It’s amazing how life can change in a few months. New job, new gigs, new shoes. Old habits die hard, but die they must!
Time to get back to it really. Posts, pictures and podcasts coming very soon.
I’ll start with the ASIWYFA gig in T13 in Belfast on 30th July. This gig was too fucking awesome to stand there with my camera phone out (plus the pics are shit in low light). I took this the next morning when my body was able to move:
There was no stage, no barriers and no limits. I could smell and taste the sweat from everyone in the warehouse-come-skatepark. It was a great venue and one I will never forget.
Hot Cops warmed us up before the main act. Young and talented, they reminded me of early Nirvana at times. Worth checking out.
Muchos gracios to Brian in Pure Sound Review for the lift and the ticket. I am forever indebted.
Hard work prevails and the prevailing winds of ASIWYFA blew my mind.
I was excited about this gig. Very excited. For various reasons over the years, I’ve persistently missed these guys live, so I snapped up tickets super quick when I heard they were headlining the Olympia just down the road. Sweet.
Hitting the stage and instantly making my ears bleed with Run Home and Wasps from the new albumHeirs, the Northern foursome almost stunned the crowd with pure, raw adrenaline. I say stunned because there was a lot of young fans there who had never seen anything like this before I’m sure. I certainly hadn’t, and I’m a grizzled ancient.
And it was loud. I mean really loud. But I expected nothing less, especially when they launched in to the old favourites like Set Guitars to Kill, BEAUTIFULUNIVERSEMASTERCHAMPIONS and 7 Billion People All Alive at Once – which was a great tune for the gaping audience to sing along with, especially when egged on by the energetic Rory Friers.
Highlight of the night was Rory jumping in to the pit, guitar in hand to sit on the floor with everybody who had already sat down in godlike worship. It was a great sight to behold. One I’m sure Rory and the rest of the band won’t forget for a long time.
This gig meant a lot to ASIWYFA. Humbled Rory said it did, with a very audible lump in his throat in the process. But even if he hadn’t said it, we knew. Hard work prevails and the prevailing winds of ASIWYFA blew my mind.
Pound for pound, these guys are heavyweights in a genre they have refined, and even redefined in parts. I’d go to see them again today if I could and so should you.
Mexican trumpets, haunting vocals, clashing cymbals, heavy bass lines, isolated, echoes, organs……. it would seem that locking yourself in a linen mill in West Belfast for 6 months is a great way to get the creative juices flowing.
Isolation is a scary place no doubt, but inspiration, creativity and courage can come from it. It can work for some bands when recording an album, and not for others. It depends on the group chemistry I suppose. But it can also depend on the ability to embrace oneself as a group – to look at what you know; what you can do, what is easy, and say fuck it, let’s try something a little different.
ASIWYFA has done just this. This album feels so ‘them’ but, erupting from their 6 month stint in the linen mill, they have created an album that has been summoned from the collective psyche of the group as a whole – from what they know, what works, and what they haven’t tried before.
Listening through the tracks, influences abound, but nothing you can pin to any one particular genre (unlike previous albums). These influences give rise to a fun, inspiring and eclectic album – from Snarky Puppy, The XX, to Steve Vai, and Passion Pit. Something I never thought I would write.
Run Home, the album opener, is a stomper, and will sound great live. Wasps holds a persistent low drone bass line throughout while kicking out ethereal echoing harmonies.
Redesigned a Million Times has a surprising Brit rock/Arctic Monkeys intro which makes way for Passion Pit style electronica and vocals. I can see this being released as a single, and hope it make the radio waves this summer. It would be a nice one to rock out to in the car!
Track five People not Sleeping screams of Snarky Puppy in the guitar riffs, while the guitar takes a back seat to a thumping bass line and thunderous clanging drums in A Beacon, A Compass, An Anchor. Animal Ghosts is a personal favourite which has a great live anthem feel to it – it begins as if the lads only pressed record in the middle of the guitar solo only to be usurped by a Mexican trumpet sliding in from the left in the most unexpectedly fitting way I have event heard. Nice.
Heirs, the title and longest track is reminiscent of Steve Vai’s 1990 album Passion and Warfare . It has a timid and timely build up to heavy euphoric release, changing pace midway, only to absolutely kill it for the last minute and a half.
The final track Tryer, You is a nice emotive finale to the album. It sounds almost like a ‘thank you for listening to the album and being a fan’ tune. It reminds me of the brilliant self titled album by The XX, but with more tempo.
I don’t usually analyse tracks so closely on an album review. I like to let people make their own inspirational objective thoughts on what they are hearing, not just what I hear. The Belfast quartet have produced an album here that has been inspired by their life and all the music and sounds they have heard to date. I suppose that’s what I have done here too by listening to this album in isolation for the last few days.
This album is as inspiring as it is original. Its ‘central theme is about the inheritance of ideas’. I hope in turn, it inspires others to be passionate and original too.
Heirs drops May 4th on Sargent House. Catch them live at the Olympia June 19th.
ASIWYFA has just premiered another track from the forthcoming album ‘Heirs’, (dropping in May) on ‘thefader.com‘ – the new track is called ‘Wasps’.
Speaking exclusively to thefader, ASIWYFA explain where the song title ‘wasps’ came from;
We then sliced and sanded it down to two-and-a-half minutes of the purest form of our initial idea. ‘Wasping’ became our word for ripping songs to pieces and throwing away all the bits that weren’t needed. ‘That’s good but it needs to be wasped,’ or, ‘Shit, we really wasped that.
Wasps is streaming now on ‘here‘ and is well worth a listen or 20!
Finally. The new And So I Watch You From Afar album ‘Heirs’ hits the shelves in Ireland on the 4th May. Yes we are excited. It’s their fourth studio album, and to tie in with the release, ASIWYFA have just announced ONLY two Irish dates – 19th June at the Olympia Theatre and 20th June at the Mandela Hall in Belfast. Tickets will be gold dust.
Earlier this week the Belfast boys teased us with the first glimpse of the new album artwork by Sonny Kay.
I dunno know about you, but something about it reminds us of ‘Logans Run‘!
And, as if to whet your palette even more, they have released their first track ‘Run Home’ from the album. Turn up your speakers and close your eyes. Its amazing.