Now in its ninth year, the ‘Hard Working Class Heroes’ festival (HWCH) hit venues across Dublin in early October. HWCH has become an integral part of the Irish music calendar as it continues to showcase much of Ireland’s best and brightest emerging musical talents. Year on year the standard of artists, musicians and bands seems to improve ever greater, and the 2011 vintage was no different. Barry Healy was rabble’s eyes and ears at this year’s festival, here a few acts to keep your eyes peeled for.
We Cut Corners
We Cut Corners are a Dublin duo who’s minimalist guitar-and-drums approach to indie rock has earned them many plaudits, and rightfully so. Their latest single ‘Leopard’ is one of the most impressive this year. What they lack numerically they make up for with raw talent, volume and a tightness usually associated with acts well beyond their years. All of this was on show during their HWCH performance. Their debut album Today I Realised I Could Go Home Backwards is released on November 11th, so expect to hear much more about these guys.
We Are Losers
Beginning as a solo-side project of Super Extra Bonus Party guitarist Gavin Elsted writing and recording songs in his bedroom, We Are Losers were quickly assembled from former bandmates Gary Clarke and Stephen Conlan, and Bronwyn Murphy-White of Grand Pocket Orchestra. Since their debut live show at last year’s HWCH the band have been wooing music fans in Ireland and beyond with their gloriously charming fuzzed up cheery lo-fi indie sounds. The intervening 12 months has seen them grow immensely into a much more assured and impressive live unit. We Are Losers have the edge on most of their contemporaries; they can take things to another level entirely, something those in attendance were all too aware of. Watch this space.
Ghost Estates. Photo: Marina McDonald
Formed out of the ashes of SickBoy and 8Ball, Dublin 5 piece Ghost Estates have one of the most memorable band names in Ireland. Their debut single ‘Paris’ is electronic, euphoric in places while haunting and poppy in others, second single ‘Forever or Never’, couldn’t be more different. It offers a tighter indie sound with nods to mod and British rock stalwarts. It is the coming together of these styles which produces such a versatile sound. If this early form suggested a bright future their HWCH performance confirmed their place as one of the brightest emerging acts in the country.
House of Dolls
To date House of Dolls’ only release is double A-side single ‘Gimme Some Glory’/’Before She Wakes’, but don’t let that fool you. Their sound is a mixture of dark, dirty and atmospheric psychedelic rock executed with a confidence, maturity and swagger of a group ready to conquer the world. A debut album is in the pipeline and is expected very soon. As things stand it should be a record to get your hands on.
inola: Photo: Martina McDonald
Like your music loud? Then look no further than Ginola. This ragged Dublin punk trio have hardly put a foot wrong in 2011, impressing with double a-side You Never Met Someone Like Me, a split release with Turning Down Sex and numerous scintillating live shows. First and foremost they are loud, this is short, sharp, to the point punk with serious bite, its shout-a-long punk at it’s very best. Their furious set almost brought the house down before bringing HWCH to a glorious finish. If you get the opportunity to catch Ginola live, do yourself a favour and do.