Galway singer Derek Ellard releases new single in aid of Pieta House for Suicide Prevention Day

Galway singer-songwriter Derek Ellard has released a new single called ‘Understandably Forgivable’ in aid of Pieta House for Suicide Prevention Day. The lyrics deal with themes of loss and grief surrounding suicides and the alarming number of people who attempt to or succeed in ending their lives in the city’s Corrib River.

Regardless of age, gender or background and particularly prevalent in his adopted home of Galway, too many times loved ones have slipped away or have been massively afflicted by their own ability to talk and support each other when they are at their most vulnerable. Written to make light of this flaw. ‘Understandably Forgivable ‘is a call to action for everyone who should have reached out and said something, but didn’t.

The song releases on independent label Umbrella Records today and all of the proceeds from the track will go to Pieta House to aid them in there fight for suicide awareness and prevention.

You can listen on Spotify, Youtube or preferably buy the track on Bandcamp for the suggested €2 price, although those that can afford to can pay more if they wish.

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A free 24/7 wellbeing support programme for the Irish Music Sector called Minding Creative Minds has launched.

In a very welcome bit of good news, a new free 24/7 wellbeing support programme for the Irish Music Sector called Minding Creative Minds has launched.

The service is now open for Irish musicians, songwriters, artist managers & event production crew and will cover individuals from Northern Ireland as well as those in the Republic. The assistance available includes: 

  • 24/7 dedicated phone line (ROI: 1800 814 244 – NI: 0800 0903677 – International: +353 1 518 0277)
  • Counselling service (short term intervention/ up to six sessions)
  • Telephone counselling
  • Secure video counselling
  • Extensive web portal and app enabling live chat with a counsellor

Minding Creative Minds will also offer a series of additional services including:

  • Advice on practical day-to-day issues that are causing anxiety or stress
  • Legal assistance
  • Financial assistance
  • Consumer advice
  • Career guidance
  • Life coaching
  • Mediation for conflict resolution.

Originally set to launch later this summer, the start date was accelerated to June 2 in response to the devastating impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic on the music sector.

Minding Creative Minds was spearheaded by David Reid (First Fortnight, Choice Music Prize), who partnered with IMRO (Irish Music Rights Organisation), IRMA (Irish Recorded Music Association), RAAP (Recorded Artists, Actors & Performers), Universal Music Ireland
and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland to make the service a reality.

David said, ”We are delighted to launch this critical support programme that will give musicians, songwriters, artist managers & event production crew the opportunity to mind their mental wellbeing and be able to contact qualified counsellors and experts in different fields such as financial planning, legal and career matters enabling expert advice and helping to manage personal issues they might be facing. Working in collaboration with our partner organisations we can now provide a credible support structure for this sector. We look forward to extending this programme within the Irish music Industry and to enable this service to be available to the entire Irish Creative Community in due course”

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Glastonbury cancels it’s 50th Anniversary event over Covid-19 concerns

Glastonbury Festival, due to celebrate it’s 50th anniversary on 24-28 June, has taken the decision to cancel the event due to ongoing concerns about the corona virus. The move will be seen as a bad sign for any other upcoming summer events and likely be the first of many announcements from large scale events across Europe. You can read the full statement from the organisers below:

We are so sorry to announce this, but Glastonbury 2020 will have to be cancelled, and this will be an enforced fallow year for the Festival.

Clearly this was not a course of action we hoped to take for our 50th anniversary event, but following the new government measures announced this week – and in times of such unprecedented uncertainty – this is now our only viable option.

We very much hope that the situation in the UK will have improved enormously by the end of June. But even if it has, we are no longer able to spend the next three months with thousands of crew here on the farm, helping us with the enormous job of building the infrastructure and attractions needed to welcome more than 200,000 people to a temporary city in these fields.

We would like to send our sincere apologies to the 135,000 people who have already paid a deposit for a Glastonbury 2020 ticket. The balance payments on those tickets were due at the beginning of April and we wanted to make a firm decision before then.

We understand that it is not always easy to secure a Glastonbury ticket, which is why we would like to offer all those people the chance to roll their £50 deposit over to next year, and guarantee the opportunity to buy a ticket for Glastonbury 2021. Those who would prefer a refund of that £50 will be able to contact See Tickets in the coming days in order to secure that. This option will remain available until September this year. For those who are happy to roll their deposit over, that will happen automatically. Further information – including details on rolling over coach packages, official accommodation bookings and local Sunday tickets – will be added to our website in the coming days.

The cancellation of this year’s Festival will no doubt come as a terrible blow to our incredible crew and volunteers who work so hard to make this event happen. There will also inevitably be severe financial implications as a result of this cancellation – not just for us, but also the Festival’s charity partners, suppliers, traders, local landowners and our community.

We were so looking forward to welcoming you all for our 50th anniversary with a line-up full of fantastic artists and performers that we were incredibly proud to have booked. Again, we’re so sorry that this decision has been made. It was not through choice. But we look forward to welcoming you back to these fields next year and until then, we send our love and support to all of you.

Michael & Emily

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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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Irish acts speak out in advance of the General Election this Saturday

With just one day to go until the General Election, we decided to round up some of the best politically charged music that’s been released recently from a slew of fantastic Irish artists using their art to make their voices heard.

T.P.M – TPM Don’t Have Your Money

Another stomper from the Dundalk 3 piece, this track is an anthem against landlords and in support of welfare cheats, highlighting the current governments attepmts to turn people against each other. TPM are making wasters sexy again and they couldn’t give a Fine Fuck.

You can catch them live at The Button Factory on March 20th, tickets available here.

Panik Attaks – The Boom is Back

Dublin punk perveyors Panik Attaks just released a brand new screecher of a single called ‘The Boom Is Back’. The track is a scathing look into Ireland’s horrendous housing crisis and the governments inaction in dealing with it. The chorus couldn’t be more direct. With a video (Edited by Scan) that’s like a Reeling in the Years directed by Adam Curtis what more could you want.

Be sure to check out their new ‘White Water Rafting EP’ below:

Lethal Dialect – To Whom It May Concern 

Ahead of the the much anticipated new album, Paul Alwright AKA Lethal Dialect has released a new single ‘To Whom It May Concern’. Written by the rapper and featuring vocals from Eva-Jane Gaffney, the track is a call and response letter between an ex addict trying to get her life back on track and local TD. It details the two differing points of view and how they interact.
You can catch Lethal Dialect in The Button Factory on March 13th, more info here.

PostPunk Podge & DJ Limewire – ‘Stuck In The System’ 

Limerick’s Post Punk Podge is back with a new track produced by DJ Limewire. ‘Stuck In The System’ is a rallying call against the horrors of the disenfranchising system of Direct Provision on the asylum seekers who came to Ireland looking for a better life only to be cast into a perpetual limbo.

Live Shows

It’s not just new releases, many Irish acts have to show solidarity and raise money to combat homelessness by organising huge fundraising live show.

Rock Against Homelessness – Olympia Theater – March 3rd

Fontaines D.C have curated an amazing lineup of acts for a gig in Dublin’s Olympia Theater with all proceeds going to Focus Ireland.

The band says:
“Due to the gross incompetence and greed of successive Irish Governments there are now over 10000 Homeless People in Ireland, 4000 of them Children. Focus Ireland does incredible work to help them. We were delighted when we were approached to headline and curate this year’s Rock Against Homelessness Show”

The lineup on the night includes The Murder Capital, Kneecap, Just Mustard, The Altered Hours, Melts, The Mary Wallopers, Stefan Murphy and will be MC’d by Today FM’s Paul Mcloon.

Tickets are €38 and are on sale now via Ticketmaster.ie

Irish Hip Hop Against Homelessness – The Sugar Club – March 16th

Dublin rapper Nealo has rounded up a veritable who’s who of Irish Hip Hop artists for a huge gig in aid if Inner City Helping Homeless in The Sugar Club on March 16th.

The lineup on the night features Jafaris, JYellowL, Erica Cody, Why-Axis, Rebel Phoenix, Fynch and loads more. Tickets are only €15 and are available through sugarclubtickets.com

It’s great to see so many artists taking a stance and getting engaged. Whatever your political inclinations, just be sure to get out and use your vote on Saturday. If you want my opinion, just listen to the words of TPM: “Fuck Fine Gael and Fuck Fianna Fail too”, Vote Left.

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It’s a Christmas Miracle! This Ain’t No Disco returns for it’s 2nd season on Christmas Day.

After a two-year hiatus, the online Irish alternative music programme This Ain’t No Disco returns for its highly anticipated second season this Christmas. The show will be released worldwide on Christmas Day following a successful crowdfunding campaign. 

The new season will feature a cross-section of Ireland’s thriving music and spoken word scene, representing some of the most talented yet under-represented visionaries in Ireland today. This dynamic audio-visual showcase seeks to examine not only where the boundaries are being pushed today, but also where this music is rooted both historically and geographically.

Hosted by DJ (and former host of the cult 90’s TV program, No Disco) Donal Dineen, This Ain’t No Disco is voluntarily produced by a skeleton crew of friends and music enthusiasts, directed by music documentarian and award-winning cinematographer Myles O’Reilly.

Donal Dineen says:

“There is an embarrassment of riches in Irish music at present, so Myles and I try to pick out strands of golden thread and stitch each episode together with due care. There is a collaboration of sorts at the heart of each edition.

For the new series, we plan to spread the net wider and dig deeper again, to unearth these stories. It’s just a snapshot of what’s happening. To map the whole rich tapestry would be impossible so we concentrate on important parts of the pattern as we see it and do our best to faithfully present that in the best light possible. For historical purposes alone, we feel it’s an important endeavour.”

Myles O’Reilly says:

“I can’t express how necessary and important it is that people of all ages in Ireland get to experience the joy of discovering new and emerging music from their own country. There are so many fresh sounds being created here in bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, pubs, clubs and just about anywhere you can swing a guitar, which need to be heard and amplified, because they are the sounds of our country growing, and of our culture evolving.

After a two year hiatus to allow for new growth, This Ain’t No Disco is coming back for a second season, and what we ultimately hope to achieve pull focus on what it means to be Irish today, through expression in sound happening all around us.”

Season II of This Ain’t No Disco will comprise of four 1-hour long episodes to be released quarterly over 2020 via Patreon, Facebook, and thisaintnodisco.ie.

Donate to the project on Patreon from as little as €2 to gain exclusive access to This Ain’t No Disco’s episodes and be the first to find out who the special guests are: https://www.patreon.com/thisaintnodisco

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INTRODUCING: Weight – the first track from The Line, a new electronic solo project from Brian Dillon (Meltybrains?, Slow Skies)

‘Weight’ is the first single from The Lines upcoming debut album ‘Matter’.

Written and produced by multi-instrumentalist Brian Dillon and releasing tomorrow via Bad Soup Records, ‘Weight’ is a dramatic and expressive piece creating vast electronic landscapes with synthetic sounds, digital noise and compressed vocals.

Starting off with an alluring and almost nursery rhyme like simplicity, the track quickly veers to the weirder side, creating a bed of electronic string sounds that draws the listener in. This one is definitely a headphones must, there’s a whole lot going on you could easily miss.

Already a well known artist in Ireland (Meltybrains?, Loah, Lilla Vargen, Slow Skies), The Line is Dillon’s new solo project. Written over the course of a year, the album explores dichotomous themes of human emotion through experimentation with soundscapes and noise.

Dillion describes The Line is a modern take on the Irish singer-songwriter tradition, consisting of sparse, emotionally bare songs, layered with ambience, noise and mind-bending soundscapes. 

We can’t wait to hear what The Line comes out with next!

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The False and The Fair release final single ‘Bluebottle Blues’ ahead of farewell show in Whelans tonight

Dublin 4 piece The False and The Fair have sadly decided to call it a day, but not before giving us one last belter of a single in the form of fan favorite ‘Bluebottle Blues’. The group have released a new video for the track, beautifully animated by Dillon Theodor (guttershnipe), ahead of a farewell gig in Whelan’s tonight.

To quote the guys, “It’s less a swansong and more of a fly song.”  It’s sad to see their 5+ year journey as a band come to an end, but it’s great to see them handle it with such good humour and celebrations. Support tonight comes from Seba Safe and tickets are €10 on the door. See you in the front row!

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PREMIERE: Bannered Mare drop new EP ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ ahead of launch show in Sin É this Saturday


Bannered Mare are back with a brand new 7 track EP. The west of Ireland outfit burst out of the gate last year as the new solo moniker of ex-Race the Flux front man Joe Padfield. His first release, the ‘Gizzards EP’, was self recorded entirely by Padfield in Mayo’s Mariachi Studios and it is a collection of beautifully reflective songs that demands repeat listens.

In the year since that release, the band has been fleshed out with some of the West’s most prolific musicians. Joining him are Paul Higgins (also formerly of Race The Flux) on Guitar, Kyle Dee (ex-Ka tet) on Bass,  Derek Ellard (DerekEllardmusic) on Synth/Guitars and Dylan Murphy on Drums.

‘Fear of Missing Out’ takes full advantage of this new lineup in the studio and comprises 7 gorgeously composed math-rock anthems clocking in at just under 30 minutes. The songs are uplifting, hook filled and packed with a driving energy akin to the aforementioned Race The Flux and even bordering on some of Enemies later styles.

Padfield’s signature vocal style is stamped all over the record, blended expertly with double tracking harmonies sprinkled throughout. The interplay of the rhythm section and array of intertwining guitar riffs keeps the listener engaged and the sometimes erratic pacing is a treat for curious ears to unpack.

The EP releases on all platforms tomorrow through indie label Umbrella Records. As anyone who’s experienced the band live before knows, on stage is where they really shine! You can catch Bannered Mare live this Saturday in Sin É. Entry is FREE and support comes from Chow Mein.

Galway audiences can catch them on November 23rd in The Loft at the first edition of A Modern Movement. The lineup is STACKED with performances from Vulpynes, Bannered Mare, Fox Jaw and Slyrydes. Tickets are €10 on the door or €5  for the forst 30 people in. More details at the event page here.

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