REVIEW: INDIEPENDENCE MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL 2015
Aug14

REVIEW: INDIEPENDENCE MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL 2015

On the last rainy Friday of July, the excitement in the air is tangible as the crowds descend on Mitchelstown ready to start the weekend which has come to be known to serial festival-goers as the best of the summer. Indiependence Music & Arts Festival, now in its 10th year, has solidified itself as one of Ireland’s top festivals boasting an eclectic line-up mix of popular and unknown Irish and international acts, an incomparable festive atmosphere and all against the stunning backdrop of the Galtee Mountains.   FRIDAY Once the afternoon’s drizzle has passed, the arena starts to fill up with old and young alike all eager to hear the first acts of the weekend. Opening the proceedings with a roar on the Main Stage are Mitchelstown band Mindriot. Even though playing to a home crowd, Mindriot show no signs of being complacent with a never waning energy that only gets louder as the crowd builds. With the first major clash of the weekend, favourites Jack Savoretti and Heroes in Hiding both play at 19:30 in The Beer Hall and Big Top stages respectively. Savoretti played an assured, confident set but the standout performance came from Dublin band Heroes in Hiding. Despite a disappointing crowd and some sound issues in the beginning of the set, their catchy folk-rock melodies and stomping energy stole the show, with the new addition of shared lead vocals from bassist Liam McCabe and electronic elements in the music from their recent release ‘Decorated Absence’. Taking to the Canadian Main Stage before headliners Basement Jaxx proved to be no trouble to Richie Egan & co of Jape. Bringing the synth sounds of the 80s together with rocky guitar riffs makes for an exciting and authentic sound from the Dublin outfit. With a sound comparable to The Human League, Jape drew a large and what was probably the most varied crowd of the weekend, with teenagers and adults (big teenagers) with their young children alike dancing along to the highlight of the set ‘Floating’. Although at times the songs began to feel quite similar to each other, Egan’s energy and confident performance made sure the set never became boring. Friday headliners Basement Jaxx closed the night to rapturous screams having played a crazy and energetic set to an enthusiastic crowd of 90s heads and new fans all mixing together to dance into the small hours. The highlight of the set was not-so-guilty pleasure ‘Raindrops’ and when they finished their lengthy yet not long enough set the crowd screamed for more long after they had left the stage.   SATURDAY Saturday’s timetable was jam-packed with incredible Irish...

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THE SIX ACTS YOU CAN’T MISS AT #INDIE15   
Jul28

THE SIX ACTS YOU CAN’T MISS AT #INDIE15  

  Wyvern Lingo – Saturday 20:45 @ Big Top Stage The Bray trio have been making waves in the music industry both in Ireland and abroad since the release of their debut EP ‘The Widow Knows’ last year. Fresh from touring the US with Hozier, Wyvern Lingo’s eclectic mix of catchy hooks and intricate harmonies are sure to win them a legion of new fans following their appearance this weekend! Wyvern Lingo – Used (Official Video) The Academic – Sunday 17:50 @ Main Stage Despite having only left school in recent years, The Academic have all the live performance experience and ability to rival any Irish band. The Mullingar indie-rock outfit spent time touring with Irish rock veterans Delorentos earlier this year and are sure to lift the roof off the Main Stage at Indie. The Academic – Different (Official Lyric Video) Heroes in Hiding – Friday 19:30 @ Beer Hall Dublin-based Heroes in Hiding released their second EP ‘Decorated Absence’ in June to rave reviews. Old and new fans alike packed out The Twisted Pepper for their EP launch last month to hear the exciting mix of Heroes’ famed folk-rock sound with new electronic elements. The energy of this band’s live performance simply cannot be matched and if there’s one act you’ll want to have seen at this year’s festival it’s Heroes in Hiding. Heroes in Hiding – Can’t Dance Róisín O – Saturday 18:50 @ Main Stage With her recent single ‘If You Got Love’ having become an unofficial anthem in the run up to Ireland’s Marriage Equality Referendum in May, Róisín O has been making huge strides as an artist in her own right this year. Hailing from the musical family that includes Mary Black and Danny O’Reilly, the writing was on the wall that she too would forge a career in music. However, with her band in tow, the music takes inspiration from many genres with indie guitar elements, strong folk melodies and catchy pop hooks and is undeniably original. Róisín O – If You Got Love Little Hours – Saturday 19:30 @ Big Top Stage The Meteor Award nominated Singer-Songwriter duo from Donegal released their debut single ‘It’s Still Love’ this year to a fantastic reception from fans and critics alike. Having amassed over 60,000 plays on Spotify alone this year, Little Hours’ intimate live set is sure to draw a crowd to the Big Top this Saturday. Little Hours – It’s Still Love (Official Video) Mindriot – Saturday 20:30 @ Beer Hall Describing their sound as ‘soul music with grunt’ Mindriot are making their second appearance at Indiependence this year. Playing the festival in...

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The Geddes ‘Human’ EP Launch at Whelan’s.
Jun05

The Geddes ‘Human’ EP Launch at Whelan’s.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’ve more than likely heard of The Geddes by now. Since the release of their début single ‘Frontline’ in November 2014, The Geddes have held a steady presence on Irish radio, helped along by them having been chosen by UTV group radio (FM104, Q102, Galway Bay FM) as their ‘Select Irish’ track at the beginning of this year. The Dublin-based band have since been working hard writing and recording their début release. I went along to the launch of their ‘Human’ EP in Whelan’s on the 29th of May. Thanks to the fantastic sets played by both support acts, Ellen and Carla and Adam Cummins, the excitement can already be felt in the air as a packed out Whelan’s waits for The Geddes to take to the stage. When they do arrive and begin to play the first chords of ‘Shadow of a Heart’, they are met with screams to rival that of any major band that have been touring for years. It is not however just the crowd reaction that is comparable with hugely successful bands. From very early on in their set it is clear that The Geddes do indeed take their music very seriously, with every song being played flawlessly and professionally there is no doubt that a lot of hard work and rehearsal has gone into their live show. Several songs into the set, the excitement and energy has not waned one bit and the faithful are just as happy to listen to the band covering a few of their own favourite songs. The most impressive of these sees lead guitarist Liam McDonnell come to the fore (having been playing skilfully but unassumingly throughout the set) to join forces with Liam Geddes to perform a stunning, stripped-back cover of Sia’s ‘Chandelier’. After a stomping cover of One Republic’s ‘Counting Stars’, the stage welcomes some surprise guests in the shape of Dublin rap collective Class A’z, with whom lead singer Liam Geddes released a song in early 2014. They perform their song ‘Lifeboat’ with the band energetically restoring the elated atmosphere to the venue after the somewhat mellow few songs leading up to the collaboration. The most intimate moment of the gig, and in my opinion the most memorable, is when the rest of the band takes a step back and allows lead singer Liam Geddes to take the spotlight as he plays and sings the third track from their EP, ‘Astronaut’. A pin could be heard to drop in Whelan’s as Liam’s incredible vocal really gets a chance to shine through in this intimate ballad. The sincerity of his songwriting...

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One to Watch Wednesday: Reuben James
May06

One to Watch Wednesday: Reuben James

Reuben James Garcia, better known as Reuben James, is a young rapper, songwriter and poet originally from the Philippines but based in Dublin. Hot off the release of the first single from his upcoming EP ‘The Art of RJay’, I caught up with Reuben to talk about the music that inspires him. Not just a talented rapper, Reuben James is also an extremely wise and deep thinker with a dedication to his craft to rival that of any majorly successful artist. Our chat was interesting to say the least, here’s how it went. Which artist/band has influenced your music the most? “I grew up meditating my ears around Hip Hop music. I spent a lot of time focusing on studying and analysing the lyrics as I would listen to a song. I tried to squeeze out every little piece of small detail, skill, or technique that the artist would use and I would try to apply it on my own writing. That’s why I believe that I’m mostly inspired by old school hip hop, because back then the lyrics that they wrote came straight from the heart. Tupac, a Tribe Called Quest, the Fugees, Big L, Jay-Z, Biggie Smalls, and Eminem & Nas made up a large part of that inspiration. Hip Hop artists are said to be modern day Shakespeares because they write like poets and if you actually read Hip Hop lyrics you will see that it is a very detailed and complicated art form. Everyone I ever listened to influenced my music really, from The Eagles to Kendrick.” What is your favourite album ever? “Hmmm actually I probably have numerous albums that would make it on the favourites list. Right now I can think of albums such as ‘Marshall Mathers LP’ by Eminem, ‘Collision Course’ by Jay-Z & Linkin Park, ‘Good Kid, Maad City’ by Kendrick Lamar, ‘The Documentary’ by The Game, ‘The College Dropout’ by Kanye West but one my personal favourite is ‘Illmatic’ by Nas! It has been considered to be the bible of Hip Hop. I enjoy listening to this album especially before I go up on stage because it awakens the boldness of my spirit and inspires me to perform at my greatest form. I wrote a song that was influenced by this album, I named it ‘If I Ruled the World’ and you can listen to it on YouTube here: Listening to these albums probably shaped me myself, my writing, my thinking and basically the type of person I am today, and I really love it. I feel like I’m on the road to greatness. Nobody in the whole world can...

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One to Watch Wednesday: SPINES
Apr15

One to Watch Wednesday: SPINES

SPINES are, without contest, Dublin’s hottest all-girl rock band at the moment. Despite the fact that all four band members are sitting their Leaving Cert exams this June, they have been making big waves in Dublin’s rock scene of recent, playing such esteemed venues as The Mezz and The Workman’s Club. I spoke to lead vocalist and songwriter Ciara Lindsey about the band’s music and the music that inspires them! Which artist/band has influenced your music the most? “The Arctic Monkeys have definitely had a huge influence on my music. Their lyrics are so clever and the stories behind each song are really thought provoking. I try to mirror them in my own music as much as I can. Other artists that inspire me would be The White Stripes, Lily Allen, Savages, The Slits, Warpaint, and The Wytches and of course how could I forget the one and only David Bowie. ” What is your favourite album ever? “It’s either going to have to be ‘The Very Best of The Doors’, a compilation of all of their best stuff. Or the self-titled first White Stripes album. I’m leaning more towards The Doors, as they completely transformed my preconceived ideas about music and how to perform when I first started listening to them.” If you could collaborate with any artist/band, dead or alive, who would it be? “Savages would be pretty cool to do a collaboration with. They have a very distinct and interesting sound, they recently made an experimental album with a Japanese female acid punk band called ‘Bo Ningen’. It was pretty crazy, I love music that’s just pure chaos! I would make some destructive noise with those chicks.” Who is your favourite Irish artist at the moment? “GIRL BAND blow me away! But there are LOADS of bands making their way upwards on the Irish scene at the moment that are incredibly talented like The Witch Trials, Mr Rosso and The Altered Hours.” What are your goals for your music in 2015? “We are playing the Mezz on the 24th of this month, then unfortunately we’re going to have to take a break for a while, as we all have our Leaving Cert exams this June. During the summer months we’re going to put our heads down and try to get tighter as a band and write a few more tunes also. So hopefully we will be playing a few gigs by the end of summer!” SPINES play The Mezz on the 24th April alongside Wild Rocket and No Monster Club and admission is free. You can find their music on Soundcloud and Bandcamp and keep up...

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