Tag Archives: Belfast


Malojian – Belfast singer-songwriter

What you may need to know…

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.



With their silky skills.

Ahmed Soda (top), age 11, and his family moved to Belfast late last year, fleeing the war in Syria.

In January, Ahmed tried out for football at local club Patrick Sarsfields, and despite some early jitters, has settled into the game helping the club break a dry spell in local under-12 silverware.

Ahmed, from the besieged city of Aleppo, also picked up a hurley for the first time in June, and is a natural, according to coaches.

Send him back.

Earlier: Dan Boyle: Who Are We And Who Are They?


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.

Rory Gallagher to be honoured with statue outside Belfast’s Ulster Hall (Planet Rock)


Fancy a run in the Gaeltacht Quarter?

Máirtín Mac Gabhann writes:

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.

Gaeltacht Quarter 10km (Facebook)


SKYMASnew single ‘No Easy Way Out’

What you may need to know…

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.



PigsaspeopleFarewell show in Belfast tomorrow night

What you may need to know…

01. Post-hardcore and noise-rock were in order for Pigsaspeople, a three-piece from Belfast.

02. Emerging in 2012, the band quickly trotted out (hurr) their debut EP, The First Four Months before settling into recording Idles & Us, written around the same time and released the following year. Debut LP The Plot Against Future Plans, released in 2014, was an underrated slab of dissonance.

03. Streaming above is the band’s now-final single, 65 Symptoms, recorded at Start Together Studios and released as part of that studio’s Singles Club.

04. They bid farewell tomorrow night, after four years of activity, with a big show at Belfast’s Limelight 2.  Also on the bill are 7.5 Tonnes of Beard, Bosco Ramos, and No Great Loss. Fiiiiiilth.

Verdict: With no shortage of either sonic or thematic heaviness, the band leaves behind a solid body of work, built on a rake of riffs.


Photo: Ciara McMullan


AshPower-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 UndertonesThe 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.

Verdict: Well-earned.



Pleasure Beachon the festival rounds

What you may need to know…

01. Belfast dream-pop five-piece Pleasure Beach are busy on the summer’s festival bills.

02. Signed to local label Faction, the band emerged late last year with debut single Go, which quickly made radio rounds, and got a Choice Music Prize nomination for Song of the Year.

03. Streaming above is the video for Go, taken from their Dreamer to the Dawn EP, released this past February.

04. Catch them next on the 25th at Sea Sessions, Longitude on July 15th, and at Indiependence on July 30th.

Verdict: Their EP is one of the strongest by a debuting Irish band in recent years. Ramshackle songcraft with much to like for shoegazers and synth nerds.

Pleasure Beach


Slomatics – Electric Breath

What you may need to know

1. Belfast doom-metal monoliths Slomatics have a new album, Future Echo Returns, enroute and available for pre-order via Black Bow Records.

2. Their fifth full-length sees them place continued emphasis on songwriting over heft for its own sake, as detailed in this interview with Stereogum.

3. Streaming above is lead-off single Electric Breath, accompanied by a mad 3D-animated piece from editor Dermot Faloon.

4. Live excursions to launch the record are likely for later this year, but until those announcements, here’s a look at the limited, gatefold, purple-and-green splatter edition of the LP.

Verdict: Fiiiiilthy tones and massive riffs at a (relatively) glacial pace. Perfect for summer barbecues and family gatherings.



Sister GhostGrowing Pains

What you may need to know…

01. Sister Ghost is the garage-rock/punk project of Co. Derry’s Shannon D. O’Neill, formerly of all-girl post-punk trio Vanilla Gloom.

02. The project has quietly been turning out singles for nearly two years now, progressing nicely from quick-and-dirty grunge, to the sum of a wide palate of influences and reference points held together by O’Neill’s distinct voice and muddy/jangly guitar dynamic.

03. Streaming above is the video for new single Growing Pains, premiering yesterday on The Last Mixed Tape. Practice is hard sometimes.

04.  Shannon is joined in a live four-piece by an assortment of good buddies from various bands on the Northern scene (that might also be familiar to Irish music blog nerds). Last seen live at Dublin’s F_ Festival, more gigging activity is sure to follow off the back of the new release.

Verdict: Think a shiny, ’80s indie-pop bijou roughed up to bejaysus with squally alt-rock and punk influences. Glorious.

Sister Ghost