Introducing: Broken Hands

Kent four-piece Broken Hands‘ brand of punchy, guitar-driven rock has stood them in good stead over the past 12 months, releasing a series of singles and touring with Band of Skulls – they’re now gearing up for their very first UK headline tour. 

Broken Hands stick to a tried and tested formula but it has to be said, they do it pretty damn well. Take the band’s latest single ‘If You Need To Lie’ for example. Catchy vocals saunter along some meaty riffs, of the BRMC variety, and a wave of thick, pounding drums, wedged into an aggressive, direct and impressive rock song. Overall what they create is a dark, powerful and somewhat claustrophobic sound.

Broken Hands are what they are, and make no bones about it. It’s done extremely well too, so you can’t really argue with that, can you?

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King Krule – ‘Rock Bottom’

Since stumbling across Archy Marshall early last year, he and his talents have impressed ever so much in this short time under the guises of  Zoo Kid and King Krule.

The London teenager’s music sounds older and wiser than his relatively young age would suggest, as does his voice, which is rough alluding to someone who has lived a much longer, fuller life. He’s been fairly quiet this year but  his latest single ‘Rock Bottom’ provides further evidence of growth and progression. While his earlier releases hinted toward Jamie T and Billy Bragg, he’s beginning to find his very own space on the musical landscape. ‘Rock Bottom’ sounds quite aggressive, especially the vocals, but it’s kept in check, rattling behind the upbeat, jangling guitars and unabashed funk.

‘Rock Bottom’ is out on 7″ on September 25th via Rinse Records.

(Video) Candice Gordon – ‘I Haven’t Eaten In Days’

Candice Gordon has released a brand new video for her track ‘I Haven’t Eaten In Days’. The song featured as the B-side to her Rock ‘n Roll stomper, ‘Smoking Like The Barrel Of a Gun’, released back in July. 

‘I Haven’t Eaten In Days’ exhibits a different side to her talents. It is a slow-burning, delicate, lamenting affair allowing her vocals to flicker amid a sea of twanging guitars and steady drums. It is a far cry from the ferocity of  ‘Smoking Like The Barrel Of a Gun’ but with no less real emotion.

The video self made in her flat in Berlin with Stephen Fanning and can be checked out below.
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BarryGruff Presents: Our Krypton Son, Conor Mason and The P Affection :: The Twisted Pepper :: Dublin :: Sat August 25th


I’m delighted ‘BarryGruff Presents’ is on its way back to Dublin again, this Saturday, August 25th. We’re taking over The Twisted Pepper on Middle Abbey Street for what promises to be a great night.

I’m especially excited to have three of the best acts in Ireland (and three of my favourites) – ‘Our Krypton Son’, ‘Conor Mason’ and ‘The P Affection’ – with me on this one. There is more details and tracks from the acts below. Doors at 8pm and admission is €7, hopefully plenty of you can make it along to what will be a really special night. [Facebook event]

Our Krypton Son (Smalltown America):

Chris McConaghy aka Our Krypton Son hails from Derry, where he cut his first musical teeth with psychobilly art-rockers Red Organ Serpent Sound. Having graduated unscathed from those rambunctious ranks, Chris established his song writing credentials sharing stages with David Kitt, Gemma Hayes, Jape and Cashier No. 9 around the Irish club circuit. Gathering plaudits as a writer of note, Chris gathered close musician friends together in early 2010 to create Our Krypton Son. Our Krypton Son’s muse traverses the songscapes of Wilco, Costello, Bowie, Waits and Orbison. McConaghy’s voice is at times fragile, tender and touching and on occasion shimmers romantically in rare, Irish sunlight.

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Our Krypton Son – Catalonian Love Song

Our Krypton Son – Nowhere


Conor Mason (Armellodie Records):

Also hailing from Derry, music has been present in Mason’s life from a young age. With three albums under his belt, Mason has now found his space on the musical landscape, not dissimilar to that occupied by luminaries Matthew Jay or Elliott Smith. His latest album, Standstill, is a masterpiece in song writing, flowing gently by, amid a sea of soft lilting vocals, whispering lyrical poeticisms and subtle instrumentation. His music is permeated by an air of richness, comforting tranquillity and shrouded in melancholy. This is Conor Mason’s first Dublin show in sometime and one definitely not to be missed.

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Download: Conor Mason – Better Than Nothing

Conor Mason – Out of the Blue 

The P Affection (NIPPI Records):

The P Affection is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Padraig McCauley. The Naas based band’s self-titled debut was released to rave reviews and their recently released follow-up Cakes For Occasions has exceeded even their lofty expectations. They have grown as a band, their sound even tighter; a wondrous blend of indie-pop, rock, ska, and folk is formed into a distinct and cohesive sound, all of their own.

The P Affection – My Main Squeeze

The P Affection – Gone Fishin’

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Crows – ‘Glamour of the Gods’

Crows are a four piece band from Kilburn in London. There isn’t a lot known about them but on the evidence so far, it is safe to say they like to make a lot of noise, of the scuzzy, dirty blues stomp variety.

Their latest single ‘Glamour of the Gods’ is a case in point. It is a pretty gung-ho, raw affair, set to a back drop of twanging, spooky feedback and layers of unnerving, chilling darkness. It’s not short of a rousing anthemic chorus or two either. A fantastic and ferocious blast of  doom laden rock n’ roll.

Check ‘Glamour of the Gods’ and the pretty slick video below.

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Effy – ‘Feel That’

Yes, it’s that familiar story, with more musical talent arising from Newbridge. Effy are the combined talents of Newbridge duo Peter Fleming (Kaleid) and Kieran Craddock. 

Both of these guys have been earning their stripes on the Dublin bass scene this year, with residencies for Decoy and Strangeways respectively. The duo’s first effort, ‘Feel That’, is more than a little impressive. It’s a kick ass electronic production with an infectious funky core, beats and slick vocal sample. A very impressive start, hopefully there is plenty more where that came from. 

Effy play their first how tonight in The Twisted Pepper

BarryGruff Presents: One Year On | Some Idle Chit-Chat

Saturday last marked the one year anniversary of the very first ‘BarryGruff Presents’ show. Granted, a year isn’t really a long time in the grand scheme of things but I thought I’d share some musings from the year.

As with a lot of ideas, it spawned from chatting over a few pints, where by myself and Stevie decided to try doing some small gigs in our local in Newbridge, Flanagan’s. So, the idea was simple, bring music I’d been pushing on the blog, from the internet into a real world live setting. It has work fantastically well and we’ve been lucky to have witnessed some outstanding performances from some of the finest up and coming talents this country has to offer.

It may come as a surprise to many that while Newbridge has a wealth musical talent (this mixtape is just a small bit of proof), we have been pretty much starved of live original music in recent years (that’s a whole other post). This was our attempt to redress this imbalance. Live music is vital if we are to ever to sustain a vibrant music scene and this problem isn’t confined to Newbridge. I’m sure there are towns like Newbridge the length and breadth of this island, which are virtually starved of live music.

We just utilized what we’ve got and worked with it, Flanagan’s is far from a perfect for these shows but works remarkably well. Now, I’m lucky, not only did I cut my teeth putting on shows with Culture Factory but I have two top guys with me (Stevie & Poggy) who have the equipment and know how to make it possible. Of course we’re not alone and credit is due to the many people putting on gigs and promoting new talent across Ireland. I suppose the point is we’ve opened up a new place, somewhere artists couldn’t/hadn’t played previously which is most important. There needs to be more than 7 or 8 places for bands to tour. Although music is increasingly discovered and consumed online, it is vital to remember music is best witnessed live, as a collective experience. Time and time again when acts play here, people are blown away by music they have, or have not heard before (proving the limitations of my blog  too).

Having the gigs in a pub works and is a pretty natural partner. Not only are the shows free but people are comfortable in a boozer, overcoming the issue of getting people from pubs to venues, which I assume extends beyond Newbridge, to many towns across Ireland. 

What we’re doing is only small but I’m immensely proud of the achievements so far and I’m sure that lads are too. Expanding to Dublin has been exciting too but there is something uniquely special about the Newbridge gigs. I’ll be honest, it was pretty nerve racking to begin with. It had been quite sometime since I had done anything in the way of gigs but it has been a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience. Long may they continue.

The next ‘BarryGruff Presents’ takes place in The Twisted Pepper, Dublin on Saturday, August 25th with ‘Our Krypton Son’, ‘Conor Mason’ and ‘The P Affection’. More info here. (There will be another Newbridge show announced soon too).

Throwing Up – ‘Snake’

Throwing Up are set to release a new single ‘Snake’, the first from the band’s forthcoming debut Over You which is set for release at the end of September.

The last time we dropped in on the East London punk trio we were treated to a dose of hard edged, high energy squall of noise. While remaining true to bashing out songs of under 3 minutes, ‘Snake’ is a slow burning piece of snarly garage-rock with smoother production, with an all important lo-fi edge. It really works for them, especially in allowing Benett’s vocals to ring through and her lyrics to hit harder.

Check it out below, September isn’t too far away.

Boys Noize – ‘XTC’ + MMM Remix

Boys Noize never manages to disappoint. He hasn’t changed the script with his brand new single ‘XTC’, taken from his forthcoming new album Out Of The Black.

‘XTC’, cheesy song title aside, pits a catchy synth, robotic vocals and a powerfully bassline together into a techno infused electro beast. That’s not all, check MMM‘s stunning remix, fleshed out to over 7 minutes, it is more minimalist, sinister and packs a serious punch of its very own.

Everything is looking good for the new album which will be with us in October.

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The Casanova Wave – All Of It’s Yours (Feat. Neon Wolf)

Essentially the work of one man – Waterford’s Brian McCartan – The Casanova Wave specialise in alluring, deliciously upbeat electronic pop.

‘All Of It’s Yours’ (featuring the fantastic Neon Wolf) is the second single taken from The Casanova Wave’s debut album Joy Of Being. It, like their aptly titled debut album, is an absolute joy to listen to and sums up what The Casanova Wave is all about. Equipped with a series of succulent slices of deliciously upbeat electro pop, this is a record which will put a smile on your face, and a bounce in your step. Joy Of Being is one of the most inviting and enchanting Irish albums released this year.

Joy Of Being is out now on Bluestack Records and can be picked up right here.

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