The music created by the Sons of Southern Ulster goes down like a fine whiskey, aged to perfection with all the right ingredients. Turf Accountant Schemes, the new EP from the Sons has all the right ingredients. I have never been to Bailieborough, County Cavan, Ireland, but I have been flat out drunk on my back staring at Polaris and wishing I were at home. Good music soars in strange and beautiful ways to connect with the listeners on some visceral level that can not be explained, so much as felt. Having said that, I will now try to explain it.
Sons of Southern Ulster are a couple of musicians from Ireland. Collectively they are, Justin Kelly pummelling us with searing and soaring vocals, David Meagher tastefully adding the guitar palette, Noel Larkin beating the notes into submission on drums and Paddy Glackin holding it all together on a thumping kick-ass bass guitar. Together they explore themes of regret and disappointment, interspersed with moments of light and insight in the EP Turf Accountant Schemes.
Pete Briquette is an Irish bassist, record producer, composer and a member of The Boomtown Rats. As an anecdotal rabbit trail, I went to see The Boomtown Rats when they promoted The Fine Art of Surfacing on tour in 1980. We had consumed more than a few bottles of liquid enhancement, and while I was ramped up for the show, my friend did something I have never seen since. He fell asleep in the middle of the show. I think the lads in Sons of Southern Ulster might be able to relate to that. Pete is originally from Ballyjamesduff in County Cavan, and the Sons of Southern Ulster are from the nearby community of Bailieborough.
Justin Kelly, “The first music I ever bought was the ‘Like Clockwork’ single by the Boomtown Rats when I was twelve or thirteen. I was obsessed with The Rats so when Pete Briquette reached out to ask if he could remix a few tracks from our ‘Sinners and Lost Souls‘ album, we were absolutely shocked. Apparently, a mutual friend has passed the album on to him, and he was suitably intrigued. Pete also grew up in Cavan, a lot of the references and the tone.
Lyrically, the songs are very “Cavan” in that they are on the surface often quite harsh but contain a lot of dark humour,”
“I remember when the Boomtown Rats broke through. At that time, it was highly unusual for an Irish band to make it in Britain. But for a Cavan man to be there!!! That was just bizarre. Cavan men were made to be farmers – not No.1 pop stars.”
“In Sons of Southern Ulster, we took a very conscious decision to sing songs about Cavan as it was always a bit underserved, not just in music but in infrastructure and resources. In many ways, the Irish government ignored us and left us to our own devices – for better or worse. I think Pete picked up on that,” says David Meagher.
The government may have ignored Cavan, but I can not ignore Turf Accountant Schemes. It consists of only four tracks of searing music that tell stories that only hearts can bear to hear. Stories of lives well spent juxtaposed against songs of pain and misery. Songs about life would sum that up pretty well. I may not understand all the geography or the customs and habits of Covan, but I know good music when I hear it. This EP sloshes about like the head on a pint of ale on a summer afternoon, and the tales we tell each other ramble on becoming larger upon each telling. I hope that the Sons of Southern Ulster keep this tradition going.
p.s. There is also a darn good video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84RRaIiUE9c
Keep up with Sons of Southern Ulster
http://www.sonsofsouthernulster.com https://sonsofsouthernulster.bandcamp.com http://www.facebook.com/SonsofSouthernUlster http://twitter.com/sonsofsouthern2 https://music.apple.com/us/artist/sons-of-southern-ulster/1058421289 https://open.spotify.com/artist/163H9BzUOjxSpO4ID6l6lM
Keep up with Pete Briquette
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