For some, it’s the golden memory to last a lifetime. For others, it’s a horror showreel that haunts those delicate pre-sleep moments and is best left…in the past.
MY FIRST TIME is youbloom | HEADROOM‘s look into the variously-coloured pasts of featured youbloom Music Festival artists and asks them to spill the beans on what they can remember about their very first band experiences. After all, you had to start somewhere. We just hope all the evidence hasn’t been totally destroyed.
Sarah Buckley, singer-songwriter: ‘This is my first band! When I was growing up I didn’t know anyone – family or friends – who played music so I only started playing music as an adult in the last few years!’
Cork native singer-songwriter Sarah Buckley has a talent that is almost colossal in its potential. Her style blends intuitive songwriting with a raw, honest, soulful vocal twang that recalls some of the best acousto-folk and country singers of all time. It’s a pleasure getting lost in that voice. Come see for yourself at The Grand Social acoustic stage on Thurs June 2 at 7.40pm. For fans of: First Aid Kit, Laura Marling, Bon Iver
Damien McFly, singer-songwriter: ‘My first band was named The Shoulder To Cry. I was the only one who could actually play some tunes on the guitar. I had to teach the bass player how to play bass and the keyboard player how to play keys. We played one gig at a birthday party and then it was over. Everything was so funny at that time; one gig and I felt like a rockstar.’
With a voice that recalls the late, great Jeff Buckley and a fervent style that bridges the gap between traditional and contemporary styles, the Italian-born Damien McFly is an exciting find in the world of acoustic singer/songwriters. With stripped back instrumentation and daring melodic choices, he’s one to watch. See him do his thing live on The Grand Social acoustic stage on Thursday, June 2 at 9.10pm. For fans of: Jeff Buckley, Antony and the Johnsons, Ben Harper
Ahren-B: ‘Gateway City was the first, last and only band I’ll be in. It was fun while it lasted; consistency lacked towards the end and we all wanted different things out of music and decided to go separate ways.’
Ahren-B has come a long way since we last saw him, with a sound and style that progresses relentlessly from strength to strength. His latest release, this year’s Friends With The Devil, finds Ahren-B blending blues and gospel inspirations into the mix; a heady brew when you add in his signature social commentary and sharp-as-knives delivery. We love this artist, and know you will, too. Come see him play The Workman’s Club main stage on Wed June 1 at 8.10pm. For fans of: Immortal Technique, Saul Williams, Talib Kweli
Nicola Karen Creighton/Byrne AKA Karmony, backup vox, Stone & Jezreel: ‘At the age of 8 I first sang in the Rathfarnham Inn with my uncle Eddie Creighton and the Pearse Butler Band every Sunday.‘
Dorothy Momodu AKA JEZREEL, lead vocalist, Stone & Jezreel: ‘Living Waters. (We were) a singing group in secondary school and we sang on Sundays in church. We were actually really good, LOL.’
With fresh lyrics, mixed vocals, laid-back beats, and unusual, addicting instrumental choices, Stone& Jezreel have tapped into the hinterlands of great hip-hop, and are busy blazing new trails to the frontiers of what’s possible in the genre. Infectious and satisfying, they play The Workman’s Club main stage on Wed June 1 at 10.10pm. For fans of: Childish Gambino, Asher Roth, Angel Haze
Dan, bass guitar, Toya Delazy: ‘My first band was a punk/metal band called Dutch Courage. We weren’t too bad for a bunch of angsty teenagers, although we probably spent more time getting silly than actually rehearsing. But isn’t that the point of being in a band with your best mates?’
Zulu royal (yes, you read that right), jazz pianist, producer and singer-songwriter Latoya Buthelezi spends her days crafting jazz-electro-hip-hop dancefloor fillers that have received critical acclaim in her native South Africa as well as abroad. It’s crisp, smart music with depth and groove from a backing band that have it on lockdown. Don’t miss their show at The Workman’s Club main stage on Wed June 1 at 9.30pm. For fans of: Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz, Young Money
Jay, Color Palette: ‘We were called Tension Mounting. And we were horrible! LOL. We did Rage Against The Machine covers, mostly.’
With the epic feel of some of the best to come from the 80s Manchester scene mixed with unexpected elements of hard rock and electronica, this band is a total surprise. We can’t wait to see how this translates live at The Wiley Fox on Friday, June 3 at 11pm. For fans of: The Stone Roses, Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana
We’re willing to bet some of you readers have been in bands with questionable material and even more questionable fashion sense — or have seen a band perform for the very first time. What lurks beneath the murky surface of that brain of yours? Share the memories in the comments below: