I have been freelancing as a music journalist for over two years now and as I look back, it is astonishing how things have changed. First and foremost I have a part-time which is a blessing in all other aspects of life, but in the journalism aspect, it is undoubtedly a hindrance. I was browsing through my first blog which can be found here and I realised that I have developed as a writer since I began reviewing unsigned bands.
There is one band, and its team which I owe a lot to, avoiding sentimentality, without them, I would not have gained the experience, nor the advice, that has spurred me on over the last two years. The band I talk so highly of is one from Dublin called Keywest and what better way to kick off this new music blog than writing about them.
Revisiting my old articles also shows that the band have come along way themselves. From playing venues such as The Academy 2, which seems to be tailor-made for band’s trying to get out there, they are now about play at Ireland’s most popular music festival for the second year running. Not only that but they are literally going upstairs to better things with a headline gig in The Academy Main Room in October. This is no mean feat for a band that started on a whim in the Dublin suburb of Artane. The line up has changed since that first review, and it has certainly been for the better. Although impressive in the earlier days, ever since the change was made Keywest are every bit the professional band. It is almost as if the newest line-up gelled together in all the necessary ways for band to perform well together.
2011 has been very good to the band so far. They have achieved a strong following as a result of relentless touring around schools in aid of Heads up. Teams of Irish school girls are tweeting up a storm about Keywest on a daily basis, and that kind of publicity cannot hurt a band of their kind. In fact it helped them gain regular airplay on Spin 1038, the most popular station among Dublin teenagers, and in turn, their single Back into your arms charted in the 20s the week of its release.
If you have never heard of Keywest, you will in due time. All over the internet they are being heralded as the next pop sensation and it is predicted that they will have taken the countries’ radio stations by storm before the year is out. If you are a strict rock and roller you will not be fond of Keywest, but one thing is for sure, while they may not be the “coolest” of unsigned bands, they pack an awful lot of talent into their performances. It shows on stage that put a huge amount of work into their set, their look, and they way they reach out to committed followers, and their would-be fans. Keywest go beyond the pop-factor by throwing in a wailing guitar solo here or there, as though just to prove that they are not just your run of the mill pop band. They have a familiar sound that has become popularised over the last decade, that of the script or Maroon 5, yet they seem to do it differently. Maybe it’s because they are honest in the way they convey themselves and appear to just be having a good time, and maybe it’s because they genuinely have a rockier, edgier feel than most of their pop-counter parts.
Keep an eye and an ear out for this band’s name because within the next few months those 7 letters will be close to unavoidable.
Keywest’s current single is available on itunes and various music shops around the country. You can buy tickets to their gig in the Academy from TicketMaster.