Culture | ‘Earn Your Wings’ with Harp’s latest art creation

Northern Ireland’s skyline took on a different shape in the last week as Scrabo Tower was joined by another structure that soared high on the Ards Peninsula – a nine meter high pair of wings made from barley.

‘MAKE HAY WHILE THE SUN SHINES’Commissioned by local lager brand Harp as part of its ‘Look on the Harp Side’ campaign, the barley art is designed as part of Harp’s optimistic view on Northern Ireland.

Belfast based artist and designer, Gareth Martin, handcrafted the wing structure. Taking about five days to build using 250 bales of barley, the structure uses 440 meters of twine and 400 wooden stakes. Gareth, said:

It’s my first barley art installation and despite the mixed weather it was great fun to make. The design was inspired by the high quality barley ingredients and craftsmanship that goes in to the brewing of Harp and the formation of the wings are, of course, a nod to the brand evangelist, the Harp Angel.”


Making hay while the sun shines – or in Northern Ireland while the rain pours down – sums up Harp’s values and reflects the Northern Ireland viewpoint on life”, said Harp Brand Manager, Lisa Ronayne.

The art installation also helps launch a series of exciting competitions entitled ‘Earn Your Wings’, consumers will get the chance to win a free pint or experience a heli-ride with friends to take in the local landscape from a different viewpoint.

For more information on chances to win visit


Music | Watch: ‘Certified’ video by Myster-E

Irish hip-hop collective, This Side Up, have shared their latest video from group member Myster-E titled ‘Certified’.

Myster-E’s ‘Certified’ features the hip-hop artist throwing shapes of a lyrical kind about ‘where you’re from and keeping your roots as an MC’.  The track is also available for free download via SoundCloud, so it won’t be popping up in your iTunes library without permission.

Music | Watch: Speed Of Snakes release first single and video

If you are a fan of either Adebisi Shank or BATS or maybe even both, then you’ll be glad to know that Vin McCreith and Rupert Morris have been experimenting and developing Speed Of Snakes for several years.  The synthwave pop-rock outfit have released their first single, ‘Backbone Of Night,’ along with this video (above).

As a producer, Vin has worked with Cast of Cheers on their Meteor Choice Prize nominated “Chariot” and NME featured single ‘Loose Talk at a Party’ while also working with popular Irish artists Enemies, Not Squares, Spies and Le Galaxie.

The video was directed by Stevie Russell (Cannes Young Director of the Year 2012) and their début album ‘SPEED OF SNAKES’ will be released later this year.

Music | Review: ‘Sound of The Machine’ by The Wands

Danish duo The Wands have returned with a new single, ‘Sound of The Machine’, which is out before the band head to the UK this November for a short tour.

The duo are childhood friends Christian Skibdal and Mads Gräs, who have a Led Zep sound mixed with a touch of Black Keys for good measure.  Its psychedelia, its 60’s vibing, its Wanderful.

November UK Tour:

07  The Lexington, London, UK
09  The Art School, Glasgow, UK
10 Jamcafe, Nottingham, UK
11 The Stag And Hounds, Bristol, UK
12 The Roadhouse, Manchester, UK
13 The Magnet, Liverpool, UK
15 Club Psychedelia at Lennon’s, Southampton, UK

Music | Featuring X sign to Native Records

Fresh from their Guinness Amplify gigs and currently fronting a number advertising campaign posters, Featuring X have more reason to celebrate, as the all-girl band announced they have been signed to UK independent label ‘Native Records’.

A deal was struck after a performance supporting Scottish rockers Altered Sky, who are also signed to Native Records. The label’s founder Kevin Donoghue has described Featuring X as

The most exciting female indie band of their generation.”

The girls jumped on our radar, we listened to their music, did some research and were very impressed with what we saw.  We then heard the first 30 seconds of Wild Love and were straight on the phone to their management company” states Donoghue.

Launching their musical career in 2013 at just 16 years of age, Dara, Niamh, Jenny, Sarah and Eleanor has received critical acclaim with the release of their debut three-track EP release in 2013.

Now all 18 years of age preparing for college, armed with a Guinness Amplify advertising campaign and an Independent label; the five piece are back to the studio this Winter to record a new EP due for release in early 2015.

Speaking of the opportunity, lead singer Niamh Sharkey said:

For any band, signing to a label is probably one of the best achievements to reach. In our short 3 years together we have put our heart and soul into building Featuring X, and to have reached this point is nothing short of incredible for us. It means everything to us to have people behind us who believe and support us in what we wish to achieve. This is only the beginning of a whole new chapter for us as we start work with Native Records”

Theatre | Review: Singlehood at The Olympia Theatre

Una Mckevitt’s Singlehood is a six person play / stand-up show centred around the trials and tribulations of lovestruck characters.  The cast dip in and out of different characters, sometimes crossing into each others paths and at times revealing their actual love lives…or lack of!

Everybody seems to recognise Naked Camera’s PJ Gallagher and comedian Eric Lalor, but these two aren’t the only stars of the show, in fact they’re all pretty standout throughout so you couldn’t really choose your favourite.

Sexual orientation is quite open too, be it straight, gay, married, divorced or as one cast member described their character, “chronically single”.

If you like singalongs, then this play is for you.

The play doesn’t seem to have altered much from its previous run at Vicar St back in March.  The cast differs a bit, but that’s about it.

The stage production is minimal, but enough for the play.  Seven chairs for both the cast and comical love song whizz, Aidan Strangeman.  Above a projecter screen hangs with the title “Singlehood” slowly turning on, letter by letter, frame by frame.  A clever piece of production is the randomiser of names that appear during each conversation, each time displaying the characters names and age, without the cast having to explain.

The tales are frank and not at all off-putting.  They are very close to real-life situations as they audience confirm with gasps and giggles.  You’ll be laughing with the cast rather than at them.

Music | Damien Rice announces Irish show

As mentioned today on sites such as RTÉ Ten, Nialler9, and his own mailing list, Damien Rice has confirmed a number of European and US tour dates this Autumn, including a Dublin show at The Bord Gais Energy Theatre on 3 November 2014.

A limited number of tickets will be available to mailing list subscribers via from a 48-hour pre-sale window will begin on Wednesday, 17 September at 9am. and general on-sale will begin Friday, 19 September at 9am.

“My Favourite Faded Fantasy” is Damien Rice’s latest album and is due for release on 31 October 2014.

Listen to the Spotify stream of the first single ‘My Favourite Faded Fantasy’.

Damien Rice Tour Dates:

7 October – San Francisco – Congregation Sherith Israel
9 October – Los Angeles – Cathedral Immanuel
13 October – Chicago – Athenaeum Theatre
14 October – Toronto – Danforth Theatre
16 October – New York – The Box
17 October – Brooklyn – Warsaw
18 October – New York – The Box
23 October- Milan – Gran Teatro Linear4Ciak
26 October – Brussels – Cirque Royal
27 October – Amsterdam – Carre Theater
31 October – Berlin – Admiralpalast
3 November – Dublin – Bord Gais Energy Theatre
5 November – Paris – Folie Bergeres
7 November – London – Palladium

Music | Wyvern Lingo announce Dublin date following a ‘Crowd Silencing’ GoldenBeck show

All girl trio, Wyvern Lingo, will play a date at Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin on Thursday 16 October.  A new video has also been released for their latest single ‘Used’, which is taken from “The Widow Knows” EP.

You may recognise two members of the trio from Hozier’s band and they received much acclaim for their performance at GoldenBeck in The Workman’s Club last month.

Karen Cowley, Saoirse Duane and Caoimhe Barry, all multi-instrumentalists and acclaimed vocalists, have featured with acts like Zaska, Samuel Vas-Y and Trinity Orchestra,

Tickets at €12 including booking fee are on sale now from usual outlets.


Music | Review: ‘Dirty Like Rock N Roll’ by Kodakid

Kodakid have released latest single ‘Dirty Like Rock N Roll’ from their self-titled début album, which was released earlier this year.

Not so much gritty, in-your face rock, Kodakid’s sound is perfect abstraction for the soul.  Blues with a moving on attitude in Power’s vocals and Soikan’s guitar.

The band also performed the single acoustically for RTÉ 2fm at this year’s Electric Picnic.

The Official Video (above) was produced by Seven Figure Films, and was written by Elijah Egan.. Photography was done by Myles Shelly with
Caroline Kealy producing the video.

Music | Interview: A chat with Hilary Woods

Hilary Woods was best known for as the bassist in JJ72, which she joined at 17.  Back then, touring of Europe, Japan and numerous dates elsewhere meant a very busy lifestyle for her and the band.  Siting in Vice over a cup of coffee, it is clear that Woods is fearless as we talk of her shows at this month’s Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival.

But since those days of rocking the bass with fellow musicians Mark Greaney and Fergal Matthews, Ms .Woods is about to take the next step in her solo career with latest EP “Night”.

“Night” isn’t her first solo release, as a previous album titled “The River Cry” made its way onto the floor talk of many record stores in 2013. “I was relieved to step into something different” says Hilary about her break between JJ72 and her solo career, “a lot was happening with the band when I left, I was about to become a mum, delved into some arts abroad with my painting in Spain, and went to College since then.”

Hilary returned to Trinity College during the 00’s. A place she had been once before with JJ72, but now it was as a student in Philosophy and Film, “I really enjoyed College, I spent a lot of time in the Film department at Trinity”.  Some of the work on her new EP has gone back to her love for film, with footage being recorded of the theme and writing process.

For this EP, she says: “It is a bigger sound, a different process from ‘The River Cry’ (album).  We went from place to place to record parts for the tracks”

The EP is set to get its first outing with three shows in Dublin’s Smock Alley Theatre, as part of the Tiger Dublin Fringe from 18/19/20 September.  Woods’ first shows in Dublin, before heading off on a small tour with two dates in London penciled in.

“I love being a part of the Dublin Fringe, Smock Alley is an intimate space so I’m really looking forward to it”.

Tickets for the Smock Alley Theatre shows are priced €13/€11 (concession) are available now from

“Night” is out on 18 September 2014.