One more sleep ’til youbloom!
That’s right, music freaks! Tomorrow is the June 12th, official starting date of the youbloom Dublin 2015 Music Festival & Conference, set to turn your average weekend into a bona fide rockfest you’ll be talking about for months. It’s been a wild year so far for us at youbloom HQ as we’ve geared up to bring you the best in independent music, here in Ireland as well as from across the seas. And we’ve certainly played while we worked – surrounded by all these bands and artists, you’d be crazy not to!
youbloom: HEADROOM was born of the importance of play. It’s based on the desire to get to the silly nitty-gritty; to find out more about all of the strange and interesting people who’ll be taking to the five stages this coming weekend. To put names with faces, and stories with songs, and find out how similar we all really are. youbloom is the global music village, and we’re all – artists, fans, or simply curious – part of it.
The eve of the festival marks HEADROOM’s seventh post, so we added a couple more artists’ stories to this one to give that “lucky number seven” thing a fair – fine, cheesy – shake. (No regrets!!)
We’ve had such a fun time getting to know all of the artists, and thank them heartily for calling forth their weirdest formative horrors (some maybe not so much) with us. Onward! To the Dame district! I’ll see you all there to hear how far these folks have come.
Meanwhile, for the final time, guys: Tell us about the first band you were ever in. We want the good, the bad, and the snuggly (?!?).
“My first band was an imaginary one! There were three of us, two who shall remain unnamed. It was New Year’s Eve, and we were all alone. We had a mic stand, so we were pretty well set. For the night we became Stiff Little Fingers, Talking Heads, and all the rest of our favourite bands. We spent the night miming, pretending we had an audience, at the age of 35. I knew then this was for me.”
– Clodagh Rooney, 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 first proper band that practiced more than a couple of times was really exciting for me. It was my first time being in a band as a bassist and the first time that I felt truly comfortable in a band. We played countless gigs over a few years and recorded a couple of EPs and singles. We were fairly good and people seemed to like us.”
– Brian, bass, Beware Of You
“Beware Of You isn’t my first band experience, actually. My first was a young band called Insomniac, which (formed) when I was 16, I think. Yeah, we were all pumping full of ego – me, mainly – because as we all know, drums are the loudest instrument (and the best). For about two years we rehearsed every week, which is some dedication, but in that whole time we only ever played, like, two gigs. So that band was doomed to fall (apart) from the start, I guess.”
– Anthony, drummer, Beware of You
Gutsy, ambitious new act Beware of You have been busy this year drawing blood from the stone of pop punk and creating something earnestly elemental with their loot. Showing their colours, with influences the likes of All Time Low and Paramore, they’re ones to watch. See them on Sweeney’s downstairs stage on Sunday night, 14/6, at 10.30pm.
“I (was) in a rock band called Rampant, playing shameful versions of Iron Maiden and Blink 182. I used to wear a sailor hat at all of our gigs. Cringe.”
– Fergal, violin & mandolin, The Quakers
Yes. Just yes. If you’re not hooked from the count-in; blasted into the Quakers universe like a pistol shot in a gunfight over an insult to your Pa, and buoyed along by the gospel-meets-football-hooligan dynamism, then you, my friend have no ears. Possibly also no soul. Seriously good music. These boys are riled up and fit for fightin’, and they’re not leaving without making you dance like your boots are on fire. Get shanghaied at Sweeney’s Upstairs stage on Saturday, 13/6, at 10pm.
“The first band I was in was called Java Dawn. I played bass and sang, and we sounded like a fifteen-year-old version of Bloc Party. There was something amazing about being so young, thinking after every band practice (that) you were destined (to play) Wembley Stadium within a few months.”
– Edwin Pope, 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.
“My first band was called Volume 2, a covers support band or as it was known then, a “relief” band who played support to any show bands that played in our area. The fact that we did pretty appalling versions of Zeppelin and Black Sabbath among others – at what was mainly a country and western gig – probably explains why we lasted about six weeks, our short but turbulent careers ending in ignominy when our drummer put his foot through Larry Cunningham’s (well-known Irish country music singer from the 60’s-70’s) drum kit whilst trying to save himself from falling off stage! It took me forty-five years to form my second band; the one I’m in now having been formed just over a year ago. So far all drum skins are still intact and we don’t do covers!”
– Ronan Gallagher, singer/songwriter/guitar magician, The Ronan Gallagher Band
“Siderodromophilia – an obsession with or fixation on railroads, trains or train travel.” The music of the Ronan Gallagher Band seems to summon the wanderlust in us all, with wailing strings, blues cat vocals, chugging tempos, and a whole lot of things to reminisce about as the track goes by. As though the songs are merely turns of the radio dial, picking up on a permanent station; what they capture is raw and beautiful in its simplicity. They top off the night at Sweeney’s Upstairs stage on Sat, 13/6, at 1.30 am.
“Although I play jazz and folk music now, it maybe a little surprising (to know that) the first band I was in was a metal band I started in Seattle called Aperatus. I was 16. At first I was only singing in the band. Later, after a ferry ride from Seattle to Bainbridge Island, I heard someone playing beautiful melodic music with a guitar, so I sat down next to him and asked him if I could join and he said yes. The next day I bought a guitar and have been playing ever since.”
– 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.
CHECK OUT THE FULL LINEUP HERE: http://www.youbloom.com/dublin-2015/. We’ll see you there!