Monday, 17 March 2014

Northern Ireland Tunes - Round-Up #25

A happy March to each and every one of you. March is always a good month here on TMB, especially as it contains the birth date of your humble Captain (a day that we're happy to share with the nicest man in rock, Guy Garvey). 

And in the spirit of this month's happiness, we would like to extend congratulations towards Bangor band In An Instant, one of the blogs Tips For 2014, for winning the Chordblossom Kickstart competition. Previous winners include SOAK and Those Ghosts, and the prizes this year include a slot at this year's Stendhal Festival, studio time, and PR, all of which is invaluable for artists at the start of their career. Hopefully it gives them the boost that they deserve - I've been eagerly awaiting their upcoming E.P with giddy abandon.

And keeping it local, here's a few tunes from here we've come across this month that have floated The Metaphorical Boat
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Daniel James - The Bridge

Northern Irish lad Daniel James is seemingly being groomed for international superstardom, having recently toured with million selling man of the moment Sam Smith and due to support Saint Raymond quite soon. He's got a lot of support behind him, so I imagine that by the end of the year he'll be getting a major push for next year's "Sound Of'..." polls. Until then, enjoy his new single, "The Bridge", which will be released on April 21st. It's fairly inoffensive radio-friendly singer-songwriter-y stuff, which should find favour with those who are keen on Kodaline and Hudson Taylor.


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Runabay - Cold Outside

Although In An Instant took home the Chordblossom Kickstart prize, that's not to say they didn't have stiff competition to get there. One of the other finalists who impressed greatly were Cushendall's Runabay, who won the crowd over with their folk-rock sound, in spite of the fact they had only just played their first gig. Given the sound of their debut release "Cold Outside", this might come as a surprise, as they have the sound of a band who have been around for years. Imagine a heavier Bon Iver, and you might be slightly on the way to describing how they sound.


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HOW - Woo Hoo

A part of me always wonders if Blur's 90s classic "Song 2" would have hit the number 1 spot had it instead been called, as may people still believe it to be, "Woo Hoo"? We'll never know the answer to that question, although I guess it's a bit of serendipity that the song ended up peaking at #2 instead.

However, when it comes to Armagh trio HOW, there's no chance of making that mistake, given that they've named their song after the one bit of the song that will stick in your head long after you've stopped listening to the song. Altogether now -  "Woo Hoo! (handclaps). Woo Hoo! (handclaps)"


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The Dandy Horses - Driving Toward Blue Skies

And concluding this month's round-up is Belfast quintet The Dandy Horses. They'll be launching their 2nd E.P, the tweefully titled "Hat On The Sun", on Saturday 22nd March in The Black Box, Belfast. Taken from the E.P is the absolutely lovely "Driving Towards Blue Skies", a country-folk tune, which they guarantee will kick away the winter blues.

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