Monday, 6 December 2010

Breaking up is oh-so hard to do

It's been a long time coming, we're just into different things now. You seem to have got carried away smoozing with the a-listers in the Ritz leaving me at home with hot chocolate and marshmallows (don't get me wrong, it's lovely, but sometimes I want to be the one wearing the ballgown.)
I remember when we first met, you were so funny, so clever, you opened up a world that I'd never explored before. But eventually snorting coke off a prostitute's chest just becomes a bit of a cliché, that's what you like, I know it is, I'm not trying to beat you down over your life choices...but really, the bubbles fizz in my nose and give me brain freeze.
Recently I've become distant, I do still think about you, I check up every so often (call it stalkerish) but I just like to keep an interest. Maybe the odd comment from time to time made me rethink things, and maybe that's why I've been putting this off for so long.
I hope we can still be friends, and who knows what the future could bring, but for now, I'm so sorry.
Blog...It's over

Saturday, 21 August 2010


The day the Panama Kings are no more.

(Thats not an idle threat, the boys announced they're breaking up at the Animal Disco 2nd birthday last night. It's sad, but since Franko left they've been fairly quiet, so maybe it's for the best)

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Festival Schedule 2010

Summer for the cool kids is epitomised by attending the most obscure festivals in Norn Iron and scoffing at the newbies who think they're oh so cool wearing flowery wellies even if the festival is taking place on dry tarmac. Then again, at 22 I think I'm just getting old and bitter at the influx of teenagers who long took over my queenster crown!

This year the festival scene is getting bigger and better than ever, but with even Forfey boasting Iain Archer this year (yeah bleeding Iain Archer like) I'd love a new grassroots tiny festival to take the reigns.

Unfortunately (well actually exceptionally fortunate for my finances) I am starting a new job this week, so my attendance at any of these festivals is up in the air until I manage to wangle a few days off.

And so without further ado, I present to you, the highlights of ...

Emma's summer festival 2010!


When: 3rd July (yes, yesterday)
Where: Delamont, Killyleagh
Cost: £32
Highlights: Spaniels Heart Club, Ponydance and the now legendary Scary-go-round. Music delights from The Answer, JSC, Bocs Social and Ruby Colly amongst many others. The music only takes place during one day although you are welcome to camp and there will be other entertainment from the day before.


When: 24th July
Where: Eagle's Rock, Draperstown
Cost: £40
Highlights: A musical myriad including Fighting With Wire, Duke Special, More Than Conquerors, Stand Up Guy and the lovely Pocket Billiards.

Rathlin Jigs & Rigs
When: 30th July-1st August
Where: Rathlin Island
Cost: Donation
Highlights: Notoriously secretive until dangerously close to the time the festival fundraisers have started already. Undoubtable bands will include The Jahm Band and Team Fresh. Last year saw fire dancers but it's considerably less art focused than the other festivals. After bands finish the dj's play through the night in a few of the venues allowing for an eclectic mix to suit any taste. And yes this "logo" photo is just in fact a snap of us in front of the stage last year.

When: 6th-8th August
Where: Forfey Farm, Fermanagh
Cost: £35
Highlights: Windsor Film Club along with a few similar gems from last year like Yoga and Tea and Politics. Art from Colette McHugh and Trisha McNally and of course Crooksy's Guilty Pleasures Disco - my personal highlight of last summer. Bands include Adebesi Shank, The Cast of Cheers, La Faro and Napoleon.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Cam Head Creep: aka The Belfast Ripper

The Cam Head Creep has been prowling the streets of Belfast for a couple of months now, when I fist saw him pulling down flyposters in Stranmillis he had his bike but not his trademark hat and flourescent jacket. Now he's evolved, trapping unsuspecting flyposterers all across the city, beware...he has the authority to make a citizens arrest!

This is the first recorded footage of the Cam Head Creep captured while Team Fresh were postering Botanic:

And of course, the Belfast music scene's response, courtesy of John D'arcy, A Plastic Rose, Kasper Rosa and probably a few more:

He's a strange fish...

I'm going to start posting these around town

Lost: One Belfast band.

Answers to the name "Panama Kings". Last seen a few months ago. The Panama Kings are likely to be hiding shy since their little brother Franko ran away. If seen approach softly, they're gentle folk.

The gratitude of scenesters everywhere

Photo by the ever stunning Erin Kelly

laying down lines over rhymes over rhythms...

Tomorrow I take my first plane trip of 2010 from Belfast to East midlands then an undoubtably excruciating car journey to Dent. (Excruciating only because of my inability to travel for more than an hour without experiencing extreme nausea)

Dent isn't on any so called "maps", in fact when my Dentian comrade tried to show me it on google earth a few years ago, it was still a black cloudy mass. The best way to describe its location is somewhere northish, in the Yorkshire Dales, very mountainy, a 'blink and you'll miss it' little town (even town is a bit of a stretch).
They do have their own website detailing important events in Dent...such as the next W.I. meeting.

The old posse, crew, cliqué, hareem...are meeting in Dent for a reunion coinciding with Dent Beer and Folk Festival just look at the pictures on the website, middle aged men drinking ales and cider (ohhh proper English cider) a quaint little day out. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to rip Dent to pieces.


Unfortunately, while I'm away I'll be missing two absolutely fantastic gigs! First up is Bee Mick See's return to gigging, I think this will be the first one since the Brawl in Portrush last year, he's playing in Charlies Coffee Shop supporting Axis Of on Thursday. I love Charlies as a venue, I organised a gig there last year and it's always got a good atmosphere, it has to, it's very difficult to exude bad vibes when you're packed together like drunken sardines.

Here's Bee Mick See and Lovely Denver being Belfast Yanks...What yankers!

Friday night is the long awaited launch for Team Fresh's single Rhythm Tradition. I'm pretty devastated to miss this gig as you can imagine, previous posts will confirm how much of a TF nerd I am, even Chops said it wouldn't be a Team Fresh gig without me at the front...(screaming making a fool of myself)...

I've pimped Team Fresh so much in this blog, to post another video would be bordering on a North Coast fetish, so instead I shall hush my mouth up and point you in the direction of the new Team Fresh Bandcamp where you can hear the single. If you're free and know what's good for you get yourself down to Stiff Kitten on Friday, Pocket Billiards are supporting, I'm so jealous.

Monday, 14 June 2010

No Show

As promised, the video for the last Window Seats single No Show, released at the end of March. Directed by Bryan Stewart and my good friend Jon (Daddy) Beer.
And if he sees this I will get killed for calling him Daddy Beer when refering to his work!

After the original was finished the band released a series of 7 video podcasts explaining the ins and outs of creating a music video like this. It's a collection of photographs by Ricky McQuillan who had been at their side snapping away throughout the process. Funnily enough the only photo not taken by him in the entire series was the one of him which was taken by myself!

Look out for a fleeting appearence by me in the 7th video, coincidently after the words "as the day went on the hungover promises turned up"...yes, I was very late!

Kasper Seats

It's hardly an unusual occurance for gigs to overlap in our little Belfast town, highly frustrating yes, but surely a sign from above (or more likely below) that live music more important than ever. Despite this, last Friday caused more than a few strained friendships when Kasper Rosa and Window Seats collided, releasing their EP and single respectively.

The trauma for those caught in the middle was simple, they are not pretentious musicians, both bands have humble roots and work tirelessly to increase their fanbase and further their music, they are genuinely nice people. As clichéd as that word may be!

This is Kasper Rosa's second EP, and by now fans knew the drill when their personal photos appeared with skulls over their faces (the content of some photos less flattering than others - but the less said about that the better.) Scruffy, aka guitarist Ryan, let me in on a little band trivia during the onslaught of the promotional skulls before first EP. The intention was to have three different animal skulls for the three EPs, I've forgotton the three animals he told me - rest assured they were suitably obscure enough to cause arguments in pubs. I just wonder now that they're signed by Field Records if this idea may have to go out the window, I certainly hope not and Kasper Rosa definately don't seem like the kind of band to have their colours faded just because business tells them to.

Window Seats were launching their double A-Side, Miss Midnight and Awake, the artwork for which was done by a very talented friend of mine Miss Shauna McGowan. Only two and a half months since the release of their now legendary No Show single (video/podcast for which in the next blog post) Window Seats are the true hard working epitome of what a band should be. Not only are they one of the most prolific live bands around town at the moment, heart and soul goes into every project for them. Window Seats, we salute you!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

What the fuck is trans?

Summer time again and Trans Belfast have a wealth of fun stuff to do other than drinking cider in Botanic gardens!

This year I'm doing the Event Management course (so I can feel a little more career focused) and the Carnival Drumming course (to make more noise than usual...)

No doubt I'll end up helping out in a load of the events, either that or just making a nuisance of myself and getting in the way. But the one I'm most excited about is my good friend Katie's Carnival as part of the Children's Festival!

Have a wee poke through the Trans website, the courses are open but I will fish hook anyone who takes my place because I haven't signed up yet!

...Now I'm away to drink cider in Botanic.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Emma's Emo Blog

Lovely lovely Rik from Panic Dots named my blog "Emma's Emo Blog" on his blogroll. In keeping with this I feel obliged* to pimp the next big PKs gig in Mandela which is also raising money for PIPS the Public Initiative for the Prevention of Suicide and self-harm.

*Who am I trying to kid, this gig is going to be EPIC!!!

Monday, 29 March 2010

Spreading little bit of solidarity...

Pocket Billiards

Duke Special
Back to basic norn iron choonage

Eilis Philips
Probably the only astro-physicist-bassist-singer-songwriter in Belfast...possibly the world...

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Rams' Pocket Radio

I apologise for being so completely unoriginal in my video choices. Bandwidth have some sort of monopoly over all the songs I want to blog. I rather adore bandwidth for that...

This is Pete McAuley, or in his batman-esque alter ego, the fantastic Rams' Pocket Radio. It makes me want to throw my unborn children into womb piano lessons.

Pete also plays with Silhouette (aka Shauna Tohill), this short snippit is from the Trans Belfast festival last year where I saw them play Vicky Square dome. I just love the sound that echoed around the done during this gig, I saw Heliopause in the dome too and it was equally spine-tingling. As with all the videos, this one isn't mine either!

This has been a very couple-y post, but I've been neglecting too much awesome music in the blog recently
Lisburn. I salure you.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Thursday 11th March - The Day of Good News

It began,
Job interview that morning, a very long, very detailed interview. Then met up with some lovely peeps I hardly ever see for a bite of lunch. Then away with t'boyfriend for a small alcoholic beverage, where I got given a preeeetty skirt from Mammy boyfriend too! Onwards in the day I get a phonecall saying I got the job
whoopage for me!

But here's the best part of the day.

Walking into the house there was a structuarally unsound fort in the living room, now the fort was EPIC, and in it lay some of my friends, sitting round generally partying in a homemade fort. of them complains of stomach pains, severe, mind-distressing stomach pains. She can't move so we call the ambulance and I run about going "nooo...the 999 lady said don't move" and "[name]...[NAME] where's the pain exactly?!!" as she's writing around in agony. Eventually the ambulance comes and she and her boyfriend are taken off to the hospital.

Hours later...

A text...

[name] has had a baby boy!

Yup, no one knew she was pregnant, she didn't know, but now she has a healthy happy baby boy who we're all going to dote over and make sure he grows up to be the coolest most badass mofo in the world!!
I think the fort building may have caused the early labour...but I never finished (or started) medical school.

*Please note that the most important part of this story is that I held her hand while she was having contractions and talked to the ambulance people on the phone. Therefore the baby should be called's a unisex name....

Monday, 1 March 2010

Poor Little Anglerfish

It's not his fault he looks so scary (actually that's a female, you can tell from the thingy on it's head...yes...the thingy)

I for one am no longer going to recoil when I see this little cutie pie, look at him all slimey, sure it just wants a big 'ol cuddle...

Sunday, 28 February 2010

I think I've reached a new low...

I've taken to watching an episode of the Big Bang Theory and then challenging myself to use as many of the words featured in that particular episode as possible in a game of online scrabble.

Woe is my social life...

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

'ere mate, yee from fockin' belfast ar sumfin?

Aye, it's been a while since I've done a ranting "oh my god Belfast music is the most fantastic thing in the world ever and I will fight to the death anyone who thinks otherwise!" I have had arguments about it before...scenester accusations are not welcome, in fact, I don't care, I love the fact that people I know can create something so beautiful, I'm fiercely proud of my friends and the place I come from. So here it is...

Emma's Belfast: A Musical Montage

Two Door Cinema Club

Unfortunately I couldn't find a good video of my favourite Two Door song Do You Want It All? Plus I thought this was pretty cool played acoustically. I remember the first time I saw them support someone in the Empire and being really drunk and buying the EP off Alex cos I fancied him! (haha, years later and I'm still officially scundered)


Bored Housewife

(No video I can find I'm afraid, although I'm sure I've seen one from the Pavillion before, searching "Bored Housewife on google certainly makes for interesting results....)

Justin and Meabh are two seemingly ordinary people, perfectly pleasent, charming in every way, but together they form the roguish alter-ego Bored Housewife. Lyrically, their music combines both a child-like innocence with an unhindered mischievous streak, hell-bent on exposing the human condition for the simplistic animal it is. I defy anyone to hear I Met A Girl and not giggle like a little boy saying "titmouse." The comparison to Moldy Peaches is inevitable, but the spark that makes Bored Housewife that little bit more special is the local context, although I'm not sure the Northern Irish tourist board would be altogether grateful if Oh Andy was regularly sung at Windsor Park. Probably the most unique band in Belfast at the minute, live shows notoriously descend into an audience spasming in laughter whilst Justin and Meabh look on unperturbed. Bored Housewife shove reality in your face, yes, maybe Evanescence should look into restraining orders, bunny rabbits shouldn't eat jaffa cakes but Paul Rankin...well...we all guessed anyway.

Yes she's one of my best friends but that doesn't mean I don't get to pimp her (since I'm actually also her pimp buy?! you buy?!). Ciara is Cara is Class! Go Quietly is her best song, I think she disagrees but she doesn't get a say in it, I love it!


Mental Deficiency

No seriously, this video doesn't even begin to scrape the surface of how low Mental Defiviency can go, lycra and facemasks, wireless instruments, chopped NEED to see this band live and if you don't like it you're a dead hollow shell inside.

Team Fresh

Team Fresh playing Causeway Rebel at the Brawl this year...yes that's me and tweedy at the front and yes they are my absolute favourite band in Belfast (based in Belfast that is...) and YES I know I look like a twat, but I can live with it purely for the sheer atmosphere of being front and centre during a TF gig. I've only become friends with a few of them recently but before then I can honestly say they were the band that I've seen most often that haven't had a member that I'm a good friend of.

Panama Kings

It almost seems a cliché to mention the Panama Kings, but I thought I'd start and finish this little section with probably the two biggest local bands Two Door and the PK's (apparently it's not cool to use full names anymore). They hated me for my associations with the JD set and I used to be genuinely afraid that they'd find out who I was after I heard them slagging off the set at a Kick Out The Jams recording I was at years ago. Of course as with all things I was being a stupid bitch and they were being rawkstars (the "w" is the letter of importance there) and for the most part those boys are absolute gems and I wish them the world on a platter. Just remember the little people... *cough* that would be me and Andrea chucking glowsticks at Niall's face during their massive BBC 4 Nations gig! Oh and I refuse to post the Golden recruit video with my big gob in it, it pains me that searching "panama kings" on google brings up that video as the second result...


It's funny how if you just give yourself time to breathe a lot of chaos is put into perspective. I was reading a blog, and I've been toying with the idea of neglecting to mention who's it was, however for the sake of honesty and credit where credit is due, it was Gerry Adams. Now, shock horror Emma likes politics?! This won't be a revelation to most people reading this who know me in person, but I had no idea Mr Adams even had a blog, I'm quietly impressed in fact, my mum panics anytime she has to so much as read off a computer screen. But I digress...So, reading his blog it contained pretty much what one would expect from the leader of a polerised party, I'm sure if Mr Robinson had one it would read similarly (although just how long the DUP will accept little Pete as leader is questionable). The opening to one post however caught my eye and highlighted the transience of the waves of discontent in life, my life, and especially in the murky waters of tribal politics.
"Everything is relative. That has long been the view of this Blog. The problems afflicting the political process here pale to insignificance when set in the context of what is happening in other parts of the world.

That is not to say that we should not sort out our problems. Of course not. They need dealt with urgently and efficiently. But others have bigger problems. And we need to think of them also.

There are the people in the makeshift cities of multi-coloured blankets and sheets and bits of cloth which string as far as the eye can see. There are the people who stand about in their thousands dazed and confused. Others are desperately scrabbling at mounds of debris with their bare hands in a desperate race against time to find those who might still be buried beneath the rubble. While others stand behind barred gates with hands outstretched desperately hoping for something, anything, that will keep them and their families alive."

Léargas 10th January 2010

I don't believe in god, I'm against the use of the word athiest (purely on philosophical merit) but if we're only using common lexicon then, well, colour me athiest. But, I cried when I heard Foy play this song live. And as a rule I don't cry, it's very rarely broken...

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Six Nations Saturday and Dublin Kids Behaving Badly

Nicely nestled in between Eastenders and Holby City an advert for the beginning of the six nations coverage on the BBC appeared, and slowly, suddenly, it dawned on me...this shall be the first year I have ever lived with people not rugby obsessed. 17 years of my father and 3 years of living with half the Queens ladies rugby team nicely fulfilled my need to complain. I whinged and moaned incessantly about the training cones everywhere and the muck trailed in after training, never mind the crowds of English folk who swarmed upon our house for the rugby matches hollering everytime one of the tree trunk-esque men grabbed, crouched, and ran like hell with the precious oval ball. (I'm reluctantly using the word "ball"..."ball" suggests a sphere...) Today I miss my English friends more than ever, I seem to have had more reason to talk about them today than usual and I've been reminscing about friends further afield. The old rugby crowd, tall Abi and blonde Abbie, Zener, William and Greg, all the English (and Wisconsin) side of me that I don't get to indulge in anymore. The things I would do just to be able to sit in a room filled with my old friends whilst I drink from the punch bin and ignore the shouts and jeers directed at the tv...or maybe I just miss the punch bin...


On Friday a very good friend of mine, who shall be known as Nostromo, will be filming A Plastic Rose's video for their single Kids Don't Behave Like This. All being well I should be present and make another scundering appearence in another local band's video (see: Panama Kings-Golden Recruit). Anyway, it's one of my favourite songs ever, there's nothing more satisfying than belting out "kiiiiiiids dont behave like this, kiiids dont behave liiike thiiiiiiissssss" at the stage, it's very cathartic. Hmm...


Finally, since I'm now financially challenged (yes I quit hmv) I probably won't have the chance to go to this, but I'm going to pimp it anyway! Tomorrow Rúairí of A Futurist Theatre fame is hosting the opening night of Metropolis in Dubberlin. Lets not beat around the bush here (heehee bush...) it IS fairly nerdy, there WILL be gamer and sci-fi references carpeting your face and I CAN'T think of another statement to finish this sentence. The music's going to be epic no doubt and I certainly will make it my mission to get to metropolis #2.