2016 was a year of losses. Early in the year David Bowie departed, and the Sligo/Leitrim arts club community (The Steampunk Club) wanted to pay tribute.
The tribute night was a great success. Tara Baoth Mooney, a Clare woman, opened the show playing autoharp and singing ‘Memory Of A Free Festival’. Tara lived in NY for several years and had been the voice and songwriter for ‘Shadow’ in the Jim Henson show, Bear in the Big Blue House. She made an instant impression. With an arresting stage presence, and a truly original voice, Tara brought complete immersion to the part. Tara was studying in Wolverhampton for her PhD in fashion design and was focused on imagery and visual content as well as melodies and lyrics. Part of her work was looking at design to help people suffering with memory loss.
After a coffee the next day Tara and Padraig Meehan, the Steampunk Club curator, made a plan…
Each enjoyed the songs of the other; now they would write new ones. Percussionist and arranger Tom Jamieson was drafted as the third core band member. After sketching out demos, they contacted potential instrumentalists, many ex-Steampunk Club contributors. Izumi Kimura, pianist; Steve Wickham of the Waterboys. Nichola MacEvilly, Sligo-born singer and actor. The team worked steadily for months, recording their jams on the phone. The songs reflected the unease and anxiety of the age and echoed concerns about environmental Armageddon, memory loss and loss of faith. Yet it was oddly upbeat; funny and childlike in places. It was a flag, a cry, a chuckle. A nervous laugh in the face of calamity… A Bedlam Suitcase.
At an IMRO event in Dublin early in 2017 Padraig gave Gerry Leonard a CD. Gerry, now famous as Bowie’s long-time guitarist and MD, used to play with Hinterland in the era when Padraig played and wrote songs with Those Nervous Animals. Gerry liked the work. He agreed to produce and play on the record, too. Gerry would introduce LA based producer and bass player Paul Bryan. Paul works with Gerry in Spooky Ghost and with Aimee Mann. Then the entire melange, initially edited by Tom Jamieson and Padraig in Sligo, would be finally assembled and mixed by Gerry at his home studio in Upstate NYC.
The Bedlam Suitcase debut gig (at Sligo Live Festival on October 20 2019) was a great success, full house, encores, etc. It was an emotional night. The Dublin album launch is in the Sugar Club, Dublin on February 6 2020.
The album has been self-funded, with some donations. It will be released on Bedlam Suitcase’s The Knock label. There is a Fundit campaign to finance the final stages of production. The Fourth Wall will be released on vinyl and CD, with art design by Tara and Padraig and designer Niall McCormac. The band say, “we are very proud of the final product. It is unflinching, unapologetic, full throttle. We hope you love it as we do.”
- Hey Caligula (The Fourth Wall)
- Seven that pull the Thread
- Mountain Shadow
- Bouncing to Bethlehem
- Catfood Millionaire
- Sea to Moon
- Brother Benjamin
- Meet the Media
- Ding Xiaopei
- 10 Man with a Suitcase
- Keep Nothing
FundIt Campaign link: https://fundit.ie/project/bedlam-suitcase—the-fourth-wall-2?fbclid=IwAR16Hh9EUf5hyJuHUUTJGd-3gQiHgS-44zDyoSz5ZONE-tTCXPe3FAxQzx4
The Legendary Prester John is back. As of January 20th 2020, Prester John have released the second track from the upcoming album ‘We Found Prester John’. The song is entitled ‘Meatbelt’.
Following on from the album’s first single ‘Abelard & Heloise’ which dealt with the tragic 12th century love affair between Peter Abelard and Heloise d’Argenteuil, ‘Meatbelt’ is a song about painful and abrupt endings and the outpouring of mixed emotions they can elicit. ‘Meatbelt’ draws from the likes of Man Man, Pink Floyd and Captain Beefheart resulting in a sound that is difficult to pigeonhole.
‘We Found Prester John’ features a number of Irish musicians from various musical backgrounds including Bazz O’Reilly and Aidan Mc Kelvey (The Gandhis), Caimin Gilmore (Sun Collective), Jethro Pickett, Aaron Mc Grattan (Strike Action/Disco Participation Matrix) and Leigh Duncan.
The album has been six years in the making. Beginning as a full band rock album, ending as an orchestrated strings piece, Prester John hopes to have created music that links genres rather than comfortably fitting into them.
In April 2020, our affiliated society PRS for Music will distribute royalties from Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe for music used in all games downloaded from the Sony PlayStation Store between 2016 and 2017.
If your music was used in this way during this period in the following countries: UK, Republic of Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, we ask that you contact IMRO immediately at ei.ormi@snoitubirtsid or 353 1 6614844. Deadline for submissions Friday 7th February.
Join Me in the Pines is the solo moniker for Kildare’s David Geraghty, also known to audiences as a founding member of Bell X1. JMITP is set to release ‘Feels So Heavy’ on 29 February, the latest single from the second album ‘Monomania‘. ‘Feels So Heavy’, although in the same vein as previous singles, ventures deeper into the world of synth-pop and soulful grooves.
The accompanying video was inspired by a chance viewing of the Irish Film Institute’s archive of Roy Spence’s film Keep Watching the Skies. In the 1950’s and 60’s Roy was a Northern-Irish pioneer of special effects and sci-fi films with a catalogue that boasts over forty movies.
Dave explains, “I was attending a documentary film festival as I had scored the music for one of the shorts. As part of the programme, there was a documentary about Roy and his film work. Upon seeing this, a light-bulb went on in my head. Roy’s pictures and my music could work brilliantly together. So, I edited his twenty-minute film into a narrative that works beautifully with ‘Feels So Heavy’.”
David is a five-time Choice Music Prize nominated multi-instrumentalist and composer. In recent years, his solo output has caught the ear of film directors, allowing David to turn his talents towards composing for film and TV. His first project, a short film called The Crush, went on to be nominated for an Academy Award. Subsequent projects have won at Athens, Baton Rouge, Galway and Berlinale film festivals.
As a member of Bell X1, David has released seven studio albums to date. In addition to this, Geraghty released two solo albums under his own name. In 2014, David decided to delineate his solo work by giving it a new name, and so Join Me in the Pines was born. ‘Inherit’ was JMITP’s first album release in 2014, followed by ‘Monomania’ last year. ‘Monomania’ brims with David’s distinctive vocal and song-writing style but this time he has ventured into an edgy 80s synth-pop world with hints of funk, conjuring shades of Prince, Bowie, Gary Numan and Grace Jones. The album was mixed by the masterful Ross Dowling (James Vincent McMorrow, Talos, Brian Deady) and was released on Decal Records.
As well as the release of ‘Monomania’, 2019 saw JMITP have a banner year of gigs. The lead up to the album launch in Dublin’s Lost Lane in October saw them support the legendary Hall & Oates at Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens and Cork’s Marquee, and open for the wonderful David Gray, also at Cork’s Marquee. Joining Dave on stage were Marc Aubele (Bell X 1, The Walls) Mick Major (Bon Ton Rouler) and Tim O’Donovan (Neosupervital, Bell X 1)
2020 promises to be even better, with summer festival appearances already in the diary as well as gigs in Sligo, Dublin and Belfast.
Join Me in the Pines will be performing Live in 2020:
Fri 28 Feb – Other Voices Music Trail – Ballina, SLIGO
Sat 29 Feb – Bloody Mary’s, DUBLIN (Single Launch)
Sat 09 May – Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival BELFAST
Fresh off a slot at this year’s Ireland Music Week, Singer/Songwriter/Multi-Instrumentalist Callum Orr has been tucked away in Gorey’s Asta Kalapa studio recording his latest EP ‘Cathy & Places’ which is set to be released on January 24th. Its lead single ‘You Are A Place I Used To Live’ which comes out on January 17th, captures a sense of place and memory in an intimate setting.
The video was shot by Johnny Stewart and features locations around Dublin and Wexford which inspired the song, such as Callum’s childhood home, the house of his closest childhood friend and the dunes where they used to sneak off to smoke. The video also features members of the live band.
Callum plays Dublin’s Unitarian Church on Saturday February 1st with a 9 piece band consisting of a string quartet. With support on the night from Conor Mason it’s sure to be a very special night. Tickets are on sale now from Eventbrite priced €15.
Speaking on the recording process, Callum says ‘I have a love of room sounds in the production process, so for every session, we had a mic placed pointing outside the open window to capture the sound leaving the room and the sounds of the garden outside. Capturing the atmosphere of the room was important to me… I wanted this EP to feel like you’ve walked into the studio and are standing there beside me’
“What Do You Mean?” is us reminiscing about the early days of us making music together, a decade ago when we were simply Harry and Alfie. Being young and naive, jumping over walls, busking and making little YouTube clips. Learning about writing songs, reflecting on a golden time before adulthood kicked in.”
Hudson Taylor enjoyed a dazzling 2019 including two US and European tours finishing with with six-sold out nights at Whelans in Dublin, the Childline 2FM Xmas Ball with the RTE Concert Orchestra, and – with ‘How I Know It’s Christmas’ – one of the biggest homegrown new festive songs in many years. This new Yuletide favourite enjoyed more radio support than evergreen hits by the likes of Paul McCartney, Slade, Wizzard and Jona Lewie, and was the most Shazamed song in Ireland during Christmas week.
‘What Do You Mean?’ – out Friday 17th January – starts the new year countdown ticking to the release of Hudson Taylor’s long-awaited second album – entitled ‘Loving Everywhere I Go’ – which will be released on limited edition orange vinyl, CD and download on Friday 28th February.
Catch Hudson Taylor on tour in Ireland at the following venues:
Friday 28th February – The Chalk Venue, Swords
Saturday 29th February – The Hot Spot Music Club, Greystones
Sunday 1st March – Kavanagh’s, Portlaoise
Saturday 25th April – The Opera House, Cork
Sunday 3rd May – The Big Top, Limerick
Hudson Taylor headline The Olympia Theatre in Dublin on Friday 24th April, with special guests Little Hours.
Acclaimed Irish singer and actress Lisa Lambe releases her solo single ‘Tiny Devotions’ on 17th January. ‘Tiny Devotions’ is taken from Lisa’s upcoming album ‘Juniper’, releasing worldwide on April 3rd 2020. ‘Tiny Devotions’ is a piano driven mid-tempo tune which showcases Lisa’s keen poetic musical sensibilities and the soulfulness of her voice, building to a gorgeous crescendo featuring layers of stunning backing vocals, capturing “the immediate and rare joy of musicians playing together.”
Lisa describes the lyrical content of her new single: “’Tiny Devotions’ are the million little ways we can show our love, and this song is about how we can receive them and activate positivity for ourselves.”
Described by the Irish Times as the finest singer and actor of her generation, Lisa is now poised to attract a global audience with her forthcoming album, ‘Juniper’.
She embarked on her latest album, ‘Juniper’ with Karl Odlum (The Frames) as producer in 2019 and it is her most ambitious project yet. This, her second solo album was written in the west of Ireland and recorded at the remote Attica Studios in County Donegal. Lisa describes the eleven-songs as “a love letter to nature.” Her songwriting, although inspired by the Irish landscape and surroundings is also thoroughly universal, modern and international.
It’s no surprise that Lisa’s new songs conjure moods and visions: She graduated Trinity College Dublin with distinction as an actor, working with Ireland’s National Theatre and starring in many smash hit plays, including most recently “Jimmy’s Hall”. She is a frequent guest on national radio and television in Ireland and has appeared at world renowned venues including Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Nokia Live in Los Angeles, Red Rocks in Colorado, as lead singer with Celtic Woman. As a solo artist, Lisa has performed globally including Celtic Connections Scotland, Glastonbury UK as well as The Irish Arts Centres in London, Paris and New York.
Hot Press called Lisa’s voice “sumptuous”; RTÉ described her as a “national treasure,” and the Irish Times labelled Lisa’s first album ‘Hiding Away’ recorded in Nashville in 2015 as “pure gold.”
Lisa is about to embark upon a series of prestigious dates including a headline show at Tradfest 2020 in the Pepper Cannister Church, Dublin on January 24th. She travels to Glasgow for the world renowned Celtic Connections Festival where she plays with The Lone Bellow in the Royal Concert Hall on January 25th. On January 30th she will be performing an intimate set at the Irish Embassy in London. She will be joining the iconic Horslips live at the Olympia on St. Patrick’s Day.
More tour dates to be announced soon.
‘January Skies’, the first single and title track from Michelle Daly’s debut album, launches January 27th on digital download and streaming sites with a special preview event on January 24th at Chaussee 131, Berlin.
The new album, was made possible with a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2019 and was recorded and produced by Charis Karantzas at Jazzanova Recording Studio, Berlin. Tracks include string arrangements by acclaimed violinist and composer Heloise Lefebvre (Sundew) as well as many notable Berlin session musicians.
The new album is Daly’s latest collaboration with long-time writing partner, Australian composer, Michael Edwards – whose writing credits include work with Morcheeba and the soundtracks for Game of Thrones, Calvary and Layer Cake.
‘January Skies’ is a bittersweet song of hope, redemption and self-compassion which sees the Berlin-based, Irish vocalist and songwriter venturing down soulful new pathways. A video for the single produced and directed by Alexander Schank will also receive its debut outing at the January 24th launch party at Chaussee 131 Bar in Berlin.
Described by The Guardian as “honey-toned”, vocalist and songwriter Michelle Daly’s versatility ranges from soul and jazz to modern opera. Her debut recording ‘Melodramas’ EP was featured on Jazz Radio Berlin/Europa and Daly has performed sold out dates at The Ellington, Berlin (Jazz Radio Berlin) and the National Concert Hall Dublin. A regular on the opera stage, Michelle recently played the female lead in the World Premier of Yasutaki Inamori’s ‘Wir Aus Glas’ for Deutsche Oper Berlin. Other collaborations include vocals on Beirut-born, electronic musician/DJ, Nur Jaber’s new album and a collaboration on the critically acclaimed ‘These New Puritans’ album ‘Inside the Rose’.
Dates for album launch events in Berlin and Dublin will soon be announced.
‘January Skies’ will be available for download and streaming on major platforms from January 27th.
Graham Sweeney is a singer-songwriter from Achill Island, Co Mayo. His distinctive sound arises from a blend of traditional guitar playing, percussive finger-tapping and rhythmic vocal melodies.
As a child Graham discovered his father’s vinyl collection containing some of the great names of the ‘60s and ‘70s – Pink Floyd, John Martyn, Jethro Tull, Planxty and Supertramp. This music helped mould his unique alternative folk style.
The history and dramatic landscape of Achill Island has also had a strong impact on Graham, informing his work both poetically and visually.
“Achill has definitely shaped all of the tracks on the album. The landscape and surroundings have had a huge part to play in my music and lyrics. There are many great songs about the streets of famous cities and towns, for me, it’s more about space,” says Graham Sweeney. “The ocean, the mountains, wind, sun and rain shaped these songs”.
His birthplace combines his three passions; music, surfing and vintage VW’s which he has been restoring since the age of 12: these elements are the cornerstones of his music career.
“I was unaware when I trained in the motor trade that I was being welcomed into a global family of VW enthusiasts which in turn led me to travel, surf and perform with musicians while traveling through Ireland, Europe and North and South America”.
Graham has toured and performed extensively, appearing at festivals including Electric Picnic, Another Love Story, Vantastival and many more.
Graham has also supported some of Ireland’s great artists, including Lisa Hannigan, Damien Dempsey, John Sheehan, Mick Flannery and Declan O’Rourke.
Declan is a huge fan of Graham’s work, describing him as: “A very talented, original young songwriter with all the trademarks of a great career ahead”.
Graham Sweeney’s debut album ‘I Am’ was recorded in San Francisco, Berlin and Ireland and was produced by John Michael Berry and engineered by Lance Hogan (Kila, Dead Can Dance). The core band playing on the album includes Rhys Mc Bride (Lead Guitar), Aine Sweeney (Bass, Backing Vocals), Mark Mc Girr (Drums).
Single, ‘The Quiet Man’, was given it’s Irish radio premiere by Fiachna Ó Braonain on RTÉ’ Radio One and has since been playlisted by PLAYIRISH and been picked up by national and local radio stations. It is released on Friday 17th January.
Debut album ‘I Am’ is due for release in 2020.
Graham has been chosen to perform at the annual Culture Ireland Emerging Talent Showcase at Tradfest 2020 on Friday January 24th.
2020 Gigs – Graham Sweeney
24/01 – Tradfest Showcase with Culture Ireland, Dublin
20/2 – Teelings for 98FM’s Totally Irish supporting The Mary Wallopers
01/04 – Ghostlight Sessions, Balor Theatre, Ballybofey, Co. Donegal
03/04 – The Dunes, Strandhill, Co. Sligo
05/04 – Egan’s, Liscannor, Co. Clare
12/04 – The Valley House, Drawing Room, Achill Island, Co. Mayo
15/04 – Bridge of Song, Bridge Street, Castlebar, Co. Mayo
Hot on the heels of releasing their new single ‘Wherever You Are’ – the first taste of their upcoming fourth album – Kodaline delve further into the song’s emotional impact by sharing its accompanying video.
The ‘Wherever You Are’ video focuses on a young couple (played by Teresa Oman and Nick Mahady) in a blossoming relationship. They’d always planned a trip to Morocco together, but his tragic death meant that it was an ambition that they couldn’t fulfill. She later decides to complete the journey alone. It’s a bittersweet experience: it’s the trip of a lifetime and a fitting way to say goodbye, but his absence is heartbreaking.
Director Riley Blakeway’s interpretation of frontman Steve Garrigan’s lyrics perfectly captures the song’s poignancy.
Blakeway commented, “After hearing the song for the first time, I was reminded of a close friend that lost someone very special to her and shortly after, went on a trip in search of catharsis. I then asked that friend to star in the film and the result was one of the most meaningful collaborations I’ve had. I can’t thank Teresa enough for the trust and vulnerability she gave me.”
‘Wherever You Are’ is Kodaline’s first release since the 2018 album ‘Politics of Living’ and opens a new chapter in the band’s phenomenally successful career. After first breaking through in 2013 with their debut single ‘High Hopes’, Kodaline have scored three #1 albums in Ireland, two Top 5 albums in the UK and numerous strong chart placings all over the world.
In 2019, Kodaline played some of the biggest shows of their career. At home in Dublin they sold-out two huge outdoor shows at St. Anne’s Park, while a ten-date UK tour culminated with a packed show at London’s historic Roundhouse. Further afield, they hit festivals including Lollapalooza, Benicàssim and Open’er before becoming the first Irish band to headline the massive NH7 Weekender in Pune, India. Their extensive touring throughout Asia also included a headline set at Monsoon Music Festival in Vietnam plus dates in China, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and Singapore.
That reach suggests that Kodaline are perfectly placed to continue to be discovered by new fans all over the globe with their fourth album. After more than a billion streams at Spotify and almost 600 million views at YouTube, there’s a lot more to come in the Kodaline story.