Date Published: 22-Jun-2011
The Chakras, a Dublin-born, London-based alternative rock five piece, play a free show in the city’s Róisín Dubh on Monday next, June 27. The band is made up of brothers Rocky (vocals) and Gordo Whittaker (guitar), Pepo (keys), Ian Kane on bass and Stu (drums).
Rocky and his band are currently living in Wimbledon and gearing up for the release of their debut album, Build Me a Swan.
“We’ve a good set-up,” Rocky says about their London base. “We’re all living together and there’s a practice room very close to the house, which is handy.”
Rocky played in different bands around Dublin before joining his brother in The Chakras. It took a while for the quintet to find their sound – but when they did, there was a spark they had to act on.
“We put out our first single – it was dodgy now! – three and a half years ago,” Rocky recalls. “But it was a completely different band. We were pushing in ten different directions. The day we found our sound was when we wrote Build Me a Swan. It was a common direction for the first time. It was the leading light, the thing that showed us where to go.”
Build Me a Swan was such a pivotal song for The Chakras that they decided to name the album after it. Rocky explains how the single came about.
“It was a completely different song and we were messing around with reverse effects. We turned the whole song backwards and it sounded amazing! It was basically a mistake – you could play a million songs backwards and most of them will sound dreadful.”
Rocky is reluctant to get into the subject matter of the song.
“I always think it’s better not to explain much of the lyrics,” he says. “I think the best thing is for people to make it mean something to their lives. If you explain exactly what it’s about, it narrows it down. It’s better leaving it up in the air a bit.
“The music gives the feeling as well. I always listen to songs a good while before I write the lyrics. I try to write lyrics that carry the same feeling as the music.”
The Chakras’ boldest move so far has been to move en masse to London. Why did they decide to take such a definite step?
“There’s a few factors involved,” Rocky says. “The main thing is we want to be an internationally successful band. It’s all we’ve ever wanted to do – it’s all we can do! And we realised that if we really wanted to do it, we had to come over here.
“Very few bands succeed internationally from Ireland,” he adds. “U2, The Corrs and the Cranberries, My Bloody Valentine – even going back to James Joyce – most people have to move away first. And then you earn the right to go back.”
Rocky is refreshingly honest when it comes to speaking about the Chakras’ burning sense of ambition.
“We did move over just to get signed,” he admits. “The people with the power in the music industry are over here and for us to get a decent wedge of cash we’d have to move over here. What we tried to do for years in Dublin happened very quick in London.”
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Retail industry trade body welcomes B&Q announcement
Date Published: 07-May-2013
Retail Excellence Ireland, the country’s largest retail industry trade body, has welcomed the news that 60 jobs have been saved at the city branch of B&Q.
It’s after the home improvements store successfully exited examinership.
Under the scheme, 2.4 million euro is to be invested by parent company Kingfisher plc, and B and Q will continue to trade at eight stores
This means 640 jobs have been saved nationwide, including 60 at the outlet in Knocknacarra.
However, David Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland says landlords need to be willing to help out smaller retailers too.
Foundation reports nine Galway heart deaths each week
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Nine people die in Galway every week from heart disease and stroke.
That’s according to the Irish Heart Foundation, which is launching its Happy Hearts Appeal today. (9/5)
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, launched the appeal today to help raise funds for the charity, which has seen increasing demand on its patient services.
The Foundation says it needs to raise at least half a million euro to maintain existing information services.
Call to tackle delays at Oranmore rail crossing
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Concerns have been raised over traffic delays at the railway crossing in Oranmore.
Councillor Jim Cuddy says he has received many representations from local motorists who have been experiencing extended delays.
He says the closed barrier can sometimes cause a traffic tailback as far as the roundabout near the Maldron hotel.
Cllr Cuddy has brought the matter to the attention of Iarnrod Eireann and has asked for an explanation as to why the crossing is closed for so long.