Noise Annoys: She Drew The Gun, Black Tragick showcase, New Pagans, Phil Kieran and Atlantic Sessions
News of imminent Strange Victory shows, new music from New Pagans and Phil Kieran, plus a look at this year's Atlantic Sessions festival...
SOMETIMES, it feels like the only touring band shows in Belfast worth leaving the house for these days are all being staged by Strange Victory: next Wednesday's Belfast debut for Liverpool's She Drew The Gun at Voodoo is definitely a case in point.
Combining a melodic guitar-based psych-pop sound with appealingly socially/ politically aware lyrics, the Louisa Roach-fronted group are signed to Coral man James Skelly's Skeleton Key label.
That's an uber-appropriate home for them, given the clear 'scallydelic' (copyright NME circa 2001) influences at play in big singles such as last year's alternative anthems Something For The Pain and Resister – both from second album Revolution of Mind – and even their recently released refresh of Zappa's Trouble Every Day, which is coming out on vinyl at the end of this month and which their current tour is named for.
Basically, if that sounds at all appealing, you'll want to grab yourself a ticket via Ticketweb.ie at your earliest convenience – especially as support comes from Chester dreamy pop trio Peaness and Mmode singer/guitarist and sometime solo artist Lucy Gaffney supporting. That's a great triple bill for a mere £12, I'm sure you'll agree.
Get your fill of all things She Drew The Gun at Shedrewthegun.com.
On the subject of Strange Victory, you'll surely already be aware of their upcoming Hot Snakes show at The Black Box on December 7, but did you know that local label Black Tragick Records are doing a special instore showcase at Strange Victory Records in Belfast tomorrow afternoon?
From 1pm, you can enjoy sets from Black Tragick big cheese Robyn G Shiels, banjo master Hatchet Field and The Bonnevilles' Andy McGibbon, who will be treating the audience to a preview of his forthcoming solo debut.
Best of all, it's free admission – but maybe be a human and consider buying something Black Tragick-related while you're there?
:: New Pagans – Charlie Has The Face of A Saint (self-released)
ONWARDS to a long-overdue mention for the latest release by those New Pagans, whose latest tune Charlie Has The Face of A Saint is another good old fashioned slab of catchy, melodic alternative rock combining a Pixies-ish/Jawbreaker-esque bass groove overlaid with layers of dirty, chiming guitars and another stand-out vocal performance from singer and frontwoman Lyndsey.
My only real criticism here is that, following a quality middle-eight – which basically acts as a surprise 'bonus' chorus – the song simply fades out. Where's the explosive climax it deserves, eh?
:: Phil Kieran album launch
NEWS reaches me of a launch event for Belfast DJ/producer Phil Kieran's forthcoming new album Life Cycling at the Ulster Sports Club tomorrow night.
The LP is coming out on November 22 via Berlin-based label Maeve Records as their first ever album release and is a highly atmospheric exercise in abstract, minimalist machine music which will appeal to fans of low-key retro-synth based 'dance' sounds.
Highlights include Vow To Chant's hypnotic low-key house swirler, the pulsing, clattering minimalist techno of Scream and Prayer to The Failed's winning combination of wheezy synths and pattering electrobeats.
:: Atlantic Sessions
FINALLY for this week, it behoves me to remind you all that the north coast's annual festival of local music the Atlantic Sessions is back again next Thursday for a long weekend of ticketed gigs/events and free showcases throughout Portrush and Portstewart.
There's a ton of stuff happening – the organisers claim a staggering "40 free gigs every hour throughout the weekend" – but here's some highlights worth checking out.
Things get under way on Thursday evening at 7pm with a celebration of Coleraine-born folk collector Sam Henry, essentially the north coast's version of famous US folklorist Alan Lomax.
The new BBC/TG4 documentary Sam Henry: Songs of The People directed by Meabh O’Hare will be screened at Flowerfield Arts Centre with an introduction by producer Stephen Douds. There will also be a Q&A, plus live performances on the night.
On Friday November 15 at 7pm, Matt McGinn and band will be performing at Portrush Town Hall showcasing tunes from McGinn's upcoming fourth album, Lessons of War – including (perhaps) his brand new single, Bubblegum, which features guest vocals from Ciara O'Neill on the recorded version.
Deserved NI Music Prize best album contenders (at time of writing, possibly deserved winners at time of reading) Runabay will be playing a free show at the Springhill Bar at 10pm, but sadly they clash with a formidable double header from another pair of NI Music Prize nominees – and hopefully, by the time you read this, winners – at a show that's probably my pick of this year's entire festival: Problem Patterns and those aforementioned New Pagans are at The Atlantic in Portrush from 9pm, with DJ Terri Hooley on the wheels of steel.
Saturday brings two ticketed shows courtesy of alt-folk duo The Darkling Air and Arco String Quartet at Portrush Town Hall from 5pm, before this year's main festival headliner and Snow Patrol's favourite support act, Ryan McMullan, plays Lush! at 8pm.
However, the unmissable Saturday night show is another freebie featuring rockabilly rogues The Sabrejets and garage punk bluesmen The Bonnevilles at The Atlantic from 9.30pm.
The final day of Atlantic Sessions 2019 brings with it a hangover-salving record fair at Portstewart Town Hall from 10am, before BBC Radio Ulster man (and noted crate-digger) Ralph McLean's regular In The Round event at Portrush Town Hall, this time featuring a special team-up from Gareth Dunlop, Eilidh Patterson and Brigid O’Neill.
Arborist man Mark McCambridge will be activating his M.Cambridge persona for a performance of his maritime-themed Sea Songs album at 3pm on the Causeway Lass boat in Portrush Harbour, before Rory Nellis showcases songs from his forthcoming new album at The Anchor from 6pm.
As mentioned, these highlights are but the tip of the Atlantic Sessions live music iceberg, so be sure to check out the full festival programme at Atlanticsessions.com, where you can also buy/reserve tickets for all ticketed shows.