Artists and band members from the upcoming youbloom Dublin 2015 Music Festival let us poke around inside the creaky corners of their musical minds and share a little of what makes them do what they do. We’re proud to have over 50 incredible, unsigned acts on this year’s bill, so it seems only proper to get to know as many as we can before getting our blessed cotton socks rocked off for three days. So I must probingly request:
Tell us the story of the first experience you can remember having with music:
“The earliest experience I can remember is learning to play the recorder at school, around age 7 or 8. It was a squeaky, slow journey, but one that led directly on to picking up a saxophone for the first time & falling in love.” – Edwin Pope, saxophone, Mutant Vinyl
Mesmerizing, kinetic one-man electronic act Mutant Vinyl will be playing Sweeney’s Basement stage on Friday 12/6, at 1.30am. Hotly-tipped and irresistible, the live shows have attracted tons of praise – even from Sir Paul McCartney himself! Don’t miss this one.
“…I was about 3 years old, I walked into my parents sitting room…they just got a new VCR and some video tapes, (and) one of the video tapes was Now That’s What I Call Music. The first video on the tape was Kylie Minogue, “I Should Be So Lucky”. (It was) the only one I wanted to watch. My parents ended up losing the tape (read: throwing it in a skip) because they heard it so many times and went mad. (They) ended up getting me a Walkman.” – Ahren-B
Sligo-reared and soulful, Ahren-B pushes boundaries both topical and musical with his unique Irish hip-hop. His is a masterful sound, deftly navigating the choppy waters of hip-hop crossover with lyrical clarity and carefully considered – never too pushy – rock layers. He plays Sweeney’s Upstairs stage on Friday 12/6, at 9pm.
“When I was a kid, I was in a choir but I got fired. Then when I was in the school band I was moved from xlyephone (sic) to triangle; can’t believe I still can’t spell it (xylophone, I mean; not triangle!) Once I broke into my brother Jimmy’s room to mess with his drums. But still, in spite of all the Led Zeppelin posters, my first record was “Long Haired Lover From Liverpool” (by Jimmy Osmond). Then, one Christmas I remember asking my dad for “Never Mind The Bollocks” by the Sex Pistols, but I couldn’t bring myself to say “bollocks” to him. Somehow it arrived on Christmas morning, though, and my life was complete… for a while.” – Clodagh Rooney, Reverend JM’s Panic Worship
“The answer to that could be very rude, and I’m sorry that I don’t have a very juicy answer. My mother had a record that her boyfriend had given her. It was a bunch of Franciscan monks singing in a choir, recorded in a big cathedral or something like that. She used to put it on when I was going to sleep at night and I could hear it from the record player in the living room. It was a truly beautiful thing to listen to when you were finishing your day, even as a little kid. When I got older I replaced it with Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue”. Not the same, but similar.” – JM Burr, Reverend JM’s Panic Worship
One of the best things about music in Dublin is that since the city is so small, bands from wildly differing genres often find themselves drawing influence from all the other unexpected sounds around them. Reverend JM’s Panic Worship is one of the best examples of this uniquely Irish “genre-less” sound. Dark, playful melodies wind out of an assembly of unexpected instruments, played with intimate know-how. A second-to-none act, they play the Mercantile Stage on Friday, 12/6, at 9.30pm.
“The gospel music I heard in church – at the time it was the only I music I listened to. When I was 7 years old, my older sister Melissa heard me singing off-key to one of the songs, so she took pity on me and decided to teach me how to sing. Through her training I eventually became the lead singer in the choir. It wasn’t until later that I branched out and was exposed to different genres of music. During a trip to Ocean Shores, Washington, my uncle gave me my first CD player. I was 11 years old and it was the first time I got to choose the music I listened to. I would go to the thrift store in downtown Seattle that had $1 used CDs and buy 20 random ones at a time and listen to one album after another. Some were amazing and some of them I didn’t like so much but that’s how I got exposed to artists like Joni Mitchell, Lauren Hill and Nick Drake. This has influenced my songwriting today.” – Shelita Burke, singer/songwriter
Seattle native Shelita Burke is something of a perplexity, raw of voice and precocious, charmingly facebook-shy; a warrior of the ideas kind. We can’t wait to welcome her to Ireland and be transfixed. She’ll take to Sweeney’s Upstairs stage on Sunday, 14/6, at 8.40pm.