“Perry Blake is a musical maverick who is keeping pop safe for thinking people” (Hot Press).
Masterclass with Perry Blake as part of the Phase one Phase One: Electronic Music and Arts Festival
Sunday 5th April 4 – 5pm at the Dock Arts Centre, Carrick on Shannon
When Sligo-born Perry Blake released his first, eponymously-titled, album with Polydor in 1998 there was a buzz of expectation in industry circles. Here was a rare package: an articulate songwriter with an exceptional melodic sense who understood, instinctively, the art of constructing a pop song. Citing influences as various as European cabaret, west coast funk, and 60’s & 70’s film scores (especially Bacharach and Barry), Blake compiled a collection of songs that uplifted with their melodic hooks as much as they saddened with their glimpses into the damaged or disappointed lives of his characters.
The reaction to his debut album was ecstatic. A number of music magazines tipped Perry Blake as the “next big thing”. Jo Wiley, on BBC Radio 1, made his first single, “The Hunchback Of San Francisco” her single of the week. Word was beginning to get around. Meanwhile, Universal swallowed polygram, and anything that wasn’t Britney was booted out. The musical antennae of the French however had been picking up something distinct and original from across the water. (The album went Top 40 in France), and already Blake was becoming a cult figure there. Not surprising, then, that he was soon signed by hip French label, naïve, for his second album.
“Still Life” was released in December 1999. It was a darker album than the debut; perhaps a purer expression of the melancholic soul of Blake’s songwriting. It was propelled by some glorious ensemble playing, and the growing assurance evident in Blake’s singing. There was an altogether more organic feel to the album, further bolstering his reputation among his fans, especially in France, but also extending this reputation to other European countries, such as Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Italy and Greece. However, he remained virtually known in Britain and Ireland.
After touring the songs in Europe, to increasingly enthusiastic audiences and to massive critical acclaim, Blake went back into the studio having been invited to write the soundtrack for a French film – “Presque Rien”. Three new songs were recorded and combined with “Wise Man’s Blues” and “This Time It’s Goodbye” from “Still Life”, were released as an EP soundtrack for “Presque Rien” in may 2000.
More live dates followed in Europe, to growing audiences. One of these, at the Cirque Royal in Brussels for Belgian cultural week, became a live album released in September 2001. “Broken Statues” saw the songs from the earlier albums deconstructed and re-invented with the Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles. It also saw the inclusion of Blake’s personal take on the Diana Ross “I’m Still Waiting”. The album’s austere arrangements and emotional directness again drew glowing reviews from the European music press with Holland & much of Scandinavia now joining in singing his praises.
In April 2002 Reekus released Perry’s studio album “California”. Recorded with a live band over a 12 day period in Belgium and co produced by Italian composer Marco Sabiu, the album draws comparisons with classic old Motown, using lush strings, brass and choral arrangements. It has always been difficult to find a box to put Blake’s music in, but with “California” he has made a record that is instantly recognisable as Perry Blake. A single from that album, Ordinary Day, was a hit on Irish radio. His last album on Reekus, Canyon Songs, was somewhat of a departure in style, with a distinctive country feel.
Keith Marshall is a Dj/producer from sligo, currently residing in the midlands where he regularly hosts parties featuring some of Irelands finest bands & Dj’s, previous guests have included The Disconauts, Keep Schtum, Get down Edits, Le Galaxie and Andy Yamwho?.He produces under the moniker Hi5 Orchestra and has had releases on Thats What We Do recordings & Midnight Riot Records. He has an e.p. due for release later this year. Expect to hear Disco & House party jams
Jape began in 2003 as a solo project of Dublin musician Richard Egan, blending meticulously crafted lyrics with upbeat electronic rhythms. Using an innovative mix of instruments, hardware samplers and sequencers, Jape creates a sound that encompasses many different styles and spans genres, a sort of gothic pop. They won the prestigious Choice Music Prize in 2008 and we look forward to hearing a DJ set from them at Phase One, celebrating their new record “The Chemical Sea” which has gone straight into the Number 8 spot in the Irish album charts and number 1 in the Irish Indie charts.
The stage will be a 2 day exhibition of live art, visual art and underground electronic music in a intimate and visually stimulating environment.
Live art will be produced by Kevin Mallon and visual art will be by Sannie Cuddihy.
Room theme and decoration will be designed by Polka Swan.
All of the amazing art pieces will be for sale if anything catches your eye!
Going into the spectrum of sound we have a top lineup of DJ / Producers to provide the soundtrack for the two days and take you through this unique journey.
Colman Buckley (Local Talk, MIL, Dog Days)
Mix & Fairbanks
Lúcás (AGF Productions)
Ian Hart (Basement Project)
Jelly Jessop (Basement Project)
Paul Daly (Burning Man Decompression)
The stage will be powered by Funktion 1 provided by One World Sounds.
Come enter a grand and rich room of beautiful sound and colours and dance with us over the Easter weekend!
Grounds For Invasion is a collaboration between Will O’Connor (music/production) and Tracy Friel (lyrics, vocals). They’ve had a strong start to 2015, being listed as a band to watch by both Hot Press magazine and The Irish Times. Their debut album Dying Stars was released on February 5th, 2015
A sonically expansive album, Dying Stars is a mesh of electro-pop, trip-hop, disco, industrial- and post-rock. Lyrically, it deals with themes of love, loss, and our relationship with the vast universe each of us is a small part of.
Praise for Dying Stars:
“Dying Stars is an excellent debut record, one that etches itself into your mind and keeps you hovering over the repeat button: 2015’s sure to be a big year for [Grounds For Invasion].” – Hot Press
“You’ve got to hear this” – The Irish Times
Haüer is a Dublin-based one man set-up cursed with a weakness for nostalgic 80’s music production and synth-based cinematic film scores. His debut EP ‘The Infinitesimal’ was released in 2013 by American label ‘Future City Records’ and desribed by Goldenplec as the “the perfect soundtrack to a sci-fi daydream”.
His single release ‘Helicop’ was also included in The Guardian’s monthly ‘Six must-listen new tracks from around the world’.
Since then Haüer has played some high profile gigs supporting the likes of Com Truise, Trust and Adeyhawke and played festivals such as Castlepalooza and Hard Working Class Heroes.
His second EP ‘Esperbyte’ was given an exclusive release on Nialler9 in 2014 and in the words of Barry Gruff, ‘not only unequivocally excels in inducing a severe case of nostalgia but it feels rather forward thinking and futuristic too. All in all, a masterfully pieced together release from start to finish’.