This is the last post of 2013 and I’m delighted to be able to bring you some words from a hero of mine. Have a wonderful Christmas, catch you in the New Year.
Converge – Interview w/ Kurt Ballou
I spoke with Kurt Ballou (guitarist/producer) ahead of their show at the Button Factory last Friday. It was an awe-inspiring gig, with Touche Amoré, A Storm Of Light and The Secret providing support. I particularly enjoyed A Storm of Light but while Touch Amoré delivered an incredible live show, their set didn’t quite resonate with me. I’ve been told I need to give their album a proper listen as almost everyone I spoke to after the gig disagreed with the aforementioned opinion.
Converge took to the stage with a confidence and energy that must only come from years of dedication to their art, it topped their Whelan’s show with Kylesa back in 2010. You can listen to Kurt Ballou talk to me about their latest opus All We Love We Leave Behind, his studio God City and life on the road with Converge below.
And So I Watch You From Afar Benefit Gig
Taking place on the 15th of December And So I Watch You From Afar have recruited an epic line – up all in aid of cancer research. The night is dedicated to the memory of Bart Lyons and hopes to raise £8,000 for cancer charities. On the bill are the likes of Eatenbybears, LaFaro, Axis of, Continuous Battle of Order, More Than Conquerors, Dublin’s No Spill Blood and BATS and ASIWYFA themselves. This will be your only chance to catch them live before the year is out. It takes place at Mandela Hall at the Students Union at Queen’s University Belfast. Tickets are just £8 about €10 and it’s all for a great cause. You can find out more about the event here.
Zechs Marquise in Ireland
I enjoyed their show at the Workman’s Club so much that I found myself compelled to catch Zechs Marquise (pictured) live again. So I did. I went to see them play the Speakeasy in Belfast too. Both shows were excellent. A band who aren’t especially well know in Ireland, although signed to Sargent House, they feature Marcel (The Mars Volta) on drums and Marfred Rodriguez Lopez on bass. Their older sibling may be revered multi-instrumentalist Omar Rodriguez Lopez (The Mars Volta, At the Drive In, Bosnian Rainbows) but we’re not here to talk about that right now. There was a generous crowd for the Workman’s Club show with help from Youth of a Nation promotions and support from No Spill Blood. Zechs Marquise successfully held the crowd’s attention and drew others in from the bar outside. If you weren’t a fan at the beginning of the night you were by the end of it, they really won the venue over.
It was the show at the Speakeasy in Belfast that really stood out. I ventured up, still a bit sad after the final Richter Collective party only to be met with an experience that would lift anyone’s spirits. Despite the fact that only a handful of people were there, it was Zechs Marquise’s last night of a 6 week tour and they gave it everything. To the point where the drummer, Marcel, broke the last two cymbals he had. What a finale. If you haven’t heard their album Getting Paid yet then I urge you to check it out. They are currently working on a Motown covers album and are due to release an album’s worth of new material in 2013.
It Was All A Bit Black & White
Hailing from Galway, I came across these guys supporting them at one of their first Dublin shows in Whelan’s. I really didn’t expect this two-piece to be as sonically rich as they are, they really do have a huge sound. Matthew on lead guitar has an immense pedal board that would even make Adebisi Shank a bit jealous. He takes care of the guitar, bass and synth element while Mosey provides the beats. They’re recording their debut album in the New Year. As much as I enjoyed their EP (currently available to download for free via Bandcamp) I feel they are best experienced live. Catch them next at the Hard Rock Café, Temple Bar on the 13th of December.