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By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 19th October 2016 at 6:00 pm
After all that Peter “Pete” Doherty‘s been through – even if had a bad impression of him through his junkie years – you just gotta root for the man. After successfully reuniting with the rest of The Libertines for the ‘Anthems for Doomed Youth’ album last year, he’s refocused his energies for his own solo work. A new album ‘Hamburg Demonstrations’ is expected to be released before the end of the year. Ahead of that release announcement, he’s shared ‘I Don’t Love Anyone (But You’re Not Just Anyone)’, which has already made the radio rounds. The single now has a new promo, interestingly enough taking Doherty’s own famous form and turning into a fluid animation. Watch the video for new single ‘I Don’t Love Anyone (But You’re Not Just Anyone)’ below.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 19th October 2016 at 4:00 pm
The Alex Turner we knew from Arctic Monkeys now appears to be an entirely different person than the one we’ve come to know in The Last Shadow Puppets. Fair enough that in the latter, he’s joined by his now practically joined at the hip buddy Miles Kane, a solo musician in his own right, so they’re entirely different projects. I guess what I’m saying is that I never expected Turner’s transformation into a 21st century Elvis, which is how he comes across in the latest Last Shadow Puppets video. Following the release of original music album ‘Everything You’ve Come to Expect’ this spring (reviewed here by Rebecca), they’re now gearing up to release an EP of covers.
‘The Dream Synopsis’, scheduled to drop on the 2nd of December – just in time for Christmas shopping, folks! – and will include covers of songs from The Fall and Jacques Dutronc, among others. A tune by one particularly beloved performer is also covered on the new release, Canadian singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen, who recently told The New Yorker “I am ready to die”. Right, then. So it seems even more poignant now that the pair chose to put their stamp on Cohen’s ‘Is This What You Wanted’. Do they do the man justice? Watch Turner gyrating and emoting on a stage with Kane adding some unnecessary guitar flourishes (in my opinion, anyway) to the song in the video below. For more on TGTF”s coverage of The Last Shadow Puppets, go here.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 19th October 2016 at 3:00 pm
For the first half of my coverage of Saturday afternoon at Hard Working Heroes 2016’s In the City, go here. For the entire HWCH 2016 archive, use this link instead.
Dammy Ari (Carlow) @ Mary’s Bar
I think the proprietors of Mary’s Bar on Wicklow Street must enjoy a bit of hip-hop. While I missed AikJ there on Friday afternoon owing to convention activities, I wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to visit a bar with my name on it. I wasn’t disappointed. This will have clearly been the only time I’ve ever watched a rapper perform in a bar slash hardware store, so thank you, Hard Working Class Heroes!
I’m not going to pretend that I know all the nuances of hip-hop, so I’m going to review Dammy Ari on his charisma as it came through his words. He describes his artistry like this: “each song is a blank canvas for a new story, with my thousand words painting a vivid picture”. On the particularly arresting ‘Mama’, he summons the strength of his mother to propel him forward (“mama didn’t raise no fool” / “mama taught me to go for the win”). It is difficult not to sound patronising when you don’t mean to be, but as a fellow person of colour who has had to fight tooth and nail for certain opportunities in this life, the subject matter hit home.
While an acoustic setting with nothing but a guitarist accompanying him, the rhyme shone through as one of Dammy Ari’s strengths. The music listed and streaming on his Breaking Tunes page suggests that with further backup, he’s more than capable for a more pop sound, which should interest more than a few labels snooping about.
Elm (Dublin) @ HWCH Box Office (Filmbase)
This could have been very odd (the band were literally feet away from the sometimes bustling ticket check-in desk) but somehow it worked. In a three-member configuration from their usual five, the stripped back version of Elm played for an attentive crowd, some of whom including myself watched from the vantage point of a comfy couch directly opposite. They’re quite a compelling presence live, as I witnessed firsthand at their CMW 2016 appearance at the Rivoli at the Music from Ireland showcase there in May.
Okay, so here we had singer Dylan, guitarist Aidan and cellist Gary. Pretty standard line-up for a rock band, right? Er, wrong! After Gary fretted about digging a hole in Filmbase’s floor with the pointed end of his cello but was then waved off by Hard Working Class Heroes’ staff, Elm finally began. Dylan Walsh is the kind of frontman you can’t take your eyes off of. The guy just exudes charisma. ‘Concentrate’, whose promo video we featured this summer, is looking likely to be the showpiece of this band’s live performance for many years to come, as it combines Walsh’s powerful vocals that are elegantly accompanied by a maelstrom of instrumentation. In the stripped back form, the vocals become even prominent, showing a different dramatic side to the group. Stay tuned for my review of their full live band performance from Saturday night.
Galants (Dublin) @ Wigwam
I think I missed something in translation when I saw Galants close out my Hard Working Class Heroes In the City experience. Watching their promo video for ‘Evergreen’, I think I made a major mistake missing them at the Workman’s Club Saturday night in favour of catching them in the afternoon. Too bad. I wasn’t feeling their sit-down performance in the basement of Wigwam. I wonder now if they were limited in how loud they could be, or maybe they’d just decided they wanted to challenge themselves to do two entirely different shows?
Either way, focus on their usual, harder noise pop ethos when their debut EP is released in November. I just have this feeling a lot of important people will be listening to that EP when it sees the light of day.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 19th October 2016 at 1:00 pm
I have no idea how I woke up with no hangover whatsoever Saturday morning at Hard Working Class Heroes. Guess I ordered quality booze? By the way, many thanks to the fine folks at the Woollen Mills for a raspberry whiskey sour. With what else but Jameson’s?
Ella Naseeb (Dublin) @ Winding Stair Bookshop
Maybe this emerging music festival in Dublin was just the ticket to help me distinguish and indeed, appreciate better the solo singer/songwriter and in a way that Carrie’s ear already can do. It was back in the saddle again for me on the third and final day of Hard Working Class Heroes In the City, this time starting at the Winding Stair bookshop to watch BIMM Dublin student Ella Naseeb. Naseeb’s voice has the advantage of avoiding the usual too sweet-sounding pitch of female voices, instead bridging the distance between those singers and, say, a Stevie Nicks or Natalie Merchant. Singing about ‘Real Life’ might be too serious for major labels but such a song coming from someone so young shows surprising maturity.
Paul Creane (Wexford) @ Irish Design Shop
Then it was off to the Irish Design Shop for a brief peek and listen to Paul Creane’s set. Reminding me of our former head photographer Martin and Steve Mason too somewhat with his facial hair, the self-described alt-country artist looked at home stood with his guitar, his voice reverberating off the walls of the small shop. With vocals gruff yet powerful, it isn’t too hard to imagine Creane writing a mainstream anthem one day. As the frontman of Paul Creane and the Changing Band, he’s released two albums over the last 5 years to much acclaim. A solo album ‘One Trick Blue’ is purported on the way, which should perk up ears not just in Ireland but to country and folk fans beyond.
Tiz McNamara (Dublin via Cork) @ Urban Picnic
If there was someone at Hard Working Class Heroes with the most compelling life story (at least of those I managed to hear), Tiz McNamara’s would be it. Originally from Cork but now living in Dublin to truly make a go of the music business. Prior to this move, McNamara studied at LIPA with the intention of becoming a professional drummer, but following an accident with a keyboard (long story short: the keyboard won), he almost got his foot amputated after the fateful incident. As he described it with a sigh at his evening show later that night at Tengu Downstairs, it was his Irish mammy who convinced the doctors in Liverpool to try and save his foot instead of completely writing it off.
Unable to use a kick drum anymore, he was given an ultimatum by LIPA: either withdraw from his studies or take up a new instrument. So McNamara took up guitar. While I realise this isn’t like having cancer or something life-threatening, it has obviously affected the way he approaches life and his songwriting, adding a tinge of the fatalistic and melancholy to his music.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 18th October 2016 at 6:00 pm
Back in the summer, we were celebrating her first-ever promo video, for ‘The Corner of My Mind’. Now we’ve got something even bigger to celebrate with young singer/songwriter Holly Macve. She’s announced she’ll be releasing her debut album next year on Bella Union Records. She’s previewing that long player with another music video, this time for ‘No One Has the Answers’.
It premiered last week on NPR, whose music champion Bob Boilen has said of the new song that it “hints at why I think 2017 will be the year the world falls in love with the voice [of Macve]”, and now we’re sharing it with you. Looking right at home with a country lifestyle on this side of the pond, with a straw hat, heart-shaped shades and ruby red lips, you’ll get drawn into Holly Macve’s world in this video dead easy. Watch it below. We covered Macve at SXSW 2016, Carrie interviewing her and the two of us caught her live at an afternoon performance at Liberty Tavern Saturday night. Catch her live on the 21st of November at London Oslo Hackney alongside Jens Lekman; she will also appear at London’s Mirrors Festival ahead of that on the 29th of October. For all of our coverage on the lovely Ms. Macve, use this link.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 18th October 2016 at 4:00 pm
American hip-hop and indie artist K.Flay released her EP ‘Crush Me’ in August. Here’s something special and definitely spooky ahead of Halloween. ‘Blood in the Cut’ is a strong cut from the EP and getting into the spirit of things, the video is was filmed at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. You can watch the haunting (no pun intended) performance by K.Flay and her band below. ‘Crush Me’ is now available from Interscope / Polydor Records. For much more on K.Flay on TGTF, including the actual promo video for ‘Blood in the Cut’ featured here previously as a Video of the Moment, use this link.
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