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Mik Pyro, Republic of Loose December 10, 2009

Posted by Paula in Muzak.
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“I’ve fucked up a lot… I’ve made a lot of bad decisions.” Republic of Loose frontman Mik Pyro talks about his struggles in the music industry and in his personal life. Originally published in December issue of  Flux.

I first saw Republic of Loose in concert about three years ago, when they toured Ireland to promote their 2006 album, Aaagh!. I remember being completely taken aback by the energy that the band exuded on stage. Their movement had all the force of a full-on rock band, but their music couldn’t be categorised so easily. Indeed, a reviewer of one of the gigs from that tour said of the band, “They are unsure whether they want to be gangbangers or cowboys or gospel singers”. Whatever they are aiming to be, a live Republic of Loose show is equal measures exhausting and thrilling.

I was expecting Mik Pyro, lead singer of the band, to be equally energetic offstage. That’s why I was surprised when he answered the phone at 4pm on a Wednesday afternoon sounding like he had just woken up. He had, in fact, just woken up. “I’ve had weird sleeping patterns lately, I’m like a vampire. I was up ‘til eight or nine this morning.” The interview continues, but I get the distinct feeling that Pyro is still horizontal, and will probably pass this phone call off as a dream when he wakes up again later.

The band’s third album, Vol. IV: Johnny Pyro and the Dance of Evil was released last year, but the band has been fairly quiet on the promotion front. “We’ve been gigging around over the last year. We did Oxegen and played with U2 in Croke Park. But we’ve been taking it easy enough. It’s been a really difficult year for the music industry. We can do some work in Ireland, but we don’t have the money to go touring around the UK.”

Personal finance is a huge factor in everything the band does, from recording to promotion to distribution. They have never had a record company, and finance all their efforts out of their own pocket. “We’ve been trying to keep our profile up in Ireland, to keep things afloat, but it’s difficult. We still do it though, because we love it.”

(more…)

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Academy, Dublin, 16 March: Lily in the flesh… March 19, 2009

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…was surprisingly friendly, sober and sweet. I was expecting a sullen drunk, but got quite the opposite. Lily chatted with the audience throughout and seemed genuinely delighted to be in Dublin. While the majority of the set consisted of songs from Lily’s new album, she also through in a few good ‘uns from her first album, including Smile and LDN.

My biggest problem with the gig was less to do with Lily and more to do with the very tall, very drugged up girl who stood directly in front of us for most of the show. That, and the fact that we missed support act La Roux by about ten minutes, though we arrived shortly after she was due to start.

Wednesday’s Irish Independent featured a surprisingly negative review of the gig, referring to parts of her set as “hideous”, “irritating” and “inane”. But there’s always one. My pal Joey’s blog post about the same gig was decidely more forgiving and, I think, more accurate. Read it here.

lily-allen

I wish I could say the above photo was mine, but my camera received a hefty amount of water damage the night after the gig so my photos from the Academy are trapped somewhere in my camera’s soggy motherboard. I’m slightly devastated.

Photo from here

Lily Love February 13, 2009

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It was a welcome surprise the other day to find out that Lily Allen had uploaded her new album ‘It’s Not Me, It’s You’ to her MySpace player. Considering it’s been three years since her last album I was really looking forward to hearing Lily’s latest offering. I’d just found a ticket for her gig at the Academy on March 16th too so that added to my need for a Lily fix.

It turns out she was only teasing us, though. The full album’s since been taken down, except for the her current release, ‘The Fear’. I did manage to have a quick listen before the other tracks were removed, and liked what I heard.

One of my favourite tracks was ‘Not Fair’- musically it’s definitely not the best of what the album has to offer, but lyrically it’s a keeper. I’ve heard Lily descibed as ‘gobby’ by more than one writer, and in this song she definitely fits that description.

‘Everyone’s at It’ opens the album and I hope it’ll also be the second single released. It’s a bigger sound than ‘The Fear’- I’d love if the second single released was one we could dance to rather than just…sway to…

I’m too broke to afford the album and the interent connection in my campus apartment doesn’t allow downloads. Not Fair. I’ll just have to rely on You Tube until March 16th…