Our man James Appleyard is a busy man.... er... listening to music!
When I'm High - Parallel
Parallel are 'Lar English' (Guitarist) and 'Christine Brine' (Vocalist) began writing together in late 2011 the other band members are 'Steve Buckley' (Drummer) and 'Willie Magnier' (Bassist) with their self written and produced debut album 'Paper Walls' they have now gone on to record their single 'When i'm High' which is out now. Like the title suggests this track really does actually gives you a happy 'high' with its bouncy melody you can't help but smile along,
“There’s a nice breezy (dare we say drivetime) feel to ‘When I’m high’, coming at jangly guitar pop from a rootsy by-road.” say Cork-based band Parallel of their new release, ‘When I’m High’ which is, all in all, a fair summary for this timely summery pop ballad. There's an uplifting sense of freedom (to be expected witha song with that title!) and an intricate array of rythmic twangs and soulful notes. The sound combinines both folk and soul elements and will put a smile on your face and have you singing da da da da da da dada as you shimmy down the street - or indeed take a trip down a by-road in your car... which is exactly what we are going to do!
Created by Limbo Media
If you aren’t already familiar with the band, Lar English (Guitarist) and Christine Brine (Vocalist) began writing together before producing ‘Paper Walls’, their successful debut album, which features a soulful mix of acoustic songs, with flavours of country, folk and blues. Their influences include The Beatles, Nick Drake, Emmylou Harris and REM.
'When I’m High’ is now available on iTunes, Amazon Mp3, CD Baby, Google Music and Spotify. For more information, music, videos, photos and all the latest news and reviews, visit www.parallel-band.comCarrie Burton
Sarah Packiam - Dream EP
Sarah Packiam has quite a back story. Hailing from County Wicklow, Ireland she soon found herself spending her formative years in Barcelona where she spent the sultry evenings wooing crowds as the vocalist in a band formed with her brother and father, who is responsible for her Indian heritage. A move to the sunny west coast of the US proved to be the point at which she found her home because, upon her arrival in 2004, she decided to stay.
This nomadic multiculturalism certainly seems to inform Packiam's latest EP, 'Dream'. The title track hops along with soulful glee and still retains some of that Irish charm, sounding like it wouldn't be out of place along side the likes of Eddie Reader. The pace steps up with the tropical 'Got You Back' which is the musical equivalent of receiving a glorious, Pina Colada infused kiss. Packiam's vocal range is really showcased on 'I Loved You First' as she lilts from emotive highs to whispering, seductive lows before launching into the foot stomping, wonderfully country tinged rock refrain of 'Lenny'
The EP's closing track 'Been Gone Away' is a triumphant finish of exuberant energy full of swirling slide guitar and a killer chorus. The 'Dream' EP sets Packiam apart from many others trying to create a similar sound right now. The songs on this EP have the energy and infectious melody that makes it clear Sarah Packiam is a voice that rises above the rest.
Album review: Stonehouse - 'Junction'
When it comes to celtic musical lineage, you won't find many places that can steak more of a claim than Wales. It's as though you can hear the strings and Bodhráns whispering through the valleys. With this in mind, it comes a slight surprise that this is the home of Stonehouse. Their new album Junction does pay homage to the musical sensibilities of their homeland, but it also offers up something a bit different in that it seems to owe something to that other land with a celtic past. America. The driving guitars and steady thump of album opener, and title track, 'Junction' faintly echoes the green hills of Wales, but also seems to have a heavy boot firmly planted in the distant plains of the the American mid-west. It's the type of track you can imagine blasting out of the speakers whilst speeding along a straight highway with the top down. After the bluesy reverb laden longing of 'Wintertime, the album confidently shifts in tone with 'Dark Clouds'. A mellow, smooth and string laden ballad full of emotive harmonies that really shows off the compositional skills Stonehouse bring to bear throughout the record. The pace is truly amped up with 'Take My Soul', an all out, foot stomping spill-your-beer style rock song. The closing track 'Grains of Freedom' plays like a long lost Pearl Jam b-side, full of pent up energy that builds and releases with a supernova of harmonies and riffs. Junction is an album filled with hints of that Welsh celtic charm, but plays out like a glorious stomp down Route 66. Truly eclectic.
New Album out now!! http://www.reverbnation.com/thestonehouseband
Reach for the Bunting: the Ceilidh Liberation Front
The CLF made everyone get their dancing shoes on in Dalston for the last few Saturdays at this energetic folk dance event, where an hour's lesson was followed by an hour of Ceilidhing up the dance floor. Supported by a plethora of instruments such as guitar, mandolin, violin and accordion, the tunes played were designed to send you into a spin . Described as both euphoric and rigorous , these folk dances claim influence from punk and classical melodies as well as our beloved folk, and on the 18th May they even fused South American Carnival Flavour into the mix. Definitely one for the energetic!
ARCHIVE: MAY 2013 - DROP KICK MURPHYS
Dropkick Murphys by James Appleyard
Kentish Town Forum, London 19.01.2013
It's no secret the American city of Boston has been a haven for those with a bit of clover running thorough their veins for centuries. Ever since the first arrivals from the provinces, Boston, Massachusetts has been a hot bed of celtic revelry, and with revelry surely comes music. Loud music, and on this cold January night the Dropkick Murphys were intent on keeping this fast held tradition alive. The (formerly HMV) Forum sits on a little corner in Kentish Town, North London beside an intersection with a small expanse of grass in the middle of it, which gives the venue a sort of village green feel. Kind of apt really, as what I was about to witness was some grass roots celtic punk.
As I entered the venue the thud of the DJ was barely audible over the chants and whoops of anticipation. When the Dropkick Murphys took to the stage the well lubricated crowd erupted into a frenzy of jostling heads and air punching fists as the band launched straight into 'The Boys Are Back'. Truly a statement of intent for the evening to come. What followed was a raucous rundown of staple classics like 'Johnny, I hardly Knew Ya', 'Going Out In Style' and 'Blood and Whiskey'. Suddenly, bassist, vocalist and between song rabble rouser of the band, Ken Casey called for a collective glass (or venue-approved plastic cup) raise, as the band kicked into a more mellow gear and played a few lower tempo songs including 'Jimmy Collins' Wake' and their take of the Irish folk standard 'Fields of Athenry'. But this lighter-swaying singalong didn't' last long. The Dropkick Murphys soon whipped the crowd into a back-slapping beer and whiskey infused frenzy before finishing off their set with the classic live favourite 'Worker's Song'. But the crowd was baying for an encore and the band were happy to oblige. They came back out to finnish off the show with a slew of four more riotous songs, including a surprising cover of AC/DC's 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap' which came complete with a full stage invasion. By the end of the night, the Dropkick Murphys had ensured the party was in full force everywhere, including on the stage itself.
As the revellers filed out into the icy January night, the cold didn't seem to matter. Everyone's spirits were resolved against the snow as we all started striding home with the sounds of resounding pipes and distorted guitars gloriously ringing in our ears.