Archive for Steve Wall

Arthur’s Day – The ‘Hot’ Stuff?

Posted in General Tickets There Blog, INTO-NOISE!, IRISH NOISE!, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2012 by Tickets There

Now that things have calmed down, Tickets There would like to further explore the Arthur’s Day controversy the erupted within certain circles of the Irish music scene last month when Walls / Stunning front man, Steve Wall, attacked the day for promoting English artists ahead of Irish talent, given that the spirit of day is a celebration of Ireland’s most famous export – Guinness.

Steve is quoted in the Irish Times as describing this year’s Arthur’s Day celebrations as a “cynical act in pulling the wool over Paddy’s eyes”. A great number of people have supported Steve’s comments while many others (including The Minutes & Thomas Walsh of Pugwash) don’t see what all the fuss is about. From a bog standard point of view, it should be simple, an Irish festival for Irish bands – but that’s just not the way it is unfortunately. This article is not directed at Steve Wall, but rather the points he raised that a lot of other people / musicians agree with.

Diageo PLC, owners of the Guinness Brand and many others, are a British company that decided to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Guinness Brewing Company in 2009 with an international tribute to Arthur Guinness, the man who started it all. They landed in Ireland on September 24th and spearheaded a massive celebration using international music acts with a massive Proud to be Irish / Guinness drinker theme running through it. Great success, made a bit of dosh for Diageo– everyone happy. However, when it returned a year later people got the message that this was not a once off thing. Obviously the chance to generate a guaranteed annual increase in revenue was a little too lucrative for Diageo to just ignore. Fair enough, this is a recession after all and more revenue equals more money for the country and St. Jame’s Gate employees getting to stay in the job. All good, no?

So the money-making side isn’t what’s annoying Steve and supporters of his comments. It all comes down to the entertainment being used to promote this supposed Irish / Guinness festival. While Diageo promoted that fact that over 500 Irish bands were taking part in this year’s Arthur’s Day celebrations, none of those names were headline artists. Indeed, no Irish act of any sort was chosen to be a headliner at a festival that used Ireland and Irish-ness as its foundation and platform worldwide. Very unfortunate and a little disrespectful to a country long renowned for its powerful traditional music and its massive contribution to the world of internaltional music over the years….not to mention all the pints of the black stuff us good auld Irish have purchased over the years. While Arthur’s Day could have been a chance to allow home-grown talent like Le Galaxie, Jape, Ham Sandwich, Cast of Cheers, (Shudder) Fight Like Apes..etc, etc to shine on an international setting, on a day when the whole world wanted to embrace Ireland and it’s culture. A very fair point, but Tickets There can’t unanimously agree we’re afraid and it’s for one simple reason. Arthur’s Day is a celebration for a man who endorsed the idea of British rule over Ireland and proclaimed himself an Irish Unionist. Therefore, isn’t it more fitting we get British acts in to represent Arthur’s Day rather than Irish ones?

To be fair, that’s not our real reason. Unlike St. Patrick’s day (incidentally, another plastic paddy festival for a man who was 1, ENGLISH and 2, brought Christianity to Ireland – something a lot of people these days would rather hadn’t happened), Arthur’s Day is an event invented by and run by a company, not a country. Sure pubs chip in and do their part, but they aren’t answerable to Ireland or its people. It’s all for a drink and the man that invented it and it just so happens they came from Ireland. We are fortunate a company has taken a lead at drumming up some good cheer and extra business for our streets, pubs and restaurants during these bleak recession hunkered days, rather than do nothing at all like most of our national companies. None of the Irish bands mentioned in any of this are tearing up the international charts so why would they be booked as major headliners just because of where they’re from? That folks is bias, discrimination and wouldn’t be tolerated in any other form.

We must all be getting sick of Irish people attacking anything and everything in sight. Why don’t we all just attack Oxegen and Electric Picnic for not exclusively booking Irish talent as their key headliners? Or fine MCD and Aiken for not ensuring that 50% of their events are Irish based? If Irish bands want to make it in this life they’ll have to do what every other band has to do, appeal to people, sell albums and make it. They’re not being discriminated against, they’re not be cast away or anything else. This is not 1960’s London, we are no longer below the dogs. We are a respectable country with a proud musical heritage and should be able to make our way in the 21st century without Bono or hand-outs. If people higher up in the Irish entertainment world have a problem, why don’t they arrange their own festival to celebrate our music? If our bands are as big a draw as they say then certain people will make a fortune and the bands will get a larger platform.

The Irish need to stop blaming their problems on everyone else and take some responsibility for themselves. How can we ever hope to restore our pride and dignity if we keep running back to internationals, pulling on their trousers asking for more? Ireland needs to re-carve its own identity and make other countries look to us with awe and excitement, rather than berate, guilt and sulk our foot through the door.

Incidentally, Steve Wall is a man I have a lot of respect for. He’s one of the greatest song writers Ireland has ever produced and founder / driver of two bands Tickets There (and myself, Robert O’ Connor) greatly admire and enjoy. This is not an attack on him, but a criticism of any Irish band that sits around waiting for ill-gotten hand-outs. It’s tough out there but that is life as a musician (and everyone else for that matter). Stop sitting around waiting for others to open doors and do it yourselves with your music. If Ireland doesn’t suit, re-locate or get a new job. If things are made too easy, everyone will be in a band and the whole scene will water down even further. Steve fairs better than most and works exceptionally hard to keep his bands going, but it’s time Ireland stopped blaming all of its problems on the English and got up and did something about it for ourselves. Let’s just leave Arthur’s Day for what it is, celebrating the black stuff!

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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.

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.

Tickets There – Off To Temple House Music Festival!!

Posted in General Tickets There Blog, Music, News with tags , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2010 by Tickets There

Well folks, the time has pretty much arrived. This evening we’ll be grabbing the train with our glorious Editor to Sligo for showers, Big 4 (and maybe a pint if we’re allowed) and tomorrow it’s off to the Temple House Music Festival In Ballymote, Co. Sligo.

If you want to see updates, head over to Tickets There’s Editors Twitter Page and he’ll let ye know how things are going.

In the meantime, why not check out this Interview with Steve Wall from The Stunning & The Walls over at Goldenplec.com.

Talk to you all on Monday and have a great weekend!! (pray for sun!)

Temple House Music Festival Preview!

Posted in General Tickets There Blog, Music, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2010 by Tickets There

The Temple House Music Festival is just two weeks away and Tickets There is finding it hard to keep the excitement down. Three days of music, drinking, music, drinking, drinking, drinking, music and camping sounds like a lovely way to end a summer that’s already been pretty fantastic.

So now that the date is getting closer, we decided to do the very first ever Tickets There preview of a music festival. The day by day has been released by the organizers so now it’s time for TT to share the bands we’ll be viewing over the course of the three days. Please note copious alcohol consumption is not a band, this is an activity.

DAY 01: Friday September 10th

This is the day we’re really thrilled about. This is when almost all the names that prompted us to buy the tickets in the first place come together, make some noise and provide ‘the perfect opening line’ to a very promising weekend.

Tennents Main Stage

The Undertones: Obviously we’re going to see The Undertones. These boys are headlining the whole thing pretty much so there’s no missing them. Feargal Sharkey may be loooong gone but there a must for any proud Irish music fan. Catch them on the Tennents Stage.

The Stunning: Our Irish music heroes. The Stunning are easily the highlight of this whole weekend. Since splitting in the early nineties, they’ve reformed a handful of times and every performance always prompts the question, ‘why did these guys ever pack it in?’ Led by the amazing Steve Wall, this is guaranteed to be the real headline event of the whole weekend.

The Walls:Ok, so why did The Stunning ever pack it in? Because Joe and Steve Wall needed to create The Walls and in all fairness, that’s a damn fine reason. The Walls will caress you, make you feel calm and happy and then smack you around with a good dose of Drowning Pool. Not happy with that? Well wait till you hear their newest singles Carrying The Fire and Phantom Power and then you’ll be sold. The lads are coming with their two man show, a must viewing for all lovers of music, trust us.

Lucozade Stage

Peter Hook (DJ Set): Does this need a reason to go and see? It’s Peter Frickin’ Hooky for gods sake. The legend of New Order & Joy Divisoon. Always considered the most out spoken member of both bands and never a man to avoid necessary controversy. Unfortuantly it’ just a DJ set but his precene will cement this festival! He’s a must for all fans of everything post-punk, even if you just pop by to say hello on your way to The Stunning and The Undertones.

DAY 02: Saturday September 11th

Will disaster loom with this auspicious day? Did we mean auspicious, I think not. But here’s a chance for it to bring some luck back and with the bands in store for festival goers, this will be the perfect hard rocking / pop rock-tastic day to nurse hangovers and give birth to ‘the beyond’. What exactly happens to tent habitants with hangovers on day two of a festival?

Tennents Main Stage

The Riptide Movement: This is a band Tickets There is watching with great interest. We’ve done their MySpace Review and carried on with a single review over on Drop-D.ie. Now it’s time for the full guns blazing gig experience. Their newest single Hot Tramp is a perfect little slice of rock heaven and you can expect to see us front and center singling along with Hard To Explain.

Donal Dineen: Because you can’t not go and see Donal Dineen.

Lucozade Stage

The Aftermath: Our vote for the real Saturday head-liners. Anyone out there whose a fan of The Stunning will do very well to get their arses over to the Lucozade stage on Saturday and hear some perfect pop-sing along-rock from one of Ireland’s most perfect bands. Their début album, Friendlier Up Here hasn’t got a bad moment on it and judging by their newest single, Lost Procession, their second album will be a perfect follow-up. Six Days to Saturday? Not a chance, day has arrived!

RSAG: Would you believe, we’ve never seen R.S.A.G. live but all that’s about to change. Known for his incredible live performances, this is definitely one to check out for curious folks looking for the future of live performing (unless KISS have their way). Also heck the Walls two man show, both will be fantastic.

Four acts on the Saturday? Well, there’s a lot going on but with hangovers, ‘activities‘ and general wandering about, we’ll try and catch a few more but no promises.

DAY 03: Sunday September 12th

This will be a day mostly based around being destroyed with drink, being tired and not wanting to move from the stuffy, tiny tent. Never the less, we’ll do our best to catch the following groups shake their groove things.

Tennents Main Stage

The Saw Doctors: We’ve seen The Saw Doctors before and they’re well worth viewing. Great fun, classic Irish anthems you’d never buy in a million years but live all those fond eighties/nineties memories will come flooding back and a smile may even break those staunch, indie-cooler than cool faces. Don’t worry, Dublin won’t find out.

Damien Dempsey: Spent so many years slagging the man, we feel we owe him a chance. If nothing else, we’ll enjoy singing along in the hardest Dublin accent you’ll find this side of Finglas.

The Wailer’s: A must! What can you say?

Lucozade Stage

TKO: One of the best younger live bands you’ll catch on the Irish circuit these days. With inspirations like Bruce Springsteen, you’ll be hard pushed to find these guys playing a bad show.

And that’s pretty much it from us and you know what, it’s enough. There’s only so much diversity we can handle in a short space of time and we always think sitting back and appreciating few is always more enjoyable than rushing through many. Some people like to mention the 8,000 bands they fell in love with an hour ago but we’re a lot happier finding one excellent act instead. Fortunately, we have a good 20 to enjoy.

Two weeks folks, tickets are selling fast but you can still get them from Tickets.ie. This will be a great festival!

Temple House Festival Daily Line Up

Friday, 10th September
Music from 1pm – 1am
Tennents Main Stage

• The Undertones • The Stunning • The Chapters •
• The Walls • The Dub Doctor Sound System •
Lucozade Stage
• Peter Hook (DJ Set) • NYPC • Paddy Usher Band •
• Oddsocks Revival • Society X •
Acoustic Stage
• Hamlet Sweeney • Jezzebelle •

Saturday, 11th September
Music from 12noon – 1am
Tennents Main Stage

• Howard Jones • Donal Dineen • Reef • 202s • O Emperor •
• Miracle Bell • CODES • The Riptide Movement •
Lucozade Stage
• Terry Hall (DJ Set) • RSAG • Shouting at Planes • Noise Control •
• The Trampz • The Aftermath • Little Beauties •
• The Revolutionary Commandos of the 3rd Secret of Fatima •
• Merchants of Fortune •
Acoustic Stage
• Ronan O’Snodaigh • John Conneely • Jackk & Jones •
• Bubba • James Morrin • Ester • Test 4 Echo •

Sunday, 12th September
Music from 12noon – 1am
Tennents Main Stage

• The Wailers • Damien Dempsey • The Saw Doctors •
• The Whiteliars • Preachers Son • Bipolar Empire • The Josephs •
Lucozade Stage
• The Beat Poets • My Evil Ex •
• The Danger is (Niamh Danger) • TKO • Relief •
Acoustic Stage
• Lisa McLaughlin • SIVE •
• Majella Murphy • Davide Swarup •

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.