Goldfrapp – Silver Eye

April 13th, 2017 by

In this writer’s experience, there’s never been occasion to object to a Goldfrapp album. When Alison G and Will “Dr Beats and Mr Keys” Gregory get together, there’s always at least enough quality and taste to justify the entrance fee.  Moving from lush woozy cinemascapes with sky-scraping vocals, to scuzzy disco synth monsters and back […]


Group Zero..”It’s all a bit surreal to be honest”

March 1st, 2017 by

I meet Cathal Cully in a chain coffee shop that rhymes with “zero”. It’s a completely tenuous link to why we’re both here, but I’m sticking with the idea that it’s a piece of startling synchronicity. The head Girls Name and, most recently (and the reason why we’re meeting) the brain behind the very freshly […]


Lloyd Cole – The Empire, Belfast

September 2nd, 2016 by

I feel somehow like I, if not Belfast, has some amends to make to Lloyd Cole. The last time I saw him perform in the city was as part of a festival I was involved with. It could have gone better. There’d been a (ahem) “clerical error”, which meant that Lloyd had elected to do his […]


Beach House – Mandela Hall, Belfast

October 30th, 2015 by

Dream pop this, dream pop that, dream pop down the shops and get me a sachet of space dust will you? There’s so many genres and categorisations in music these days, you’d need a half decent diploma in cartography to map out the musical landscape. But Beach House ARE definitely a pop band of a dreamy […]


Johnny Marr – Limelight, Belfast

October 21st, 2015 by

It’s Friday night in the Limelight. The perfect arena (well, mid-sized venue) to fulfil nostalgic indie dreams of poetry and jangle, Morrissey and Marr, and make believe that The Severed Alliance relates only to the emasculation of a local political party. Certainly the mass of expectant bobbing and predominately balding male heads in the bar beforehand […]


Girls Names – Arms Around a Vision

October 1st, 2015 by

Nobody really uses the term “post-punk” these days with a straight face, do they? If they do, it’s usually in reference to second-class, misdirected male-order pap rather than a fresh delivery of angular pop thrills. In fact, so maligned and contorted is the reference, you’d be well advised to go back to the source (ooh, round about […]


Deerhoof – The Black Box, Belfast

August 27th, 2015 by

“That drummer’s on the right side of mental” a friend observes as we watch Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier attack his drum-kit with the relentless, cheerful ferocity of a man with an axe, a vendetta and a spare half hour to kill. It’s maybe an interesting distinction to make from the “wrong” side of mental, but she’s […]


The Maccabees – Marks To Prove It

July 28th, 2015 by

Orlando, Hugo, Felix, Rupert and Sam aren’t the most obvious names to find at the revolutionary vanguard, musical or otherwise. Rather, on The Maccabees‘ fourth album, Marks to Prove It, this most beguiling of “indie-guitar” outfits display such incrementally progressive tendencies that their uppity historical namesakes might disown them as splitters. While much of Marks to […]


The Thermals – Desperate Ground

April 17th, 2013 by

thermals - desperate ground

In best ageing punk tradition, you could say that it’s pretty much back to basics for the Thermals on their sixth album, Desperate Ground. Much of the sonic sophistication that possibly made 2010’s Personal Life one of their less direct collections has been stripped down to the direct, rollicking 4/4 roll of guitar, bass drums […]


Johnny Marr – The Messenger

February 21st, 2013 by

It was always going to be a tricky sell for a man so long saddled with accusations of flightiness but Johnny Marr, the guitar hero of the ‘meh’ generation and creative itinerant extraordinaire hasn’t just made his first solo record, he’s also produced his most committed sounding set of songs since…..ooh the last time he […]