Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Farriers @ BelNash

Holiday Inn, Belfast

Farriers at Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival

OK, 1pm on a Saturday afternoon may seem an unusual time to have a gig, but when it comes to Farriers any time is a good time.
This show which also featured Morgan McIntyre and Amanda Agnew was being recorded by Music Row Show for broadcast across the USA.
The stripped back to 3 piece band settle back in an aura of calmness and delivered a set of some of the most wonderful folk music I've heard which included a lot of new songs destined for the band next release.
These are songs that stir the imagination, these are thoughtful songs, at times it's almost like therapy as you lean back into the music and let it soothe...
As individuals Stephen and Rachel have great voices which song after song get wonderfully showcased, but there's a fragile beauty in what they offer as a unit.

Yea I'm a Farriers fan, and today was a good day!!

The Grass is Blue at this month AER Music Club

The Grass Is Blue at Aprils AER Music Club

It's been said 'the grass is always greener on the other side' well when it comes to local musical talent its green on this side and it is lush.
AER Music Club, a monthly music event held in Molly Browns in Newtownards, continues to bring some of the best local music to the Ards Peninsula.
This months club night continues on Thursday 24th April with some fine musicians, the night will be headlined by Wookalily is a female led Americana folk band with roots in bluegrass and country. They turf out timeless songs from the bogs of Northern Ireland to the bayous of Louisiana. Having been swamped in both musical traditions they've managed to create a transatlantic sound that is authentic yet quirky. Despite their reckless ways they've managed to create a unique and distinctive sound that's all heart. Their style, sometimes referred to among the lilys as chillbilly roots, has an old-timey feel with a young-timey appeal.
Also on the bill are Dundonald based husband and wife duo Chasing Perpetua, their superb harmonies, intelligent songwriting and soaring vocals demand to be listened to, you won't regret it!
Kicking of the night will be Cup O’Joe a family band made up of two brothers, Benjamin, Reuben and their sister 15 year old Tabitha, who play an energetic style of Bluegrass & Gypsy Jazz music.
AER Music Club was launched in January this year, the club is in memory of Amy Ellen Reid, who passed away from cancer in February 2013, the 20 year old daughter of founder Mark who said 'we are excited to again bring some of the best local artists to Newtownards, the lineup for April is a cracker, we got bluegrass, gypsy jazz, acoustic and country. I can't wait for this one'.
As well as promoting local music AER is raising money for two local cancer charities CLIC Sargent and 'Friends' of the Cancer Centre.

You can find more details here

Doors open at 8pm, admission is £5.

Chasing Perpetua

Cup O' Joe

The Dandy Horses EP. launch

Hat On The Sun EP launch...
To be honest, one of the perks of what I do for a hobby is that from time to time I get invited to nights like tonight, though I had planned to go before the invite..

Saffyre  support for the night

The recently expanded Dandy Horses, the multi instrumental Belfast based 5 piece decided that the best place to launch the release of their 2nd EP 'Hat On The Sun' was the Black Box in Belfast, now this is a big room, but those Dandy's just went and sold it out. Tonight turned out to be more than an EP launch, this was a party...
And what better way to kicked of a party than with family trio, Saffyre. These girls pop country tunes filled the room and their ever so wonderful harmonies demand your attention... What a great start!!
And then after a short interlude those ever so dandy horses took to the stage...these guys and gals are talented and bring us a set of mostly upbeat folk stompers interspersed with delicate ballads.
One by one members of the sell out crowd where on their feet and dancing by the end of the end the whole room was moving from the foot tappers to dancing throng at the front... The Dandies seemed overwhelmed by the response but it was deserved...

The Dandy Horses

Stand out songs for me tonight were lead single of the EP 'Driving Towards Blue Skies' and the very catchy singalong 'My Heart Goes Boom' By the end we were all partied out...
Thank you Dandy Horses for a great wee party...

Mark Reid

photos by Ronnie Purvis

Thursday, 26 December 2013

My Songs Of The Year (Local Music)

2013 was the year I, at last, intentionally went out of my way to investigate what was out there in the local N.I. Music scene, not the stuff on the radio but the guys & gals out there in the pubs & clubs and anywhere else they could get a gig...
I discovered, boy did I discover... Northern Ireland has an abundance of great, great talent out there most people don't even know about..

I probably could've added a load more songs here (I may do at a later time) from the like of Farriers, Sons of Calber, Southern, Emerald Armada, Saffyre, Cairan Lavery, Joshua Burnside, :Odibal and the list goes on and on and on

Thought not necessarily released this year these are a few of my favourite songs I discovered and grew to love in 2013

In NI particular order...

This Van Is Empty -The Lazy Flies
I love the Lazy Flies, this song is of their stunning EP 'Kill Your Darlings' I love all the songs but there just something in this song that I love maybe it's those harmonies, the subtle bass, those lyrics
...this van is empty, I don't know who is driving me

Janey - Foy Vance
Stunning!! I think we all recognise Foy is an immense talent..it's encapsulated in this song for me, again every track on his 'Joy Of Nothing' cd is great but every time I hear it this song stop me in its tracks... It just connects with me.

Annie - Aaron Ferris
I've been a fan of Aaron's a long time, love his stuff, this track tells the harrowing story of a young victim of child abuse, beautifully written and performed. I'm drawn in by it it captures my imagination and heart.

Be Still - Chasing Perpetua
This song, for me, represents everything Chasing Perpetua are, beautiful delicate harmonies, sensitive guitar backing, lyrics that draw you in and the power then the fragility of Lynsey's voice. On first hearing this song sent shivers down my spine, it still does.

Guiding Light - Foy Vance
Yip Foy gets 2 tracks, a duet with Ed Sheeran, this track reminds me of those I love and where I want to be most...

Story Book - Ryan Johnston
Of his Mother Earth EP, stunning vocals, musical backing and simple yet intelligent lyrics, that I relate to a lot...all  delivered with Ryan's stunning vocal... Ryan is probably my vocal discovery of 2013.

No One Can Hear Me - Mike Donaghy & Border Crossing
This is the title track of Mikes recent cd, and maybe a little different from his other stuff. A little almost Delta Blues/Folk feel to it. It lifts my spirit and has me singing along full throttle.. Sweet little riff... Great song!

Monday, 28 October 2013

AER Music Club Story.....so far

Earlier this year (2013) I met up with a friend in a local coffee shop I frequent. We were having a chat about music, life generally catching up and also finalising the details of a fundraising gig we were organising to raise funds for local children's charity CLIC Sargent, which supports children and young people with cancer along with their families. This gig was part of a planned month long fundraising effort we as a family had planned which eventually, with the help of a lot of people raised over £27,500 for the charity.

Part of the conversation included my friend telling me about a chat he'd had with a mutual friend and part of that chat included the remark 'Mark Reid (that's me) should start up a music event' that comment resonated with what I'd been thinking myself.... anyway to cut a long story short that conversation in that coffee shop in the presence of a couple of lattes saw AER Music Club conceived, at least in my head.

Amy meeting her hero Aston from JLS

Several months previous to this on 20th February 2013 we lost our youngest daughter Amy, who was only 20 to cancer, Amy fought long and hard against this hideous disease with outrageous courage and grace. This has been devastating to us as a family, but it has made me as her dad to determined to keep her memory alive and to do something worthwhile in her name.

In another conversation I had with another friend several months after this he said to me that I would do thing either because  Amy would have done it or I would do it in her memory....it was probably at that point I decided I wanted/needed to do this....
....and so AER Music Club was born....
I am a lover of music always have been and I've always been a person who loved to provide opportunities for others to discover and develop their interests, talents ifI I was at all able...
So I suppose there are several reasons why I along with some friends are launching  the AER Music Club in January 2014...
....firstly it's in memory of Amy, the club is named in her honour AER stands for Amy Ellen Reid even the colours in the logo have a significance to Amy... I want her memory to live on, I want people who didn't know her to be inspired by her story and how she faced the greatest challenge of life as I said before with outrageous courage, strength, grace and humour...

Amy was also very supportive of cancer charities and in particular CLIC Sargent, Stand Up to Cancer (Cancer Research UK) and Friends of the Cancer Centre were she received her treatment.. so we will be using the music club to continue to raise funds for these amazing charities by donating part of the door tax and also holding a ballot on each club night...


Also our we country is jammed pack with outstanding musical talent the more I hear the more I research the more I go to gigs the more I'm convinced of that.. So we want to provide a platform for people just starting out to get a gig in front of a listening audience but we also want to provide a platform for artists to reach a whole new audience to get a chance to play outside of Belfast and to get their music out there'
So to that end the AER Music Club will launch on Thursday 30th January 2014 and will be held on the last Thursday of every month after that... at Molly Browns in Newtownards... We are excited to be doing this and look forward to seeing you lovers of music there for a great night of music and to help make a difference to people with cancer..


we have facebook and twitter where you can keep up to date with whats happening at AER



Mark Reid

Saturday, 19 October 2013

AER Music Club Venue Announced...

We are pleased to announce that the venue we are using for the AER Music Club will be the Live Lounge upstairs at Molly Brownst in Newtownards...
We used Molly's back in April 2013 for a fundraising event for CLIC Sargent... was a great venue...
Chris the manager there has been very helpful..
Looking forward to many great nights of music here...

Aaron Ferris - State of Emergency


Now on his 3rd release, Aaron Ferris introduces us to State of Emergency a 6 track EP. which follows up his album Solitary Realignment & the debut EP, A Round of Silence

There's no mistaking Aaron's music is informed by his Christian faith notably in the songs 1859, Jerusalem Of The East & Mission Field there's certainly a sense of emergency when he sings about North Korea in Propaganda Village also a subject covered on the absolutely outstanding N.K.  from Solitary Realignment.

There is a beauty in the sounds Aaron has produced through the whole E.P. ...from the choppy guitar ringing out in the lead of track Propaganda Village to the delicate almost intimate guitar on say Annie or the Way Out Of Here. Vocally Aaron is at his best... right out of the top shelf
By far the standout songs for me are The Way Out Of Here an intimate song of hope beyond our circumstance, also the harrowing story of a little girl Annie & interestingly for me Propaganda Village which I initially didn't take to.

It's obvious Aaron is not throwaway when it come to songwriting, these lyrics are well thought out they've been given a lot of attention and conjure up images in your mind were sometimes you feel you're there... likewise the music and playing allows a worthwhile setting for a set of songs full of hope, full of despair, that's show the dark in humanity but also the light of a hope greater than ourselves.

As a man once said on the radio these are not just good songs but they're good for something.

Check Aaron at www.facebook.com/aaronferrisni

1. Propaganda Village
2. Mission  Field
3. 1859
4. Annie
5. Jerusalem Of The East
6. The Way Out Of Here

Mark Reid