Noise Annoys: The Bonnevilles soundtrack Reacher, Conchúr White gets Righteous and McKowski gets festive

Chris and Andy from The Bonnevilles
The Bonnevilles The Co Armagh/Down duo have contributed music to Reacher and Blue Lights

NOISE Annoys regulars who’ve been enjoying the new series of Reacher on Prime Video will no doubt have surprised themselves by becoming a real life re-enactment of that Leonardo DiCaprio meme from Once Upon A Time In Hollywood upon hearing the unmistakable garage punk blues sound of our very own The Bonnevilles featured in a scene from episode two.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, pointing
Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) pointing This scene from Quentin Tarantino's 2019 film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood in which actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) spots himself in an episode of a TV show has become social media shorthand for a 'moment of recognition'
An image showing actor Alan Ritchson as Jack Reacher in the Prime Video series Reacher, with text explaining that The Bonnevilles' song Long Runs The Fox is featured in series two
Reacher series two The Bonnevilles feature on the soundtrack of Reacher series two

The tune in question is Long Runs The Fox, from the Co Down/Armagh duo’s superb 2018 album Dirty Photographs.

Indeed, the band are quickly becoming the go-to soundtrack suppliers for TV’s top crimebusters: Bonnevilles fans will have enjoyed another DiCaprio moment earlier this year while watching hit police drama Blue Lights, in which good music and baked goods-loving copper Stevie (Martin McCann) extols the virtues of the band to his partner while blasting (appropriately enough) No Law In Lurgan from their 2016 banger Arrow Pierce My Heart.

“You don’t like The Bonnevilles?” enquires Stevie. “You stick with me, kid: we’ll get you educated.”

Wise words indeed.

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“We’re so happy to see our music used in the making of films and TV shows,” enthuses guitar-wielding Bonnevilles crooner Andrew McGibbon.

“It’s essential these days to see your music synced like this – hopefully we’ll see many more in 2024.”

I’ll drink to that. In the meantime, be advised that The Bonnevilles are playing their final two gigs of the year this weekend: tonight finds them at Kelly’s in Portrush with support from Matt McCrum, while on Saturday night they’ll be blowing the roof off Voodoo in Belfast with support from Anja and Velvet Daggers. Ticket details for both shows are available via thebonnevilles.co.uk/shows.

Also, don’t forget that Andy McGibbon is also readying a new solo record, Letters To a Young Rebel, the follow-up to his brilliant Northern Gothic album from 2020.

The Lurgan troubadour has just recently given listeners their first taste of what they can expect from his latest long-player in the form of a single, The Flamingoes of Love.

In its epic, full-strength nine-minute version (a five-minute edit is also available for those with less stamina), the song starts as a wonderfully woozy slow-mo electric guitar instrumental before evolving from this reverb-drenched feast of sustain and delay into a plaintive, strummed lament.

Thus The Flamingoes of Love showcases Andy’s ability to create music of a rather more contemplative, introspective nature which richly deserves its own stand-alone platform next to the more aggressive – but no less heartfelt or considered, it should be emphasised – clang, bang and thump of his main gig with The Bonnevilles.

If you like the sound of Flamingoes, you may well get to hear it live at Andy’s upcoming support slot with fellow Co Armagh musician Conchúr White (more about whom in a moment) on January 27, the latest instalment of Andy’s Teach Ceoil gig series.

Hosted at McGibbon HQ, there are only 20 tickets available for each of these intimate live-streamed performances – so, if you want to be there in person, best get yourself sorted right now via thebonnevilles.bigcartel.com.

Conchúr White – Righteous (Why Did I Feel Like That?) (single, Bella Union)

Conchúr White looking sad
Conchúr White The Co Armagh singer/songwriter is preparing to release his debut album Swirling Violets

AND so to the aforementioned Conchúr White: the former Silences man turned solo singer/songwriter is gearing up for the release of his debut album, Swirling Violets (great name for a new shoegaze band, there).

Due out on January 19 on the respected Bella Union label, thus far White – who’s recently been playing out and about around Europe as support to The Magnetic Fields – has trailed the record with a trio of intriguing singles in the form of the folksy introspective whimsy of Rivers, catchy affirmation-seeking fingerpicker I Did Good Today and the funkier, jazz flute-flecked groove of his current release, Righteous (Why Did I Feel Like That?).

Having recently heard the full album, I would urge anyone who has enjoyed those three tunes to pre-order it now via conchurwhite.bandcamp.com and, of course, to get a ticket for the aforementioned Teach Ceoil show, part of a flurry of album release-related live activity Conchúr has lined up for next month.

More on that, Swirling Violets and Conchúr himself in a future instalment of Noise Annoys.

McKowski – Winter Guitar Hymnals From The Boneyard (album, Deltasonic)

A moody black and white image of Lost Brothers man Mark McCausland
Mark McCausland in McKowski mode The Lost Brothers man's solo project finds him operating in instrumental folk-noir mode

FINALLY for this week, a recommendation for the latest release from Lost Brothers man Mark McCausland’s solo project McKowski.

While his Losties partner Oisin Leech didn’t stray too far from their band’s Americana-informed sonic blueprint with his recently released debut solo single, October Sun, McKowski finds Mark wandering a bit further off the trail by ditching vocals altogether in favour of atmospheric folk-noir instrumentals crafted using guitars, strings, synths and odd electronic gadgets.

Released back in September and featuring guest players including Waterboys man Steve Wickham and Howe ‘Giant Sands’ Gelb, McKowski’s debut album Notes From The Boneyard Vol 1 played like the soundtrack for a long-lost short film, some kind of noirish Western-informed mini-epic in which a succession of bad things would have happened to good people if only the funding hadn’t fallen through prior to shooting.

His latest, Winter Guitar Hymnals From The Boneyard is a more uplifting sequel of sorts, a collection of seasonally-themed instrumental interpretations of traditional tunes, plus a couple of originals and a John Fahey cover (Red Pony).

The fingerstyle guitar maestro’s influence is evident on this record, which kicks off with pretty takes on Auld Lang Syne – add it to your ‘relaxed New Year’s Eve playlist’ now – and Joy To The World, before dealing us the first of two McKowski originals.

Laura is a fingerpicked return to the world of the first record, augmented by some mournful cello courtesy of Laura McFadden, who also enhances the cowboy lament Bells of Pygmy Pony, another swoonsome snatch of soundtrack for a recurring character in The Boneyard.

Elsewhere, the hushed, strummed and picked delights of Christmas Medley (featuring While Shepherds Watched and Oh Come All Ye Faithful), Silent Night, Away in A Manger and McKowski’s Hawaiian guitar-flavoured spin on White Christmas will surely join his version of Joy To The World on your alternative Christmas playlist for 2024.

Seek it out now at mckowski.bandcamp.com and expect a chat with Mark about all things McKowski to appear a future instalment of Noise Annoys coming at you in early 2024.

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