01. Despite their designation as a quartet, sax-laden spoken-word hardcore outfit Robocobra Quartet call on any of fourteen members for their incendiary live excursions.
02. Having gigged on the regular since 2014, the collective have done the festival grind, including Electric Picnic and Brilliant Corners Jazz fest, as well as having released a limited lathe-cut 7″ via Smalltown America.
03. Streaming above is the band’s debut album in its entirety, Music for All Occasions, recorded in studios and venues around Belfast city.
04. Available now in various formats from their Bandcamp. Having finished the UK/NI swing of their album launch, more UK/IE dates are likely for next year.
Verdict: Dour, downtuned, swaggering post-hardcore as a framework for world-weary spoken word broadsides.
01. Malojian is the brainchild of Belfast man Stevie Scullion, aided on occasion by collaborators Mike Mormecha and Joe McGurgan.
02. New album This Is Nowhere finds Scullion ruminating on middle-life, from parenthood, to marriage to grief, and was overseen by none other than Steve Albini, he of Big Black/Shellac, and the DIY recording gatekeeper behind some of Nirvana, the Breeders, and the Pixies’ finest work.
03. Streaming above is the video for I’ll Be Alright, taken from the record. Video directed by Colm Laverty.
04. Catch him on the road at Whelan’s in Dublin on the 26th, DeBarra’s in Clonakilty on the 27th, Coughlan’s in Cork on the 4th of December, and on the 9th at the Washerwoman in Ballina. Full tour details and more dates here.
Verdict: Scullion’s dichotomy of wringing sunny tunes from sober situations has seemingly met its match in Albini’s barebones recording work.
The late guitarist Rory Gallagher is to be honoured with a new statue outside the Ulster Hall in Belfast, where he performed many times over the years and where there’s already a plaque in his honour.
Gallagher’s birthplace of Ballyshannon in Donegal has a life-sized bronze statue, while Cork where he was raised, named Rory Gallagher Place after him in 1997. There have also been several commissioned street-art tributes, plaques and a bid by citizens to rename the airport after him.
A group of Irish-language speakers have come together in Belfast to organise the inaugural Gaeltacht Quarter 10KM race in the West of the City. The race will kick-off at 9am, Sunday 9th October with all proceeds from the registration fee going directly to the chosen charity TACA, which provides support for the development of Irish Medium Education. Every runner will then have the choice to raise money for their chosen cause, relating to the growth and development of the Irish language and Irish medium education.
01. SKYMAS are a Belfast electronic/rock duo comprised of Martin Corrigan and Nick Todd.
02. Emerging in 2013, the band have slowly been releasing a series of singles that have begun to bring them to the attention of Northern music media, including The Thin Air, who’ve called them “an act that aim straight for the sonic jugular”.
03. Above is streaming audio of the new single, as premiered on TTA’s website.
04. Available for download now via Amazon Music, with another single and attendant live engagements to follow later this year.
VERDICT: Like early Therapy?’s big-beat moments, welded to the grooves, riffs and rhetoric of Nine Inch Nails. For those who are so inclined.
Ash – Power-pop trio to receive Oh Yeah Legend Award
What you may need to know…
01. The tight-knit Northern scene continues to honour its trailblazers and forebears with the Oh Yeah Legend award, previously bestowed upon The Undertones, The Divine Comedy, Therapy? and Terri Hooley. This year, it’s the turn of Oh Yeah Music Centre namesakes Ash.
02. Potted story to save time: teenage Iron Maiden tribute band start playing power-pop in the venerated Northern tradition, fetch local management attention, rocket straight to the top after their GCSEs off the back of a genius string of three-minute bijoux; burn out and still make a low-key gem of a difficult second album; return to form and conquers the world; do effectively whatever they please thereafter, including a series of alphabetically-labelled 7″ singles released fortnightly for a year, and setting up a studio in New York.
03. Like there’s anyone left in the country that needs any further info on Oh Yeah (streaming above), or any other of that immortal run of singles in the mid-Nineties-to-early-noughties.
04. The band will be honoured by the music centre named for their globe-straddling single, at a special ceremony before they perform their album 1977 (from start to finish) for its twentieth anniversary, at the Mandela Hall in Belfast on November the 11th. Tickets on sale now.