Posts Tagged ‘Blues’
I had the pleasure of speaking with these young lads from Cavan (average age 15) a few days before they signed a five-album deal with Mercury Records. They already boast Paul Weller, Jeff Beck and… Brian Kerr among their fans.
Having recently inked an astonishing five-album deal with major label Mercury Records, The Strypes could be forgiven for indulging in a little bit of rock n’ roll excess, but the Cavan four-piece have their feet firmly planted on the ground despite a growing chorus of approval from some of rock royalty’s most prestigious names.
Modfather Paul Weller recently picked the band out as one of his favourite new bands in an interview with an influential UK magazine – as well as inviting them to open for him on a live session for Channel 4 – while former Yardbird and blues legend Jeff Beck has also made his admiration public.
In an exclusive interview with Something for the Weekend – on the eve of penning the record deal – the band are remarkably laid back about it all, choosing to lavish praise on their elders rather than acknowledge the talent and dedication that had bought them so much success so quickly.
Originally published in the Irish Sun on Friday, August 31.
“I’d say it’s a typical small town band story, only we’ve gotten a lot more attention than typical small town bands do,” says Alabama Shakes guitarist Heath Fog – but the band’s meteoric rise from relative obscurity to festival headers has been anything but typical.
Less than a year ago, the Alabama blues rockers were practically unknown outside their home state. With the release of their debut self-titled EP in September of last year, however, they quickly became one of the internet’s most talked-about acts and were soon organising extensive tours of the United States and Europe.
Fogg says: “It’s been surreal. We never expected as much attention as we’ve gotten, and to do the things we’ve done from this record. It’s only been a year from when it seemed like we were completely off the radar to getting a lot of attention.”
Originally published in the Irish Sun on July 20.
Next weekend sees the return of Knockanstockan to the lakes of Blessington, with a line-up of over 150 acts making it the biggest event in the DIY music festival’s six year history.
For guitarist Tim Cullen of Dublin blues rockers the Hot Sprockets, it’s more than just another weekend in the park – it’s a festival his band helped to set up in 2007 and they’ve been a perennial fixture at the lakes ever since.
“To start off we had this thing called Primal Jelly Social Club – like an open mic night. We got our first gigs through them, just doing it every Wednesday, and then Peter [Keogh] then decided to run a festival for the bands to get away and get to know each other.
“The first one was really tiny – there weren’t many punters there so it mainly just consisted of the bands. I don’t know how many bands played that weekend but everyone got to know each other in this tiny field. Loads of bands went up and helped out for that one and helped cleaning up.
“The second year, all the bands wanted to continue it on and helped with the setup and we’ve just been doing it that way ever since.”
Last week I interviewed Nick Reynolds of Alabama 3 ahead of the premiere of Songs For Amy at the Galway Film Fleadh. The band have a cameo as a bunch of debauched rockstars (a.k.a. themselves) in the movie, and will be playing a few acoustic shows in Cork, Limerick and Galway at the weekend.
Originally published in the Irish Sun on July 6.
“One of our singers was named the Reverend D. Wayne Love – the first minister of the Presbyterian Church of Elvis the Divine. In America, they actually believed it was a real church!”
Nick Reynolds – a.k.a. Harpo Strangelove – falls into hysterics as he recalls the hostility his band, Alabama 3, have inspired in the States since their song ‘Woke Up This Morning’ first came to prominence on the iconic US crime drama the Sopranos.
Reynolds’ steely harmonica is an integral part of the sound he describes as “electro techno country acid house” – and along with the American-accented vocals of D. Wayne and Larry Love (no relation) convinced many they had come straight out of the Deep South, rather than South London.