A mum-blog by a live music lover who doesn't go to gigs.
Potential to be the biggest waste of blogspace ever.
PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ THE 'FOUNDATIONS OF MNMT'
Glasgow, O2, ABC 17th June 2013
A delighted crowd of pining grunge fans of ‘various’ ages gather to go back in time, 20 years since the band’s exceptional platinum second album, Last Splash, was first released. The last time I witnessed this particular lineup was in Belfast 1992, supporting Nirvana alongside Teenage Fanclub, creating what would inevitably become my most favoured gig memory and solidify a lifetime of listening to ‘alternative’ music.
Tonight we have the original Last Splash band (alongside violinist and long time friend Carrie Bradley). As a kind gesture to me personally, they play the album right through from start to finish, in order, thereby giving my review notes a rest and allowing me to join in the reminiscing completely.
What is truly amazing after all these years is that they all look exactly the same, and the sound is a lot heavier and tighter live than expected. Considering she was once recruited as the lead guitarist who couldn’t play guitar, Kelley Deal is now truly something to behold. Something special is revealed throughout the course of the night, the signature slow-fast-quiet-loud distorted everything, smashed together with a hypnotic and perfectly executed bass from Josephine Wiggs, the twins’ harmonies through smoke and smiles. You couldn’t help but love this band. As we crash through from the driving ‘New Year’ and re-enact the original recordings of ‘Cannonball’ dodgy mic and all, Josephine on drums for ‘No Aloha’ (motherhood does indeed mean mental freeze by the way) and ending with a ridiculous crescendo of ‘Roi (reprise)’, it’s clear this is a very enjoyable trip down memory lane for the band members as much as the audience.
‘I Just Wanna Get Along’ has Kelley on vocals dedicated to their sisterly love, and later she dons some black gaffer tape over her mouth perhaps feeling some need for restraint. Still manages to look good though, something which hasn’t escaped those Glaswegian fans down the front declaring undying love between every song. With Josephine reluctantly on ‘vocals’ for ‘Metal Man’ there is a moment to reflect as she deftly and accurately describes the 2000 degree heat we are now all currently experiencing. Exiting stage left with endearing waves you would get from your mum, a (very) warm glow sweeps around the O2 and dissipates in time for everyone to guess what the encore tunes might be.
With Kim announcing her departure from the Pixies earlier this week, it’s unlikely any big renditions of ‘Gigantic’ are coming on, and on reflection, that was no bad thing. A run through of some of the highlights from POD and the Safari EP seem a much more fitting way to end the show. A second encore encourages the band to return with ‘Glorious’ and ‘Don’t Call Home’ to finish, a perfect display of what makes The Breeders so special and a definite encouragement to get out and buy that deluxe re-issue LSXX before we all get another decade older.
My review for Is This Music?
No stranger to being an ambassador for all things Northern Irish, Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody does it again. And in TedxStormont style. Absorbing understandable nerves, speaking in such a prestigious venue as the NI Parliament building, he ably addresses a topic close to my heart. That of the NI music scene and its ability to bring light and hope to a place so commonly associated with negative report and despair. Ending with a demonstration of just what this musical scene has to be proud of currently, Gary Lightbody and The Assembly (comprising members of The Wonder Villains, SOAK, Shona (Silhouette) and the wonderful wonderful David C Clements) played their new single ‘This is All That I Ask of You’ out on snowpatrol.com on 3rd April, all proceeds going to Northern Ireland Music Therapy Trust.
With the theme ‘Imagine’ the speakers were to discuss the kind of future Northern Ireland could have together as a society.
Some great audio captured by Slugger O’Toole here with talks from First Minister and Deputy First Minister and my old classmate Simon Hamilton MLA, (yes, we took rather different paths after sitting beside each other in 4th year History)..plus many more tackling subjects such as integrated education, child poverty and even organ donation.
Well done to all involved in TedxStormont.
Just sorry I missed such a great event - again.
I believe in a great glittery future for NI and I love to hear the many talented talented musicians echo these thoughts. Many moons ago, I missed another rather superb event in the Hoedown in the Ulster Hall, Belfast, 1st November 2011. Here’s a lovely little Bandwidth Film of Foy Vance and ‘Belfast is Born Again’.
Back to the County of Down in just over a week for me though, let me know of anything not to be missed so for once I can write a first hand blog report on all that’s great in #nimusic
I can’t remember the last time I looked forward to a new film release quite as much. Good Vibrations, the biopic of punk record store owner and label owner, Terri Hooley, will be released this month. The opening night is 29th March at the wonderful Strand Cinema, Belfast and is sure to be quite a party so if you’re nearby get along! Plenty of ROI and UK listings too.
There is also a launch party tomorrow Sunday 24th March in the Empire Music Hall Belfast
Terri Hooley, Directors, Cast and Crew in attendence
Girls Names http://www.facebook.com/GirlsNames
Sea Pinks http://seapinks.bandcamp.com/
DJ Jeff Doherty 1970s post-punk disco in between acts
The story captures 1970s Northern Ireland, up to its eyes in troubles, politics and violence. But beneath it all, a great groundswell of brilliant new music was being created and just as there are many doing today, pioneers like Terri chose a different path and rather than focus on the troubles, decided to support and encourage the creativity and vibrant music scene into a kind of Alternative Ulster. By all accounts Game of Thrones star Richard Dormer does a fantastic job of portraying the charismatic Hooley and the film doesn’t hold back on the downsides of living such a rocknroll lifestyle. Hooley can be credited with discovering The Undertones, The Outcasts and yes was basically the Godfather of Teenage Kicks.
I have my own little personal reasons for being so keen to see this. My own mother worked alongside Terri in a photography shop in Belfast back when he worked for Kodak, when the dream was likely just beginning. I have some photos of my mum, pregnant with me, standing by the shopfront with him.
And when in my 20s I stumbled into a band for a very short period and made a little homerecording with some friends, I had the fortune of getting to go and record one or two tracks under the guidance of a certain guitarist from the Undertones. I had the priviledge of being escorted around Derry for a few days by the man himself, John O’Neill. It was so thrilling and he kindly allowed us to record in what I think was Blast Furnace studios as the (gone but not forgotten) Dreams of 4. Not only that, but my own mother recommended I pay a visit to the Good Vibrations record store (sadly now gone) and have a wee word with her old friend Terri and that I did, passing an extremely rough and ready demo to the legend of Belfast punk. Naivety is a wonderful thing. And youthful passion for music is also a wonderful thing, and the Good Vibrations film sets out to capture it, a beautiful symbol of hope amongst chaos.
If you’ve ever watched the news and wondered how or why people still wish to live in Belfast after decades of violence, hateful politics and religious bigotry, continuing today with seemingly ridiculous fighting over a flag and street protests…then I implore you to go see Good Vibrations. Go and see how with a different agenda, a group of likeminded people and a true punk spirit, Northern Ireland managed (and continues) to rise above and produce art of the most wonderful kind.
I could listen to this CHVRCHES track on repeat for a very long time indeed.
And if you like your electropop with a slice of Scandi style then look no further than sibling Stockholm duo the Knife - Heartbeats
And as if they weren’t brilliant enough, try this out for size…
Kate Boy also come from Stockholm, although Kate Akhurst is their Australian vocalist and together they make something cooler than Lauren Mayberry’s fringe, which I WANT!
Joshua Burnside - Postal Service cover ‘This Place is a Prison’ with Rachel Boyd
Foy Foy Foy
This is ‘Joy Of Nothing’ taken from his forthcoming album, Joy Of Nothing, out Summer 2013. The video beautifully captures some snapshots of his relationship with his daughter and the sound follows the more restrained slow and steady passionate sound of the Melrose EP. Can’t wait to hear the whole album!
Sweet sweet Jepettos
I am proud to be a big Jepettos fan, born of Belfast meets Derry, the sweet and soothing melodies are based around husband and wife Michael and Ruth Aicken. This little beauty is a prime example of their sound and they’re soon venturing over this direction, playing Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh 8th March at the Stories event. Highly recommend you also check out this Jepettos tune too.
and if those 2 tunes don’t give you a fuzzy feeling and hope in music made by real people, then I fear you may already be part robot. Sorry about that.