Archive for Joe Wall

The Walls – Stop The Lights (Album Review)

Posted in Album Review, IRISH NOISE!, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2012 by Tickets There

If there’s one thing The Walls can never be accused of, it’s rushing things. It’s been a seven long years since the release of their last album, ‘New Dawn Breaking’, but the brothers haven’t been hanging on their laurels. They’ve toured, both as the Walls and The Stunning, released singles, an EP; all the while working away on their third release. It’s been a long time coming and no easy feat to accomplish, but finally ‘Stop The Lights’ is ready.

People who’ve seen the band live over the past two years will be very familiar with some of the material on Stop The Lights, but it still manages to sound as fresh and enticing on record as it did on stage. ‘Bird In A Cage’ opens the album with it’s wonderful gentle rhetoric and infectious poppy groove. Advance singles ‘Phantom Power’, ‘Carrying the Fire’ and ‘Stop The Lights’ sound reinvigorated and inviting; but the real focus for Tickets is on the more unheard material.

The Great Escape’ and ‘It Goes Without Saying’ are excellent pieces of music. ‘The Great Escape’ is stripped back, lasting and lonely, while ‘It Goes Without Saying’ delivers one of those catchy as a cold choruses the Walls have built their reputation on.  ‘Dead Flowers’ delivers a little rumpus into the room with heavier guitars and keyboards. Not quite ‘Drowning Pool’ but everything you could want. ‘All A Blur’ and ‘Doodlesque’ continue the positive flow before the album reaches its peak with ‘Thanks For The Photographs’ and ‘May The Road Rise’, which are both crowning achievements of the album. Equally they express the passion, honesty and incredible grasp the Wall brothers have for song writing.

Stop The Lights is out officially released on Friday, March 9th from retailers and online stores. It gets its release party in Whelan’s on March 29th before the lads hit the road for shows in Limerick and Galway. Stand by for more dates over the coming weeks.

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The Walls Announce :fund:it Campaign

Posted in IRISH NOISE!, Music, News with tags , , , , , , on January 30, 2012 by Tickets There

Perhaps a slight touch of Déjà vu  this morning for our readers, but The Walls have announced details of their Stop The Lights album :fund:it campaign. Steve and Joe have set themselves 27 days to raise €10,000 to help complete the mastering, artwork and manufacturing of the record which they hope to release in early March this year. There’s a fair whack of rewards available to fans depending on the size of their contribution including signed copies of the album, t-shirts, downloads, bonus releases, the chance to attend a song writing workshop with Joe and Steve Wall and even a once in a life time opportunity to have The Walls perform a show in your house. Please find the details below,

Our new album “Stop the lights” is almost finished and due to be released in early March 2012. It includes last summers radio hit Bird in a Cage and the just-released single Stop the Lights. This will be our third album (not including the Stunning albums). We’re really excited about it and feel the songs are as strong as anything we’ve released in the past.

Fund it is an ideal way for our fans to be part of the process and contribute whatever they feel is appropriate in a secure way…and you get handsomely rewarded for doing so . You can donate using a debit or credit card and its only debited if we reach the target.

We’ve worked with some great people in the making of this album, including Rob Kirwan who’s worked with U2 and recorded PJ Harvey’s recent Mercury Award winning album. Stop the Lights is being mastered by Geoff Pesche in Abbey Road, London. The artwork looks amazing and is being done by Conor & David, one of Ireland’s best graphic design team.

To pay for the mastering, artwork, manufacturing etc. we’d like to raise some money so we’re starting a Fund it campaign. We’ve set the target at €10,000 but we really hope to raise more as the overall costs far exceed that amount. We really appreciate you coming on board! Joe & Steve

To see the full details of all the rewards available to donators, please visit the :fund:it Campaign homepage.

The Walls –Bird In A Cage EP (EP Review)

Posted in EP Review, IRISH NOISE!, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2011 by Tickets There

Last year, Dublin / Clare rockers The Walls promised a new EP in early 2011 with an album to follow later in the year. So far they’ve delivering on queue! After spending most of 2010 perfecting and touring their two man live show, this is the first solid release of new material since 2005’s New Dawn Breaking and it has been worth the wait.

Taking material from their forthcoming album, Stop The Lights and sticking in a couple of EP only bonuses, Bird In A Cage is an excellent introduction to the bands revived , laid back sound with that striking talent for song-writing Joe and Steve Wall have made their backs on. Opening with the EP’s title track, you’re introduced to a very personal, biographical glimpse into Steve’s childhood with an uplifting chorus that’s sure to bring you back for more.

Chrome Heart brings back some early Wall’s styles with paced lead guitars, low tempo vocals and a chucky bass shoulder to lean on. Being the Walls, the song retracts and expands like nothing else but never loses it’s dead straight composure. All A Blur, also taken from the next album highlights the bands incredible talent for simple, catchy music with no frills needed to make their music any more appealing that it already is.

The Big Freeze brings to a close on a down note. Not that it’s bad, but as instrumentals go there’s not much here. Any fan out there knows the Walls are capable of much better, something that is not only obvious from their previous records, but also from the new material they’ve been playing live over the past year. All that means is we get some crackin’ tunes now and an amazing album later in the year. Not too shabby for Tickets There!

The EP can be downloaded now for €3 from The Wall’s Bandcamp page. Title track Bird In A Cage is also available as a free download on the same page.

Review: The Walls – Live @ The Odessa, Dublin (July 8th, 2010)

Posted in Gig Review, IRISH NOISE!, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2010 by Tickets There

Recession or no recession, the Odessa hasn’t changed a bit. Tickets There’s willing to bet that every man who gets their hair styled in Dublin is in tonight to sample the fine food, drink finest bottles of wine from the bar and soak up the pompous, ego pumped atmosphere. Why do we do bother? Because Live At The Odessa just won’t stop bringing good bands into the fecking place.

As usual, Tickets There (purposely) manages to miss tonight’s support. Last thing we need is a singer songwriter to get us in the mood for the legendary Wall brothers. Instead, trips to local McKenna’s in Dun Laoghaire and O’Reilly’s under Tara are all the support we need. With Murphy’s in hand (of course they don’t have Guinness, that would be too common), it’s time to stand back and soak up some relaxing new material from The Walls.

Opening with their newest single, Carrying The Fire, Steve and Joe begin the show solo with some added beats courtesy of the musical prodigy that is Joe Wall. Swapping vocals, multiple instruments and harmonies mark the early set with their experimental new live style adding a nice vibe to the show. Rather than bringing a full band on tour, The Walls are testing out a new audio-visual show which allows the rest of the band to appear on a screen behind the brothers, letting them play and interact with each other. Surprisingly enough, this new style of performing loses little of the vibe you get from a full band show with everything rehearsed and timed to a T.

Treating fans to a nice selection of material from their up and coming third album, Stop The Lights, the band are keeping their stripped back, cooler than Alaska sound going with atmospheric, ear pleasing tunes. Phantom Power sees Joe take over vocal duties with Steve mostly adding background harmonies. Having never gotten a chance to see The Walls live before tonight, Tickets There’s pleasantly surprised to see Joe knows his way around a lead guitar just as well as a bass.

Not to shy away from their older material, the band manage to knock out classics such as Passing Through, To The Bright and Shinning Sun and a thunderous performance of Drowning Pool before closing the main set and retuning for an encore comprised of Rusty Old River, a song they originally recorded as The Stunning and the Walls very own, Bone Deep.

With the gig over, it’s time to scraper and seek refuge in the cozy confines of The Stags Head with a good, Dublin born pint of the black stuff. Great night from a great band, Tickets There have our eyes focused on the next albums release. More Walls in 2010 will be a lovely thing.

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)

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 😀