Eliza Neals & The Narcotics-Detroit based Blues singer, with an impressivly gritty voice, really impassioned delivery could be compared to Janis Joplin but Robert Plants in here too and her band rock like Led Zep at times, great. Diaphragm Failure- Freeform psychedelic abandon meets Stooges and Pil informed artpunk with a little Hawkwind-ish lysergic joy. Isn’t that acclaimed Internationale troubadour wordsmith singer writer Steve Folk up front?! It is!
BaDow- are a heavy-hitting blues/rock trio fronted by a female vocalist and drummer, expect big riffs and solid grooves with backing from pumping bass and dirty guitar…yeah..blistering overdriven guitar at that and ace pounding riddims…the vocal lends it a cool almostKim Gordonalt rock aspect . Any Dirty Party- Italians on a Black Keys tip with a bit of White Stripes too sure nuff… yes a duo, 2 groovy guys outta Roma..perky, gritty pop n roll tunes with bluesy, rock and grunge touches.
Letz Zep- It’s been a while since this mighty, peerless, fans and yes band members’ approved Zep tribute set foot on the Dublin Castle stage…more than ten years indeed, in fact probably more than fifteen…you might say, haha, that it’s , haha, a mighty long time since they rocknolled…but we wouldn’t countenance that sort of cheap joke obviously…tonight you’re in for a right treat, Led Zeppelin acoustic spesh type set it is…fine support from Wild Heart- whose guitarist will be playing some guitar with LZ and whose girl singer sings a few numbers with them also….fine melodic rock/pop fare is their thing, brilliantly achieved. Molly Warburton- A hotly tipped new talent from the North West where she regularly performs sell out shows, and is now beginning to make an impact on the London music scene with her blend of folk/rock music. She has been likened to the likes of KT Tunstall and Laura Marling. A beautifully sedate approach to emotionally supercharged material.
Lem And The White Fire- A fusion of soul indie and pop, with some of their tunes bringing Gabby Young & Other Animals to mind and some more indie pop oriented stuff – think The Gossip meets Adele. Overall though highly original and well done so hats off. The Sonic Jewels- The Sonic Jewels make explosive garage rock, that’s an unholy amalgam of White Stripes, Black Keys (Thickfreakness era), Cream, Hendrix, The Who with hypnotic psychedelic heavy riffing. They themselves liken their playing to John Martyn meets Jack White, so all good on our watch, their’s and your’s too… The Many Few- Kitchen sink lo fi indie pop with female/male harmonies and vocal sharings over some Smiths meets McCarthy/C86 type backing. Some interesting twists and turns. a bit of The Monochrome Set, something of Yeah Yeah No and even Cardiacs…as they say ‘The Many Few are armchair surrealisms, bizarre and wonderful journeys that touch on the absurdities and question marks of small town life, from which you never quite return’ Not half. Malarkey Affair- classic indie pop with very tuneful singalong numbers and a nicely placed jangle angle in the guitar. Lots of ’60s inflections and plenty of plaintive scally pop leanings…somewhere between The Coral and Boo Radleys with plenty of Johnny Marr in the axe. Good band. Only young lads too with a nice mix of cool geek and rocknroll dudeness in their look. Contenders!!
Noisemate- Emo tinged indie, with a 30 Seconds To Mars emotive charge attached. Monyo Project- Redolent of Garbage maybe, though with a grimier, grindier, supercool slacker rock context- brassy, sassy female fronted pop rock ahoy. The Brazen- in thrall to the epic end of The Verve and The Music and other Northern monkey widesceen stuff…. quality performances, big emoting vocals, strings tweaking those emotions, well considered playing and arrangements. Elbow meets Oasis at their more serious with a bit of a choirester up front. Good pipes Sir. Retoryka- with the superb Floccinaucinihilipilification EP about to drop…former Jacques Caramac frontman dons a more psychedelic shoegaze mantle rocking layered guitar FX and harmonies…off kilter, conceptual and esoteric, but always a top tune to hum or whistle as we know form Le Caramac etc… fab guitar sounds here. Elsewhere embraces some classic ’60s Sugartown style pop and even a wonderful cover of the Banshees’ Love In A Void…
Damn Vandals- Two bruvs rock it upfront with guitars and vox and a sheeet hot riddim section propels the razzle dazzle angular rocknroll along..it’s a twangsome garage swamp blues rock n roll… Zep meets Pixies meets Bunnymen, with a Mark Lanegan aspect to the vocals… 2 great albums under their belts already and beloved of BBC 6Music’s Sean Keaveney when he’s not taking the piss out of our venue. Should be mahoosive part 69… The Squared Band- Formed in Bristol in 2015. Initially Phil Wilmott and Joe Rooney formerly of The Experimental Pop Band joining up with long time collaborator Mark Pope on keyboards. Prolific with with ideas from a wide range of influences, they put together a set of tracks, some as songs others instrumental with beats and keyboards. Looking to play live, they teamed up with singer Jim Johnston of Saturnines and Monk & Canatella and soloist, giving his melodic and dark vocals to the songs and Keith Bailey from Rabbits, Spoctet, EPB and Spaceways providing drums. The combination is an exciting mix providing a driving and languid set. Benzokayn-Dark fizzy rock…like Enter Shikari gone kind of post punk and noize. Squally bee in a bottle guitars, urgent riddims, massively urgent proclaiming at the mic, Nirvana-ish choruses, Albini like layers of buzzzz and eeeeeeek Salt- alterno rock with rough raw edge guitarists rubbing against each other with a wonderfully wayward creative riddim section and a proclaiming vocalist who has an original approach, yelping out stuff sounding half way between a bonkers New Waver and a crazed funkateer. Levels of heaviosity gets souped up and they rock out impressively. Some nice guitar action too….I’m getting Richard Hell and the Void Oids meets Hendrix or early Funkadelic. Block 33- indie rock with punch, simple but effective riffs with a glam rockish vocal…all in all makes you think of The Sweet meets The Manics, fine work, then they totally confound by dropping the frantic rock and putting in a bit of sitaralike guitar and a sample of seagulls and some phasing etc! Well all right.
JD Kelleher- Troubadour with band and a Bryan Ferry like lilt to his voice, though the music is more kind of Chris Izaak thru The Big O (Roy Orbison not Orville ya fool). Hi debut single, ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ topped the Irish charts. What that one? Yes that one…twangy guitar (JD’s thang is the twang hence my Chris Izaak comparison) takes the melody and he delivers it like a a country ballad, works beautifully too as does the rest of his set. Lois- high energy pumping wall of sound punky powerpop with a hint of scallydelics…gritty n good, Saints/Ramones/Flamin Groovies/…well that’s one song…then they do a string sectioned up Beatlesy ballad….all with aplomb. That Hidden Promise- slinky interplay between twangy surf guitar, glock and percussion prior to some big chords and swathes of keyboard colour hit in…sounds nice- the vocal is in that XTC influenced area as evinced by Maximo Park etc…good tunes here, different kinda sound to most the big bollocks around now. Part scallydelic part post punk. Likey. Lotsa ideas!! Nick Aslam- folkish troubadour, Celtic lilt still in place, but of late Nick has been working with producer Youth and has a completely new sound combining edgy country and indie with a more gritty Rock and Roll feel. I really think you will like this. New single Night Train out now…
Jake Brett- excellent techy rock pop package from a guy with an arraybof witty, crunching nouveau rocknroll arrows in his quiver. Birdy Hop-3 piece doing psychedelic blues infused rock with overdriven distorted guitars, there’s some lovely harmonies and bursts of melody, sounds a bit like The Band at times..Rusty G’s- hard rocking bluesy metallic rocknroll with melodic intent. Jonny Debt- imagine Van Morrison taking on some moderne tropes and techno-isms. A vocal like Jagger actually, downbeat balladish fare with looped loveliness.
Vain Galen- Gothic, searing, screamo metal. Well arranged and played with aplomb and fire. Channelling a lot of lovely doom! They’ve done a grand job. System of a Down spring to mind. Dead Flowers-Coming on like Blue Cheer and Hendrix. Psych but ‘eavy. Forays into garage trash elements too but overall the first 2 mentioned are your ref points…maybe MC5 and Pink Fairies too Dunes- Nicely grinding dark alt behaviour with a vaguely psych undertow and an undeniably more-ish approach…seems to be taking in all sorts from The Pretty Things circa SF Sorrow to Beefheart around Shiny Beast, a bit of QOTSA and neo indie psych like Tame Impala. Fab,
The Strangers- Example springs to mind although these fellas have a bit more of a rocknroll edge going on for sure…still pop friendly though and the spittings are proper too. Great juxtaposition of tuneful song and incisive rap, punchy beats and some nice nigh on muso guitars atop. Promising stuff from a band who probably wont remain strangers long. Daxx & Roxane- long standing Buggerbear favourites now…Daxx and Rox are a Swiss metal outfit re-located to London. Classic melodic hard rock with Purple, Zep and G and R influences. RNDM- House/ R&B/ Grime/ Hip Hop/ Rap remixers, fixers, musicological travellers and brain scrabblers…lots to like here from dubby soundscapes to icy disco to techy nu pop..Like? I mean love… The Crossfire Hurricanes- Raw rocknroll played by deceptively youthful fellas, hitting a kind of bluesy post grunge jammin’ rocknroll vibe…Gillan, the rockier end of The Doors, Alice In Chains and Free all resonate…lots of nice ideas in the songcraft too.
Grace Solero- picture PJ Harvey getting rocknroll fury and blonde ambition with major grunge lunging and post Holerighteous raucous rocking out. The lovely Ms Solero and her equally lovely punking perfecto band make a right royal noise.Green Embers-soulful indie rock of an Elbow bent [bent Elbow?] with U2 widescreen atmospherics Oceans-Epic sounding stadium-indie from glasgow, big rousing choruses and a widescreen bombastic sound, stirring stuff, in the ballpark of 30 Seconds To Mars but with the light n shade of Explosions in the sky Bobby Treacle’s Cartel-The Romanticism of wide open prairie pop and keening heart fit to burst alt country…stirring work..
Mark Mathews’ Late Night Players-Upbeat indie pop with a high melody quotient strong hooks and rousing choruses, sonically it’s Americana infused brit pop, Fab stuff Surf Dads-Fizzing alt-pop from canada, punk-pop in places a-la Weezer but with a dream pop via shoegaze makeover, properly hooky tunes, nice The Mayflowers-Bouncy moddy, psych pop from Japan with great beatlesey harmonies not unlike The Stairs, catchy as fook, great stuff The Manics-Swedish trio dealing New wave via post punk, this is kinda like a mash-up of The Jam and Teardrop explodes, bristles with energy and played with plenty of conviction tunes are short sweet and to the point, and decent tunes too.
The Beautiful Game- Keeping that old school Brit indie flame alive most passionately, TBG channel Stone Roses, Libertines, Oasis and The Strokes all with their very own cheeky panache. Yr Angen- Swansea band Yr Angen released their debut album ‘Gorffen Nos’, following their BBC C2 Battle of the Bands victory in 2010. ‘Dieithriaid’, is now available and brings the influences of Wild Beasts, The Cure, Arctic Monkeys and Kings Of Leon into a powerful, distinctive sound. Produced by Aled Hughes (Plu, Bür Hoff Baü, Sen Segur, Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog), sung in Welsh with a strangely strangled but bewitching angsty vocal seemingly on the edge of break down. Good stuff. The Velveteins-Psychedelic indie pop from Canada with a mid 60’s brit feel, The Kinks could well be an influence as well as The Creation, but there’s also elements of early 1960’s U.S. rock n roll the vocal harmonies that remind of Phil Spector, fine work. Robin Howard- The appeal of Howard’s music is in his clever use of lyrics and mesmerizing melodies that, mixed with a soulful voice beyond his years, captivates anyone within ear shot. The soulfulness of Johny Lang but filled with the drama of Freddie Mercury. From Oslo now relocated to London, this is very good of it’s kind, but not a million miles from Jeff Buckley, but with the uber dramatic vocal flourishes of the afore-mentioned Mercury…
“Reggae, rock, punk, soul and social criticism, always with the heart in the right, so the left spot” Rolling Stone.”A real hit … a soundtrack for every season!” Metal Hammer”In pretty much every respect great” BurnYourEars. German combo doing righteous Rock Reggae with a soupcon of soul and a punk edginess,gets a real groove on and rocks admirably, genuinley catchy tunes too, excellent stuff
We Are Bandicoot-Debut single is a compelling mix of jazz tinged prog, snappy funk and monilithic blasts of heavy Robert Fripp style guitar, all blended seamlessly. A modern indie version of Soft Machine perhaps? Fine work Mellotronanism-Prog infused indie rock, but more of an X.T.C slant on things than the likes of Yes or E.L.P more yer 80’s period King Crimson, a stripped down and in no way self indulgent take on the genre Marcus Pike- solo with electric through a brace of F.X pedals, far better than others attempting this, as this fellahs got tunes and there’s some interesting guitar work and melodies here, vocally chanelling Jeff Buckley and there could be an Elliot Smith influence too. Hujan-Alt rock from Malasia, sung in Malay, really polished production, decent melodies lovely beach boys-like harmonys and a possible nod to Foo Fighters at times, but with a bit more depth and emotion
Empire Kings- “Forged in the fires of the American music scene, and fused with the rich British rock tradition, Empire Kings believe in rock and roll.” Americana, Britpop and harmonic West Coast grooviness melded marvellously. Penrose- Jangly psychedelic pop with West Coast harmonies, beautifully melodic a possible nod to The Byrds and a definite one to the later Beatles ouvre, nice. Proper- Indie/mod schwingers supreme.
The Rocket Dolls- post grunge heavy thrasherama groove rock, sassy and ferocious, a bit Foo Fighters like in places with catchy riffs and they’re all damn good players, the drummer’s dad is a very well known musician in his own right but when it comes to chops they all have em…Graces Collide- hard rock of a muscular construct outta Brighton…picture Foo Fighters flashing back to their hardcore roots- Black Flag, Minor Threat etc.. The Hellfire Club- more hard rocking muthas outta Brightonia….Pack of Thieves-Dynamic alt rock on a punk pop tip, with a bit more nouse, dynamism and verve than most in their genre, stron tunes too… Team New Band- a cracking 5 piece rock band from Brighton that sound like a cool and happening cross between Blondie and The Subways…
Pocket Trees- Noirish blues based alt rocknroll with a raw vocal belting out …sort of sound like a blues/hard rawk early Verve, then they pick up the pace and it’s all quite Groundhogs actually but a bit heavier. Deep Purple and Zep certainly in the mix too, so gnarly, heady Brit Rock it is.…Everywhere- Lighters-aloft stadium indie from Stockholm, a distillation of Coldplay, Keane and Springsteen at his most chestbeating and boyishly bombastic, stirring stuff indeed. And very well turned out, singer is ex model, so yeah could well strike paydirt. House Arrest- Slomo baggy beats, narcotic nuances, funky low on the ground slinky stuff….think Black Grape sans Ryder but with a vocal more akin to counter cultural soul of a Sly/Funkadelic type- lot of that in there generally, some jazzy touches and plenty of feeeeeel… and Hendrix fans will enjoy too. Kirby from London (guitarist/singer) Guen Iida from Tokyo (bass) Olan from Barcelona keeping dem beats…Kelvin-Genuinly catchy indie rock with a nigh-on Stereophonics like singalongability, not that they sound anything like The Stereophonics, there’s shades of later period U2 without really sounding like them either, it’s a fully realized stadiumbound sound, great stuff
Spizz Energi- Third annual Midsummer Spizzual at The Dublin Castle…a must attend event for punkers old and young…and everybody else up for a night of assured rocknroll entertainment of a high octane, fun filled fashion. Spizz is surely a proper National Tresaure by now? And his band are kickass fantastic too….Ain’t no stopping this man…just don’t ask him where the late great Dave Bowie got his last logo from….(Spizz wuz robbed)….The Witchdoktors- Punknrollabilly Lords of Thee Trash are still doing it better than the rest. What a fabulous addition to the bill, as handpicked by Mr Spizz his good cosmic self. Starsha Lee- WARNING May Contain Nudity…well, we all CONTAIN nudity don’t we…but the last Starsha Lee DC happening WAS indeed a bare all moment of all out Rock n Roll abandon…sometimes that’s just how punk rock takes ya. Crispin from Daisy Chainsaw/Queen Adrena/Dogbones latest female fronted narco punk ramalama psych bundle o’ joy…
Gareth Icke- Son of David (scourge of the Lizard People and top fella) it would appear. Songs about political intrigue and paranoia are on the agenda too… a bit Julian Cope like actually. Via something indie but folkish. Lloyd Cole …The Decemberists perhaps. Damn good. And no he does not wear a shell suit. Taser Puppets- Hairy German dudes on the way to a porno shoot in the 1970s stumble on stage and play ace atonal drone droog rock a la indie. Maybe. Underplayed but feisty at the same time- The Fall, Pavement, The Wedding Present. Lofi, louche, but very perky. Joiner- laconic indie pop with a late Beatles/Macca vibe… Germany Calling in a powerpop stylee. Random Patrols-delay heavy spidery guitars and emotive vocals, possible nod to U2 there but there’s a bit more to their sound to that, quite subtle an lo-fi in places and really anthemic and stirring in others.
999- Nick Cash, Guy Days, Pablo Labritain, Arturo Bassick hit the mojo riddled Dublin Castle stage at last. For those of you living under the punk n roll equivalent of a stone (a Rolling Stone?) 999 were/are a fantastic first generation punk act with an amazing array of punk pop material that touches on glam and rhythm n blues in part but always has the visceral high energy you’d expect and is ripe and rich with tunes tunes tunes. Nasty Nasty, Emergency, Homicide, Crime et al….’Not to be missed’ is a clichee so let’s just say you’d be Crazy to miss it. London- Riff Regan‘s class original ’76 vintage punk rock happening were the first band to star later Damned and Culture Club skinsman Jon Moss and were also famous for being the only punk act to be managed by Simon Napier-Bell … “Everyone’s a Winner” and a fab cover of The Easybeats ‘Friday On My Mind’ were amongst their corkingest vinyl excursions. The current line-up is Riff Regan (vocals), Steve Voice (guitar), Colin Watterston (drums), Rick De’Ath (bass). Still sounding vital too. City Strays- Punk band of slightly youthlier origin in the style of Stiff Little Fingers via a hint of Green Day and Pistols…..
Real Experts- Gloriously gushing electro pop which reeks of the 1980’s, but it’s a nostalgic odour to relish, like good squidgy black (aaah) or The Green Goddess’ leotard…ok not the latter….so think, Human League, Heaven 17, Soft Cell, Gary Numan- but given a modern pop makeover. Hooky pop numbers and sultry soulful tracks both presented brilliantly. Now where’s my deely boppers and boob tube?