Music Journalism

Declan McKenna Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home single review

Declan McKenna is from a world full of alienation

 Declan McKenna is an up and coming artist with winning Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talents Competition in 2015, and playing on the likes of Jools Holland in a flouncy dress and make up on his cheeks. The many political and equality issues he is fighting can be seen through of all his live performances. His single ‘Isombard’ first got some air time on FIFA’17. His live eccentricity is what makes you want to sing along to all of his songs and ‘Kids Don’t Wanna Go Home’ is one where you can’t stop.

The Brighton lad penciled the lyrics to ‘Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home’ after the Paris Attacks. Declan McKenna bursts with frustration against the terrorism by demonstrating the political awareness from the youth of today. The anger contrasting with the uplifting rhythm of his electric guitar gives it an ultimate feeling of empowerment. This is definitely Declan’s most influential song to date with challenging topics of suicide, transgender, politics and poverty throughout all of his work. He particularly speaks the word of this generation. This song brilliantly captures the sounds of children; making the heart felt words seem close to home for a twenty year old like me.

When he sings “I guess it’s just bad advice for someone so upstanding; so maybe just ask them twice or be a bit demanding” He creates this feeling around charismatic leaders who give reasons for hate in the world. Kid’s Don’t Wanna Come Home provides this representation of the change and attitudes between the kids from the noughties and the difference between the people born in the 1940’s. He shows that passion for change of who we accept in the world.

‘Kids Don’t’ Wanna Come Home’ is of McKenna’s extreme pop, mainstream records with the light chanting of the kids and loving sounds of his soft voice  but exaggeration in the words for the frustration of the ideologies of the people in our society. He fights for equality and fairness. He wants the old generation to understand what we see and not what they do because we are different on previous generations.

His debut album ‘What Do You Think About The Car?’ is due to be released the 21st July 2017 with limited edition vinyl’s. The album is set out shine all of his previous singles and give us a feel for him as an artist and to progress as a something more. Declan McKenna is definitely one to keep an eye out in future his rich guitar tones and eye for detail.

You definitely want to buy this record if indie, guitar music that talks about the struggles in our society is your thing. The record doesn’t displease, it informs and makes you have fun. It’s the new generation of Punk!


The Strypes Vinyl Review

21st Century ‘Pog Rock’ Kings are back

The Strypes are Cavan’s best young band and one of the best Rhythm and Blues Band to come around for years. There influences are from the likes of Buddy Holly, Ray Charles and The Blues Brothers. They are also influenced by the Pog Rock in the 1970’s and the Punk scene from late 1970’s with likes of Dr. FeelGood, The Clash and Buzzcocks. The Strypes came around big in 2013 and supported the Arctic Monkeys on their UK& Ireland Tour, the supported the likes of The Stone Roses. The lads have been a bit quiet in the past few years with division between them and the label.

This new record from the four young Irish lads is doing their thing for charity again, this time it is for CANTEEN Ireland by producing a limited 7” vinyl. All proceeds from this record will go to the chosen charity which brings support groups together for young people between the ages of 12 and 25 years who have or have had cancer – the only support group in Ireland specifically for young people with cancer. Ireland has a huge problem with lack of funding for programmes that support people get back on their feet after fighting an illness and finding that place to encourage people to get back in to a normal daily routine. The Strypes have put a lot of gigs on I the past for charity and supporting some of the big charity gigs.

This record sees lads dimerising themselves back into their roots by covering Nick Lowe’s version of (What’s so funny bout) Peace, Love and Understanding. The opening hits with those jumping guitar rhythms and bass, lead vocalist Ross Farrelly bringing those raw harmonies in right from the first word. The video from the single sees the boys in action playing the song in reverse roles which is a normal humour side that we always see from their eccentric style. The other record is Down at the Radio Tron by Stefan Murphy; one of the lads friends from back home in Ireland. Ross’s voice has more grit and sharpness on this record it gives it more of a powerful sound to it. Josh McClorey’s guitar skills are impeccable as ever with the way his hand just glides down the neck so easily covering every little bit.

Is this record giving us a taste of their upcoming album? I think so, it’s the voice of Ross Farrelly which has changed into soft tones, hinting at the Americanised voice for effect. The electricity the band has when they’re together is a beautiful site and even on this record you can feel it!

Blossoms Birmingham 02 Gig Review

The Boys are bringing the 70’s back

Blossoms gig on the 29th March opened up to a fantastic crowd of people of different ages. Cabbage opened and supported the group on their UK tour. There rough rock and punk tones livened up the crowd making us ready for what was about to come.

The crowd  were patiently waiting for the boys to come on stage, the lights turned dark and on comes Kayne West’s ‘Black Skinhead’ The heavy beats and fast changing lights building up anticipation. The lads jump in on stage with their long hair and 1970’s outfits. The guitars start to flicker and quick strumming on the strings you can hear the tune coming. The lyrics “I wrote to fear, to disappear, at most a kiss” the crowd shouted back in excitement at one of the most recognisable songs off their first album.

Then they rolled out ‘Texia’ with its funky keyboard tones played by Myles Kellock. Everyone started to form a crowd in the middle and jumping high to the words ‘I’m running out of the dark, with you”. ‘Blow’ followed with its dreary tones of the weary guitar. The hot and sweaty 02 academy was filled to the sides with numerous amounts of people. The next few tracks that followed was getaway and smashed pianos’ which received a huge welcoming from the crowd as people roared the words back. Tom shouts to the crowd “You alright Birmingham?” Then picks up his white guitar and goes into ‘Smoke’ the toe tapping lyrics and tune of rhythm of the drums keeps uplifting you. Smoke is the third song off their extended tracks which was released after their first album. The Extended Tracks has 10 tracks which are lot a smoother and slower with some unusual elements that make and give us individuality for Blossoms as a band. In 2016 Blossoms were named as BBC Radio 1’s new music list, and finished the year with the best- selling debut album.

‘Across the Moor’ is a song off their debut album with R&B tones from inspiration of the likes of Drake and then hints of Arctic Monkey’s. This something a lot of rock and indie bands are doing in today’s music. The front singer, Tom has so much confidence throughout this song. The way he walks around the stage with a sense of swag; he presence very much Alex Turner esc. A few songs passed such as ‘Honey Sweet’, ’Fourteen’ and ‘Blown Rose’.

Charlie, Josh, Joe and Myles exit the stage to leave Tom with his acoustic guitar. He starts strumming to the humming sound of ‘My Favourite Room’. Tom asks the crowd if they’ve been heartbroken recently. To the reply of a young girl in the crowd “yes”. Tom sings the song by replacing some of the words with Abbie. The song finished and turned into a cover of Oasis’s ‘Half the World Away’ and then into Wham’s Last Christmas which the whole crowd was singing back. Tom happily laughs and shouts “This is the one crowd that’s gone the longest with singing Wham”. Tom exits the stage.

The lads come out for encore and play Cut Me and I’ll Bleed, Polka Dot Bones and Deep Grass. The last song of the night was the bands most well-known song ‘Charlemagne’. Everyone threw themselves forward and went absolutely mad for it!