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Carling Supports: the Oh Yeah Sessions 08
Northern Rock scene showcased in Gary Lightbody-approved compilation
Edwin McFee, 13 May 2008
First things first – the review you are about to read is based solely on the music. No matter how well-intentioned Gary Lightbody’s gushing liner notes may be or how worthy a cause the Oh Yeah centre in Belfast is, this writer is here to review a 10-track album featuring a clutch of Northern Irish acts doing what they do best – not the Oh Yeah project itself. Now, I’ll happily admit that the artists on the CD are by no means an accurate representation of what NI’s underground really has to offer and there are a few glaring omissions in the line-up, but enough grumbling from me and let’s get down to business.
Some bands come across better than others. The sure-to-be huge Panama Kings’ ‘Where’s Your Sense of Urgency’ is sublime and General Fiasco’s ‘Please Take Your Time’ is so sugary sweet that it’ll give you a toothache. Cashier No. 9’s spaghetti-western-ified ‘When Jackie Shone’ is another ace track that perfectly sums up the state of things in 08’s Alternative Ulster and LaFaro are, as ever, the most welcome sonic headbutt you’ll ever receive. Sadly the fearsome mojoFURY track ‘Colour Of The Bear’ lacks the blood-thirsty bite of their live show though and the Jane Bradfords’ effort ‘Golden Ticket’ is a little too gloomy at times, but these are small criticisms to make.
There are two bonus tracks on the record from In Case Of Fire and David Holmes and quite frankly, as good as they are, neither of them are as important as And So I Watch You From Afar, the true stars of the album. Their instrumental song ‘A Little Bit Of Solidarity Goes A Long Way’ says more about the future of Northern Irish music than a hundred industry types ever could. It’s the sound of buildings tumbling, planets aligning and is probably the best three and a half minutes you’ll hear all year, making the CD worth the price alone. It might have taken 30 years to happen, but maybe the words of Rudi’s Brian Young are finally coming true and it really is a Time To Be Proud. Next time around, let’s hear a little something from the grrrls though, eh?