Back again.

It’s been a while since we did anything really. The Leaving Certificate got in the way completely. But that’s over now, and we’re heading back into the studio to lay the foundations of a new record! Wahey! There’s all time excitement going on now. The full line-up of members are back and there’s new material to be finished.

I’d say you could expect some sort of Alka Jessie release before Christmas anyway. Update complete. God Bless Summer.

Long time, no blog.

It’s been a really long time since we gave much attention to this blog. Or anything.

We’ve been well busy over the past few months and we’ve got a busy few months ahead of us. Between studying for the L.C and side-projects, we’ve had very little time to give to Alka Jessie, but here’s a little bit on what we’re all actually getting up to these days.

Frantic Jack

The next big Alka Jessie related thing is our gig supporting the great band Frantic Jack. They’re touring around Ireland at the moment and ourselves and Evan Prendergast will be supporting them in Cleere’s Theatre, Kilkenny (ah Cleere’s!) on the 11th of May. That’ll be the last AJ performance until at least July since three-quarters of the band have to sit their leaving certs throughout June.

During the Summer though, we’ve got big things being planned. This would of course be the “Side-Project” you’d hear us waffling on about every now and then. It’s still yet to be formally announced, but Geoff and Colin and constantly working on it in the background and it’s looking like it’ll be quite the success (hopefully anyway!). Expect more details on that in the coming weeks and expect to get your hands on whatever “it” is in August.

The Octaves

Besides that, our own Gary O’ Neill has been going from strength to strength with his other band The Octaves. These guys are great, so I think it’s safe to say that eventually, some time down the road, you’ll find a collaboration between us. (You may also notice our good friend and former band member Ryan Hitchcock in their line up. Kilkenny’s music industry: Small world.)

There’s new songs on the way too. We’re hoping to have maybe another EP before the Autumn creeps in. We’re also thinking of diversifying our sound a little bit! (Actually, that’s just Colin. He wants to make hard-dance album. Good luck with that… )

So that’s about it, little news update for you all. I’ll leave links to everyone I mentioned in this blog below!

Frantic Jack:

http://www.facebook.com/FranticJackOfficial

Evan Prendergast:

http://www.facebook.com/Evanprendergast

The Octaves:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Octaves-8ves/190735141004844

PS,

Between Youtube and Bandcamp, our own songs have been played over 10,000 times. Cheers lads.

-Gary, Colin, Benny, and Geoff.

Brace yourself SOPA, indie musicians are coming.

It’s not often we update this blog. And when we do, we never EVER put up anything that isn’t related to us and why you all should make a sound investment in our music.

However, the fate of the internet is at stake if SOPA gains any more ground, and as such, this is worth highlighting. If piracy gets cracked down on, there will be no hope for most musicians, without piracy, copyright infringement, and sharing intellectual property, there would be no revolution in the music industry in the past few years, no indie bands popping up from nowhere, no “name your own price” albums. Great bands with a small fanbase would never be heard if it wasn’t for sites like Grooveshark, Youtube and The Pirate Bay.

If there was a crackdown on sharing intellectual property illegally, we would have never heard of Trevor Hall, The Gaslight Anthem, Damien Dempsey, Frank Turner, Skrillex, The Head and The Heart, or many other great musicians and acts who have influenced our own music. And even though we heard of these acts through supposedly “illegal” ways, we still generated revenue for them, paying to see them live, watching their advertisement infested videos, and just talking about them. All these actions probably left them with more fame and money than if we payed for their music. Even if we did dish out a euro for a song, very little of it would reach the artists directly, management and record labels always seem to get a bigger cut than the acts themselves.

This is why we released our first few EPs and Demos for free, to build up a fanbase. Even now, we only charge a fiver for Electric Soul, hardly extortion. SOPA will destroy our hopes of ever covering ground in the music industry. Quite frankly, we’d be fairly proud if some of our stuff popped up on The Pirate Bay.

Take a stand, fight back against SOPA. And if your government decides it’s OK to extradite you, extradite your government… to North Korea. Don’t be held down by foreign laws. Help save the music industry (and many others), say “FUCK YOU” to SOPA.

Rant complete.

- Alka Jessie

Long time since a blog post! We’re just letting the dust settle on the initial launch of Electric Soul for now! But we’ve prepared a little hardcore Christmas present for ye (thanks to our good friend Tom Winters/DubstepSnowman. Look him up.)

So anyway, here’s the Dubstep Snowman remix of Table! Enjoy and share!

We’ve been lucky enough to get into the top twenty in the Irish popularity charts on bandcamp.com! We’re number 19 presently! We’d really REALLY appreciate it if ya’ll could listen to the album or just share it! OR… BOTH!

Kilkenny Has Electric Soul

Rarely these days, do you get to see a group of 17/18 year old lads showing a bit of innovation, getting out and recording a studio album. Nevertheless, this kind of thing happens once in a while, and when it does, it is always a pleasure to behold.

Alka Jessie, a fresh, local band hit Kilkenny’s in early 2010, with a song that seemed to be on everyone’s lips for several weeks called Take it Slow. Now, a year and a half later, they have countless gigs, an EP, and a debut album under their belts, along with countless gigs in front of their loyal and energetic fans, one of which, I had the privilege of attending on Friday last in Cleere’s Theatre, which saw the release of their debut album, Electric Soul.


The album itself is hard to describe in words. Positively vibrating with the pulse of teenage energy, while maintaining the wisdom of a mountain, Electric Soul sticks in the minds of its listeners as an in-depth musical journey, as I’m sure it was for the musicians themselves.

Hearing the album is one thing, to see Gary O’Neill (guitar, vocals and harmonica), Colin O’Brien (bass and vocals), Geoff Warner Clayton (guitar and vocals) and Benedict Warner Clayton (drums) giving it their all on stage last Friday (with a surprise performance from Kilkenny’s own Sam Moylan) was inspiring. The set list was well planned and executed to the point where the crowd was entranced for the sixty minutes while the band pumped out song after song, interjecting with their witty anecdotes of banter, all the while, involving the audience to the point where they were truly part of the show. The bands’ abilities were skilfully amplified, all the while by Kilkenny sound-engineer, Alan Dawson. Keep your eyes (and ears) open for word of an Alka Jessie gig, and you’ll be sure to get a great evening out of it.

At a time when the likes of Rebecca Black, or some pitiful X-Factor contestant dominate the charts, it’s as welcome as tea in a blizzard to hear a group of young locals with true taste and ability taking it upon themselves to play and provide the music they love, and to share it with anyone who cares to lend their ears. As far as I am aware, the album, recorded by Geoff Warner Clayton (who, along with The Great Shakes, featured as a solo performance as well on the night) is available for download, or buy from the band directly, and is well worth the mere five euro it costs, even if it does nothing for you, other than provide the satisfaction of knowing that you are contributing to real music, and real musicians.

David Galster - missinglink articles

Electric Soul. Now Available. Awesome.

Showtime.

Tomorrow night we launch Electric Soul. All the time we had to promote the album between when it was produced and now paid off! The launch is listed as Gig of the Week in the Kilkenny Reporter and there’s a general hype about it. Quite the achievement considering Skyrim is coming out on the same day.

Anyway, to cut things short, thanks for all your support in the past and we hope to see you in Cleere’s Theatre, Kilkenny, tomorrow night at around half 9.

Much love.

(Also, if we get everything finalized properly by tonight, we might just launch the album at midnight tonight. MAYBE.)

It’s Monday

Folks!

It’s Monday! Only 6 days till we drop Electric Soul!

The excitement!

Electric Soul Review: Missing Link Articles

Another review for Electric Soul in, this time from MissingLink Articles.

"Between getting lost in Puscifer tunes, dancing like an idiot to Skrillex and annoying people on Facebook with links to old Pink Floyd songs, I do occasionally tune into the local current music scene. And as it happens, I managed to get a pre-release of Alka Jessie’s upcoming album “Electric Soul”. The boys themselves, I’ve known for a long while so I’ll do my best to keep bias out of this review. The first thing I will say about Electric Soul, is that it is just that; electric. The opening track, “Fling” is like a Summary of what to expect from the album. It’s quick, sharp, and vibrating with Indie energy. As the album progresses, the songs get longer and more powerful, jumping from the ‘fond memories’ melodies of “Kids” to the border-line mysterious “Look at You Now” and then cooling back down to parting song, “Shaped by the Change”. I loved the production value of this album, the placement, timing and theme of the songs were carefully crafted to draw the listener into it, and it adds such a huge amount to the record as a whole.

There are, however certain highlights to this album, which overshadow weaker songs. “Look at You Now” was, for me, the absolute climax of the album. The simple, quiet drums and guitar/bass movements, and Gary O’Neill’s vocal talent, combined with the underlying electric feel carried throughout the album just add up to a very powerful song. There are songs on the album though, which need work. Having heard the original version of “Table”, a sort of Clash/Iggy Pop homage, I was not too keen on the new version, I thought it got very tied up in computer effects, and lost a lot of it’s original climactic effect.

On the whole, Alka Jessie’s “Electric Soul” is a great achievement for the young Kilkenny band, and certainly a step forward for them. The addition of Benedict and Geoff Warner Clayton has made the band a lot more 3D, their influences are a lot clearer, and the group seem to have more direction. Expect big things from them!”

Read more MissingLink Articles here

A Moment In Time EP

So our guitarist and producer has released his debut EP!

It’s incredible in our opinions anyway! It’s like a perfect blend between Declan O’ Rourke and Bell X1. The only problem we can find with it is that it’s only 3 songs! But my God, they are 3 seriously good songs!

A Moment In Time EP by Geoff Warner-Clayton

Electric Soul: Behind The Scenes