If you’ve dug deeper and seen the boys live then you’ll know, it’s not just the frenetic work of a duo but a trio, the unnamed MuRli serves as the wingman, the fellow MC and is a key part of the energy that makes God Knows and mynameisjOhn’s stage show the best thing going in Ireland right now.
The 24 year-old Togolese MuRli now gets his own time in the spotlight with a new 7-track EP where he’s running things featuring production from mynameisjOhn and Naïve Ted.
The EP serves as a nice companion piece to Rusangano Family but also allows MuRli to establish himself through tracks like ‘Both Sides’ with its “you don’t have to be like me / I don’t have to be like you” mantra a frequent track in the live set. There is help and support from fellow MCs God Knows and Guide, as MuRli examines a dark time in his life.
“With no job, no money, and hence an eternity of time on my hands, I entered a stage of deep reflection. I started to question my earlier choices in life, and my overall role in society. What have I got to do to be more like the people around? What have I got to do to get to their levels? What’s wrong with the world? How come society seems to be on a downward slope at a time when we have achieved so much in terms of technological development, among others?”
The artwork is by the well-known Irish LA-based photographer B+.
On Sunday at Other Voices, music is our church. But before we get to the actual church St. James, there’s plenty of music to be had on the music trail.
The Clare/Limerick via Zimbabwe rap group God Knows and Mynameisjohn shake open our muscles and our minds in the afternoon before the chats at Jim Carroll’s Banter series in the back room of Foxy John’s. They forgo the use if mics and utilise high stools instead for a high energy performance that finds a more natural home later that evening in the marquee of An Chonair, as young children and their family dance around to the high kineticism of the Rusangano Family, as their album is titled.
Things are much more soothing down in John Benny’s by the bay in the afternoon where Somerville delivered an ethereal set of minimal music with electric guitar, laptop, keyboard and her quiet unassuming Galway voice. She offers solace through an acknowledgment of trying times and combined with hot ports and oysters, it reinvigorated the weary partygoers, Dingle style.
There’s more still over in Dingle district court, where Wyvern Lingo are delivering their own type of pleasing justice: big-voiced folk band pop. On the road to the stunning vistas of the Conor pass, In the Dingle brewing company building, Booka Brass Band offer a complementary prelude to Kormac’s big band later on with a Destiny’s Child ‘Survivor’ cover to a backdrop of giant beer vats. Afterwards, Cloud Castle Lake bring their high falsetto atmospherics to the same brewery floor.
A slinky sexy indie-pop triumph
In the church, the Cork/Brazil/Norwegian trio All We Are create a fine impression for themselves. Their music is slinky and funky: indie music that sounds like the xx with real grooves. We board their fan train immediately. So much so, that they might be our new favourite band.
There certainly feels like there’s some of that chemistry at play. The standing Cork drummer at the back runs the rhythm section, the singer Guro with her oversized bass sways with her instrument. The songs are sexy and breezy: tracks like I Wear You and Feel Safe occupy a delicate bright rhythm.
In thanking them, series producer Philip King says that Guro, upon watching the Other Voices Amy Winehouse film told her mother that she wanted to play that church and there’s a real sense of triumph after their performance.
Romance delivered with a cackle
While her soulful R&B songs are graceful and romantic, the real Jessie Ware is a warm-hearted cackler, a down-to-earth charming lover of Dingle whiskey and a genuine talent. She tells a story of the intimacy of OV producing a comical moment when walking through Benner’s Hotel, where her gig is about to be live streamed, only to hear a girl asking her friend “is she any good?” to whom Ware addresses on stage back through the live stream in the hotel.
But when she opens her mouth to sing, magic comes out, even just in this acoustic format with one guitar and a keyboard. She admits to having a penchant for the unrequited love song and many of hers have drama to them.
The set is chock with Sade-esque soulful ballads. There’s recent album title highlight ‘Tough Love’; ‘You And I Forever’ a song about her fellah “finally putting a ring on it”; her attempt at confident flirtatiousness ‘Kind Of, Sometimes, Maybe’ and her biggest ballad to date ‘Wildest Moments’. Ware is a genuine talent as well as a genuine lady.
Delorentos meanwhile have ended up taking the long way to a sustainable success. Their fourth album Night Becomes Light was released on Universal this year and it feels like the band have been rejuvenated. We used the same word this week but their songwriting and has evolved, as has their performance on evidence of their St. James Church performance.
A late addition, Kormac’s Big Band, a live brass-laden band lead by DJ Kormac, take inspiration from old jazz recordings, Ninja Tune-style hip-hop electronica and turntablism.
Kormac’s second album Doorsteps moved those inspirations into his own space and the result is a live show that feels less novelty and more substantial more akin to Bonobo’s big live show. There is obviously not much chance that the album guests Irvine Welsh, Micah P Hinson and Speech Debelle are here, especially as Kormac were a late addition to the church, but there’s the soulful voice of Claire Young on stage to make up for it, as the band swirl around the stage, anchored by Kormac on laptop, sampler and turntable, ever the master of ceremonies.
Walking On Cars close out Other Voices 2014 and there’s none more fitting than the hometown heroes. One of the pleasures of working on a show like this is watching a band grow. Two years ago, the Dingle band played the IMRO Other Room. Now signed to a major, their set is an acknowledgement of their growing stature on the TV show they all grew up on where clearly means a lot to them. The songs are better, the band are tighter, they’ve considered their performance. The music harks back to the American voices across the sea from Dingle, who dominated airwaves in the 90s: the likes of Matchbox 20 with modern production techniques placing their songs in the now.
It’s another triumph of a set in a day full of them. Just like the TV show itself, it’s gone from an idea to an internationally-recognised recorded music retreat to a mini-festival; a beacon of respectful light in a fast-paced world.
Minimum Maximum in Block-T on Friday night was one of the best Nialler9 gigs yet. The no advance warning on the lineup made for a special occasion and our limited capacity was sold out by 9pm as the first band took to the stage.
That band, Planet Parade, played their first gig in four years with a six-piece that showcased a new sound that traced a line between electronics and indie. It was an impressive performance of confidence and musicianship; with the recently featured songs sounding fully formed and another closing track, featuring a Paul Simon summery vibe.
In the middle, there was an energetic performance from a Limerick rap group that have put on two of the best sets I’ve seen this year. Friday night was another one. God Knows + Mynameisjohn were a high-flying, high-kicking, never-resting, fast-spitting, hype-getting, crowd-moving, always-giving joy. Check out their Rusangano Family album, one of the best of the year.
Despite a visit from the guards to the venue, who kept the party on hold for a while, we continued with a set from a band who last played to thousands of people at Electric Picnic. Le Galaxie showed how far they’ve come with a set of all new songs, which are growing in stature before they’re released. It was a powerhouse of a set, and watching them from so close up, it was fascinating to see just how good of a band they’ve come over the years. So much fun. You can win tickets to their next Dublin gig here.
Thanks to all who came down and trusted in the secret lineup experience. Special thanks to Grace, Dave, Laura, Nick, Susan, John, Stefano and all of the crew in Block-T for being such a sound bunch of people to work with. Check back here for more Minimum Maximum events in the near future or on the Facebook page. Photos by Colm Moore.
Hard Working Class Heroes today unveiled 100+ artists who will play the festival’s 12th year in Dublin from Thursday October 2nd – Sunday October 4th. This year the festival is sponsored by HMV Ireland and as is now established will feature a conference taking in mentoring, panels, advice and involvement from the tech space.
500 bands applied for the festival this year and they were judged by music people at home and abroad (including me).
Here is the list of bands that will play this year. Deeper delving into the lineup will commence here in September.
A Lazarus Soul Acrobat Affleck Arborist Atriums Benihana Benny smiles Brian Casey Buffalo Sunn Buffalo Woman Carriages Carried By Waves Cfit Ciaran Lavery Cloud Castle Lake Clu Codai Color Sound Columbia Mills Conor Walsh Contour Deaf Joe Dear Desert Death In The Sickroom Dogs Dott DVO Marvell Eamon bode Elaine Mai Elastic Sleep Elephant Eoin Dolan Fallen Rule Floor Staff Florence Olivier Frankenstein Bolts Galants Ghost Estates God Knows + mynameisjOhn Grim Hags Hare Squead Hauer Hawk His New Atlas Hugh Hick I have a tribe I’m Your Vinyl Imploded View Jet Setter Kobina Kormac little xs for eyes Liza Flume Low Sea Maija Sofia Maud in Cahoots Me & My Dog Me Auld Flower Meltybrains? Mere Moths MKAI moossmann Myles Manley Neon Atlas Old Hannah Otherkin Paddy Hanna Participant Planet Parade Princess Red Queen Contest Replete Satori Je Silences Sisters Skelocrats Sleep Mc Evox Somerville Spies Subplots Tell No Foxx The Academic The Bedroom The Black Sea Fleet The Boxing Plot The Clameens The Debutantes The Hard Ground The Late David Turpin The Loafing Heroes The Magpies The Pale The Run Ons The Shaker Hymn The Statics The Vincent(s) Tino Ras Val Normal Vann Music Voids Walpurgis Family Wild Promises Yes Cadets
The Button Factory, The Workmans Club, The Mercantile, The Twisted Pepper, Bad Bobs, The Grand Social, Meeting House Square.
The Nialler9 TXFM show airs every Thursday night at 10pm for two hours. You can listen live on 105.2FM, online, the TXFM app or if you missed it, on the listen back function on the site. The show starts six minutes in, right after the news in each hour.
The Canadian jazz-hop trio Badbadnotgood played a packed gig on Wednesday night. They were ably supported by God Knows & MynameisJohn, who unusually for a support act in The Sugar Club, had people dancing in front of the stage in the venue. Photos by Colm Moore.