Feb 2013 - Irish Tour 2013, Dublin City FM, RTE 2XM.
In February we brought our distinctive brand of electrified, guitar based Rock & Roll music with strong Americana, British Invasion & Soul leanings back to the island of birth for some gigs & radio things in Dublin and Belfast. I phrase it like that because in the course of 5 or 6 interviews this month I was forced to think about what type music we're making here. By journalists, radio presenters and late night taxi drivers. "What type of music is it?", he asked. "Guitar music... Rock & Roll" I reply. "What's that, like Elvis?". I sometimes forget the genre is so far in the rear view mirror of most people. To that end, I've also been recording a lot of guitar in Ireland this month for the next album.
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The first gig on the agenda was in Dublin for RTÉ 2XM's King Kong Club @ The Mercantile. It went really well, with Rodger pounding up such a fury that he beat through his snare skin during the set. So we gotta thank Be Curious Kid for getting a replacement on stage quickly. When we located the car a few streets away, Rodger felt something hit his side having been thrown from a passing car. Turned out to be an egg which had landed unbroken in his pocket and was found 2 hours later after driving back to Belfast. It tasted pretty good too, he said.
It was a short set because of the radio show's format, but we played "Someone's Love on Drugs", "Destiny Does The Splitstep" (new song) and "We Were The Ones". There's a video of "We Were The Ones" from the gig on our channel, thanks to Beata for taking that. As usual, photos from the night & anything else are on the gig's tour page.
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Just before the gig , I met up with Denis Goodbody from Dublin City FM in the hotel part of The Mercantile to record an episode of his "Roots Musings" show. After finding a spot upstairs in a Bewley's coffee house that was quiet enough to record, we talked about UN influences and I picked some tracks by artists who influenced my writing. I tried not to talk exclusively about Roy Orbison & The Rolling Stones, but it was hard when Denis riled me in asking had the Stones recorded anything good since 1974 (they have - "Bridges to Babylon" and "Voodoo Lounge" are brilliant albums). Anyway it seemed an interesting talk and I can't thank him enough for giving us basically an hour of air time including the song picks. It'll be uploaded here on the website as soon as we've got it, and it's been on air.
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Belfast was next, in The Stiff Kitten. A homecoming gig of sorts, since we hadn't played in Ireland for about a year before. It's in the same location as the Moviehouse Cinema, so I arrived early and was seduced by an advert on a passing bus for the Hitchcock biopic with Anthony Hopkins. Saw that, which was brilliant, then went and sound checked for the gig. We played a varied set, including "Silent Picture Show" which we don't always play live. It means a lot to me though & always great to sing it. More photos.
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With the Dublin & Belfast activities over, from the 16th-22nd I got reacquainted with my recording equipment, most of which is still in Ireland even if I don't have a studio there anymore. There were some overdubs to do with my Telecaster, and some drum tracks that needed whacked down. Got Rodger to play on some tracks he hadn't heard before. So I've got enough to take back on hard drive and work on for the songs I want on the next album, and some extra material potentially. Be keeping your ears open.
We saw a few things too before leaving, including the Arnaldo Pomodoro sculpture in Trinity College, Dublin. There's one of his where I live in Italy. I had to meet a couple of industry people too, but asides that we saw the book of Kells (had never seen), and the book of Armagh (St. Patrick's confession). I'm in no way religious, but interesting all the same. Also went to the Dublin Wax Museum (way better than it sounds, and than I expected), the part about Irish history in particular. Outrageous that they don't have Rory Gallagher, but do have Elvis. We're trying to promote Ireland for f.... Anyway. In Belfast I got to see the new Titanic Belfast exhibit, might as well since I had the chance. Aspects of it were worth seeing, and even if N. Irish people think it's just pandering to American tourists (Kate Winslet's Titanic dress), it's welcome to me if it sparks the interest of foreign people to know something about Northern Ireland other than thinking it's too dangerous a place to visit. Always a good thing.
» R E C O R D I N G U P D A T E : 2 N D A L B U M
In the last couple of weeks we've been working hard on "Destiny Does The Splitstep". Not intending to give loads away this early about the track list of the second album, but since we've played it live about 5 times recently, it's obviously going to be on there. Loads of other new songs too, stuff that nobody has heard yet. Excited to see them through to the end result. Hard work ahead though - less than great ain't good enough for this record.
» S O N G S & S E C R E T S : Interview
I did an interview for the Songs & Secrets website about songwriting approach, they asked me stuff like which song am I most proud of, and about influences. I don't mind most interviews, but I like discussing songs and music a lot more than typical promotional interviews. So this was one of the good ones, which you can read in full here.
» O T H E R H A P P E N I N G S
Some other places that have been featuring our music during February, apart from the above, include the Soundsphere Magazine podcast (England), and the Sundown Lounge podcast (US). Also, by the time of the next blog we should have at least the RTÉ 2XM King Kong Radio interview spot uploaded, and hopefully the Roots Musings interview from Dublin City FM. Keep an eye on our social pages for recording updates....
Until the next blog...