niallon – She’s Always A Woman

I feel like I should be more familiar with Billy Joel. I know only a small number of his songs well enough to sing along, but the small number I know are some of my favourites. In that way then it’s a nice twist that we wound up getting one of his song requested, might light the fire to make me get more familiar with his material. If we do cover another of his songs though I reckon we’ll go for one that’s in 4/4! This was an interesting and enjoyable challenge to record though. Initially I had sat down with just the guitar to try and come up with a solo arrangement. Neither of us are overly prolific on piano so that was out of the question and no other instrument seemed to gel with it all that well. Then Peter sat down at the drums. We had never looked to utilise drums on a slower, quieter track before and I will admit I took a little convincing. After a few run throughs though – and a united decision that we’d be throwing a bass track over it too! – we’re quite happy with the results. Drums aren’t the only change and we’ve a fresh face behind the camera too. We’ve done our content extremely low scale until now and decided it was time to move on from filming on a variety of smartphones. So please welcome Vicki onboard who did an awesome job for us on our most recent videos and you can follow her on Instagram @ikcivanderson As always, watch, like, share, subscribe.

niallon – Thinking Out Loud

I’ve gotta be honest, covering Ed Sheeran is a terrifying ordeal. The dude is just ridiculously talented and more terrifyingly – wildly adored. To say the the pressure is on when covering one of his tracks would be an understatement, but here we are, on what I’d say is roughly the fifth attempt at this particular track in 12 months, and we think we’ve finally got one we’re happy with! Peter remarked around the time we recorded this that Thinking Out Loud already has a feeling that it’ll become this decade’s Mr. Brightside. Sure, they’re two very different songs with very different applications, but the era defining nature of both and the timeless qualities shine through massively. Thinking Out Loud is an old school love song the likes of which we don’t see anymore, taking all the best element’s of The Beatles’ When I’m Sixty Four and Billy Joel’s Just The Way You Are and finding an ideal home somewhere in the middle. As always, watch, like, share, subscribe!*

 

*Also we swear, the requests are coming! Expect movement on that in the next few weeks!

niallon – This Is What It Feels Like

No, you’re not seeing double. We did a cover of this over a year back but it was…rough. So here’s a somewhat better spin on it and to be honest, I get quite a kick looking at the polar opposite nature of the two videos. Alongside our covers of TitaniumShe Wolf and others, This Is What It Feels Like is yet another one of those EDM tracks that we could see had more to it than one might initially perceive it. There is a misconception that exists that if you’ve heard one dance track you’ve heard them all, this could not be further from the truth in my opinion. More importantly, lyrically a lot of these tracks stand well above the rest with some extremely talented singers and songwriters coming in for collaboration. From all that, we then work to find the best arrangement to convert these songs from pumping club tracks into emotive ballads, and we hope we’ve pulled that off in the video below. Also, given that the response to Mr Brightside has been so strong and positive we’ve decided to open the floor to requests. Sure worst case scenario it’ll be a bit of craic, so if there’s anything you want to hear, fire it our way here in the comments, over on YouTube or any of our social media platforms! As always, watch, like, share, subscribe!

niallon – Mr Brightside

We’re now up to our 3rd track from The Killers on this page and it’s safe to say this is the big one. Mr Brightside was an instant classic when it released back in 2004 (though it technically released in 2003 to little or no fanfare!). Since then it has gone on to become an anthem for so many significant moments in mine and many other’s lives, ever present in the background in moments of sadness, joy, romance, tragedy and the rest. That might sound like a gross exaggeration of a song’s relevance, but this truly was the soundtrack to a generation, and still continues to be in some ways. So when it came to covering it, these thoughts were front and centre in our heads. In its original form, this song is timeless excellence and there are also a huge number of more than decent acoustic covers of it on YouTube already, so what were we gonna do? What we settled on, and what I believe we’ve pulled off sits somewhere between acoustic cover and putting a different spin on things. Mr Brightside has an anthemic quality and does nothing but get people buzzing when it lands on a night out or at a gig, but behind that the lyrics tell a different story. Mr Brightside lyrically paints a tragic picture that’s all too real when you’re a teenager (and older) – you love them, they don’t reciprocate, worse still you have to watch as they go on to impart that love on others but yourself…..Jesus, it’s brutal stuff really. Unrequited love has always been a massive driver of lyrics and has led to the creation of some of the best songs in existence. We hope, through this spin on it, that we’ve done a good job of bringing Mr Brightside into that fold. And, as always, watch, like, share, subscribe!

niallon – Tale As Old As Time

I feel like highlighting how long it has been since we uploaded is a little repetitive at this stage but, yeah, it’s been a while. The good news is that some backroom changes mean we should get far more consistent once more (basically, I’ve learned how to record myself) and we do have a very big project on the way soon that we’ve been working on for months now. But that is all down the road, right now we’ve got this.

I’m not gonna claim to be the world’s greatest Disney fan. I do like the majority of their output but I tend to be one and done, rarely re-watching their stuff. I do however regularly share the company of some Disney diehards and this particular tune seems to be one of the constants as far as favourites are concerned. We had been toying with covering a Disney track for a while and this one became a no-brainer (though there will likely be more Disney covers down the line). One final note I would like to add….this song is deceptively tricky! I won’t say exactly how long but suffice to say this vid is a long time in the making and I hope you’re pleased with the results, especially those aforementioned diehards, you know who you are! If you are, watch, like, share, subscribe!

 

niallon – American Slang

And so we’re back! This is our second cover of a Gaslight Anthem track and not likely to be our last. I can’t speak for Peter but they’re definitely right up there as one of my all time favourite bands. As a Springsteen fan they were a natural progression, with the nod to the boss in Great Expectations (“At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet|It’s a pretty good song, maybe you know the rest”) serving as my introduction to the New Jersey quartet. To say they are in anyway Springsteen-esque or draw their inspiration from him can sometimes be met with near hostility from both fans and the band alike, though the influence is clear to be heard. But Gaslight should more so be compared to The Boss in the sense that they’re doing for the New Jersey sound now what the man himself did for it back in the day. They may not be as politically direct as Bruce, nor have they hit (or want to hit) the commercial goldmine of a Born In The USA, but they carry a thought with their music much the same, a message, a notion. No song epitomises that more than American Slang. Contextually it is wildly open for interpretation, between allusions to Brian Fallon’s father (not in fact dead, but having abandoned Fallon’s family may as well be), calls of life in the modern America, the breaking free of youth (I seem to be coming, out of my skin) or quite simply, whatever you want. The guitars clang, the drums pound and the vocals pierce. If we have even managed to capture a tenth of that in our version then I’m a happy man. Like, share, subscribe!

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niallon – Let Me Entertain You

I mean, you can’t really not like Robbie Williams can you? Leaping from background dressing in Take That to one of the biggest male musicians the world has ever seen seemingly instantly, and a lot of down to this song right here Let Me Entertain You. As we did with Toca’s Miracle way back when, myself and Peter have a tendency to try and find things in songs that might not be glaringly obvious in their original versions. The concept of this process being – why cover it if it’s just going to be a karaoke carbon copy? The idea with Toca was that it maybe has a little more depth lyrically than one would think from the off. Sure, it’s not some spectacular triumph of the written word, but there was something there. I think we may have gone further than before this time out. Let Me Entertain You is a bombastic opener, a rousing cry to the masses to let go and be taken in. In it’s original state, it captures this manic need to shake free of it all brilliantly with rocking drums and blaring horns letting you know instantly this is gonna be a wild ride. Lyrically, it’s also about a person persuading someone to cheat on their partner. How many of us get that listening to it day in day out on the radio etc? I didn’t for a long time that’s for sure. So we decided we’d turn it into a whiskey and cigarettes style bluesy number. Is the connection not obvious? 😀 There’s actually not much of an origin story or reason here to be honest, the topic of doing a Robbie Williams cover came up, then we settled on this track and the one single decision taken was “not like the original”. From there we went as far opposite as we could and so the jazz lounge version you hear today was born. Personally, I’ve always been drawn to these types of stripped down performances because it allows me to hear lyrics I previously missed, or hear them in a way I previously misinterpreted so I guess if at least one person that listens to our spin on Let Me Entertain You and takes just that from it, I’ll consider it a success. As always, watch, like, share and repeat!

 

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