Tag Archives: Belfast

Lazy Sunday

energysaving

I’m definitely in energy saving mode today.
I woke up later than usual… It was already light outside…and cold so I decided to stay in bed a while longer, nice and warm. Waking up slowly, a nice and quiet moment before actually getting up. Suddenly the big pile of laundry I had been ignoring all week popped into my head…gone was that nice moment of relaxation…brutally interrupted by the image of laundry in my head… For a moment I was wondering if I could just ignore it another day, but that wouldn’t be an option… The children were already asking for their favourite clothes that had been sitting in the laundry basket for days… Unfortunately laundry doesn’t magically do itself… so after a big sigh I decided that it was time to get into action and get the laundry done today. Coffee first though! Coffee and breakfast! A little procaffeination won’t harm… Yes, I master the art of doing nothing until I’ve had my cup of coffee!

Laundry is done now…well partly…I only did what was necessary and decided to do the rest of the laundry in the following days…if I have (want to make) time for it…
I’ve put on some music and just made a big pot of tea. Next to coffee I’m a big tea lover. There’s a shop in my home town that sells loose tea and I love to try new flavours. Yesterday I went to buy some of my favourite tea and also bought a new flavour to try. Loose tea always tastes so good!

I’m sipping my tea while writing this blog and looking back on the past week. It’s been a busy week behind the scenes. Two bits of news you may have missed or may not have noticed yet.

Robb is featured artist on Coffee House Radio this month. Coffee House Radio features music from singers and songwriters. Online, they provide a 24/7 stream of music and featured artists. Next to that Coffee House Radio broadcasts an hour long radio program with music from some of today’s finest new and known singers and songwriters. The show is on WHFC, WMNB, and WCSQ. You can find Coffee House Radio on Twitter through the following link:
https://twitter.com/CoffeeHouseRadi
Visit their website to listen: http://www.coffeehouseradio.com/

Over to the other bit of news. We received a great review of ‘North Star’ from Angry Baby !
“Glisteningly wintery, warm and fuzzy, the song holds an entire landscape in the simplest of arrangements.”
Read the full review through the following link:
http://www.angrybaby.co.uk/robb-murphy-north-star/
While you’re there, check out their website! You will find some great new music on there!

Time to end this blog with a song. No better song to use for this blog than ‘Coffee & Tea’!
Have a listen! And…while you’re there on Spotify, please give Robb a follow!

 

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Story behind the picture #1

Robb posted this picture a couple of weeks ago. It sure got people’s attention and led to funny comments. Robb never revealed the story behind the picture though. It’s about time someone does! 😉

Seeing the picture immediately made me giggle…a reminder of good times!!
This photo was taken when we were packing up after the last show of the tour of The Netherlands in 2016.
At the start of the tour Robb showed us this video and asked if we had seen it yet:

The Pen Pineapple Apple Pen song… a video that went viral in no time!
This song became the theme of the tour.
I can’t remember how many times I heard someone sing this during the tour, but believe me…I heard it a lot!!:
“I have a pen, I have a apple
Uh
Apple-Pen

I have a pen, I have pineapple
Uh
Pineapple-Pen

Apple-Pen, Pineapple-Pen
Uh
Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen
Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen”

Maybe you know the feeling of being tired and getting into a laughing stage at some point. Usually experienced with other over-tired friends; you start laughing at anything and everything and once it starts it’s almost impossible to make it stop. That’s what happens a lot during tours. When tiredness kicks in, silliness takes over.

That’s exactly what is going on in this picture. Everyone was tired after a whole week of touring, we were packing up after the last show when someone decided it was time for one more “pen pineapple apple pen” dance.

pen pineapple pen

So, that’s the story behind this picture. Keep an eye out on Robb’s Facebook page and this blog, because I’ll write more stories behind the picture soon!

One last bit of news before I end this blog.
In case you missed it on social media, we were happy and pleased to see that Pure M Magazine included North Star in their ‘Best of 2017 in Irish Music’!!
PureMZine Best of 2017 in Irish Music..

If you didn’t hear ‘North Star’ yet…you can listen to it on Spotify:

Please hit the follow button while you’re there!

Happy New Year!

It’s the last day of the year… I just made some tea and I’m listening to the Top 2000 on Radio 2 (The Top 2000 is an annual marathon radio program in The Netherlands, that plays the 2000 most popular songs of all time, from Christmas through New Year’s Eve). It’s rainy and windy outside and ‘Dancing Queen’ is playing on the radio. I’m looking back at the past year. It’s been a year with ups and downs, but I’m grateful for all the great memories 2017 brought.

New Year’s Eve…whether you love it or loathe it, it’s there! It’s one of the largest global celebrations, the end of another year… on TV the saddest, the best and the most successful moments of the year are being shown, shops are crowded with people getting food and drinks to celebrate that last night of the year. The most frequently asked question on this day is ‘What’s your new year’s resolution?’

We’re programmed to reflect back on the year. Where were you a year ago? What were the best moments in the past year? What have you achieved? Are you happier now than you were a year ago? What do you feel grateful for?

At night people gather to celebrate, dance, drink and be happy. There’s a collective feeling of things coming to an end and a feeling of a new beginning; expectations are high. At midnight we’ll ring in the new year with fireworks and champagne. It’ll be the 1st of January…the start of a new year… Apart from sore heads, eyes being sensitive to light and family obligations waiting, is this day any different from other days? If you think about it it’s just another day.

It’s funny how we all let time dictate our lives. We’ll get running for another year…365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months to fulfill the dreams and to accomplish the goals we’ve set for ourselves on New Year’s Eve to find ourselves in the same setting again next year… ringing in the new year with fireworks and champagne. It’s a really strange global tradition if you think about it.

In reality, New Year’s Eve is just the same as every other night of the year, but as it’s such a big global event, it’s something that connects us all. We all make it a special night and make it meaningful. I’m doing the same thing. I don’t need a big celebration but personally I do think that new year’s eve can make a difference. It’s a good moment to use the vibe to make some positive changes and set some realistic goals. I like the feeling of a fresh start in the new year to work towards my dreams.

Over to you, thank you for reading and sharing the blogs this year and thank you to all who’ve been supporting Robb’s music!
Happy New Year to everyone and I hope that 2018 brings you everything you wish for!
Tomorrow we all have a new year, make it a good one!
“…‘Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know…”


The Mysteries of the Heart, lyrics:

I will say it once and say it clear
I’m standing on a roof top crying out I am sincere
And I’ll look up to the heavens and I’ll wave my flag of truce
‘Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know

I’ve been holding on to something real
I’m holding on to hope that I can finally clench that deal
And I’ll look up to the heavens and I’ll pray I have your ear
‘Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know

And let it all unfold, the mysteries of the heart
And let the truth be told, if I really have your hand

And I’m not giving up or letting go
I’m ready to evacuate my self-doubt, take control
All I want is something real
All I want is something pure
‘Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know

And if there was a mountain in the sky
I’d climb up to the top and place a rock for you and I
And I will show you love
And I will show you hope
‘Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know

And let it all unfold, the mysteries of the heart
And let the truth be told, if I really have your hand

So I wont hinder ’till tomorrow
I’m ready to accept my fate and let my feelings show
So I look up to the heavens and I’ll pray for clarity
Take a breath and fall onto one bended knee

And let it all unfold, the mysteries of the heart
And let the truth be told, if I really have your hand

 

Happy New Year

 

Space cake…episode 2

People who are looking for a space cake recipe…I’m sorry to disappoint you, but you won’t find it in this blog… Space cake…I can almost hear you say “If there’s no space cake recipe, then what’s this blog about??” 😉

Well…I’ve been writing blogs about everything happening behind the scenes with Robb Murphy (singer-songwriter) for two years now and ’Space Cake’ happens to be one of the most viewed blog posts in the past few years. Every time I see that someone viewed that particular blog, it makes me giggle and think that it’s probably someone who was looking for a space cake recipe… Space cake tells the story of customs mistaking the Dutch spice cake (ontbijtkoek) I took with me on a trip to Northern Ireland for drugs… If you’re curious, go and have a read. It’s one of the many funny things that happened in the 4 ½ years I’ve been working with Robb.

Two years and many blog posts written…
Today I was reading some old blogs….there’s so much I wrote about! It’s good to read it all again, because I forgot a lot of the funny things that happened in the past few years. Reading the blogs brought back a lot of great memories!

Over the past few years the amount of people visiting the blogs increased, this year in particular. In the first months of the year I wrote blogs to introduce you to the band members. They were sent a very long list of questions to get to know them a bit better…and they all took time to answer the questions….without complaining…except for Robb, who complained that I sent him 9 million questions to answer 😉 I’m glad that they all took time for this, because these blogs were read a lot! Until the end of last year Space Cake was on top of the stats, but every blog I wrote about the band members were viewed a lot more! Kevin is the man though! Sorry Robb, Al, Rick and Dave…I think that Kevin has some secret admirers 😉 because his blog is the best read blog so far!

If you didn’t read the ‘Introducing’-blogs yet, click on the pictures of the band members below, that will guide you to the blog posts.

Robb Murphy Rick McKee Kevin Carlisle David Bennington Alan Ladd

Two years of blog writing…thank you all who’ve been reading my blogs!
I’m sure that there will be many more blogs to come, keep an eye on here or follow us on Social Media.

Those of you who are reading this blog for the first time…Robb is a singer-songwriter from Belfast and if you’re a music lover and like acoustic music with elements of pop, country, classical and folk, check out his music!

 

Take A Stand – 5 years

Take A Stand…Robb Murphy’s solo career started with this…the album was released 5 years ago on the 27th of April. Something to celebrate…and to write a blog about! I’ve been looking back into the blogs I wrote over the past few years, but I didn’t write a blog about Take A Stand and how this album came about. This 5-year anniversary sure is a good reason to do that!

‘Take A Stand’ is an album with an electronic pop sound. Robb had no intention to officially release it. It was all just something he did, because he liked it. It was an experiment for himself to get familiar with the studio programs that he was using. He sent a rough copy to BBC, not expecting to hear back from them. Robb then went on holiday and while he was away a few friends told him that they had heard his songs on radio and that a few DJ’s had been saying really positive things about it. In the next months BBC Introducing played a lot of the tracks and Robb made the decision to officially release the album. Robb was invited to do a live session for BBC Introducing and at that stage he didn’t have a band yet. The opportunity was reason enough to get a band together and do the live session for BBC Introducing, which was recorded and broadcast in the UK.

‘Love in Abundance’ was the first single Robb released. It wasn’t until later when the video for this single was released, filmed and edited by Carl Best, lead roles by Kelly Long (HBO Game of Thrones) & Ignacy Rybarczyk (BCC Ripper Street/Faraway):

The story behind the video is guy meets girl in a coffee shop with a twist. The male lead played by Ignacy Rybarczyk (Ripper Street/Faraway) is dumped by his girlfriend, seeking solace he heads for coffee and encounters Angela, played by Kelly Long (HBO Game of Thrones) who is on a blind date. He is mesmerised by her and when her date doesn’t show he ends up being the one sharing coffee. The concept for the narrative of the video was developed by writer/director and DOP Carl Best. Together Robb and Carl worked out the ideas, keeping the plot line simple to reflect the simplicity of this song.

‘Love In Abundance’ got a lot of attention and great feedback over the years. Recently the song was used for the documentary ‘Love In A Day’ on BBC Northern Ireland.

The next single Robb released from the album was ‘On My Side’, released in March 2012.
For this video Robb teamed up with award winning short film director Patrick Maxwell of Headline Films. He captured Robb and his real life girlfriend (who is now his wife!) over the course of a day in Belfast for the video of the single ‘On My Side’.

The video starts showing a young man shifting his weight, filled with the excited nerves that come before a big date. Will the following hours hold the potential for intimacy, indifference or even rejection? He resolves to rely on his tried and tested formula — ‘We will talk and I will smile’ — after all — he’s ‘got an act to keep up dear’. But what if he just goes with it and sees what the day holds. Could it live up to his expectations? Or even surpass them? Message of this video…Stop imagining. Drop the act. Be yourself. And she might just surprise you.

The last single of the album, ‘What Do I Say?’, was released in February 2013.
Robb teamed up again with Patrick Maxwell for the music video.

‘What Do I Say?’ was filmed over a six month period at various locations in and around Belfast. This music video was created using time lapse footage mixed with a real time performance by Robb Murphy and his band at a show in The Black Box, Belfast.

The artwork of all singles and the album were created by the very talented Ronan Reid.
Ronan Reid is an artist originally from Ireland, who lives in Melbourne, Australia. His work is really amazing. Whatever idea Robb has in mind for an album or single artwork, Ro is always able to translate those ideas into amazing covers. Have a look!

Take A Stand…5 years…a milestone! it’s good to look back and write about how the album came about.
It makes me think how much has happened since and how much has changed as for Robb’s music, but that’s a different story…
Time to end this blog and celebrate this milestone with a glass of wine! Cheers!

Introducing David Bennington…it’s all about that bass…

After the introduction of the man behind the beat, Kevin Carlisle, it’s time to introduce another band member. David Bennington, a.k.a. Sexy Dave, a.k.a. Captain Banter.

People who follow Robb or have seen him and the band live will know that Dave can play bass and trumpet simultaneously. This all started a couple of years ago when the band was practicing the song ‘Sleep Tonight’. When playing this song live the trumpet was missing and Robb asked Dave if he couldn’t just play both bass and guitar. Dave took on the challenge and started doing it. Where ever the band plays, this always leads to a lot of positive reactions from people being surprised and amazed by it.
Things are never boring when Dave is around! Dave loves sports and is very active. He even gets the band doing pull ups and yoga! When touring in The Netherlands Dave a.k.a. Captain Banter also drives a lot… If Dave decides to be Captain Banter we always need 15 minutes extra time, because before driving off he will tell everyone the safety instructions, he’ll check if the person sitting next to the door is capable of opening the door in case of an emergency and he’ll not leave until everyone has confirmed to have understood the safety instructions and rules on board.

To get to know Dave a bit better, we sent him a list of questions. Here’s what he said:

Tell me a little about yourself in one rambling, run-on sentence 🙂
20 something, moderately active, love jeans, hate trousers, brown hair, brown eyes, bass player, computer programmer, wine and gin lover, terrible sense of humour.

Coffee or Tea?
Coffee before dinner, tea afterwards 😉

3 songs on your playlist right now?
a. Two Steps from Hell: Stay
b. Muse: The Handler
c. Mario Kart 8 title theme – I played that with the Irish Video Games Orchestra, great tune.

How did you meet Robb and where?
When I was a student I was looking for a band to play electric guitar with. Cruised around some wanted ads and found one that I liked the sound of: turned out to be a Robb creation! Sadly wasn’t as popular as I thought it should have been (of course!).

Describe one perfect day…
I couldn’t, I would be asleep. Jokes. I would wake up in a penthouse room in a swish hotel with the sun beaming in, breakfast served on the balcony of course. Follow this with some swimming and relaxing until a light lunch, then a couple of hours of yoga. Drinks and reading sci-fi novels until dinner, which would be fancy, then banter with friends in the bar until the wee hours.

Cats or Dogs?
Well I already have 2 cats, so I guess cats it is!

Do you dance?
Depends who you ask. Probably more accurate to say that I attempt to dance. I know there’s videos out there somewhere…

What song would you choose to play for the Queen and why?
I would play the national anthem. On 3 different instruments. In 3 different styles.

If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be and why?
Backstage at a sunny festival. Failing that just anywhere outside.

Favourite place in NI?
I don’t really have one favourite place really, though when I need to reset myself I go for a walk at Helens Bay. Love the sound and smell of the sea.

Who would you be nervous to meet?
John Carmack. One of the smartest guys on the planet.

True or False… is it really all about the bass?
True, obviously

Silliest thing you’ve done this past month?
Dancing at a new years party. Silly (funny) because I can’t dance and silly (stupid)

What is your most valued possession?
I have a small stuffed toy that I’ve had since I was about 3 months old. Everything else I own is replaceable, except that.

Future plans?
No idea, never really known tbh. I just try and do whatever I enjoy doing and see where that leads me.

If a penguin wearing a sombrero walked into your room right now, what would you do and why?
Put on my own sombrero, open the tequila and just go with it.

Name one thing about music that drives you crazy?
Good crazy or bad crazy? I love close harmonies, but can’t stand manufactured singers.

Can you share some of your thoughts on the music scene in NI?
It *could* be great, but things just start too late here. Nobody wants to still be listening to a band at like 12, they’re already in clubs by then. Bands need to be playing earlier before the party crowds are heading out.

How many instruments do you play?
Well? Trumpet, guitar and bass. I can play a tune on some others but I don’t sound those!

Mac or Windows?
Mac. Used to be windows but I work with linux systems as a day job and and OSX is similar enough to work well, as well as they just look lovely.

Top 3 places you’d love to live
California, Costa Blanca, and Belfast. I’m not kidding, as long as you can get away for a sunny holiday when the weathers crap, Belfast is an amazing place to live.

What surprises you the most?
How utterly stupid some people can be when driving.

Favourite thing about the Netherlands?
Gotta be the people. They have a really relaxed attitude, easy to get on with.

Favourite song from high school?
See, I had 2 major phases in school – trance and alternative. Would be unfair to myself to just pick one, so if you’ll allow me I’ll have 2! Kylie Minogue ‘On A Night Like This’ and Placebo’s ‘My Sweet Prince’. There’s a ton of other ones up there, but those come to mind first!

What inspires you?
Anybody who has a passion for what they do. Doesn’t really matter what, but seeing people who love what they do and give 100% is a fantastic thing.

Thanks very much for this Dave!

You can follow Dave on Twitter. Stop by and say hello!

Introducing Kevin Carlisle…the man behind the beat!

It’s a new year! Time for something new… I wrote a lot of blogs in the past few years about everything happening behind the scenes, but not once have I introduced the band to you. It’s about time!

Starting off with Kevin Carlisle, the man behind the beat!
Over the past few years I got to know Kevin a bit during the tours in The Netherlands. Kevin is funny, he’s always up for silliness, he loves being photographed (not really) and – I’m not sure how he does that – he can sleep anywhere at any time.

No better way to get to know the band better than sending them all some silly questions. Here’s what Kevin said:

Tell me a little about yourself
I’m quirky, love making music and also making people laugh!!

Coffee or Tea?  (An important subject for Robb Murphy and the band, they are fueled by caffeine!)
Defo coffee not into tea at all. 

3 songs on your playlist right now?
Psy – daddy:  https://youtu.be/FrG4TEcSuRg
On the Nature of Daylight – Max Richter:  https://youtu.be/rVN1B-tUpgs
Bang Bang – Green Day :  https://youtu.be/mg5Bp_Gzs0s

How did you meet Robb and where?
First met Robb back in The Minority days. His band organised a gig in the Pavilion Bar, we were one of the support bands. Also it was our first gig in Belfast as the John Shelly and the Creatures (later Master & Dog). Was a great wee night.

Describe one perfect day…
LOL, being off work!!! Actually sleeping in…. I always wake up at 7am, stupid biological clock. I would make a batch of Kevy pancakes; 2 eggs a whack of self raising flour, and a dollop of whole milk, mix, cook then top with maple syrup. Boom! Also this perfect day would consist of chilling out watching TV with the missus. Playing drums/guitar and computer games. This one is tough! Lol moving on.

Cats or Dogs?
I don’t mind either. But have more of a preference to cats.

Do you dance?
Awkwardly and badly.

I say it’s time for some choreography practice Kevin!!

If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
Usually I would say my bed! I mean who doesn’t love their own bed. I’d happily be on the road playing gigs right now … that’s the dream.

Favourite place in Northern Ireland?
NI is such a nice wee place. But I advise everyone to go to Sugar Rays in Dundonald. Get the ultimate combo…. so much meat!!!!

Who would you be nervous to meet?
I wouldn’t say I would be nervous to meet anyone. I usually go head first into first contact with people.

True or False… the drummer is in charge!
Now this doesn’t have to be asked. See the GIF for why!! Lol.

Kevin GIF.gif

Silliest thing you’ve done on the latest NL tour?
Drinking then dancing to YouTube videos. I blame the alcohol. You should talk about it with the other lads in the band.

What’s your most valued possession?
My drum kit yup. It’s a bit awesome.

Future plans?
Can’t think that far ahead!!!

If a penguin wearing a sombrero walked into your room right now, what would you do and why?
Video it, put it on the internet and watch the millions roll in!! Lol.

Name one thing about music that drives you crazy?
Counting songs in. I hate it!!!

Can you share some of your thoughts on the music scene in NI?
One tough nut to crack! The scene is small with loads of really talented folk! If only people went out to more gigs the world would be a better place.

How many instruments do you play?
Drums, some percussion. I used to play the clarinet and alto sax. I like to tinker on piano when I can find one, guitar/ bass.

Favourite t-shirt?
Any of my Adventure Time t-shirts.

Top 3 places you’d love to play live
Ulster Hall Belfast
Mandela Hall Belfast
SSE Arena Belfast.

What surprises you the most?
Ermmm that after 30 years I still stay up too late hahaha.

Favourite thing about the Netherlands?
I probably should say stroopwafels, but it’s how nice everyone is. They truly do appreciate the music. 🙂

Favourite song from high school?
Ah jaysus this is like saying what’s your favourite food.

The offspring – Kids Aren’t Alright.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iNbnineUCI

What inspires you?
I take inspiration from friends, family and other musicians. Keep an open mind listen to all types of music, you never know when you’ll find that next song or tune that stays with you forever.

Thanks for this Kevin!

I hope this gives you a bit of insight into the man behind the beat! You can follow Kevin on Twitter  Stop by and say hello!