Arts

Noise Annoys: Waldorf & Cannon, Power of Dreams, Sister Ghost, Andy McGibbon Jr, Shellshock Rock box set and more

Bandcamp Day brings new music from Waldorf & Cannon, Power of Dreams and charity compilations featuring Problem Patterns, plus new Shellshock Rock box set delivers plenty of bang for your buck...

Problem Patterns feature on two new charity compilations released today, as well as the new Litany of Failures Vol 3. Picture by Betsy Bailie

HELLO and welcome back to Noise Annoys, your favourite alternative musics-flavoured column which is still very much operating in lockdown mode despite the general public’s apparent widespread abandonment of precautionary social distancing – but sure they’re only taking their cues from our ‘leaders’. It’s going to be a ‘fun’ July out there on the streets beyond Noise Annoys Towers, I suspect.

Staying safe from the imminent second wave means plenty of time to spent indoors in the company of good music, and there are several new releases out today which you could worse than to check out immediately. It’s Bandcamp Day again y’see, the popular online music portal’s ‘first Friday of the month’ lockdown tradition whereby it waives all fees to help artists support themselves during the Covid crisis – like those Problem Patterns gals, whose new Bangers ‘N’ Mash-Ups project finds them teaming up with a load of their pals to raise money for the She Sells Sanctuary initiative through which artists support local domestic abuse charities.

The stellar line-up includes cover versions performed by the likes of Beauty Sleep, Junk Drawer, Mob Wife, Strange New Places, Ferals, Happy Out and Gender Chores – but exactly who was covering what remained a closely guarded secret at time of writing, to the extent that apparently even most of the artists involved didn’t know what their fellow Bangers ‘N’ Mash-Upsers were up to. Exciting, eh?

All will be revealed when you hit up Bangersnmashups.bandcamp.com, so be ready to buy it and help out a good cause.

On the subject of Problem Patterns, Gender Chores and Strange New Places, they and Sister Ghost have each contributed one live track to the new charity record The Fight Is Not Over EP, due out via Third Bar on July 9, with profits from sales going to support queer-led feminist arts space the 343 in east Belfast.

It’s going to be available digitally via all the usual outlets and as a special limited edition 12-inch packaged in cool custom comic book style artwork courtesy of Jacky Sheridan (who previously did the eye-catching art for PP’s Gal Pals single), which will sell for £15. Get that pre-ordered now by visiting Tinyurl.com/tfino12 and be advised that for every copy sold, Snow Patrol man Gary Lightbody will be donating £20 to sexual abuse counselling service Nexus NI.

Sister Ghost also have a great live record called Live & Contagious available via their Bandcamp page and, what with today being Bandcamp Day and all, why not purchase it right this very second – it costs £5 or whatever amount beyond that you feel this collection of SG faves and covers (including a nicely grungy take on Bjork’s Army of Me) done live/in session over the past few years deserves. Open thy heart and wallet at Sisterghost.bandcamp.com/album/live-contagious.

Keeping your wallet handy, click over to Waldorfandcannon.bandcamp.com, where you’ll be wanting to snap up the Derry/Donegal duo’s new release The Lockdown Session – a combination of three brand new W&C studio tracks from Philip Wallace and Oisin Cannon in the form of superb fuzz rocking lead tune Dear Richard (don’t miss the video at YouTube), hangover anthem I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead and a playful tune for our times, Lockdown Blues, plus three live songs from last year’s Glasgowbury Session at The Cornstore in Draperstown; a rollicking, blues harp blasting take on previous single Beats Ahoy!, uber-catchy political lament/boogie We Are Your Government and a stripped back blues punk charge through Syntax Error from their still incredible 2017 LP Old Dogs New Tricks.

All-in, that’s worth £5 of anyone’s money.


Onwards to Andy that’s in The Bonnevilles, AKA Andy McGibbon Jr. Did you all watch his ‘live from St Quarantine’ live streams during lockdown? Weren’t they class? If you tuned in, you will no doubt have heard him talking about finally fishing off his increasingly long awaited solo LP, Northern Gothic.

It’s not quite ready for release yet but in the meantime Andy has gifted a ‘live in one take’ version of one of its tracks, The Winter – as fine a slice of acoustic isolation blues as ever I’ve heard – to the new Pretty Things Records charity compilation Human Devices. This virtual record features a total of 16 ‘unplugged’ tunes with not a dud to be found among them, and it’s only £10 – so once again check it out and get it bought today at Prettythingrecords.bandcamp.com/album/human-devices. All proceeds will be going to Help Musicians UK.

Another Irish artist availing of Bandcamp Day is the mighty Power of Dreams: a few weeks ago I mentioned that the 1990s Dublin indie rockers were about to release a brand new LP, Auslander, written and recorded recorded entirely via safely socially distanced electronic means.

Today, they’re putting out the first single from the record (and first new material since 2010’s one-off 1989) via Cork’s FIFA Records label, a double A-side single (ask your ma) comprising new songs America and Across The Shannon.
Both produced by Erik Alcock, the latter is a melancholy ballad ripe for POD megafan Ronan Keating (no, really) to cover and take to the top of the charts, while the super-catchy America harks back to the ‘classic’ Power of Dreams indie sound: it combines judicious acoustic and electric guitar abuse with Craig Walker’s natural talent for penning evocative earwormy lyrics – “worked to the bone, ready to snap / the pursuit of happiness is a trap” – and sublime pop hooks. Are you listening, Donald?

Buy the new single today from 9am at Powerofdreams.bandcamp.com and stay tuned for more news on Auslander and the imminent 30th anniversary re-release of Immigrants, Emigrants and Me.

Finally for this week, the good folks at Cherry Red Records recently sent me a promo link for their forthcoming box set Shellshock Rock: Alternative Blasts From Northern Ireland 1977-1984. As you might expect, this mops up the ‘hits’, obscure nuggets and also-rans from the ‘alternative Ulster’ era along with the first ever official DVD release for John T Davis’s titular documentary about the Belfast punk scene of the late 1970s.

Weighing in at a value-for-money 74 tracks, the three CD plus DVD package comes fully loaded with informative liner notes to pour over while you pogo and is worth purchasing for the doc alone – now as much an audio visual time capsule of this much changed city itself as the music scene it centres on.

The audio portion takes listeners from the birth of Ulster punk to its (de)evolution into new wave and post-punk and synthpop. Alongside offerings from premier league first wave punks The Undertones, SLF, Defects, Outcasts, Protex, Ruefrex and Rudi, there’s plenty of good stuff from less widely celebrated acts like The Moondogs, XDreamists, Starjets, The Androids (whose ferocious and fuzzy Black Flag-esque anti-rat race anthem Nine To Five is one of the highlights of the entire set), The Doubt, Tearjerkers, Shock Treatment and Electro-Motive Force to name but several.

Released on July 31, you can pre-order now via Cherryred.co.uk for just £25: it’s highly recommended.

STOP PRESS: Sliding under the deadline wire like an indie rocking ninja, it’s the third instalment of mega Irish compilation series A Litany of Failures. Vol 3 features 22 exclusive tracks from the likes of 21st century DIY heroes Junk Drawer, Problem Patterns, Post Punk Podge, Careerist, Mob Wife, Silverbacks, Robocobra Quartet and Extravision. It’s available to pre-order from today, with the double LP version releasing on October 2 – first 25 orders get a free limited edition zine created by the bands featured on the record, so get it bought now at Litanyoffailures.bandcamp.com.

 

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