Louis Walsh appeared on the long running Irish TV chat show, The RTE Late Late Show on Friday, to make a surprise announcement regarding the Irish entry for Eurovision 2017.
Speaking to show-host Ryan Tubridy, Walsh announced that he personally had chosen the artist who will represent Ireland in the upcoming competition – erstwhile member of Hometown and former busker, Brendan Murray. Murray, originally from Tuam, Co. Galway, has been working with Walsh since joining the Irish music legends latest boyband project back in 2014. It was only recently announced that the members of Hometown were taking a break from the group to pursue individual projects.
Of the change in the selection process, Louis Walsh explained that while he had hand picked Murray as the performer, it was up to the songwriters of Ireland to produce the ‘winning song’. “We have the talent Ryan” he told Tubridy, “I really want them to send me a love song, a ballad, something between Adele and Ed Sheeran … I really want an Irish songwriter to send me a song!”.
Before performing a live acoustic cover of Irish Euro Winner, ‘Hold Me Now’, originally performed by Mr. Eurovision Johnny Logan, Murray said: “I listen to the likes of John Legend and Sam Smith, so I really want a power ballad, the real deal, key change everything”!
Song entries should be sent to the RTE Entertainment department and entry closes at 5pm on Monday 16th January, 2017, full details below. An RTÉ appointed panel that will include Louis Walsh, will select the winning song which will be performed by Brendan on The Late Late Show in early 2017.
So, if you think you can pull this kinda tune outta the bag, get your quill n ink out and start penning some words and humming some melodies! Remember – BALLAD – something with oomph and emo! And if you do enter, best of luck! x
Submissions be sent to:
Eurovision Song Entries, RTE Entertainment, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.
With a sound that veers in the general direction of their fellow Irishmen and musical forerunners The Script and Kodaline, recently appointed chart-sensations, Picture This, have arrived more quickly than most at that point on the musical map that many of their peers will only ever view from a distance.
Formed a little more than a year ago, theirs has been an easy and rapid ascent up a most vertical trajectory. Watching ‘themselves’ from the virtual side-lines, as they shot from ‘Home Studio, Jimmy’s House, Athy’ to the top slot in the Irish charts must surely have been as surreal an occurrence as an out of body experience.
Even more bizarre must have been the spine-tingling, stomach turning flurry of butterflies moment they surely experienced walking onto the stage to a capacity crowd in a packed-to-the-rafters Olympia theatre a couple of nights ago. How many bands can put that on their CV just a little more than 12months from recording their first hook on their iPhoneX?
‘Picture This’ has drip fed slow, steady single releases to their ever-increasing fan-base. Starting with the beautiful ‘Take My Hand’ which they first sampled only in October 2015, the duo continued, throughout the long, dark Winter months, to unfurl their uplifting musical charms onto an unsuspecting Irish audience, who singularly and eagerly fell captive to their unassuming yet compelling and honest sound.
So much so that the band’s debut gig was in the Academy (cap. 850) – like who the hell debut’s to an 850 strong crowd? A rolling tour across Ireland and the UK that included full house lives in both Manchester and London, has culminated in three sell-out dates at the music-lovers venue of choice, Dublin’s Olympia theatre. All on back of one Aslan cover and a 5-track EP, ‘Picture’. Phew!!
On 12th August, Picture This released their debut EP – the tracks of which run in single release sequence – and six days later it had reached the number one spot in the Irish charts.
Needless to say, the critics ranted, in a good way natch, while the fans raved, and now after one helluva rollercoaster ride and rock-n-roller tour, Picture This are set to finish 2016 on a high when they hit the stage at Dublin’s 3Arena on 3rd December, for the 2FM Xmas Ball in aid of the ISPCC.
When the fall of ticker-tape subsides and the shutters come down on the year that was 2016, this pair of ‘unlikely lads’ (and I say that in the nicest possible sense) will probably clink a pair in Some Pub, Main Street, Athy, and raise them in salute to friendship, Aslan, YouTube, iPhones, Kildare and oh, I suspect Lady Luck and good musical genes may just also get a nod.
With an album on the way next year, 2017 should see more of the same if not bigger and better from the Athy pair whose star looks surely set to rise, and rise, and …
ROBBIE WILLIAMS’ NEW ALBUM “THE HEAVY ENTERTAINMENT SHOW” GIVES HIM HIS 12th SOLO UK NO.1 ALBUM, MAKING WILLIAMS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL UK SOLO ARTIST OF ALL TIME!
Having landed himself a record twelfth successive chart topping solo album, it looks like the British music buying public have well and truly taken up Robbie William’s 1997 ‘Let Me Entertain You’battle-cry.
Not only has hitting the top spot with ‘THES’ landed him his latest gong, it has also positioned him just behind the Beatles (at 11) on the leader-board for most number1 studio albums in UK chart history.
This latest record breaking milestone marks the end of a triumphant week which saw Williams joining David Bowie and Elton John to become only the third person ever to be honoured with a Brits Icon Award.
On hearing the news that The Heavy Entertainment Show, his first album on Sony Music UK, had hit the top spot Robbie said: “I’m chuffed that this album is No 1 and I’m humbled by these amazing statistics and facts. Thank you to the wonderful, wonderful team at Sony. I’m as proud of this album as much as any other, and hope that the fans enjoy it as much as I loved making it…this is for the friendlies. I’m very excited to be taking The Heavy Entertainment show on tour next year.”
On June 2nd 2017 Robbie William will embark upon a European Arena tour, kicking off in Manchester’s Etihad Stadium. So far, there are 31 confirmed dates up to the middle of September which will see the singer take in 18 countries including Russia.
Just how Putin will react to Robbie’s devil-may-care charm & mock Russian partying is anyone’s guess. Expect the next album to contain some references to oligarchs closer to home #Trumpton.
There are still some tickets left for Robbie William’s Irish date at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium 17th June 2017, tickets from Ticketmaster starting at Euro 69.50 excluding handling charges. ‘The Heavy Entertainment Show’ is available through iTunes, Amazon etc and in physical format via your local record shop.
To be honest when the PR for the new Milburnvideo landed in my inbox I stared blankly at it, my facial expression taking on that quizzical ‘who?’ look! I’d never heard of Milburn – had no prior knowledge of them, or their music.
So it was, with a slight headache, a touch of a cold and the daunting task of packing for a holiday making up my Mardi-soir, I decided to venture forth and have a deco at this ‘unknown entity’.
Good guitar intro, bit of impending doom bass, and wham. It’s Alex Turner!
No seriously, I’m not that up on singers from Sheffield, natural habitat of Milburn. In fact, the only singer I know from Sheffield IS Turner and for the record, Joe Carnall does kinda sound like him. With an added dash of Tom Ogden, thrice removed relation of Hilda and frontman with “tears of gold, my Charlemagne” Blossoms. I’ll put the resemblance down to geography and indigenous Northern accented vocals.
So … ‘Midnight Control’. Bit rock, bit indie, bit pop, it reminds me of some of the sounds that used to populate the chart toppers of my ‘disco days’ – back when music was pure, its intention was clear, and it had stalwart, dedicated fans who went out each week and didn’t just pay for it, nooo, they queued up to pay for it!
Retro rock guitar vibes and a soulful vocal take centre stage ahead of some funky blues-bass and piano, all held in check by well tempoed, understated drumming. This is good stuff, more than good, pretty top notch in fact. It’s a song with an easy rhythm, that’s both well arranged and skilfully produced, just without the prerequisite overcoat of oil slick that so many similar bands opt for these days.
I have no idea why Milburn’s sound means nothing to me, but I’ll be making a point of deep diving into their back catalogue.
Cue words about the video! Young page-boyed chick (I can use the term, I’m female) dressed in ’70s tribute outfit of wallpaper coloured stripey top, and high-waisted, bell-bottomed, “no elastane in these babies” jeans, high kicks the night away in Sheffield City Hall.
With more stretch on her hamstrings than Ibrahimović, she Can-Cans and Night Fevers across a rubix cube disco floor – the kind that used to be found in Club “Anytime Anyplace Anywhere” back in the day! I’m told her dance routine is ‘Northern Soul’, something about which I must confess total ignorance! But it’s a neat video that goes with the retro disco-hall vibe of the song.
‘Midnight Control’ is part of a Double A along with track ‘Forming of a Fate’, available now via iTunes and usual digital outlets. Milburn have just kicked off a UK tour and I’d post the dates ‘cept they’re all sold out BAR – Sep 27 – Carlisle The Old Fire Station, GET ON IT CARLISLE!!
You can follow the band on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with their antics, hijinks and further music releases.
Irish music festival Hard Working Class Heroes has unveiled the ‘shortlist’ of 100+ acts (there’s actually 105) that made the final cut for its now annual industry convention and new music showcase.
Whittled down from a longlist of 700 names, the A-Z of who’s new in Irish music was selected by a panel of judges comprising national and international industry names.
Running from Thurs 6th to Sat 8th of October across a plethora of Dublin venues including hotspots Odessa and The Chocolate Factory, the festival-cum-networking event will see tech meet music meet business in both formal and inform settings over its three day span.
In addition, HWCH has announced its inaugural Conor Walsh Memorial Bursary, in honour of the Swinford musician who tragically died earlier this year. The task of choosing “the act who most embodies Conor’s talent and bravery among their number” will be afforded to the participating centum, whose votes will determine the act to be awarded the €2,500 bursary, which will fund recording or touring costs.
Some of the names to make the HWCH hot one hundred are Wyvern Lingo, Talos, Bitch Falcon, Evvol and PALE RIVERS. Check out the full line up here.
Tickets for HWCH are on sale via DICE.FM (mobile app), with costs broken down as follows:
Unfurling a vocal as soft and fresh as ARY’s with all the quirky Nordic charm of Lykke Li, Norwegian singer Helene Svaland gently lures us into the dark and mysterious monochrome soundscape of ‘Made of Blood’, the lead track from upcoming EP, ‘I’m Alone’.
The debut single from newcomers, Ponette, ‘Made of Blood’ received its premiere on NRK P3Ruben, no mean feat for an initial release from a relatively new band.
The song explores a dark, claustrophobic underground furnished with scatterings of shimmying electro-spotlights and sombre pulses with the slightly out of kilter rhythm of an irregular heartbeat. This stark and unadorned soundscape provides the perfect, dimly lit backdrop against which Svaland’s luminescent vocal shines.
Meticulously balanced shades of light and dark, convey both charm and disquiet in equal measure in this restrained and understated electronic tale. It’s a good start from a band so new their Facebook page was set up less than two months ago.
No news on any gig dates yet, though given their relative newness, one would imagine that it might be a few months yet before Ponette dip their toes into the what can sometimes be, choppy waters of live performance.
Oslo based Ponette are Helene Svaland, Johannes Amble, Ivo Gutu, and Johan Fredrik Bolli. You can follow them on Facebook and via their official website. Lose yourself in the captivating shadows of ‘Made of Blood’ and put a note in the diary for 9th September, which will see the release of the band’s debut EP, ‘I’m Alone’.
Norwegian five-piece Highasakite seem to have mastered the art of the ‘Midas Touch’ with literally everything they are creatively handling right now turning to pure musical gold.
Fresh from a weekend of super successful TV appearances and stunning live performances (did you see that cover of Adele’s ‘Hello’ – if not, why not? er, HELLO – check it outhere!), the band have just hopped out the video for their latest single, ‘Golden Ticket’. This jewel coloured visual gem, bedecked with purple and gold regalia, was produced by Helmet Films & Visual Effects, with directing credits being divided out between Øystein Moe, Alexander Somma and Line Klungseth Johansen.
Juxtaposing ‘gold-plated’ (well spray painted) images of an always feisty Håvik (that gal’s eyes scream ‘attitude‘) with sublime backlit monochrome frames and a series of sapphiric shots in which a diabolic, neon-strobed witch doctor does voodoo disco, the video is pure escapist fantasia, echoing the “get high, get out” theme of the song (read my review here).
As if things weren’t crazy enough for these golden wonders right now, it has also just been announced that a ten-date whistle-stop tour of the USA has been added to an already hectic Summer schedule bringing the combined number of headline dates to nearly thirty. Guess who’ll be looking forward to a nice holiday in October then hey! Highasakite play The Great Escape Festival19th May and Whelan’s Dublin, 22ndfollowed by Deaf Institute, Manchester 23rd and Village Underground, London the 24th.
You can get the full list of US dates plus the link to tickets and the tracklist for upcoming album Camp Echo below.
Highasakite is made up of: Ingrid Helene Håvik (vox), Trond Bersu (drums), Kristoffer Lo (guitars), Øystein Skar & Marte Eberson (synthesizers). You can follow what promises to be an hectic Summer both on Facebook and Twitter.
**NEW US DATES ADDED**
6 SEPTEMBER 2016 | ROUGH TRADE – BROOKLYN, NY
7 SEPTEMBER 2016 | MILKBOY – PHILADELPHIA, PA
8 SEPTEMBER 2016 | DC9 – WASHINGTON, DC
9 SEPTEMBER 2016 | THE BASEMENT – COLUMBUS, OH
10 SEPTEMBER 2016 | SCHUBAS – CHICAGO, IL
12 SEPTEMBER 2016 | 7TH STREET ENTRY – MINNEAPOLIS, MN
14 SEPTEMBER 2016 | LARIMER LOUNGE – DENVER, CO
16 SEPTEMBER 2016 | RICKSHAW SHOP – SAN FRANCISCO, CA
17 SEPTEMBER 2016 | THE ECHO – LOS ANGELES, CA
18 SEPTEMBER 2016 | SODA BAR – SAN DIEGO, CA
‘CAMP ECHO’ – TRACKLIST
1. My Name Is Liar
2. Samurai Swords
3. Someone Who´ll Get It
4. My Mind Is A Bad Neighborhood
5. God Don’t Leave Me
6. I Am My Own Disease
7. Golden Ticket
8. Deep Sea Diver
Here we go folks … the moment we have all been waiting for has finally arrived, with the video drop for Radiohead’s new single, ‘Burn the Witch’.
Recalling scenes from Trumpton and Camberwick Green, the Chris Hopewell directed puppetfest is an eery walk around the ‘Model Village’ in which everything is perfect, including the gallows with it’s maypole-esque floral detail. Don’t you just know that when the oversized Burning Man comes into shot that Mr Clipboard is for it.
With it’s haunting vocal (Yorke’s voice is seemingly ageless) and semi-classical instrumental accompaniment, ‘Burn the Witch‘ gently floats on a warm breeze, then soars magnificently into a fraught tension of frantic otherwordly strings. Wonderfully atmospheric and embellished with layer upon layer of sinister symphonia, the track builds to a deathly crescendo yielding itself to a deliciously fraught stranglehold as it expires at the end. Classic Radiohead … 10/10.
‘Burn The Witch’ is available on all digital services now. Expect the internet to crash!
Danish duo Palace Winter recently announced the release of their debut album ‘Waiting For The World To Turn’ with a launch date of 3rd June via indie Danish label, Tambourhinoceros.
‘Waiting for the World to Turn’ is the much anticipated follow up to their hugely successful debut EP, ‘Medication’ which was featured on this site along with the bands first ever press interview with YT, you can read it here.
‘Medication’, which included beat-tastic groove-monsters ‘Time Machine’ and ‘Menton’, as well as the slow n stunning ‘Stockholm’, was a masterclass in ‘rockorama with a Kraut twist’, with Palace Winter defining their very unique blend of country and good old fashioned, quick tempoed rock n roll, to create their own individual PW sound.
Since the release of ‘Medication’, Palace Winter have toured Europe extensively, gigging ‘music scene’ venues and festivals with equal gusto. This gung ho “labour of live” has garnered them a hardcore, enthusiastic following, from everyday music fan Josie Soap right up the musical ladder to BBC6 Radio’s “one to follow”, Lauren Laverne.
‘Waiting for the World to Turn’ takes the unique PW sound to another level, by encompassing psych, electronica and motorik, with their distinctive indie/country fusion, to create an even more intense muddle of adrenalin pumping sounds. The net result – an album of urgent, evocative, and powerful cinematic soundscapes.
Speaking of the theme of the album, Palace Winter explain – “There’s something very traditional and even ritualistic about the album, but at the same time almost indeterminable when it comes to a time period. There’s an element of sci-fi in the album cover, the future meeting the past and a person caught in the middle of it. We’re still in a haze, we just left suburbia.”
From piano driven opener ‘Dune Wind’ through to the seven-minute album double-track closer ‘Dependance/Independence’, this album is as electrifying as their ‘Medication’ EP; no mean feat given how impressive a production that was. ‘Waiting For The World To Turn’ is a long playing triumph from a duo whose musicianship knows no bounds. Top tip – sonic stunner, ‘Soft Machine’.
In advance of the release of this highly anticipated LP, Palace Winter have released lead single ‘Positron’, “a 6-minute epic; the backbone of the album and live show. With infectious melody and a barrage of beats, it encapsulates the band’s sound.”
‘Waiting For The World To Turn’ was recorded over the winter in Copenhagen, produced, mastered and mixed by Caspar Hesselager. Palace Winter are Carl Coleman (Vocals, Guitar) and Caspar Hesselager (Synths, Keys) with the help of Christian Rindorf (Drums). It is available to pre-order now via Tamborhinoceros.
They are also lined up to play Svartedalen, Gothenburg, Sweden, March 26th; Roskilde, Denmark 26th-28th June; NewNote Festival, Hillerod, Denmark, 4th August, and GreenMan Festival, Wales, 18th-21st August.
Full details can be found on the Palace Winter FBpage, and website.
1. Dune Wind
2. Hearts To Kill
4. Soft Machine
5. H.W. Running
6. What Happened
7. Proclamation Day
What Worked? The music – their performance was faultless
What Didn’t? The venue – like being at a disco in a school Assembly hall
Last week I travelled to Norway, Trondheim to be exact, for the annual music festival Trondheim Calling, a three day event held across various locations in the mid northern city, set up some six years ago, with the sole aim of showcasing the best and most diverse of Norwegian musical talent, local and nationwide. Over 70 acts played over the course of the three nights of TC, but naturally, there could only be three headline acts! The band that filled that cherished spot on the Friday night, was Oslo based five piece, Dråpe.
Now Dråpe just kinda happen to be one of my favourite Norwegian bands, and, given that I had never seen them play live before, it was with much excitement and if I’m honest, a heightened sense of expectation, that I pitched up at the venue, Olavshallen Lille Sal, for their 00.30am slot. Let’s get this out of the way early on – the venue was wrong on more than one level.
Firstly, it was off the beaten track, away from where the other “attention grabbers” like Dagny were playing, and secondly, it more than resembled the local school hall I used to frequent as a 16 year old attending harmless discos. On the up side, the stage was huge, which gave the band all the space in the world for their multiple pieces of equipment and, more importantly, for any serious “animated acrobatics” they might so desire to partake in once they hit 5th gear.
And hit 5th gear they did.
Dråpe are a band who have been playing together for some time now and it is clear they have cemented that sense of musical unity only inherent in bands who have had the advantage of working their way through the “getting to know you” phase. Furthermore, they have also clearly benefitted from having followed up the late Autumn ’15 release of their album, Relax/Relapse, with an intense domestic tour of Norway, which obviously enabled them to iron out any on-stage glitches, and perfect their live sound.
The set was approx 35 minutes so the short n sweet set-list pretty much focused on tracks from the album, including crowd pleaser singles, ‘Pie in the Sky’ and ‘Round and Around’, (for which the band shot their first music video), the rendition of which was simply superb and included some super neat stick speeds from drummer Kirkemyr as well as some pretty spectacular keys playing from Eirik F.
Dråpe also played the awesome kickass “?” or Questionmark, a track which includes some of the most unique and socially cutting lyrics seen this side of Can and the Manics, as well as ‘Replica’ with its astounding ‘wonky bonkers’ guitar sequences and ‘Relapse’ both of which highlighted Evan Hafnor’s effortless talent.
Whilst animated and energetic throughout, this wasn’t by any means a jumping jack flash performance in the style of Suede or Mode, nor was it one of those gigs where the the spotlight is thrown on individual members of the band allowing them to cut loose with a 45 second solo run showcasing their wares as it were. In fact, if anything it was the reverse, with Messrs. Hafnor and Boquist pretty much staying low key, sticking to the wings, and getting on with the “job”. And a damn fine job they did.
The focal point on the night, seemed to be on the triumvirate of front-man Ketil Myrhe, keys/guitar playing Eirik Fidjeland and drummer Eirik Kirkemyr. It was no happy accident that placed Fidjeland beside Myhre – clearly these are two guys who share a unique bond. The chemistry between them was electrifying and when every now and again Mr F raised his head from his synths to take a peek at his partner in musical crime, it was with a look that said, “You ok there brother? You enjoying yourself? Cos I am!” Undoubtedly the connection between these two is as solid as a Norwegian Pine tree – and musically everything else around them works all the better for it.
In drummer Kirkemyr, Dråpe have a proficient anchorman – the performance of each song hinged upon his ability to keep both rhythm and tempo on point – and he did, with complete ease. That’s not to detract from Lars Boquist’s jazz influenced “chilled” but tight bass playing which has always been a musical lynch pin for their melody lines.
The interaction with the audience switched between Myhre and Kirkemyr but as my Norwegian is limited to Tussen Takk and Gin og Tonic, which now comes with a newly perfected Norwegian influenced falsetto of “Did you say 140 krone?”, regrettably I had no notion of what they were saying – but hey, the crowd seemed to get it and were throwing back seemingly hilarious retorts, to the latter in particular.
Mid set the band launched into an as yet un-named new song – was it good? -hell yeah! And if it’s a teaser of what is coming down the line on album number three (please please) then it is certainly going to be their best yet. Canicular Daysoldie ‘Memories’, also made the grade and you know what, it SO should not have worked. Originally sung as a duet with Myhre and ex member Hanne Olsen Solem, this is a gloriously lush, dreamy, indie-love song to which Solem gave a delicate feminine charm. Myrhe’s controlled, pitch perfect vocal performance, which he stripped bare, was exceptional. There was no place to hide – he didn’t need it. This was Ketil Myhre at his vocal best and whilst very simply arranged, was surely one of the most stunning performances of the night.
Was the set 100% perfect – nope. Did all the songs work? I’d be lying if I said yes. Sadly, one of my fave Dråpe songs did not translate well live. Well, at least to these ears – others may disagree. ‘My Friend the Scientist’ is the perfect radio song, with lots of electronic sounds, layers of texture, amazing guitar playing and buckets of reverb, but live it fails where the others shine. What was the reason? I wracked my brains but finally put it down to the songs slightly dragging, slow single-step lurching tempo.
Be that as it may, as I alluded to earlier, the bands performance was faultless. More often than not most bands are incapable of translating from record to live perfectly – Dråpe do so seamlessly. And whilst I know I took issue with the venue, the sound was in fact spot on and greatly added to the impeccability of the bands live technique/interpretation.
Highlight of the night was undoubtedly ‘There is a House’ which showcased the very best of Dråpe’s instrumental abilities. But it was Myhre’s scintillating and searing extended guitar instrumental that made this the star of the show. It was simply Thrilling, capital T. In fact – THRILLING – all caps. In perfecting the live rendition of ‘There is a House’ Dråpe took a mighty fine song and transformed it into something surreal, providing Trondheim Calling with one of the standout song performances of the entire festival – in fact – it was THE single standout performance.
My first Dråpe live show – did they disappoint, no! Did they live up to expectation – they exceeded it! Would I recommend them to gig goers – absolutely 100%. And if they happen by any chance to grace TC with their astonishingly good, reverbed presence in 2017, please guys, give them a decent venue, in the middle of the action. It will only serve to enhance what is already a pretty staggering live set.
If you have a spare three mins – would really appreciate if you could answer this quick poll which is for research purposes vis a vis the Norwegian music industry and it’s impact on the music scenes outside of its domestic market. Cheers.