launch gig that night in the Menagerie, Belfast and well worth checking out it is too.

A Plastic Rose (another of Mr Duncan’s previous conquests spookily enough) are planning to still go ahead will the launch gig for their latest mini album The Promise Notes on March 31 despite being stuck down with an illness that forced them to cut short their recent UK tour. Featuring a sterling line-up consisting of Axis Of and Colenso Parade, the action kicks off in the Limelight, Belfast and fingers crossed they’ll have kicked whatever ails them by then. In the meantime, you can catch Red Cap Productions video for ‘Oceans’ via this very link

Recent signings to the near mythic rock label Metal Blade Records, Darkest Era release their new album The Last Caress Of Light on March 26 and play a launch gig in the Limelight, Belfast that evening. Kicking off at 5pm, it’s £5 in and also on the bill are Sirocco and Sorrowfall. Darkest Era’s sound is a sabre-rattling blend of Lizzy and Maiden and the few tracks we’ve heard from their debut are pulse-racing power metal anthems, so expect big things. For more on the Enniskillen/Belfast mob, check out

Finally, we’d like to offer a quick congratulations to Two Door Cinema Club who scooped the Choice Music Prize. As regular readers of the column will know, I’ve championed them for years, so I’m especially pleased to see them get the recognition they deserve. From little acorns…

Church Of Noise 2

17 05 2010

Remember I blogged about a new column I’m writing in the Big List called Church of Noise? Well I’ll be running some reprints from the last few issues over the next lock of days.

Church of Noise

Local music news.

In the real world, dressing up as feg-smoking, beer drinking, gambling bear/men and kidnapping a hot blonde chick for your own ends will more than likely get your collar felt by the old bill, but in the realm of rock ‘n’ roll-people film it and make a music video out of it instead. Thank Elvis the Black Bear Saloon are the latter eh? Yes readers, if you haven’t seen the clip for their single ‘Face The Future’ by now-here’s the deal. The video features our heroes in bear suits while generally behaving badly and driving old cars around and very good it is too. The band have finally got their furry arses in gear and released it as a proper single too and for 99 of your pennies you not only get ‘Face The Future’ but you also have a newly remixed ‘Al Bronco’ and the aforementioned video for your virtual collection. All you have to do is click on and bob is your da’s brother. We don’t know about you, but that’s our Mother’s Day present sorted then…

It looks like March is going to be a hell of a month for local music as both Two Door Cinema Club and General Fiasco release their debut albums into the wild and we’re pleased to report that both slabs of wax are hotter than a pajama party round Megan Fox’s house. TDCC’s ‘Tourist History’ (out on March 2 via Kitsune and the launch gig takes place in the Stiff Kitten, Belfast on March 5) is possibly one of the best records this writer has heard all year and with the likes of cataracts-glasses wearing, award show wrecking Kanye West and Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus (y’know-the dude isn’t the one with the whiney voice or the bloke who looks like a human etch-a-sketch) falling over themselves to proclaim the three-piece from Bangor as the next big thing, we reckon it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world catches on too.

General Fiasco’s ‘Buildings’ (out March 22 via Infectious and the launch gig is on March 28 in the Mandela Hall, Belfast) is another thunderous 40minutes worth of teenage kicks and should see the boys scale the heights they’ve always deserved too. With a great new video for their stellar single ‘Ever So Shy’ slated for a March 8 release (if you haven’t seen it yet, check out my blog for a looky we’re predicting big things for the boys.

Another band on the cusp of something special are everyone’s favourite hard to pin down rebel rousers the Tin Pot Operation. The group (now augmented by the addition of mandolin player Daithi) are due to start work on their third record this month and are returning to their old stomping grounds of the Blueroom to start work on the much anticipated opus. Good luck chaps and chap-ess.

 Finally, fresh from the massive Belfast 4 Haiti mega-gig (yes, I’ve copyrighted the word mega-gig so don’t go robbing it) three photographers have decided to have a good old fashioned team up in order to aid the charity and are selling prints from the gigs on this link So if you’ve ever wanted a nice, frame-able photo of Yakuza, the Answer or some eijit in the crowd who’s drunk so much he looks like he’s chewed his own elbows off (while also helping a worthwhile cause) then you know what to do.

 See y’all next month folks. Up the Irons.


News From the North Double Dose

6 04 2010

To make up for missing a fortnight-here’s a double dose of NI band news that ran in previous issues of Hot Press. Don’t say I’m not good to you.


Words: Edwin McFee

Vol 34 Issue 04

This fortnight we’ve mostly been freezing our unmentionables off and been grumbling about the fact that February sucks ass, so in a bid to look on the brighter side of life we’ve decided to turn our attentions this issue to June 5, 2010. Why June 5 you ask? Well that’s the date when NI’s biggest band (no, not D-Ream, Snow Patrol you fools) play a very special homecoming show in Ward Park, Bangor. This is only one of a handful of outdoor shows the band will play all year and to make it extra special they’ve roped in General Fiasco for support duties. By that stage, GF will be dominating the world from their secret underground bunker if their debut record Buildings is anything to go by (out March 22 via Infectious Records) and keep your peepers peeled to this column for more news on the show as and when we get it.

For the past few years, NI’s finest alt rockers Yakuza have sadly been indulging in a bit of Odin-Sleep, but much like that one eyed all-father of Norse mythology (see-we can do high brow references when we want to) the four-piece have returned with a vengeance in 2010 and have been playing a gaggle of great gigs as a warm up for the release of their second album (which we’ve yet to hear hint hint…). In addition to their live activity, they’ve also made a new video for their song ‘What Were They, Psychos?’ which was directed by Darren McNanney (who also provided the album artwork for their first slab of wax One Nation Under Awed) and suitably insane it is too. If you want to watch the clip for yourself then check out this link

 Staying roughly on topic for once, everyone’s new favourite band Two Door Cinema Club have made a great video for their superb single ‘Undercover Martyn.’ Adored by the likes of Kanye West (who we’ve heard loves the Bangor trio as much as he likes making an arsehole out of himself on live TV shows) and Mark Hoppus from Blink 182 (y’know, the one who isn’t covered in tattoos or in Angles and Airwaves) Two Door can do no wrong right now and their video is pretty special. Check it out here

Finally if you haven’t heard enough about music videos-then we’ve got good news for you. Producers of a new local TV show are on the hunt for new and exciting clips from unsigned bands. All you have to do to get involved is email with a link to your video along with full contact details and that’s that. Simples.


Words: Edwin McFee

Vol 34 Issue 06

On April 5, seven-piece whiskey soaked troubadours Captain Kennedy release their new double A-Side single ‘Scratch That Penny’/’Sweetest Friend’ via all major download sites as a pre-cursor to their hugely anticipated debut record which comes out in the summer. Last month Hot Press became the first ones to hear the single besides the band (yes, get us) and both tracks really are songs to fall in love to and ‘Sweetest Friend’ in particular has greatness stamped all over it, so make sure you (virtually) pick it up. For more information on the Lurgan lads and lass, check out

What are you doing on July 3rd? Well, if the answer is “Sitting around and secretly wishing there was a music festival taking place somewhere in Mid-Ulster” then your dreams have come true as Banbridge are hosting their very own open air bash. Taking place beside Corbet Lake, the event is dubbed Take It To The Bridge and features And So I Watch You From Afar, A Plastic Rose, Panama Kings and others on the line-up. Tickets for the event are £25 and for details on where you can snag some check out

LaFaro release their long awaited debut album on May 10 via Smalltown America and play a gig in the Menagerie in Belfast on April 26. Sadly tickets sold out within about three minutes of going on sale, but knowing the LaFaro boys it won’t take them too long to announce more shows around the rest of Ireland. Of course, we’d love to be able to tell you that their self titled slab of wax is the veritable cat’s pyjamas, but as no-one has sent us a copy yet we haven’t a baldy notion what to expect (we haven’t worked out if this hint is subtle or not…). Altogether now-BOOOOOOO!

Newry/Warrenpoint metallers Ozzmium have unveiled their amazing clip for ‘Worse Than Ever’ this fortnight and it’s an absolute belter of a video. In the process of making the promo they destroyed a cottage, broke some fingers, blew out their ear drums, smashed bottles, got involved in a domestic dispute and generally sweated like a fat bloke at a game of paintball to create the clip and you can watch it by clicking on the link Fans of Killswitch Engage and loud noises going BOOM will love this lot, so check out for more.

Hot For 2010

2 02 2010

Last December I was asked to suggest a list of some of the best new Irish bands for Hot Press’ Hot for 2010 feature (that ran in last fortnight’s issue). I sent off a batch of names of people who I thought were doing something a little different and most of ’em made the shortlist. Below is four of my picks, who I interviewed for the spread. Go check ’em out and see what you think.

Hot For 2010

No Mean City

“It all kinda started through a mutual friend,” begins No Mean City’s uber vixen Jilly St John. “I had been making little guest appearances on friends’ acoustic sets while out on the raz and I got a buzz from it, so I basically texted everyone I knew telling them that I’d like to start a band. I was introduced to Paul [Monk, guitar] a few days later and we had written our first two tracks together within the week.”

While they may only be babbies in the NI music scene (they formed a handful of months ago) the Derry native’s live shows have already got tongues wagging from those in the know. Fronted by former model Jilly, the quartet’s penchant for drunken tattoo parties mixed with their ability to craft a sugary hook over a satisfyingly chunky riff have marked them out to be a very exciting prospect over the next 12 months. Don’t believe us? Have a listen to their cheeky cover of Nelly Furtado’s ‘Maneater’ on their MySpace for proof.

“It was actually my idea to cover ‘Maneater’” laughs Jill. “I felt that the track suited the bravado and sex appeal I wanted as a female vocalist in a mainly male dominated genre of music.”


SEE THEM: The Pavilion, Belfast (February 27)

Two Door Cinema Club

Already bigged up by the likes of Kanye West and the Beeb, 2010 looks like it’s set for the taking for Bangor’s electro lovers Two Door Cinema Club. The trio are currently poised to unleash their debut record (released via Kitsune) Tourist History in March and after a quick listen Hot Press can confirm that it’ll be one of the Irish releases of the year.

“I have to admit, we’re a little bit nervous at the moment,” confesses Kev Baird. “When you give up pretty much everything else in your life to be in a band, your first album is quite a big deal. We’re super excited as well though. We’re more excited than nervous I think. We can’t wait for everyone to hear it.

“We know that there are a lot of expectations surrounding the album but we’re trying to not let it affect us too much. We’ve had our game plan for the next wee while sussed before any of that happened, so it won’t change what we’re going to do. That Kanye thing blew us away though. Especially when we found out it was Daft Punk who told him about us! At the end of the day though, we’re just really happy that people are appreciating what we’re doing and we’re looking forward to the summer even though we don’t think we’ll see our families and girlfriends for quite a while….”


SEE THEM: The Limelight, Belfast (Feb 22), Dolan’s, Limerick (March 2), Roisin Dubh, Galway (March 4), Stiff Kitten, Belfast (March 5), the Button Factory, Dublin (March 6), Sandino’s, Derry (March 7).

Rams’ Pocket Radio

Rams’ Pocket Radio are another brand spanking new band on our list, but when you watch the experimental outfit (which is centred around lynchpin Peter McCauley) you’d be forgiven for thinking they’ve been on the live circuit for years.

 “Rams’ Pocket Radio started after my first band [Ego] split.” says Peter. “During that period I was playing drums in Mojo Fury but I had a lot of creative energy that I wasn’t using so I started a collaborative project with a friend. We tracked some stuff in his studio but after a few recordings we realised that we weren’t collaborating, we were just sessioning on each others’ music. I had fully formed ideas in my head and I wanted to see what would happen if I captured that on record without going through a collaborative, translation process.

“It was a big leap and it took a good while to build up the courage to do it,” continues the musician. “Most of the experience I had musically up to this point was either playing drums for a band or sessioning for someone else. After some recordings, I drafted in some experienced musicians to play the stuff live. At the time it felt like a risky move as I hadn’t fronted a band before, but after winning the Music Quest battle of the bands a few months ago I felt convinced that we were on the right track.”


SEE THEM: Rams’ Pocket Radio don’t have any shows booked at the time of going to press.


Clown Parlour

While Lisburn’s Clown Parlour (a band who showcase Mojo Fury frontman Michael Mormecha’s more avant garde ideas) may have been a studio project for the last eight years, it was only a matter of months ago that he decided to take the genre straddling side project on the road and this writer for one is glad that he did.

 “The live band only came together in early ‘09 so that I could tour the EP I released,” smiles Michael. “I was lucky enough to have friends and great players around me to pull off what was on the recordings.”

Employing a range of theatrical elements, the Clown Parlour live show is pure, undiluted fun and with a debut album currently in the works, it shouldn’t be too long before they play in your town.

“I feel real particular about how Clown Parlour is presented live, because it’s almost like a self portrait to me and I’m excited about what’s coming up in 2010. The album is nearly finished and that will be followed by a release tour. We’re also launching the official website and online shop soon too (as well as shooting a few videos in the new year) so that is definitely enough stuff to keep me outta mischief I reckon.”


SEE THEM: The Speakeasy, Belfast (January 30).

Bye Bye 09, It’s Been Great

31 12 2009

Yes friends, today is the last day of the year and indeed the whole decade. The “noughties” have been a decade of huge highs and lows. I started out in ’02 with people lining up to tell me it was impossible for a working class bloke from Newry with no contacts to make a living as a freelance journalist. It was a really tough few years with literally no money. I was living in glorified squats while dealing with the fact that at that time there were NO outlets for entertainment journalism in Northern Ireland and needless to say it was pretty stressful. Still, there was a light at the end of the tunnel and helping launch the Belfast Telegraph’s weekend supplement 24/7 and giving a hand in founding Alternative Ulster magazine were definitely highlights from those shitty years.

I’ve been at this for 7 years now and in many ways I’m very grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way. In early 2005 I was about to pack it all in as I (somehow) ended up interviewing every one of my heroes (bar Morrissey and Courtney Love…). While it was a huge acheivement for me, I was in a bit of a slump and left in a “what do I do now?” funk. Thankfully I gave myself a metaphorical boot up the hole and got on with things and the last half of the decade has been fantastic.

So what have been my highlights of 2009? Christ, I don’t even know where to start, but I thought it might be good to reprint my favourite piece I’ve written this year. So below is the final draft of my NI scene report for the NME. Enjoy and see you all next year…

United by Noise

A Northern Ireland Scene Report

Three decades ago, Stiff Little Fingers’ Jake Burns first preached from his punk rock pulpit about an ‘Alternative Ulster.’ Since then, music in Northern Ireland has grown and mutated into a visceral and at times venomous beast with bands preferring to give the mainstream a sonic two fingered salute rather than court the industry coke-heads of London Town. You see, for years the Ulster scene has been brushed under the carpet in favour of more geographically friendly areas in both the UK and Ireland. Due to its well documented political Trouble, the media appears to prefer focusing on yet another report from Liverpool, Manchester or wherever rather than sending a scribbler to the formerly war-torn area because it just seems like a safer option. While it pains this writer to admit it, NI will always be haunted by the spectre of semtex and suicide even though it’s been relatively bomb-free for years, but this has ultimately made it’s music utterly life affirming. Every note counts and every song matters. Thanks to sites such as local music bible, bands like the Beat Poets and Ash-endorsed Oppenheimer can make music and tour under their own steam without relying on hand-outs from ‘the’, ahem, ‘Man’. If you want something done right you have to do it yourself afterall.

Right now there are a gaggle of great acts in NI. Leading the charge are And So I Watch You From Afar. The four-piece craft instrumental music that could easily soundtrack buildings tumbling, world’s colliding and large, green aliens landing from space and eating people’s brains. Plus, any band who can get run over by a car and play a gig later that night has our vote for life

NI’s finest purveyors of indie pop Two Door Cinema Club are also doing great things and peddle tunes that are as catchy as Chlamydia at the Playboy Mansion. Think Deathcab for Cutie embroiled in a knife-fight with Modest Mouse and you’re close.

Not Squares are currently getting local music critics’ collective undercrackers in a bunch and from a quick listen to thrash dance anthem ‘Vita Sackville West’ it’s easy to see why this Julie Ruin worshipping mob are making all the right moves. Their sound is a synth-laden cacophony of boy/girl vocals and shouts and their live show has more kick-ass moments than a night out with Joey Barton.

But it’s not just about hand-claps and keyboards in NI, probably the most historically prevelant scene has featured music from the ‘eavier end of the spectrum. Carrying on the torch from the likes of the Undertones and Therapy?, the Black Bear Saloon are the latest group to give us some new teenage kicks and they sound as venomous as an episode of America’s Next Top Model. The future of rock is in safe hands with this fearsome four-some.

Finally, if there was ever a band that summed up the true rebel-rousing spirit of Belfast then it’s the Tin Pot Operation. They adore putting noses out of joint, have wound up more people than Jeremy Beadle and best of all they’re not afraid to talk about politics and poetry. Their self-released slab of wax ‘Human Resources’ is a beautifully battered sonic manifesto and it sums up their home-town better than any empty-headed politician ever could.

It’s true that NI has had more than its share of ups and downs over the decades but 2009 looks set to be a break-out year for Northern Irish musicians who have been united by noise. Remember where you read about them first.

Edwin McFee

News From The North Week 44

24 11 2009

This fortnight’s Hot Press is on the stands now  so here’s a reprint of the previous issue’s NI bands column!


Words: Edwin McFee

This fortnight Two Door Cinema Club escape from the studio for a bit to play a very special home coming show indeed. The Mandela Hall in Belfast is the venue of choice, the date for your diaries is Nov 17 and the bash is curated by the folks at BBC Introducing. Two Door are keeping the Northern end up on the bill which also features Scotland’s Twin Atlantic, Wales’ Save Your Breath and England’s Pulled Apart By Horses and the show should be a belter. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s even better news if you’re financially challenged in the run up to Crimbo-it’s free in, so you’ve got no excuses.

Southern fried retro rockers (who also boast an impressive array of hats) Jackson Cage cross the border into parts unknown on Nov 24. Well, when we say “parts unknown” we actually mean Dublin and the venue they’re playing in is Whelan’s, but let’s not let the facts get in the way of a dramatic introduction. Aided and abetted by Ten Gallon Hat, Jackson Cage are highly recommended to those who are a bit partial to the likes of Crazy Horse and early Springsteen and you can listen to some new live tracks on their MySpace

Keeping it country for a second, Louisiana Joyride are offering free whiskey for everyone at the moment. What’s the catch, we hear you ask? Well, ‘Whiskey’ is actually the name of a song and not that sweet, sweet alcoholic nectar but hey, free songs are free songs. You can download the track by visiting and as if that wasn’t enough, the band also celebrate the release of their debut EP ‘The Journey Through’ on Nov 13 with a gig at McHugh’s in Belfast. Captain Cameron are also on the bill and at the time of going to press admission is TBC.

They’ve been bubbling just under the radar since their inception in 2005 and now it seems that the mosh-tastic Exit Wound are ready to step things up over the next few months. On Nov 20 they play a gig at the Rugby Club in Limavady and are set to head into the studio before Christmas. The boys are also keen for Hot Press to let you know that they are well up for any gig offers, so if you prefer things a little on the heavy side (and we’re not talking about all you closet chubby chasers) then give them a shout on their