• Inbound: The Last Generation

    Having released their terrific second EP Torann earlier this month, Mid-Ulster hard-rock four-piece The Last Generation have all but announced their arrival as one of the country’s most exciting and interesting riff-fuelled acts. Ahead of the Belfast launch of their latest release, we speak to the band’s lead guitarist Stephen O’Hagan about the band’s steady and well-deserved ascent. Hi Stephen. First off, could you tell us how you got together and about the early period of the band? We started the band around two years ago while still attending secondary school in Maghera. We where still very much cutting our teeth as musicians –…

  • The Guide To: In The Court Of… Tom Ravenscroft

    Spectacularly curated by the comprehensively cultured Duke Special last year, the annual In The Court Of… showcase at Belfast’s The MAC returns this week in the trusty hands of one of our generation’s most informed and sonically attuned broadcasters, Tom Ravenscroft. Running from September 24 to September 28, Ravenscroft – son of the late, great broadcaster, John Peel – has compiled an unmissable five-day bill of music, dance and comedy featuring international artists and performers as well as the very best in local musical talent. With the mini-festival of sorts kicking off this very evening, below is our guide to all things In…

  • Chasin’ The Trane: A John Coltrane Playlist

    On what would have been his 87th birthday, the towering musical stature of American jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane could not be any more set in stone. One of a small handful amount of musicians to irrevocably transform the landscape of a music contemporary music – both during his lifetime and down the years through the sheer influence and clout of his legacy – he embodied a revolutionary spirit that permeating the length and breadth of his staggering back catalogue as a sessionist, collaborator, bandleader and solo artist. To pay small tribute to the man and his music, we have…

  • Track Record: Blane Doherty (Gacys Threads)

    In the second installment of Track Record, Colm Laverty hits up Blane Doherty, guitarist/vocalist with Belfast progressive hardcore/metal band Gacys Threads to have a rummage through his nice and eclectic record collection. Taking us on a trip through the Bee Gees to King Crimson, we get an insight into Doherty’s listening and music collecting habits via both his own thoughts on a selection of his favourite records and Laverty’s accompanying photographs. Missed the first installment in the company of Tree from Belfast prog band Kasper Rosa? Go here. ___ The Secret – Solve et Coagula Love this album. So intense and relentless. I…

  • Everything They’ve Learnt: More Than Conquerors

    As eagerly anticipated local album releases go, the debut full-length effort by Belfast-based alt-rock four-piece More Than Conquerors ranks right up there. Two years in the making and countless breathtaking gigs since their formation four years ago, the release of Everything I’ve Learnt will surely mark a new chapter in the band’s climb to the top. Ahead of the album’s launch at Belfast’s Limelight 2 tonight, Monday, September 23, we talk to Kris Platt and Danny Ball from the band about where More Than Conquerors have come, where they are and where they want to go. Two years in the making,…

  • Classic album: Mercury Rev – Deserter’s Songs

    No-one expected this. Previously, Mercury Rev had been the David Baker fronted psyche-noise outfit that was as likely to pick a fight with the audience than write a work of transcendent beauty. Records like Yerself is Steam and Boces are great fun, full of guitars that are distorted to the point where they cease being guitars, and crazy, stream of consciousness lyrics. But they certainly didn’t position the band as one of the most significant bands of the 90s, and this is exactly what Deserter’s Songs did. A couple of things had to happen in order for this change to take place, though. Baker was out,…

  • Culture Night Belfast: Ten Must-See Events

    With 250 events set to take place across 100+ to over 30,000 people this evening, it’s safe to say we’re spoiled for choice at this year’s Culture Night Belfast. With an understandable leaning towards the more musical end of the spectrum, we have scratched our heads to no end to whittle down the plethora of happenings to a mere decad worthy of your consideration. See you in the streets, rooftops, cathedrals, etc. 1. 101 Sessions Some of Belfast’s finest musicians will quite literally congregate at the wonderfully intimate church on 101 Donegall Street from 7.00pm. As well as music from…

  • Everything Sucks #006: The Problem With Arthur’s Day

    Last time your columnist went on here to decry something he found was directly harmful to music in Ireland, he well overshot his mark and wound up dividing camp a little. So, let’s try a different tack, shall we? Arthur’s Day is coming up and already hundreds and thousands of casual drinkers are plotting their whereabout at 1759 hours that day. That’s just it, though: casual drinkers. This make-believe “holiday”, that was manufactured, not only in our lifetimes, but four years ago, is nothing more than another stupid ploy designed to shill alcohol to a society that already suffers from…

  • The First Time: VerseChorusVerse

    In the latest installment of The First Time we get the virginal sonic lowdown from North Coast songsmith extraordinare Tony Wright AKA VerseChorusVerse. Traversing his wide-ranging tastes and first-time musical experiences with everyone from John Denver to Public Enemy, we get an invaluable insight into the musical DNA of a homegrown songwriting giant. First Album I Ever Bought: Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back. I was 9 years old and heard ‘Straight Outta Compton’ by NWA at my big brother’s friend’s house. It had been out a couple of years at this stage and…

  • Incoming: Myles Manley

    In the latest installment of Incoming we shoot the proverbial breeze with singer-songwriter Myles Manley, a completely one-of-a-kind artist born in England, raised in Sligo and currently based in Dublin. Idiosyncratic, offbeat and hugely accomplished, he evokes everyone from Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel and Bright Eyes and is a brilliant and unconventional poetic mind on the brink of breaking through.  Hi Myles. First off, what are your earliest memories of wanting to be a musician and performer? Are there any defining first moments? I started playing the bass at about 15 because there were around 20 electric guitar players in my year in…