The end is in sight for this year’s IMRO Showcase Tour as it enters its fifth and final week. Fifty acts have taken part in this year’s nationwide trek, including the seven who will grace the stages of Dublin’s Sugar Club and Dolan’s of Limerick this weekend. A number of the featured bands will also appear at a ‘Best of Showcase’ gig in the Academy on May 1st, where they’ll get the opportunity to display their talents to both fans and a selection of industry reps.
Friday, April 23rd – The Sugar Club, Dublin
House of Dolls
They may only be around a short time but Dublin four-piece House of Dolls play like seasoned performers. Taking their inspiration from the likes of Spiritualized and The Icarus Line, they specialise in sleazy, psychedelic rock. Their music has it all: epic build-ups, dark grooves and glorious vocal melodies and they perform it all with the authority of ones who’ve lived through the subjects they deal with.
MP3: House of Dolls – ‘Gimme Some Glory’
With a number of singles and EPs already under their belts, The Rags have undergone some line-up changes since they first formed but they’ve remained on an evil keel and are now preparing to release their first album, A National Light, next month. Known for their melodic guitar pop and razor-sharp lyrics, they combine Smiths-esque guitar hooks with expressive lyrics that sees them take snipes at superficiality and reference Irish literary greats.
MP3: The Rags – ‘A Mirror to a Woman (is a Bullet in a Gun)’
Having decamped to France to record with David Odlum, Pilotlight recently released their first album – The Post War Musical – to rave reviews. The LP deals with love, loss, the beauty and frailty of human existence and goes hand-in-hand with the bands aim of creating music that listeners can soundtrack their daily lives to.
MP3: Pilotlight – ‘Pulling on Doors That Say Push’
Jody Has a Hitlist
Their powerful pop-punk songs have already earned Dublin’s Jody Has a Hitlist a nomination for ‘Best New Act’ at this year’s Meteor Awards. As well as a string of singles, the band have also released a video for their track ‘Just Over a Year’ and have just completed a successful UK tour.
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Saturday, April 24th – Dolan’s, Limerick
Limerick quintet Supermodel Twins specialise in producing perfect three-minute pop songs that deal with love, lust and loneliness. The band are currently wrapping-up work on their first album, which they’ve co-produced with Cranberries guitarist Noel Hogan. ‘Bruises’, the first single to be taken from that record, has just been released and reaction to it has been overwhelmingly positive.
MP3: Supermodel Twins – ‘Bruises’
Seeing as former Giveamanakick frontman Steve Ryan is involved, it should come as no surprise that Windings’ music melds pop savvyness with sub-metal trashiness. The group’s first album was released in 2005 and they’re now putting the final touches to the follow-up, which is scheduled for an October release through Out On A Limb Records. The five-piece have also just released a single – ‘Brain Fluid’ and are limbering up for the LP release by playing a number of live shows over the next few months.
MP3: Windings – ‘Brain Fluid’
Nick Carswell and the Elective Orchestra
Resolving to write music that makes the listener think, Nick Carswell & The Elective Orchestra have established a reputation for their emotive songwriting and enthralling live performances. Their When I’m Not Around EP earned them kudos with the critics and lead to a nationwide tour which included a memorable appearance at Electric Picnic. After debuting new material at Limerick’s Unfringed Festival, it surely won’t be long before they head back to the studio to work on their next record.
MP3: Nick Carswell – ‘When I’m Not Around’
The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra
Combining warm vocal harmonies and classy instrumentation, The Brad Pitt Orchestra create music described by our own James Hendicott as “…the drama of Phantom of the Opera with added indie cool.” Their single, ‘December’ caught the attention of several DJs and has seen the band receive airplay on several local and national radio stations, as well as BBC Northern Ireland.
MP3: The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra – ‘December’