Noise Annoys: Beauty Sleep, Leveland, Live At The Waterfront!, the NI Music Prize and Sound of Belfast
Words on the new singles from Beauty Sleep and Leveland, plus news on Live At The Waterfront!, the NI Music Prize event and this year's Sound of Belfast festival...
:: Beauty Sleep – Go (single, self-released)
DERRY duo Beauty Sleep are back this week with a brand new tune. Go is another dreamy, synth-powered indiepop creation from Cheylene Murphy and Ryan McGroarty, who've been making music together for over a decade now (both were members of the fondly remembered Wonder Villains) and established themselves as a songwriting team to be reckoned with on Beauty Sleep's excellent debut album Be Kind back in 2019.
Thankfully, Go indicates that losing over a year to Covid has not affected the pair's ability to create danceable, emotionally engaging tunes: their voices combine to swoonsome effect on this slinky, funky, falling in love with someone you shouldn't be falling in love with number, which gradually submits to a building need to rock out joyously.
Hear it now at Beautysleeptheband.bandcamp.com and all other less artist-friendly streaming platforms and don't miss the fun music video directed by Thomas McKeown over on YouTube. Hopefully, there will be plenty more uber-catchy uplifting tunes from Beauty Sleep coming at us in the near future – god knows we've never needed them more.
:: Leveland – Leave This Vessel (single, Super Native Records)
OISÍN Ó Scolaí and co return this week with another great single, the superb semi-title track from their soon to be released debut album, Vessels. I find the combination of melodica, brass and acoustic guitar on this wonderfully woozy and world-weary tune pretty irresistible – but what's it all about?
Oisín explains: "In the summer of 2019 I was reading a CJS Thompson book about ceremonies and conjugations and came across a banishing ritual adopted by the Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn in 1887.
"Its instructions were simple yet beautifully descriptive and so I incorporated the steps into a song.
"There's a song on the album called Raise The Dead about a widower bringing his late wife back to life and I guess Leave This Vessel is a continuation of that story, a cautionary tale of sorts.
"The phrase 'Leave this Vessel' is yelled out intensely in a silly horror movie I
watched and I just thought it would make a great hook."
Oisín adds: "The song's instructions hold a level of absurdism for me. Burning sage and drawing pentagrams in chalk sounds like the work of a child rather than a romantic occultist."
Well, now you know. Listen to/buy Leave This Vessel now via Leveland.bandcamp.com and on Spotify etc, check out the excellent and slightly disturbing video by Megan McClean on YouTube and mark up your diary to the effect that Vessels is due for release on October 30 – as in next Saturday.
Expect words on that soon and in the meantime you can keep up to date with all things Leveland at FB.com/levelandband, Instagram/leveland.band and @levelandband.
:: Live at The Waterfront!
HAPPENING tonight at – you guessed it – The Waterfront Hall, this special free variety show is being funded by the Northern Ireland Office as a thank-you to charities and key workers in health, social care and food retail for their efforts during the Covid pandemic.
Sixty per cent of tickets have been allocated to the aforementioned groups, with the remainder having apparently been doled out to Joe Public via "local media outlets" (it says here) – so if you want to attend and this is the first you're reading of it, ask around in case someone you know was more on the ball and managed to snap up a couple of tickets.
The line up includes music from Ash, Beoga, Foy Vance, Roe, Ryan McMullan, Soak, Cara Dillon, Jordan Adetunji and NI Opera, plus comedy from the likes of Tim McGarry, Mickey Bartlett, Paddy Raff and the one and only May McFettridge.
There will also be home-grown Thespians on hand including Ian McElhinney and Abigail McGibbon, who will read from the works of local literary luminaries like Ciaran Carson, Leontia Flynn and Seamus Heaney.
:: NI Music Prize event details announced
THE NI Music Prize awards show will return to Belfast's Ulster Hall on November 17. Organised by the Oh Yeah Music Centre and part of the annual Sound of Belfast festival (more about which in a moment), this year's live event celebrating locally produced music will feature performances from shortlisted artists including New Pagans, Amy Montgomery, Dani Larkin and Trú.
Presented by Gemma Bradley and David O'Reilly, the evening will also include guest turns from Ash, Ryan McMullan and last year's BBC ATL Introducing Contender Award-winner Sasha Samara.
The winners of the Best Album, Best Single and ATL Introducing Contender awards will be announced on the night. The latter two prizes come with a cash bonus of £1,000, while the Best Album winner will scoop £3,000.
This year's NI Music Prize will celebrate the work of music charity Help Musicians for supporting musicians throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Since March 2020, the charity has provided monthly financial hardship funding for close to 800 local artists affected by the live music ban.
Tickets and full line-up information at nimusicprize.com
:: Sound of Belfast festival returns
AS MENTIONED earlier, the Sound of Belfast festival is back next month for another annual celebration of local music. Having been forced to move wholly online last year due to Covid (boo), SoB will return to live venues (yay) for a good chunk of the 2021 festival's programme, which runs from November 4 to 18.
This year there will be 50 different events staged across 11 venues, ranging from live shows to panel discussions, workshops and 'in conversation' events.
:: Sister Ghost live at Starr Records (Nov 4, 7pm)
:: True North: Gareth Dunlop and Naomi 'Jealous of The Birds' Hamilton perform a specially commissioned collaborative piece about Belfast at Oh Yeah (Nov 4, 7.30pm):
:: In The Round with Ralph McLean at the Empire Music Hall (Nov 12, 7.30pm): Live music from Siobhan Brown, Bernadette Morris, Cormac Neeson and Kate Nicholson.
:: Rebekah Fitch live at The Limelight (Nov 4, 7.30pm)
:: Pump House Sessions (Nov 5, 7pm, online): Stripped down performances from Alana Henderson, Hex Hue, Reevah and Travi the Native recorded live at The Pump House in Belfast.
:: Reevah EP launch live at The Black Box (Nov 5, 8pm)
:: XSLF live at The Barge (Nov 5, 8pm)
:: Kneecap live at The Telegraph Building (Nov 6, 7pm)
:: Henry Cluney live at The Barge (Nov 6, 7.30pm)
:: No Oil Paintings, Myles McCormack and Vivamagnolia live at Oh Yeah (Nov 11, 7pm).
:: Rory Nellis live at The Deer's Head (Nov 12, 7pm).
:: Bangers N' Mashups live at Oh Yeah with Mob Wife, Sasha Samara and FRUITY (Nov 13, 7pm)
:: Yeo Magazine launch at Ulster Sports Club with Winne Ama, Manukahunney Blue and Brién DJ set (Nov 10, 7.30pm)
:: Clash of The New Breeds live final plus Small Talk (Nov 12, 7pm)
:: Scratch My Progress live showcase with Lemonade Shoelace, Gender Chores, Vivamagnolia, Gilmore and Riley Holland (Nov 16, 6pm)
:: Malojian live at Starr Records (Nov 18, 7pm)
Full line-up and ticketing information at soundofbelfast.com
STOP PRESS: The Wedding Present - Belfast venue change
JUST as Noise Annoys was going to print, it was announced that Sunday night's Wedding Present show at The Empire in Belfast had been relocated to Limelight 2. Due to continued Covid restrictions, the seminal indie rockers' show celebrating the 30th anniversary of their classic Seamonsters LP will now also be an all-seated affair (Seatmonsters?), making it something of a collector's item for Weddoes fans.
Indeed, thanks to continued and frankly ridiculous discrimination against live music south of the border - where nightclubs are now apparently 'safe' while gigs are still deemed super-spreader events - there was some doubt over whether the band's short Irish jaunt through Cork (last night), Limerick (tonight), Dublin (tomorrow night) and Belfast (Sunday) was still happening.
However, there have now been confirmed David Gedge sightings in Dublin and Cork, so the dates are definitely still very much on. Get yer tickets now via Dolans.ie, Buttonfactory.ie and Limelightbelfast.com.