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Local Performance Artists commit to making music, even though they can’t be in the same room.

Cartoon Bill and Ellen finally make it to the Love Shack where they perform a big finale in front of their digital audience.

Lockdown is affecting everyone, but two performers from Larne, Northern Ireland haven’t let that get them down.

15 Miles To…

Entertainer Bill ‘The Thrill’ Buchanan and singer Ellen McClure have recreated the B-52s hit, ‘Love Shack’. With an entertaining animated video to go along with their vocals, these two have gone to amazing lengths to keep their spirits up, all while hoping to raise those of the public too.

With bars and performance venues closed due to the ongoing pandemic, performers have found themselves with little income and even less to do. While many have turned to live streaming events to remain in the public eye, Bill saw an opportunity to take another route to entertain.

Entertainer Bill “The Thrill” Buchanan devised a plan to bypass social distancing measures by creating an animated world for the friends to perform.

Entertainer Bill “The Thrill” Buchanan devised a plan to bypass social distancing measures by creating an animated world for the friends to perform.

“Ellen [McClure] and I have always joked about the idea of recording a version of the track [Love Shack] after performing it together on a few occasions. So, I thought why not seize the down time and do it”

Lockdown Recording

However, restrictions meant the performers could not meet up and record. Instead opting to utilise home equipment to record their vocals separately, and collaborate online to bring their project to life, but where did that leave the idea of a music video?

“I’d started toying with animation software at the start of lockdown to keep myself busy, this soon morphed into the short-animated series D.A.D. (Daily & Dire) Jokes. So, when the idea of a music video came up, I thought if we can’t go outside in reality why not create an animated world where we could.”

Despite being forced to stay apart Ellen joked that they are ok with abit of distance between them.

“He’s [Bill] intense at the best of times, so being able to record my parts without him cracking jokes and bouncing around was actually quite nice.”

Singer Songwriter Ellen McClure is no stranger to playing in front of a live audience, but this time she performed in 2D.

Singer Songwriter Ellen McClure is no stranger to playing in front of a live audience, but this time she performed in 2D.

“Our running joke throughout recording was I seemed to be doing all the hard work in terms of singing, while he just got to talk his way through it. I think he made up for it on the animation side though, so I’ll let it go this time.”

The Finished Product

With vocals recorded, and their animated counter parts at the ready Bill set about piecing together the final product. The video went live on their Facebook, and social media accounts on Monday night for the entertainment of everyone at home.

Are the performers just as entertaining in cartoon form? Only by watching the video will you know the answer.

Music

Sarah O’Moore Drops New Single ‘I Need U’

Irish singer songwriter, Sarah O’Moore latest single ‘I Need U’ is available now on all streaming platforms. The song is an energetic anthem that examines the wrong doings in society. The boisterous sound coupled with matter-of-fact lyrics allows the song to flow through an honest ravine.

Making heads turn with her timeless, sultry, powerhouse voice is Irish singer-songwriter Sarah O’Moore. Raised on a diet of rock Gods & folk legends, is it any wonder that her style pogos from contemporary RNB to soul? Drawing comparison from Amy Winehouse to Billie Holiday. Sarah is a voice in her own right penning deeply introspective and profoundly outlandish work. Borrowing from her Corkonian roots, Sarah’s songs carry the dark underbelly of societal demise and her hybrid fusion of rich lyricism and melodic roots make her a touchstone for current times.

From an early age, Sarah has always been attracted to the soul talent of Nina Simone, Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. It was through cosmic wordsmiths such as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Van Morrison, Sarah was able to hone her craft. Pursuing her dreams, Sarah set shore to Bristol; where she is currently studying Songwriting at BIMM.

O’Moore has said that the song is about ‘the political undertones of the past year. Its after showcasing the Omnipresence of racism in society and the ongoing battles of minority groups. It’s reignited our need to combat these issues. Lets not have the victors steal the narrative and have its victims forgotten.

The song is rallied with immediacy with the use of synth textures and raw vocals. The song questions the latent attitudes of government power. It’s time to support, speak up, press play and listen away.

Sarah plans to launch her debut E.P, “social paralysis” later this year. Which will act as a testimony to James Joyce’s “Dubliner’s”. She will embark on bringing these 20th century archetypes to life.

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Music

Iconic NI band The Outcasts to take Punk to the Park

The ever-popular Belfast punk band, The Outcasts are set to make an explosive return to the stage at Ward Park in Bangor at Punk in the Park this summer as restrictions are eased and live gigs are permitted.  

The event, taking place on Sunday 22 August 2021 at 3pm – 5pm, is part of the Open House Festival as it resumes after a year’s hiatus with live music, comedy and spoken word events throughout August and September. The Belfast born punk group, made up of brothers Greg and Martin Cowan along with JP and Petsey Burns, will take to the stage in their first performance since 2020, supported by local Bangor band Wasted Talent.

Formed in 1977, the Outcasts are legends on the Belfast music scene having signed with Terry Hooley’s infamous Good Vibrations record label. Branded by local media as “the band you love to hate”, The Outcasts embraced their bad boy image and were central to the development of the youth punk scene in Belfast. Forty-four years on, the band are now signed with Philadelphia-based record label, Violated Records and released an EP under the label in 2019, their first since 1983.

Lead singer and bassist, Greg Cowan, said:

“We are thrilled to be taking part in our first live gig in 18 months. 2020 was due to be one of our busiest periods including our first ever tour of America, which unfortunately was cancelled due to the pandemic.

“We can’t wait to get back on stage and play together to unite everyone with a love of punk and celebrate the vibrant music scene Northern Ireland has to offer. With the tough times the music business has been through lately, it’s important for the public to get out and support local bands and musicians. So, I would encourage as many people as possible to come out to the event to celebrate the world opening up again.”

The outdoor gig marks the beginning of a flurry of activity for the punk icons as they prepare for a busy 2022, with tours through France and Switzerland before they return home for an Irish tour with fellow local rock band, Therapy.

Held in the open-air of Ward Park, all the Music in the Park events at the Open House Festival are free to attend for all ages and do not require booking. Guests are encouraged to pack a picnic and head down to Bangor for a Sunday afternoon of live music and an electric atmosphere.

The Outcasts can be found on Facebook @officialoutcasts.

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