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Video of the Moment #2323: Callum Stewart

By on Tuesday, 21st March 2017 at 6:00 pm

Rising Northern Irish alt-pop artist Callum Stewart has a new video out now for his latest single. ‘The Dam’ is available now from Hope & Fury Records, and his sound has already caught the ear of Wonderland Magazine, who describe him as a “Northern Irish heartthrob… we are sure there will be many more hearts in for the melting.” Hey, we don’t need any convincing here at TGTF: Mary covered him at Hard Working Class Heroes 2016 last October, where his soulful voice sounded equally at home stripped back busker-style as well as in the hallowed confines of City Hall. Stewart began writing songs at the age of 13 and now at the still tender age of 19, he has become the one of Northern Ireland’s top artists, working with some of the industries top songwriters Jez Ashurst (Gabrielle Aplin) and Emma Rohan (Little Mix), as well as being tipped as ‘One to Watch’ in 2017 by Irish magazine Hot Press. In short, you’d be a fool to not keep your eyes and years on this amazing young talent.

His latest single ‘The Dam’ is a track filled with hope and restoration in the midst of chaos. The video follows a couple in a relationship as they battle the highs and lows of love. Who’d have known that going bowling and taking impromptu walks at night could be portrayed so despairingly beautiful? Have a peek and listen below to see the latest incredible work from Callum Stewart.



Hard Working Class Heroes 2016: Day 2 roundup (part 1)

By on Tuesday, 18th October 2016 at 1:00 pm

During my Friday at Hard Working Class Heroes 2016, I decided to take a more relaxed approach to the band discovery and actually enjoy the city of Dublin. Sort of. Stepping into part of the festival‘s convention activities at the Chocolate Factory for late in the afternoon, I was still able to catch two acts in the free In the City programming before taking in an assortment of Irish and Northern Irish acts in the evening.

Brian Casey (West Cork) @ Gutter Bookshop

Brian Casey HWCH 2016

From the south-west coast of Ireland, Brian Casey is a self-described failed journalism student turned musician who’s already set up his own studio, Waveform Recordings. With whip-equipped drummer Andrew O’Sullivan, he performed a brief set at the Gutter bookshop on Cow Lane. As my hosts in Galway insisted, there’s a slight but discernable difference in the Irish accent from the west country compared to Dublin’s, and even between Galway and Cork, which made for an interesting contrast to the other singer/songwriters on show this weekend.

True to form for a good musician able to improvise in any situation, he asked the audience for a topic to write a song about on the fly. My suggestion for food ended up not working out – hey, they were stood right next to the culinary books section of the shop! – so Casey wrote a song about sleep instead. I doubt he’s going to record that, so have a listen to his track ‘Believe’ instead below.

Callum Stewart (Belfast; now known as JC Stewart) @ Nine Crows –and- City Hall

Callum Stewart HWCH 2016 outside Nine Crows

Here’s another big tip for the major labels out there. As us music bloggers get older, some things never change. We know you labels want to keep the young music buyers of the world happy and spending their money on your artists and part of that is finding a young, fresh-faced talent. Singer/songwriter Callum Stewart will tick off all the boxes for you very nicely. The young Belfast artist has already been featured in Ireland magazine Hot Press as one to watch, filmed a video in far-flung Iceland of all places, and worked Nile Rodgers (yes, that Nile Rodgers) and Rudimental. What makes him a complete package: he’s cute as a button and if I were a lot younger, I’d have a Tiger Beat-style crush on him.

Callum Stewart HWCH 2016 2 at City Hall

As young artists these days do, he’s chosen an r&b pop bent for his music. Unlike the many others, he’s got a convincing soulfulness and I can’t wait to hear what he does next. Whether he’s playing on a street in Temple Bar with only his voice and his guitar or in a echoing, unusual venue like City Hall in front of a keyboard, he’s already mastered the professionalism of artists far older than himself. Despite the experience and fans he’s already amassed, he’s eager for the next steps of his career, yet still extremely humble. Is this because he’s Irish? Quite possibly.

Jealous of the Birds (Portadown, Northern Ireland) @ Tengu Downstairs

Jealous of the Birds HWCH 2016

Carrie covered Northern Irish singer/songwriter Naomi Hamilton at this year’s SXSW 2016 when she performed at the Output Belfast showcase on St. Patrick’s Day 2016 (of course). I have to admit that the only exposure I’ve truly had to her music is her single ‘Goji Berry Sunset’, an indie folk masterpiece that has already garnered the attention of BBC Radio 1, 2 and 6 Music. Naturally, I was expecting more of the same chilled out atmosphere when she played the downstairs stage of Tengu Friday night.

Imagine my surprise and enjoyment when Hamilton rocked out! Much more my speed. You go, girl! If she plays her cards right, I think she could very well be the next Sheryl Crow: versatile in her song styles and musical choices, but with strong chops vocally and instrumentally.


Hard Working Class Heroes 2016: editor Mary’s best band bets

By on Friday, 30th September 2016 at 11:00 am

Please note: as we recommend with all of our festival previews, the information we post here on TGTF on Hard Working Class Heroes 2016, including my past preview of the event, is current at the time of posting. But we encourage you to check in at the event’s official Web site closer to the start of the event to confirm venues and set times. Weekend tickets are still on sale for €45, with nightly and individual venue tickets priced at €20 and €10, respectively. Weekend student tickets will be available for purchase for €25 upon proof of photo ID on Thursday 6th October from the box office at Film Base, Curved Street. To purchase your tickets, visit this page on the official HWCH Web site.

2016 North American emerging music festival alums: We’d be missing a trick not to give a shoutout to the artists we’ve already covered and enjoyed at this year’s SXSW 2016 in Austin (March) and CMW 2016 in Toronto (May):
Comrade Hat (Derry; 10:10 PM Thursday, Tengu Upstairs)
Elm (Dublin; 9:40 PM Saturday, Workman’s Club)
Fangclub (Dublin; 9:30 PM Thursday, Hub)
Jealous of the Birds (Portadown; 9:00 PM Friday, Tengu Downstairs)
Rosie Carney (Downings via Portsmouth; 10:00 PM Saturday, City Hall)
Rusangano Family (Limerick; 9:30 PM Saturday, Chocolate Factory Stage 2)
Search Party Animal (Dublin; 8:30 PM Thursday, Workman’s Club)

Let me introduce you to a lucky seven acts that caught my eyes and ears upon my research of the 100+ strong bill for Hard Working Class Heroes this year:

Orchid Collective (folk / Dublin; 1:30 PM Thursday, Accents Café Lounge [free show]; 10:30 PM Thursday, Wigwam)

The incredible success of Fleet Foxes in the late Noughties opened the door for the march of the alt-folk genre, paving the way for artists like Bon Iver, Family of the Year and Of Monsters and Men to garner global popularity. From one of the traditional bosoms of folk music of the world, Ireland, and with new EP ‘Courage’ out in late October, Orchid Collective look to be the next stars of indie folk.

New Pope (folk / Galway; 3:30 PM Thursday, Gutter Bookshop [free show]; 9:40 PM Thursday, Tengu Downstairs)

It’s easy to suffer from electronic overload and overproduction. So let’s take a step back and strip back to the basics of folk. New Pope is West Country singer/songwriter David Boland, proving that as long as you keep things simple during a thoughtful writing process, it’s possible to write a compelling song. Close your eyes for a fuller sense of the power of ‘Love’ below.

Update 16/05/2020: ‘Love’ is no longer on New Pope’s Soundcloud.

Exiles (electronic / Carlow/Kilkenny; 10:50 PM Thursday, Tengu Upstairs)

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for synthpop, so Exiles are a no-brainer on my Hard Working Class Heroes schedule. This month, they released a new EP ‘Red Lights’, already receiving loads of attention from domestic radio. Given the current music climate for everything synthy, I can see this band going far beyond the ‘80s influences that have been so important to them.

Slow Riot (post-punk / Limerick; 8:10 PM Friday, Hub)

Naming themselves after a Godspeed You! Black Emperor EP, Slow Riot takes the best of those who have come before and puts a unique Irish stamp on it. Having already played a sold-out show in the Capital, they will return to gig in London on the 10th of November at the Sebright Arms after this appearance at Hard Working Class Heroes.

Callum Stewart (pop / Belfast; 12:30 PM Friday, Nine Crows [free show]; 8:40 PM Friday, City Hall) – as of 2020, Callum Stewart now goes by the name JC Stewart

You know that feeling you get when you listen to a new artist and the chills run down your spine? Like I felt with Liverpool’s BANNERS in my SXSW 2016 research, I got that same kind of moment upon hearing Callum Stewart’s pop single ‘Parachute’. Despite being only 19, Stewart has already managed to achieve a poignancy in his songs that much older songwriters have difficulty with. Expect a major label snap-up in the coming months.

Hiva Oa (electronic/rock / Belfast; 8:20 PM Saturday, Tengu Downstairs)

Stephen Houlihan and Christine Tubridy have returned to Ireland after a spell in Edinburgh, and they’ve just released a new EP. ‘mk2 (part 1)’ illustrates well their sound described on a press release as “marrying primal, dizzying electronica and a swelling bass hum, with minimal guitar patterns to create a tightly wound, suffocating and intense atmosphere”. Intrigued? Check them out on Saturday night.

Kid Karate (punk / Dublin; 8:30 PM Saturday, Chocolate Factory Stage 2; our past coverage on them on TGTF here)

Kid Karate are veterans of past SXSW events and this year, the noiseniks really have something to shout about. Their newest and also self-titled album was released in April. Single ‘Louder’, with its unrelenting, thudding backbeat and punky swagger, should give you a good clue what you’re in for if you pop into the Chocolate Factory’s Stage 2 Saturday night.


About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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