TMFTML favourites Val Normal have just released a new track from their forthcoming second album ‘Fly The White Flag of War’. The song titled ‘PUGMAN’ is a lesson in loop peddle use, featuring thickly layered guitar work. It also sees the band expanding their instrumentation to include some interesting violin work written and performed by Pixie Delamere. The three piece have been busy this summer playing a multitude of festivals and gigging relentlessly in between. If this track is representative of the record as a whole, I cant wait to hear the rest!
Tomorrow marks the start of the inaugural year of a newcomer to the Irish festival scene, Light Colour Sound. It seems the people behind the new venture in Shankill Castle are not ones to start things of slow because they’ve put together a phenomenal lineup of up and coming (and well established) Irish acts.
So without further adieu, and in no particular order, here are my top 20 bands to make sure you see over the weekend!
I’ve found the best way to describe the Eskies music is ‘Gentleman Pirate Folk’. Silly genre names aside, these lads always put on a hell of a show. Check out this live video from Knockanstockan for a taste of what to expect.
Halves are a Dublin based ambient electronic rock band known for their eclectic live performances. Their latest album, Boa Howl, is a pleasure to listen to. Expect Flugelhorn, you wont be disappointed!
Raglans have been quietly making waves in the Irish scene for a couple of years, releasing fantastic singles like ‘Natives’ and ‘Digging Holes’. Having just released their self titled debut album, those waves are set to get a lot bigger!
The Cold Draw
Formally The Thomas Donoghue Band, the name isn’t the only change that’s happened to this band. After releasing an impressive EP last year, they’ve expanded their instrumentation and arrangements. Live, they produce a pretty epic sound. With their debut album about to drop, get ready to start hearing a lot more about these guys.
Overhead, The Albatross
OTA are quite simply one of the best live bands in the country. It’s a bit like if Mogwai and Pink Floyd headbutted each other really hard. They’ve been teasing us with EP’s and Charity singles for way too long, but having retreated to a forest in the Czech Republic to write and record their debut long player, we shouldn’t have to wait much longer. In the meantime, go see them and get excited!
Wood Burning Savages
Wood Burning Savages are an alternative rock band from Derry. Fresh from their set at the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury they’re sure to play a blinder at LCS. Don’t expect to see them in such an intimate setting for long!
Val Normal are a bit like Biffy Clyro if they just kept getting heavier! Last year they released their debut album Plans? What Plans? to critical acclaim and they’ve been gigging absolutely everywhere since. They have their live show down to a T, expect odd time signature changes, and to get confused if you try to dance!
Race The Flux
RTF are synth-infused cocktail of hard rock and Battles-esque rhythm sorcery. They dropped their debut mini-album Dutch Buffalo last year and have since gone on to support superstars Tame Impala in the Olympia Theatre. Bring lasers.
This Cavan three piece know how to pack a punch armed only with an Acoustic Guitar, Cajon and Bass. There might not be much electricity going into the performance, but there’s a hell of a lot coming out!
All The Luck In The World
ATLITW are a band from Wicklow who have seen a very fast and possibly unexpected rise in popularity after posting some of their work to YouTube. One of the home recorded songs, Never, reached an impressive 70,000 hits without any promotion before being featured on a Trivago advertisement. It’s now sitting pretty on nearly 1.5 million views! But views aren’t that important, so have a listen below and hear for yourself!
Ka tet are a Galway based alternative rock band. Having released their debut album ARCADIA last year the band have been extensively gigging the length and breadth of the country as well as the UK. They put on a pretty fantastic live show, expect to wake up with a bangover!
Dott are a garage pop band from Galway. Their surf rock infused, harmony driven sound is a delight to experience live. Having just released their debut album Swoon, the band have been touring the US, complete with slots at this years SXSW festival in Texas. Expect to leave smiling widely.
From what I’ve heard, the average age of Bagels is around 15. I wish I was making music this good now, these guys are awesome. Have a listen!
We Town Criers
WTC are a Galway based band who’s riffs are stadium worthy. Their debut album Swing Beast is a lesson in rock music. This is the third band in the list to feature drummer Ronan Connaghton(He drums in Ka tet and Race the Flux too), it’s gonna be a busy weekend for him!
New Secret Weapon
NSW(not to be confused with NSFW) have been on the scene for a long time, but until very recently had no recordings to back up their reputation. That has since been remedied with the masterpiece that is their self titled debut album. It’s been met with praise from fans and critics alike, have a listen, it’s easy to hear why!
Enemies are a melodic instrumental rock band. Their new album Embark, Embrace is a wholly satisfying listen, with hooks that will dig into your earholes. They’ve just recruited a new drummer, Micheál Quinn (Meltybrains?, Slow Skies). He’s got some big shoes to fill, but having seen him drum in so many different styles so impressively I can’t wait to hear it!
The Hot Sprockets
The Hot Sprockets shouldn’t really need an introduction here. Their a bit like if The Grateful Dead got cryogenically frozen in the 60’s, but still got to listen to music from then till now, then thawed out ready to take over the world. Expect well timed Rock and Roll choreography and probably Buckfast.
John Blek and The Rats
I saw this band for the first time last year and really felt like I had been missing something. They’re a Cork based Folk/Country act whose songcraft really shines through. Grab a beer, relax and just have a nice sway.
Waterford band O Emperor have been going from strength to strength. Their hard work so far has culminated in their fantastic new album Vitreous. The record is a real album and should be listened to in full. It clocks in at just over 30 minutes of bliss. Check it out!
And So I Watch You From Afar
I said at the start of this post that these bands were in no particular order, but in the case of ASIWYFA that was a bit of a lie. I am so excited to see these guys again, it’s been over a year. But its not because they don’t play shows, quite the opposite. ASIWYFA have been touring everywhere, from Asia , Africa and Europe to the US, Canada and South America. It’s a bit of a treat when they get home for some gigs and Saturday will be no exception. Bring dry clothes, this ones gonna be sweaty!
There are still tickets available for the festival, but probably not for long, so get your arse in gear if you want to see these and so many other fantastic acts. Tickets are available here!