Other Voices – Final Call – Curtain Closing!!

Friday 22nd September is the final day for submissions to Other Voices Festival.

Shouting out to all unsigned artists who have an interest in performing at the festival which will be held in Dingle, Co. Kerry from 1st to 3rd December. Last year, nearly 1,000 artists applied for a single performance slot at the IMRO Other Room!!

eir Other Voices has extended an invitation to all unsigned artists across Ireland irrespective of genre to submit one track for consideration. Entries are open here until 6pm Friday 22nd September. The Other Voices Live open call will see the chosen artist receive full end to end support, from their journey to Kerry to funding for travel, recording and video production.

In addition to the filmed performance in the IMRO Other Room for broadcast on RTÉ the publicly selected artist will also be sponsored by eir for:

  • Three days in a recording studio with a top engineer
  • The production company and budget to create a music performance video
  • Travel to & Accommodation in Dingle for the eir Other Voices weekend
  • Practical music industry mentoring from the eir Other Voices team

The IMRO Other Room which is a dedicated platform for emerging artists has previously played host to Rusangano Family, Villagers and James Vicent Mc Morrow. Back in December 2015, IMRO Other Room was recorded live, the session featuring in an RTE special side by side with performances from Talos, Saint Sister and the then Open Call winner Saramai.

Key points & Timelines

  • Only original bodies of work will be accepted. Entries are open to applicants from the Island of Ireland
  • The winning applicant must be free to travel to Dingle for the duration of 1st to 3rd December, where they will play the IMRO Other Room in front of a live audience.
  • Late applications will not be considered.
  • Lobbying of judges will result in disqualification.
  • Four shortlisted eir Other Voices Open Call acts will be announced on 19th October and made available for preferred public selection online.
  • The public selection process will close on 26th October – An independent adjudicator will tally the public selections received
  • On 1st November the eir Other Voices Listeners Choice will be announced.

Full details of all the terms and conditions but information on how to make your submissions on the Other Voices website.

Other Voices Live Open Call is sponsored by eir and supported by RTE 2FM. Best of Luck y’all!

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Nothing Grim About Reeperbahn ’17

Martin Hoye

The renowned German culture-fest that is Reeperbahn kicks off today and some of our favourite acts are on the musical menu! To celebrate all things #RBF17, we’re gonna fly through a quick synopsis and then treat you to our very own ReeperDerv curated playlist.

Like most respectable festivals these days Reeperbahn is no exception to the all inclusive, 100% immersive rule. No longer ‘just’ a four-day music mash-up, these days Hamburg based RBF is the ‘full package’.

This year’s festival includes a conference programme set to cover a broad range of topics from Health & Safety to a Guide to Failure, a BBC Introducing/PRS showcase, a BIMM reception, Blockchain for Music and how to work Instagram.

The conference will feature top notch hosts and speakers including erstwhile Eurythmics frontman and legendary producer Dave Stewart, former Strokes producer Gordon Raphael, American country artist Terry Mc Bride and Dave Allen from North Music, USA.

There are also several networking events pencilled into the diary including those hosted by Live Nation, Rockcity, Sony Music and Columbia Records.

Photo Christina Amundsen

A festival wouldn’t be a festival without a ‘glittering’ awards ceremony and this year will see Reeperbahn once again play host to the Anchor awards following their hugely successful inauguration last year. This year’s list of nominees includes British artists Fenne Lily, Jade Bird and Joseph Jones (whose sounds we’ve included on our playlist).

The jury panel is made up of a specially selected team of industry experts including BBC DJ Huw Stephens, Garbage vocalist Shirley Manson, celebrated music producer Tony Visconti, Emily Haines of BSS and homies Valeska Steiner and Sonja Glass who together for the duo BOY.

The nominees will showcase their music over the course of three days with the award ceremony taking place at 6pm on Saturday 23rd at the St. Pauli Theatre.

There are some big juicy names headlining the live music action including Beth Ditto, Maximo Park, Everything Everything and Kelly Lee Owens but here at DervSwerve we prefer to big up the emerging artists, those youthful balls of energy bubbling just under the surface of the world-stage.

Here are our top tips for your musical amusement over the course of the festival …

Denmark – IRAH – Experimental/Ambient – Just released their sublime single Worship the Sun – Do not miss this transcendental experience!

Holland – Dakota – Indie – Currently touring their Leda EP – A strong sound with cracking vocals

Iceland – JFDR – Experi-Electro-Ambient – Released her first solo debut album Brazil earlier this year – An absolutely out of this world performer

Ireland – Dermot Kennedy – Hip hop Fused Folk – Debuted his Doves & Ravens EP a wee while ago – Innovative and compelling .. go see!

Ire/UK – Wood Burning Savages – Vitriolic Punk – New single Living Hell is ferocious – This Derry 4piece are renowned for their fully charged lives

Norway – ARY – Experimental Electronic – Latest single Already There is her best yet – One step away from ‘huge’

Norway – Slotface – Garage/Punk/Feisty Pop – Just dropped their debut album Try Not to Freak Out – One of the best band’s I’ve seen live – EVER

UK – Black Honey – Alt-Rock – Hit the headlines with their Headspin EP in 2016, new single Somebody Better is killer – A MUST!

**Slotface and Black Honey are quite similar in sound and style so fans of either one should become fans of the other!

UK/Spain – Gizmo Varillas – Rainbow/Latino Pop – His debut album El Dorado (what else) went down a storm – Sounds like no other around today

If that eclectic bunch of seriously talented youths don’t keep you happily entertained for the rest of this week, then you’re hard pleased.  If you haven’t yet put your hand in your pocket to buy a ticket, you’re in luck. There are limited tickets still available – but not many, so hurry. Details here.

And if you’re already in Hamburg, we hope you’re having a blast! From Dublin with love x

Reeperbahn Festival 2017, runs in Hamburg from 20th to 23rd September. Full programme details from their website.

The Rebel Yells – Sounds From A Safe Harbour 14-17 Sept

Two years since its inception, Sounds From A Safe Harbour returns Leeside with a cross-cultural programme guaranteed to make this four day eventer a runaway success.

Returning for its second outing, SFASH 2017 has some serious big hitters on board in the form of Lisa Hannigan, Bon Iver and The National. Cincinnati’s finest have just released their seventh album, Sleep Well Beast, and its a testament to the festival’s standing within the music industry that the US rock band have elected to kick off their world tour from the banks of the Lee.

National twins Aaron and Bryce Dessner will also form part of the curation team alongside festival director Mary Hickson, Cork actor Cillian Murphy and playwright Enda Walsh. In fact, so invested are the Dessners in this event that they have roped in a cohort of their musician pals to perform at the festival.

The festival programme also includes a series of ‘conversations & words’ featuring a diverse line-up of speakers and hosts including journalist/muso Donal Dineen, author Kevin Barry, photographer/filmographer Brendan Canty (Talos, Lisa Hannigan) and oh, those Dessner dudes again!

Aside from the wondrously gifted, lark voiced Lisa Hannigan, the tricolour will be kept flying across the four days by the likes of Wyvern Lingo, This is How We Fly, Rosa Nutty, Saint Sister, Soulé  and Iarla O’Lionaird who’ll be joined on stage by Steve Cooney. This eclectic selection of artists will ensure that even those with the most diverse tastes will be catered for with genres from RnB funk to fiery folk in the mix.

And just when you thought we were done with all things Dessner, artist/poet/dancer Jessica, will herself present a creative project streetside. Other events to tickle your cultural fancy are Crash Ensemble featuring (ahem) Bryce Dessner and Andre de Ridder in the Everyman Theatre (Friday) while over at the bespoke Triskel Christchurch cinema on the Saturday there’ll be a treat in store for filmics in the form of The Possibilities Are Endless.

Last but most certainly not least, the DervSwerve toptip for SFASH are Icelandic experimental adventurers amiina, tracts of whose rather splendid Fantomas festival-goers can submerge themselves into. Staying on the Icelandic theme, renowned artist Ragnar Kjartansson is exhibiting at the Crawford Art Gallery.

Sounds from a Safe Harbour runs from Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th September across multiple venues in Cork City and its surrounds.

The festival is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Creative Ireland, Cork City Council, Cork Co Co and Cork School of Music.

Derv’s Longitude Top Ten

For the weekend that’s in it, we’ve pulled together a Spotify playlist featuring tracks from MUST SEE artists we recommend you DON’T MISS at Longitude Festival.

Derv’s Longitude Top Ten playlist includes a track from the artist on everyone’s lips this week, the delightfully voiced Floral Dresses by Lucy Rose along with The Staves, which features on her new album Something’s Changing (out now, and it’s more beautiful and delicate than silk chiffon).

Also included is Sauchiehall Street referencing Glasgow lifted from the latest Catfish and the Bottlemen album, Ride, multi-coloured, beats driven dreamy alt-pop concoction Blossom by Berlin based Milky Chance, and infectious delicacy Easier Said with its twirling Smiths-esque guitar intricacies by New Yorkers Sunflower Bean.

You’ll also find the delectable Dua Lipa giving a heartbreaking delivery of the evocative Scared to be Lonely in the Martin Garrix acoustic version and the absolutely stunning R&B honey Teenage Fantasy by Jorja Smith whose delicious voice is warmer than a July’s evening – lovin’ the carefree end to that track btw!

You can follow this or any other of our playlists over on Spotify where a world of musical goodies awaits!

**Note – Longitude have issued the following information regarding what will and won’t be tolerated//allowed on-site – see below for details.

Derv’s Longitude Top Ten #1

  1. Lucy Rose – Floral Dresses (with The Staves)
  2. Catfish & The Bottlemen – Glasgow
  3. Leon Bridges – Twistin’ & Groovin’
  4. Milky Chance – Blossom
  5. Sunflower Bean – Easier Said
  6. Dua Lipa – Scared to be Lonely (with Martin Garrix, Acoustic Version)
  7. Dermot Kennedy – Boston
  8. Glass Animals – Agnes (Radio Edit)
  9. RAYE – The Line (Acoustic Version)
  10. Jorja Smith – Teenage Fantasy

DervSwerve x

LONGITUDE – DO’S AND DON’TS

DO – CHECK SET TIMES. GATES OPEN 1.30PM DAILY WITH THE FIRST SET KICKING OFF AT 2PM OR NEAREST.

DON’T – PITCH UP EXPECTING TO BE ABLE TO BUY A TICKET – THEY ARE COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!

DO – BRING ID

DON’T – BRING ALCOHOL

DO – FEEL FREE TO BRING A BAG BUT SIZE IS RESTRICTED TO A4 (21cm/8.27in by 29.7cm/11.7in)

DON’T – BRING UMBRELLAS, ANY METAL OBJECTS, FLARES, FLAMMABLE OBJECTS, ILLEGAL DRUGS, LEGAL HIGHS OR PROFESSIONAL CAMERAS

DO – PLAN YOUR JOURNEY IN ADVANCE AND ALLOW EXTRA TIME FOR TRAFFIC DELAYS. BUSES SERVICE MARLAY PARK INCLUDE

  • 16 – Airport / O’Connell Street to Grange Road
  • 116 – Parnell Sq to Grange Road (limited service)
  • 161 – Dundrum Road Luas stop to Grange Road (limited service)
  • 14 – Beaumont via Amiens Street to Ballinteer Shopping Centre
  • 75 – The Square Tallaght / Dun Laoghaire to Ballinteer Shopping Centre

Who’s Your Forbidden Fruit?

Tick Tock Festival O’Clock … It’s just a few steps to festival heaven as we approach the Summer month of June, with its beach-friendly, blue-skied days and long, balmy wine-friendly nights, or are we mistaking Ireland for a different more azure-dazed location?

Nothing says the start of Irish Summer like the klaxon-call of the first of the season’s festivals and while for many that siren is sounded by the annual bougainvillea bedecked Bloom, for others the de facto season opener is the capital’s Forbidden Fruit festival. Operating from its base in the gorgeous surrounds of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, FF runs across the Irish June bank holiday weekend – Saturday 3rd to Monday 5th inclusive, to be precise.

With a range of artists from across the full sonic spectrum on it’s three day programme, FF is a valued showcaser for an idiosyncratic rainbow made up of eclectic and left-of-centre genres. Not for them the boybands, Rihanna wannabes or faux-leather clad rock anthemers. Instead, their line up features both emerging and successful talents from the non-mainstream fields of alt-pop, folk, experimental techno and Chilean improv.

So, with a host of music acts ranging from the sublime Lisa Hannigan’s enchanting folk-pop to the ridiculously innovative Aphex Twin, who are the acts in the Forbidden Fruit orchard whose music you’ll want to bite into and chow down on.  Let’s take a look wander through the three day a la carte …

Saturday 3rd June

Musical Bill of Fare protocol pretty much dictates the same hierarchical structure as a Michelin starred menu – starters, entrees, mains with dessert being optional and left to your own late night delectation!

As you would expect, the festival opens with a wealth of emerging Irish talent including Dublin purveyors of delish dance-pop ‘n’ house Le Boom, RTEs rainbow DJ Tara Stewart and rapidly rising rap-poet Jafaris, whose sound is more East Coast than East Wall.

Moving up a flight to the next level, we find the student-run, salubrious Trinity Orchestra, (tune in below to see what these guys can do to a Gorillaz track!), block-rocking beatmaster DJ Mall Grab, techno-house homie Jax Jones, and mistress of wonky funk, Londoner Nao. British hip-hop funksters Hot Chip close out this second tranche as it were, with their #DJSet.

Up at mezzanine level, FF fest-goers will find Peckham born street rapper Giggs, ambient-pyschers San-Fran based Tycho (a must for all your Tame Impalers), and those maestros of electronic choreography Berliners Booka Shade. Saturday night title of Chief electronic cooks and deck virtuoso goes to the Hartnell bros, more commonly known as Orbital.

Sunday 4th June

Day 2 in the FF pleasuredome is a veritable riot of Irish talent from unorthodox creative Aikj through Dub alt-rockers Heroes in Hiding to the amazing Ships whose album Precession is a wonderland of enigmatic electronica. One younsgter you should keep an eye out for is Soule, a singer fast making a rep for herself with her soul-electro-pop fusion.

The name Motor City Drum Ensemble is enough to catch the eye, but one whiff of the beat driven meld of drums, tech and jazz-soul is enough to hook the ear. German Danilo Plessow is at the helm of this unorthodox outfit with a global vision.

Sirens Press Shot Uncredited

At the top table you’ll find 21 year old Guersney native Mura Masa, a NAME+, in the world of hip hop cum R&B production and songwriting, another set of Berlin boyz and yet another experimental-electro duo Moderat, and the totally bloomin’ amazing Chilean Nicolas Jaar #nowords

With the head honcho title being allocated to homeboy Irish born, English raised electro-genius, Aphex TwinSaturday night is a must for the electro-nuts amongst you.

Monday 5th June

Probably D-Day for folksters, Monday 5th wraps up Forbidden Fruit with a sparkling array of ambience, ethereal and kaleidoscopic.

Twenty year old Galwegian Laoise is one of the newer stars of the festival’s final line up.  With a blend of dreamy pop that flows in and out of shadows, hers is a sound with more than a little darkness to its seeming iridescent perfection.

Cork man Eoin French will showcase his Talos project, whose strikingly beautiful debut album Wild Alee had Irish media in raptures earlier this Spring.  He’ll be followed by Choice Music Prize Winners Rusangano Family, whose Afro-beats based experi-rap has provided a much welcome breath of fresh air to the local scene.

An act who’s bound to be a huge draw on the night is Leeds born Paul Thomas Saunders whose voice teeters on the brink of Brett Anderson (listen to his vocal on Appointment in Samarra on our FF playlist and tell me I’m hallucinating).

The only artist to get two tracks posted to said playlist, Paul has just released a stunning new single, Holding On, which if you’re not going to the festival, you can check out here.

Saunders will be followed onto the main stage by rich-voiced, young Australian native Gordi who was hugely impressive when she played Whelans support to Norwegian flyers Highasakite last May.

Lest I forget to mention it, Forbidden Fruit comes replete with inflatable wedding chapel (pictured above), disco dodgems, a wedding disco, bingo loco (for all you clickety click two fat ladies nutters out there), a comedy tent, a funfair and oh, most importantly, a cocktail bar.  Interested much? Full details here … bites of the Forbidden Fruit.

The final countdown sees a rich roll-call of music veterans including English folk trio The Staveswhose vocal harmonies always send shivers tingling down the spine and the utterly delectable, silken-voiced Lisa Hannigan whose 2016 album At Swim was a masterclass in the power of understatement.

The festival folds with the inimitable Bon Iver, legends within the realm of indie folk, noted for their innovative and exploratory creativeness.  Their last album, 22, A Million, was a bit of a ‘departure’ as they say, but a dog can’t chew the same ball for his whole life can he? You can hear 21 Moon Water, one of the tracks from that album on the playlist below. For you ‘folkster’ die-hards (contradiction in terms) here’s something more up your traditional street.

That’s it folks.  65 Music Acts over three days on one of the best Bank Holiday weekends in Ireland.  Forbidden Fruit caters for the wacky, the winsome and the wonderlusters.  It’s line crosses the great divide between avant-garde electronica & ball-breaking techno and feather-lite folk/existential psychedelia.

With artists from as far as Germany and Australia and from so near that they could hop on the 25a and be there in 15 minutes, Forbidden Fruit caters for hungry music fans as anxious to see homegrown talent (and isn’t it wonderful to see a large cohort of Irish acts on the bill), as a flavoursome pick n mix from far off shores.

Whichever side of the coin your tastes lie in, Forbidden Fruit will should provide more than a little something for you to sink your teeth into.

Forbidden Fruit runs from 3rd to 5th June in the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham. Full details re tickets, line up, times, areas etc here. Check out our FF playlist on Spotify.

Female Artists Constitute Just 27% Of The LineUp Of The Top 3 Irish Music Festivals – Why?

THERE ARE MORE women than men living in Ireland, according to the Census 2016 results.  

Figures, recently released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that, of the 4,761,865 people in Ireland, 2,407,437 are female and 2,354,428 are male (a difference of 53,009).  Overall, there is a gender ratio of 97.8 males for every 100 females.

So tell me then why it is then that only 27% of the 114 acts playing three of the biggest music festivals in Ireland are made up of females or have a female vocalist/musician at the helm.

While some fare better than others – the EP Main & Other Voices Stages coming in at a ‘colossal’ 33% – the likes of Forbidden Fruit has just a miserly 16% female representation in its lineup.

The reasons for this gender imbalance remain unclear but it must be assumed that the festival organisers along with bookers & promoters, still hold an archaic view of festival going audiences ie. that despite the fact that some of the biggest selling global music artists are female (Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Beyonce) the public preference is for a male driven festival lineup.

With that in mind, let’s look at the current situation in Norway.  Of the acts that have dominated the Norwegian music charts over the past twelve months, the handful of indigenous artists have either been female – Aurora, Frokedal, Astrid S, Susanna Sundfor, Sigrid, Jenny Hval (the latter was the winner of the Phonofile Nordic Music Prize 2016 for her stunning album Blood Bitch) – or female centric – Highasakite, Slotface.  Norwegian, indeed most Scandi music festivals, are crammed with female talent – one look at the Trondheim Calling, by:Larm & Oya programmes for the past few years will tell you all you need to know about Nordic gender balance.  Female headliners – not a problem.

So, who are the special ones? The female chosen few who’ve managed to secure much sought after places in the ranks of the festival lineup elite.

FORBIDDEN FRUIT (3-5 June, RH Kilmainham) : PROMOTERS, POD – TOTAL ACTS 25, OF WHICH FEMALE 4 — 16%

So far, of the acts announced for FF only 4 – yes FOUR – are female and/or have core female members.  Now four isn’t bad, in comparison with last year’s two, we say without an ounce of sarcasm.  In fact yoy FF seem to be actually doubling their female constituent parts, that number rising from 1 to 2 to 4, so that next year we should expect a ‘great eight’, no?

The Forbidden Fruit Four are – Lisa Hannigan, The Staves, Peggy Gou and Nao.  Not a sniff of female in the headliners Orbital, Aphex Twin, Bon Iver or even amongst the top support acts, Booka Shade, Nicolas Jaar, Flying Lotus.  Hannigan is as good as it gets in the ‘chain of command’.

LONGITUDE (14-16 July, Marlay Park) : PROMOTERS, MCD – TOTAL ACTS 47, OF WHICH FEMALE 12 — 25%

The ‘penthouse’ at Longitude is ‘so macho’ as to be disquieting where the top four tiers are filled solely by male acts.  Headliners include Stormzy, The Weeknd and Mumford & Sons, none with so much as a feminine squeak.  Interestingly, The Weeknd’s other half, Selena Gomez, has the globe’s biggest social media following, clocking up a gargantuan 119m followers.

Be that as it may, here are the results of the Longitude jury – Jorja Smith, Dua Lipa, HVOB, Karen Elson, Lucy Rose, Bitch Falcon, Raye, Sunflower Bean, Aine Cahill, Her, Ray Blk and Norwegian newbie Sigrid.  This year’s distinguished dozen represents a 140% uplift on the 2016 lineup which featured a measly five female artists.  Notwithstanding the large % increase, the figure itself remains paltry at best.

ELECTRIC PICNIC (1-3 Sept, Stradbally) : PROMOTERS, FESTIVAL REPUBLIC – TOTAL ACTS 42, OF WHICH FEMALE 14 — 33%

Top of the Festival Pops, Electric Picnic also tops all others when it comes to female inclusion – but hardly by a noteworthy margin.  Featuring 14 female artists out of a possible 42 acts lined up to play their main stage plus Other Voices, EP2017 is still lagging way behind the national male:female ratios or Scandi fest averages.

Strip out the male centric acts and you’re left with a female inclusive lineup that looks as follows – The XX, Chaka Chkan, London Grammar, Annie Mac, The Pretenders, Phantogram, All We Are, Kelly Lee Owens, Goat Girl; [Other Voices] Saint Sister, Odetta Hartman, Loah, Katie Laffan, Soule.

Big up to EP for the number of Irish females included in this year’s mix but by the same token, a festival as ginormous and important as EP that prides itself as being a leader in terms of diversity and eclecticism should surely, be leading the way in terms of gender parity.  Kudos for having The XX and Chaka Khan on the top rungs of the lineup ladder, but they still only make up 1/3 of the overal top 6 acts featured in this year’s programme.

While it would be easy to lay the blame at the feet of the ticket buying public, frankly in this day and age, that age-old excuse doesn’t quite cut it any longer.  The fact is that in the industry itself there are several women at the top of their game – Jo Whiley, Jenny Greene, Annie Mac, Edith Bowman. In addition, there is a large cohort of female artists dominating music on a global scale – Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Adele, Selena Gomez, Sia, Carrie Underwood – all of whom are listed in the Top 30 best selling music artists of 2016.  So, saying that women no longer ‘own it’ in a male-dominated industry, is quite frankly, bull.

In an age where women’s voices are getting louder AND being heard, what is it about the Irish Festival scene that appears to be turning both a blind eye and deaf ear to the growing trend of peer to peer, gender to gender equality within the universal music industry.  Frankly Ireland, it’s not good enough.  If we can look to Scandinavia as role models for matters of health and education, and if we are happy to be lead by their example, then similarly we can follow in their footsteps when it comes to equality of status, positioning and recompense when it comes to all things music.

The current trend won’t undergo any seismic shift unless bookers and promoters ‘woman up’ and start putting some serious effort into including more female artists in the lineups of our biggest festivals.  Come on Ireland! Let’s starting putting the ‘equality’ into the gender equality we speak so much of! As the song goes, let’s get the balance right.

To celebrate some of the female acts playing this Summer’s Irish Festivals, we’ve run up a Females for Festivals playlist over on Spotify! Enjoy!!

Lounging At Longitude, Spending The Weeknd at Marlay!

Marlay Park based Longitude Festival has just released its day-by-day lineup. In addition its promoters have also announced a further twenty-two acts.

With the countdown to the mid-Summer festival well and truly under way, promoters MCD have published the day-by-day breakdown, as well as introducing a host of new names to the bill, some of which our readers will be well and truly familiar with –

  • Sigrid
  • Aine Cahill
  • Dermot Kennedy
  • Gucci Mane
  • G-Eazy
  • Young Thug
  • Leaon Bridges
  • The Martinez Brothers
  • Earl Sweatshirt
  • JP Cooper
  • Mick Jenkins
  • Dave
  • Ray BLK
  • Johnny Flynn and The Sussex Witt
  • Sunflower Bean
  • Palace
  • Youngr
  • HVOB and Winston Maeshall
  • Gill Landry
  • Karen Elson
  • Bitch Falcon
  • Wild Youth

Youngster Sigrid is the latest Norwegian pop sensation whose fiery vocal and feisty lyrics have set media tongues wagging not just across Europe but as far away as SXSW where she performed earlier this year. Dermot Kennedy and Aine Cahill, both of whom already have a huge following in Ireland and Britain, are likewise following suit in establishing their ‘rep’ Stateside.

This year’s Longitude lineup features several big ticket names including Stormzy, The Weeknd and Mumford & Sons. Other well known acts performing include Irish duo Picture This (who have a new single Never Changes out on 9th May!), Leon Bridges, Jack Garratt, Glass Animals (whose latest album I reviewed) and the divine Lucy Rose whose past collaborations have included the Manic Street Preachers.

To whet your appetite I’ve run up a tasty playlist which you’ll find below, featuring some of the many artists who’ll be rocking up to Marlay Park in July.  Longitude takes place in Dublin’s Marlay Park on the weekend of 14th – 16th July, 2017.

Weekend tickets €189.50 / Two Day Tickets: €129.50 / Day tickets €69.50 
are available from Ticketmaster.

Jess Glynne & Tom Jones Lead Line-Up For Punchestown 2017

With a stellar line up of stars from every walk of music life, cast across several generations, this year’s Punchestown Music Festival looks set to prove an even more popular draw than its 2016 predecessor.

Running over 29th and 30th July, the two day festival will feature in its line up stars from the ‘60s through to today including Tom Jones, Deacon Blue, All Saints, Lightning Seeds and Jess Glynne.

HRH Tom Jones is a legend in his own musical lifetime. Purveyor of swoon-inducing hits such as ‘Delilah‘ and the Prince cover ‘Kiss’, the Welsh vocal powerhouse is also one of the stars of UK TV hit show ‘The Voice’. Jones has sat in the judging hot-seat since the show’s 2012 inception, except for the 2016 series when he took time out after the death of his beloved wife Melinda.

Scots clan, Deacon Blue, were best of indie breed back in the mid-80s, spinning hit after Caledonian hit with songs like ‘Real Gone Kid’, ‘Wages Day’ and ‘Your Town’. Recently reforming as a four-piece for a much welcomed comeback tour, the pop-rock band have gone on to perform at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony, with 2016 seeing the release of a new album entitled ‘Believers’.

For those willing to take a walk on the wild, whacky or vintage sides, there’s a multitude from which to choose.  Boney Daddy Cool’ M (don’t tell your mother), Smokie of (WTFis) ‘Alice’ fame, ‘a little bit more’ with Dr Hook, and for anyone of a certain age who was swinging around venues like Dublin’s Olympia in the early ‘90s, there’s super ABBA tribute group, Bjorn Again. 

Catering to the younger gen in the crowds will be R&B soul-pop performer Jess Glynne, who coincidentally turned down an offer to join Sir Tom on the Voice judging panel.  The singer has a string of #1s to her name while her track Take Me Home, which you can stream below, was the official Children In Need charity single 2016.

Lastly, for those with a predilection for making random hand signals whilst disco dancing dressed up as a traffic light, there’s the Village People, who may or may not have upgraded to a condo from their 1970’s base in NYC’s ‘YMCA’.

Tickets for MCD’s Punchestown Music Festival will go on sale through various Ticketmaster outlets at 9am on Friday 31st March 2017, www.ticketmaster.ie

Day tickets will cost €69.50 inclusive of booking fee, while Two Day tickets will set you back €129.00.

 

Phonofile Nordic Music Prize Nominees Announced

Phonofile Nordic Music Prize
Phonofile Nordic Music Prize

The dozen nominees for the 2016 Phonofile Nordic Music Prize have been announced; they make for quite the eclectic list!

The nominees, whose music crosses the broadest of spectrums, hail from all five countries that make up the Nordic region, with each country getting equal weighting.  Established in 2010, the prize is awarded annually for that album which the judging panel deems best of year.  Previous winners include Mirel Wagner (FI), First Aid Kit (SE) and most recently Band of Gold (No).

The Nordic jury responsible for selecting the shortlist is made up of a cohort of industry heavyweights whilst the overall winner and commendations are chosen by an international panel including the BBC’s Stuart Maconie and Welsh journalist and Guardian music critic Jude Rodgers.

The artists nominated for the Phonofile Nordic Music Prize are:-

Denmark – CTM, Bisse, Værket

Iceland – Jóhann Jóhannsson, Skúli Sverrisson

Finland – Oranssi Pazuzu, The Hearing, Mikko Joensuu

Norway – Jenny Hval, Nosizwe

Sweden – Kornél Kovács, Cherrie

CTM Suite for a Young Girl
CTM Suite for a Young Girl

The shortlist is something of a spaghetti Bolognese the main ingredient of which appears to be diversity.  Encompassing shots of midnight metal and blasts of underground garage beats, the nominated albums run the gamut of musical taste.

From Jóhannsson’s cinematic widescreen soundscapes which could so easily have been recorded at the bottom of the coldest, darkest oceans, to Pazuzu’s compelling drone through Nosizwe’s idiosyncratic soul-style on the raw and unorthodox, ‘In Fragments’, to any newcomer to Nordic music, this multi-cultural medley is quite the Pandora’s box.  A box whose treasures once released, should be slowly savoured and enjoyed.

For this reviewer, my money is on either Iceland or Denmark to take this year’s prize – one isn’t prepared to take that any further; some impartiality is required.

And while one might have individual grievances about those Nordic albums not included, it must be said that all of the albums nominated are more than worthy of their place on this list.

An award ceremony to announce the winner of the Phonofile Nordic Music Prize, run in association with By:Larm, Music Norway and GramArtist Organisasjonen, will be held in Oslo on Thursday 2nd March, 2017, during the By:Larm festival.  You’ll find a full Spotify playlist featuring chosen tracks from the nominated albums below.

Pom Poko – Unleash New Single Ahead of Trondheim Calling & Cruise Into Urort Final!

Pom Poko Urortfinalen 2017
Pom Poko Urortfinalen 2017

Norwegian modernist collective Pom Poko have just released their third single ‘It’s a Trap’ accompanied by an impressive avant-garde ‘toon visual, the work of Olav Fangel Jamtveit, brother of the band’s vocalist, Ragnhild FJ.

A song about release and arrival, letting go to achieve self-awareness, ‘It’s a Trap’ is a quirky, punchy little sherbet that fizzes with pops of 90’s post-punk with more than a hint of glam psych.  Without doubt the track benefits from the experimental nous and masterly hand of Highasakite‘s Kristoffer Lo, a man who knows his way around more than a few instruments.  Adding his trademark guitar, brass and a.n.other sounds to the mix, Lo has taken Pom Poko’s sound in a more experimental and diverse direction, giving the original live jam the same depth and texture he brings to all his collaborations.

While the instrumental backdrop has some sharp edges, it is chasmed by sufficient wide spaces to counter-balance the intensity. As usual, vocal duties of the infinitely starlit variety are carried off with effortless ease by Ragnhild Fangel Jamtveit and if her previous live vocal performances are the benchmark to go by, Pom Poko’s two gigs at Trondheim Calling should be something else and then some more!  During TC the band will also perform a live sesh for P3’s Ruben.  Unfortunately for me it’s happening on the Wednesday, ahead of my arrival ‘on scene’.

In addition to their saffron shot nocturnal cartoon visual accompaniment, Pom Poko have adorned their single with the cutest, candy-coloured artwork by Norwegian illustrator Erlend Peder which you can see here!  The floral bedecked character is as yet to be identified!

Illustration Erlend Peder
Illustration Erlend Peder

In other news, Pom Poko have made it to the Urort Final 2017 (a Norwegian national award for promising emerging artists); if you like what you hear, you can vote for Pom Poko to win this prestigious award, here. #doit

It is a testament to their punky quirkiness that Pom Poko give their facebook page “unofficial status” – hook up with it here to touch base with the band and keep up to speed with their lives at Trondheim Calling and their Urort escapades!

The future is definitely as bright as the characters in their ‘It’s a Trap’ video for this effervescent four-piece – I hope you’ll join me in wishing them all the luck in the world – for Trondheim Calling, for Urort and we-ell, for the future.

‘It’s a Trap’ is available now via Phonofile – http://phonofile.link/its-a-trap  .  Watch the captivating fam-made visual here.