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TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017: Northern Irish artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Wednesday, 8th March 2017 at 11:00 am
 

The Emerald Isle may be a relatively small island, but there is no denying it is bursting with talent from top to bottom. Yesterday, we introduced you to the seven acts from below that pesky dotted line in the Republic of Ireland proper who will appear at SXSW 2017. Today, our focus is on the seven artists from Eire who carry British passports. The summaries below were written by the newest member of our team and our Northern Irish correspondent based in (London)Derry, Adam McCourt, except where noted. Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2017 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and artists and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite artist is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the artist’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

Ciaran Lavery – singer/songwriter / Aghagallon
Ciaran Lavery is an Irish singer/songwriter from the small town of Aghagallon in County Antrim. Lavery soared to success after his singles ‘Left for America’ and ‘Shame’ racked up over 29 million plays on Spotify. With the release of his latest live album ‘Live at the Mac’ back in December (read my review here), Lavery has built quite an eclectic discography including 2 studio albums ‘Not Nearly Dark’ (2013) and ‘Let Bad In’ (2016), preceded by the album ‘Sea Legs’ in collaboration with fellow Northern Irish showcaser Ryan Vail (2016) and his debut EP, ‘Koesher’ (2014). FFO: Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Villagers

Read TGTF’s past coverage on Ciaran Lavery through here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhZRAkWxUF8[/youtube]

Jealous of the Birds – folk/rock / Portadown
Jealous of the Birds is the musical moniker of Naomi Hamilton. Hailing from the wet and windy coastal town of Portadown, Jealous of the Birds channels her surroundings with sweet and chirpy songs. Sticking to the lo-fi indie sound, Hamilton’s debut EP ‘Capricorn’ released in March 2015 gathered much attention from BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and one of Ireland’s longest and most accredited radio stations Across The Line. Her debut album ‘Parma Violets’ was released in May 2016 and just recently, she collaborated with fellow SXSW attendee Ryan Vail on a track entitled ‘Love is a Crow’. FFO: PORTS, Foy Vance, Girls Names

Read TGTF’s past coverage on Jealous of the Birds through here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rED0XiO93c[/youtube]

New Portals – electronic/pop / Belfast
New Portals (pictured at top) are an electronic/pop duo from Belfast. Husband and wife Michael and Ruth Aicken began as the key members of an alt-folk group called The Jepettos before turning their attention to synth-laden pop tracks, while still keeping the angelic tonal quality of Ruth’s vocals. Since re-establishing as New Portals, the couple have made their mark by releasing a bombardment of seven singles (with five music videos) over their short career of a year. You can check out our holiday feature late last year for their seasonally appropriate single ‘Winter Skin’ through here. FFO: Imagine Dragons, Banks, EMBRZ

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ghog_fnSKI[/youtube]

Protex – punk / Belfast
Punk rockers Protex have been in existence as a band longer than many of their fellow Northern Irish acts have been alive. Still, their staying power in the industry is testament to the continued interest – a need – for guitar music that provides a kick in the arse. FFO: Sex Pistols, New York Dolls (Mary Chang)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj2I-Z0B-oQ[/youtube]

Robocobra Quartet – experimental / Belfast
Probably one of the more interesting Irish acts to head to SXSW is Robocobra Quartet. Formed whilst studying Music Technology at Queens University, Belfast, the band take influence from jazz, hardcore punk and classical music. Their debut album ‘Music for All Occasions’ was released in November lof ast year, and it’s packed with spoken word vocals, squealing saxophone and unexpected improvisation. The band is under the direction of drummer and vocalist Chris Ryan and with Tom Tabori (soprano saxophone), Thibault Barilon (tenor sax, alto saxophone, flute) and as of recently, Ryan Burrowes who replaced Nathan Rogers on bass. FFO: Melt Yourself Down, At The Drive-In, Fugazi

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-SfI3WC0iA[/youtube]

Ryan Vail – electronic / Derry
Ryan Vail is a solo electronic composer from Derry. He has been writing, composing and releasing music since 2012, with his debut album ‘For Every Silence’ being released last April. Vail is no stranger to experimentation and genre crossing. He’s known for bringing a whole new sonic picture to the world of electronic/dance music by incorporating elements of folk and classical music with unique recording and composition methods. See Jealous of the Birds’ profile above to read more about their recent single collaboration. FFO: Chet Faker, Ciaran Lavery (see above), Burial, James Blake

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_7Xyi9LAq4[/youtube]

Silences – singer/songwriter / alternative / Armagh
Silences began as a musical outlet for singer/songwriter Conchúr White back in 2013. With the addition of White’s cousin Breandán White, and close friends Christopher Harbinson, Michael Keyes and Jonathan Downing, Silences have released 3 critically acclaimed EPs: ‘Nevernames’ (March 2014), ‘Sister Snow’ (October 2014), and ‘Luna’ (April 2016). The Armagh-based five-piece have received considerable support from the likes of Huw Stephens, Annie Mac and Phil Taggart of BBC Radio 1 and Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol and have appeared at top festivals such as Latitude, The Great Escape and Electric Picnic. FFO: Bon Iver, Jeff Buckley, Death Cab for Cutie, alt-J

Read TGTF’s past coverage on Silences through here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mgCDoBn3Pg[/youtube]

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: Artists from Ireland and Northern Ireland showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Friday, 11th March 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2016 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and artists and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite artist is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the artist’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

As in past years, SXSW 2016 will feature a wide array of artists from Ireland and Northern Ireland who are keen to bring their music to American listeners. This year’s lineup revisits several artists who have graced Austin’s stages in recent memory, including veterans BP Fallon and the Bandits, who were featured last year in our TGTF Guide to SXSW 2015, and SXSW 2014 showcasing artists Cian Nugent and September Girls, both of whom have new albums due for release later this spring.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/n6N1cdttSuk[/youtube]

We at TGTF have already covered Belfast singer/songwriter David C Clements in an earlier Bands to Watch article right back here. We also recently highlighted many of the Northern Irish artists on the schedule in editor Mary’s Output Belfast preview, including TGTF alums Girls Names, Portadown’s Jealous of the Birds and her fellow County Armagh act Silences.

Also briefly mentioned in Mary’s Output Belfast preview was alt-folk singer/songwriter Ciaran Lavery, who is shaping up to be one of the most sought-after acts in Austin this year. His back catalogue comprises debut album ‘Not Nearly Dark’ and 2014 EP ‘Kosher’. Having already received support from the PRS for Music Foundation for his upcoming second album ‘Let Bad In’, Lavery hopes to gain a fan base in America ahead of its release in May.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/qhTCR-qQB38[/youtube]

The organizers at SXSW have filed Enemies in the Rock category, but the band describe themselves more accurately as “post-rock meets math-pop”. Their upbeat and slightly jazzy new single ‘Play Fire’ was released last August on Topshelf Records.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/d6PoF97A_FA[/youtube]

Dublin rapper Alex Anyaegbunam is known on stage by the moniker Rejjie Snow. The latest track on his official Soundcloud is ‘Keep Your Head Up’; be warned—it’s smooth and soulful, but its lyrics are not entirely safe for sensitive ears.

Precocious teenaged singer/songwriter Rosie Carney is originally from Hampshire, UK, but now makes her home in County Donegal. She collaborated with SXSW 2014 artist Travis Is a Tourist on his track ‘Little Conversations’, and she’ll appear in Austin as a solo artist this year. The video for her haunting track ‘Better Man’ is just below.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/hy32Kn3q-B0[/youtube]

The West Ireland trio Rusangano Family comprises “2 MCs and 1 DJ”, according to their Facebook bio. Their politically-charged single ‘Heathrow’ was featured here in America by NPR back in December, and their album ‘Let the Dead Bury the Dead’ is due for release just after SXSW on the 8th of April.

Saint Sister, the duo project of Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre, combines electro-dream pop and traditional folk sounds. Their debut EP ‘Madrid’ was released last November, and following SXSW, they are scheduled to appear at The Great Escape festival in May.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/YBuzAdPLm3k[/youtube]

The aptly named Irish electronic producer Somadrone specialises in straddling the boundary between popular and classical music. His genre-less, minimalist compositional style is evident in the SXSW-featured single ‘Invitation’.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/_lzmhTchVGM[/youtube]

For more information about the Irish and Northern Irish artists at this year’s SXSW, consult the Music from Ireland official Web site, or simply follow TGTF’s ongoing coverage of the festival. We eagerly anticipate seeing most of these showcasing artists live next week!

 

Live Gig Videos: Clips of Two Door Cinema Club, Kodaline, Frightened Rabbit and Calvin Harris at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Derry

 
By on Monday, 27th May 2013 at 4:00 pm
 

So you didn’t get a chance to make to Derry this weekend BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, huh? No worries there. Thanks to the BBC, we can share with you videos from Two Door Cinema Club (‘Sun’), Kodaline (‘High Hopes’), Frightened Rabbit (‘Acts of Man’) and Calvin Harris‘ (‘I Need Your Love’) sets there. You’re welcome.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6gQ9WutY3U[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkkBpOhk1Ks[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVWGBlBHWEo[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLmSDDq3C1Y[/youtube]

 

SXSW 2013: Pre-Festival Shenanigans with the Dig at Clive Bar and the NI@SXSW showcase at Latitude 30 – 10th and 11th March 2013

 
By on Thursday, 21st March 2013 at 2:00 pm
 

You may think it’s mental showing up a full 2 days before the madness known as SXSW officially begins on a Tuesday, but it was part of my concerted effort to ease myself gently into the maelstrom. That’s the benefit of having been through the craziness at least once before; not only do you not get lost every 5 minutes in Austin, you also have the foresight to take it easy as you can.

I arrived in Austin Sunday afternoon after a very bumpy, turbulence-filled plane ride from California shaken up but undeterred with the upset stomach and the chill in the air. (Not kidding. I must have looked strange wearing my winter coat and hat around town the first 2 nights and I am sure everyone knew I was from the East Coast, but I was freezing!) My first night’s goal was to see Brooklyn’s the Dig play the imgur / Brooklyn Brewery SXSW Interactive party at Clive Bar on Rainey Street, on the far southeast corner of downtown. It should be obvious that any party offering up free booze will translate to a good time, and in this particular case, the good people of the Brooklyn Brewery hosted this night of Brooklyn bands, with punters plied with all the free beer they wanted.

The Dig imgur Brooklyn Brewery party

This night was unusual in the sense that on Sunday before the Music portion of SXSW, the only people in town are Film and Interactive festival attendees, so the vibe was different but cool all the same. Not sure it it was the booze or it was because Interactive was winding down, but the Dig had plenty of fangirls and boys squealing to their music and kicking up their heels to their music. The majority of songs they played were either from 2012’s ‘Midnight Flowers’ or were brand new songs only that night seeing public light of day for the first time, so I felt very special being there for their premiere. The lighting wasn’t great but seeing that it was being supported by imgur, it made sense in the SXSW world that animated images lit up the tent under which they were playing. The next day I also sorted an interview with the band, which we posted on TGTF last week; listen to it here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzuJ7G6-10U[/youtube]

Monday was another relatively relaxing day, with few shows going on but really only one showcase I cared to catch. alt-J was playing some showcase on 6th Street and the only reason why I knew this was there a massive queue in the middle of the street and I finally had to stop and ask someone who they were queueing for. (Yawn.) Me? I was headed for the NI@SXSW showcase at Latitude 30. Not sure why they do this but the Northern Irish contingent likes to have a showcase the night before the festival properly begins, so I was glad I was in town to see it. (According to the video above, they do 2 days at SXSW before going on to Nashville.) The line-up had been up in the air for some time and it was not until I arrived at Latitude 30, the home of the British Music Embassy for the week, that I saw the final bill.

Girls Names SXSW 2013

First up was Belfast’s Girls Names. (No, that’s not a mistake, there is no apostrophe in their name. In an interview coming up soon on TGTF, all will be revealed…) How is it possible that I have not heard of this band before? Guh. It is hard for me to describe what they sound like to anyone else because I had such a visceral reaction hearing them for the first time. A little shoegazey, a little Joy Division-y, a little Smiths-esque, with gorgeous, gorgeous guitars. I cannot overstate how amazing their guitars sounded with Cathal Cully’s dreamy vocals. It reminded me why I stepped away from dance in the last couple of months and have been hankering for guitar music again; there is so much artistry that can be made from a person’s hands on the fretboard of a guitar that too few people in the world truly appreciate. One song had plenty of guitar feedback, with Cully walking straight into his amp; it’s not just for Ritzy Bryan anymore, folks! Check out their new album ‘The New Life’, you won’t be disappointed.

Tim Wheeler SXSW 2013

There had been a rumour that Tim Wheeler sans the rest of Ash would be performing. I think everyone had assumed he would headline the night but he didn’t. As expected he played some of Ash’s major hits, but what was more heartwarming was his closing number, in which he covered the Undertones’ ‘Teenage Kicks’, as if he was offering up a love letter to the Northern Irish music scenes of the past. I chatted with him briefly, telling him I barely recognised him without his beard and him wearing a three-piece suit. He replied glibly, “I like to confuse people!”

Girl from Mars
Burn Baby Burn
A Life Less Ordinary
Oh Yeah
Shining Light
Teenage Kicks (Undertones cover)

The Lost Brothers SXSW 2013

The next band were the Lost Brothers, an Irish duo who, according to their Soundcloud, actually met in a library in Liverpool. They look the part of world-weary folk performers, with their long hair and leather outfits, but they are the real deal, straddling that all too fine line between country and western and folk. Their harmonies are peerless, as if they had been separated at birth and reunited by the stars to make music together. At times they could be bluesy in the Johnny Cash way, and other times they were more straight forward folk. When I was small, my mother had a running joke with my father that country and western songs were either about being in love or having a broken heart. In the case of the Lost Brothers, they have both happy and sad songs, but they are all marked by excellent guitar playing and those all too beautiful harmonies.

I did not hang around for Belfast techno purveyors Psycatron; the evening had begun an hour and a half late and I was already flagging. Besides, I needed my strength for the official start of the festival the next morning. I was ready to take whatever Austin and SXSW 2013 would dish out.

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

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