Date Published: 01-Jun-2011
In ordinary times, the notion of four paddies and a backpacker from Switzerland forming a top-class reggae band would sound every bit as preposterous as a dreadlocked Jamaican with a deftness for sean-nós dancing.
But having witnessed the success of an Irish cricket team and a Black US President who hails from Moneygall, it is clear that these are no ordinary times, just as Intinn is no ordinary reggae band.
The story of how the Galway-based quintet got together and came to be named the second-best reggae group in Europe last year may sound like a skewed retelling of the John Candy film, Cool Runnings, but a glance at the Intinn musical pedigree will tell you that their rapid success has come as no surprise.
The western contingent of Intinn, composed of Cian Finn, Catriona Cannon and Iarla Fox, are what could conceivably be described as musical blue bloods; parented respectively by De Dannan founder Alec Finn, acclaimed harpist Kathleen Loughnane, and renowned Inishbofin musician Geraldine King.
While the troika have doubtlessly inherited the musical ability of their elders, perhaps it is strange that they have strayed so far from their trad and folk roots to the exotic realm of reggae music? Reggae is a loose description of what the band produces, however, and more of a genuflection to the music that inspires them rather than the sound that defines them.
“When we say reggae, we mean the many types of music that we are inspired by,” said vocalist Cian Finn. “But most people aren’t familiar with the reggae-dub spectrum. They hear reggae and they think we’re a Bob Marley cover band or something.”
But Bob Marley never played to the backing of a traditional harp. There is a distinct Celtic twist to Intinn’s energetic blend of reggae-dub that incorporates electronic drums, a synthesiser and the rhythmic vocals of its lead singer.
The genetic legacy of their trad bloodlines is clearly not entirely lost on Intinn but Cian was always more drawn to music from further away from home. “I was never really a mad trad-head as a child,” he said. “But my parents listened to a lot of soul music at home.”
It was a discarded reggae compilation album that someone had left behind in the house that first introduced him to the music of Bob Marley and the likes of King Tubby and Don Carlos. Galway club nights such as Jungle Fever and Rootical Sound System continued to feed his passion for the genre until he moved to Cork to study and Intinn’s roots were sown.
He and Iarla Fox, his friend since a young age, decided to form their own reggae band and recruited bassist Daniel McEoin and Catriona Cannon to play the keyboard, an aptitude for which – although her specialty was Celtic harp – was amongst her vast array of musical talents.
She took leave of the band for a year thereafter to further her studies in Italy and was replaced on the keyboard by Swiss backpacker Sebastian Zeiss, who Cian had met while visiting Barcelona. It was a fortuitous move that was to shape Intinn’s unique sound because, upon Catriona’s return, she incorporated the haunting traditional melodies of the Celtic harp in the band’s music.
“When Catriona was playing the keys she had to concentrate on making the synth noises and melodies,” said Iarla. “But once Sebastian took over the synth, it allowed her to just think in a melodic, decorative way; where she meanders over a tune and moves it along, allowing the melody section to be really solid.”
The band quickly earned a reputation for their high-energy performances at venues around the country and in June 2009, they recorded and released their debut self-titled album. But it was last summer that things really began to kick off for the group.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.