It’s probably more accessible than ever, but if you have a band containing anything between eight and 20 musicians, it must be particularly tricky trying to lock down practice and recordings!
Such was the challenge facing Quangodelic, and it’s no wonder it’s taken them so long! They are about to launch their self-titled debut album tomorrow with a show in The Kino. It’s a spectacular achievement for such a large group, who range in ages between 22 and 52, but are united by a love of funky music. Their new single, ‘Be Yourself’ promotes “a message of self-acceptance in a world of conformist social pressures”. Like many of the funk greats in the past, the band are promoting a positive message and the vibes and grooves are irresistible.
The album will be on streaming platforms from tomorrow and hard copies on vinyl will be available at Bunker Vinyl and all good record stores. It’s a lovely package which includes cover art by local graffiti artist Lorraine McDonnell.
The group have already played an impressive number of live festivals including Electric Picnic and Townlands and as well as tomorrow night in The Kino, they will be doing some other shows around Munster too. Sometimes the best music is on our own doorstep, so these guys are definitely worth checking out!
It’s a golden era for music coming out of this country and it’s a hard task trying to keep up with all of the new releases. My favourite tune of the year so far has to be ‘Man Like Me’ from Sim Simma Sound System, featuring a searing vocal performance from Denise Chaila. She previously came to wider attention on the Rusangano Family debut album and Rusanganos rapper God Knows is also in fine form on theEP, while Chilli Cherry and Breezy Ideygoke are also on the mic. It’s terrific stuff and a great reflection of what Sim Simma have been building in their club nights over the years.
Fehdah’s new single is another in hot rotation for this DJ at the moment and it’s a rich time for music here right now with Luka Palm, Kean Kavanagh, Kalabanx, Glacier Gang and many more bringing some great new music to our eardrums.
Apart from new releases, the big news of the last week is the announcement that Lauryn Hill will be playing a show in Musgrave Park in Cork city this summer. This is massive for Cork and it further backs up the increased movement from MCD regarding bigger shows in the city.
Liam Gallagher was also added to the series of gigs which already includes George Ezra and with Aiken continuing their own series of shows at the Marquee and at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, it shows that the two big promoters in Ireland are committed to using Cork as a major player for big shows. Imagine what it would be like if we had a permanent venue 52 weeks of the year? We live in hope.
Lauryn Hill previously played Dublin in November and half of Cork seemed to be at the gig. Despite much trepidation due to her notorious tardiness regarding gigs, Lauryn delivered a superb show that night and she seemed pretty impressed with the love she received in Ireland.
I had previously seen her at her peak with The Fugees in 1996 so it was never gonna match that, but all things considered, it was a fantastic show. Hopefully we’ll get more of the same this summer in Cork.
I will be running an after party later that evening in Cyprus Avenue and if you can’t wait until then for a hip-hop and r&b fix, check out Taboo tomorrow in Dali.
As ever, both the musical and physical landscape in our city is changing and The Sextant is the latest iconic building to fall victim to development in an important part of the city’s docklands.
While progress in the city is to be welcomed, it’s a shame that a building with so much history can be discarded so quickly. The Sextant contributed much to our music and arts scene and there is a feeling that we are losing too many of these spaces.
Thankfully the people behind it have a new venue coming soon, so watch this space!