It’s sad to finally admit it, but I don’t have the time to post on Secret Fireworks any more. We’ve always been somewhat, um, irregular in our posting schedules but as I hit final year and make plans to live in England full time I know I won’t be able to give this website the attention that it deserves. I’ve never been one for copying and pasting press releases and my attention to detail is one of the biggest reasons why I don’t post on here more (it took me five minutes to think about what to write for the first line): I’ve always felt that this was more about picking acts that are really damn special and writing about them, instead of posting any old crap. Secret Fireworks has been plodding on in various incarnations since 2008, and it’s been a pleasure to watch local music take off. The argument that the “Northern Irish Music Scene” is too insular, the noughties “scene that celebrates itself” will never really fade – but I’ve always thought that Belfast is a great place for bands to find their feet and then eventually show off to the world. I’ve argued before that we don’t have the independent blogging culture in Northern Ireland for one reason or another – but guys like All Gone Pop are sticking around, and that’s great to see.
Thank you to those of you who actually read this damn thing. I’m still not quite sure why you do it, but when a post gets several hundred views or more it always puts a smile on my face. So thank you, thank you, thank you.
Thanks to the bands. I haven’t yet been hunted down and killed for a review yet, so that’s much appreciated. Special thanks goes to Heliopause (for being my first EVER interview), Two Door Cinema Club (for letting me interview them just before Tourist History came out and sent the lads to stardom), Uber Glitterati, The Wonder Villains, Settle for Jess, Seven Summits and Katie and the Carnival (for taking part in the Street Piano series) and so many more acts that I’ve annoyed looking for tracks for podcasts or for posting on here.
Finally, thanks to the BBC ATL crew and AU. I’ll still be popping up from time to time with the odd review for those lads, and never, ever underestimate the benefit of a good sub editor that can point our your annoying habits and ways to improve your writing.
I’ll just leave you with a flippin’ fabulous track from Before Machines. Thanks for reading! The website will be archived in the coming weeks to make way for a new blog, covering my dissertation work, music and memes, and I’ll let you know on Twitter when that’s coming out of the pipeline.
We’ve never hidden away our love for Paul Shevlin, so we’re delighted that the piano prince is back with his new single “The Takeover”. Bearing all the trademarks of his earlier material (notably Paul’s haphazard piano parts controlling the rhythm of the track), it’s another great piece of pop that’s become somewhat of a live favourite (and impressed us at Glasgowbury). This time round, it’s not just about Shevlin on the piano: it’s a more polished affair, with the basslines and guitar parts not just tacked on for good measure afterwards as they dart around majestically during the chorus. It’s joyful, hold-your-head-high pop and while the comparisons to the likes of Ben Folds might seem obvious they’re clearly merited. It’s his upbeat tracks that turn our heads, but it’s the slower moments that stun us into submission.
Download “The Takeover” here for free, and check out Paul’s haunting cover of Nerina Pallot’s “Turn Me On Again” below.
What a weekend. Electric Picnic certainly lived up to its promise and reputation in 2011, providing three days of excellent music, quality food and intriguing attractions. You could have avoided the five major stages and still put your time in, exploring the Mindfield area with its debates, performances and science experiments, checking out artistan creations (and a few tunes to boot) in the Body and Soul area or just spending most of your time in the ever-amusing Amnesty Bingo tent. For individual reviews of the acts check out the BBC Across The Line website, with articles from myself and Keith Anderson as well as the rest of team ATL. So, without further ado..
You can tell a lot about a band by the tags on their Bandcamp page. Admittedly, that is somewhat the point of them, but hey. A cursory glance at Comply or Die’s website lists “Belfast” (no surprises there), “post-hardcore” “punk rock” (fairly acccurate) and “sludge”. Before reading Wikipedia I had no idea what this delightful genre was, so please take this review with a brave pinch of salt.
It’s just over a week until Glasgowbury, and what better time to start our Glasgowbury coverage?
Friday afternoon will see the roundup of the G Spot stage, Sunday will see us tackle Eagle’s Rock, Monday will see us cover the mighty Spurs of Rock stage, Wednesday will see us analyse the G Sessions tent and finally on Friday we turn our eye to the Small But Massive stage. Get excited.
But first, we can exclusively post the stage times for Glasgowbury 2011. We’ve created a Clashfinder timetable covering all of the acts and should be clear: if there’s any errors, let me know on the bottom of this post.
You can find the timetable right here.
Feel free to point others to the timetable but please give Secret Fireworks credit.
Does what it says on the tin, really. We’re hosting it on Mixcloud, which means that all you lovely artists featured will get some royalties as it’s fully PRS licensed. Check it out: there’s not all that much talking, but there’s a lot of really rather good tracks. If you’re coming to Glasgowbury, this should be a must listen.