Empire Affair on HopeFMAll arranged at a little short notice, this week’s show. I’d originally planned for the annual New Wine Rebroadcast that tends to happen at this time of year. This year the week changed, so I had to call in my reserve act, Empire Affair, previously warned, but with very little time for promotion. This was a double mistake, both just because I want to let my audience know with as much notice as possible to give the bands that guest for me as large a following as possible, and as Empire Affair had written saying they would love to give HopeFM through my show the exclusive on their debut EP.

This might a bit obtuse, however while Empire Affair may be new on the scene, they come from good stock, having had many years experience getting it right (sometimes wrong, but mostly right in my opinion) in a former band. They’ve finalised their sound, smartened up their act (I’ve managed to miss them live so far, my loss) yet still retained the energy and the punch of their youth.

This flamboyance comes out in the interview, I’m loving my time with them and its over literally too quickly, they can only manage the first hour of the show before they have to dash off into rock star God-dom !?! And I hold the fort for the final hour with my music choice and gig guide.

I remember The Primitives had an album, subtitled How To Squeeze 15 Elephants Into A Test Tube. With The Worry Dolls we have a similar effect with musos on the O’Neills stage, itself not the smallest stage in town.

The Worry Dolls @ O'NeillsThe lead singer Emma’s vocal talents are impressive, she hardly needs the (rather overblown tonight) PA to make herself heard over the widespread band. What I didn’t appreciate when I saw them for the first time was the guitarist hidden at the back of the stage – Jon – also known for his talents with another fave band of mine, The Neon Tigers.

Tonight their sound is good, and I like being given the chance to fully appreciate what they should sound like. What I can’t convey here is the camararderie they display between songs. I don’t know and can’t tell if they’re telling the truth about when they say they’ve written this song or that song about other members of the band, however I don’t really mind, it all makes for a good craic.