New Music – Rosie Alena, Kill Your Boyfriend, CULTDREAMS, Hotel Lux

New releases and tour dates – Rosie Alena, Kill Your Boyfriend, CULTDREAMS, Hotel Lux

Rosie Alena – Mixed Messages (single)

With a touch of the Lana Del Reys about her vocal, Rosie Alena adds a soft, trippy musical backdrop; the combination of the two resulting in a hypnotic dose of mournful psych-folk for your pleasure. Although their sounds are streets apart, the track features members of Mercury nominated pals Black Midi. Based on this astutely produced debut, it seems likely that Rosie may soon be following in their increasingly successful footsteps. Mixed Messages was released via Strong Island Recordings yesterday.

You can catch Rosie live on a string of London dates, as below:
1st December – The Windmill, Brixton
4th December – Rye Wax, Peckham (Single Launch)
8th December – Sister Midnight Records, Deptford
14th December – Lion Coffee Records, Clapton
25th January – The Shacklewell Arms, Dalston (Strong Island Recordings All-Dayer)

Rosie Alena

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Kill Your Boyfriend – Elizabeth (inc Preoccupations remix – single)

Moving on to heavier psych with attitude, Kill Your Boyfriend release their new single Elizabeth today; an impressive first release for new London label Depth Records. Hailing from Italy, the band take this track to a place where the Mary Chain meet industrialisation at its fiercest. Calling on their friend and contemporary Daniel Christiansen from Preoccupations to remix the B side, this is a furious mixing and melting of minds. If you were looking for something sinister and loud to shake things up you’re in luck. Elizabeth is available to stream and on limited red vinyl (300 copies) via this link. Kill Your Boyfriend have live dates in Italy in December and play in Manchester in January:

4th December – Rome, Klang
5th December – Avila, Humus
6th December – Palermo, PunkFunk
31st January – Manchester, The Peer Hat

Kill Your Boyfriend

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CULTDREAMS – Live dates to promote Things that Hurt 

After releasing their second album Things that Hurt on Big Scary Monsters in August, CULTDREAMS have enjoyed positive reviews for their no holds barred post-punk shoegaze songs, delivered with a sense of urgency that suggests you should sit up and take notice. Building on their live performances touring with Nervus and Milk Teeth, the duo have announced their biggest UK headline tour so far. Dates are set for early next year and look set to be as frenetic as you would hope for whilst offering a chance to catch the new songs live. Tickets for the dates below go on sale today.

February 2020
21st – Manchester, YES
22nd – Leeds, Hyde Park Book Club
23rd – Glasgow, Poetry Club
24th – Birmingham, The Sunflower Lounge
25th – Bristol, Exchange Basement 
26th – London, Boston Music Room
27th – Brighton, The Prince Albert 

CULTDREAMS

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Hotel Lux – Tabloid Newspaper (single)

Alive in the world since midnight, the new track from Hotel Lux, Tabloid Newspaper, is available to stream now and will be released via New Swan Records in the new year. With a deep punchy bass-line and their customary spit-spoken vocals, it’s like a meeting in a dark alley between The Fall’s Totally Wired and a modern day Park Life for the politically aware (I mean more politically aware than being upset at the binmen waking you up on a Wednesday). Far from the music factory approach to churning out songs of love and heartbreak, Hotel Lux paint a picture with their lyrics that puts the truth on a plate, this time throwing the ethics of the tabloid press onto the fire. It’s timely, accurate and a prodigious listen. Tour dates for 2020 will doubtless sell out quickly; you’d be wise to get your tickets soon as this band are a treat live and are playing some of the best independent venues around, dates below.

February 2020
2st – Newcastle, Think Tank
22nd – Glasgow, Broadcast
23rd – Leeds, Oporto
24th – Manchester, YES
25th – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
26th – Nottingham, Bodega
27th – Bristol, Exchange
28th – Leicester, the Cookie
29th – Bedford, Esquires
March
1st – Southampton, Joiners
2nd – Brighton, The Prince Albert
3rd – London, Waiting Room

Hotel Lux

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Words by Siobhan

29th November 2019

New Music – Hanya, Adwaith, TELGATE, Italia 90

New releases and live dates – Hanya, Adwaith, TELGATE, Italia 90

Hanya – Dream Wife (single)

With a vocal reminiscent of a pensive Long Blondes and musical references to every era from the 60s through to the current day, Brighton’s Hanya bring you new single  Dream Wife, a hazy few minutes of celestial delight to shut out the cold and rain of the winter. A solid track that will rouse your curiousity to hear more.

Fresh from supporting Honeyblood and LA Peach, Hanya play the dates below this week:
27th Nov – Brighton, The Richmond
30th Nov – Chelmsford, Hot Box

Hanya

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Adwaith – Orange Sofa / Byd Ffug (single)

Carmarthen three piece Adwaith release this double A side amidst much media interest and a nomination for this year’s Welsh Music Prize for their debut album Melyn. If you’re a fan of Warpaint or have been around long enough to recall the esteemed Throwing Muses then this could be right up your street. Keep an eye on Adwaith, their potential is huge.

Live dates in the pipeline:
13th December – Carmarthen, Plan B
10th January – 12th – Bognor Regis, Rockaway Beach Butlin’s

Adwaith

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TELGATE – Cherrytight (single)

More from the currently bursting with talent Welsh scene – get ready for Cardiff based TELGATE to blow the cobwebs away with this tightly knit glam-punk anthem. The band’s Casper James says of the track, ‘Cherrytight is a metaphor for the backlash and social reaction to the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. The song is a poetic discussion of how the crisis which grieved the LGBTQ community was twisted to promote fear-mongering of homosexual and bisexual people and laid blame on our community… Amongst the catchy bassline and powerful flange is a protest for those queer lives who died in the shadows and those who are emerging from them today.”

Check the band’s Facebook page for news on upcoming live dates, link below.

TELGATE

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Italia 90 – Road to Hell (single)

This was meant to be a three song feature until we heard the latest offering from the excellent Italia 90. If you haven’t caught this band yet don’t delay any further; their spiky, bass driven sound evokes the best of early 80s’ new wave with the likes of Magazine and Gang of Four springing to mind. Latest single Road to Hell sees them continue to produce quality material to match their charismatic live performance. Italia 90 are touring in the new year, catch them if you can.

Dates for January and February 2020:
January
23rd – London, The Lexington
24th – Guildford – The Boileroom
25th – Cardiff – The Moon
30th – Birmingham – The Sunflower Lounge
31st – Brighton – Latest Music Bar
February
7th – Glasgow, Broadcast
8th – Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete’s
21st – Manchester – Gullivers

Listen here

Italia 90

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Words by Siobhan

26th November 2019

Interview – Health&Beauty

With songs full of powerful, turbulent tunes and chilled, floating melodies, Health&Beauty’s new album Shame Engine / Blood Pleasure is released into the world today. The Chicago band, led by founder Brian J Sulpizio, has featured a cast of acclaimed musicians over the years. We asked how things have changed and what to expect from their latest offering…

Shame Engine / Blood Pleasure will be your 7th studio album – how has your approach to making music changed over the years?

Well I’ve gotten better, haha. I’ve been working on all the aspects of music I’m engaged in at the same time, more or less. My approach changes with pretty much every record; I’m usually not interested in saying the same thing twice. I’m mostly a guitar player but I’m not like a big ‘guitar’ ‘guy’, you know? That is to say, the thing that is most interesting about music to me has very little to do with guitars. That just happens to be the world we live in – guitars everywhere, raining from the sky, choking you to death. They’re making more guitars every day- can you believe it? I’m sorry, I appear to be having a hard time answering this question.

I try lots of ways to trick myself into making something I haven’t made before. I guess my approach hasn’t really changed, because I’ve never had one, haha. I just write something whenever I have something to say, or maybe something to learn.

The first 2 tracks shared from the album, Rat Shack and Recourse, are musically fairly emotive and intense – is there a thread that links all the songs?

Recourse almost didn’t make the album. It seemed to me that it didn’t really fit with the other songs. But I sort of imagine the trajectory of the record as moving from a sense of hopelessness to a sense of hope. And Recourse fits in that sense. I think of this record as more of a document of a period of personal devastation, growth and development, more than a record with some kind of tight objective to present to listeners. Other records I’ve made I’ve wanted to say something specific… maybe this one is more like trying to listen to myself, to gain some kind of perspective.

A few of the tracks hit the 10 minute mark – how do you know when each piece of music is finished?

Well in Saturday Night and Love Can Be Kind we see the band stretching out a bit. We all get space to define ourselves there as we would like to be. Those songs can be performed in 4 minutes or 40. (Don’t worry we won’t ever do 40, haha.) Clown is 10 minutes because that’s how long it took to say the thing I needed to say with that song.

Tell us about the Chicago music scene…

Chicago’s great. Lots of excellent performers and writers. It’s a major market so almost any US tour will stop in Chicago, so you get stuff from all over the world and a great pool of people to play with in town. There’s a bit of a self-hating element to the city but I think even that is changing as new generations come on the scene.

Who else have you been listening to lately that you’d recommend?

Kendra Amalie’s new record on Beyond Beyond Is Beyond is fantastic. Her older record Thankful is also great. I’ve loved her music for a long time; glad others are starting to hear. I’m on tour right now with JR Bohannon, his new one is a ripper. Low’s record from last year really hit me hard; love it! Lina Tullgren is up to cool things and is fantastic to see perform, solo or with a band. My partner Whitney Johnson, who does the Matchess project, is in a duo project with Natalie Chami called Damiana; their record should be out soon and it will blow your mind. The end-of-year holidays are coming soon so definitely also check out the Blowfly Christmas record.

Aside from the album what’s been noteworthy in 2019 for you?

My favourite thing about 2019 has been identifying some cultural artefact or trend from the 20th century and saying “twenty” and then whatever that year was. For example, we might be impeaching our president soon, and they did that before in 1998, so you might say “twenty nineteen ninety-eight!” Or like I have a friend who thought Lack sounded like the late 1960s, so he goes, “Twenty nineteen sixty-eight!”

Something very noteworthy for me this year has been the remission of a lot of negative feelings I had for a long time. I attribute this to being in talk therapy and would encourage basically anyone to get into therapy.

And what’s next for Health&Beauty?

Not playing many shows in Chicago next year, but we’re going to get started recording again right away while also touring periodically. I’m fooling around with Ableton a bit. Maybe I will trade in my guitar for a faster computer for Ableton. I also really enjoy recording and/or mixing other people’s records so I hope to continue doing that.

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Shame Engine / Blood Pleasure is out today on Wichita Recordings. You can catch up with Health&Beauty here and watch the video for Recourse below.

Interview by Siobhan
Photos via One Beat PR, band shot © Alexa Viscius

22nd November 2019 

Live – The Ninth Wave + Walt Disco at The Green Door Store

The Ninth Wave / Walt Disco, The Green Door Store Brighton, 17th November 2019

Over the years Glasgow has borne an illustrious list of musical talent and the tradition seems to be in no danger of stopping any time soon. Touring with their now complete two part debut album Infancy, The Ninth Wave arrive in Brighton bringing a slice of synth driven avant garde swathed in red lights and distorted strobes.

As an added bonus, support comes from their near neighbours Walt Disco. With a performance brimming with the glam and fervour of the 80s’ Blitz Kids, the band go from strength to strength live, adding their own brand of contemporary glittering new wave pop to the heady influences from the past. Finishing up with riff laden Drowning in your Velvet Bed, they receive the warmest of receptions. Not content with choosing between style and substance, Walt Disco have copious amounts of both, with a captivating vocal thrown in for good measure.

With their reputation building and live dates across the country selling out, The Ninth Wave are heading very conspicuously out from under the radar to grab the attention of fans and the music press alike. Their performance, like their sound, is dark and intense at first glance but there are undeniably lighter dance hooks beneath the goth-art density of tracks like Half Pure. With nostalgic nods to The Cure, Japan and possibly even Tears for Fears if they’d been up all night watching Klaus Nomi videos, the double vocal is hypnotic and urgent at the same time. With the crowd left shouting for more, their set is over all too soon and there is little doubt that they could be filling much bigger venues in the not too distant future. Theatricality aside, The Ninth Wave are developing a stockpile of strong songs and a presence that suggests greater things to come.

Get both of these bands firmly on your Christmas list… more from Walt Disco here and The Ninth Wave here

Words and photos by Siobhan

19th November 2019

Live – Interstellar Food Drive at The Dockyard Club

Interstellar Food Drive, The Dockyard Club Portsmouth, 9th November 2019

Gathering together a wealth of local talent, this year’s Interstellar Food Drive made its home at the Dockyard Club to host a day of live music and art installations. In return, all that was asked for the ticket price was a donation to Portsmouth’s Food Bank. It’s a worrying, ongoing phenomenon that people have to rely on food banks for survival but they’re a resource that is still very much needed in a lot of communities across the country. Put together through the collaboration of Strong Island Recordings, Velvet Candy, Crocodile Nightmares, Pie & Vinyl and Calamity Cratediggers, the day proved again to be an innovative way to raise awareness and supplies. Check out our gallery below…

You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons

Emptifish

Horseflies

Dad Hair

The Gary 7

Photos by Hannah Mesquitta

18th November 2019

 

Live – LIFE + Night Flowers at The Green Door Store

LIFE / Night Flowers, The Green Door Store Brighton, 11th November 2019

With venues showing mixed fortunes in opening and closing around Brighton, it’s good to see The Green Door Store continuing to play host to some packed shows across differing music genres. Tonight is a great example of that with hazy dream pop quintet Night Flowers opening up for their sonically abrasive punk pals LIFE.

There’s a buzz around both bands and Night Flowers take the opportunity to treat the crowd to songs from their new album Fortune Teller, opening with some definite 80’s guitar influences on Lotta Love and the shimmery Merry-Go-Round. Think Fleetwood Mac via Soccer Mommy and Alvvays and you have a glimpse into the embracing warmth of Night Flowers’ sound. Despite their quip that ‘You can blame LIFE if you don’t like us’ there are no worries on that score as their songs are well received and it seems they may well have picked up some new fans along the way – their perfect pop harmonies are a welcome prelude to what’s to come later in the night. Night Flowers end their set with Fireworks – the vocal rather than pyrotechnic type but still a captivating show and a clear sign that it’s well worth checking out their recorded material.

As expected, things take a slightly more disorderly turn as LIFE take to the stage and change the tempo, kicking straight into Excites Me and some fine dance moves to boot. A lot of fans have clearly come from the IDLES’ camp but if you take the music at face value it’s more akin to the wrath of Dead Kennedys mixed with the cynical humour of Half Man Half Biscuit, and definitely has some depth amongst the plethora of angry post-punk that’s filling the current airwaves. That said, LIFE are not shy of adding a political tone or tackling social issues in their music with tracks including Half Pint Fatherhood and It’s in Your Hands prompting the inevitable mosh pit and expeditions from stage to crowd. It’s a strong performance and it’s fair to say that everyone goes home happy. Also with a new album on the table, take a listen to A Picture of Good Health for more.

Check out more from LIFE here and Night Flowers here

Words and photos by Siobhan

13th November 2019

Book Club – Tim Burgess: One, Two, Another

Tim Burgess: One, Two, Another

’Life’s a bag of Revels, I’m looking for the orange one’ (Polar Bear, 1995)

If you’ve seen Tim Burgess playing live, solo or with The Charlatans, you’ll know that it’s inevitably a happy experience. It looks like he loves what he does, like it’s still fresh, still surprising, and that’s infectious. It’s no secret that things haven’t always been plain sailing but his performing, and now writing, is approached with an honesty that is refreshing and endearing; if this was a tale of fiction you’d be rooting for the lead character to come out on top. As it is, it’s real life and the same applies.

With the release of his third book One, Two, Another this week, we get another opportunity to jump into his world and hear the stories behind the lyrics. Covering over 70 tracks spanning his career, each set of lyrics is followed by a personal annotation of their background, some funny, some sad, some a gift to the trivia collector, all painting pictures that together form a fascinating diary of the last 30 years. Having covered the autobiographical element in his first book Telling Stories, then delved into his love of vinyl and record shops in Vinyl Adventures, Tim takes us behind the scenes of the words that we’ve all come to know and love, citing influences from Bob Dylan to Wu-Tang Clan.

Tim recalls reading the printed song lyrics in Smash Hits (a ritual familiar to all those of us growing up before Google became a default) and the process of writing and hearing people’s reactions to the end product, saying, ‘My songs have recurring themes: love, loss and euphoria, and many are dreamt up as smiley, throwaway oysters. But I never know what the pearl is until the audience sing along with me.’

There are many pearls in the catalogue and it’s great to read about everything from the trips across the States to the northern nightclub bouncers that all played a part in creating some of his best loved songs across the years. As you read the book you’ll want to dig out your records and fall into the safety net they offer, pulling in your personal nostalgia and memories of times past and loved ones lost and found to match his stories. There’s a lot of truth in the lines:
‘Here comes a soul saver
On your record player
Floating about in the dust’
(Here Comes a Soul Saver, 1995)

A past Record Store Day Ambassador, collaborator with his peers (he speaks in the book of achieving his ambition of working with Paul Weller on Spinning Out) and a constant champion of new artists, Tim’s more recent tracks and albums on his own and with The Charlatans play just as important a role in the story – and who knows what the future memories from these will be?

2017’s Plastic Machinery contemplates the feeling of being pulled into the political quicksand of the current climate:
’So, let’s just run
Even if only in our heads
Leave all of this behind
Unless we could stand still’
With his immediately recognisable guitar riffs featuring on the track, Johnny Marr comments, ‘Tim Burgess is a crusader and vinyl’s epic voyager. He knows why pop’s art, a culture and a cure. Learn and listen. He knows good things.’

Johnny’s right – clear your Sunday afternoon, dust down your turntable, grab a copy of the book and enjoy.

One, Two, Another is published by Little, Brown UK on Thursday 14th November 2019

Words by Siobhan

12th November 2019

Live – Warmduscher + Lazarus Kane at Chalk

Warmduscher / Lazarus Kane, Chalk Brighton, 8th November 2019

As intro music goes, Welcome to the Jungle is up there as a bold choice and as the opening riffs kick in, Lazarus Kane hits the stage at Chalk, Brighton’s newest venue risen from the ashes of The Haunt. With an immediate crowd reaction, and it’s a big crowd, it’s obvious that there’s a lot of anticipation for the support act tonight. Having recently released the mesmeric Narcissus through Speedy Wunderground, it’s a pleasure to see its live incarnation along with a set full of equally high calibre material.

With discernible nods to Talking Heads, New Order and a spoken drawl straight from Larry Hagman’s finishing school, the Lazarus Kane ‘family’ keep energy levels high with bouncing synths, guitars and drum machines. It’s a powerful performance and it surely won’t be long before they’re taking the headline spot on bigger stages; I’m very much looking forward to seeing what comes next. For now, they leave us with a sound recommendation, ”Who’s excited for Warmduscher? They got the slickest tunes and the slickest trousers I ever saw!” And you can’t say fairer than that. 

Warmduscher do indeed bring an array of slick trousers and with them a huge set of  tunes blending post punk and pulsating electro sleaze. Heading straight into Big Wilma, the party atmosphere starts and doesn’t let up for the next hour. Bringing their atypical new album Tainted Lunch on tour, the tracks are received with the reverence of old favourites with highlights in Midnight Dipper, Grape Face and the wonderfully titled Disco Peanuts. And there are some actual old favourites interspersed throughout the setlist too; the mix of thumping bass, rap and soul laden backing vocals of Standing on the Corner hard to beat.

Crossing over genres the way they do, it’s hard to define Warmduscher’s sound or style. In reality, all you need to know is that this is a band that have plucked the best elements of their past musical forays and melded them into a force of nature to be reckoned with. It’s less dirty dancing, more filthy disco – let’s hope there’s more to come. I’m always wary of slinging around the ‘gig of the year’ accolade but with these two acts in one night, this has to be a serious contender.

A double recommendation – click through for more from Warmduscher and Lazarus Kane

Words and photos by Siobhan

11th November 2019

Live – Feeder at Portsmouth Pyramids

Feeder, Portsmouth Pyramids, 1st November 2019

Tonight’s sold out show at Portsmouth Pyramids marks the start of Feeder’s UK tour in support of their new album Tallulah. There’s clearly still a lot of love on the south coast for the guys and I have to admit that, back in the day, I used to love Feeder. Seeing them play at HMV on Commercial Road to promote the single Crash back in 1997 was insanely good fun, and my mates and I never missed a show when they were in town. Though shortly after the release of their second album Yesterday Went Too Soon, both me and Feeder went our separate ways, and it would appear we’ve both changed since falling in love 23 years ago. But, 10 albums in, Feeder are still going strong and you know what? Fair play to them.

Back to the show though, and frontman Grant Nicholas announces that “Tonight is a night for new music!” A quick glance at tonight’s setlist torpedoes any hope I had of hearing an old classic such as Stereo World, Cement or W.I.T. but I’m probably the only one here who cares. Kicking things off with new album opener Youth, the set ticks along nicely enough at a steady pace. It’s only when they break into fan favourite Come Back Around that the crowd actually begins to move about a bit. Halfway through, they play Kyoto which is a lot heavier than anything else they’ve played this evening, and it’s a welcome relief from the slower material that’s come so far. Still, the end of the set draws on older material that seems to get everyone dancing (particularly Buck Rogers – the song about a CD player, player, player, etc.)

Tonight’s encore is rounded off with Just a Day, by which point teenage me feels a little sad that he didn’t get to relive those glory days by crowdsurfing to Tangerine. But, I can’t help leaving with nothing but respect for Feeder; after all these years, they’re still a great live band, and they do what they do well.


Catch the latest from Feeder here

Words by Ryan Howarth
Photos by Hannah Mesquitta

9th November 2019

Best of 2019 – Calling all Photographers!

Best Shots of 2019 – call for submissions 

Well, it’s that time of year again… a chance to reflect on the highlights of 2019 and share them with the world! There will, no doubt, be lots of end of year lists kicking around – let’s be honest, they’ve been appearing for at least a month already. However, given that our content largely champions music and photography, we’d like our ‘lists’ to be more visual than analytical (also can’t remember what happened yesterday, never mind all year!)

Fairly soon after our launch last year we compiled Best Music Shots of 2018 which included gig and festival photos from around the world and was a really popular feature so… we’re bringing it back this year plus, if there’s enough interest, a similar feature for non live music related shots – portraits, landscapes, street photography, whatever you like. You’re welcome to take part in either or both. It’s really simple to submit; the only hard part is that it’s ONE photo only per feature so start scrolling through your albums and choose wisely…

Category A : Live Music – your shot must be of an artist or band performing live – if you have music related shots that are portraits, crowd shots, etc, these can be sent in to the other category.

Photos clockwise from left: 16 Beasley St, Sam Ryan, Mik Connor

Category B : General – any subject matter and style can be included; please ensure that your shots do not contain anything generally regarded as offensive or prohibited on social media and that you have the permission of the subject for any portrait shots.

Photos clockwise from left: Nigel King, Tim Beavis, Derek Rickman

Both categories: Max of one shot per category – please don’t send multiple shots and ask us to choose! Colour, black and white, portrait, landscape, square are all fine. You can choose to include a watermark or not; all we ask is that, if you do, please try to keep it fairly small and subtle. It doesn’t matter if you’re professional, amateur or just take photos here and there for the fun of it – as long as it’s a clear shot that will cope with being enlarged on screen – it would be lovely to have a selection across the board.

Photos left to right: Joe McKillop, Hannah Mesquitta

All you need to do is email your chosen shot with the subject as Best of 2019 to breakingglassmag@gmail.com by the closing date 3rd  December 2019 with the following details:

– Name of artist / band or title of shot
– Venue / location and / or other details as appropriate
– Month taken
– How you would like to be credited (first name / full name / professional or website name, etc)
– Max of 4 online links to your work (website / social media, etc)

By submitting you give us permission to include your shot(s) in an online feature and use to promote this and related posts on the website and social media. All images remain under your ownership and copyright and this will be stated in the feature with clear details of who the photographer is for each shot. Features will be published during December 2019.

You can check out 2018’s Best Music Shots here – the music and non-music features this year will take a similar format.

Any questions at all, please just ask. Look forward to hearing from you!

Photos left to right: Ryan Bell, Alan Campbell

Header photos:
Top left to right – 16 Beasley St, Irena Siwiak Atamewan, Juanita Mackenzie

Bottom left to right – Hannah Mesquitta, Robert H King, Alan Campbell

7th November 2019

In Focus with Caoimhe Clements

Searching out new ways to capture her university city of Belfast, photographer Caoimhe Clements is shooting cityscape and nature photography whilst building a fascinating photo project of her acceptance and desire to raise awareness of epilepsy. Here, she talks us through her work and the inspiration behind it…

‘My name is Caoimhe Clements and I am a 21-year-old amateur photographer. I grew up in a small town situated on Ireland’s east coast called Kilkeel. I am now based in the exciting arts city of Belfast, as this is where I study at university and where I do many of my photographic projects.

Growing up I have always been a creative individual and I have had an interest in photography from a very young age. One of my favourite memories as a kid was using the disposable camera, it was exciting because you couldn’t preview your images therefore you had to wait until you got them developed. Film photography is something I have grown away from over the years, although I do have plans to revisit it in the future. As for now, I am very much a digital user.

I feel that photography and taking photos in general has become such a big part of everyone’s lives from social media and the fact that every phone now has a camera, therefore everyone has access to some form of camera.

I am a big believer there is a line between someone who is a photographer, an individual who has a creative vision, and using a camera to translate what they are communicating. On the other hand, just because you own a camera doesn’t make you a photographer, a camera is a tool – it’s your creativity that creates an image. As Henri Bresson- Cartier said, you don’t take a photo, you create it, these are the words of truth about photography.

At the age of 18, I brought my first DSLR camera, a Nikon D5300, I still use it to this day, it is great. I own a standard 18-55mm lens, 70-300mm lens and a 35mm prime lens. I think sometimes a  zoom lens can make you lazy as a photographer, because instead of getting close to your subject, you can just zoom in. This is why I use my 35mm lens a lot, I saw photography in a whole new way after using a prime for the first time. Although zoom lenses are great as well, I really enjoy working with a 70-300mm, I find it really good when doing sports or animal photography. In conclusion, a prime lens makes you go the extra mile for a good photograph.

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Since May 2019 I have been working on my current project entitled From the Inside Out. This project is about documenting and exploring the subject of epilepsy. I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was a new born baby, I never found it easy to talk about, but now I have decided to make an awareness about it. The strategy I used in this project is the combination of text and image to communicate to my viewers. My project will be on public display from 2nd 28th November 2019, at the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre in Newry City, Co. Down, Northern Ireland.

From the Inside Out photograph collection:

A Journey Back in Time

This is the first image in this series. It is a document of the hospital that I used to attend growing up with my battles with Epilepsy, The Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.  After not being at this hospital for many years, A Journey Back in Time highlights how I took a trip down memory lane when I decided to do this project, by revisiting this location.

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The Room I Remember

I still remember how this room made me feel. My body was numb with fear and anxiety. I very much did not like speaking about my epilepsy and how my life was affected by it, I wanted it all to go away. I can accept it now; it is a part of who I am and we have to accept who we are as individuals.

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The Element of Prevent

This image is the third photograph in the collection. It is an image of the epileptic tablet, Keppra. It is a document of how epilepsy can be prevented by taking medication. For myself, Keppra is the medication that made my life seizure free.

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The Measure of Blood Pressure

This photograph speaks about how blood pressure can be affected by the act of having seizures. Focal seizures can cause a massive increase in the heart racing, affecting your blood pressure, while Tonic Clonic seizures can lower the blood pressure in the body.

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The Cycle Repeats

This is the final image in this collection. This photograph represents how the cycle repeats; every day children and adults are being diagnosed with epilepsy. Over 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy and that number is not decreasing.

I do plan on continuing with this project, I do not want to stop creating awareness about epilepsy. I am figuring it out as I go along, that is the beauty of art, you never stop learning.

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Over the course of the last year and a half I have started to develop my style of photography in documentary. Every photo ever captured is arguably a document of something; Documentary Photography is telling a story of how it is while Staged Photography is recreating a story.

As I said earlier, I have been living in Belfast just over a year now and from always being in a part of the city that is under full contraction, this started my interest in the idea that every time we look at these contraction sites, we are generally looking at the future of the city. We are witnessing the future of Belfast city, which I find very intriguing.  A few months ago, I started to document this idea by taking photos of the cranes. I am so amazed by them, they are strong, huge and somehow look great in an image.

The image above is a document of the contraction of the brand new Ulster University campus in Belfast city centre, which will be opened in the early 2020s. This image now hangs in the arts campus of Ulster University. I exhibited the image at the Glasgow Gallery of Photography in Scotland in May 2019. This experience was amazing, it got me thinking if my work is good enough to exhibit overseas then I have the power to create amazing photos.

I have an exhibition planned for Belfast in March 2020 and I am producing work that documents the exciting future of the city. While a lot of photographers document the past and the worst times for Belfast, and while I enjoy looking at how they create their work, it is my aim to create and produce work with a more positive approach showing the exciting future that Belfast will have. This project is still very much in its extremely early days.

Belfast is a city that has captured my heart, I love Belfast for its fantastic architecture and amazing cityscapes. I enjoy walking around and capturing architectural shots, documenting the city.

The image on the left shows Harland and Wolff in the background, with the bridges over the River Lagan in the foreground. I took this in March 2019 during the spring and I think the blue skies really complement the image.

The image on the right shows one of the most photographed buildings in Belfast. The Belfast City Hall, which marks the heart of the city centre, is located at the top of Royal Avenue which is main shopping district in the city. I created this image by placing the City Hall to the right of the frame and using that to lead the viewers eye to the buildings in the background. When I create a photograph, I don’t want to capture it like everyone else does or I am not being original. Think outside the box.

I also feel that landmarks in any city are hard to capture because so many people take photos of them every day. My advice would be to show the landmark in a different way that no one else has captured yet because you don’t want to take the same photo that everyone takes. Think about your angle, your focal length and the time of day.

Continuing on the topic of being original and thinking creatively, I enjoy combining reflection photography with night photography. I think water creates surreal reflection images, which I love.

This image shows The Obel Tower, which is in fact the tallest building on the island of Ireland. I took this image in January 2019, after a downpour of rain. You can tell,  as the water did get onto my lens but the outcome was a very contemporary abstract image which I really liked. I also feel that low angles work so well for my work, as I love putting reflections in the foreground and placing the actual building in the middle-ground or background.

I have also experimented with long shutter speed in the past, it is fun but I have grown away from it as it has become a big trend especially on Instagram. I think for me as a photographer I don’t want to follow the crowd, I want to create my own unique work. I think this is important.

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I grew up in a natural environment, with mountains and the coast beside me, therefore I developed a love for nature from a young age. As a photographer,nature would have been a subject I have been photographing since the very beginning, but now that I am based in a city environment, I missed photographing nature. Early this year I decided to become a Volunteer Photographer for the Woodland Trust which is a charity based in the UK and the North of Ireland, this way I would be photographing nature. So far it has been amazing.

The location of these images is one of the Woodland Trust’s protected woodlands in Co. Down.

The charity is about protecting woodlands, and helping to fight climate change. Myself and the rest of the team of photographers are helping them to achieve their aims by promoting these places through imagery that features on their website.

My career so far has been quite a journey, but I am excited for the near future.’

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Caoimhe – you can follow her on Instagram to keep up to date with her journey as a photographer

Caoimhe’s exhibition From the Inside Out is on display now until 28th November at:
Sean Hollywood Arts Centre, 1A Bank Parade, Newry BT35 6HP

5th November 2019

 

 

Interview – The Howlers

Perfectly fusing the haunting refrains of the Wild West with guitar and drum laden desert rock, The Howlers release their latest single Matador today. We caught up with vocalist Adam to find out what’s been happening for the band and what’s in store…

For anyone not familiar with The Howlers, give us a quick introduction – who’s in the band and how did you all get together?

So the band is just myself (Adam), Cam on the pots and pans and Guus on the big guitar, we all met in London whilst at university and it just clicked. Myself and Guus had been knocking about since day 1 jamming tunes I was writing and trying to find a bass player as Guus was originally on the kit, and then I met up with Cam in Shepherds Bush and the rest, as they say, is history – a very short history, but history nonetheless.

Since you formed you’ve established a great live reputation – is that important to you and what’s the best thing about playing live?

From the very first time we got in a room together and started practising and writing, it was always about being the best live band in the capital. We gigged so much over the first year as a band that we didn’t rehearse for 8 months and perfected our stage presence that way making sure we were loud and intense on stage as we are only a 3 piece but, after all the ferocity on stage, we are really quiet chilled out. Beforehand, its all about enjoying what we do, we give each other a big hug before and a big hug after each show, we are really self-critical and can sometimes be overly harsh on ourselves but I guess that just shows what it means to each of us up there.

Tell us about your new single Matador…

I’ve been describing it as Clint Eastwood’s Fila tracksuit and I think that’s all that needs to be said; its a natural progression from La Dolce Vita.

Any plans for an album?

We do but not quite yet,  We’ve got a lot we want to achieve before we retreat back out to the Midlands’ countryside and start grafting on our debut LP.

You’ve been getting a fair amount of airplay from well respected DJs and stations – what’s it like hearing yourselves on the radio, does it spark lots of new interest?

To be honest, most of the time we never hear ourselves on the radio. The first few times it was a bit surreal especially the R1 debut; me and Guus sat in the garden of the Shacklewell Arms in London just after a Sheafs’ gig with a pint and a headphone in each listening to it. I’ve had 1 or 2 times I’ve been driving and heard us come on the radio but in all honesty I tend to change the channel, I think it’s really self indulgent if you enjoy listening to yourself. It defo has pricked a lot of ears up and made people sit up and go, ‘Oh right, these boys mean business then’, especially in London where it’s so competitive and cliquey.

If you could choose anyone at all who would you like to hear covering one of your songs?

William Onyeabor 100% – could you imagine that cover?

And what’s next for you, what are your plans till the end of the year and into 2020?

More releases, more writing, more gigs, what more do you want from a band? We’ve been writing some of the best stuff we have ever written recently so we are really excited to get it out there, we are currently trialling and debuting new tunes as well so if you’re catching us over the rest of this year you’ll hear them…

Released via These Bloody Thieves Records today – you can listen to Matador now and get the latest news and live dates from The Howlers here

Interview and live photos by Siobhan
Header shot © Rob Blackham via The Howlers

1st November 2019