Category: Popular

The Über Rock Singles Club – NWoCR Special

Well, 2021 may have may have finally taken its first reasonably confident steps to the end of its second month, with some light seeming to finally appear at the end of the tunnel for what otherwise has been pretty much of another shitstorm of a year, with the vaccination programme finally starting to take effect and BoJo’s much-vaunted “roadmap” out of the crisis finally having some form of, albeit loose, timetable. Of course, it comes too late for the first half of the festival season, with Glastonbury already shelved for the second successive year and other events, such as Download, also facing the inevitability of further cancellations, while it remains to be seen if there will be any longer lasting restrictions on live events, either indoors or outdoors. With the path to our previous level of “normality” still a long way off, at least 2021 is sharing something more positive in common with 2020, in that it already has produced some terrific new music, with the promise of plenty more to come, if the inbox here at ÜRHQ is anything to go by…

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THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT WAS: ÜBER ROCK’S TOP ALBUMS OF 2020

Over the course of a year, our Über team listens to literally hundreds of albums, and once again we set them the onerous task of selecting what they feel to have been the best new releases of the past 12 months. In total, our crack team submitted more than albums for consideration, with their lists then fed into our state-of-the-art musical abacus to calculate our final top ten albums of 2020.

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THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT WAS: REMEMBERING LIVE SHOWS

To paraphrase a certain much over-played song by Led Zeppelin, “does anyone remember live shows?” Yes, we do… those occasions when we would travel the length and breadth of the Uber Kingdom, worshipping at the altar of rock ‘n’ roll and experiencing the best bands around in the environment in which they were best enjoyed – down the front in a hot and sweaty moshpit (or from the safety of the VIP area at the back of the room!)…

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THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT WAS: 2020 “COVERED”

We’re not normally fans of cover versions here at ÜRHQ, but it has to be admitted that 2020 has seem a plethora of them – perhaps a hefty percentage more than in any “normal” rock ‘n’ roll year – as artists have adapted to the various global lockdowns and used modern technology to either present their takes on favourite songs or collaborate (virtually) with like-minded fellow artists to put new twists on perennial favourites.

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EXTENDED PLAY: ÜBER ROCK’S FAVOURITE BITE-SIZED PIECES OF MUSICAL MAYHEM

For many years, the EP – or ‘Extended Player’, to give it its full title – was a criminally overlooked format. But, in recent years, it has made something of a deserved comeback, as bands face the challenge of continually producing new material but often not being able to commit to the cost of, or time to, recording full-length albums. During the course of the global pandemic, it has become an even more important tool for artists to get new music out there, with bands often availing of limited time between lockdowns to lay down a handful of songs, or individual members taking the opportunity either to strip things right back to their basics, or indulge in online collaborations with like-minded fellow troubadours.

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THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT WAS: ÜBER ROCK’S ALBUMS OF THE YEAR (PART ONE)

There is no doubt it, but 2020 has been a truly traumatic year for the rock ‘n’ roll Überverse, with live shows all but non-existent in the vast majority of places, and income streams completely decimated for many of those involved in the music business. The latter is a feeling we know all too well here at ÜRHQ, as we ourselves have not earned a penny since the Northern Ireland entertainments industry went into lockdown on 14 March. However, one thing that has shown through is the enormous creativity of many, many hundreds of artists, and equal numbers of those working behind the scenes, in adapting to the changed global landscape – one which, in many cases, may indeed be changed forever:  streamed shows, whether live or pre-recorded, have virtually (sic) become the norm, and no doubt will remain so, especially here in the Über Kingdom, for quite some time to come…

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The Über Rock Singles Club – November’s New Sounds (Part Two)

It’s hard to believe it’s been a fortnight since the Singles Club opened its virtual doors and we fired up the death decks with a selection of the finest single-track releases to have come our way in recent weeks. Yet, here we are again with another bumper pick of the crop, with just shy of two dozen tracks for your aural and visual delectation, whittled down from the 300+ submissions which have come our way over the past 14 days or so, and once again hopefully containing something to tickle almost everyone’s musical taste buds as we traverse multiple subgenres of the glorious artform we like to refer to as rock ‘n’f’n’ roll…

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The Über Rock Singles Club – Awesome August (Part One)

As the temperatures start to climb towards something resembling what is supposed to be summer, it’s hard to believe it’s been a fortnight since the Singles Club opened its virtual doors and we fired up the death decks with a selection of the finest single-track releases to have come our way in recent weeks. Yet, here we are again with another bumper pick of the crop – actually, for the second successive iteration it’s one of our biggest clubs in a long time, as once again we have just shy of two dozen tracks for your aural and visual delectation, whittled down from the 250+ submissions which have come our way over the past 14 days or so, and again hopefully containing something to tickle almost everyone’s musical taste buds as we traverse multiple subgenres of the glorious artform we like to refer to as rock ‘n’f’n’ roll…

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The HU – ‘The Gereg’ (Deluxe Edition)’ (Better Noise Music)

If there was one band whom you couldn’t miss in 2019, it was quite possibly The HU, who came storming out of Mongolia with the ferocity of that most famed of their ancestors, Genghis Khan, and proceeded to conquer the world with their blend of traditional throat music and modern metal miens. Here in the Über Kingdom, their debut full length offering smashed its way into the album charts, and the band rampaged across Europe on a sold out tour – one of the last by an international act before the continent went into lockdown over the Covid-19 pan(dem)ic.

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