Saturday, 17 October 2009

"We tried planting astro turf and gazebos into venues but they just weren't having any of it."

The Candle Thieves are two lovely chaps from Peterborough and I was pretty happy when I found out I had the opportunity to interview them. Their 'Sunshine EP' was released in early September and I had a chat with members Scott McEwan and Glockenshiels who aren't into your generic interview answers. On asking them to tell me a little bit about themselves, Glock told me this: "Hi! We both find our jokes worryingly too funny and we both love Domino's Pizza. Scott's even made up a name for his favourite selection of toppings." An interview that starts off like that is definitely going to be interesting!

Scott and Glock are the only members in the band and they play an amazing range of instruments, from the simple acoustic guitar, to the lesser known melodica, these guys are extremely talented but haven't completely ignored the idea of adding more members: "We kind of like it as we are right now, but definitely wouldn't rule out mixing it up a bit. Would love to do a show with a string quartet or doing a full on rock thing. There are no rules really." Scott tells me, with Glock adding, "Yeah, first rule in Glock club is, there are no rules!!!" Good to know!

This summer, instead of spending their time playing gigs in stuffy venues up and down the country, The Candle Thieves decided it would be a better idea to gig in their friends and fans gardens. Glock tells me, "We tried planting astro turf and gazebos into venues but they just weren't having any of it." To be honest, that's fair enough. "Ahhhh, of course we didn't!" Oh, well, then that's a bit more understandable. So what exactly did happen? "We did a 'Live in Your Living Room' tour last year which was so much fun that we wanted to do it all again but with a bit of a different spin on it. With 'The Sunshine EP' coming out too it felt pretty nice to be outside."

For those of you who've already heard 'The Sunshine EP' and are desperately wanting more, don't fret, because debut album, 'Sunshine and Other Misfortunes' is just around the corner: "It was recorded by Andy Dawkins and Cameron Jenkins is mixing it. It's nice to have a full length to get a few more of our sides across." Scott tells me. Glock also decided to let me in on an interesting fact about the recording of the album: "If you look back into the figures, for those couple of months we were recording, there was a soar in sales of Ginger Beer and Monster Munch in the Leeds/Headingly area." And those two items are definitely good ingredients for the making of an epic first album.

You can find out more about The Candle Thieves at

Nic Dawson Kelly - 'Old Valentine' album review

The first time I heard Nic Dawson Kelly the first thing that came to mind was Tom Jones, and now I have no idea why because the more I listen to him the more unique and brilliant he sounds. From working with musicians like Jim Barr (Portishead) and Marco Nelson (Primal Scream, Young Disciples), 'Old Valentine' has taken on a country/folk/generally quite alternative sound and each song leaves you wanting more. Songs like (first single off the album) The Musician, Marilyn and All The Pretty Bullfighters show a slow, peaceful side to Nic, with use of harmonicas and his unique shaky voice putting images of campfire songs and cowboys in our heads. But Old Valentine, Ex-Lovers and Old Friends, and Thursday 3-23 are alive and upbeat, with even a bit of a 60's/70's feel to them. Nic sounds nothing like any of the predictable folk artists who are doing oh so well in the charts at the minute, and it appears that his love of country has made 'Old Valentine' something completely new and exciting for the skinny-jean-and-tight-t-shirt-wearing youth of today. But I'm pretty sure that everyone should give it a listen; you won't regret it.

You can find out more about Nic Dawson Kelly at

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Stagecoach - 'We Got Tazers' EP review

Stagecoach formed in Surrey as a two-piece and "opted to add a new member every year until they felt they could comfortably rock a stadium." Now with just the right number of members (five, to be exact), Stagecoach released the "We Got Tazers" EP on October 5th and it's proving to be pretty damn good. All six tracks are as intriguing as each other and pull you in to listen more - First track, We Got Tazers portrays their happy nature, Break shows us their slower side and Ice Age is a bit of a indie cliche. You even get a remix of We Got Tazers thrown in there which adds to all the fun that this band clearly embody. If you like a bit of indie, a bit of electronica and a bit of confusion then this band are definitely for you. If not, you should still make sure to give it a listen.

You can purchase a copy of We Got Tazers at the Alcopop Records store ( and you can find out more about Stagecoach at

Monday, 5 October 2009

The Candle Thieves - 'The Sunshine EP' review

Peterborough band, The Candle Thieves, are just coming to the end of their 'Garden Party Tour' where they "played up and down the country, ransacking the gardens of their fans for an evening and putting on shows consisting of great music, inflatable sharks, teddy bears and chocolate". Their music is described as "a warm blend of sunshine drenched melody, punctuated with sometimes melancholic but always astute song writing made with instruments straight out of Toy town and thrown into a melting pot to produce mini pop symphonies." First track on the EP, The Sunshine Song, is full of happy little melodies, the use of synths to keep your feet tapping and with lyrics that are enough to make the heart of any conscious female melt. Second track, My Love Will Clap it's Hands for You, starts off simple before building up and becoming even more intriguing. Final two tracks, The State that I'm in and Lonely, Lonely, Lonely show us a more down beat, slightly darker side to the band but they still keep up the simple melodies and heartfelt lyrics that make their music so appealing.

The Sunshine EP is available from today on Alcopop Records ( and you can find out more about The Candle Thieves at

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Paramore - 'Brand New Eyes' album review

This album is amazing. Paramore's talents get ten times better with every record that they make and they've come a long way since the days of 'All We Know is Falling'. 'Brand New Eyes' is full of big, punchy songs like opening track, Careful, and Brick by Boring Brick, but it also has a few quieter tracks, such as Misguided Ghosts, that prove to us that these guys are definitely not a one trick pony. First single, Ignorance, is pretty much on the same level as Misery Business and is bound to be a crowd pleaser on their UK tour later this year. The album has a bit more of a religious feel to it in parts, with Hayley clearly feeling comfortable enough to make it clear to their fans that they're Christians. Decode, the official Twilight soundtrack, is also featured on the album, but maybe should have been put somewere in the middle than right after the song that displays Paramore's full potential. However, I don't have any complaints other than that. Even if you aren't a fan of Paramore, you should definitely check this album out. I promise you won't be dissappointed.

You can check out Paramore's music and what they're getting up to at

Bethany Dillon - 'Stop & Listen' album review

Within Christian music it can sometimes be hard to find artists who sell music because they are good at what they do, rather than the fact that they are just Christian, but Bethany Dillon is one of few who are actually amazing at making music. As expected, the album is full of hope (something Bethany does brilliantly) and opening track, Get Up and Walk, is full of major keys and perfectly sung notes. First single, Everyone to Know, brings back memories of The Kingdom and Dreamer and shows us how in love with Jesus Bethany really is; and it's not cheesy or cliched like a lot of Christian music can be. The album is full of honesty and beauty in songs like I Am Yours and Deliver Me and shows how this wonderful artist has matured and gained so much wisdom since the days of Beautiful when she was fifteen years old. Her wonderful acoustic pop music is enough to make you smile, even if you don't agree with what she's singing, so I suggest that everyone makes sure to give this album a listen.

You can find out more about Bethany Dillon at

The boys are back in town

So you probably noticed the lack of updates on Belfast Calling over the summer, but this is all about to change! We'll be going back to the normal schedule of reviews, interviews and news updates as soon as I get my act together and contact people and sort out the myspace page! The inbox really has filled up... so, first, you can expect a few album and EP reviews including Paramore, Bethany Dillon and an EP by a brilliant band from Peterborough called The Candle Thieves. So chums, keep your eyes and ears open for many new updates! AND if you would like you're a band, filmmaker, photographer, writer, artist, or do anything creative send me an e-mail at telling me what you do, what you'd like to see featured, and I'll make sure to get back to you!