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.
A little bit of me is somewhat shocked we’ve actually got this one done. Opening the floor for requests is something we were quite excited about and then we got a great response with loads of great songs. Then we decided to start with an elaborate arrangement on a multitrack recording. Basically we went right outside of the comfort zone we’ve established on our YouTube page! Suffice to say we’re quite happy with the outcome though and believe we’ve done a good job of suitably niallon-ing this song. Far Away has a special place for many due to its inclusion on the Red Dead Redemption in-game soundtrack, playing over a somewhat epic moment in the 2010 smash hit. As with so many songs that gain their notoriety from soundtracks, sometimes it’s easy to ignore them being good in their own right. I’ll be honest, I’d actually forgotten it was from the Red Dead soundtrack when I first saw the request come in and the process of learning, arranging and recording the song has left me a bigger fan then when we first began. José González’s original arrangement is more than a little haunting and in our take on it we tried to retain that, whilst branching out in very different directions musically at times. We hope you enjoy and as always, watch, like, share, subscribe!
Yes, he’s back. And you probably hate him too much by now to be bothered. That’s OK, he knows it and with The Afterlove he’s here to talk about it. What Blunt has produced with his 5th album is a fusion of his more traditional style mopey ballads with some more modern 21st century pop sounds and for the most part it has been a resounding success.
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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So we finally get back around to the originals, starting with 21 Times Around The Sun. This song has been knocking around for a while, and same as Thirteen, we had a version up on the YouTube page from years ago, but it has since then gone through a tonne of revisions. The origin of the song was when two of my friends, the first (2) of the gang to turn 21, had a quiet moment of reflection one evening (they were drunk, I’m pretty sure) and got to thinking about how, for all the hoopla made over 21st birthdays, that they will have travelled around the sun 21 times. Cool concept right? Even if you think you’ve achieved nothing when you reach that eponymous age, you’ve at least got that to your name. From there the song was concocted, written in the week before the party and debuted there. Originally it was a little stilted, too much focus on the lyrics and not enough on the song overall I think. But over the years we have worked on it and I think we finally have it nailed, nowadays it resembles very little of the original version but it’s all the better for it. As per usual, watch, like, share, repeat and make sure to watch to the end!
A whole new setup and a whole new batch of videos! We’ve gone all out in the niallon HQ and got a permanent setup going for our vids which is making life a hell of a lot easier and should bring a little consistency across our content. First of these is this week’s upload, Wagon Wheel. This song feels like it’s been around for a lifetime at this stage. We first came across is in college where our neighbours at the time were playing a regular bluegrass slot in a local bar every week. This was a staple feature of their set (usually as a medley with One Republic’s Apologise!) and we just got hooked on it from the off. This was long before the days of Darius Rucker and Nathan Carter and nobody seemed to have a clue what this song was. Then it just exploded. It was all over the radio, popping up in clubs, closing out weddings etc. It’s just a great tune, one with a weird, weird origin. The story goes that Old Crow Medicine Show frontman Ketch Secor came across a Bob Dylan outtake from the Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid bootlegs titled Rock Me Mama and with Secor filling in for the missing verses, Wagon Wheel was born. It’s a song about everything and nothing at the same time, telling the tale of a hitchiker trying to make his way across the USA with a reunion with his lover in mind. The song tells the journey and all that comes with traversing the American landscape. The funny thing is how American and un-American the song is at the same time. It contains details solely relevant to the American life and landscape, yet anyone who has ever found themselves a rambling soul will be able to relate with ease. A modern classic (oh, and make sure to watch till the end for yet another classic moment of stupidity!).
I’m ashamed to say that even having lived in Sallins nearly all my life, I had no idea that McAuley Place in Naas was housing Naas Arts & Culture Centre. We’ll have to chalk that one up to a senior moment and move on however as there’s some live music to talk about, namely that of Freddie White who landed into Naas last Saturday for one of his trademark classy gigs.