Archive for Brewing Up a Storm

The Walls – Carrying the Fire / Phantom Power (Single Review)

Posted in IRISH NOISE!, Music, Single Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2010 by Tickets There

If you’re going to start a band in Ireland there are several bench marks of comparison. Do you aim for the hard rock hero status of Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy? Or go a traditional direction and aspire to bands like The Dubliners and Planxty. Maybe, since this a recession and we’re all broke and the dreams of five star hotels, a house on the Vico Road and a stage set bigger than your national stadium appeal leaving the U2 option open. There are many choices depending on the style you want but one fundamental stone needs to be put in place first, the fine art of writing a good song.

Ireland is crammed with bands, so many that unless you’re working full time in the industry you’d be hard pushed to know them all and even then it would be a struggle. Unfortunately, a lot of our national bands expire before they ever truly get going and this is down to one simple reason, style over substance. Too many bands focus on the cult status elements of their heroes and forget that behind every Joy Division there’s a Love Will Tear Us Apart Again. Bands need to re-learn the simple art of writing songs that appeal to the masses or they have almost no chance of surviving long. To learn this art, there’s no better instructors than the legendary brothers, Steve and Joe Wall.

In their time, The Stunning were the biggest act in the country and to this day they’re remembered more fondly than almost any other rock band we’ve ever produced. In cities, tows and villages all across the country you’re always guaranteed to find Brewing Up A Storm playing somewhere every night. Unfortunately The Stunning eventually split under the pressure of international acclaim eluding them but their music has lived on a lot longer than anyone could have anticipated and each time they reform for a few shows, they pack the venues out.

Since the demise of The Stunning, Steve and Joe have been working on another musical project together, The Wall’s and hit another high point with 2002’s To The Bright And Shinning Sun. Working more as an experimentation model than The Stunning used to, The Wall’s have released two massively acclaimed albums in their 12 years together and this year looks set to see their third finally hit Irish and international shelves.

In the build up to the release, the band have put up some previews of the new material and we can happily inform you that Carrying the Fire continues the lads long tradition of writing poppy, simplistic and catchy as hell tunes. The whole track flows so nicely and it’s instantly catchy. Nothing to flaw here and an easy contender for this summer’s feel good hit.

The B-Side, Phantom Power is equally enticing. Described by the band as the song The Walls, MGMT and Flaming Lips would come up with if they were stuck in a room together. Another feel good, upbeat hit put across in The Wall’s defining stripped back coolness. It’s gentle, it’s non-invasive and it’ll stick in your head like superglue.

We’re not going overboard on the descriptions because there’s a full album to come but judging by these two tracks, the lads have something very special up their sleeves and Tickets There for three cannot wait to hear it. Young bands of the country, time to sit up and take notice. This is how it’s done.

Carrying the Fire will be available to download from thewalls.ie from 1st June.

Both tracks will be available to download from i-Tunes and most other digital store in late June. Click Here to hear both tracks on the bands official Facebook Page.

Click Here to read The Walls – Live @ The Odessa, Dublin (July 8th – Live Review)

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The Stunning – Leopardstown Racecourse, Dublin (July 23rd – Live Review)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , on July 27, 2009 by Tickets There

Stunning

Every few years, the mighty Stunning emerge from the bowels of County Clare, Galway and Dublin to assault the Irish people with their infectiously catchy, effortlessly cool and charismatic back catalogue of Hits that still need a good milking. Their career was sadly cut short in the mid-nineties but only after the band became one of the biggest indigenous groups this country has ever seen. While they didn’t look to astonish you with grand ballads like U2 or pound your face in like Thin Lizzy, instead they merged the country and music style the existed in every single dance hall in the country with a fender driven dose of rock N roll swagger and a wit and talent for story telling that only the Irish (and Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen and a handful of other’s) can master.

Tonight’s show at Leopardstown racecourse is a far cry from the normally jam packed audiences the Stunning normally command. They’re playing as part of the Bulmers Live Event that’s taking place all summer. At first sight of the stage and music area, things look a little more bleak than dodgy. As the races end and swarms of people march towards the exit, the Stunning arrive on and kick things off with Got to Get Away while people continue walking past the stage on their way home, with very few stopping to see the show. Large empty spaces with more children than adults are very evident around the front and the only thing missing to make this show a joke is a clown and face painting. Not that any of this bothers Steve, Joe, Jim, Derek or Cormac and the band carry on with hits such as Town for Sale and Everything that Rises.

After a few songs the crowd suddenly starts to swell thanks to a mixture of people arriving late and the racing crowd finally being able to get the pint they were waiting for. The blues driven Tightrope Walker ushers in the night time as the stage lights lift off to reveal that there are now several hundred people gathered to show give the Stunning the audience they need to kick things into overdrive. Head’s, December Sky, Mr. Ginger, Half Past Two see’s the crowd singing every word along with Steve before fan favorite Romeo’s on Fire sends the die-hards and interested observers into bliss.

Since the Stunning split, Steve and Joe Wall have been working hard on their new band The Walls and tonight the band decided to give one of their most popular songs an airing. With a teaser intro of Brewing Up a Storm, Steve and Joe play a stripped back rendition of To The Bright and Shining Sun with Jim on light percussion. The band re-join the brothers on stage for a cover of MGMT’s Kids, which many in attendance swear if better than the original, before closing the night off with a boisterous performance of Brewing Up a Storm, citing mass sing alongs’ as far back as the eye can see.
While it may not have been U2 on a stage the size of Croke Park or KISS with more pyrotechnics than..well, a normal KISS concert, it was everything music is meant to be, entertainment. Steve and Joe’s charisma mixed with the bands polished and perfected performance is just so enjoyable to watch live it’s hard to put into words. Unfortunately Steve announced towards the end of the show that this will be the Stunnings  final gig for a couple of years so if you haven’t experienced them yet, you’ll have to wait.

At the end of the show, the band stayed at the side of the stage to sign autographs and take pictures. Was Tickets There too cool to line up?? Not at hope, we were first in line 😉

stun

Top Pic taken by Rob O’Donovan – http://www.bulmerslive.ie/bulmerslive_music_events_dublin.html

Picture Two is my poor attempt 😀