Part 1( Supporting Acts)
Walled City Records Presents Walled City Sessions at the Nerve Centre, Derry, NI (December 21, 2012)
This show was a live concert (on 12/21/12, almost as good as 12/12/12) in Derry, Northern Ireland, which was also streamed live (and free) on the internet, and recorded, so that it can still be seen online. I highly recommend watching it. The recording includes almost an hour of silence before the show starts, so skip forward until you see a crowd filling in the space in front of the stage(start at about 1:01:00). Once the show began, and there were two opening acts, Chanel McGuinness and Gary Elliott. Gem O'Reilly was in the 3rd slot; she is a hot new act signed to Walled City, with an EP now on pre-order before its January release date. Up 4th was the first of what I consider the main acts, Darrell Coyle. (Actually, I am pretty sure they were all considered support acts except Ben and Damian. Oh well.) The the headliners: Ben Kelly played a set after Darrell, and Damian McGinty finished the show. I have to say, Oran O'Carroll has a really cute speaking voice, and is a lot cuter just in general than I had noticed before.
Chanele Mc Guinness
her youtube channel has a lot of great stuff. She and Darrell Coyle are very prolific singer-songwriters whose youtube channels seem to offer something new and entertaining unusually frequently.
This fellow won the Walled City Records Singer-Songwriter competition, and he certainly seems to have a style that turns up on the radio a lot on the contemporary pop scene. I'd have to see him again, at a smaller venue, to really say for sure what I didn't like about him. His songs sounded frantic and rushed, a lot more like the rough covers that turn up on youtube, played by nervous kids in their bedrooms, the kids who aren't sure if it's ok for them to post their singing in public. So, maybe it was nerves. He has a fair voice, and good taste when it comes to selecting music, so hopefully he has more chances to play for the sorts of crowds Damian McGinty can draw in. Gary has just finished recording a first EP, so if this is where my tastes and yours diverge and you really love this guy's music, there'll be a release coming out soon. He has a style that could be very commercially successful, maybe almost as successful as Gem O'Reilly, selling to the teen and young adult crowds, but I'll leave off critiquing him before I burn my bridges with him so far that they can't be rebuilt. His one song on his facebook page, "The Wooden Boat", sounds alright, and a lot more carefully measured & relaxed compared to what he was doing at the Walled City show.