THE MURDER CAPITAL: YES (The Pink Room) Manchester. 18th October 2019.

18 10 2019

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A very wise person once said, ‘The Murder Capital are one of the best bands you’ll ever see live.’ Not sure who it was, it was probably anyone who has ever been to their show.

Their debut record, When I Have Fears has been my crutch since my Gran died in August. It’s been that something I turn to when I have no idea what is going on and when I’m trying to get a hold of what I’m feeling. I never get hold of it; I never will. The show tonight meant the world to me for this reason, and I honestly don’t think I’m ever going to get over just how incredible it was.

 The Pink Room at YES tonight was completely rammed. It was full of people who were clinging to these songs. The Murder Capital are a band of the people, and my god they are a band to be utterly proud of. James’ is one of the most enthralling front men I’ve ever seen. He’s got the presence that will make him be likened to Nick Cave. The band are just the most captivating and passionate band you’ll see. During songs, James leans over to Damien, Gabriel and Cathal and plants gentle kisses on their heads- it is such a simple moment, but you just know how much it means.

 

 

When I Have Fears is one of the most hard-hitting records of the year. Before they play On Twisted Ground, James announces “This is for everyone who should be here.” I immediately think of my Gran and my friend who took her life in the summer this year. I cry. I cry for many reasons. Some obvious and some not. All reasons I try to grasp every day. I wish I could say this show was a form of healing, but I won’t heal, and I’ve accepted this. What I can say is that this was one of the most emotional, passionate and important shows I’ve ever been to. With just one record, The Murder Capital have created something we expect from bands who are playing huge venues and have numerous of records- but The Murder Capital are different.

 Watching the band, you simply cannot get over just how immense the experience is. The way Diarmuid annihilates his drumkit, and makes you feel like the stage is going to crumble because of the sheer weight of his playing, this merges so perfectly with James’ vocals which can be grand yet delicate. The band are exceptional at creating tender moments on their songs, and the bring it out so well in their live shows. I love when they all completely let go in their heavier songs like More Is Less and Feeling Fades and I love seeing the quieter moments where you can see them take everything in. You can really tell that this isn’t just a band to them, it isn’t just a job. It’s their life. And as a fan, that’s how you feel. They go beyond being just a band; they are just everything. Simple as really, yet it holds a lot.

 Everyone goes apeshite to More Is Less, Green and Blue and set closer, Feeling Fades (stage invasion from the Happy Couple was great, and James launched himself into the crowd!) And the tender moments in songs like Slowdance I and Slowdance II are just so perfect. For Everything is belted out by the band and is also sung back to the band by the crowd even louder. These are the moments that make you realise that you have seen something truly special; this will probably be the last time we see them in such small spaces. They’ve just announced a tour for early next year, and it’s only a matter of time before they start selling shows out in seconds. They are such an important band, and they aren’t afraid to vocalise the issues many want to shy away from.

 Don’t Cling To Live reads as a poem, but when you see this live it becomes an anthem. It is one of those songs that regardless of where you hear it (live or in your room) it changes you. It becomes part of you; it has something that makes it such a gorgeous composition. Seeing it live is truly something else. Seeing The Murder Capital live is truly something else. Once you see them, that’s it. It takes over you. In an ideal world I could be at their shows every single night. They hold so much power in their music; it can break you, then heal you, then break you again. It’s an emotional rollercoaster for sure, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

 

Aside from being way too close to people who thought talking all the way through the show was appropriate, I can safely say that this was one of the most personal and captivating shows I’ve ever been to. It’s hard to put into words just how exceptional the show was, and I think anyone who has seen them or even just loves the band knows what I mean. There are some bands that just love beyond words, and The Murder Capital are exactly that. There are no words good enough to describe this band and all they mean to me. It was such an intense experience, and although it was over all too quickly it has left a lasting impression that is permanently etched upon my heart.

 Tickets for their tour next year are now on sale. Buy them and go sing your heart out.

*Photo by JustGrayce





FONTAINES D.C. : Dogrel.

27 09 2019

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This is a record that I should have written about the day it was released, but I wanted the record to really sink in before I even got started on this. It’s a heavy record- in both sound and lyrically. It isn’t a record to casually listen to. It is a record to invest yourself in, and to completely focus on. The past few weeks or so, Dogrel has been a record I have constantly listened to. Over and over. I think I’m now ready to put my thoughts about it out there.

I’ve not read any opinions on this record, but I’m assuming it is loved by so many. How couldn’t it be? It is one of the most important records of our time, and is an astounding debut. For a band to have this much power so early on is something to really treasure, and to keep a close eye on. Fontaines D.C. aren’t a band that are going to just fade away with what they have done on Dogrel they are likely to keep on doing. They have made songs that will last a lifetime and more, they are a band to hold dear and lean on. How did we get this far without them?

 

 

Big opens the record; a song that sets the tone for the record and how Fontaines D.C. are surely going to take over. They give hope for those for may have been held down, told they can’t do something and made to feel like they can’t get out of their situation. It’s a song for lost souls who know there is something more out there for them. Grian pours his heart out on this and it something that is occurs throughout the whole record. Too Real and Television Screens are the songs that you know are chanted right back at the band at their shows. Every single song on this record has the feel of an anthem. You can imagine crowds singing this on the terraces, in the pub, on a walk home from a night out or just being at home and shouting them out like your life depends on it. These songs are made to be heard, but also screamed along with. Grian doesn’t scream, but his voice has the same power as if he is. You cannot help but soak up everything he sings. The band are lovers of poetry, and that is something that is apparent throughout this record. They aren’t just songs. They are poetic symphonies that have so much heart and passion. There’s a Beat Poet style about them, and I am completely in love with it. It’s a style of poetry that is just stunning, and they have their own take on it that’s beautifully portrayed in their songs.

There have been so many astounding records this year. Records from bands that we have been in dire need of, bands who are just getting started but make you feel like you’ve had their music in your collection for all your life. Bands that have this urgency in their sound that makes you feel like nothing can touch you. Dogrel is the kind of record you would use as a shield to protect yourself from the world. There is so much nostalgia in this record, but Dogrel also has hope for the future. This record is the future, Fontaines D.C. are the future. I can safely say that I have not become completely obsessed with just one song on this record. It has been every song that I have been in awe of. As soon as it ends, I start the record all over again. However, to mention Television Screens again- I just have to say that the vocals on this are my absolute favourite as well as the drums. I love the gentleness on this song, but how the lyrics are so hard-hitting and get you right in the gut.

Fontaines D.C. are a band that we are in dire need of. They aren’t afraid to be painfully honest to be so open in the topics they touch on. They talk about their city (Dublin) in a way that makes you connect it to your own hometown. You connect with the frustrations, the passions, the struggle of daily life. They give it to you in a way that makes you feel like it is your own story.

 

 

Dogrel is clearly one of, if not THE most fascinating records of the year. It is rowdy, poetic and brutal. It is a bold statement that oozes charm and bravery; something that we are so desperately in need of.





THE MURDER CAPITAL: When I Have Fears.

16 08 2019

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Some find beauty in things like flowers, sickly sweet gestures and the like. Others want the less conventional type. I’m with them. Within this darker side of beauty is this vulnerability and honesty that is found nowhere else. It makes us curious, and it can heal. I don’t want to get too personal, but I recently lost a friend. They took their own life and of course those left behind are constantly thinking “What if I did this…what if I said…” anything, everything runs through your mind. Every fucking day. It is so permanent, it is so final. There’s no comfort, so all you can do is think about them. What used to never touch you can cause you to cry at a drop of a hat. I’m too sensitive, but I won’t change that. Music has been something I’ve always leaned on, but the past few weeks I’ve not really paid much attention, I’ve not wanted to listen to anything at all let alone write about it. That was until, today.

The Murder Capital are one of the most brutally honest bands around. They are fearless, exposed and powerful with their music. What they have done with When I Have Fears is something truly special. It’s a record that gives you comfort, it will be scary and you feel every single word beautifully poured out in this hypnotising record. Is it the record of the year? Well, if you’re into making lists then it definitely is. I can just give you the straight up fact that it is. These Dublin lads show us how to be brutal in the most beautiful way possible, and James’ vocals will tear you apart but will also make you feel less alone, and vulgar.

 

 

When I Have Fears is a security blanket. It is safe yet unsafe. It will break you, then fix you. You’ll heal, then fall apart again. It is every emotion physically and mentally possible. James unleashes these hard-hitting lyrics in ways no one else could do. He spews them out as if he is ridding his body of venom and I am completely in love with it. I love the sheer passion that The Murder Capital have, and for me, with this record they have truly let us in on things others are afraid to dive into.

More Is Less is one of those songs that you just know will electrify their live shows. The way in which the line, “If I gave you what you wanted, you’d never be full” is brimming with this exceptional rage that just makes you feel so connected to the band. There is absolutely no denying just how phenomenal The Murder Capital are, and with this record they have done something that you don’t get from a lot of debut records. This is a band that WILL be heard- you simply cannot silence a band like this, and why on earth would you even want to?

There is something mournful about this record, and maybe it could be down to personal loss within the band whilst recording- either way, there is so much comfort in this record. For me, it couldn’t have come at a better time. We sometimes need something bigger than us to cope, for me it is music. For me it The Murder Capital. As the rain pours from the grey sky here in Manchester today, I can’t think of a better place to completely and utterly devote myself to listening to this record to. When I Have Fears is the kind of record I could write about constantly. It’s also a record I know I am going to find new things to be in awe of and fall in love with every single time I listen to (which will obviously be daily.)

Although I have made no comparisons here, I’d like to add that When I Have Fears reminds me of discovering The Birthday Party for the first time, and to then become further obsessed with Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. Poetic darkness and eternal wonder in the lyrics and music- it’s something I cannot get enough of. Every song on this record is easy to be obsessed with. I cannot get enough of Feeling Fades. Don’t Cling To Life is easy to just cherish and lose yourself in. Love, Love, Love closes the record and just makes you want to start the record all over again. Make it never-ending. Just keep this phenomenal record on repeat.

 

 

When I Have Fears captures every feeling we are conditioned to ignore or be scared of. The Murder Capital bring you in to feel every ugly feeling possible, and to own it. Let them break your heart and fix you with every listen.





THE MURDER CAPITAL.

13 05 2019

 

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With a name as dark, and as sinister as The Murder Capital- you’d hope that their sound is every part moody and brutal. They go beyond that, and in turn it makes them one of the most exciting bands around. I know nothing about The Murder Capital, but I sure as hell know I love their sound. I love how heavy it is, and I love this beautiful and magnetic darkness in the music and lyrics. There is honesty, there is eeriness and there is a wonderful glimpse of vulnerability within their songs. There is so much about The Murder Capital that makes them such an effortlessly brilliant band. There is something about them that stirs something within you, and once it grips you- that’s it.

Last month they supported Idles, which just shows how talented they are. Imagine being at that London show seeing two of the best bands around. Does it get better than that? Probably not.

There is this gorgeous desperation in the music, and it is evident on the song Green & Blue, where James’ vocals just shatter your heart in a way no other song has. His voice is powerful, but not in an overbearing way. He has this tone to his voice that can be brutal when needed but is fragile at the right moments. He truly shows this on Green & Blue. The Murder Capital have a distinctive sound that has you hooked on them immediately.

I wanted to wait a while before writing about them, because I really wanted to take the time to get to know the music rather than do my usual passion ramble about something I love. I’m aware it is annoying. The Murder Capital have got two songs up on their Spotify page, and those two songs are enough to make you fall in love, and believe in them. You just know that something truly remarkable is going to happen with them. I can’t wait to see it, I just know that when their debut record comes out- it’ll blow us all away. But in the meantime, I’ve got Feeling Fades (which has been produced by the genius that is, Flood) and Green & Blue on a loop. However, look below and you’ll be lucky enough to watch a stunning live performance of More Is Less, which is just a masterpiece.

The Murder Capital are a band that just HAVE to be heard. They must be heard as loud as you can stand. I’ve yet to see their live shows but something tells me it’s nothing short of a magical experience that will take over every single part of you. These five pals from Dublin are really one of the most exciting and powerful bands around. They have something about them that just makes you listen. I mean REALLY, REALLY listen to them. Their sound is intense, and it is the kind of intense that is in a record by The Birthday Party. You’re constantly on the edge of something, and you never know when it’ll hit. For me, that’s something I always look for in music. I want something to always keep me on edge. Which sounds a bit fucked really considering I’m on medication for depression and anxiety! Besides, music helps me out more and having something to listen to that throws you deep into the unknown is such a powerful feeling, and one that nothing else in the world can compare to.

The Murder Capital are quite frankly, going to blow your mind. Maybe you’ll catch onto them soon. Maybe in a few months, or a year. But when they grip you, embrace it. Really embrace it because bands like this do not happen  often.

 

*Photo credit: JustGrayce





THE #1s

2 10 2013

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When I was at college I was a big fan of The Cribs. I enjoyed their Garage rock sound and probably enjoyed the fact they’re from Yorkshire too. Easily swayed, but not anymore. The Cribs played fast and their sound was unlike the rest. It’s been a while since a band has pulled off that sound in the way The Cribs did. I’ve not listened to The Cribs in some time; I sort of lost interest after 2008/2009. Typical.

There’s a band from Dublin called The #1s and they remind me of The Cribs when they first started. They play fast and with fury. You can hear a clear and raw distinctive sense of urgency in the vocals. Their songs are the kind you are supposed to scream back at them at one of their shows with sweat falling freely from your face and it trickles into your mouth as you scream the words back. The morning after, you’ll have a sore body and you’ll be unable to speak. This happened when I saw Crocodiles last month, and I’m hoping it happens tonight when I go see them. Lord knows I need it.

The #1s self-released a cassette, Italia 90 and it’s my favourite thing I’ve heard by them so far. I love how every song feels like a slight punch in the gut. I think it was released a few years ago, but since then they’ve released a 7″ on Cork/Leeds based Art For Blind Records and later this year they’ll be featuring on The Big Itch Club’s 7″ which features Faux Kings and my personal favourite. September Girls. Big things are happening for The #1s and they truly deserve it.

What I love about their music is that they are capable of unleashing all the feelings that  make us feel fed up. I feel fed up and disconnected from  most things, which is why music is a huge help. The older I get, the less I relate to everything around me. I don’t know what kind of person this makes me, but if I think about it- I just get more annoyed at myself. Music is the one thing I’ll only ever lean on because people are not permanent. And I think to be dependent on a person sort of weakens you. It’s alright to be weak though, that I know. I’m not a tough person at all. Never will be. Music is a crutch. My point is, The #1s make music that unleashes the shit feelings we feel in a very real way. All too often bands do it but you cannot connect due to how they project it all. Or how they act. Bands like The #1s are obviously true to their words, and you connect. I’m just speaking for myself, so there’s a good chance I’m wrong. But that’s okay.

The #1s have a new song called Sharon Shouldn’t which is released 4th October.  In Europe it will be released on Alien Snatch! and in America on Sorry State. The release will feature two b-sides, Boy and Girl. It is an evidential step-up from what they’ve previously released, but it is as rambunctious as their other songs. Sharon Shouldn’t is their third release; it is slightly more ferocious than their past releases but clearly shows how strong the band are. If this is the first time you’re hearing the band then I highly recommend you explore their back-catalogue. It is full of blissed-out gems that will fit any mood.

The #1s are a band anyone can relate to, and with most things in life separating ourselves from others it is good to know music is probably going to be one of the few things that bring people together.

You can listen to The #1s glorious sounds here: https://soundcloud.com/thenumberones (I Wish I Was Lonely is a good one!)