by / April 17th, 2009 /

IMRO Showcase Tour 2009 – Dublin / Galway

Its a double dose of IMRO action for you on State today, as nine bands prepare for two gigs at the Sugar Club in Dublin and the famous Roisin Dubh in Galway. The tour winds up at Andrews Lane Theatre in Dublin and Derry next week before the now traditional end of your showcase in early May. In the meantime, feast yourselves on this lot…

Friday 17 April – The Sugar Club, Dublin

202s are a band with a healthy appreciation for the past, but a burning, lustful passion for the future. Marrying vintage synth sounds with the pop instrumentation of melodicas, glockenspiels and harmonicas, then filtering the lot through a post-punk haze, 202s have succeeded in weaving a tapestry of unprecedented artistry. This is pop music with the idiosyncrasy of its most eccentric masters – Wayne Coyne and Gruff Rhys would surely be taking notes.
MP3: 202s – Ease My Mind
[audio: Ease My Mind.mp3]

The Laundry Shop
The driving creative force behind The Laundry Shop is Front man/Singer and Songwriter Steve Robinson. Steven gained huge international critical acclaim with his last band, Angels of Mons. During this time he won awards and played around the world as well as supporting the likes of Good Charlotte and Snow Patrol. The band tragically broke up under the weight of ‘Next Big Thing’ hype. From the ashes, however, rose The Laundry Shop. The direction of the music instantly took off where his last band ended. Beautiful and haunting whispered vocal harmonies set against a grungy onslaught of slacker guitar hooks. The two elements of their songs are constantly at war with each other, melodic escapism and a bombastic rhythmical realism.
MP3: The Laundry Shop – The Daily Special
[audio: The Daily Special.m4a]

The Looks
Four piece Dublin band the Looks are phenomenal. Mixing electro beats with driving indie punk songs they have positioned themselves as one of the country’s up and coming acts. Having established themselves and one of Dublin’s most exciting live bands the band have now completed work on their self produced debut album . The album preview was recently named ‘CD of the week’ on Phantom 105.2’s Icon show.
MP3: The Looks – Red Jacket
[audio: LooksRed Jacket.mp3]

Myp Et Jeep
From Thomastown in south Kilkenny, Myp et Jeep are Stevie Cullen on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, M.J. O’Carroll on lead guitar and backing vocals, Vam on bass guitar, and drummer Enda Coates. Names like Ash, Therapy, early Radiohead, The Vines and Nirvana, have all been referenced in the impressive comments on the album by music journalists.
MP3: Myp et Jeep – Little Secrets
[audio: secrets.mp3]

Saturday 18 April – Roisin Dubh, Galway

Disconnect 4
2008 was a hectic year for Galway 4-piece Disconnect 4. They’ve gigged the length & breadth of the country, recorded a live 2fm session with Dan Hegarty, a session with and have an appearance on TG4 under their belts, not to mention being selected for the Best of Myspace Podcast (which is among the top 100 podcasts on iTunes) and Unsigned Band of the Month on British music network site CMU in November. They’ve headlined Green & Live in Limerick and the Galway date of the IMRO tour as well as Metro in Waterford, played Strange Brew 300, The Summer Shindig and New Year’s Eve in the Róisín Dubh, and been a part of Psychotic Reaction in Crawdaddy and the Bud Rising festival. Jim Carroll of the Irish Times says ‘If your looking for an act that understands the co-relation between classic pop and cutting-edge indie, you’ve come to the right place’. And he should know.
MP3: Disconnect 4 – The Rise
[audio: 4 – The Rise.mp3]

Black Soul Strangers
In August 2008 Black Soul Strangers indulged in a fresh approach to song writing with a shared ambition and creative drive they spent a summer in an old secluded School House in Donegal writing and understanding what they wanted to achieve with their debut record. They recorded that album Animate with Tom McFall (REM, Bloc Party, Weezer, Snow Patrol ) in Windmill Lane Studio and Exchequer Studios in Dublin.
When experienced live, Animate truly comes to life. Black Soul Strangers perform with the intensity that one would expect with such personal images, against a back drop of animated musical landscapes. Each member’s presence and skill, enhanced by their natural ability to perform, engulfs the audience.
MP3: Black Soul Strangers – Gallows
[audio: Gallows.mp3]

Lost Chord
No one would have believed in the first years of the 21st century that the music world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than most musicians and yet as mortal as their own; that as most musicians busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and
multiply in a drop of water. Yet across the gulf of genre, Lost Chord make music that to today’s minds is sometimes strange, disorienting and always searching ,their intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regard other bands with envious eyes, and slowly and surely draw their plans against them. And soon all other bands will come to their great disillusionment.

Ultan Conlon
Ultan Conlon is from the town of’Loughrea’ in the Co.Galway .He already has two solo projects under his belt – a live E.P. in 2002 and his self-titled E.P. in 2005. His first studio album is almost complete and is entitled Bless Your Heart. In 2006 the late John Martyn sang on one of Ultan’s tracks ‘Really Gone’ and was the last studio release he featured on before his death earlier this year. It was released under the name Ultanjohn which disbanded shortly after and since then Ultan has been recording and producing along with fellow band mates to complete his long awaited debut album.
MP3: Ultan Conlon – Old Wise
[audio: and wise.mp3]

The Ralphs
The Ralphs are relatively new to the music scene but have already notched up an impressive run of gigs and are making a name for themselves in the West of Ireland since forming in November 2008. From the music rich town of Tuam, Co.Galway, they are born out of the ashes of lead singer Jamie Ralph’s solo project, ‘Pogo Jamie’. He is now joined by brother Leigh on drums, and their cousin Conor on lead guitar. The recruitment of best friend Brian Ruane on bass has completed a foursome intent on writing energetic and catchy folk-pop songs.

More next week….