Album Review: John Deery and the Heads- ‘Nothing Permanent Lasts’

Permanent fixtures of the NI music scene since their inception in 2010, John Deery and the Heads have become craftsmen of the perfect anthemic folk song. Instantly creating a buzz amongst the Irish gigging scene with their debut album Smoke and Mirrors, they have continued to generate the same thrill over the last seven years. Originally formed by lead singer John Deery who along with the addition of the Heads have accumulated a loyal legion of fans and supporters.

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Successfully launching a crowdfunding campaign earlier this year assisted the band in reaching their financial target to record their third studio album. The campaign saw over 100 people contribute to the creation of their latest album ‘Nothing Permanent Lasts’. As a lovely gesture to fans that helped support their album, the artwork features the names of every Crowdfunding supporter.

The band’s third studio album ‘Nothing Permanent Lasts’ is a wonderful journey through the bands eclectic influences which they seamlessly showcase on the ten tracks. Opening with their title track, the heartfelt lyrics supported by Deery’s gentle delivery and delicate drums makes it an impassioned and sentimental song. The high spirited anthem is accompanied by a swelling and uplifting chorus ensuring that you are left humming it days later. It is a beautiful opening track and helps to set the foundations for the rest of the album.

‘Just Kids’ is a wistful analogy on the passing of time with a yearning for everything to remain how it is. Leading the song in the shape of a poetic troubadour John Deery is a charismatic and charming front man. The insightful lyrics accompanied by soothing guitar chords make the song easy listening with undertones of a bittersweet sadness. The incredibly uplifting ‘Circles’ helps to showcase Deery’s rich vocals with gorgeous layered harmonies. It is a sophisticated song with twinkling guitar and the added instrumentation helps make it something special.

Closing their album with ‘Fall Apart (Moth into a Flame)’ it feels as though we have come full circle as the band offer us yet another consummately constructed folk song. There is strong consistency throughout the whole album with a variety of laid back and chilled out songs. ‘Nothing Permanent Lasts’ is thoroughly enjoyable throughout and is the sort of record that before you realise it you’ve got to end becoming completely immersed from start to finish.

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The bands revered stomping acoustic style and dedication to the local music scene has proved to be hugely influential and inspirational to a number of fans and critics. John Deery and the heads have managed to create a collection of songs that are both epic and intimate with personal lyrics and rousing instrumentation. With songs that are so raw and authentically fragile, ‘Nothing Permanent Lasts’ is a harmoniously and emotionally significant offering of an album.

Nothing Permanent Lasts’ will be officially released on the 30th of September 2017 with a launch event in the Nerve Centre, Derry.

10 things all Stendhal virgins need to know.

10 things all Stendhal virgins need to know.

Stendhal is incredibly proud that many people have chosen us over the years to be their very first festival experience. The first time you go to a festival an be can eye opening
experience and one that stays with you for a lifetime.

For all Stendhal virgins out there who are worried about what to expect on their first time, here is a list of tips I have picked up over the years. Hopefully, just like I have had the last few years these helpful hints will make sure you have the best festival possible. Whatever happens, what you get up to at Stendhal stays at Stendhal!

1. Camping: While Stendhal isn’t the biggest festival it is certainly growing every year and picking a good site to camp is essential and will help set you up well for the weekend. Having a good collection of friends tents together will not only make sure you’ll have a good weekend but will also minimise your chance of crawling into a complete strangers tent while trying to find your own in the dead if the night. P.S No matter how early you arrive there will always be people there before you.

2. Wellies: Welly boots are both essential and inevitable. I detest wellies but without them I don’t think I could survive the weekend. I even went as far to wrap plastic bags around my feet one year so I could wear my normal shoes before finally admitting defeat and putting them on.

3. Phone Chargers: If you are one of those who likes to snap, text or Instagram every minute of your Stendhal experience then I would highly recommend that you bring a portable charging devise. As well as broadcasting live your every move you never know when you’ll need to make an emergency call for someone to come pick you up. Also having a torch app on your phone will save the day on more than one occasion during the weekend.

4. Water: You will need it and by the bucket load too. As mentioned before there is nothing worse than waking up first thing in the morning, dying of thirst and reaching out only to find more cans. The walk to the stalls to buy some is torture as your mouth is drier than the Sahara desert. So, make a bit of room in your luggage for a two-litre of water and leave some alcohol behind maybe? If only I would ever listen to my own advice

5. Food: Bring all the snacks you can possibly carry for all those hangover munchies. Mines usually consists of several different crisp variety bags because having Tayto in the morning and some Dorito’s in the afternoon makes it feel like you’re having several different meals. And after all variety is the spice of life.

6. Tissues: Either a packet of tissues or baby wipes is a necessity. While Stendhal has some of the cleanest toilets I’ve ever encountered at a festival you will count your blessings you brought them with you at your time of need. I’ve also made some of best friends standing in the toilet queue and handing out tissues. Well, best friends for the whole five mins we are in the queue together anyways.

7. Make a plan: With one of the best festival line-ups this summer it is best to plan out exactly who you want to see. Nothing worse than two of your favourite band’s clashing at the same time and trying to decide which one to miss only to discover it was the best set of their career. However, if you time it right you can see both of them, that is if you’re willing to run the whole length of the field to see them.

8. Warm clothes: All of your warm clothes are a must. One thing I have definitely learned is that my ugliest yet cosiest jumper is usually my best friend at Stendhal. For someone who is cold all the time normally, you think that I would learn my lesson and bring all the jumpers I own, but no I usually end up wearing all of my friend’s coats. Also no matter how warm it is during the day or how hot the weather said it is going to be it is absolutely baltic at night.

9. Don’t be a dickhead: I think no matter what festival you attend there will always be a few people who think it’s really cool to ruin everyone else’s weekend. Weather it’s being too drunk or just not respecting everyone around you, just don’t be that guy. With such a strong focus on being family friendly it is so important to remember that the festival is not just for you and your drunken mates, but for everyone. Stendhal is, after all, a festival that promotes peace, love, art and music so maybe let’s stick to the mantra that they’ve worked so hard to encourage.

10. BE SAFE: Probably the most important rule of any festival is to look after yourself and the ones that are around you. While festivals are an amazing place to let loose please be wary of everyone around you and most importantly make sure you take care of number one.

Review: Lore-‘Never Got Over You’

 

Five piece indie folk group, Lore have been on an impressive rise to success over the last few years. Having been nominated for ‘Best Irish Band’ and ‘Best EP’ by the Pure M Awards 2015 for their self-titled debut EP, the group have worked hard for their acclaim. Made up by a diverse collection of musicians the band has managed to bring all their capabilities and influences together to create their unique sound.

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Their second E.P ‘Believe’ which was released in spring 2016 contained their highly acclaimed single, ‘Teenage Kicks’ a cover of the renowned Undertones song.  Following this, the band played numerous UK and Irish festivals as well as supporting well-known acts such as Kila, Ciaran Lavery and Cara Dillion. The band is currently fronted by recognised singer-songwriter Carolann Carlile who is supported by Raymond O’Kane on piano, Luke McCloskey on guitar, Cliodhna McAteer on cello and Rebecca Hall on fiddle.

The band’s latest offering comes in the form of their single ‘I’ll never get over you’ which is a beautiful re-introduction to the group. Taking the listener on a journey with the song, the lyrics tell us a tale of a heartbroken lover.  The group’s name, Lore refers to the art of story-telling or folklore and is something they do incredibly well as a band. Creating emotional and expressive narratives within their songs seems to be second nature to the group as I’m sure this song will tug on a few heart strings.

Singer, Carolann’s stunning vocals help carry this track with the traditional Irish elements to her voice helping add character and sentiment to the song. The romantic yet melancholic lyrics are complemented by the beautiful piano accompaniment, helping to create that Lore magic that they bring to their songs. The quintet who has also been incredibly busy writing and recording their album has teamed up with Pledge Music to offer you exclusive offers to those who help support their release.

As well as their album, Lore will embark on their very first theatre tour this coming summer supporting the spectacular Niamh McGlinchey. Playing dates across Northern Ireland this musical collaboration is something that shouldn’t be missed.

 

Lore:  Tour Dates

Lore & Niamh McGlinchey – Roe Valley Arts Theatre, Limavady, Sat 24th June

Lore & Niamh McGlinchey – Black Box, Belfast, Sat 22nd July

Lore & Niamh McGlinchey – Alley Theatre, Strabane, Sat 19th August

Lore & Niamh McGlinchey – Bardic Theatre, Donaghmore, Sat 23rd September

Lore & Niamh McGlinchey – Market PlaceTheatre, Armagh Sat 18th November