Best of 2012: w/ Jack Winn of Runaround Kids

The end of the year is neigh and every music website, publication and blog (including this one) are busy compiling end of year lists. This time around, I thought I’d shift the focus to the bands and artist’s who’ve played a ‘BarryGruff Presents’ show this year and ask them for their ‘favourite album of 2012′, ‘favourite song of 2012′ & ‘favourite Irish song of the year’.

Without further ado, here’s Jack from Runaround Kids with his picks from the year that was 2012.

Favourite album of 2012: Paws – ‘Cokefloat!’

I’m currently going for Cokefloat! by Paws. They played at Long Division in our native Wakefield in June, and we played a gig with them a few months after, I got the album and I’ve struggled to stop listening to it since. Special mentions for Midnight At The Sycamore Lounge by St Gregory Orange, the time and the lonleyness by Mi Mye, Canines by Shrag, Mumps, etc. by Why?, and This Many Boyfriends’ self-titled. I feel like lots of albums have passed me by this year, though.

Favourite song of 2012: Doctrines – ‘Ze’

‘Ze’ by Doctrines, one song split into 4 sections and released as an EP on Alcopop, and the best thing I’ve heard all year. We played with them in Brighton in July and it blew our minds. We all bought it, listened to it maybe 15 times the next day? More special mentions: ‘Atomic Arabian Facebuster’ by The Spills, and ‘Come On, Be A No-one’ by The Cribs. Though according to my iTunes stats, ‘212’ by Azealia Banks wins by a LONG way.

Favourite Irish song of 2012: We Are Losers – ‘Salt Lips’

‘Beautiful Day’ by U2. Just kidding, it’s We Are Losers! We toured around your lovely country with them, saw them every night, released a 12″ EP with them, and had the best time ever. Difficult to choose which song, but I think I’m going with Salt Lips, the song about getting a blowjob from a mermaid, for obvious reasons.

We Are Losers – ‘Salt Lips’

Fuzz pop aficionados, We Are Losers are back with a new single ‘Salt Lips’, accompanied by an acoustic take of ‘Moany’.

We Are Losers have been sitting on ‘Salt Lips’ for ages apparently, recorded for a planned single, they have generously decided to put it out for free. ‘Salt Lips’ is a slice of melodic upbeat indie-pop, complete with infectious choruses and beautiful harmonies, just what we’ve come to expect from Elsted & company. ‘Salt Lips’ is a bit more suited to the summer months than a dreary Monday in October, that said, it is sure to brighten up your day. 

Be sure now to grab both ‘Salt Lips’ & ‘Moany’ for free below.

Grow up to be Losers? An Interview with We Are Losers


The new issue of Lookleft has hit the shelves across Ireland this week so it is about time I posted this interview with We Are Losers from the last issue. Lookleft is available in every Easons north / south & other selected retailers.

It has been a remarkable twelve months for Kildare/Dublin band We Are Losers. What began as a solo-side project of Super Extra Bonus Party guitarist Gavin Elsted writing and recording a few songs in his bedroom has flourished into something much bigger. Barry Healy caught up with front man Gavin Elsted to find out more.

As we began chatting in his kitchen over freshly made coffee, it is abundantly clear he is remarkably humble about the whole affair. There were no grandiose expectations starting out, it was just seen as “a chance to write simple straightforward over the top fuzzy noise pop and this was the music inspiring me at the time and so wanted to try my hand at it”.

Gavin never expected it to get this far explaining “the most I could have hoped for was that someone might have come back to me saying ‘hey, I really like your tunes’. It was a bit scary to be honest because it happened so fast. We put a few tunes online and emailed them around. All of a sudden we landed our first gig at Hard Working Class Heroes which was mental.”

It was around this time We Are Losers blossomed into a four-piece, adding fellow Bonus Partiers Gary Clarke and Stephen Conlan and Bronwyn Murphy-White of Grand Pocket Orchestra. It seems to have been a perfect fit. “After jamming a few times it all fit so quickly” says Gavin, adding “The more involved the three have got the less stressed I am about everything. I find it easy to sit back and let them do their thing. I know what Gary and Steve are going to do from playing in a band with them for years and Bronwyn is such an accomplished musician anyway that I am completely confident in what she brings”.

The band’s sudden rise has really taken Gavin by surprise “there is now way we thought we would get this far so quickly. Within three or four months we had labels interested and had management involved, which has huge benefits. Up and up is the best way to describe how it has been as well as a lot of fun too. If it wasn’t we wouldn’t be doing it”.

One of the many high points so far came in July with the release of their debut double a-side single ‘Sunset Song / Cheerleader’ on Leeds Indie label ‘Dance to the Radio’.

It is a partnership which goes back sometime as Gavin explains. “We’d been friends with ‘Dance to the Radio’ since they put out Super Extra Bonus Party’s ‘Who Are You And What Do You Want’ on a vinyl compilation. I just kept in contact with them and let them know I was doing new stuff. They asked me to send it on to them so I did and they were into it. We were then asked to play ‘Live at Leeds’, they came to see our show and met us afterwards and offered to do something with us. We decided on a single to see how things would go. It has been great so far. They’ve been good to us and they’re looking after us really well.”

Gavin seems equally happy with the response to the band’s debut single adding “it has been pretty good so far. We’ve been getting some good radio play and people seem to be into it. We weren’t expecting anything like that to be honest”.

While on the surface Losers would appear to differ somewhat from his previous work but he is insistent that “even though other members of SEBP will probably kill me for saying this, there was definite pop elements to the Bonus Party tunes. Stuff like ‘Comets’ or ‘Eamonn’ are pop songs. Just because there is electronics or distortion on them doesn’t stop them being pop songs. They are all pop songs with strong melodies and it’s the same with Losers”.

So what of the future for We Are Losers? Well it’s pretty straightforward according to Gavin who is aiming “to gig as much as humanly possible. Try to get down to other places in Ireland apart from Dublin and Galway and write more tunes of course. We’ll see where we’re at after a few months and hopefully we can keep going up and up”.

 We Are Losers – We Vampires

 We Are Losers – Sunset Song

Download: We Are Losers – Cheerleader

A quick round-up: Barrygruff Presents #2 ‘We Are Losers’ & ‘No Monster Club’

Last month, October 22nd to be precise witnessed the second ‘Barrygruff Presents’ show in Flanagan’s, Newbridge.

It was another huge success on all fronts. The place was packed to the bloody rafters, it was hard to believe it was only a Thursday night. Both performances from No Monster Club and We Are Losers were fantastic, it is not often you get to experience their music stripped back so wonderfully. There are a couple of videos below so you can see and hear for yourself. There’s no definite dates or acts booked for #3 yet but were working on it and when we know, you’ll know.

A massive thank you to Stephen Connelly for all the hard work, Tim Crowley for the sound/recording, Joe Dunne for the videos and to everyone who came down on the night (and anyone I’ve missed out).

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You forgot a username for the YouTube shortcode

Free Gig: We Are Losers & No Monster Club :: Flanagan’s :: Newbridge :: Sept 22nd

The first ‘Barrygruff presents’ was a huge success, so, we decided to do another one.

We are delighted to welcome We Are Losers for their first headline gig in Newbridge. Fresh from storming sets at Leeds Festival and Castlepalooza this summer, We Are Losers bring their glorious lo-fi fuzz pop to Flanagan’s, Newbridge this Thursday, September 22nd.

Beginning as a solo-side project of Super Extra Bonus Party guitarist Gavin Elsted writing and recording songs in his bedroom, We Are Losers were quickly assembled from former bandmates Gary Clarke and Stephen Conlan and Bronwyn Murphy-White of Grand Pocket Orchestra. Their debut double a-side single ‘Sunset Song / Cheerleader’, released on Leeds Indie label ‘Dance to the Radio’ in July secured their position as one of the most exciting emerging acts in Ireland right now.

Accompanying them on the bill is No Monster Club who’s sunshine surf-rock and hyper rough-a-round the edges Strokes-esque sound has already won over legions of fans and seen them compared to the likes of The Strokes, The Velvet Underground and The Libertines. To boot, they are one of the finest live bands in Ireland right now.

Entry is FREE and the show starts at 9pm, Thursday, September 22nd. Join the event on Facebook & there’s more details below.

 We Are Losers – We Vampires

 We Are Losers – Sunset Song

 No Monster Club – The Last Bottle In The World

 No Monster Club – Wish Me Well

We Are Losers – (Double A-side) Sunset Song/Cheerleader

We Are Losers have signed to UK indie label Dance To The Radio for the release of their debut double a-side single Sunset Song/Cheerleader.

Since releasing their self-titled debut EP for free on Bandcamp, what began as a Gavin Elsted solo project quickly became a full band assembled from former band mates Stephen Conlan and Gary Clarke and mutual friend Bronwyn Murphy-White. Ever since, We Are Losers have been wooing music fans in Ireland with superb live shows at HWCH and supports with Local Natives and The Phantom Band.

Sunset Song/Cheerleader picks up where their self-titled/released debut EP left off last year, with two more supreme slices of jangly, fuzzy and cheery lo-fi indie.

Losers have been singled put for a lot of praise on this blog before and they remain very much ones to watch!

The limited edition Sunset Song/Cheerleader 7″ is out in Ireland on 15 July and the UK on 18 July.

We Are Losers – Sunset Song

Avalanche Ammo // We Are Losers in Whelan’s

 photo by Sara Devine

 It’s been a while since I did any posts about live gigs. I’m not sure why because so far this year I’ve been to piles of shows.

Friday was a scorcher in more ways than one. The one day Irish summer was here as was the SquareD showcase in Whelan’s.

First up was Avalanche Ammo‘s (aka Kildare man Anthony Boland). Remarkably this was his first live show but apart from some first show nerves you would never tell. The one-man racket machine, ably assisted by a desk top PC (old school) ramped out a short but impressive set of LOUD melodic post-rock. Hopefully there’s plenty more live shows in the tank from this guy, interested to see if a full live band will be introduced in future.

What more can be said that hasn’t already been said about We Are Losers? Since seeing their first show at Hard Working Class Heroes last year they have endeared themselves to me no end, seeing them umpteen times since. There live shows continue to impress as does the new material. Their jangly, fuzzy lo-fi indie was bursting with energy and feel-good-vibes, just the trick to wash down a glorious days sunshine, including ‘Empty Head’, ‘The Narcissist’, ‘Cheerleader’ and a new tune (both of which are below).

Instrumental Dublin four-piece Alarmist rounded things off, obviously superb musicians, it just wasn’t my thing.

Anyway, a couple of video clips to indulge you including ‘Cheerleader’ and a new tune from We Are Losers.

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You forgot a username for the YouTube shortcode

Whelan’s This Friday: Alarmist // We Are Losers // Avalanche Ammo

Another bank holiday weekend and another marathon of live music in the Capital.

Forbidden Fruit kicks off the festival season in style this weekend while the pick of Friday nights entertainment has to be Alarmist // We Are Losers // Avalanche Ammo in Whelan’s.

Avalanche Ammo aka Anthony Boland, takes to the stage for the first time under this guise. Brace yourself for a one-man racket of melodic post-rock and tight riffs to boot. Meanwhile We Are Losers will serve up a supreme slice of jangly, fuzzy lo-fi indie, these guys never disappoint. Instrumental Dublin four-piece Alarmist will round things off.

To celebrate there’s new tracks from AA called ‘Ambulance Chaser’ & ‘Trojan Horse’. It certainly does no harm to his ever rising reputation.

Alarmist // We Are Losers // Avalanche Ammo – Whelan’s, Wexford Street, Dublin. Doors: 8pm/ Tickets: €5

The perfect way to kick off what should be a great weekend.

Download: Avalance Ammo – Ambulance Chaser

Download: Avalanche Ammo – Trojan Horse

We Are Losers – Cheerleader via Nialler9