MAD DADDY.

24 08 2020

A few weeks or so I wrote about a band from the Isle of Man called Voodoo Bandits. As I am missing home, my family and friends- I thought I’d make myself even more homesick by writing about THE coolest band on the Isle of Man. They’re called Mad Daddy. Fun fact- the singer is the brother of my best pal’s partner. Small world? Oh you have no idea!

In May, Mad Daddy released their 3rd EP. I was going to just focus on that, but when the music is this good you cannot ignore the greatness at all. If you’re looking for some straight up Rock’n’Roll with that filthy style that The Cramps had- then you’re going to love Mad Daddy. There aren’t many bands around that sound like this now- a lot have come and gone. Left their mark and that’s it. With Mad Daddy, you can hear something else. You feel like you’re in Nashville in the 60s- not the Isle of Man at all!

They released 2 EPs back in 2018, and let me tell you, you’ll be wanting more and more after listening to EP #3. As you go back and listen to their previous releases, you can definitely hear a band that has been influenced by so many bands but have most certainly created something of their own and done the Isle of Man so proud. EP #1 has all the makings of a great band, and by the time we get to EP #2 you know full well that this band isn’t to be messed with at all. The passion is infectious, and it makes you want to dig out some old records too and just have a great old time. They’ve had a bit of a lineup change over the past couple of years, with Matt Twist now as the drummer (he’s a BEAST!) but regardless of who is in the band, you simply cannot deny how tight the sound is and how perfect every damn song is.

I know they’ve probably been compared to The Cramps a stupid amount of times, but to be honest with you, it isn’t a lazy comparison at all. You can hear in Dolyn’s vocals that Lux has played a huge part in his style but by no means does it come across as a replica. What you hear is someone who has been influenced by the greatest band of all time, then gone on to create their own band, with their own style. Pretty sure if Lux was around still he’d love them. How could you not! Songs like One More Time (taken from EP #2) have that signature harmonica sound that makes you feel like a train is about to steamroll into your body then catapult you into the delirious and magical world of Mad Daddy. For me, their first 2 EPs are a solid way of showing the world what Mad Daddy can do but it’s EP #3 that shows us exactly who they are and again, makes you want to hear more and more from them. 

EP #2 has a more Blues feel to it, a little like EP #1 but I’m all about EP #3 because it has a more raw sound to it. Everything about EP #3 is tougher and has way more attitude. It has more of a Punk feel to it, and you’ve just to keep on hitting the repeat button on these songs! The coolest thing about EP #1 and #2 is that they were recorded live at one of the most sacred places on the Isle Of Man- Ballagroove Recording Studios (I think my uncle has  recorded there too with his band/bands.) Knowing they were recorded in this way makes you feel even more so that you’re right there in the room with them. The atmosphere on all 3 EPs is electric and just a real pleasure to listen to.

To sum up, Mad Daddy are one of the coolest bands around and their current lineup is super strong. I’m sure whatever comes next after EP #3 (maybe a full record? World tour? A national holiday named after them?) it’s going to blow us all away. Mad Daddy are a bunch of pals making straight up Punk/Rock ‘n’ Roll music to obliterate your eardrums in the most beautiful way imaginable. So if you like your music fast and like a Glaswegian kiss to the soul, then Mad Daddy are the band for you.

https://maddaddy.bandcamp.com





VOODOO BANDITS.

8 08 2020

By now you know how much I miss home, and that I haven’t been back on the Isle of Man in nearly a year. I miss the beach. I miss proper chips. I miss pals. I miss my family. I miss my brother’s dog. I miss my mum’s cat. I miss fresh air. It can’t be helped, and knowing everyone is safe and well because they shut the borders so the virus wouldn’t ruin the Island is a good thing. But still, I just want to go home. I thought my need to go home couldn’t be more heightened but the other night, I received an email from a band that are from the Isle of Man. Cue my homesickness going into overdrive.

Voodoo Bandits are 4 buddies from the Isle of Man and they are in short, brilliant. I’m not trying to put a biased view on you, but it’s the truth. They’ve got this powerful Surfer Rock feel, and knowing that there are bands on the Isle of Man that sound like this make me so proud to be from there. If I had bands like this back home when I was growing up, I may have been more sociable. Instead, I stayed in my room listening to music. You could say that I’ve been waiting for social distancing since my teens!

Initially I was going to write about their glorious new song, Backyard Wrestling but they deserve more than that. I’m going all in. I’m just going to give you all reasons possible as to why they are one of the most exciting bands around. They’ve been compared to bands like WAVVES and Hockey Dad, and even The Strokes but to be honest, they’ve got something else. Personally, I can only hear a slight nod to WAVVES and that’s about it. You can really hear a band that are truly dedicated to what they do, and are perfectionists- and that is by no means, a bad thing. You truly feel that this is a band that are sure of themselves, and they’ve only been putting music out since 2019.

Backyard Wrestling came out on the 31st July and it is a perfect Summer anthem. It makes you want to escape to the beach and laze about. I guess it’s a frustrating listen right now (unless you’re a selfish prick who doesn’t know how to SOCIALLY DISTANCE!) but it just gives you that beautiful summer mood. The one band I can liken this to is the debut record by Best Coast which coincidently, turns 10 years old this year. That record is the definition of summer and Voodoo Bandits, 10 years on, have created their own summer mood for us all to enjoy. But it doesn’t start and end with this beautiful song.

Yesterday’s Jam and and Empty Swimming Pool are two ethereal gems, and have made 2020 less crappy. Hearings songs like this just make you feel good. The lyrics have a sadness to them, but the music makes you forget that. Take the music away, and read the lyrics and you’ll see just how gorgeously poetic they are. Again, just another reason to love this band and be utterly proud of the Isle of Man. Watching their music videos, and seeing places that I know so well and seeing the beach makes me homesick but at the same time, just so proud and delighted. Sink Below is the perfect example of this, and the video could even be used as a tourism promo video for the Island. Vocally, it is still my favourite song of theirs and I adore the lyrics on this so much. They’re just an effortlessly cool and slick band. Exceptional musicians and an absolute asset to the Isle of Man!

If you’re looking for a new band to get rid of your blues, or to just make you mentally feel free- Voodoo Bandits are the band for you. There’s this perfect innocence in the songs that gives you such a freeing feeling; they are just a delight to listen to. Of course I’ve not been to one of their shows, but going by the sheer passion and drive they have on record, I’m pretty sure it will come across just swell at their shows. I love them. I just bloody love them; exciting, enthralling and a pleasure to listen to. I’m super excited to hear more from them.

You can waste your days away listening to Voodoo Bandits right here: https://voodoobandits.bandcamp.com





13TH PILLAR-All Sounds The Same (EP)

5 08 2014

13thpillar

 

I’m constantly dissatisfied with myself for never learning to play an instrument and make a noise of my own. I wish I had the ability to lock myself away in a tiny room somewhere and make my own noise, with nobody telling me what to change or add. On my own terms, my own noise. Instead, I listen to music that does this. I listen to music that answers back to anything that is expected or demanded. Like many who can’t play an instrument, I write about music instead. I’m probably dissatisfied with that too, but that’s just me. Is there always something better? I’d imagine so.

13th Pillar are a brilliant band from the Isle of Man. If you know me (sorry about that) you will know of my dislike for the place as I had a 19 year stretch there. I’ve not been to prison, sadly I was brought up there. I say brought up, I just had the life sucked out of me, fucked off to Uni and gained some much needed freedom. By freedom I mean going to gigs all the time and walking around places where nobody knew my name. Bliss. Yet with all the crapness I personally associate with the place, 13th Pillar are pretty much the best band on the Isle of Man. I’m saying this because my Uncle is in the band and also they actually are the best band on the Isle of Man. I’ve listened to a few bands from there, and even if I wasn’t related to him- I would still say they were a brilliant band.

Their new EP is bloody excellent and is only made up of 3 songs. In 3 songs you can do a hell of a lot, so don’t let that put you off. 13th Pillar sound like everything I listen to all rolled into one. They remind me of my pals Girl Tears in a sense that you can tell nobody is telling them what to do. They’ve got a fuzzy TJAMC feel to them mixed with something lucid/psychedelic. They take you on some lucid trip full of kaleidoscopic images, making your eyes ache afterwards from staring at the walls to hard. This 3 track EP is all kinds of magic. It is brutally strange and nothing but a joy to listen to. I’m a proud niece right now.

*My uncle is the one in the grey shirt, and you get a nice shot of my auntie’s head in the first few seconds as she takes some photos….*

The title track off the EP is 6 minutes and 22 seconds of euphoria; there’s no way I can compare it to anything else I’ve ever heard before because this is a different level of weird. I’m quite content with playing it over and over this evening. This EP is the kind you either play locked away in your room to weird yourself out to or you play it to your pals and weird them out to it. Basically, listen to it and get weird.

In an ideal world I’d be a millionaire so I could fly my favourite bands out to wherever they wanted to bring their shows to life. There are so many venues I can think of that would be ideal for 13th Pillar…guess I’ll have to start playing the lottery/buying scratchcards. The EP has 3 incredibly strong tracks on it that just leave you as ever, wanting more. Family bias aside, it’s one of the best EPs I’ve heard in a while.

You can listen to (and buy) the EP right here: http://the13thpillar.bandcamp.com/album/all-sounds-the-same-ep

 





KC.

11 05 2014

 

 

A loss is a painful thing to experience and is something nobody can avoid. You can attempt to shut off from the world and wrap yourself in some form of a protective bubble but something will get in and you will experience an all too frequent situation.

Regardless of how close you were to the person you have loss, you are told several clichés in order to make you feel better. At the start it is raw, your brain is in some weird state and your heart aches. The loss can be temporary or it can be permanent. The feelings however, well, nobody can tell. The beauty (and isolation) in emotions is that only you know how they feel to you. Others will be feeling the same thing, but it hits you different.

Part of me feels like I shouldn’t be writing this, but I’m a person who is more than likely too sensitive for their own good. I can cry at the sight of a cute puppy just like I can cry quite easily at all the bad happening in the world. “Better out than in” is something that probably seems quite apt.

I was born on the Isle of Man. It is home to strange things such as cats with no tails and it’s in the middle of the Irish Sea. I saw the bad in it on a daily basis when I was living there- it is far from everything I know. But if you wander round the place you will see some truly beautiful places. I miss being away from the sea because there is truly nothing more relaxing than staring out to the sea with the sea air whirling around you. Play your favourite song and stare into the unknown. Peel beach is my favourite beach on the Island; even when it is cold and pissing it down, it is still beautiful. More importantly a woman who many (myself included) regard as a fighter and just a beautiful spirit lived there.

In December 2012 I wrote about a woman named Katherine Crow who had recorded a song at Abbey Road studios in the hopes for a Christmas number 1. At the time I was working at HMV and I refused to serve anyone who was just buying one copy of the single. Why buy one when you can buy three. This sales technique worked, but I don’t have the guts (or the extremely outgoing nature) of working sales. I was just passionate about the cause, like everyone else on the Isle of Man.

On Wednesday evening Kath passed away. Aged only 39, that ugly and vile disease that affects so many took her. Cancer is part of way too many people’s lives and to live in a world where no more families or friends or loved ones had to ever endure the pain and hurt it causes, well…I just live in hope. We have to, it’s the only way.

I did not know Kath personally but like anyone who knew her story or is from the Isle of Man; they were just touched by how tough and just how bloody lovely she truly was. To write this in past tense goes beyond my head, I have to keep going back to change it because it makes no sense. I have no point as to what I’m writing, and I’m fully aware I only ever write about Music as it is all I know. But, if you knew of Kath you knew she had a gorgeous voice. I only saw her perform twice and both times I sobbed. See, I just cry too easily- especially with live music.

I remember a story she told both times; she would say she had to drink a lot during performances otherwise her top lip would disappear and demonstrated this, it was too funny and is something I’ll always remember. That voice, that humor. When I was living at home and was forced to go food shopping with my mum, we would sometimes bump into Kath outside Tesco and she just had the glowing presence about her. Just watch this interview below and see how genuine and lovely she was.

Her presence, her smile, her voice and so much more will be missed. Her strength, passion and determination was infectious and inspiring. If we can take anything from this heartbreaking and devastating event (I’m sure there is a better word, but I can’t think of it right now, sorry) then let it be the courage and passion she had.

An event is being held on the Isle of Man on 31st October til 2nd November for the Isle of Man Hospice; The Big Beat For Hospice. A group of talented musicians are going to be making a load of noise for charity. Three days of drumming, sounds perfect right? You can donate to the cause right here: http://www.justgiving.com/bbfh Just donate whatever you can for a cause that’s sole purpose is to really make a difference. You can find out more about the event on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheBigBeatForHospice

Rest easy Kath. You’ll be missed xx

 





The 13th Pillar.

4 03 2012

I’m writing this for two reasons. 1- the band are fucking AMAZING and 2- the guitarist is my Uncle.

As I’ve mentioned in a few things I’ve written, my Uncle has gotten me into some bands. Bands that have changed my life, saved my life and given it meaning. I have no idea what my life would be like if I didn’t ever get familiar with Captain Beefheart, Velvet Underground and Nick Cave. His music taste is pretty much perfect. I guess you can call this a wee thank you to him for the music he’s given me. So I’m returning the favour by writing about his band.

I don’t feel weird writing this. No one has told me to do it. I just think it is time. Given that I listen to mainly Garage rock, this just has to be done. This music will creep you out. Everything about this is just everything I love. This is the kind of music that makes you think you’re in the 60s wearing your beaten leather jacket avoiding eye contact with people you don’t like. It is just so bloody perfect.

My favourite track off the record is C’mon Chicken. It is so sinister. I want to hear in the midst of a murder scene in some gruesome and piss poor horror film. You know the kind. If I had my way (and I guess you’re lucky I never will) The 13th Pillar would be as big as half the mainstream shit you are forced to listen to. DON’T GIVE INTO IT! GO listen to these guys, you need them.

If you love the atmosphere you get from The Jesus And Mary Chain, the bluesy feeling you get from the Velvet Underground. The way a certain vocal stays with you, or how a riff just makes your soul feel like it has been shaken to the very core, a bass-line that makes you want to throw your limbs about, a drum-beat that makes you nod your head so much you feel like you’ve developed a twitch- this is the band for you.

I’d listen to these guys even if the guitarist wasn’t my Uncle. If a friend of mine heard a band and thought, “That’s a Olivia band!” They’d say it about The 13th Pillar for sure.

http://the13thpillar.bandcamp.com/

Listen to them. Love them.