And So I Watch You From Afar launch OK? Festival in aid of mental health awareness and suicide prevention.

Northern Irish instrumental rock legends And So I Watch From Afar have launched a brand new festival which takes place at the end of March.

OK? Festival is a music and arts festival in support of mental health awareness and suicide prevention. To celebrate community and to encourage asking the question… Are you ok?
The show will be raising money for Aware NI, PIPS, and Help Musicians UK and they’ve gathered up a ridiculous lineup to help do just that. Performing on the night will be:

And So I Watch You From Afar // Soak // General Fiasco
David Holmes // Phil Kieran // Joshua Burnside
New Pagans // Catalan! // Pillow Queens // Junk Drawer
Jordan Adetunji // Careerist // Cherym // Problem Patterns // Gnarkats

The concert takes place in The Telegraph Building on Royal Avenue, Belfast on Saturday 28th March 2020 from 6pm-late. Tickets priced £20 and more information available here.

A few words from the organisers:

“OK? aims to bring us all together in a show of community, love, support and awareness, to check in with one another and ask are we OK?

After suffering a devastating loss at Christmas ASIWYFA and friends partnered with charities Aware NI, PIPS and Help Musicians to raise money for mental health awareness and suicide prevention charities. We have all experienced some level of mental health issue. Anxiety, depression, trauma, the list goes on. Most of us know someone who has died because of these issues and have seen the devastating impact it has on those left behind. OK? aims to help people feel supported and able to reach out for help.

Organizer Rory Friers says – “At times in my life I’ve really struggled with my mental health, the community of music and the celebration of friends has always helped me find my way back. I have my reasons for why I need something like OK? right now, other people will have theirs, so whether you’re coming to this show to support the cause, support the music or to find some support yourself, lets make the the loudest most positive noise we can and remind ourselves that we’re surrounded by people who care”.

Organizer Helen Sloan says – “This event is a necessary coming together, through one of art’s great unifiers – music, to reinforce a sense of community and let everyone know there are available support networks for those in need.”

Aware NI – Lesley Wright, Community Fundraiser in AWARE says “AWARE is delighted to be involved in OK?. We are so pleased to see the musical community coming together in support of mental health in Northern Ireland. We would like to thank all involved in organising the event for choosing to support AWARE. Any funds raised will help us to continue to support people living with depression in Northern Ireland.”

As always it’s great to see artists banding together in support of causes they believe in!

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Pillow Queens release video for new single ‘Gay Girls’ ahead of Whelan’s headline show.

Dublin Indie-punk quartet Pillow Queens have released a brand spanking new video for their single ‘Gay Girls’. The track is the groups first since March’s ‘State of the State’ EP and was produced by Tommy McLaughlin (Villagers, SOAK, Bell X1) in Attica Studios in Co. Donegal. 

The track is about intoxicating lust and relentless religious repression, a theme which is compounded by a raucous outro featuring a full choir of singing voices. 

Their previous music video for ‘Favourite’ was recently awarded Best Irish Music Video at the Irish Film Festival London and this new video from Director Kate Dolan could well be a contender for next year’s awards. It’s a super charming depiction of a communion money blowout by 4 girls, treating themselves to all the exciting things a local community can offer a 7 year old. Bottles of Cadet Orange, chips and sweet & sour flying saucers galore!

Pillow Queens have had a crazy year of live shows touring all over the UK & Ireland and hitting loads of festivals including KnockanStockan,  Body and Soul, Electric Picnic, Hard Working Class Heroes & The Great Escape. We highly recommend catching them live in Whelan’s on November 24th while you still can! Tickets for their headline show are priced €16 and are available here.

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Year of the Dog: Pillow Queens release brand new video for their track ‘Favourite’

Dublin quartet Pillow Queens have released a brand new video for their song ‘Favourite’. Directed by the ever excellent Bob Gallagher (see his previous work with Girl Band and Enter Shikari) and produced by band member Sarah Corcoran, the video is set at an unconventional dog show and features plenty of bathroom dealings (heh) and brown envelopes changing hands. It’s a hoot to watch and kind of reminds me of the King of the Sheep episode of Father Ted. 

According to the band the main influences were old episodes of Antiques Roadshow, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and the general look of the 80’s – specifically prom portraits. Many of the dogs featured in the video are friends of Cara Rescue Dogs, so check them out too! They do great work.

The track itself is a super catchy slice of alt-rock goodness that’s been stuck in my head receiving multiple daily listens since it was released on Soundcloud earlier this month. It comes in advance of Pillow Queens new EP State of the State which will be released on March 16th through Bristol based indie label Specialist Subject.

Pillow Queens will be embarking on a UK/Ireland tour to coincide with the release, finishing up with a headline show in Dublin’s Workmans Club on April 21st. Tickets for the show are on sale now price €15. 

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