niallon – Use Somebody

When Kings Of Leon released they’re massively successful album “Only By The Night” a strange thing seemed to happen. All of a sudden they had a legion of new fans after years as indie darlings and I can proudly say I was one of those fans. At least I was a fan of the album anyway. Many say they “sold out” (whatever that term really means) and what resulted was incredibly accessible tracks like Sex On Fire, Revelry and of course Use Somebody.

The first time he heard it my father described Use Somebody as a ‘real rock song’ and I don’t think I’d even attempt to find a better description. It may be a bit generic, a bit straightforward, but it incredibly efficiently succeeds in conveying a central point while never sacrificing intellect at the same time. There was a more straightforward way to write this song, a way to make this a song more appropriate for a plain Jane pop act but it carries enough smarts to rise above that. As always, watch, like, share, subscribe!

niallon – Kids

Another cheat but, c’mon, the mullet era needs to be updated! Alongside Toca’s Miracle, this is a very significant cover in myself and Peter’s history of collaborations. These covers originated in us wanting to figure out new spins we could put on well known songs, keeping them familiar but at the same time making them our own. Since we first put our stamp on it we have performed this song on multiple occasions and, a little like Mr Brightside last week, it seems to be one of those songs that just insists on lasting. 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!

James Blunt – The Afterlove Review

James-blunt-the-afterlove
Wikipedia.org

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.

Continue reading James Blunt – The Afterlove Review

niallon – All These Things That I’ve Done

The Killers are a funny one in my history with music. Without realising it, they’ve been one of my favourite bands for over a decade now. As a product of teenage years in the Noughties, when ‘Mr Brightside’ was unleashed upon the world, it was hard to not at least be a fan of that track. But a lot of the bands that exploded on the scene back then fizzled out quite quickly. It seemed like The Killers had done the same really for a time but looking back on it they produced an absolute opus in the form of their second album, ‘Sam’s Town’. Returning to their debut material now, the foundations are all there clear as day and none more so than in this track if you ask me. It has all the irresistible catchiness of the finest pop tunes, coupled with a good bit of “subtle” anti-war sentiment thrown in for good measure given the time of release. So here’s our spin on it and, as always, watch, like, share, subscribe!

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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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