(Video) Trap Door – ‘Wake Up’

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There is no great secret of my feelings about Trap Door. The Dublin trio have been one of the shining lights to emerge in Ireland over the past 12 months.

Trap Door’s latest single ‘Wake Up’ takes their up-tempo combination of punk, folk, ska and hip-hop and douses it with lashings of energetic rebelliousness. The Finn Keenan produced video is great too and features two mischievous ol’ lads getting up to all kinds of, well, mischief. It is sure to put a wry smile on your face.

You can download Trap Door’s debut EP, Lata Town, for free from Bandcamp now.

Trojan Warriors Mixtape (Ska, Reggae, Dancehall & Rocksteady)

Trojan Records marked the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence with the release of Freedom Sounds, a collection of over 100 tracks spread across 5 CDs from influential Jamaican artists etc. that have influenced popular music across the past five decades.

That set me thinking, there’s never been much in the way of Ska, Reggae, Dancehall etc. on the blog. It’s quite strange seen as I’ve been a big fan since my Dad introduced to the genres when I was younger. This stuff, Ska in particular,  just struck a chord with me (no pun intended). It’s hard not to like, it is, for the most part upbeat, bright and fun. It is music with stories to tell, of love, life and struggles, but just as important, you can nod along and dance to it quite happily. It is probably only matched by Hip Hop in that regard. 

I have compiled some of my favourite from the various albums, compilations and box sets I have acquired throughout the years. Some are fairly well known, others less so. I can’t guarantee they all appeared on Trojan (but ‘Trojan Warriors’ has a nice ring to it), see it as an introduction if nothing else.

If you fancy delving a bit further, I suggest checking out BBC 4’s ‘Reggae Britannia‘ or getting your hands some of the many excellent Trojan Records Boxsets. Consequently this happens to be the 1,000 post on the blog, no better way to celebrate eh? Enjoy!

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(Video) Marika Hackman – ‘You Come Down’

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We were introduced to Marika Hackman and her beautiful potent folk songs earlier in the summer. Now, with the release of her debut double A-side ‘You Come Down’/’Mountain Spines’ fast approaching, September 3rd in fact, Marika Hackman has unveiled a bewitching video for the haunting single ‘You Come Down’. Filmed in an abandoned house in Dorset, complements the song’s eerie character perfectly.

No substandard happy-clappy folk pop nonsense on offer here, the double A-Side provides an excellent introduction to what Marika Hackman is all about 

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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